Off Road Wheels Information and Reviews!
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Find out how to select the toughest, best looking off road wheels for your 4x4. Learn how replacing wheels will affect vehicle performance and a lot more.
Selecting new off road wheels… sometimes called “rims” should involve much more than just looks. The right tires and wheels can improve your vehicles performance, while choosing the wrong wheels might do the opposite and compromise handling.
Consider the following important factors when shopping for new aftermarket wheels for your 4x4…
Changing wheels can affect:
- The speedometer
- Wheel alignment & tire wear
- Wheel bearings
- Vehicle width & height
- Steering & turning radius
- Overall stability
- Axles and Gearing
- Overall appearance
- Gas mileage
More off road wheel considerations…
Tires – Choose your tires first to learn what size wheels they will fit.
Cost – The least expensive are steel off road wheels followed by cast alloy, forged alloy and Beadlock wheels.
Strength – The forged alloy one-piece wheel is the strongest of the aluminum wheels, followed by one and two-piece cast alloy. Two-piece steel wheels are very strong but heaver than aluminum. Beadlock wheels in both aluminum and steel have reinforced outer rings that add even more wheel strength.
Fitment – Measure to see that the new tires and wheels will in fact fit the vehicle. Calculate in advance to find any interference with the fenders, Tie-rod ends, A-arms Brake Calipers, Shock mounts etc.
Centerbore – This is the alignment and fit of the machined hole at the back of the wheel that mates with the hub. Make sure the new wheel is made to match your vehicles hub.
Hub-Centric Wheels – Are manufactured to fit precisely centered over the wheel hub. They support the vehicles weight where the hub and wheel mate. The lug bolts carry no weight, they just hold the wheel on. This can produce more strength and better wheel balance.
Lug-Centric wheels – Rely on the lugs to support the entire weight of the vehicle and hopefully hold the wheel on too.
Offset – Is the distance from the mounting surface of the hub to the centerline of the wheel. Positive offset positions the wheels closer to the frame, negative offset (found on most aftermarket wheels) moves the wheels out toward the fenders. Backspacing and offset work together in determining tire and wheel position.
Backspacing – Is the distance from the inside lip of the wheel to the surface that bolts up to the axle. To measure backspacing, rest the wheel “face down” and place a straight edge along the rim and measure the distance from the straight edge to the hub seat. This measurement is critical when considering the wheels clearance with the suspension, braking and steering components as well as the body.
Wheel Width – Is the distance measured between the outside edges of the bead seat. 7" wide rims will normally fit tires up to 10.5" wide, 8" wide rims fit 9.5" to 12.5" wide tires and 10" wide rims are needed for 12.5" tires and wider.
Wheel Diameter – Is measured from bead seat to bead seat. When replacing tires, you must know the total wheel diameter. Wheel diameter is a critical consideration when changing or altering brake components.
Bolt Pattern – The bolt pattern of the new wheel must match your bolts perfectly to fit. Always torque lug nuts after the initial 25 miles and every 100 miles thereafter until the recommended torque is consistently maintained.
Load Capacity – Make sure that the load rating of the new wheels equals or exceeds that of the tire and vehicle.
Lug Hardware – You may have to buy new lug hardware for the new wheels. If so, be sure the spare tire still fits.
Beadlocks – A beadlock is a mechanical fastening device that incorporates an inner and outer metal ring that clamp the tire bead onto the rim so they won’t come off, even with no
Good for airing down, but most are not DOT approved for highway use. They can be added to some existing rims or bought new.
Wheel Reinforcement Rings – Are rings that are welded onto the outer rim for added strength and protection. They help keep the wheel's rim from being damaged by rugged off road use.
Plus Sizing – Allows you to add larger wheels without increasing the diameter (height) of your tires by using a lower profile tire the same diameter as the wheel being replaced. This results basically in larger wheels and wider tires.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when changing your wheels and tires. Going way oversized takes a lot of research and planning to assure the proper outcome. Consider working with a good mechanic or 4x4 Shop!
Off road Wheel Selection
There are many styles of aftermarket 4x4 wheels to choose from. Your choices range from alloy street designs to the stronger more rugged looking off road Beadlocks.
Some Manufacturers of quality off road wheels…
American Racing Wheels - offers a wide assortment of quality Alloy wheels for 4x4’s at a reasonable cost. Some styles are coated with Teflon for easy cleaning.
Stockton Wheel Service - is a provider of custom off road steel wheels. They can build to your specs, modify your existing rims and even add beadlocks.
Centerline Forged Wheels - are manufactured with a rotary forging press that produces very light and strong alloy wheels in various designs. These wheels not only look good, they are rugged as well.
Marsh Racing Wheels - offers the Rock Crawler series of quality steel off road wheels. These wheels come in beadlock and standard. They also offer bead-lock kits.
Boyd Coddington - manufacturers high quality forged alloy off road wheels. The Off-Road series are of a one-piece design and can be custom built to spec.
Allied Racing Wheels - makes the unique Rock-A-Thon steel and aluminum competition beadlock off road wheels.
OMF Performance Products, - a long time manufacturer of aluminum ATV wheels, now offers a line of rugged 15”, 16” & 17” beadlock wheels for the off road market. Beadlock reinforcement rings are available too.
Wheeler's Off-Road, Inc. - produces quality custom off road wheels for Suzuki Samurai and Toyota 4x4’s in steel and aluminum styles.
MHT Wheels - Makes good looking forged alloy aluminum off road wheels, in several styles and sizes.
Off Road Wheels
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