Wheels and Tires - 17" vs 18" wheels

mbar1156

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I have a a 19 Sahara non lifted so I have 18" rims. Looking to upgrade my wheels and tires. I'd like to put 35's on. Should I consider switching to a 17" rim? What are the pros and cons of switching to a 17" rim or staying with an 18"?
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The only limitation that comes to mind is the ability to upgrade to certain tires/tire sizes in the future. I immediately upgraded to 18" wheels and 37's, then eventually decided to go the 40" route. Going with 18's was costly, as Nitto doesn't make a 40" tire that fits an 18" wheel. I had to sell my wheels for a massive discount in order to buy 17's. Think about your long-term build plan, then check to see if tires are available in the wheel size you're wanting to run. Good luck with your decision!
 

aldo98229

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I just went through this myself.

My plan was to get a 2” lift, keep the OE Sahara 18” wheels, and get 285/75R18 tires —which are 35x11 inches. I really like the Sahara wheels, and prefer the factory narrow tire look .

But plans change:
  1. I got the Mopar 2” lift and ended getting 4 inches of lift in front, and 3 inches of lift in rear. That was a lot of empty space I needed to fill under the fenders
  2. My preferred tires are BFG KO2 and General Grabber ATX. Unfortunately, they are not available in 275/75R18. The only tires in this size I’d consider are DuraTrac and Falken Wildpeak AT3W, but they cost more than a proper 35x12.5 KO2 or ATX
  3. The 275/75R18 tires are better on the road: the narrower contact patch retains more of the factory ride and handling. The wider 35x12.5 are better on the trail; fill up the space better, but tend to ride harsher
I ended going with a traditional 35x12.5 on 17” wheels, mostly because I could get the brand of tire I wanted. I got a set of General Grabber ATX tires and mounted them on Quadratec CJ Retro alloy wheels. I am happy with results.

Still, part of me wishes it’d have been nice to keep the Sahara wheels and that narrower tire look. But can’t have it all.

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Glamisfan

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Here’s someome else’s post that I copied and saved:

A 17" wheel with a 37" tire is going to weigh less, cost less, and perform better off road, and considering it's a JEEP...



If you look up (for example) Black Rhino Armory wheels with Ridge Grappler tires, using prices and weights from DiscountTire. Here's what it comes to for 5 wheels:



17"X9.5" w/37"

590lbs $2,890



18"X9.5" w/37"

610lbs $3,550



20"X9.5" w/37"

635lbs $3,745



So, going from a 17" to a 20", in this case (not cherry picked, just grabbed a random combo), will cost you roughly 30% more, add 45lbs, and reduce off road performance. If it's about image and look, know that most others in Jeep cringe seeing 20", knowing you spent more, added weight, and reduced off road performance. As far as on road performance, it will corner faster, but be a harsher ride, so whether it's better or not on road would be a personal preference.
 
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mbar1156

mbar1156

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I just went through this myself.

My plan was to get a 2” lift, keep the OE Sahara 18” wheels, and get 285/75R18 tires —which are 35x11 inches. I really like the Sahara wheels, and prefer the factory narrow tire look .

But plans change:
  1. I got the Mopar 2” lift and ended getting 4 inches of lift in front, and 3 inches of lift in rear. That was a lot of empty space I needed to fill under the fenders
  2. My preferred tires are BFG KO2 and General Grabber ATX. Unfortunately, they are not available in 275/75R18. The only tires in this size I’d consider are DuraTrac and Falken Wildpeak AT3W, but they cost more than a proper 35x12.5 KO2 or ATX
  3. The 275/75R18 tires are better on the road: the narrower contact patch retains more of the factory ride and handling. The wider 35x12.5 are better on the trail; fill up the space better, but tend to ride harsher
I ended going with a traditional 35x12.5 on 17” wheels, mostly because I could get the brand of tire I wanted. I got a set of General Grabber ATX tires and mounted them on Quadratec CJ Retro alloy wheels. I am happy with results.

