Wheels, Steel or Alloy - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-06-2010, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Wheels, Steel or Alloy

I know this has been hashed out before but there are lots of new wheels out that fit the JK, so please forgive me if I have dredged up and old subject. On the other hand if itís a contentious subject, please let the bickering begin.

I've decided to look into new wheels to go with the new 35" tires. I really don't care much how the wheels look. I'm way more interested in the value and performance aspects.

If I have it right, I need a 17 x 9(ish) with 3.5" back spacing.
I see both 5 on 5Ē and 5 on 5.5Ē as the spec for the lug pattern.

Where can I get the definitive answer for this?

Any suggestions for which wheels would meet my needs?

Steel or Alloy?

Brand, model you like or have, good source to buy from ect?

2008 Rubicon, 4 door Detonator yellow, 3.5" lift, Motech LS 6L engine conversion, RR Skids.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-06-2010, 09:34 PM
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the jk is a 5 on 5 bolt pattern. thats all i have for now.

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with some doo-dads
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-07-2010, 07:14 PM
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5x5 is the correct bolt pattern.

Steel wheels are cheaper. Cragar (or others) soft 8 pattern wheels are usually readily available and can be found for a pretty cheap price. I went with alloy based on a good price and wanting to keep the weight of the wheel/tire combo down as much as possible (I bought ProComp 7089s 16x8 for 35s).

You don't need 3.5" backspacing, but it would work. 4.5" bs will work with most lifts and 35s.

I bought from a local supplier, so can't help you with a good source.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-07-2010, 08:00 PM
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X2 on the 4.5 backspace. If looks dosen't matter, go with the steelies. If you want an alloy with a price that want break the bank, check out Pro Comp. The have several styles for a JK in the 100 to 150 dollar range. http://4wheelonline.com/ProCompExtremeAlloyWheels.19823

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post #5 of 16 Old 04-07-2010, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good info. I'll look into this further. When a finally figure out what to do I'll post. I have read so many good arguments for both sides of the debate over steel vs. alloy I'm going to have to noodle this a bit more. Time is getting long on this process of picking a strategy for mods on the JK and I just have S**t or get of the pot as they say.

It was a lot easier with my truck. Not as many options.

2008 Rubicon, 4 door Detonator yellow, 3.5" lift, Motech LS 6L engine conversion, RR Skids.
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 04:49 AM
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I also went with alloy wheels (Blackrock Vipers) to keep the weight down a bit and they also turned out to be the look I was going for... I debated wheels and tires for almost 3 solid weeks before ordering. I ended up getting a pretty good deal from discount tire direct for all 5 and they ship directly to local installers in my area as well.

2007 Sahara 2 door, Black, Hardtop
[x] Tires - 33x11.5 (285/70/17) Goodyear DuraTracs
[x] Rims - 17x8 Blackrock Vipers
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 07:24 PM
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I have a set of 5, 17x8 or 9 procomp 7189's i will put up in the for sale section in the next couple weeks at a sell it fast kinda price.
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 07:41 PM
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steel

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"Yeah, its' mine..."
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 08:29 PM
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FWIW: With the 16x8 ProComp wheels and the 315x75x16 KM2s (34.8" tall unmounted and 12.3" wide) and 4.5" backspacing, the front tires are 1.5" outside the edge of the stock fenders. Better than I was hoping for... I didn't want to increase my width by any more than necessary. Already been in a few places where it was pretty tight on both sides.

If you're looking at $$s. Here's the price difference I found between 17x9 wheels and 35" KM2s vs 16x8 wheels (same model wheel) and 35" KM2s. Tire price includes mounting and balancing:

17x9 + 35 KM2: Wheel: $113 Tire: $314 x 5 $2135
16x8 + 35 KM2: Wheel: $100 Tire: $266 x 5 $1830

We haven't been on a trail yet with the 35 KM2s/16x8 wheels/Poly Perf Stage III lift combo (this weekend! ), but have put a fair bit of street and highway miles on it. Road manners have been great. No mushy cornering and very good overall handling and ride.
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drldap View Post
FWIW: With the 16x8 ProComp wheels and the 315x75x16 KM2s (34.8" tall unmounted and 12.3" wide) and 4.5" backspacing, the front tires are 1.5" outside the edge of the stock fenders. Better than I was hoping for... I didn't want to increase my width by any more than necessary. Already been in a few places where it was pretty tight on both sides.

