Wheels advice sought 17 vs 15

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#1
Hi all, wanted to get some opinions for wheels. I am set on black satin or glossy wheels, aluminum preferred. The jeep has 1" body and 1" suspension lift. Currently have 31's on 15's from before it was rebuilt and I am not looking to update. I believe I want a tire that is 32 total inches, but I don't want 32x11.5...too wide. I'm thinking more like a LT or SUV tire since 95% of the time it will be driven on the street and only occasionally taken on some dirt roads or some sand.

Anyway, wondering a few things:
Backspacing: what is the range of backspacing that I can get away with on an other wise stock Scrambler drivetrain?
Opinions 17 vs 15....mostly ridden on the street. Drivability is important.
Width...assuming an 8" wide rim is what I'm after here. Any reason to not do that?
Tire size? What LT/SUV type tire is going to get me to 32" on a 17" wheel?

Sorry for all the basic questions, but I did almost the whole restore myself without any issues, but it's the aftermarket stuff I just don't want to get wrong.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#2
Just went through this. There are a ton more choices in the 17" than the 15". You will have a bit less sidewall with the 17 than the 15, so you might get a bit rougher ride. Also most 17's seem to have a heavier load rating. A 265/70/17 is about 31 tall and 10.5 wide. A 255/75/17 is about 32 tall and 10 wide. The 255/75/17 is a stock Rubicon tire size and it seems there are always cheap sets with low miles for sale around here.
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#3
Thanks Randy. I'm actually having trouble finding wheels that meet the criteria at 17" 17" diameter, 8-8.5" wide with 3.5-4.0 backspacing (12-19 backspace?) offset doesn't seem to be a popular combo in 17" wheels.
 

Randyzzz

Blown Budget
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Redmond
State
OR
#4
Thanks Randy. I'm actually having trouble finding wheels that meet the criteria at 17" 17" diameter, 8-8.5" wide with 3.5-4.0 backspacing (12-19 backspace?) offset doesn't seem to be a popular combo in 17" wheels.
What style are you looking for? Post up a pic and I’ll see if I remember anything close. I just went through this process.


One more thing, if it matters. A 17” wheel and tire cost considerably more than an equivalent sized 15”.

This is what I ended up going with. 15x8 with 31” tires.
0E709866-8711-4AD5-94AC-49541E50AF57.jpeg
 

Spieg

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Aurora
State
CO
#5
I'd avoid an LT tire for something as light as a Jeep CJ (heavy load rated tires can ride rough enough to shake the fillings out of your teeth).
15" tires are usually quite a lot less expensive than 17".
Overly wide wheels are more prone to curb rash. If you're looking at tires 10" (254mm) wide or less, I don't think I'd pick an 8" wheel (especially black aluminum that will show every scrape).
 

jmarkel

Scrambled for Life
City
Fairfax Station
State
VA
#6
I really like the look of my stock scrambler slotted wheels. But to get the tire height I want on 15's, that's a 32" tire at 11.5" wide. That I definitely do not want. Also, this jeep is run on the highway...like 70mph, so turning those big meats isn't ideal to me. It had no problem running the 31's but now that I have almost 2" of lift, I want 1" taller on the tire to fill the wheel well up so it looks right to me.

the 255/75-17 tire is perfect...32" tall and 10" wide. There are plenty of options out there that will work for that tire size that I'd be happy with.
 
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