Originally Posted by malligator
I've had my 06 LJ for a little over a year now and it's getting to be time for me to buy my first set of shoes for her. I'm strongly considering going down to 15" so I can use floatation size tires in the C load range. Right now it'll be 31x1050 and maybe later 33x1050. Anyway...from my completely unscientific internet research it seems to me that 7" rims are ever so slightly better for crawling while 8" are ever so slightly better for adventure driving. Am I correct?
Can air down lower and hold a bead, but can't air up as high without running on center of tire.
Buldges out more to protect rim.
Can run higher psi so it's better on the road with better mpg.
Flatter tire profile for more on-road manners.
FYI...I'm looking to maintain my LJ's adventure vehicle status. I've driven her all over Arizona camping, hiking, climbing, etc. I like it when my plans take me over moderately rough stuff, but I don't go searching it out. The only reason I'm even considering 7" is because I never plan to run wider than 10.5" tires and I know there are lots of 10.5 on 7" rim fans.
You stated the situation very well for a 7" wide wheel with 10.5" wide tire.
However, an 8" wide wheel with 10.5" wide tire is a great multipurpose setup for on & off road for a stock weight LJ, or an armored XJ orTJ.
A 7" wide wheel with 9.5" wide tire is a great multipurpose setup for on and off road for light SUVs like stock weight XJ or stock weight TJ. For an LJ this would be a great street and Winter road setup.
IMO based on IME