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Go Back JeepForum.com > General Technical Discussions > Tires & Wheels > What's better: 10.5 or 12.5 wide tires?

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Unread 06-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #31
Cavitation
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Yep

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Unread 06-07-2013, 04:33 PM   #32
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I prefer skinnier (to a point). I like 9.5 wide for stock weight XJ and TJ, and 10.5 for Wrangler Unlimiteds and Grand Cherokees and other heavier Jeeps. I think 235 tires are to skinny for any Jeep, even for a stock XJ or TJ.
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Unread 06-07-2013, 05:09 PM   #33
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Every Jeep deserves 33's
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Unread 06-08-2013, 12:24 PM   #34
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14 wrangler

my plan is to order my 2014 rubicon on june 11 .. i have ran 33-12.5's on my 4x4 truck for 15+years... i want to put 33's on my wrangler when it comes in... will i need to make any modifications (lifts / spacers) what wheel size do you recommend?? im new to jeep.. thanks in advance.
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Unread 06-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #35
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The difference between 10.5s and 12.5s can be big on the street. Throw in some snow and the difference becomes huge. No wider than 10.5s for me on anything but dedicated play rigs.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 10:26 AM   #36
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On a 15" wheel - 31x10.50 is as big as I'd ever want for a Jeep that must run on highways & off road. For a dedicated off-road vehicle it would be a different story. I know people run bigger tires on the street but I wouldn't want to. Between the added stress on the spindles, the increased tire weight, the increased rolling resistance and the necessary suspension mods, it's just not worth what you gain.
As for the Wide vs. Skinny issue - it depends on what you want to do. I'm with L. Kilkenny on the difference between 10.5s and 12.5s. The best pick-up truck/snow plow rig I ever observed had some of the tallest/skinniest tires I've seen on a plow. I'm not sure what size they were but I'd be shocked if they were even 9" wide! That guy had a LSD rear and an open front differential. He never had problems and could handle jobs that others couldn't even try. Floatation type tires are fine for mud that doesn't seem to have a bottom or sand but that's about all they're good for. For most off road driving and snow conditions I'd rather put more weight on a smaller contact patch and try o get some "bite" that way. For sand; you can reduce pressure and increase the performance in the sand and then re-inflate for street use.
People like the "Look" of wide tires but I'll take a work horse over a show horse anytime.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 10:39 AM   #37
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I put on 33x10.5 KM2's when I still had the 2.5 for less rolling resistance.
They got me everywhere they guy's with 12.5's got.
I'll most likely keep the 10.5's when I need new tires, even with the 5.2.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 08:35 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCallahan View Post
On a 15" wheel - 31x10.50 is as big as I'd ever want for a Jeep that must run on highways & off road. For a dedicated off-road vehicle it would be a different story. I know people run bigger tires on the street but I wouldn't want to. Between the added stress on the spindles, the increased tire weight, the increased rolling resistance and the necessary suspension mods, it's just not worth what you gain.
As for the Wide vs. Skinny issue - it depends on what you want to do. I'm with L. Kilkenny on the difference between 10.5s and 12.5s. The best pick-up truck/snow plow rig I ever observed had some of the tallest/skinniest tires I've seen on a plow. I'm not sure what size they were but I'd be shocked if they were even 9" wide! That guy had a LSD rear and an open front differential. He never had problems and could handle jobs that others couldn't even try. Floatation type tires are fine for mud that doesn't seem to have a bottom or sand but that's about all they're good for. For most off road driving and snow conditions I'd rather put more weight on a smaller contact patch and try o get some "bite" that way. For sand; you can reduce pressure and increase the performance in the sand and then re-inflate for street use.
People like the "Look" of wide tires but I'll take a work horse over a show horse anytime.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 12:04 AM   #39
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I used to think 33 x 10.5 R15 was the largest I wanted on a DD. They were a lot better on road and for gas mileage than the 33 x 11.5 I had before, and the 33 x 10.5 got me wherever I wanted to go off road.

However, I now think 31 x 10.5 R15 is the largest I'd want on a DD. What changed my mind? Experience. I like the smaller gas bill, greater acceleration and braking. Also, easy on parts.

31s are good on and off road.

33 x 10.5 are OK on road, and very good off road.

