Project Yankee: TE37V For Victory
Forged Muscle

Hello again, and welcome to another chapter in the continuing saga of Project Yankee, the 5.7-liter HEMI-swapped ’75 Dodge Dart that I’m planning to bring to the SEMA Show in just a few weeks’ time.


It’s typically unusual to see two updates on the same project car within the span of one week, but that’s how quickly things have been moving lately – and there’s little time to waste. With the SEMA countdown on, it’s been full steam ahead inside the Caliber Customs garage.


In the last update we wrapped up the installation of the new Yukon differential and axles, Hotchkis suspension, and a conversion from four-wheel drum brakes to four-wheel Baer disc brakes. So now it’s time for a really fun and crucial part of the build – wheels and tires.


From the moment the new 13-inch Baer discs were fitted, the 14×8-inch US Indy Mags that had previously been on the car were rendered useless. With the larger rotors and calipers, a minimum wheel diameter of 17-inch was required.


I have never been the biggest fan of oversized wheels and rubberband tires on old muscle cars, so I was initially worried that 17s might be too large for my liking. My original plan was to go with 15s and meaty tires for a period look, but that not only limits you in terms of brakes, but also in terms of tire selection. Stepping up just an inch or two brings many more options to the table.


Gradually, I warmed to the idea of moving up to 17s, and as I did I realized that today a 17-inch wheel isn’t even all that big anymore. Not when most modern performance cars and even pro touring builds are packing 18s and 19s at a minimum.


Choosing the right wheel is never simple, but once I settled on 17 inches the decision became a whole lot easier. And that’s because the 17-inch 5-lug RAYS Volk Racing TE37V exists.


Another set of TE37s? Isn’t that boring and unoriginal? Well, on a 1970s Dodge Dart I’d say no. Even among my muscle car-loving buddies in Japan, I can’t recall anyone throwing a set of TE37Vs under old school classic American iron.

But there’s more to all this than just being unique. The ‘American Kyusha’ theme has shifted and expanded to include other influences as Project Yankee has gone from a random idea in my head to an actual vehicle. But paying homage to Japanese car modification culture always going to be a big part of it.


And what better way to build on that than by matching my old Mopar with one of the most iconic wheel designs ever to come out of Japan. The legendary RAYS build quality and light weight of the forged TE37Vs just made the choice that much easier.

Speedhunters maintains a strong relationship with RAYS, and when we approached them about getting involved with the build it was awesome to see their open-mindedness. Even though I’d be fitting wheels envisioned for Skylines, Silvias and Supras onto a Dodge from the ’70s, RAYS was in from the start.


Working on Project Yankee has made for a stream of car part boxes being delivered by the local UPS guy, but hearing his truck roll up and watching him carry a pair of big boxes marked ‘RAYS’ and ‘Japan Power’ on the sides got me feeling all warm inside. Wasting no time, I popped them open and took in the beautiful bronze-colored texture. And there’s nothing like that new wheel smell.

Uncharted Territory

Anyway, now that I’ve talked about why I chose the TE37V as the right wheel for the project, let’s get into this specific set of wheels and their fitment. When I covered installation of the new hubs and axles, I mentioned that the Dart’s bolt pattern is 5×4.5-inch or 5×114.3mm, depending on your choice of measurement. Fortunately, that’s pretty much the most common bolt pattern you’ll find these days.


That brings me to the challenge of determining wheel fitment. When researching on forums or social media groups, most of the Mopar guys were talking about ‘back spacing’ rather than offset. It’s two different ways of measuring the same thing, so I spent a lot of time putting sizes into online calculators trying to figure out what widths and offsets would work best.


Knowing that I wanted a staggered setup, but something that still sat wide and aggressive on each corner, I settled on 17×9-inch for the front and 17×10-inch for the rear with offsets of -10 and -20 respectively. While I had an idea of how the wheels would sit on the car, I still wasn’t entirely sure how it would look or what type of fender/body modifications might be needed to pull these off.


Of course, I’d also need some tires to put on the wheels, so while waiting for the TE37Vs to arrive from Japan I spent an equally long amount of time researching tire options that would fill up the fenders while also bringing plenty of grip to match the upgraded suspension and brakes. Enter the Toyo R888.


Because Project Yankee won’t be a daily driver, and because you can count the number of annual rainy days in California with one hand, the aggressive tread compound and stickiness of the R888s was impossible to resist. And for a tire designed with serious performance track driving in mind, the longevity is said to be quite impressive as well.


