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Old 03-25-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
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My Counterpoint to The Combo (long read)

Disclaimer: I love the idea and look of The Combo. I understand how everyone who has made that upgrade has been pleased. It’s a lot of bang for the buck.

I’ve gone back and forth many, many times as to whether or not we will be installing The Combo on our ‘09 JKU. Ultimately (as of this post), we have decided to stick with the stock 17-inch Moabs when we upgrade our tires.

I’ve read this thread and this thread throughout this process to gather as much information as I could.

I’m posting my rationale hoping to assist others who may be struggling with their decision about whether or not to stay with the stock wheels. Since there are so many in favor of swapping the Moabs, I thought I'd show the Moabs some love.

Here it goes:

Show me the Money:
The main consensus is that The Combo will ultimately save money, as 17-inch tires can cost considerably more than 15-inch tires. While this may be true for those with the BFG M/Ts who would ultimately be looking for a similar M/T tire, but for those with the SR-As, it’s not quite the case. Based on published online pricing, here is what I’ve found by going through the online shopping carts of two tire distributors (note: where applicable, I added an estimated flat fee of $100 for mounting/balancing):

Stock with SR-As
255/75-17 Goodyear SR-A on stock 17-inch Moab wheels
$940 (includes GY/WF rebates, mounting/balancing, and free shipping)
Future costs: $940

Stock with Firestones
255/75-17 Firestone Destination A/T on stock 17-inch Moab wheels
$1,030 (includes shipping and mounting/balancing)
Future costs: $1,030

Stock with DuraTracs
265/70-17 Goodyear DuraTrac on stock 17-inch Moab wheels
$1,070 (includes GY/WF/TL rebates, mounting/balancing, and free shipping)
Future costs: $1,070

The Black Rock D-Window Combo
$1,125 (includes GY/WF/TL rebates, free shipping, free mounting/balancing, and selling the stock Moabs for $300)
Future costs: $890 (assuming all rebates would still apply)

The MB72 Combo
$980 (includes GY/WF/TL rebates, free shipping, free mounting/balancing, and selling the stock Moabs for $300)
Future costs: $890 (assuming all rebates would still apply)

So, technically it does save money, but it’s less than $100. Even more, the future savings is not that great when you look at how often tires get replaced. Sure, $890 (15" DuraTrac) is cheaper than $1,070 (17" Firestone), but at less than $200 every four years, I’m just not convinced that savings is enough. If we bought tires every two years, maybe that savings ends up being worth it, but it’s completely possible that we trade the Jeep in before we’d see any savings anyway. In the last thirteen years, there are only two vehicles that we’ve purchased tires for: A 1996 Jetta, which we kept for eight years and a 2004 Odyssey, which we traded the Jetta for and still have. So, if we did the switch to The Combo, we wouldn’t use the costs as a determining factor. It almost becomes a wash.


Tipping the Scales:
The SR-As on 17-inch Moabs is the lightest Moab combination offered at 60-62 lbs, so any change we make will actually weigh more than what we currently have. While most owners see a benefit by going from the porky Moab/BFG M/T setup (about 75 lbs) to the more svelte 15-inch combo (about 68-69 lbs), sadly, we will not see those gains. The Combo adds about seven lbs. per corner, whereas an option like the Firestones adds about five lbs. We have the 3.21 gearing so weight is a concern.


Full of Hot Air:
While many either ignore the light or purchase a Pro-Cal to recalibrate/disable the TPMS due to bigger tires or frequent airing down on the trail, it’s just another “thing” to address. We have decided we want to keep the sensors, so we’d have to pay for that swap. If we had a DT store near us, some of those costs would be absorbed during the purchase, but since we’d order The Combo from DTD, we’d have to get them mounted and balanced locally, which adds costs and negates the convenience of having the tires arrive mounted and balanced.


Sticking Out Like a Sore Thumb:
While the look of the tires sticking out past the fender flares is great, I’m not a big fan of throwing more muck up on the side of the Jeep. Plus, it’s “technically” illegal in PA to have the tires beyond the flares, so there is a calculated risk in doing so.


So, we’ve decided that The Combo is not for us. Now we need to decide what tire we want to go with, the Firestones in the stock size, or DuraTracs in a marginally wider/shorter size. If Goodyear just made the DuraTrac in the stock size, it would be a no-brainer.

This is in no way to bash those that go with The Combo. It's awesome. So awesome, in fact, that even my wife who doesn't usually care about such things asked me to do the complete cost comparison to see what the differences end up being, so that says a lot.

Hopefully, this thread helps someone else who's faced with a similar decision... on whichever side of the fence they fall.

