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Old 11-04-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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15" Alloy Wheels Vs 15" Steel Wheels

UPDATED 01/22/2013!

It's now 2013 and finally time to update the OP in this thread. We thank the members of WranglerForum for helping to make this thread one of the most popular threads on wranglerforum.com. Without your input and help we would not be offering as many 15" alloy wheels for the JK as we are today. Without further delay, we have updated the comparisons below and have provided an up to date list of the 15" alloy wheels that we guarantee to fit. Please note that the MB72 has been discontinued however the Level 8 Tracker will be replacing this wheel and it will also be available in a -19mm offset by Mid February 2013.



As an enthusiast myself, and a cost conscious one at that, I thought I should share some insights with you all on this subject.

Those that are thinking about purchasing 15" steel wheels may want to consider purchasing 15" Alloy wheels instead. Here's why:


First, WEIGHT. Steel wheels are extremely heavy. The average 15x8 soft 8 styled wheel weighs approx. 27 lbs. On the aluminum side the average 15x8 alloy weighs only about 20lbs. This is a 35% weight difference. 7lbs per wheel may not sound like much to some of you but those that know about unsprung weight will tell you that every ounce you can save at your wheels is worth saving. The less weight you have in your wheels and tires the more $$$ you will save at the pump and the more power you will have at your feet when you want it.

Second FITMENT: Many of you have already found that 15" steel wheels are very hit and miss with brake clearance. Steel wheels are manufactured in two pieces, the center is stamped into shape and then welded to the barrel. This stamping process leaves flanges at the back of the spokes (or holes in the soft 8's case) and these flanges often make contact with the Jk's brake calipers. The easiest fix for this is to run spacers (not recommended by the wheel manufacturer). Running spacers adds $$$ to your wheel and tire package and again, weight. (The common Spidertrax bolt on spacers run $99.00 for the pair of 2) Some may try to grind down the wheel or caliper this is not recommended either. Grinding down the wheel can jeopardize the strength of the wheel and grinding down your brake caliper can be enough for some dealers to void your vehicles warranty. As for the 15" alloys listed below... They fit like a glove with no need for spacers. The 15x8 alloys below can run a 35x12.50-15 without any rubbing. (min leveling kit/mini lift needed)

Now on to STRENGTH: This is the controversial one and I personally don't know which one is stronger. I have heard arguments for both but I haven't seen any data to support either. Some say steel wheels are stronger and if bent can be straightened. Some say aluminum alloy wheels are stronger and have higher resistance for impacts. I have yet to see data from any manufacturer for impact testing. Both wheels are tested on a pass fail basis and both wheels, for DOT purposes, pass. According to the manufacturers of both steel wheels and the alloys listed below all of them have a load carrying capacity of 2400 lbs. :thinking: I'm thinking, I might be able to have some testing done for this subject. I will keep you posted.


FINISH: Steel rusts, Aluminum alloy doesn't. Enough said here I think. Either one can be touched up easily if scratched or scuffed.

This all leads us down to COST (updated 1/22/2013). Most people would think that with all the benefits for running alloy wheels there would be a pretty good cost difference as well. This is not always the case. The Level 8 Tracker below has been brought in to help you get more for your money and it is doing just that. Here are package details based off current pricing with Jk-Forum member Discount. (Prices do not include tax or installation)

Cragar Soft 8 with 35" KM2's -(one of our favorite tires )
15x8 Cragar Soft 8 13mm offset Black: $80.00 each with FREE shipping (includes center cap)
35x12.50R15 BFG KM2: $240.00 each
Mount and balance: FREE
NON TPMS valves: $3.00 each
Installation kit: (lugs): $45.00
Jk-forum member Discount with purchase of 5 tires: -$50.00 off total
Sub Total package for 5 each: $1610.00

Add cost of bolt-on Spidertrax spacers: $99.00/pair (X 2)
Grand total: $1808.00

Now for comparison the Level 8 Tracker with 35" KM2's.
15x8 Level 8 Tracker -19mm offset Matte Black: $99.00 each with FREE shipping
35x12.50R15 BFG KM2: $240.00 each
Mount and balance: FREE
NON TPMS valves: $3.00 each
Installation kit: (lugs + hub rings): $45.00
Jk-forum member Discount with purchase of 5 tires: -$50.00 off total
Sub Total package for 5 each: $1705.00

*No need to purchase wheel spacers
Final cost is $1705.00

Those that want to can probably figure out the fuel savings in an average year to add to this cost difference. I'll leave that up to the mathematicians.


So your next question may be, what 15" alloys fit my 2007+ JK or JKU? Here's a list of the current 15" alloy wheels we guarantee fit.

15x8 -30mm Level 8 Tracker Full Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm Level 8 Tracker Full Matte Black: http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...cker&typ=Truck
15x8 -19mm Level 8 Tracker Polished: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm MB Razor Black and Machined: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm Level 8 Punch Anthracite w/Machined lip: http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...unch&typ=Truck
15x8 -19mm MB Chaos 5 Black and Machined: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm MB Chaos 5 Silver and Machined: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm MB TKO Full Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -12mm Black Rock D-Window Alloy Full Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -12mm Black Rock D-Window Alloy Tungsten and Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm Black Rock Viper Tungsten and Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm Black Rock Viper Tungsten and Silver: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x10 -38mm Black Rock D-Window Alloy Full Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8.5 -19mm American Outlaw Deptuy Matte Black/Machined: http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...uck&tmn=Deputy
15x8.5 -19mm American Outlaw Deputy Full Matte Black: http://www.discounttiredirect.com/di...uck&tmn=Deputy
15x10 -38mm Black Rock D-Window Alloy Tungsten and Matte Black: Wheel Details - Discount Tire Direct
15x8 -19mm MB72 (Discontinued)

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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hmmm..Cragar not listed on the DT site?

