I had black steel wheels with 33's for over 5 years and thought they did pretty well. However, I recently switched back to Aluminum stock wheels with 33's (I just like the clean look of the stock wheels) and was AMAZED by the difference. I had aluminum before but I had gotten so use to the steel wheels I forgot about the benefits of aluminum. I immediatly noticed a difference in power and ride. I really didn't expect it but I can tell a really big difference in power in the higher gears 4th & 5th (Even with 4.11's on the 4.0L, I struggled in 5th with the steel wheels).
Now I will tell you that I love the black steel wheel look the best but I not going back. The Aluminum wheels ride, balance and just feel so much better. The added power from the weight loss was such a nice added bonus. Just my opinion of course from having both. Steel wheels worked very well for the cost and they looked great but I will be sticking with Aluminum from now on.
97 Wrangler Sport 4.0L.
3" BDS Lift, 4.11 gears, Tera Disco's, Rusty's Air tube, Rusty's adj. track bars, Class III Hitch, "Generic" Hi-Lift, 33 MT's on 8" black wheels, CB, etc. etc. etc
how do you like the change & weight loss? see a difference?
honestly a small difference. now along with removing my corners and doing the alloy i can tell me biggest difference going over bumps where before they were hard hits now i just go right over them. cornering is better and overall take off is improved.
Aluminum wheels will not look like this after hard usage.
I MUCH prefer alloy to steel. Also, you can get aluminum wheels in just about any backspacing you want, you just have to look for them.
That wheel is the result of one trip through the rocks of Johnson Valley by one of our very own here, Erik Jordan.
I went from aluminum wheels to steel and then back to aluminum. If you are doing the hard trails, especially with rocks, steel wheels just bend and dent way too frigging easily. I needed to carry a 3 lb. sledgehammer with me while wheeling to help keep my previous steel wheels straight enough so they'd hold air. I lost track of how many times my steel wheels dented or bent so badly they wouldn't hold air.
For the street or mild to moderate wheeling, steel is fine. For anything tougher than that, aluminum wheels are the way to go.
Black rock alloy wheels with 33" duratracs are a good combo. i run the 33" with 3.73 with the 42RLE auto tranny and its tolerable with this set up (overdrive is off until i reach 60 or so MPH). a regear is in my future, but for now itll do just fine.
was wheeling with a guy who bent a steel wheel the other weekend. a small sledge and some more air and he was back on the trail. so it wasnt a huge deal, but still an inconvience. but.... we werent doing anything difficult when he bent the rim. just hit it right i guess.
I am just wondering what a Alloy wheel would have looked like in that same situation as that wheel.
It would have looked better......
Alloys all the way. There really is no advantage to running steel wheels, except the cost. If you drive your jeep on the road, you'll deal with them never being balanced correctly and the extra weight that goes against mileage, acceleration, and braking performance. I ran steelies for 2 years before getting smart and switching to alloys. One of the best purchases I've made for the jeep, period.