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Unread 05-19-2011, 09:34 AM   #1
TheMiser3
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Disadvantages of 15" wheels for 35" Tires

Ok, so I drive a 2010 JKU Rubi and I know that this topic has been covered just about everywhere, but I'm having a hard time putting together the facts from all of the contradicting information that I keep getting.

I'm planning on going to at least 35" tires, possibly 37" tires sometime in the relatively near future. I understand that I will need a minor lift + either wheel spacers for my stock MOABs due to excessive backspacing, or a new set of wheels. I'm leaning towards new wheels considering I'd like to keep my old wheels / tires as a set for inspection purposes.

Looking at wheel / tire prices, I notice the vast price increase from a 15" -> 17" wheel as well as tires to go on that wheel. So based on price alone, I'd obviously prefer to be purchasing 15" wheels / R15 tires.

From my reading I know that people have mentioned the possibility of caliper rubbing with the 15" wheels. I also know that typically this can be remedied by grinding down your caliper a slight bit.

Are there any other clear disadvantages to running 15" wheels with a 35-37" tire? At what point are 15" wheels too small for a particular size tire? Am I able to get larger tires than 35" for a 15" wheel?

Thanks,

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Unread 05-19-2011, 09:50 AM   #2
MrOrange
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There aren't any big disadvantages to running 15 inch wheels other than the possibility of grinding your calipers to fit them. It seems like people have a pretty good success rate with NOT needing to grind calipers with Soft 8 style wheels. Personally, I'm running 15x8 Unique 297 wheels and didn't have to grind calipers. I guess the only other thing is if you air down too low on some tires, you'll get a "folding" action when crawling instead of the tire wrapping around rocks. Otherwise 35s on 15s is a very common setup.

One thing to note is that there aren't any 37 inch tires out there for 15s so 35 is the biggest you can go. I'm sure someone will find some random brand and model that's offered in 37s but you can't find popular brands in that size. Also, if you ever want to do a brake upgrade, there's no room.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 10:06 AM   #3
D1EHARD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrOrange View Post
One thing to note is that there aren't any 37 inch tires out there for 15s so 35 is the biggest you can go. I'm sure someone will find some random brand and model that's offered in 37s but you can't find popular brands in that size. Also, if you ever want to do a brake upgrade, there's no room.
That's the big drawback to me. I have 15's and love them. But like he said, the only tires larger than 35" that fit 15's are gonna be the more hardcore tires. Like Pitbull, Super Swampers, etc. Those are badass tires and all, but for everyday use I would prefer some 37" KM2's or MTR/K's.

I'm just gonna buy some 35" MTR/K's and call it a day. Hell, those seem bigger than the 37" KM2's anyway.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 10:24 AM   #4
TheMiser3
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Thanks,
That helps a lot. I suppose I just hadn't really thought about tire size availability until today.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
MrOrange
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I didn't think about it either when I bought my 15s because I just saw the savings. I just assumed 37s were widely available but once I got my 35s and wanted to start the planning now for 37s when my MTR/K wear out in ~3 years, I quickly realized if I want to go bigger, I'm going to have to do the same with the wheels.
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RC 2.5" Series II BB, JKS Quick Discos, JKS adjustable front track bar
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5.13 gears, ARB front locker, Currie front shafts
Bushwacker flat flares, Rubicon rails with steps added
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Unread 05-19-2011, 11:38 AM   #6
Wandell
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As for comparing performance of a given tire size, 35x12.50 for example. The smaller the wheel (15 or 16), the more tire sidewall which may give better performance offroad especially rockclimbing. The larger the wheel (17, 18 or 20), the less tire sidewall which may improve on road handling due to less sidewall flex.
There is also the "style" issue and everyone seems to like something different. On Wranglers, I tend to like a smaller diameter wheel where I like the look of a large wheel on a large vehicle like a crew cab truck.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 12:20 PM   #7
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If you're considering larger tires, have you thought about a rear carrier? I would make sure it will also allow a 15in. rim to fit. One in particular which does not is AEV's. Theirs will only allow a 16in. wheel and bigger to fit appropriately.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 06:01 PM   #8
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For 15's, as far as cheap steel wheels go, 3.75" of backspacing seems to be the magic bullet for not having to grind the calipers. That's the info I've been able to find, and I had no caliper grinding when I mounted mine a couple weeks ago. If you need, I can get a link to the specific wheels I got. Potential caveat--mine are on an '11 JKU Rubi, not a '10.
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Unread 05-20-2011, 03:53 AM   #9
TheMiser3
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Thanks everyone for your insight and information. I'm pretty sure I understand what I need to to make a decision. Now the question is, "Will I ever go to 37's"? Lol.