If you're looking at $$s. Here's the price difference I found between 17x9 wheels and 35" KM2s vs 16x8 wheels (same model wheel) and 35" KM2s. Tire price includes mounting and balancing:

17x9 + 35 KM2: Wheel: $113 Tire: $314 x 5 $2135
16x8 + 35 KM2: Wheel: $100 Tire: $266 x 5 $1830

We haven't been on a trail yet with the 35 KM2s/16x8 wheels/Poly Perf Stage III lift combo (this weekend! ), but have put a fair bit of street and highway miles on it. Road manners have been great. No mushy cornering and very good overall handling and ride.
That tire price seems really high on the 17"...they are advertised at $278 online. Hell I bought a set of 35x12.5R17s for $1003.00 mounted and balanced in June or July of 09. KM2s!
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 09:56 PM
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I went steel and i'm not disappointed. If you wheel your rig and air down the tires steel may be the way to go. You won't easily crack a steel wheel and if somehow you do it's more easily welded. And if you curb or rock rash a steel wheel you can easily fix it with some black paint and make it like it never happened. I've repainted sections of the lip on my wheels twice already. Also the steel wheels will be cheaper to purchase most likely and cheaper to replace.

'08 Red Rock X, 2 dr., 6 speed. Teraflex 2.5BB 4dr. Rubi Springs, Bilstien 5100 Shocks and Steering Stabilizer, Rubi Rock Rails, 15" Street Locks, BFG AT tires 35x12.50, Hella Black Magic Off Road Lights Windshield Mounts, Skid Row Front Skid Plate, Rockhard evap skid, Custom Stock Stubbied Front Bumper w/ Handicap bathroom grab rail and Home Brew D-ring mounts with 10,000lb D-ring shackles..Banks CAI, MBRP Stainless Catback
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-08-2010, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drldap View Post
FWIW: 315x75x16 KM2s (34.8" tall unmounted and 12.3" wide)
You have the tallest 315x75x16 KM2s I have ever heard of. Most of them run well under 34". I measured a new set of 37" Km2s last week, and they measured 35.5". Have you measured them, or just quoting the size that the tire should be? Just curious to see if BFG is finally correcting their undersized tire problem.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-09-2010, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
You have the tallest 315x75x16 KM2s I have ever heard of. Most of them run well under 34". I measured a new set of 37" Km2s last week, and they measured 35.5". Have you measured them, or just quoting the size that the tire should be? Just curious to see if BFG is finally correcting their undersized tire problem.
Mounted, but sitting on the spare tire carrier, it's 34.75" +/- a bit. With an Unlimited sitting on top of them at 32psi, they're an inch shorter. That's measured at the center of the tread pattern.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-09-2010, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
Just curious to see if BFG is finally correcting their undersized tire problem.
Damn... I hope not. BFGs generous measurements were the basis on me getting laid more often.... when you are hung like a cockroach, being able to sneak in an inch or three is beneficial. Double damn that I ended up with the ugliest rubber in the mall since I wanted true to size rather than be disappointed as my girlfriends regularly seem to be.

And oh yeah... alloy > steel.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-09-2010, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Some good info, thanks guys. I am going to go with steel wheels. Now I have to decide which to get. It's just a matter finding the most bang for the buck now.

2008 Rubicon, 4 door Detonator yellow, 3.5" lift, Motech LS 6L engine conversion, RR Skids.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-10-2010, 01:41 PM
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The advantage of aluminum, aside from style, is weight. Minimizing unsprung weight is always a positive.

A prime disadvantage (other than cost) is that aluminum has a greater tendency to fracture, rather than flex.

Steel wheels are typically heavier for a given size, but they will flex under severe stress.

I just ordered a set of 285/70-17 Cooper S/Ts for 3 season driving. I recently purchased a set of Dunlop Rover Maxx Traction tires (same size). These are severe winter service rated, and I mounted these on a set of Black Rock steelies. I decided to save these for winter use. Considering how much snow we had this past winter (about 70"), with a couple of really deep dumps (as much as 27"), I am now sold on having dedicated winter tires on the JK. My Hankook M/Ts were simply awful. I bolted the original Goodyear SR-As back on and saw a vast improvement. Being narrower, and heavily sipped, these managed to get me through snow as high as my bumper. However, the SR-As are miserable for anything else. Thus, the investment in two sets of rubber.

Having owned several Jeeps and a few other 4x4s, I can state with confidence that when it comes to snow driving, (on any terrain) nothing is as critical as tire choice. $10,000 in mods can't help if you cannot get traction.

So, if you live in the snow belt, or on the NE coast, consider winter conditions when purchasing tires. Tires that work well in mud may not work at all in snow or on ice. Tires that grip rock may not get much bite in snow.

My Regards,

CCJordan

'63 CJ-5, 92 YJ and now the JK

Last edited by CCJordan; 04-10-2010 at 03:33 PM.
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