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Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16" or 16.5"

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BurbinOR, Apr 19, 2001.

  1. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Well, getting set to make the 1 ton move, have the axles almost ready to go and need to make a decision on wheels. I have learned (from this encyclopedic group of CK5 addicts [​IMG] that 16.5 inch have a "flaw" in regards to "airing down" and how the tire can lose their bead.

    Question 1 - you guys running 16.5 inchers, what can you comment on the reality of unseating the bead?
    Question 2 - what pressure have you had your 16.5 inchers down to successfully?

    I am not a rock crawler, building the truck mainly for sand and some trail duty.

    Some might say (as I did) "go 16" wheels". I WANT TO! However, my "dream setup" for tires would be 35 or 36x14.5x16, and NO ONE makes that combo. I can find 33x14.5x16, and plenty of 14.5 inch wide tires in 16.5 rim size, so WTF? So unless I missed something looking at every darn tire company I could find on the internet and look at their sizes, there is no 35 or 36" tire with that width in a radial. Radial is important to me, by the way, and another requirement is an aggressive tread..........and not Dick Cepek Fun Country tires for $280 each !!!

    Might have to go with the TSL radials in 36x12.5x16..........not a bad compromise, but you know how it is when you WANT something...........and I want 14.5" width. If I can.............

    Give me your opinions please.................thanks.

    <font color=orange>'79 - 406 TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>See it at---&gt;<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com>http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  2. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    <font color=blue>If you cant find the size you want for 16s, break out the 8" Makita and mount up some 15s! [​IMG] If I had to choose between 16 or 16.5", I would go with 16s because for sand you should air down. </font color=blue>

    [​IMG]
     
  3. xtreme_wlr

    xtreme_wlr 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Go 15" then and you can have your pick of tires.

    '78 Chevy 1 ton Stepside RockCrawler
    468 BB, SM465, NP205
    D60 front, GM 14Bolt rear w/ Detroit
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://65.11.18.114>http://65.11.18.114</A>
     
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Mostly I agree, 16s are better in every way except tire selection. For rocks, it is no question (although I like that tire inner tube/liner thing that titanic(?) runs) that 16.5s cause problems due to the frequent pressures on the sidewall from rocks. I also know that you need to air-down for sand but, does sand really unseat tires that bad? I wouldn't think so but maybe I'm wrong since I have no sand experience...

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  5. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    I'm glad you asked - GO WITH THE 16"

    I aired my 37x12.5's down to 8 PSI on lower Helldorodo and they rocked. But enough about me, I talked to Interco (Super Swamper) and they plan on making a 38x15 SSR and a 38.5x14.5 SX in the 16" size by this November, (one of these will be my next tire) can you say Interco rules!! In the mean time run the 36" TSL or 37" SSR either one will tide you over.

    I can run lightweight alum wheels with no grinding anywhere and air down to what every I want, more and more 16" size tires are coming. [​IMG]

    Steve
    [​IMG]
    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     
  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Of course I should have added (as others have) that 15 gives you the best selection and manners plus more sidewall to flex (or puncture depending on your viewpoint). However, depending on your wheel/axle selection this may not be an option even with grinding...

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  7. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Then the question becomes, can you fit a 16" rim over a FF14 axle? I too am looking for rims and tires in the 16.5" size (only because I have been told that is all I can use). But the tires are extremely expensive, and no one stocks them. I have also heard that 16.5" tires are going away in the next few years from a few manufactures I have called while looking for my solution.

    So can I fit 16" rims over the massive drums I have on the FF14? Also, what work has to be done to make 15" rims fit on that rear? FYI my front axle is a 10 bolt, converted to 8 lug to match the rear...

    <font color=red> Check out my rig @ </font color=red>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://24.10.209.54/bigolk5.htm>http://24.10.209.54/bigolk5.htm</A> [​IMG]
    <font color=red> I Love My Blazer! </font color=red>
     
  8. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    The rear is NOT the problem. You can fit a 15" rim on a 14BFF.
    The problem is the front axle. You need to get a rim with backspacing about 4 1/4" or so plus a little gridning to fit over a D60 (or so I am told.) I had to grind to fit 15's on an 8-lug 10-bolt, would be same as 8-lug D44.
    WHile I'm on the subject, just go ahead and throw those old nasty drums away and put on TSM's disc brake kit. They will fit a 15" rim fine also, weigh about 80# less.
    -- Mike
     
  9. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    BlazzinOR

    I'll add this twist to your dilemma. What color wheel do you want & what load rating are you after? Will you be towing or just using the Blazer for a playtoy?

