Noob question- alloy vs. steel

Discussion in 'Tires / Wheels' started by LabRat, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    Hey gang!

    As I move forward with the 500 dollar wonder, I could use some advice-

    This 07 has the factory alloys. I noticed most of the rims on the market are steel.

    As a noob, am curious to opinion of alloy vs. steel.

    I ask as this will be a mild build. Some of the upgrades I will need for it specify tire/wheel size. However as best as I can gather KJs are notorious for top heavy issues.

    wondering if the trend towards steel is a product of this.

    I plan a 2 to 2 1/2 suspension lift strictly for ground clearance- stock size tires. Looking at Toyos at 225/75R16.

    All opinions welcome as I have no idea what I’m getting into, and 99% of the builds I’ve been reading about are overkill for my needs.

    EDIT: Should add I plan to install a spare swing type rear bumper as I do need to carry 4 Jerry cans in addition to the spare. I’ve learned I will be fabricating my own bumpers as the available stuff is overkill for what I need.
     
  2. duderz7

    duderz7 Full Access Member

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    Bump.that tire size up to 245/75 16 if sticking with stock wheels as the stock size tires will look too small after lift. Mpg and power will suffer a bit, but not horribly.
     
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  3. kejobe

    kejobe Full Access Member

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    Alloy vs steel...personal preference as far as looks. Steel is better for offroad as it will bend rather than crack and could possibly be bent back, or bent enough to get you home. Alloy will crack. No repairing on the trail.
     
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  4. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If going OME 927/948 springs and either Bilstein or OME shocks that will give you 2.5 inches of lift
    Then get a set Moab's from a 03-06 Wrangler, 5 inches of back spacing/ 8 inches wide and 265-70-16 tires,
    Moab's are forged, way stronger than any alloys and work great and looks good as well

    steel wheels weigh too much IMO
    Buddy had black soft 8s with 265-75-16s on his KJ
    I was rotating tires one day and when he grabbed mine ( same size tire/ same brand but on Moabs ) he couldn't believe the difference in weight
    He sold the Soft 8s the next week LOL
     
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  5. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    That’s exactly why I asked. On all of my VWs, first thing I did was dump stock steel for aluminum. I will research the Moabs.
     
  6. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They are getting harder to find , but still out there
    missed a full set ( 5 ) last week for 200 by 5 minutes
    ( knew I should of drove faster past that cop ! )
     
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  7. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    I have some weird connections...already sent out feelers...
     
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  8. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    2 different styles of Moabs
    03-05 are smooth side, 06 only was called a step side
    Plus a very limited set were painted a darker color
    Be interesting in what you find

    of course later ( 07 up ) has a different bolt pattern and their Moabs don't look as well either , more of a flatter style
     
  9. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    This search reminds me of tracking down certain vintage EMPIs mostly to find they are AE knock offs that were actually superior.

    Kinda fun with Jeep stuff as it is more cut and dry!
     
  10. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There are knockoff Moabs available but they are not forged just alloy
    but you can tell the difference pretty easily
     
  11. duderz7

    duderz7 Full Access Member

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    100% agree, if you can get your hands on moabs they are very nice. I've got 245/75 on mine now because I swapped them from the stock steelys but am looking forward to getting 265/70 next time.
     
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  12. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    Well, I spent the weekend reaching out to "car buddies" and a few other places. I don't know if Moabs are going to be an option for me. I managed to track down 3, one of which is damaged...
    There are a ton of clones out there (as you guys mentioned) to the point my inexperienced eye cannot really tell the difference without actually seeing them. I was also laughing a bit as "phone dial" type wheels appear to be fairly popular. As I don't need hardcore off road stuff, for now at least I think Ill stick to my initial plans. Perhaps in the long term I can put a set of them together.
     
  13. duderz7

    duderz7 Full Access Member

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    I watched Craigslist for many moons before I lucked out on My Moabs. Ended up with a set of 5 with tires.
     
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  14. mercdudecbr600

    mercdudecbr600 Full Access Member

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    Steel is better for offroad and you can find OEM steel jeep liberty wheels all day refurbished on ebay for cheap (cheaper than aftermarket garbage steel wheels which weigh a ton). Forged 16" alloys weigh another 4-5# over stock alloys (greater density/strength), but consider that a stock 16" alloy wheel weight is pretty good at 21lbs. OEM steel wheel weight is only a pound or so away from that at 22-23. So consider OEM steel as an offroad upgrade.
     
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  15. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    That sounds like a plan! I’m honestly worried more about weight than hardcore off road capabilities. With my VWs it was always a weight issue.

    I don’t drive very far or often for that matter, but when I do I dread getting bogged down on i80 or i70 through Wyoming and Colorado and even the “roads” I end up on are fairly tame.

    Even the Toyos I have in mind aren’t very aggressive comparatively speaking- but more than enough for what I need to do.

    my plan is to keep the factory wheels with “street” tires and only swap out to the better stuff for my various excursions and a small part of the infamous Omaha winters.
     
  16. duderz7

    duderz7 Full Access Member

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    The stock steel wheels are great, only dow fall is the backspacing, which makes for a narrower stance, but not necessarily a bad one.
     
  17. LabRat

    LabRat Full Access Member

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    I see. Backspacing is on tonight’s list for research and cold brews. If it was only I driving it, I’d honestly go a bit more hardcore, but took me a decade to convince the wife it’s time for something snow worthy. We had a really bad experience with the first model year Chevy Equinox which put her off SUVs for good so to speak, and a Wrangler sadly is far more vehicle than I need.

    So, I’m MacGuyvering a happy medium until We can get rid of her all around horrible Altima.

    Backspacing and suspension geometry is something I admittedly know next to nothing about thus far- with VWs was not an actual issue.
     
  18. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hint
    Ford Exploder and Ranger wheels are 7 inches wide, 16 inch, same bolt pattern ( or most are )
    and 4.5 inch backspacing
    Little better than stock steels that some are promoting
    Lifted a 7 inch wide wheel with 4 inches of backspacing is really good , so 4.5 is in between stock KJ and what most use lifted
     
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  19. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So what else do you have bad to say about FORGED Moabs ?
    and disagree somewhat on your estimated weights
     
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  20. Ronald

    Ronald New Member

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    MY DAUGHTER LEARNED THE HARD WAY she bought a jeep fancy deep chrome rims and had nothing but leaks air leaks , it was the chrome chipping at the bead. I purchased a 1957 with steel original rims never ever leaked and wont.
     

    Attached Files:

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