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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I'm not sure why that is but thank you for reminding us about that. We have the Soft 8's in stock and we also have the Unique 297 available which is the same wheel, different cap, and few $$ cheaper than the Cragar.

-Matt
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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lol...cool I just was clicking links on the site..and noticed...glad you have them..
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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If you need any help with a either set let us know.

-Matt
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:58 PM   #6
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Bump, we seem to be getting quite a few questions about fitting 15" wheels as well as questions about steel wheels on the Jk. There is a lot of really great information here.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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Well I am in a SH&^ spot now. I bought my new wheels (pro comp 98 flat black) and 33" duratracs last week and had them installed monday. Got a shake at about 45mph...wheels where not balanced right. Took them back yesterday, re balanced and got a shake starting at around 50mph...took them in today and sales man told me its the wheels. They are not tru and have a lot of give to them so they cant get them balanced perfect enough for the heavy 33" tires. Now I am stuck trying to find black aluminum wheels such as these MB72s. Of course its $40 more a wheel and I have all 5. Why do I feel like I am getting F'd
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:03 PM   #8
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I should note this is on a 98 TJ and wheel and tires were bought and installed at Discount Tire.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by justa5o View Post
Well I am in a SH&^ spot now. I bought my new wheels (pro comp 98 flat black) and 33" duratracs last week and had them installed monday. Got a shake at about 45mph...wheels where not balanced right. Took them back yesterday, re balanced and got a shake starting at around 50mph...took them in today and sales man told me its the wheels. They are not tru and have a lot of give to them so they cant get them balanced perfect enough for the heavy 33" tires. Now I am stuck trying to find black aluminum wheels such as these MB72s. Of course its $40 more a wheel and I have all 5. Why do I feel like I am getting F'd

I'm sorry to year you are having trouble with your wheels and tires. I'd recommend speaking with the store manager directly. Tell him what is happening and ask for his help.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:54 AM   #10
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The assistant manager said I need to pick out new wheels. Very frustrating
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:38 AM   #11
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OK, MB72 fits JK with no mods; what about the MB Razor, MB19F?

What are the numbers for the tire size calculator that are equivalent to 35X12.5/15?
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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The 15x8 ET-19 MB Razor will work as well.

There are currently no metric tire sizes in the 15" size that equal 35x12.50-15.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:53 PM   #13
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@ Discount Tire- I currently have 33x12.50x15 on my 02 TJ and am looking to see some comparable packages with 16 or 17 inch wheels. I like black alloy with some chrome or all black. Can you recommend some different rims. Oh and am looking at an AT since it will be a DD. Will the Falkens, BFG, or GY still work?
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:14 PM   #14
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Tire sizes 285/75-16 and 285/70-17 would be good options to look at for DD and these sizes still maintain 33" in rolling diameter.

We have a lot of different wheel options to consider in these sizes.

Give us a call at 1.888.459.4080 and anyone of our agents would be happy to run over your options with you.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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Why does that price for the cragars seem steeper than the price I got mine for, and other prices I have seen?
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #16
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Unlike most of our competitor's, our prices include the caps and shipping. As always, we guarantee the lowest delivered price!
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Unlike most of our competitor's, our prices include the caps and shipping. As always, we guarantee the lowest delivered price!
Yes compare total price to your door and discount will be VERY competitive.
I buy all the tires for wifes car from discount online.


Any chance you guys will ever carry Mickey Thompson tires or American Racing wheels? I could then buy my Jeep tires from you as well.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:37 PM   #18
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We do not mail order Mickey Thompson tires at this time but our local stores should be able to special order them in for you.

As far as AR wheels go, we can special order their wheels via mail order and anyone of our stores can also help you with them.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:29 PM   #19
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We do not mail order Mickey Thompson tires at this time but our local stores should be able to special order them in for you.

As far as AR wheels go, we can special order their wheels via mail order and anyone of our stores can also help you with them.
The nearest store is 7 hours away It's why I was so happy to find your online store. Good Info

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:39 AM   #20
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@ discount tire-Do the 285/75/16 tires fill the wheel wells the same as 33/12.50/15? I have 6 inch fender flares now.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:50 AM   #21
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The tires will be just as tall but not as wide. With the correct offset wheel it will certainly fill up the wheel well. If you want something wider, you can also run tire size 305/70-16 which will be closer in width to the 15" tires you have now.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:33 AM   #22
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do the falken rocky mountains or wild peaks come in 305/70/16?
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:44 PM   #23
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:56 PM   #24
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@ Discount tire...any idea when the rocky mountains are going to be in stock?
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:48 AM   #25
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The 305/70-16 Rocky Mountain should be back in stock later this week. Right now we do have 2 sets of Wild Peak A/T's available.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #26
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Which would u prefer?
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:11 PM   #27
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No preference, I'd run either one. They shouldn't perform any different.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:05 PM   #28
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Great... I will check back at the end of the week to see what's available
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:16 AM   #29
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Mr. Discount tire! Hello again
And excuse the random interruption but do you have any comments or thoughts on the Goodyear duratracs? I reeeely want some but alot are conserned about it's 2 ply sidewall.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:19 PM   #30
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The best tire for you is the one that's going to work best for your terrain, your driving style and your budget.

The Duratrac is an excellent tire, it may or may not be a good option for you. I have a couple of friends in our Utah region running them and one of them told me it was the best tire he had ever had on and offroad. (He has a 2004 unlimited TJ) He regularly trail rides too.

If you are concerned that your terrain is extra hard on sidewalls but you want to give them a shot, I say do it. If you purchase our Certificates for Free Replacement you'll be protected if something does happen to one of them.

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