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Thread: 16 inch rims vs. 17 inch rims

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    USCG 16 inch rims vs. 17 inch rims

    I am getting new rims and tires for my 08 JK Unlimited. I am debating on 16 in and 17 in. I have heard that 16 in rims will go by the wayside eventually and I do not want to pay for rims that I eventually will not be able to buy the size tires I want. What is every one else's opinions. Also the safety and driving difference of 11.73 inch width tires compared to 12.13. My wife and I are trying to have a kid and I want to make sure that my Jeep is safe enough for the kid. Any help would be appreciated in this matter. I plan on buying the rims, tires and 2.5 inch Teraflex BB within the next month. Thanks again.

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    F it! It ain't my Jeep. Ricky Booby's Avatar
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    It comes with 17s from the factory, correct? The 16s MIGHT not fit over the brake calipers. Just something to think about.
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    This one came with 16x7 rims. Not wide enough for 11.50 or bigger.

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    I doubt 16" tires will go anywhere anytime soon.

    I would check the price difference between the 16" & 17" (if there is one)
    And the availability of the type of tires you want in each size.

    My XJ had 16" wheels on it when I bought it. I went to 15" wheels (stock size) becuase of the cost and availability of tires.


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    I was talking to MVC awhile back and they were saying that tires for a 16 are actually more expensive than a 17. I have 15" rims and when I went looking for tires there was certainly more tires I noticed for the 15 than any of the other sizes.
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    here's something i found in one of the catalogs some time ago... found it again online just now. something that should be taken into consideration. it's somewhat long winded...

    A recent trend… and a welcome one… is larger diameter 4x4 rims. You can now upgrade from 15 or 16 inch diameter rims to 17, 18 or 20 inch rims. The selection of tires to fit these wheels is growing rapidly.
    The particular advantage from such a tire/wheel combo comes mostly in the street area. A 37 inch tire on a 15 inch rim has a lot of tire profile (10-11 inches) between the contact patch and the rim. Even when aired up, that makes for a squirrelly tire because the tires tends to roll and flex when braking or cornering. Day to day, with a careful, clued-in driver, that may be livable… except in unexpected emergency situations. The larger rims reduce that profile while keeping the same overall tire diameter and the result is better and more predictable street handling. Many people think the profile of a 33 inch tire on a 15 inch rim, approximately 8-9 inches, is the maximum profile for a tire used day to day on the street. If you run a tire bigger than 35 inches in diameter, you are most in need of a 17-20 inch rim.
    The downsides are relatively minor and come on the trail side of things. With the reduced air volume of the lower profile tire, you may not be able to air down quite as much for the trail. Most Jeepers with dual-purpose street/trail machines find it an easy compromise. The profile of a 33 offers plenty of room for airing down to get the flex needed for hard ‘wheeling. Only the most hardcore Jeeper needs more, and the odds are his rig isn’t a daily driver.

    courtesy of 4 wheel drive hardware

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    Gunsup thanks for posting that, I remember reading that as well. Off road there are advantages to skinny, small diameter wheels holding large tires. Plenty of rubber to grab and give you traction in both tread and side wall. Generally speaking, a 15" rim is good up to about a 35' tire and there is already a discussion on here about 8" vs. 10" wide rims. But a 12.50" wide tire on a 7" rim will give you significant side wall bulge, some interesting on road handling issues and may cause the side wall to rub on suspension/steering components. Then there is an issue of brake/ABS/traction control clearance. I would not go less than 16" on a JK for this reason and the Rubicon and Sahara's come with 17" inch wheels and 32" tires to maintain good on street performance as well as off road ability and less impact on vehicle handling, mileage, accelleration, etc. Yes there are more options for 15" wheels, but I am also seeing more tires coming out made for 17" wheels. Unless you are talking about 44" or larger tires than 17" wheels would be the way to go and depending on what you want to do I would make sure they are at least 8" wide but no more than 10" wide. You also need to make sure that your wheel choie as the right back spacing or offset for your Jeep. One more note, a bead lock may be listed as 9" or 9.5" but it will perform like an 8" rim, the bead lock adds an inch or so to the width not the actual mounting surface of the wheel.

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    USAF Veteran DaveJKJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator699 View Post
    I am getting new rims and tires for my 08 JK Unlimited. I am debating on 16 in and 17 in. I have heard that 16 in rims will go by the wayside eventually and I do not want to pay for rims that I eventually will not be able to buy the size tires I want. What is every one else's opinions. Also the safety and driving difference of 11.73 inch width tires compared to 12.13. My wife and I are trying to have a kid and I want to make sure that my Jeep is safe enough for the kid. Any help would be appreciated in this matter. I plan on buying the rims, tires and 2.5 inch Teraflex BB within the next month. Thanks again.
    My Son's 07 JK Sahara came with 17" Moabs and 32" tires and it rides and handles fine as I have driven it many times. He has 2 kids and no problems. I wouldn't worry about 17" tires becoming extinct either.

    Just my opinion.

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    Last edited by DaveJKJ; 07-14-2009 at 14:43.
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    well i have to say my wife has 15x7 stock rims and i put on 33x12.50 tires. There is a lot of side bulge but i have not noticed any issues on handling. It handles better than stock in my opinion, and the wife's. They work great off-road and can air-down a great deal. It also made a trip from Northern Cal to Central Texas with no problems, and i saved a lot on tires by staying with 15's. Not saying 15's are the way to go just saying i don't see a need to spend more on tires when i have noticed no difference with my 15's.

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    Μολὼν λάβε Mr.RonGilbert's Avatar
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    put some 20s with spinners on the byotch!!!
    http://motors.shop.ebay.com/items/?_..._newu=1&_sop=1


    IMO - you can't go wrong with either. I ended up with 17s because I asked my buddy who owns a tire shop what he would put on it. He said 17... so 17s it is.


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