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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I’m looking at getting new tires and wheels and the difference In cost between same tire 315/75r16 $240 or 35x12.5R18 $325 so why should I stick with the 18’s am I missing something? 15’s were stock before so any reason not to go down to 16’s, heck the next time I buy tires the savings will have just about paid for the new rims anyway.


2011 JKU Sahara
Leveling kit
Flat fenders
 

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Ok so I’m looking at getting new tires and wheels and the difference In cost between same tire 315/75r16 $240 or 35x12.5R18 $325 so why should I stick with the 18’s am I missing something? 15’s were stock before so any reason not to go down to 16’s, heck the next time I buy tires the savings will have just about paid for the new rims anyway.


2011 JKU Sahara
Leveling kit
Flat fenders
17's are the happy medium on a JK... Tons of tires available and many in D rating, or even a few in C rating. 16's are notoriously only in E rating and 18's are typically E or even F rated.

I paid $176/ea for my 315/70r17 Patagonia's... They are D rated.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
but if I can get my tire (BF KO2) is there a reason not to, the brakes should clear correct? Will I find they stop making that size soon? I understand the more side wall the mushier the ride but again been there done that.
 

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16's will work on a JK if you have stock front end components and I minor lift. If you plan on doing upgrades in the future you'll have fitment issues and be wishing you would have went with 17's
 

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Going to 16" will prevent you from doing a big break upgrade. It will also likely remove the option of running an aftermarket tie rod. (though a yeti or one that uses Rare parts ends might work)

I recently added 35's on my jku and the breaks are now just ok. But I am not a spirited driver and drive a bit defensively knowing my breaks are probably not as good as the vehicle ahead of me. I definitely see the need to improve and they are on my list to replace once the current pads/rotors wear out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Going to 16" will prevent you from doing a big break upgrade. It will also likely remove the option of running an aftermarket tie rod. (though a yeti or one that uses Rare parts ends might work)

I recently added 35's on my jku and the breaks are now just ok. But I am not a spirited driver and drive a bit defensively knowing my breaks are probably not as good as the vehicle ahead of me. I definitely see the need to improve and they are on my list to replace once the current pads/rotors wear out.



yep the brakes are a week spot on this jeep. and I have thought about a big brake install. so going from a 18 to a 17 is only about $25 a tire savings. which makes me rethink do I really need new wheels.
 

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yep the brakes are a week spot on this jeep. and I have thought about a big brake install. so going from a 18 to a 17 is only about $25 a tire savings. which makes me rethink do I really need new wheels.
Assuming you are talking about the stock 18" rims. Its either $80-100+ per wheel for new rims or $40 per wheel for quality spacers. If there is a savings of $25 per wheel. Going to 17" will cost you as little as $15 per wheel vs sticking to 18s and adding spacers. That said there are some really good tires closer to $200 in the 17". Also you may run into shops that will not mount a 12.5" wide tire on the stock rim.



Which tire were you looking at? And what gear ratio do you have in that jeep?
 

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17s are the way to go. Mods will be problem with 16s, selection and cost will be the problem with 18s.
 

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yep the brakes are a week spot on this jeep. and I have thought about a big brake install. so going from a 18 to a 17 is only about $25 a tire savings. which makes me rethink do I really need new wheels.
If you are set on KO2's, there is a C rated 315/70R17... Great tire. There are some really great wheel options at Extreme Terrain and Quadratec at good prices and they have the proper back spacing and width for the larger tires and they are hub-centric like the factory wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yep thats the tire and size I'm looking at. I'm looking on ET page for wheels but the BS is 4.6 on a lot of the rims I think I need less then that. I'm currently running some procomp wheel I don't know the specks on (came with) but I think stock as a had to you use 1.25 spacer to get the 33-12.50 on without rubbing sway bar link in back. so I have the spacers but if I can get rid of them i'd like too. I'm running 3.73 gear so ya luggy but i only take it on highway for few long trips a year, most of the time its 10 miles trips and hunting so I need to be able to hit the two tracks and get over the odd bolder or downed log. The 33's are ok but with the BW flat flairs they look small and tread is getting low will need to replace this summer anyway. I used to run the BFG A/T's on my XJ and they were a good duel purpose tire, not as tough looking as a M/T but better in rain and fine on snowy roads
 

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Go with 17's, you'll be happy you did. Tire selection and pricing is better, and as others have mentioned its the size that checks all the boxes on the JK.
 
