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Old 11-01-2005, 10:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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n00b with wheel Qs

Hi all,

I already said hi in the noob intro page, and I'm cutting and pasting the first few lines 'cuz I'm too lazy. Actually, I posted this pretty much verbatim on another forum too... and I'm cutting and pasting 'cuz I'm too lazy

As of a week ago, I'm the proud owner of a new-to-me '00 Wrangler. Woo-hoo!

I've been riding motorcycles off-road for a couple of years, but I've never gotten dirty in a cage. I got the jeep to keep warm during the winter, as well as haul stuff around, but I want to try 4x4 off-roading too.

The jeep is bone-stock as far as I can tell, except for a 3" Black Diamond lift kit that the PO installed. Personally I think he did it just to look kewl - he said he didn't offroad and the jeep was spotless.

I'm kinda worried about the wheels, though - my instinct tells me that the OEM ones might be just fine for the street but not really up to off-road duty. I tried googling for suggestions but I ended up with more questions than answers... So what's better? Aluminum, alloy or steel? Cast or forged? The list goes on, and I feel like I'm going in circles (no pun intended). Any suggestions and comments more than welcome

Also, are there any type of standards for aftermarket wheels? Somehow I'm not sure el-cheapo wheels from Taiwan are tested to the same rigorous standards as others... but is there any way to know for sure? I'm a strong believer in 'buy well, buy once', but it's not like I have an unlimited budget, either.

And, short of installing wheel-locks, are there any kinds of wheels that deal with lower pressure better?

Thanks - and sorry if these are the typical unanswerable questions like 'what oil? what air filter?' yadda yadda yadda.

Cheers and thanks,
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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get a set oif steel wheels, i did and have had to bend them back to shape alot, try doign that to an aluminum wheel, when you are off road you will hit rawks and bend/crack a rim but with steel and a 3# sluge you will be back to normal in 5 mins after denting the rim.

you can pickup a set of do-it yourself beadlocks that weld on the steel rims pretty cheap. do a search round here and youll see alot for beadlocks, youll also wanna start pushing money into those axels sooner or later and some nice tires
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When you mention 'wheel locks', are you referring to beadlocks? there's a significant cost delta between beadlocks and typical aftermarket wheels. A very good way to learn on this board is to search. Here's a thread from the Jeep board on beadlocks.

I would discourage the beadlock purchase until your whole rig is ready for something like that. For example, your current axles have 5 on 4.5" lug pattern. if you are typical to most of us, you quickly outgrow the axles because of their limited ability with larger tires. New axles mean different lug patterns, so the wheels you buy now become history. Same goes for suspension components, drivetrain, etc. It truly is a question of what you will evolve to and want for your wheeling. just by cheapies to get you started.

I think the first thing a newbie should focus on with their rig is recovery equipment. Shackles, D-rings, farm jack, winch, line, tree saver, mess clean up (oil spill, etc.) first aid, cold/wet weather gear, you get it.

Good luck
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Old 11-02-2005, 02:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Um... duh... I musta been a bit out of it when I posted. Yeah, I meant beadlocks.

So cheap steelies should be fine, then... right? I'm guessing that, even if I mess 'em up to the point where I can't pound 'em out with a sledge, I'll only be out like $50?

Hadn't thought of the axle upgrades. I'm not quite ready for the hardcore stuff - gotta learn to crawl before you learn to walk.

And thanks for the advice re: recovery equipment. Nice list!
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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well as you stated your not hitting hardcore right now, so a set of stock steel wheels from a truck would be fine, you wont even need beadlocks right away. half my buddies still run stock steel wheels on their trucks and they are hardcore, ive seen a buddie roll his 79 bronco 8 times and the steel wheels didnt get any damage, but as stated above, search around this forum and youll learn alot. i have




good luck
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Old 11-04-2005, 12:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing to think about is wheel and tire size and tire clearance. If the tires/wheels currently on the jeep are working and you plan on sticking with the same size I wouldnt bother upgrading. However if your planning on going up in tire size you want something that fits right, but if you think you may go up in tire size again anytime soon no point in spending big bucks on wheels right now. The factory alluminum wheels are not the strongest but like you have mentioned your not doing anything hardcore so I wouldnt be to worried.
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