Another great thing about the R888 is that it’s available in a huge array of sizes from 13 to 20 inches in diameter, including plenty of sizes appropriate for a muscle car. I went with 255/40R17s for the front and 275/40R17s for the rear, with sizeable contact patches and plenty of sidewall to help fill the fenders.


Once the wheels and tires were in hand it was onto the fitting machine at Caliber Customs so we could mount them up and see how they’d sit on the car.


With the Dart still resting on the lift, we did a test fit with the 17x9s up front and this is what we saw. Not bad at all.


Project Yankee was never intended to be a ‘stance’ build, but I certainly didn’t want wheels and tires sunken into the fenders. With the edge of the 255 tire sitting almost perfectly even with the fender and a very nice wheel-to-rubber ratio, I was quite satisfied with the initial look.


Just as important was making sure that the TE37Vs cleared the 4-piston Baer calipers up front. It’s all good here as well, with plenty of room between the concave inner spoke and the calipers themselves. I’m also really digging the contrast between the bronze wheels and the Aztec Gold calipers.


While all of this test fitting was going on up front, final assembly was happening on the rebuilt differential, axles and brakes in the rear.


As soon as the rear end was done, it was time to do the same test for the 17x10s and 275s. The Mopar A-body platform is a bit strange in that the back has a narrower track than the front, so this needs to be considered when selecting wheels.


My hope was that the additional width and slightly more aggressive offset of the rear wheels would even things up nicely, and once we got them on the car that seemed to be the case.


And like the front there was also plenty of brake caliper clearance with the rotors doing a fine job of filling up the space behind the spokes.


The wheels were on, and in my opinion they looked fantastic. But best of all, my fears of the 17s looking too big or out of place were quickly put to rest. I couldn’t have been happier.


Of course, there was still some body and fender massaging needed to get the wide wheels and tires to clear everything properly once the final ride height and alignment settings were determined, and that will all be covered off in the next post.


Summing things up, I guess you could say that Project Yankee’s TE37Vs could be both the most obvious and the least obvious wheel choice ever.

On one hand, the TE37 is one of the most well known and popular aftermarket wheels of all time – always a safe and satisfying choice. On the other hand, trying to fit them on a Dodge from the ’70s is starting to push into unknown territory – at least as far as old school muscle car purists go. But that’s great, because opening minds is what this project is all about.

Stay tuned for more updates very soon as the march toward SEMA continues.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia



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Mate!! Looks awesome! so cool, it reminds of the Mustang Nismo from Tokyo Drift (thats a good thing imo) is the car colour going to change??


I guessed correct


#realrotas #basictho 

Steels would have been better IMWO :


I'm about as surprised with this as I am over the fact that Trump is an A-hole.


And this proves once again that the TE37s are the Guile's Theme of the wheels.


Aesthetically incongruous color combination, gray and blue would look better. And, I don't care how good the wheels look, a 6-spoke on 5-lug look is not a good look here, a 5-spoke or 5 motif (10-spoke) always looks better when on 5-lugs. Golden ratio.


Aisakey That's a funny analogy


NicholasMaher Golly mister, you sure know a lot about aesthetics and design. Have you contacted RAYS? They might like to know that their remarkably popular wheel design is actually, "not a good look," despite what the recorded sales may imply. Perhaps they have yet to tap into the market of people who actually know which wheels are a good look? Thanks for enlightening us by the way, I myself used to operate under the philosophy in which "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," but thanks to you I now realize that the arbitrary and organic nature of design doesn't exist, and that a "good look" is in fact dictated by a ratio. Hopefully Mike reads your comment, and you are able to show him too the right way to build his car.


My first favorite car was a 70' Chevelle LS6 with the Muncie 22 and my current favorite car is the JZA80 V161 Supra. I love Project Yankee!


Fun fact:  Wider front track isn't very rare for production cars.  It's not as common, but not that rare.  It's actually very common for race cars, for very sound reasons of vehicle dynamics.

I wasn't sure what to expect with the wheels, but I'm pretty sold on that look.  Surprisingly awesome.  Light blue and bronze is never a bad choice either...


The only color you should paint that car now, is Toyota's Quicksand beige.