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yep thats the tire and size I'm looking at. I'm looking on ET page for wheels but the BS is 4.6 on a lot of the rims I think I need less then that. I'm currently running some procomp wheel I don't know the specks on (came with) but I think stock as a had to you use 1.25 spacer to get the 33-12.50 on without rubbing sway bar link in back. so I have the spacers but if I can get rid of them i'd like too. I'm running 3.73 gear so ya luggy but i only take it on highway for few long trips a year, most of the time its 10 miles trips and hunting so I need to be able to hit the two tracks and get over the odd bolder or downed log. The 33's are ok but with the BW flat flairs they look small and tread is getting low will need to replace this summer anyway. I used to run the BFG A/T's on my XJ and they were a good duel purpose tire, not as tough looking as a M/T but better in rain and fine on snowy roads
Backspacing between 4.5" and 4.75" is the typical used to clear a 12.5" wide tire.
Everyone has their own preferences about gearing. For us, the 3.73 gears were already too tall with the stock 32" tires. There was no way we were going to be happy with larger tires and that gearing. But some people say they are happy with 3.73 gears and 35" tires. I don't get it, but everyone has their own standards of what is acceptable performance.
The way I see it, re-gearing is less expensive than one set of those big tires. And it is generally a one time expense. So if it is required to maintain the desired level of performance, do it. And if you are happy without it, don't. But sometimes it can be a case of "you don't know what you are missing". It is rare to hear someone say they re-geared and wish they hadn't. It is common to hear people say they re-geared and they wish they had done it sooner.
 

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15’s were stock before so any reason not to go down to 16’s, heck the next time I buy tires the savings will have just about paid for the new rims anyway.
No Jeep JK/JKU ever came from the factory with 15" wheels. The only 16" wheels were steelies on the base Sport. Sport S, some Sahara Special Editions (like my Chief) and Rubicons all came with 17" standard. Most Saharas came with 18s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No Jeep JK/JKU ever came from the factory with 15" wheels. The only 16" wheels were steelies on the base Sport. Sport S, some Sahara Special Editions (like my Chief) and Rubicons all came with 17" standard. Most Saharas came with 18s.
Not talking about JK's talking back in the day when 15's where stock on most jeeps XJ/WJ/TJ/YJ etc and that it wasn't a problem in fact off road it was nice could really wrap around a rock aired down with all that side wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Backspacing between 4.5" and 4.75" is the typical used to clear a 12.5" wide tire.
Everyone has their own preferences about gearing. For us, the 3.73 gears were already too tall with the stock 32" tires. There was no way we were going to be happy with larger tires and that gearing. But some people say they are happy with 3.73 gears and 35" tires. I don't get it, but everyone has their own standards of what is acceptable performance.
The way I see it, re-gearing is less expensive than one set of those big tires. And it is generally a one time expense. So if it is required to maintain the desired level of performance, do it. And if you are happy without it, don't. But sometimes it can be a case of "you don't know what you are missing". It is rare to hear someone say they re-geared and wish they hadn't. It is common to hear people say they re-geared and they wish they had done it sooner.
Point is vailed and is still on my mind (especially with the mini van motor) I might just go wheel and a tire closer to the current 33's this time I do like the bfg but the 33 in a 17 inch is as much as the 35's on extreme terrain
 

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Point is vailed and is still on my mind (especially with the mini van motor) I might just go wheel and a tire closer to the current 33's this time I do like the bfg but the 33 in a 17 inch is as much as the 35's on extreme terrain
The one thing about BFG KO2's and BFG KM2's is they run small. So there is that. It can be a good thing or a bad thing. A 315/70-17 KO2, load range C, is around 33.5" in diameter. And fairly light to boot. I still would not want to run that big a tire with 3.73 gears, but its a free country.
I find tires to be something that I shop around for, looking for a good deal, as they are pricey. I have gotten great deals on Northridge 4x4 and Quadratec. It helps to be open and flexible on the brand tire you are looking for. My latest set is Nitto RidgeGrapplers from Northridge 4x4. I am happy with them. They do not run small like the BFG's they replaced. I liked the BFG's, but the deal I found was on the Nitto's. I wish I had enough money to just buy whatever tires I want, but I don't.
 

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I always run 17's (4th set just now). With big brake kits I ripped the wheel weights right off on the rears and had to go through 2 shops to get them balanced and clear the calipers. No way 15 or 16's would work with big brakes. First shop said to get 20's- nope. They suck in the rocks. 17s and 35's or 37's.
 
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