||12-08-2010 12:09 PM
Originally Posted by Jp90Talon
IMO you should go with aluminum if you don't do much off roading.
However if you go off roading I would lean more toward the steel since they stand up better to the abuse and are much cheaper to replace if they do get beat up beyond using.
That's actually just the opposite of my personal experiences. If you go to see what wheels the rock crawlers are running, especially the pros doing it for $$$ in the really built up rigs, you'd learn that nearly every one of them run aluminum or forged aluminum wheels. I can't remember the last steel wheel I've seen on the really tough rock crawling trails.
Having run one set of steel wheels, two sets of cast aluminum wheels, and my present set of forged aluminum beadlock wheels, I will NEVER run steel wheels again. Every time I went rock crawling with my steel wheels, they dented so badly they wouldn't hold air, or the rocks bent the wheels enough that they vibrated severely from being out of round driving home. I had to start carrying a 2 lb. sledgehammer with me to pound the dents out so the tires would hold air. I ran steel wheels for almost four years before I gave up on steel and went back to aluminum.
With my two sets of cast aluminum wheels, I have had just one wheel break and that was on an exceptionally tough trail. That is where I also broke a control arm bolt, tore off another control arm where it was welded to the axle, and broke my rear axle yoke and driveshaft at the same time the wheel broke from an unusually tough section of trail.
My present forged aluminum wheels have been troublefree.
So out of 12 aluminum wheels, I have managed to break just one. Out of four steel wheels, I dented or bent them nearly every time I took them out rock crawling.
Here's a friend's (Erik Jordan in SOCAL) steel wheel after just one trip through Johnson Valley... none of the guys in my couple of of crawling groups run steel wheels any more. Erik certainly no longer runs steel wheels. So I would say steel is fine for the gentler trails but if you really want to run tough trails, you'll be much better off paying a little more for aluminum.