I wanted these wheels for my roadrunner but couldn't afford them, I got the rpf1's instead. I'm so happy someone put these wheels on a Mopar!


No kidding! The new wheels look just as good, if not better than the old ones...


Wow, adding a trans-am front air dam and a Nascar style duck spoiler, it's gonna be hawt. An exterior oil cooler and side exit exhaust wouldn't hurt either. But that's just me.


Not a fan of the color in combination with the light blue, something more greyish would have been nicer imo. also think there could have been more interesting wheel choices...


Looks great! I was expected polished lips tho. I love the japanese wheels on something...well not japanese.
Im considering TE37V on my Ford Sierra RS,never saw one with them,so it should be cool and unique.


The V looks so much different than regular 37.  And it is perfect.  grats


proving once again that te37s look good on practically any car, also that tire/wheel combo just puts into perspective how stupid stretched tires look, great choice of wheel, looks damn good.


are you going to shave the rain gutter? @mikegarrett


JohnTruitt NicholasMaher savage! brutal! rekt!

i did a laugh


Super sweet build!! Mixing up american & japanese style into one, is speedhunters tirebomb &a demon conversion next?
What is the colour choice for the build? Still purple? If yes, that is a good colour with the bronze TE's
Looking foward to see it finish, i have been reading your dart build, still super exited!! good luck sir!


I love it! But I'm disappointed, I don't see any SH stickers on the car!


Now, get a set of Rays lug nuts & Toyo tire bombs to finish up the look :)


Would never thought these rims look good on this type of car. Color me (pleasantly) surprised.


I think that this may be the most satisfying car/wheel combo all year. I am a Japanese junkie, but this may have convinced me to go and buy an A Body. Has to be my favourite build thread to follow at the moment


I’ll start by saying you should re-read what I said, which wasn’t "not a good look" it was "not a good look here” and “how good the wheels look”. There are subjective and objective aspects to all design not just wheels, that’s why “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” as you say, some people like things others don’t. In this case the wheel looks good though on this car and in this color combination it looks less than ideal for me.
That said, any good design in wheels (or anything) is far from arbitrary though it is organic, those terms would almost be opposites in terms of design. No good design is arbitrary. There are absolutely ratios in what humans perceive to be good design. They are also found in the nature, physics, etc. Can you imagine an arbitrarily designed component on an F1 car? I’m sure at times past there were though not on winning cars. Do you see beauty in an OEM 5-lug wheel with 7, 9, or 11 spokes where nothing lines up? Such designs are marketing department driven not design driven.
Sales figures for you seem to equate to good design, really? Are you sure? Under that delusional, misguided rationale the 1992 Chevy Cavalier (225,633 sales1992) must be better than a McLaren F1 (106 sales total) I’m sure Rays sells plenty of wheels though so do many others companies. Does that mean they are all good?
Sarcasm is not your strong suit.


My Uncle Luke just got a nearly new white Ford Fusion Hybrid Sedan just by part time work from a macbook air. read more


It's hard to argue TE37s on any car but, I was hoping for some CCW classics to keep the car as American as possible. The Rays look outstanding nonetheless. And you can never go wrong with R888s!



That wheel/tire combo looks very good on that Dart! In my opinion, there's a lot of Japanese wheels that would suit most vintage muscle cars.


I've been wanting a set of the original wheels you had on the car. I had some on my Gran Torino way back and everyone just referred to them as Mag Wheels, so I'm having a hard time finding them.


PolarGrey They go by many names, Slot mags, indy mags, jellybean mags, and a number of others too


The wheels look great and give the brake clearance and tire choices required.  While they may not look exactly period, the styling of the wheels is timeless and works well with the car.


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wiroheb can you please fucking put some kind of spam filter? every time i subscribe to these posts, i always get emails but they're just for stupid spam links like these.


Wow those look great on the dart, very nicely fitted I may add


I mentioned before that I have a 73' Duster project, its a resto-mod theme with a focus on OEM look. I usually only like # matching builds and hate weird mods. I have to say, your build is one of the best so far. Even with japanese wheels, it looks good. It looks right. Those wheels really work, the te37 is the end all for wheels. I look forward to the next update. You really have an awesome project coming together.


NicholasMaher JohnTruitt 1. When you say it's not a "good look here" I believe you are referring to the 6 spoke on 5 lug pattern you were so disapproving of, when most cars use the bolt pattern seen here. That means that the look "here" is a very common one.

