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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to purchase the base model 2015 Wrangler Unlimited. This will be the first Jeep I've ever owned. I'll use it for driving around town, hunting, fishing (and pulling a mid-sized john boat), and obstacle course racing. I don't intend to be deliberately off-roading with it. Likely the only time I'll go off road is to get to a camp site, a fishing pond, or to retrieve a dead deer or hog.

I note that the model I'm looking at comes with Goodyear Wrangler ST tires (P225/75R16). I'd like to upgrade the tires and possibly the wheels towards something more all-terrain and provide some lift. I don't think I want to lift the Jeep. My wife is handicapped and getting it too high makes it more difficult for her to get in. (I will be putting a step bar on the Jeep, but that will be another post.) My budget is limited, which is one reason for getting a base model.

So I'm wondering what would be some recommended tires and sources that I could put on the existing wheels without breaking the bank. Would 285/75R16's work well and give a reasonably comfortable ride? Would 305/75R16's do as well without killing mileage or beating me to death? I really don't know much about tires at all.

Then what about going with some inexpensive new wheels? Personally, I'm not all the keen about the stock wheels. I'd prefer something black with perhaps some aluminum highlights. I don't want something that looks like 'industrial'. A little style would be nice, yet I don't need anything super fancy. But if I do go with the option of getting new wheels then I have no idea what would be a good wheel size and tire size setup, or brands I should consider.

Also, with either option, would I need or would be better for me to get spacers?

Lastly, with the base model, will I have any issue with placing a larger wheel/tire combination on the stock tail gate? Will I have any issue with the brake light or bumper? At this time, I don't think I'll want to go to the extra expense of buying an after-market wheel mount.

I'd appreciate any experienced guidance you all can provide.

Thanks in advance,
Andrew
https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&biw=1920&bih=916&q=305/75R16&sa=X&ved=0CBoQ7xYoAGoVChMIq72x1K3AxwIVAcyACh0zMw84
 

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I had the same tire set up on my sport. I upgraded to the 285s and ran w no lift for a couple weeks it drove just like stock. No rubbing issues at all and mounted the spare right on the stock mount and it works perfectly. I went w the procomp aluminum wheels which were fairly cheap at 130$ a piece. Paid around 1800 total. The only thing I would say is get a flashcal programmer because your jeep will seem sluggish until you recalibrate it. Hope that helps
 

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Discussion Starter #3
WHOA! I'm now so confused!

I've been trying to absorb the information on "so you want bigger tires" provided in the "JK Tech common questions" sticky post. I'm simply overwhelmed. Honestly, I thought that since Jeep knows a huge percentage of owners swap out wheels and tires that would have been considered in the engineering, and unless an owner does something radical then different/bigger tires shouldn't be so complex. I guess I'm naive.

I'm also wondering if I'm letting the matter become too complex for my needs. I'm just going to be going on some muddy roads and a few fields. I'm not going to be doing any serious off-roading. So I was originally thinking...

  • Get some inexpensive all-terrain tires. That should suffice for my needs.
  • Get some tires with a little more circumference. A little extra height would be nice. (And it will look better.)
  • Get some inexpensive black wheels. Personally I don't like the stock wheels. I'm buying the Jeep to go hunting and fishing. I don't like the look of tires and wheels that look like they belong on a passenger car.
So with the all-terrain tires and circumference I want some off-road performance improvements and the rest is purely cosmetic.


All that said, can I put some 285/75-16's on an inexpensive set of wheels and not kill my gas mileage, bearings, axles, and make the vehicle drive like a tank? Or is there a "sweet spot" with size that I should be looking at getting? (Maybe 255/75-16 or 265/75-16?) I really don't want to be going to the extra expense of changing the vehicle's gearing, lifting, adding spacers, etc. I just want something that will work better on muddy roads and fields, and looks a little more like I bought the Jeep for the outdoors and not just a passenger vehicle.


Any help on this will be appreciated.


Thanks in advance,
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, never mind (for now).

I've had a couple dealers competing for my business. The dealer I've decided to go with has sweetened the pot by taking the black wheels and tires from another Jeep (S-24 package?) where the owner placed on much larger tires and left behind the ones that originally came with the Jeep. They are the factory wheels, just black. It's not what I'd really prefer, but the price is right. The tires are 17" all-terrain Wranglers, 245/75-17. Again not really what I'd prefer, but the price is right. The dealer will also do the sensor swapping and calibration.

I know it's only a couple inches taller and around an inch wider, but until I know more about the topic, including the risks, advantages, and expenses then this seems to be a pretty safe alternative. After all, I'm putting on wheels and tires that were made for the Jeep and the dealer will make the calibrations. And like I said, the price is right.

Thanks again folks. I'm sure I'll be asking more later.

Regards,
Andrew
 
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