Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Long Island, New York
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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.
'63 CJ-5, 92 YJ and now the JK
Last edited by CCJordan; 04-10-2010 at 03:33 PM.