33 x 11.5 or 12.5 are miserable on road. So I don't care how they are off road.

That's my opinion after trying all those sizes on my prior Jeep.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 12:15 AM   #40
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For fun I was looking at Dodge Power Wagons of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

The 3/4 ton ones had 33 x 7.5 tires on a 16 x 5.5 wheel.

The 1 ton ones had 35 x 9 tires on 16 x 6.5 wheel.

Wow that's some tall skinny tires!

That's the kind of tall skinny tires the military and civilians were using on 3/4 & 1 ton trucks in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

It's interesting to note that at that time a 9" wide tire was the "wide" option of the time.

My grandpa ran 7.50 16, which was 33 x 7.5 on 16" rim on his International pickup. The seemed really tall and narrow to me, which they were. They were a true 33" tall.

---

In the mid and late 70s some new fangled wide tire flotation sizes in 9.5 came out, then 10.5, and the super wide 11" tires. Those were the wide tires I remember from my childhood.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #41
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Never had a problem in all the years I have been on 12.50 or wider. IMO if you have problems over 2 inches of tire you cant drive for **** anyway and its not the tire that's the problem, Its the loose nut between the steering wheel and seat.
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Unread 06-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by KKiowaTJ View Post
IMO if you have problems over 2 inches of tire you cant drive for **** anyway and its not the tire that's the problem, Its the loose nut between the steering wheel and seat.
Especially when a 33x10.5 General Grabber weighs 60lbs, and a 33x12.5 Duratrac weighs 49lbs.

I'll take the extra 2" width to save 11lbs of rotational mass.
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Unread 06-22-2013, 11:57 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
33 x 11.5 or 12.5 are miserable on road. So I don't care how they are off road.
Not sure what you mean by "miserable on road" but sounds like you put them on a rig that wasn't setup for them.

Can't blame the tire for that
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Unread 06-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #44
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I've been getting PMs from a few people who told me they agreed with my post saying narrower is better for most things, especially DD year round and Winter roads.

I also said wider is better for extreme rockcrawling and extreme sand running, but narrower aired down is adequate for mild to moderate use on those terrains.

My main point was that narrower is better for DD and wide tires on DD are a fad. Narrower tires get much better gas mileage, and faster acceleration and braking, less parts wear and less breakage. Narrower tires cost less too. These are many important benefits for DD.

I've owned and run narrow and wide 33s on an LJ. I experienced the difference.

I stand by those ^ statements.

However, in my first post I should have said those things more politely. I was frustrated because my phone crapped out and lost my first attempt at posting. So when I retyped it, I was frustrated and my fuse was short (and this topic has been beat to death many times before). I apologize for the rude tone of my first post.

I acknowledge there is a shortage of narrow size choices. That is a sad side effect of the fad of wide tire on DD. However, there are still some great narrow sizes for DD. Such as 30 x 9.5 R15, 245/75R16 (31 x 9.5 R16), 31 x 10.5 R15, 265/75R16 (32 x 10.5 R16), 33 x 10.5 R15, 255/85R16 (33 x 10 R16).

While on the topic of DD, I have learned by experience that 31 is best for DD, IMO. I specifically like 31 x 9.5 R16 load C (245/75R16), but a narrow 32 is good too, and a narrow 33 is OK. Anything taller or wider and gas mileage goes to hell.
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Unread 06-23-2013, 04:10 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
My main point was that narrower is better for DD and wide tires on DD are a fad. Narrower tires get much better gas mileage, and faster acceleration and braking, less parts wear and less breakage. Narrower tires cost less too. These are many important benefits for DD.
As a general rule, I agree with you. But there are a couple exceptions to the rule. Those exceptions make it plainly clear that there is much more to it than the numbers on the sidewall.

#1: the General Grabber 33x10.5 weighs a staggering 60lbs.
#2: the 33x12.5 Duratrac weighs 49lbs.

The skinny Grabber will be a noticeably worse compared to the wider Duratrac in acceleration AND braking. I believe tire weight plays a bigger role than the width alone. My examples are extremes on the spectrum, but they are great for making my point. Size alone does not have a detrimental effect.
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JF taught me that the 2.5L, Ax-5 and D35 together are so powerful that angels weep when I shift into 4LO.
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