    The reason for this is that you can easily get Eaton or Bart Wheels in 15" 8-lugs with a 3" or less backspacing to clear the D 60 calipers with little or no grinding. The problem is that if you don't want chrome, black powdercoated is the only color available from Eaton (I was told). You only need to go to these more expensive wheels if you need load rating. They are both in the 2500-2800 lb load rating The prohibitive part of these is the cost.

    Now if you only plan to play in your Blazer, then you could probably get away with American Racing, US Wheel, or FWPW's Rock Crawler wheels; all available in 8 lug with custom backspacing but with a load rating of only 1500lbs.

    Now for me, I FINALLY(whew!) settled on 16" wheels because for 1: they clear the Calipers with no grinding & 2: they come with a 3000-3300 lb load rating/wheel & towing will be one of my Blazer's duties.

    I feel your pain on the lack of 16" tire sizes but like Steve said, they're coming!!

    As for 16.5's, I'd say no for both the bead reason & I'd guess they'll be fading out as time goes on like someone else mentioned.

    Hope this helps
    Brian
    89KBlazer
     
  10. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    I can comment on the "reality of unseating the bead". I've lost one tire completely off the rim at 18, yes that is eighteen, PSI. 12-inches of mud and a couple of small rocks pushed the tire off the bead and then I literally drove out of the tire. [​IMG] Truck looks kinda funny with just the rim bolted to the axle and the tire is laying off in the woods. [​IMG]

    Got a spare mounted then made it about 100 feet before a rear tire deflated. The wheels were 16.5x9.75, the tires were 35x12.50x16.5 BFG Mud-Terrain's. BFG had one of their desert race support trucks at this event, so I talked with them to find out what the story was. They informed me about the lack of a safety bead on 16.5-inch wheels and recomended that I keep the pressure up to at least 26 PSI to keep those tires seated. Needless to say, rockcrawling at 26 PSI is not a whole lot of fun. [​IMG]

    Go with the 16's and live with the limited tire availability or go with 15's. 16.5's work best when you don't need to air down to play.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  11. LittlePig

    LittlePig 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Brian, where are you looking for Eaton wheels? The painted wheels at National tire and wheel come in white or black, for $63 per wheel in the latest 4wheel and Fourwheeler. Wheel Vintiques (Bart) are roughly the same price. Are you perhaps thinking of the Alcoa forged aluminum wheels, which are rated superheavy, and cost more than they should?

    Email: xiaozhu@my-deja.com
    ICQ: 84108805
     
  12. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    So let me clarify... I am about to purchase the tires for my Blazer... Everyone is saying not to use 16.5" rim size. WHICH IS GREAT BY ME... BUT can the 16" Eatons clear both my 14FF and 8-lug 10 bolt axles (and I am willing to grind if I HAVE to)??? I too really wanted to find a 14.5" wide tire... But I don't think that will happen in 16" rim size. So then I go to the 15" rim... Will that clear? If that will clear the axles I have, I would love to use 15" rims so I can get the tires I really want. 36x14.5x??

    Any specific replys from people who might know if this combo will clear over the axles, and in the wheel wells - would be EXTREMELY helpful... Tire shops around me have probably never seen a tire that size in their life... I just have a bunch of wanna be Lexus and Navigators and the like here [​IMG]!!!!!

    Thanks again guys!!!

    <font color=red> Check out my rig @ </font color=red>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://24.10.209.54/bigolk5.htm>http://24.10.209.54/bigolk5.htm</A> [​IMG]
    <font color=red> I Love My Blazer! </font color=red>
     
  13. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Littlepig

    15x10 Eatons are $68.95 in Black on National's website. That's for the standard backspacing. Add $15/wheel for custom backspacing and your up to $84/wheel black or $109 for a chrome version. All I'm saying is that's getting awfully close to the price of a cast Alumimun 16" wheel with alot more load capacity. Then, you've still got some grinding to do but nothing major. I talked to National's store here in Canada (National 4WD) and they wanted $130 each (Cdn $)for the black 15x10's with stock backspacing!

