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15" vs. 16" wheels

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Nitrodrip350, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Well I tried to search this subject but could really only find info on why not to use 16.5 inch wheels due to not having a safety bead on them. I was wondering what are the benefits of running 16's? I know that there would be no grinding on a Dana 60 front but what else? What is better a lot of sidewall flex or more metal on the sides of the tires? It looks like a lot more manufactures are adding more and more 16's in their lists so the demand is getting better. The main reason that I ask this is THEY COST MORE! Is it really worth it to pay more for these wheels? And lastly if I do go 15's will the 2" backspacing hurt anything on narrower trails?

    Thanks Shane /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    PS Will be running a tire 39.5 or larger tire with a 4-6 lift, zero rates, and mad fender cutting /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  2. MilpitasK5

    MilpitasK5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    why not to use 16.5 inch wheels due to not having a safety bead on them

    [/ QUOTE ] Most people like to air down their tires when 4 wheeling. Provides better tracking and what not. With a 16.5 inch wheel, you're prone to blowing your tire off the rim if you air down to 15psi or less. (this is what I've learned from this site as I am a rookie) /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I was wondering what are the benefits of running 16's?

    [/ QUOTE ] I guess you might be able to run a lower PSI with 16s... (but anyone else, please add or correct me if I'm wrong)
     
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    <font color="green"> 16s are the same as a 15 as far as construction and safety lips, but the tire selection is dismal at best. I don't even think that there are any tires bigger than 38" made for 16s right now.

    The 2" backspacing puts a bit more stress on the axles, but you should be OK if you are running a 60 in the front. If you're running a 10 bolt or a 44 then you should reconsider the tire size anyways. Also with 40s on rims with 2" of BS and only 4-6 inches of lift you're going to have serious rubbing issues since the tires "swing" alot more on the outside edge, so they will contact the firewall pretty heavily even with major trimming. </font color>
     
  4. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    16" rims have a crappy selection of tires, and they prolly weigh a shade more than 15" rimes. Other than that, not much of a performace difference. with all the 37" tires coming out in 17" rim sizes, Id prolly be more tempted to get 17s than 16s. Thats the way the trend seems to be going this week. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    j
     
  5. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Let's make it cut and dry...

    If you plan to go offroad and actually wheel your rig, do not go with 16.5s unless they are beadlocked (which will not pass most DMV inspections - regardless of what the vendor will tell you). Best alternative for this setup is a modified Hummer beadlock from USA 6x6. If you don't plan to go offroad but want a mall runner, then 16.5s should do you fine.

    Biggest problem with 16s, as stated earlier, is limited tall tire selection. You will be hard pressed to find a tire bigger than 38" in a 16" rim. If you don't plan to go taller than that, then a 16" rim will be your best choice for clearance and tire fit.

    If you want a tall tire and go offroad without beadlicks, then 15" is your best choice. Mine have 2-3/4" BS and I did not have to do any grinding on my calipers to make them fit. I run around 5" total suspension lift and 3" BL. I will also be moving the front axle forward 1.5" and trimming the fender back to the firewall/tub below the inner fender. This all goes on this Saturday, so I can't tell you if I will rub or not.

    But, plain and simple, those are really your choices as of now.
     
  6. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    16" wheels (or 20") are necessary to partake in Michelin's military tire offerings. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Michelin XL
    Michelin XML
     
  7. oatsk5

    oatsk5 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    the 17's is purelly up to opinion i wont runn them for my own reason and the few friends i now that have them dont like them off road . I just got my eight lug axles and ive been watching the tires avalable sp? and im going to run 16s with 315 75 16 bfg muds the prices ive checked betweenthe 15 1n 16 really isnt a huge diff .thats my opinion so do you want but do the price checking first. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  8. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    If you plan to go offroad and actually wheel your rig, do not go with 16.5s unless they are beadlocked (which will not pass most DMV inspections - regardless of what the vendor will tell you). Best alternative for this setup is a modified Hummer beadlock from USA 6x6. If you don't plan to go offroad but want a mall runner, then 16.5s should do you fine.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Things are NEVER cut-and-dry....or maybe it's because I enjoy doing certain things "the hard way"!!! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Here's a street-legal, beadlocked 16.5" setup that is as comfortable on the trails as it is at the "mall":

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I'm not saying it's a solution for everyone (because it's going to add around $200 per wheel for the beadlock system) but there are NO bolts to break, no legality issues....and it gives you a couple of nice features that standard beadlocks DON'T (A run-flat system in each tire, and less time airing up/down)

    Anyway.....that's some more food for thought.
     
  9. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Of course, someone has to try and cloud the subject, but is this what you thought I was referring to? No. /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif I was referring to beadlocks as any common person knows beadlocks: the bead of the tire "locked" into position with a clamping mechanism. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif I am not an expert and am not familar with this, but what you have pictured appears to me to basically be a tube and liner which may have the effect of keeping a bead from breaking, but I guess I don't see (a) how that "locks" a bead or would truly be considered a "beadlock" wheel. But maybe it is simply my misunderstanding of what is pictured. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    From the legality standpoint, beadlocks are technically legal in most of the 50 states. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif However, you try convincing a DMV inspector of that or a trooper on the side of the road. You usually can't. (key word being usually) /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    But it is still beadlocked on a 16.5 (through whatever means) which may or may not be legal and adds significantly to cost, or a 16" non-beadlocked with limited tire sizes, or a 15" with some mods (sometimes) to fit with greatest variety and availability of tire sizes and aftermarket offerings. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    See, while there may be multiple ways to slice it, it is still cut and dry. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. Mudstud

    Mudstud 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    tx85gmcguy
    You are running 15" wheels with 2 3/4" BS and no caliper grinding. Is this on a 6 lug or 8 lug front/rear end?