Still, part of me wishes it’d have been nice to keep the Sahara wheels and that narrower tire look. But can’t have it all.

1609508907559.png

1609509002642.jpeg

1609509058107.jpeg
How did you end up with so much lift with just a 2" one?
 

aldo98229

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How did you end up with so much lift with just a 2" one?
The Mopar lift is notorious for getting you more than 2 inches of lift.

I think most people average 3 inches, depending on bumpers, winch, etc.
 

Headbarcode

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How did you end up with so much lift with just a 2" one?
Lift kits are generally designed off of the Rubicon, but will give a bit more than the advertised height, because its expected to be loaded up with extra weight in parts and accessories. The Sahara and Sport models are lower to begin with, so they will see a larger jump in height from the same lift.
 

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@mbar1156
Matt, really depends on your budget and your long term endgame (if there is such a thing when owning a Jeep, lol )

If you like the stock Sahara 18s you could always keep them and get larger tires, the extra cost for 18s wouldn't be too much vs. a whole new set of wheels. Keep in mind the wider 35s might be too wide to be mounted on the 7.5" width. Many do it but you could run into issues if you need to make a tire warranty claim if that particular tire is only recommended for a 8.5 to 10" wheel as an example.

If you are budgeting for a whole new set of wheels/tires then by all means go w/ 17s. Really all pros & no cons going this route unless you have a "must-have" wheel that only comes in an 18.
Also going to a new wheel you can select the offset/backspacing that will allow full suspension flex without any rubbing/clearance issues. If you keep your Stock 18s w/a taller/wider tire you would "probably" want wheel spacers to bring them out to keep from contact issues at flex.

For a budget build that still gets nice results a Rubcion takeoff suspension from the heaviest 4dr Rubicons will get you more lift to run the 35s, uses all OEM parts and firms up the ride a bit for better off road running. You should also get the slightly longer Mopar lift LCAs, these are also a budget part at only $80 to keep your Caster in the 6 degree range.

You should be able to get the Rubi parts & LCAs for $200 to $250 total and it's a pretty easy DIY project. Here's my DIY thread on the Rubi swap & LCAs.
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/rubicon-suspension-on-2-door-sport.40700/
 
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mbar1156

mbar1156

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@mbar1156
Matt, really depends on your budget and your long term endgame (if there is such a thing when owning a Jeep, lol )

If you like the stock Sahara 18s you could always keep them and get larger tires, the extra cost for 18s wouldn't be too much vs. a whole new set of wheels. Keep in mind the wider 35s might be too wide to be mounted on the 7.5" width. Many do it but you could run into issues if you need to make a tire warranty claim if that particular tire is only recommended for a 8.5 to 10" wheel as an example.

If you are budgeting for a whole new set of wheels/tires then by all means go w/ 17s. Really all pros & no cons going this route unless you have a "must-have" wheel that only comes in an 18.
Also going to a new wheel you can select the offset/backspacing that will allow full suspension flex without any rubbing/clearance issues. If you keep your Stock 18s w/a taller/wider tire you would "probably" want wheel spacers to bring them out to keep from contact issues at flex.

For a budget build that still gets nice results a Rubcion takeoff suspension from the heaviest 4dr Rubicons will get you more lift to run the 35s, uses all OEM parts and firms up the ride a bit for better off road running. You should also get the slightly longer Mopar lift LCAs, these are also a budget part at only $80 to keep your Caster in the 6 degree range.

You should be able to get the Rubi parts & LCAs for $200 to $250 total and it's a pretty easy DIY project. Here's my DIY thread on the Rubi swap & LCAs.
https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/rubicon-suspension-on-2-door-sport.40700/
definitely looking at black rims. So almost always 35s" would rub with an 18" rim?
 

blnewt

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definitely looking at black rims. So almost always 35s" would rub with an 18" rim?
No, it depends on offset, if you get something around zero to -12 offset you should be ok, a mild lift would be recommended though.
 
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