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Old 09-19-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Question 17 vs 16 vs 15 inch wheels, confused

Want to get 33 x12.5 inch tires for my used (my new) 2006 Yellow LJ. It has stock chrome 15 inch wheels now. Putting on Teraflex 4inch lift this week. Want basic flat black wheels, nothing fancy. Been to three different tires shops and one recommended 17 inch wheels with -12 offset, the other says stay 15 inch different offset, and another tried to sell me 16 something. Is it just the looks ? Can I go any size ? What do I need to consider here ?

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Old 09-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #2
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Your biggest issue is back spacing. You will want something with less backspacing than stock (3.5") for example. As far as 15, 16, or 17...the decision is yours. In offroading...the more sidewall the better...so in other words 15" inch wheels will give you the most sidewall. In the end though it comes down to what you think looks best and what you are looking for in function.

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Old 09-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #3
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you can go any size. but keep in mind that a 33x15x12.5 tire is going to cost waaay less than a 33x16x12.5 and a 33x17x12.5 tire.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:30 PM   #4
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you can go any size. but keep in mind that a 33x15x12.5 tire is going to cost waaay less than a 33x16x12.5 and a 33x17x12.5 tire.
^^^^^ This, and as also mentioned BS/offset is the other concern.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #5
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I have said many times before for those who currently have larger (16"+) rims that it is cheaper to buy new 15" rims and tires.
Like was said above, the biggest thing to worry about is backspacing. That will keep you from rubbing, and will make your tires fit.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:10 PM   #6
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The PO of my jeep put on 16 in rims... its a good couple of hundred dollars more for a set of 16 tires in any size bigger then 31s then if you go with 15s. not to mention the wider selection in sizes and brands that are offered in a 15 inch rim size. id go with the 15s, just my 02
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:17 PM   #7
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Im betting in the next 2-4 years the 15" tire market will be dead. Hardly anything comes with 15's anymore.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:20 PM   #8
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wouldn't suprise me at all if we one of the bigger reasons why it's still going as strong as it is. OP IMO don't bother with the 17in rim on your TJ.. No purpose to go that big.. Run either a 15 or 16in rim.. For the majority or us sidewall is very important and the bigger the rim the less sidewall you have
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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wouldn't suprise me at all if we one of the bigger reasons why it's still going as strong as it is. OP IMO don't bother with the 17in rim on your TJ.. No purpose to go that big.. Run either a 15 or 16in rim.. For the majority or us sidewall is very important and the bigger the rim the less sidewall you have
Larger diameter rim also rides lower to the ground and is more apt to get rock rash and/or bent. 15's ride better anyway
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
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Big wheels do offer benefits for really big tires. You have more room for bigger brakes.

But uh...thats about it. 33's don't count as really big tires.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:03 PM   #11
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I have 17in wheels on mine from the PO and I can not wait to get new wheels and tires. Once we can afford the lift we want we will definitely being throwing out these 17s.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #12
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Big wheels do offer benefits for really big tires. You have more room for bigger brakes.
20's never looked so good

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Old 09-20-2011, 09:10 AM   #13
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^^^that thing is nasty
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:17 AM   #14
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #15
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The only reason I'd go larger than a 15" wheel is if I was running a really big, like 37" or larger, tire. Not to mention, as talked about above, you get a larger selection of tires and better prices with 15". Plus with 35" and smaller tires, you get more sidewall and thus more/better sidewall flex with a 15" than you do with a bigger wheel which can mean better offroad traction.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:37 AM   #16
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One more factor is weight. A 33x12.5x15 mounted is going to be lighter than a same model tire and rim in a 285/75/16 which is a common metric "33" and in fact is about a inch narrower. This weight while usually less than 10lbs per wheel is unsprung weight and can greatly affect breaking and acceleration.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:59 AM   #17
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Tires with larger rims typically weigh more than tires with smaller rims. It takes a little more side wall thickness to make a thinner wall work.

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