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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, wanna get a set of wheels for my 00 Black TJ with 31 x 10.5 x 15 Duratracs on them.

ForumRunner_20160307_095036.jpg

Which do you think might be better and why? Also, where
should I start looking for them? 2nd vehicle/toy. Mostly used for plowing n summer jogs - NO off-roading here! Thanks in advance.
 

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aluminum are stronger, which may not be as much of a factor since you arent wheeling it, but...

aluminum rims are lighter, which being unsprung weight, has a 4:1 ratio vs sprung weight, ie, 1lb of unsprung weight = 4 lbs of cargo. that leads to needing more power to accelerate and more power to stop.

with aluminum you wont have to worry about them rusting out during the plowing season

not sure if you ever hit a curb or other obstacle while plowing, but the aluminum rim would resist damage better than a steel rim would
 

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I experimented with steel wheels for maybe two years before I got tired of having to beat the dents out of them so they'd hold air and went back to aluminum. Never again will I run a steel wheel on a Jeep on a Jeep that sees tough trails.

Here's a pic of a steel wheel on a friend's YJ after a day on a rock crawling trail in Johnson Valley. Granted the trail was an extreme level trail but...

 

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I experimented with steel wheels for maybe two years before I got tired of having to beat the dents out of them so they'd hold air and went back to aluminum. Never again will I run a steel wheel on a Jeep on a Jeep that sees tough trails.

Here's a pic of a steel wheel on a friend's YJ after a day on a rock crawling trail in Johnson Valley. Granted the trail was an extreme level trail but...


Hey jerry since your here, I'm going to be buying 33x10.5 r 15, and since I just read your advice here I'll most likely go aluminum wheels. Legally I need the tire to be coverd by the fender which is stock. What would I need in backspaceing to run the 10.5's?

Don't mean to hijack the thread but I figured we're sorta on the topic
 

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It's going to be hard to find an aftermarket wheel with enough backspacing to position a 10.5" tire in far enough to be totally covered by the fender flares. The factory aluminum wheels come with either 5.25" or 5.5" of backspacing which is really what you need but even with that much backspacing, which is what you need, there still may be a little protruding past the fender flare with that slightly wider tire. It's hard to find an aftermarket wheel with even as much as 4.5" of backspacing which would stick the tire/wheel out another inch. You're probably going to have to go with a set of used OE factory aluminum wheels and aftermarket fender flare if your state doesn't allow even a tiny amount of tread to protrude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's going to be hard to find an aftermarket wheel with enough backspacing to position a 10.5" tire in far enough to be totally covered by the fender flares. The factory wheels come with either 5.25" or 5.5" of backspacing which is really what you need but there still may be a little protruding past the fender flare with that slightly wider tire. It's hard to find an aftermarket wheel with even as much as 4.5" of backspacing which would stick the tire/wheel out another inch. You're probably going to have to go with an aftermarket fender flare if your state doesn't allow even a tiny amount of tread to protrude.
Thanx Jerry n others on the timely advice. Forgot to ask, what "backspacing" if any will I need/duplicate? N any recs onwhere to purchase?
 

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Forgot to ask, what "backspacing" if any will I need/duplicate?
Re-read what what was written, that backspacing question you just asked was specifically covered. Or did you have a different question about backspacing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re-read what what was written, that backspacing question you just asked was specifically covered. Or did you have a different question about backspacing?
OK Jerry, thought you were commenting on other guy. My bad. So I will also have same problem with my 31s then I'll presume. Mines a Sahara so factory plastic molded flares. My current steel setup doesn't stick out at all.
 

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Balancing and out of round issues. On the street, probably not as much an issue, but my Jeep spends most of its time in the rocks.
 

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I have never had a set of after market steel wheels that would balance or run true and not vibrate. I am sure they exist but I have never gotten any. And the significant weight increase.
 

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The aluminum wheels will also have quite a bit less rotational force because they are light weight. Something to consider if youve got a D35 lol.
 

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To put it simply, the only advantage steel is the price tag. IMO I've been running steel wheels for four years now without any major balancing issues and I've yet to put any major dings in them off road (I'm not that hardcore). The simple fact that aluminum weights less is enough to make aluminum more desirable to me. So if budget is a major priority for you then take steel wheels in to consideration. Otherwise go aluminum.
 

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I've had both. I think any performance advantage would be lost on a Jeep. It's a brick on wheels, not a Lambo. Also, aluminum wheels don't rust, but they corrode and get stuck on the vehicle. I remember fighting plenty of stuck aluminum wheels when I worked in a tire shop in the north. Salt will make both steel and aluminum wheels ugly in time, but when aluminum wheels get ugly, you can't simply spruce them up with a little paint. Steel wheels may be more likely to bend on a pothole, but aluminum wheels bend too, are more likely to crack, and typically aren't repairable. Further, aluminum wheels from the aftermarket come in many different styles (and different levels of quality) which tend to be transient. A few years from now, you may not be able to find a matching wheel if you need a replacement. If I were to switch to aluminum, I'd look for OEM wheels somebody took off their jeep rather than aftermarket stuff. Finally, adding aluminum wheels will do nothing for the resale value and thieves prefer them.
 

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I just got myself a set of Pro Comp Series 51 Steel wheels. So far after this past winter I haven't had any issues with rust, I know it has only been one year. They were $50 a piece or a set of 5 for $200 off ebay. The last wheels I had were aluminum and true they didn't rust, but they did corrode and I had a tire constantly going low because of a small pin hole just on the edge of the frame that corroded through. Besides price, I went with steel because of the weight. A little backwards I know, but living with snow I wanted a little extra weight for the winter with my wider than stock tires to help with traction. I figured as far as rust goes, if I start seeing any, I can wire brush it and repaint the entire rim flat black like they came. As far as getting bent, I don't do enough extreme offroading to worry about it. Not many rocks around here, just back woods trails. And last but not least, so far I haven't had any issues getting balanced.
 
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