As far as the tire carrier is concerned, I'm going to end up fabricating my own, so I'll be able to custom make it for whatever wheel I have at the time. Was looking at voodoojk's build thread with the fabricated bumpers he's done for inspiration.

Thanks again,
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Unread 05-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #10
MrOrange
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMiser3 View Post
Now the question is, "Will I ever go to 37's"? Lol.
I was pretty sure I'd never go beyond 35s just because I've talked to a lot of guys who went from 35s to 37s and started having problems with breaking things like axles. But once I put on my 35s, I wanted to go bigger. Problem is very few tires are the size they list. If you check the tech specs, you'll see most are smaller. My MTR/K were 34.6" off the Jeep as listed on their site and shrunk to 34" once installed. Some 35s run even smaller once installed. So I wouldn't mind going up to 37s for my next set which will likely measure out to 35" installed.
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RC 2.5" Series II BB, JKS Quick Discos, JKS adjustable front track bar
15x8 Unique 297 (Soft 8), Goodyear MTR/Kevlar 35x12.50R15
5.13 gears, ARB front locker, Currie front shafts
Bushwacker flat flares, Rubicon rails with steps added
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Unread 05-20-2011, 09:22 AM   #11
DangFoo
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There is a progression away from 15s in the wheel industry, thus a decreasing selection of options. I do like the look of smaller wheels and greater sidewall, but I also believe that 16s and 17s strike a good balance from a look/price/selection standpoint. I'm not a fan of putting anything larger than 17s on a Jeep, but we all have differing "thresholds."

One potential downside is that I've heard tire shops speak of 15s causing more "drift" in the ride characteristics. That is to say that it makes the on road mannerisms a bit loose compared to reducing the sidewall (when comparing equivalent size tires mounted to larger wheels). I do not know if this is true or not, since I have not personally tested and I've never gone smaller than a 16 on any of my trucks/Jeeps.
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Unread 05-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #12
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As for the question of you JK'ers ever going to 37s... I saw a lifted 4 door JK on 37s behind me this morning on my way to work and said to myself "if I ever had a 4 door JK, it would be sitting on 37s if not larger". It looked beautiful and proportional... and badass. Made my TJ on 33s look stock.
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Unread 05-20-2011, 01:11 PM   #13
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ive used both 15s and 17s. im as old school as it gets with my first set of jeep wheels being 15" slot mags in the late 70s. i now wont use anything under 17" for 35"+ tires. i was an early adopter of the idea. they just work better on and off-road. on-road you will feel a big difference as your sidewall will not roll under as much while cornering. in effect it will feel more stable. offroad if you air down 35s on 15s, yes the tire contact is good, but off camber the tire will really roll under and want to pull the tire off the wheel. they also are really bouncy. ever watched a monster truck go on its side entirely due to the bounce caused by so much rubber? no i dont think this would happen to a jeep on 35s but it illustrates the concept. you really dont need that much sidewall. i was skeptical myself untill i tried it. i rarely scuff a wheel as well and yes you can air down. i heard the contrary a lot as well.

i use two sets of tires. one dedicated to on-road and one set for off. the next on-road set might just be 20" wheels. its a functional thing. they just handle well. no one would confuse my jeep for a street queen either with primer, dents, coilovers and truehi9s front and rear. you can bet the 20s wont be chromed.
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Unread 05-22-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
RW_13
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One thing to note is that there aren't any 37 inch tires out there for 15s so 35 is the biggest you can go. I'm sure someone will find some random brand and model that's offered in 37s but you can't find popular brands in that size.[/QUOTE]


so... are goodyears, interco, and maxxis not popular brands? just asking because I am running 37x12.5x15 MT/Rs on my jeep and my spares are an IROK and a Super sticky
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Unread 05-22-2014, 10:54 PM   #15
MoonyJohn
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If only goodyear made their first gen mtr still, they made a 37 for a 15" rim

Other than the obvious size drawbacks, ive had no issues running mine
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