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-   -   steel or alloy (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/steel-or-alloy-71483.html)

wavebacktothetj 12-08-2010 10:19 AM

steel or alloy
 
i'm not in the market for new wheels, just curious

Ibuildembig 12-08-2010 10:27 AM

Personal preference.....I run steel double beadlocks because I want the unsprung weight...if you run alloys, they must be a forged piece like Weld Racing or Alcoa...all your other novelty wheels are not forged

UnlimitedLJ04 12-08-2010 10:59 AM

I lost 21lbs per wheel going from Cragar Soft 8's to Procomp Alloys....while going from 31s to 33s.

Which do you think is easier to balance? A 62 lb wheel/tire assembly, or an 83 lb assembly?

Ibuildembig 12-08-2010 11:03 AM

If its bigger than a 35 I never balance um

UnlimitedLJ04 12-08-2010 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibuildembig (Post 913711)
If its bigger than a 35 I never balance um

would you happen to have hydro assist on that rig too? :D

Ibuildembig 12-08-2010 11:13 AM

Full hydro on my trail rig...but every other rig is stock steering

530ktm 12-08-2010 11:15 AM

I prefer my aluminum wheels over steel any day.

Ibuildembig 12-08-2010 11:19 AM

As do I, but not for my trail rig :)

Jp90Talon 12-08-2010 11:26 AM

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.

UnlimitedLJ04 12-08-2010 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jp90Talon (Post 913742)
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.

See, thats what I've always heard. Steel for off-roading because they're easier to repair or replace.

But there sure is a lot of KOH buggies running alloy wheels. :rofl: Way more alloys than steels.

Steel wheels are heavy, bend easier and can render a bead area defective if you rub them right. But they're cheap to buy initially.
Aluminum wheels are lighter, won't bend near as easy, but will scratch. They cost slightly more than steelies.

The price of alloy/aluminum wheels has come way down in recent years...more competition, internet shopping and chinese manufacturing has made aluminum wheels more accessible. I can think of good aluminum wheels in the $70-100 range. Maybe a $20 savings over steelies? Not worth it for the weight you gain.

Bubba68CS 12-08-2010 12:06 PM

:rofl: Its like voting between a square and a rectangle...

I'll take aluminum alloy wheels over steel alloy wheels.

Jerry Bransford 12-08-2010 12:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jp90Talon (Post 913742)
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.

village idiot 12-08-2010 12:16 PM

I'd say that's fairly definitive, right there.

cherokee kid 12-08-2010 12:17 PM

Jerry, what wheel are you using?

Jerry Bransford 12-08-2010 12:22 PM

First aluminum wheel on my '97 was the American Eagle 054, then ProComp steel wheels, then American Racing #23 aluminum. Presently running Walker Evans forged aluminum beadlocks.

Jp90Talon 12-08-2010 01:17 PM

Wow Jerry, I trust your word on that since I know you do much harder wheeling than I ever have. I dont quite have the amount of experiences as you and the only rim I ever managed to fubar was an aluminum one on my track car. I was driving it on the street and hit a pot hole and it actually cracked the rim. But then again that was running a low profile tire at a high speed so it really doesnt apply. I guess I now have something new to add to my wish list.

Ibuildembig 12-08-2010 01:20 PM

I've never bent a steel Stazworks rim, but the smallest tire I run is a 42 so I have alot more cushion between a rock and rim.

MoA 12-08-2010 03:24 PM

never had an issue with my aluminum rims.. def got rockrash on em tho


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