The trick is balance - we look hard at the bottom line on purchases like this because, as much as we love our Jeeps, they are discretionary. The starting point for comparison is what it would cost to shod the stock wheels with new 33" rubber.
The 285/70R17 clears for a lot of folks and the 255/80R17 from BFG would work without doubt. So, that puts me at around 1330 for a set of 5 Duratrac, 1145 for a set of 5 KM2, or <gasp> 1405 for the GY MT/R on my stock 17 wheels.
Now, the trouble comes with the topic of wheels. Even if I get a good deal and pay 100 a wheel that's 450 after the rebate. To be cost competitive, I'm now trying to find the unfindable - a set of 5 tires for less than a grand (or to go head on with the KM2, for less than <eep> ~700).
Sure, you can make the case that subsequent tire purchases over the life of the Jeep will more than pay for the initial wheel investment - however, that doesn't balance the check book in the short term and there are always competing demands. The justification then becomes the relative opportunity cost of what the short term "investment" capital is used for - wheels or something else.
Interestingly, the wheels do sort of pay for themselves at 15 inches if we go with the assumption that a 35 inch tire is where it's at. Granted the choices are fewer, but you're now down to 215-230 a tire (35x12.5R15) as opposed to 330-370 dollars per tire on 17 inch wheels + the 200 bucks in spacers you'd need to run them. If we assume 100 bucks per tire + the 200 we have a 700 dollar fund for wheels and we get wheels of the proper width and backspacing to start with.
That's not to say 35s are cheap, but the wheel change up does make sense. It saves weight too, which will help performance.
Speaking on weight and performance - I actually looked at the Interco LTB: 34x10.5R17. I did some reading and it'll likely clear on the stock wheels without spacers or stops. Of course it only weighs 58 lbs per tire, which is actually pretty good for a 17 inch wheel, especially considering the size. Hell, a Toyo Open Country M/T weighs 70 lbs for a 33" tire - 12 lbs less and an inch larger GtG. If you can find them for 250-260 bucks they're sort of in line with the prices above as well. The only problem is that it would be a misery to drive on the road and bias-ply tires tend to be quirky.
I would steer away from the LTB's if you are going to drive on the road much at all. I had them back in the 90's on a very light 4 cyl TJ up in New York and while they are mean looking and awesome in the mud, they completely suck on the road! So much so that I ended up buying another set of AT's and swapping them back and forth when I was going wheeling.
The LTB's are very tough to balance, super heavy, flatten out overnight so your first few miles are like Fred Flinstone, loud, and when the asphalt is really hot it will melt the tire and chunks will start flying off!
1997 Black TJ, Locked 1 tons, 37" MTR's, Full cage, Custom Bumpers, OBA, Armor, Teralow, etc.
1966 M416 expedition trailer painted to match TJ.
Drew, you going 35 or 37? I know someone selling 35 , which kit you end up order from teraflex?
I have 35s ready to go on, went with DuraTracs since I drive 90 miles a day. Just waiting on weather and a free day to do the lift. Suspension is the 2.5" TeraFlex coil lift with Fox shocks and an extra 1" TF spacer up front to offset the bumper and winch.
Oh, I hear you...I know the LTB is a performance oriented choice...not so much a sensible one. Still, makes me wish someone else would do a similarly sized tire - other than BFG there isn't really much to choose from in the area of 33-34" tires 10-10.5 inches wide on a 17 inch wheel - heck, they're rare enough on a 15 inch wheel.
I'm thinking about it. Not sure quite yet. I need something better on gas to and from work. I have really enjoyed the Jeep, just haven't taken the time to get it off road enough to truly enjoy it. If I don't get a new one right away, I'll be sure to get another in the future.
Figured I would check with you guys here first as I had talked to some about these lights.
I have a new set (Maybe 2 depending on what I decide to use them for) of the Dually 2x2 LED spot lights. I was going to use them as an extra set on the bumper and rear to match my windshield set but don't want to go that way. (Impulse buy)
If anyone is interested let me know. Was thinking $140 for the set? Could throw in switch pak for another 10 if needed.
I am hopefully in this weekend but not sure which day yet...
Been doing ALOT of reasearch about the blower, tuning options, and reliability, and I've pretty much decided on what to do about it. Unless someone is willing to pay what I want for it, I will keep it, gather the parts needed for the install and tune, and have a supercharged XJ .
I'm going to address weak spots in the truck now, fixing the front suspension, checking and replacing u-joints, inspecting axles, and probably throwing a new torque converter or whole new transmission in it, as mine slips when cold, and probably will when throwing 50 more ponies through it lol. Also need to fix all the oil leaks and replace the leaking exhaust manifold.
It will probably be a while before it's all said and done, but I would really like to see this thing in action. So if anyone else is in for some late nights working on the rig, I'll be ready to start the attack in the coming months.
98' XJ Cherokee Limited - Locked on 35's / 2004 SRT-4 - 55mm Hamster Wheel at 22psi.