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Old 09-30-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
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Black Steel for my TJ...???????

What steel wheels is best for my TJ? I want to run 31x10.50,but later I my go with 33's....I need 5 and would like to stay under $300 bucks. Should I go with 15x8's or 15x10's? What backspace? Tires will be Duratracs or Wrangler Authority's.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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15X8, 3.75 or 4.0 back space. Personally I'd stay with 4.0 back space.

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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DEFINITELY go with 15x8, 15x10 would be way too wide for a 31x10.50 or even a 32x11.50 tire. Backspacing-wise, 3.75" to 4.5" is fine. For a 31x10.50, I'd rather have 4.5" of backspacing though 4" and 3.75" will work... but the tire sticks out more the less backspacing you have. A 31x10.50 tire would protrude 3/4" further out with 3.75" than it would with 4.5" of backspacing.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
DEFINITELY go with 15x8, 15x10 would be way too wide for a 31x10.50 or even a 32x11.50 tire. Backspacing-wise, 3.75" to 4.5" is fine. For a 31x10.50, I'd rather have 4.5" of backspacing though 4" and 3.75" will work... but the tire sticks out more the less backspacing you have. A 31x10.50 tire would protrude 3/4" further out with 3.75" than it would with 4.5" of backspacing.
This is all correct, but the OP said he might go to 33's in the future, and the majority of folks who run 33's run 12.50's, and I'm not sure 4.5" back space is quite adequate for 12.50's..
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:58 PM   #5
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This is all correct, but the OP said he might go to 33's in the future, and the majority of folks who run 33's run 12.50's, and I'm not sure 4.5" back space is quite adequate for 12.50's..
I personally ran 15x8 steel wheels with 4.5" of backspacing with 35x12.50 tires and it worked well. All I had to do was to add a washer under each of the two steering bolt stops which prevented a bit of minor tire rub when the steering wheel was turned all the way left or right to the steering bump stops. I ran that way for 2-3 years until I was able to go back to aluminum wheels.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
I personally ran 15x8 steel wheels with 4.5" of backspacing with 35x12.50 tires and it worked well. All I had to do was to add a washer under each of the two steering bolt stops which prevented a bit of minor tire rub when the steering wheel was turned all the way left or right to the steering bump stops. I ran that way for 2-3 years until I was able to go back to aluminum wheels.
Jerry would you recommend aluminum over steel for wheels and why?
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I personally ran 15x8 steel wheels with 4.5" of backspacing with 35x12.50 tires and it worked well. All I had to do was to add a washer under each of the two steering bolt stops which prevented a bit of minor tire rub when the steering wheel was turned all the way left or right to the steering bump stops. I ran that way for 2-3 years until I was able to go back to aluminum wheels.
Now I know! Wasn't sure how 12.50's would clear with 4.5". Although, a little thought would tell me that a 12.50 is an inch wider per side than a 10.50, and a 10.50 can be run with 5.5" back space (BTDT), so and inch less back space than the stock 5.5" should clear a 12.50
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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Jerry would you recommend aluminum over steel for wheels and why?
Ha that is a subject unto itself. Yes absolutely do I recommend aluminum over steel. I had one set of steel wheels I wheeled with on the rocks and that single set of steel wheels gave me more grief, dents. and bends in the wheels so they wouldn't hold air in their two years than my four sets of aluminum wheels did in the other 14 years I've been wheeling my Wranglers. Of course my steel wheels were denting on some pretty tough rocky trails but in just one day in particular, I kept my small sledgehammer going to keep pounding the dents out so they would hold air.

The below steel wheel was owned by Erik Jordan, a local I have wheeled with a bunch of times, and all that damage literally occurred in a single day after he got stuck on a rock crawling trail in Johnson Valley. He soon converted to aluminum wheels. You don't see many steel wheels on the trails I enjoy the most. I'm now running aluminum Walker Evans bead lock wheels.

For easier trails, however, steel wheels are fine.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:12 PM   #9
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That doesn't make sense to me, isn't steel more dense/stronger then aluminum?
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:12 PM   #10
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I hear people on there talking about soft 8's. What is that? and what brand of rims hold up best?
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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That doesn't make sense to me, isn't steel more dense/stronger then aluminum?
It may not make sense to some who hasn't seen the problem first-hand but what I described is why the well-built rock crawling rigs run aluminum and especially forged aluminum wheels. Which is why I went back to aluminum after my short lived two year experience with steel wheels.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:43 PM   #12
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I hear people on there talking about soft 8's. What is that? and what brand of rims hold up best?
Cragar makes the soft 8's. I just bought a set of 15x8 4" BS and love them...ecxept for the added road noise which I didn't think wheels could do.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:22 AM   #13
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This is a Cragar Soft 8. It's a good option and the 15x8s are around $60 a piece, so right on budget for five.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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I can second the Alloy recommendation.

Although I don't wheel anything as extreme as Mr. "B", I had a lot of problems keeping my old black steelies balanced after a wheeling trip. Airing down as needed, then hitting the PNW trails. A good bump of a tree root or stump, rock, or whatever is all it took. Then, back to get them balanced so it could be driven on the road again.

My current aluminum wheel were balance when mounted almost two years ago, and have stayed true since after many wheeling trips.

And always been a 15x8 rim.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Summit Racing has them for $53 each....cheapest I've found.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CRR-3975812/

I prefer a 15x8 with 4" backspacing. I feel the 4" of BS is the perfect compromise with a 12.50" wide tire. No clearance issues with being tucked too much, but doesn't stick out so far you need super wide flares to block the mud/rain/dirt.

Print that page out and take it in to Discount Tire. They will price match the summit's price with the freight they would've charged you. Basically, you'll pay the same price as ordering them online, but be able to purchase them locally.

DT sells them with the "Unique" brand name, but they are the EXACT same wheel. They offer a center cap that says "Unique" instead of "Cragar". Unique owns Cragar.

There are 100 other brands offering the same wheel under their name, but they are all the same. Example, Black Rock and Pro Comp sell the same wheel for as much as $20 more each.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:11 PM   #16
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I prefer a 15x8 with 4" backspacing. I feel the 4" of BS is the perfect compromise with a 12.50" wide tire. No clearance issues with being tucked too much, but doesn't stick out so far...
Absolutely, I couldn't agree more with that 15x8 and 4" backspace combination recommendation as being ideal for nearly any larger tire size most of us run. When I bought my wheels with 4.5" of backspacing, I couldn't find a 15x8 wheel with 4" of BS to save my life. At least in my experience, a 15x8 wheel with 4" of BS is still a rare combination that isn't widely carried by many wheel dealers or made by many manufacturers.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:50 PM   #17
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a 15x8 wheel with 4" of BS is still a rare combination that isn't widely carried by many wheel dealers or made by many manufacturers.
I found this to be true in the last few weeks while looking at/ for new wheels. Luckily, the wheel I've wanted for a long time anyway is a 4" back space in the 15X8..
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #18
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American Racing Outlaw I Machined ARW-615865

I found these at Morris 4x4.com . 15x8 aluminum with 3.75 inch backspace.

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