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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As part of my 're-build' on my jeep (new to me purchased 2 weeks ago - 98 4.0 5spd w/3.07) - I'm wanting to change it from its' current Mall Crawler attitude to a more functional...JEEP.

So, 18" XD rims are coming off along with the 275/70/18 Kelly Safari ATR tires and dropping down to 15" rims and 31's for now. The plan is to stay at the 15" rim and stay with the 31's or go to 32's..."maybe" back to 33's (PO put on a 2" BL - I will be taking that off and instead, add a 2/2.5 Suspension Lift along with a 1" BL).

As I begin this process, I picked up some 'temp' rims and a set of used 31's with decent tread...all for basically $100. I say 'temp' because I can't sell my current rims and tires unless I get them off, and then I'll have some time to decide what kind of rims and tires I want - more on that later (in another post at another time).

The 'temp' rims I have...they are 5x4.5 bolt pattern, I pulled off a tire and 'dry fitted' the rim and it works fine. The backspace is 5" and I believe the rims are 5x8 (could be 5x7 but seem a little bigger - the old tires are still on so I can't really tell - rims came from an early 90's Cherokee).

I've read 'some' about backspace...4.5" seems to stick in my mind. Isn't the backspacing one of the determining factors on how far the tires will stick out past the fender flares (pending width size)?

The question is then, will rims w/5" backspace with 31's be ok. I know the 31's will be...just not sure on how exactly the backspace fits into the equation.

2nd question...for further down the road when I am ready to buy my new tires (either this Fall or Spring 2016) - should I stay at 31's, move to 32's, or go up to 33's. This is my DD (with only a 4 mile commute round trip...nice!!) but would like to tackle the trails at Moab once or twice a year. Also plenty of trials around here as well (Utah mountains) but more technical stuff down at Moab (but a few up around here too). Oh - I have the D35 rear end.

Thanks!!
 

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Hi there

So backspacing is the vertical measure from the mounting surface of the wheel (the part that touches the hub) to the lip. So you're right in thinking it affects how far the wheels stick out. The less backspacing, the further past the flares they'll stick out. Like you, I forget exactly where the break over point of how much backspacing is too much for a 31x10.50x15 tire, but I think at least for the short term you should be able to run them. Don't quote me on that but the only issue you should run into is possible rubbing at full lock. That's remedied by adjusting the steering stops or just not turning as far. When you bump up to wider tires I'd definitely get different wheels though.

As far as future plans, tire size is entirely up to you as far as how much you're willing to spend, and how strong everything else is. If you gear ratio is numerically high enough for your transmission, 33s won't be too bad to drive around on. But with that comes extra stress on the d35 and if you have numerically low gear ratios in your axles it will drive like a dog. Also, 33s are really the upper limit of that Dana 35. That said, many people run them and I know personally two people that had that set up and they were fine as long as they kept out of the skinny pedal and didn't install a locker in the rear.
 

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31's will fit a standard wheel usually with a very slight rub on full lock (I had that on my first TJ). If your temp rims have 5" (.25" less than stock) they'll probably be perfect for 31" tyres!
When I bought my new wheels the most common size seems to be 15x8 with 3.75" of backspacing which what I went with. That size gives flexibility for lots of tyre sizes too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks InvertChaos and DavidW954.

I don't plan to put lockers on the D35 - my understanding is that the lockers could strain it too much...and I'd like to keep a healthy axle for now.

I was worried about the back spacing but thanks for the help on that. Before I measured ,I feared that it was going to be more than 5"...also good to know that stock is 4.75 - didn't know that.

The rims I'm kind of thinking about are from Trailmastersuspension.com (or someplace similar):

Trail Master Part TM5-5883 - TM5, 15x8 with 5 on 4.5 Bolt Pattern - Gloss Black - Trailmaster Suspension

Having a high cost rim doesn't appeal to me - just give me plain and simple...but functional. At $40/ea, more to spend on tires...to which I'm considering GY Wrangler Duratrac, or Treadwright Guard Dog.

Thanks again!!:Thanx:
 

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Thanks InvertChaos and DavidW954.

I don't plan to put lockers on the D35 - my understanding is that the lockers could strain it too much...and I'd like to keep a healthy axle for now.

I was worried about the back spacing but thanks for the help on that. Before I measured ,I feared that it was going to be more than 5"...also good to know that stock is 4.75 - didn't know that.

The rims I'm kind of thinking about are from Trailmastersuspension.com (or someplace similar):

Trail Master Part TM5-5883 - TM5, 15x8 with 5 on 4.5 Bolt Pattern - Gloss Black - Trailmaster Suspension

Having a high cost rim doesn't appeal to me - just give me plain and simple...but functional. At $40/ea, more to spend on tires...to which I'm considering GY Wrangler Duratrac, or Treadwright Guard Dog.

Thanks again!!:Thanx:
Did you end up going with these wheels? I'm stuck on back order and something seems suspicious about it
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did you end up going with these wheels? I'm stuck on back order and something seems suspicious about it
2ksahara - sorry, I haven't been online for a bit. I ended up with a set of used AR wheels that do the job just fine.

As I was looking at what I wanted to do, 'weight' became a consideration and so I opted to go with a lighter wheel vs the steel wheels that I was looking at. Granted, there isn't a huge difference in weight, but any little bit helps...especially since I'm running with 3.07 gears.

As to being on back order for some time...either they are selling a lot or it's a loss leader to where they don't carry it a lot - who knows. In the end, I'm happy with what I have for now. Good Luck.

For some reason, I'm not able to insert an image, so I attached the image.
 

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