2. When I used the word design I was not talking about the engineering behind it. This is an argument based upon aesthetics, and design in the visual sense is in fact arbitrary. And to answer your question, yes I have seen beauty in 5 lug wheels with 7, 9, and 11 spokes, Vaughn Gittin's RTR wheels look damn good if you ask me. I'd imagine his marketing department would say the same.

3. Sales figures equate to good design when people buy something because of its design. Last time I checked people don't necessarily buy ugly wheels. And did you really just compare a Cavalier to a Mclaren F1? Two different markets with different price ranges and products with different goals to be achieved. The market for wheels is much more condensed and undeniably based off of aesthetic design, so yes sales figures of wheels do equate to a good design.


With the proper stance, this looks perfect despite japanese wheels on muscle car sounds strange.



On a classic muscle car.
Not saying they don't look good, but they're on everything.
Why though? Just pick the least original wheels you can for a unique build.


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nameless so and so

Mike I think this was a bad decision. You could've sourced a
smaller/cheaper brake set up and used this as the perfect opportunity to
run FOUR 15x10 slot mags


Nice choice of wheels, colours are working well together. Sadly a bit overplayed and not surprising anymore as TE37s are everywhere. But hey, it's like AC/DC, they always serve you a good soup but in the end they stay equal to themselves and you don't pay attention to it anymore.


Edit : need to see the final product standingon its wheels though, that will certainly look even better.


Looks great so far. Wondering if you're still planning for the respray in the beautiful purple too? ;)
Much better you put on something you like, even if it is popular.
Because being unique just for the sake of it will eventually lead to stupid stuff if you always aim for something not done before... and for what? lol
Besides, on the internet you see heaps of anything, but on the street it's still rare as hell.


They look badass, nice fitment


I'm having dirty thoughts about this car in matte black.


Project SpeedHunters/Rocket Bunny 86 - Rays Wheels.
Project Eco-boost Mustang - Rays Wheels.
Project Yankee - Rays wheels.
You guys really need to think outside the (Rays) box. or maybe the Sponsor discount is too hard to pass up.
The wheels do look pretty good under the guards.  Good size and width. - it'd just be nice to see something unique on such a unique car getting so much love.


Because basically, in my opinion, the TE37 family will fit on ANY car you throw them at.


Bima Leksono Agreed.


I actually like the look of the TE37s, but if you wanted to run a vintage looking slot mag US Mags (now owned by MHT Luxury Alloys) makes the Indy in modern sizes, and they even offer forged versions in custom spec.


@Low_FairladyZ_NZ I think the final product will be pretty darn unique myself, we'll know soon enough. :)


i23sonny Body/coloring work begins this week. Will have updates on that soon.


@rt33 Nothing wrong with a little AC/DC ;)


Just_a_peasant Don't these comments kind of contradict themselves? TE37Vs might not be unique on a Supra or something, but I'd say they are pretty unique in this case...


90nissanS13@my350z Thanks a lot. I think it will be pretty hard to label this thing once it's done and I think that can be a good thing when done right. We shall see soon.


Therealstig Thanks!


John Evans Thanks John. Yeah it's not quite a period look, but the "V" part of the wheel design certainly adds a little old school character.


keithnmeasures PolarGrey You can find them everywhere and for pretty cheap. Most car swap meets I go to have tons of sets for sale.


MikkoKukkonen It'd be cool to see more of it.


AdamBashford Thanks Adam, I'm glad you've been enjoying. Still a little ways to go, but I think the finished product should open some minds.


iProGam3r It's coming!


Project AT180R Thanks a lot! I still have all the Demon front end parts at my house but lately I've been coming around on the later Dart looks - especially when you see some of the little touches we are working on. Color choice will be revealed soon :)


@garry the cat Possibly. Body work begins this week and we are going to see exactly what we can do while still staying within the timeline.


bluestreaksti Thanks! I was very happy to see how they sat after visualizing it in my head for so long.


BozoMotosport TE37Vs on a Sierra would look awesome!


EmmaMacki Keep your eyes peeled.


dangina RPF1s on a Road Runner? Sweet! Would love to see some pics.


@Ruben That would look awesome.


@autoamalgamate Thanks!


Roman64 I was thinking about that too haha. Both are pretty unusual while still having engines that stay true to their heritage.


JBfromSiliconValley Regarding that last part, keep your eyes peeled for the next update coming later this week.


