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Unread 10-14-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
Busarocket
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15" vs. 17" Wheels

It's time to upgrade tires and wheels from factory stock and I am looking for pro's and con's for going with 15" or 17" wheels. Thanks for the input...

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Unread 10-14-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
skivviss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busarocket View Post
It's time to upgrade tires and wheels from factory stock and I am looking for pro's and con's for going with 15" or 17" wheels. Thanks for the input...
pro for the 15s, tires will be cheaper. and, imo, look better.
con for the 15s, have to be careful for what backspacing/offset so you can fit the calipers. some 15s (i think cragar soft8s are the example) fit reliably.

pro for the 17s, no fitting problems with the calipers.
con for the 17s, tires are more expensive.

depending on wheel maker some sizes (15 or 17) may not have the wheel look you want if aesthetics are a consideration.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
frankie945
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Less tire roll with 17" wheels.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #4
bajafanatic
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First things first... make sure you measure and make sure that the rotor and caliper fit inside a 15 inch rim...

Then... REALLY do your research... I heard a ton of things about 15 inch tires being cheaper... but after three weeks of searching, i went with 16 inch Pro Comp Rims and a Mickey Thompson 285/75R.16... I spent about $200 less than what I found for 15 or 17 inch...

Not saying you will not find a good deal now, but when was doing my research, I found 16 inch rims and tires to be the best bang for the buck...
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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
Dronac
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I got 15x8 Soft 8's with 4'' backspacing. They rubbed so I got a $20 grinder from Harbor Freight and went to town on the calipers. That was about 2000 miles ago and other then some surface rust at the grind points (been too busy to put a coating on yet) it's totally problem free. The best part is, I'v got all my stock wheels and tires ready to sell.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 09:38 PM   #6
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35x12.50R15 tires are often less than $200 each

15x8 steel wheels cost about $40 each

15x8 aluminum wheels cost about $100 each


35x12.5017 tires cost more than the tires and wheels combined for 15" wheels.


35x12.50R15s are nearly always load range C tires

35x12.50R17 tires are often ubber-stiff load range E tires designed for full size trucks that weigh 2-3x as much as a 2 door JK

The exception is that the Goodyear MTR w/Kevlar in a 35x12.50R17 appears to actually be made for our type application because they are load range C tires.


Finally, 35x12.50R15s are much lighter than 35x12.50R17s. So, they don't sap performance as much on road, and less stuff breaks offroad if you wheel hard.


So, save a ton of money that can be used on other upgrades, get a softer ride on road and offroad, get better performance and gas mileage from a lighter tire, have fewer breaks offroad with a lighter tire, and have a larger market for resale if you decide to sell your 35s on craigslist to a TJ, XJ, YJ, or some Toyota truck owner. (Because their rigs are even lighter than JKs, they really avoid stiff, heavy load range E tires.)

Unless you like a stiff/firm ride, 15s are the way to go--in my opinion.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 07:10 AM   #7
beamme84
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I went with Duratrac 33x12.5r15 on MB 72 from discount tire direct. Tires are a lot cheaper than 16" or 17" and they're available in load range C. I weighted the original 18" Sahara wheel and tire and my new setup is actually 1lb lighter (69lb vs 70lb).
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Unread 10-15-2010, 07:13 AM   #8
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btw, you need 3.75 backspace for 15" wheels to clear the brake.
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Unread 10-15-2010, 08:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamme84 View Post
btw, you need 3.75 backspace for 15" wheels to clear the brake.
There are some aluminum wheels that clear at 4".

Some steel 4" wheels will clear on a non-Rubi, but require shaving on a Rubi--kind of hit and miss.

If you go with steel wheels and 3.75" backspacing, you decrease the likelihood of needing to shave the caliper.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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tire prices flucuate just like gas prices. fewer manufacturers are using 15 inch wheels on production trucks and SUV's . The price of 17 and 18 inch tires has dropped sugnificantly in the past 2 or 3 years and 15 inch tires have gotten more expensive. At some point, probably in the very near future, 15 inch tires will actually cost more than the same tire in a 17 inch, because of supply and demand offsets.
Also 17 inch wheels will probably allow your brakes to stay cooler.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 10:07 AM   #11
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I donít know that I would agree with the pricing argument.

Another factor in pricing has to do with the cost of manufacturing a 6 ply vs an 8 or 10 ply tire.

I would be skeptical of the claim that a load range C 35x12.50R15 would ever cost more than a load range E 35x12.50R17.

The market for the 17s in a 35" tire is pretty much limited to full size trucks and a relatively small number of JKs (as a % of the overall vehicle market). 15s are run on a significantly larger number of vehicles--imcluding nearly all the TJ, XJ, YJ, etc. on this forum in addition to the Toyotas, older full size trucks, etc.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
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Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar

35X12.5R15=67 lbs
315/75R16=67 lbs
35X12.5R17=64 lbs

Duratrac

315/75R16=64 lbs
315/70R17=60 lbs

KM2

35X12.5R15=61 lbs
315/75R16=64 lbs
35X12.5R17=68 lbs

Mud Country

35X12.5R15=67 lbs
315/75R16 =68 lbs
35X12.5R17=69 lbs

Road Venture MT KL71

35X12.5R15=67 lbs
315/75R16 =75 lbs
35X12.5R17=75 lbs

Toyo M/T

35X13.5R15=79.4 lbs (note these are 13.5 wide)
315/75R16 =76.1 lbs
35X12.5R17=82.7 lbs

Firestone Destination M/T

315/75R16=72 lbs
315/70R17=67 lbs
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Unread 10-16-2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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I've been actively shopping for wheels and tires and I've come to a decision. I have a stock height 07 4 door, and I wanted 15" but with the issue of possibly having to grind the caliper I've decided on 16" wheels. I don't want to end up having issues down the line with rust.
Plus, tires for 16" wheels don't appear too much more expensive than 15". I'm looking at 265/75/16 to go with them. They seem to run close to the same price as 32" tires for 15" wheels. My 2 cents.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 09:58 PM   #14
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Paint caliper with grey anti-rust paint = no rust.
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Unread 10-17-2010, 04:44 AM   #15
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but the calipers are aluminum...
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