    BTW, I've also got the added expense of multiplying that price by 1.58 to convert to Canadian dollars!![​IMG]

    Forged Alcoas are in a league of their own at over $200 each US $ so no, I'm not confusing them.

    Brian
    89KBlazer
     
  14. JoeAngelicchio

    JoeAngelicchio 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    I called National and the Eatons in 8 bolt come with a 3.5" backspace. Any other backspace is extra. Does anyone have 15" steel rims with 3.5 backspace on a Dana60 and how much grinding is needed? Sorry if this is a repeat of a past post.....

    <font color=green>Joe Angelicchio
    86 Jimmy 4+3, 35-&gt;39.5 tires,4spd
    </font color=green>
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  15. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Joe

    Speaking from what I've read & was told by manufacturers only; there will be a small amount of grinding required for a 3.5" backspacing-nothing excessive. With a 3" backspacing, it's almost nil.

    Brian
    89KBlazer
     
  16. JoeAngelicchio

    JoeAngelicchio 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    For a Dana60?

    <font color=green>Joe Angelicchio
    86 Jimmy 4+3, 35-&gt;39.5 tires,4spd
    </font color=green>
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  17. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Yup! The Dana 60. That's if it's a single piston GM Caliper. From some people I've talked to, they're even running the stock 3.75" & 4.125" backspacing on D44 calipers with some grinding.

    Brian
    89KBlazer
     
  18. JoeAngelicchio

    JoeAngelicchio 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    You know about the Ford calipers being dual piston, I saw the Super-Duty's at the dealer and their running 16" rims. Are the calipers just bigger in overall size or just longer. The pads look at least double the length of the GM's. I'd like to have these calipers if they can be retrofitted and still run a 15".
    Anyone know if 15's will fit over a Ford caliper?

    <font color=green>Joe Angelicchio
    86 Jimmy 4+3, 35-&gt;39.5 tires,4spd
    </font color=green>
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    Krazie dude, 16" rims will clear your 8 lug 10 bolt no problems, I'm running 15" rims over my 8 bolt Dana 44

    As far as the rims fiting over the drums on the 14 bolt? My 15's fit with a ton of room. Hell even if they touched, the drum turns with the wheel...[​IMG] really a non-issue on the rear.

    Go with 16's if you don't wanna grind the calipers. Go with 8 bolt 15" rims if you don't mind grinding a bit and want a better selction in wheels.

    Frank: I ran my old 35" Generals (16.5's BTW) down to 15 psi regularly and I have never had one come off the rim. However I ran those tires on a 6.75" wide rim which helps keep them on a little better. As for tire wear, these tires have 30,000 miles on them and over 40% left and they're worn evenly.
    I'd still go with 16's or grind some and go with 15's...Sand is best with very little air in the tires. I ran my Swampers at 7-8psi at Sand Lake and never had a problem (15's of course)

    Rene

    [​IMG]<A target="_blank" HREF=http://jules.coloradok5.com>http://jules.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  20. titanic

    titanic 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Wheel dilemma.........want your opinions on 16\" or 16.5\"

    After market 16.5 wheels suck. They don't have a safety bead so airing down is a no-no. That's why I went with TireLoc beadlocks. I would have gone with 15" and done the grinding but TireLoc's have a few advantages over regular beadlocks. Street legal, holds inside as well as outside beads,tires can still be balanced, and finally and most imporant since I'm a rock crawler, they still work even if you slide sideways and bend the wheel severly. Now, STOCK 16.5 wheels from mid-70's Do have a nice safety bead and are around 7" wide. I have a set of 6 and use one for my spare and I run 44's. I have had to run this spare and although a 44 on a 7" wide wheel looks skinny,I could air down to 5-6psi without a problem. These wheels came on 3/4 ton and 1-ton trucks.
     

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