Happy Jeepin'

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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What about the cost of wheel spacers for bigger tires?

That is a cost that should be figured in also using stock wheels with wider tires.

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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WTF is the "combo?"
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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Very thoughtful.

KJeeper's right of course that you'll need spacers to go up a size (assuming you don't want to put washers on the steering stops), and I'll add to that and say that a ProCal is simply not necessary for the 4 door with the "combo". I run my tires at 35 psi and my speedometer is dead on according to my gps. My guess would be that it came from the factory programmed for tires that actually run 32", which is probably about the actual height of the 33" DuraTracs.

So if you add spacers ($200) and save money on the ProCal ($150), that puts some more cash into the other column.

However, it looks like you are you looking at tires for 17" wheels that effectively keep the stock size tire. The 33x12.5R15 DuraTracs are of course bigger and wider, which is part of the "benefit" folks are going after when they consider it. So a fair comparison needs to use whatever is closest to 33x12.5 for 17" wheels. I think when you do the math with those tires, the numbers will pull farther apart. In other words, you've priced out 32s versus 33s, which isn't really a direct comparison.

But regardless, no solution is right for everybody. If this works for you, then that's great. You've certainly arrived at an informed conclusion.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66
WTF is the "combo?"
Generally considered 15" MB72s and 33" Duratracs, but I believe it has sorta become any alloy 15" wheel with 33" DTs. To be honest, the name "combo" sorta chaps my ass. Lol.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66
WTF is the "combo?"
A term that's come to be used to refer to 33x12.5R15 Duratracs on a lightweight 15" alloy wheel. Seems to be the best all around set up for what a lot of folks are looking for. As much as I hate, hate, hate the term, it is easier than typing "33x12.5R15 Duratracs on a lightweight 15" alloy wheel".
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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I think your wife may be preparing to leave you...hence her last-ditch attempt to price out The Combo.

I have 2 spare bedrooms, btw. You would be expected to contribute to the weekly food supply, vacuum and dust as needed – and of course – keep the lid down so Kaiser won't drink outta the bowl.

And your Jeep would sleep outside. That is, if your wife doesn't get full custody.

Good luck.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
WTF is the "combo?"
Obviously, sun doesn't leak under that rock.

Despise the name "Combo."
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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That makes me even more glad I stay out of those stupid tire threads.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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That makes me even more glad I stay out of those stupid tire threads.
You mean "these?"

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Old 03-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #11
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You mean "these?"

Welcome.

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Obviously didn't know what I was walking into.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTH

A term that's come to be used to refer to 33x12.5R15 Duratracs on a lightweight 15" alloy wheel. Seems to be the best all around set up for what a lot of folks are looking for. As much as I hate, hate, hate the term, it is easier than typing "33x12.5R15 Duratracs on a lightweight 15" alloy wheel".
Why the hatred for the term "combo" ??
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #13
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It's a non-specific term. I was the perfect example. I had no idea what it was referring to.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:47 PM   #14
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Obviously didn't know what I was walking into.


I hit my head on a low-hanging wall once going down some stairs. People think it affected both my motor and mental skills, but I
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Why the hatred for the term "combo" ??
Those tires are plain pudgy, k.

How's the ride...better, worse, same?
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:57 PM   #16
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What about the cost of wheel spacers for bigger tires?

That is a cost that should be figured in also using stock wheels with wider tires.
I was not going up in size for any of my stock wheel options. The Firestones come in 255/75-17. The DuraTracs I was considering were 265/70-17s, and from my research would not rub on the stock wheels. I may be wrong on that one though, as there not many running that setup.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:59 PM   #17
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I think your wife may be preparing to leave you...hence her last-ditch attempt to price out The Combo.

I have 2 spare bedrooms, btw. You would be expected to contribute to the weekly food supply, vacuum and dust as needed – and of course – keep the lid down so Kaiser won't drink outta the bowl.

And your Jeep would sleep outside. That is, if your wife doesn't get full custody.

Good luck.

Jeep's already hers, so no custody battle there. Thanks for the concern, though.

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Old 03-25-2012, 01:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwwolf

Those tires are plain pudgy, k.

How's the ride...better, worse, same?
Less wobble on the highway. Slight vibe hitting bumps. These tires are used.
Maybe driving some will settle them in ?
If not ....a road force balance is the plan.

They are some loud tires, tell you that haha
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #19
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Very thoughtful.

In other words, you've priced out 32s versus 33s, which isn't really a direct comparison.

But regardless, no solution is right for everybody. If this works for you, then that's great. You've certainly arrived at an informed conclusion.
Thanks, Mike. I understand that I'm almost comparing apples to oranges by going up in size, but for me, going up in size is a side-affect of wanting more tire choices than what are offered in the stock size.

