looking for pros and cons of using a 17" vs. 18" wheel with 285/70 A/T tires with a 3" lift...
I would take the 18s with 285/70 tires. Why? Because if both tires are sized close to 285/70, the 285/70/r18 will have the same sidewall height as the 17 inch size, and be bigger overall by about a inch. Taller tires = more "real" ground clearance, which equals better off road performance. Of course they will likely rub more unless you modify your wheel wells.
I don't get why so many people are against 18 inch wheels, they don't have any less sidewall height on the same size tire as a 17inch wheel, and they typically are 1 inch bigger overall. Thats exactly why I run 18s, I can flex my suspension and not horribly rub like a straight 35 would, and I have more ground clearance then all the guys running 33s. Not to mention my tire/wheel combo is lighter then a 34inch tire would be on a 17 inch combo. The airing down is a moot point for me since trail grapplers don't air down worth poo on a fj to begin with (too stiff). Even aired down I still have the same ground clearance as everybodys 33s aired up, and as much sidewall left (295/70/r18).
If that is the case get a 285/75/17 instead of the 285/70/18
Those cost as much as tires for a 18 inch wheel, and will weigh more then a 18 inch wheel with same height tire. Not to mention you have limited selection of 75 profile tires for a 17 inch wheel.
With 18 inch wheels you have a good mix of tire sizes. You can get pizza cutter 35s if you want (35x10.5) in numerous brands of streetable tires (aka no boggers), you can run 295/70/r18s like me for a 34+ in tall tire thats slightly wider then everyones 33 and taller (All of the 285/75/17s I have seen measure nowhere near a 34, lucky if its 33.5). 1 inch diference in rim doesn't mean anything when the sidewall is the same height.
Neither 17s or 18s are ideal for rock crawling to the extreme, then again neither is the Fj. Airing down with many off road tires out there (like trail grapplers) is a lost cause because the FJ's simply doesn't weigh enough to get the tires to ballon. Even so, like I said with my particular tires on 18 inch wheels (trail grapplers) I will come out ahead of anybody running a 33 inch tire. Most of my buddies are running 33s and I get stuck by far less and hit on things less. I have as much sidewall (or more) as they do.
The answer very well may just be preference alone.
Unless you refuse to get a BMC and are stuck with a 33" tire or smaller.... then the smaller-the better still stands lol
What?, why would someone not want to take a sawzall and a die grinder to a 30K vehicle? Or a sledge hammer to the pinch weld?
You are right though, you could take factory 17s and throw some 285/70/r17s and fit them without excessive wheel well modification. That would be the most economical. Running 18s will cost you a lot more, same as buying aftermarket 17 inch wheels. It really depends on budget. Personally I don't think the 18 inch wheel look is worth paying for, that isnt why I went with 18s. I was dead set on getting a tall tire that wasn't excessively wide, which lead me to 18 inch wheels. If I could have got the height I wanted out of a trail grappler in a 17 (that wasn't wider then a 295) I would have stuck with 17s (and steelies at that).
I'm running Cooper 285/65/18s and like the look (I don't off road much) but will probably go with a 295/70/18s next set being I put on the bushwacker flares and need a taller tire, doing the spidertrax spacer also
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