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Thread: Lighter Wheels vs. MPG

  1. #1
    millertime threejeeps's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Lighter Wheels vs. MPG

    How much gas mileage improvement would it net me, ballpark figure, if I switched to some wheels that are half the weight of my current ones (34lbs)? Gas in south GA is over $3.50 a gallon, looking to save money where I can, and upgrade at the same time. Currently getting 10-11mpg.

    I know it depends on a lot of different factors, just looking for a ballpark figure. If anyone knows a good way of figuring this out, let me know. Thanks!

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    the cost over return on investment wouldnt be worth it.

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    millertime threejeeps's Avatar
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    Yeah was just reading about that. I read that wind resistance will affect gas mileage over 60mph a lot more than rotational inertia. I was just looking into it because I want to switch out my 15x10's for some 15x8's so the tire is sticking out the side less. Also, since I've been looking into a new set of wheels anyway, I figured I might as well get some that can save me a couple bucks over time.

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    Junior Member armyretiree's Avatar
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    I think you will come out ahead in the long run regardless of mpg, just on the savings of parts/wear and tear on suspension and drivetrain.

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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91YEEPER View Post
    the cost over return on investment wouldnt be worth it.
    Yeep, has it RIGHT, don't waste your time and money. Takes a long time to recover.

    There there is th issue of a 17 lb vs 34 lb wheel. Not sure what size meats you are running but my guess it they are some large off road tires. So lets cut the weight (aka strength) in half and run the same tires on a far weaker wheel and still bang the trails ans run down the highways at 60 mph spinning the same tire mass. You smellin this coffee yet?

    I can tell you of a LOT of ways to get better mpg and unless you want to move to a smaller tire along with a lighter wheel I would pursue other avenues of approach to mpg.

    Bottom line is I would be concerned with wheel destruction on or off the trail.

    Generally speaking you are going to want at least 2800 lb rated wheel or more depending upon tire size. And yes it will result in more wear and tear on your suspension etc...but that goes with the game.
    Don

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    millertime threejeeps's Avatar
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    The rims I'm looking at are aluminum alloy. Aren't there beadlocks out there made of the same material? If so, how big is the strength difference actually?

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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    All wheels have a rating in lbs. Generally speaking weight = strength. A 17 lb wheel is a VERY light wheel, but then in most cases it only needs to support about a 1000 lbs or so.
    My Walker Evans weighed about 32 lbs each +/- then there were the bolts that held the bead on, so around 34 lbs is my guess and it was rated at 32 or 3400 lbs. That is a stout wheel, made for all out desert racing. Sure its heavy and I was runniing 37 MTR/KM2's for around 125 lbs of rotating mass and yes it consumed mpg.

    Bottom line is that while you could run a 17 lb wheel and at the same time have it rated at or beyond 3400 lbs that wheel will cost some serious bucks and be made out of some serious metallurgy.

    As for mpg, hey you are driving a Jeep

    A jeep has the aerodynamics of a barn door. A flat vertical surface is 1.0 CoD, Corvette Z06 is about .30/.31 Unless your Jeep is sheathed in a corvette skin you are closer to 1.0 than .30.

    Subtract for a big winch hanging on the front end, big tires, big non OEM bumpers, soft top, lift, trans skid etc etc. My guess: Jeep is worse than a barn door if you have all that stuff and more.

    You can drive a bit slower, you can't do much in town but on the highway 60=65 will put $ in your pocket and still get you there. Drop to 55 but do leave a lot sooner or the make up time will eat you mpg so LEAVE earlier.

    Want some extra mpg then ALWAYS use a clean air filter. I buy the cheapest ones Wal Mart sells rather than the high dollar K&N etc. I toss the low bucks at every oil change.

    Now lets get some colder air in that big air compressor (engine). I will post later on some tips on that, till then get a good clean air filter.
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

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    millertime threejeeps's Avatar
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    @SavageSun4x4

    Thanks for the information, a lot of facts I didn't know/consider when approaching this.

    I've done the cat-back, intake, and computer programming so far. Also regeared for the larger tires. Still waiting to get back to the states to see if the new intake saves me at all.

    I'm not looking to make my Jeep a gas sipper, by any means. I know mileage will be at best dismal with all the extra weight I have added elsewhere. Just trying to save money where I can b/c my friend has wheels he was considering trading me for a skidplate I have hanging around in the garage, and I just wanted to see if this barter can benefit me in more ways than just having a new (to me) set of wheels.

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    i think simply letting your motor work more efficiently and breath easier will pay off better. a simple exhaust, intake, and some weight loss in the head will help leaps and bounds over 100 lbs worth of metal in your wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SavageSun4x4 View Post
    All wheels have a rating in lbs. Generally speaking weight = strength. A 17 lb wheel is a VERY light wheel, but then in most cases it only needs to support about a 1000 lbs or so.
    My Walker Evans weighed about 32 lbs each +/- then there were the bolts that held the bead on, so around 34 lbs is my guess and it was rated at 32 or 3400 lbs. That is a stout wheel, made for all out desert racing. Sure its heavy and I was runniing 37 MTR/KM2's for around 125 lbs of rotating mass and yes it consumed mpg.

    Bottom line is that while you could run a 17 lb wheel and at the same time have it rated at or beyond 3400 lbs that wheel will cost some serious bucks and be made out of some serious metallurgy.

    As for mpg, hey you are driving a Jeep

    A jeep has the aerodynamics of a barn door. A flat vertical surface is 1.0 CoD, Corvette Z06 is about .30/.31 Unless your Jeep is sheathed in a corvette skin you are closer to 1.0 than .30.

    Subtract for a big winch hanging on the front end, big tires, big non OEM bumpers, soft top, lift, trans skid etc etc. My guess: Jeep is worse than a barn door if you have all that stuff and more.

    You can drive a bit slower, you can't do much in town but on the highway 60=65 will put $ in your pocket and still get you there. Drop to 55 but do leave a lot sooner or the make up time will eat you mpg so LEAVE earlier.

    Want some extra mpg then ALWAYS use a clean air filter. I buy the cheapest ones Wal Mart sells rather than the high dollar K&N etc. I toss the low bucks at every oil change.

    Now lets get some colder air in that big air compressor (engine). I will post later on some tips on that, till then get a good clean air filter.

    my raceline monster beadlocks were like 43lbs piece with the steel ring. throw a 42" swamper on it and youre looking at a 300lb wheel/rim combo.

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