16" vs 17" Wheels?

Tech-Mechanic

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Greetings, I just bought an '07 Liberty. Great little SUV so far, except that it has 15" Ford wheels on it. (tadpoles) So, I need to get rid of those.
I'm not ready to lift it yet but, I do want to lean toward the rugged look. I noticed the 2007 Liberty was available with both 16 or 17 inch wheels, depending on trim. (I must admit, I'm not certain what trim I have. The fenders are not painted like the body so, I assume it's not a Limited. But, it doesn't say Sport on it anywhere either) I'm thinking of going with 16" wheels with P245/70R16 tires. Is there a reason to go with 17" over 16's?
Also, if I go with the 245/70R16's, should I get a 7 or 7.5" wide wheel?
Thanks in advance for your time.
 

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LibertyTC

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16's will be less expensive than 17's & My KJ came with the 17's which looks & performs great with a Good AT, I used GY wrangler Kevlar's.
For more stable feeling on road, less body roll, I used Spidertrax 5x4.5 - 1.25 WHS-002 wheel spacers. I'm OME lifted ++
Proper wheel back spacing tho is preferred to begin with. WIthout an OME lift it can rub & Tom can elaborate further.
 

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tommudd

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7 inch wide wheel with 5 inches of backspacing is best without a lift
depending on how much suspension sag you have 245-70-16s may rub
I have had them come into my shop with 235-70-16s rubbing
I would go with 16 inch wheels , I have the 17s on my 05 Limited and way harder to find tires that I need to run for the roads I drive.
Measure left side front, middle of the wheel to bottom of the flare , new for yours would be 19 inches
and looks like you have a Sport model
 

Tech-Mechanic

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7 inch wide wheel with 5 inches of backspacing is best without a lift
depending on how much suspension sag you have 245-70-16s may rub
I have had them come into my shop with 235-70-16s rubbing
I would go with 16 inch wheels , I have the 17s on my 05 Limited and way harder to find tires that I need to run for the roads I drive.
Measure left side front, middle of the wheel to bottom of the flare , new for yours would be 19 inches
and looks like you have a Sport model
Thanks for that info!
On a related note, I have a chance to buy a set of 16" wheels today from from a Cherokee Sport for a very good price. (He didn't specify the year but it looks around circa 2000)
They are 5 x 4.5. They are described as "XJ or TJ". Do you happen to know if these will work on the KJ?
 

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Tech-Mechanic

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Yes if they are from a XJ they will work, same width, backspacing etc
Thanks again. It looks like (assuming by "left side" you mean when I'm sitting in the vehicle) that on the left side, hub to wheel flare, I'm right at 19". (the car only has 100K miles)
On the passenger's side however, it measures about 18.5". Why did you specify left side? Is it normal for them to be different?
 

WheelNut

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I just put a set of Nokian Rotiva AT 245/70R16s onto my KJ this week. They are on standard 5-spoke Liberty Limited "Mechanica" 16x7 rims. Offset is either 41 or 37mm, I will update later tonight with the correct spec. No rubbing at all. My KJ is at 18-some inches fender to hub center in the front, so its the normal 'factory lowered' height. These new tires and rims do look better IMO. More sidewall suits the KJ better. The small increase in height and width over the highway 235/65R17s I had before fills out the wheel wells much better.
 

tommudd

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Thanks again. It looks like (assuming by "left side" you mean when I'm sitting in the vehicle) that on the left side, hub to wheel flare, I'm right at 19". (the car only has 100K miles)
On the passenger's side however, it measures about 18.5". Why did you specify left side? Is it normal for them to be different?
Left side holds battery, driver etc so always lower
At 100,000 miles most are sagged at least an inch or more
Have had them in my shop with 78,000 miles and almost 2 inches lower than new stock
 

tommudd

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I just put a set of Nokian Rotiva AT 245/70R16s onto my KJ this week. They are on standard 5-spoke Liberty Limited "Mechanica" 16x7 rims. Offset is either 41 or 37mm, I will update later tonight with the correct spec. No rubbing at all. My KJ is at 18-some inches fender to hub center in the front, so its the normal 'factory lowered' height. These new tires and rims do look better IMO. More sidewall suits the KJ better. The small increase in height and width over the highway 235/65R17s I had before fills out the wheel wells much better.
6 inch backspacing and 7 inches wide on stock wheels
factory lowered LOL that is a new way of putting sagged out suspension ( needs replaced )
fills out the wheelwell due to the soft sagged suspension
Plus going from a 17 inch wheel to a 16 changes the sidewall height
 
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