    15" wheels fit fine on a 14 bolt right?
     
  11. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    I do not have everything assembled yet, but I have done all the test fits. I am running D60 from, 14BFF rear with discs. My wheels are 8-lug 15x10 steel wheels with 2-3/4" back spacing. I did not have to grind for everything to fit.
     
  12. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    So technically a 15 and 16 inch are about same, I may have worded it wrong but I won't be running a 16.5. I will be running around 40-42 inch tire after she's all set-up with a min. of lift as possible, Dana front (if I can ever find one at a good price /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif) and 14 locked rear. So the less the backspacing the more the stress on the axel, this is the only draw back to less BS? With a 2 - 2 3/4 backspacing will I be able to stuff the tires in the fenderwell? The front inners fenders will be coming out because ... well they have almost rusted out /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif so that isn't a problem.

    Thanks - Shane /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  13. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Do they even make 16s that tall? I didn't think so... Anyway, you can pretty much forget about stuffing a 40-42" tire into the fender regardless of back spacing. If it's possible, I fail to see how. My 42s have just over 4" of b.s. on an 8" rim and there is no way they would have cleared. You can't get any further inboard than that, I'm already polishing the steering box among other things. As for the stress on components, it would be an issue for lesser axles, but the D60/C14 will never know the difference IMO. On width, it depends where you go. 4-6" wider (depending on wheel width and tire) could well shut you out of some trails/obstacles. One of my wheeling buddies out here runs a setup similar to mine (one ton and same tires), except with less offset and wider wheels he is about 6" wider. On the trails around here, it seems to usually be a benefit for him in that it offers more stability. But, on trails with "gates" and trees too close, the story would be different...
     
  14. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Thanks! That's more info that I've been hunting for. I see that you are only running a 4 inch lift, did you have to move the axle out farther? I have really cut a lot of the fenders out .... again due to rust! So hopefully that part of this puzzle is clear. I really do want some flex to go with the good clearance that I will have with the 40"-42" but haven't really seen many trucks in action this big. Should I just work on getting them to fit first then the flex /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif I really don't like going back after I have done something once. Another note if you happen to have any pics of your "K30 Truggy" I would love to see them, also from anyone else running big tires smaller lift 4"-6" even better if you have some flex secrets .... /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
    And thanks again for all the help from everybody /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Shane - /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    There are a fair number of pics of it scattered on the net. Here are a selection...
    Action Shots:
    http://www.rockmodified.com/events/blazerbash/bash.htm
    http://community.webshots.com/album/48895663tnCRxE
    http://community.webshots.com/album/48958453nBuejm
    http://community.webshots.com/album/48640395ReqTUJ
    http://community.webshots.com/album/48864442MrFSMd
    Construction:
    http://www.members.cox.net/russhuffman/shorty/shorty.html
    http://www.members.cox.net/russhuffman/cage/cage.html
    http://www.members.cox.net/russhuffman/testrun/testrun.html
    I did move my axle forward 2", and I modified the "point" of the fire wall, including removal of the inner fender nut, pounding the pinch weld flat, and beating the "point" back about 2" or so. I think most of the info you want is on the constuction pages.
     
  16. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Dang you don't even have fenders!!! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Maybe I need to rethink the 40-42's! I really don't mind doing the work but I don't have any fab. background ... (I guess this may be a good point to start learning!) Did you or anybody you know run some while keeping the lines of the Blazer ??

    Shane - /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  17. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: 15\" vs. 16\" wheels

    Sure, Pete Corsmidt (pcorsmidt) here runs 39.5 (or did he go up to 42s?) on 3" lift, and there are others. I recall one guy did a great deal of work to cut and splice the fenders so they kept the lip all the way around. Others cut the fender straight from the top of the wheel arch out the front and move the axle forward, I personally like the look of that. The back is the main problem, due to the wheel wells. Main reasons I don't have fenders is:
    1) I don't care about looks (should be obvious) and that was just the easiest way to do it.
    2) The fenders I have are literally brand new GM sheet metal in perfect shape. Didn't want to cut OR bash them so, I took them off and made a bar support to hold the core support.
    3) I wanted to reclaim the 3" or so per side in width. The normal body lines stand up about that much over the cowl (the widest part of my truck). So, it effectively narrowed my truck. Others go to a great deal more work by cutting the center and splicing it back together to get a narrower truck.

    Once I get the mechanical details worked out the way I want, I’ll probably scrounge up a set of junk fenders, hull them out (just need the outer sheet metal), cut them straight out the front like I mentioned earlier, and graft them on just for looks. That way, I won’t give up the width, but it will still have the GM lines. I’ve still got the bed sides that came with my truck so I may well do the back too. Right now though, it’s still changing too much, and I’ve got more changes in my head when I get the $$$, so it’s not worth it to put effort into looks just to throw it away and redo it later…
     

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