Slappy_Pistons P10 you mean/ ;) It's actually been sitting in my garage for the past several weeks awaiting some attention as soon as the SEMA crunch is over.


Mike Garrett i23sonny Please don't paint it purple. It's a classic muscle car colour but it's been done already on so many prostreet/touring builds.
If this is about being unique you need to look at doing something else.


@Low_FairladyZ_NZ, the Rays box is thinking outside the box on a shit box Dodge.
I love the car, this build just got a lot cooler, if this box would have gone the protouring "classic large diameter wheel" like a large OD dodge oem style, or a big OD Crager classic I would have stopped following this build, that would have been in the typical box for this build...
That being said, the offset and color are perfect, if they didn't have the lip they did, or the stagger it would have been all wrong, he clearly did his homework and the stance and look are perfect.


Automotive Obsession I just saw three Fiskars in contour-dazzle black and white schemes n the side of the 78 highway in north San Diego two days ago. Hmmmmmmmmm......


Simmons FRs... Just saying.


OMG, this car is awesome.  Love the wheel choice.  I've always loved the TE37 design as they seem to look great on everything.  For some reason, I kinda wish the wheels were white with that pale blue paint.  :0)


The wheels transform the car instantly!! Once you get the wheel choice right for a build the rest just flows naturally. Keep it going Mike, nice job


Those 37's were a good choice!


Inspired! Mike Garrett


Mike Garrett Slappy_Pistons Jebus it's been so long I forgot what car you had!


that, my friends, is the definition of 'perfect fitment'


AutoX_a_Truck - IMO the large diameter and shallow offset kills the look of old school wheels, the wide/deep look of a sweet mag like the ones that originally were on the car look awesome.  I love the look of vintage Drag cars and that deep offset mag wheel, or the new Ansen's by American racing even look good, but only in the smaller deep sizes.  
But given the new brakes and intended use of the build, the light weight and perfect offset TE37's he chose look 10x better than a large diameter modern offset version of any classic wheel would.  And wheel choice can make or break the look of any ride.
But again that's just my opinion.


@Low_FairladyZ_NZ The Speedhunters 86 had Rotiforms on it


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Would anyone who has installed steel braided brake hoses on a 70's car tell me how much of a difference in braking they got? I'd like to get some improvement in that area of my 74 2002


Automotive Obsession  Inspired by the Viper, powered by the Viper and the interior configuration looks a lot like a Viper. Hmm.

The people hating on Mike's choice of wheels, commenting that "he is not original" should take a look at this car.


Can't say I like the look of TE37's on it, but as long as you are happy that's all that matters. I would have gone with more sidewall to, like 55's or 60's even, on Desmond Regamasters.


I have to say I really love the rims. Really love the color. Really love the offset/stance. Really love the color contrast with the rotors and calipers. But I really hate the center cap and color. It needs to be flush and same color. Looks awkward. Also not sure what you plan on doing with the chrome on the car but those wheels are not doing the chrome any favors. My opinion is for those wheels to really work you need to monotone the car or even make the chrome (or at least bumpers/door handles/fuel fill) the same color as the wheels. That would be hot.


90nissanS13@my350z Automotive Obsession 6 lug like a Viper too


TE37s look good on everything.


That too. I just read up on the car. It is literally a rebodied Viper for way more money. That is a sad attempt from Fisker.


Want that sloted mags......


matthewonce 60 series 17s? Don't know if I've seen such a thing on this type of car.


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Mike Garrett I just got roasted. 

I have to disagree with that. Not very unique in this case. With a simple search, TE37Vs show up on quite a few classic muscle cars. I see what you mean though, and TE37Vs can be thrown at anything and look good.


OMG, I've never head so many complaints about a set of volks in my life. I feel like this is some parallel universe where te's and ce's aren't the best wheels for every car period. I bet they want you to put some avant garde wheels on it. Like seriously, regas for this car? and with 55-60 sidewall? okay.. Go die. Seriously.


RaySpijk This. I have never seen a car that did NOT look good with TEs. Very likely my personal all-time favorite wheel, especially in bronze.


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Wow TE37s how original..


my  cousin got Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid 

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I'm not sure who you are mad at...


Mike Garrett i23sonny Called it. The matte finish is nice but I can't help but feel it could have been something more special.




It's what he likes yo...... it's JUST A CAR