Need some advice on rim choice

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by morphed86k10, May 13, 2002.

  1. morphed86k10

    morphed86k10 1/2 ton status

    Jun 25, 2001
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    Reno Nevada
    Right now I've got some 16.5x8.25 rims on my truck, and they are not wide enough. I want some rims in the 10 inch wide range, but don't know weather to go with 15's, 16's or 16.5's. I'll outline my thoughts on each of these:

    15's :
    Pros -- have the largest selection of tire choices and the tires are cheaper.
    Cons -- Have to have steel wheels is a custom offset of 3.5 or less. I don't want to do massive grinding to the caliper. The tires available for 15 inch wheels are almost all 6 ply (load range C), and I'm not sure if thats enough for a heavy truck.

    Pros -- a larger wheel with a safety bead, don't have to grind calipers, tires available with a variety of load ranges, all the way to E.
    Cons -- limited tire selection and PRICEY tires for what are available.

    Pros- large selection of tire sizes, even 42 TSL's use the 9.75 width. And most of the tires are in the 10 ply range. No grinding of the calper needed, and plenty of space for mud and other crap to be easily washed out.
    Cons -- No safety bead so airing down will be limited to 20-25psi. Most tire prices are a bit more than the 15's.

    I wheel mostly on trails and sand, but the trails inlcude lots and lots of rocks. Not the fluffy boulder type of rocks, the small nasty volcanic rocks that like to destroy tires type of rocks, which is why I am concerned about the load range of the tires. The heavier load ranges have stronger sidewalls right? Another reason for considering the load range is because of the weight of the truck, and the fact that it occasially tows a trailer (under 5000 pounds though). RIght now I'm leaning towards the 16.5's because of tire choice (and the ability to go to 42s' without wanting to change the width of the wheel) and the heavy load rating. Generally I don't air down all that much for fear of shreding the sidewalls on rocks. Airing down for the sand isn't that big of concern right now, I'm doing pretty well as it is with the narrow wheels at 25 psi.

    My choice is mostly between the 15's and 16.5's, and the determining factor is load capabilty. If the 15's are strong enough I'll go with them, otherwise it'll be the 16.5's. Any opinions? I'm not real concerned with them sticking out too far, I'll put a flexible roll-type fender flare on if I have to.
  2. 79Beast

    79Beast 1/2 ton status

    Dec 9, 2001
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    I would reccommend 15's. I have 16.5's with 44" swampers. They are six ply load range C. I run them at 20 psi. My truck is around 6000lbs, more when loaded. One thing to remember is that it is the volume of air that supports the weight.
  3. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

    Sep 15, 2000
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    Carbondale Colorado
    The availability of beadlocks for 16.5 pretty well makes it an easy choice as far as the airing down is concerned. For a trail rig I haven't seen a big difference in the way tires of different weight ratings perform as far as handling the vehicle weight. "Softer" tires can be aired up a bit more if they're moving around too much, sometimes the stiffer tires don't flex a lot but that's not a huge concern for you. The heavier side wall will be a bit more durable so I'd take a good look at 16.5's. I know the beadlocks are a lot but if you decide to go with lower air pressure at least you could get the wheels to do it.

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