The stock size really limits the choices. Sure, I could get a 17-inch wheel with better backspacing, but those cost a boatload, whereas the 15-inchers as part of the "very popular tire/wheel combination" are much more wallet friendly.

Thanks
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #20
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That makes me even more glad I stay out of those stupid tire threads.
Some of those tire threads are actually helpful. It's great to be able to come into a thread to find out the meaning behind the terms such as backspacing and offset, or what will fit or not.

I had never heard of spacers before some of the threads, or why they should or should not be used.

So, while I can certainly appreciate your distaste for the "can I fit 20s on my non-lifed Rubicon?"-type of wheel and tire threads, I do think there is a wealth of knowledge that can be had for some of us that are a little newer to the Jeep world.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #21
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Some of those tire threads are actually helpful. It's great to be able to come into a thread to find out the meaning behind the terms such as backspacing and offset, or what will fit or not.

I had never heard of spacers before some of the threads, or why they should or should not be used.

So, while I can certainly appreciate your distaste for the "can I fit 20s on my non-lifed Rubicon?"-type of wheel and tire threads, I do think there is a wealth of knowledge that can be had for some of us that are a little newer to the Jeep world.

Thanks.
Spacers and back spacing are specific terms. Combo is fine for a made up term, but then it needs to be used in context and not as the title of a thread.

The tire threads are great for learning, if people would just read them instead of starting new ones daily.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #22
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I think your wife may be preparing to leave you...hence her last-ditch attempt to price out The Combo.

I have 2 spare bedrooms, btw. You would be expected to contribute to the weekly food supply, vacuum and dust as needed – and of course – keep the lid down so Kaiser won't drink outta the bowl.

And your Jeep would sleep outside. That is, if your wife doesn't get full custody.

Good luck.
I'll pay rent.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:56 PM   #23
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I'll pay rent.

You're in.

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Old 03-25-2012, 03:02 PM   #24
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The tire threads are great for learning, if people would just read them instead of starting new ones daily.
^^^ That's just bald truth.

4fit put together a fairly comprehensive guide to buying tires with no lift (sticky in T/W section) and there are people asking questions in it that are answered in the first post.

Drives me nuts.

One of these days I'm gonna do my Krakatoa imitation.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #25
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You're in.

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Don't we all .
How about sonic every night it's free
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #26
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WTF is the "combo?"
Thank you.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:39 PM   #27
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Don't we all .
How about sonic every night it's free
Only problem, in a Jeep it's faster to bail on foot...
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #28
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^^^ That's just bald truth.

4fit put together a fairly comprehensive guide to buying tires with no lift (sticky in T/W section) and there are people asking questions in it that are answered in the first post.

Drives me nuts.

One of these days I'm gonna do my Krakatoa imitation.
I understand that.

It's just that there are very few threads where people want to keep their stock Moabs. I wanted to help those that do want to keep the stock wheels but upgrade the tires, as I expect that is a pretty small subset of this forum.

4lift's thread specifically talks about bigger tires on a stock JK, only briefly mentioning the stock 17-inch wheels (this is not a knock on the thread at all). But I don't necessarily want a bigger/heavier tire.

Plus, in any thread that comes close to that topic, one of the first responses to the poster is that they will save money by going with the 15-inch wheel and 33-inch DuraTrac.

I spent a lot of time weighing the options of switching to a 15-inch wheel with a 33-inch tire vs. staying with the stock wheels and what tire options might work with that setup, and I wanted to share what I found, since I did not see that anywhere on the site.

Ultimately, I just wanted to help. I never meant to offend anyone by calling the 33-inch tire on 15 inch wheel "The Combo." I thought that was what it was commonly referred to since a vast majority of members seem to be making that change. I won't make that mistake again, I assure you.

Also, I started a new thread as I expect there are some users who, like me, don't want the biggest tire they can fit on a stock JK, but want to see what others have done with the stock wheels.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:56 PM   #29
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Well, with the stock wheels, there are still plenty of options out there. Of course, 285/70/17 with spacers seems to be one of the most popular. But you are going against the grain a bit because you do not want to go up in size. You also mentioned the 265/70/17 which is going down a bit in size. That is very hard for me to recommend, but it may work just fine for you and there are tons of options in that size, though not sure how many of them would be good for the Jeep.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #30
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There are several options for stock size tires. Goodyear makes the Silent Armor, Hankook makes a 255 75 17 and there's the BFG KM that I'm aware of. I have a second set of BFG KM already mounted on Moab's for when the ones I have wear out. I just bought another set of takeoffs which is the least expensive route.

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