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Black Steel Wheels

cody454

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Texas
Good morning all,

So, I'm starting to put my list together for the build and wanted y'alls opinions on steel wheels. I've noticed that the following from Quadretec and 4WD.com peak my interest:

Trailmaster TM9 in a 15x8 with a 3.75" backspace $39.99 no center caps or

Tactik Circle 8 in a 15x8 with a 4" backspace $49.99 with center caps

Also, will be going to 33x12.50 tire soon as the 31x10.50 wear out.
 

M35A2

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
236
Location
Chandler, TX
I've been running steel wheels on all my vehicles since forever. A lot easier to straighten a steel wheel than to weld a busted aluminum one.
 

Not_Invented_Here_

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
343
Location
Kansas City
Good morning all,

So, I'm starting to put my list together for the build and wanted y'alls opinions on steel wheels. I've noticed that the following from Quadretec and 4WD.com peak my interest:

Trailmaster TM9 in a 15x8 with a 3.75" backspace $39.99 no center caps or

Tactik Circle 8 in a 15x8 with a 4" backspace $49.99 with center caps

Also, will be going to 33x12.50 tire soon as the 31x10.50 wear out.
Is your question just about personal preference? The general consensus seems to be that you add a bit of additional weight + breaking distance with heavier steel wheels. Idk how important this is to you and the difference seemed negligible to me.

When I got mine recently, two of the aftermarket wheels it came with were in crap shape and needed replacing. I got the black tactik D steel wheels from the quadratec site because I knew someone who had them already and they were $39.99 each. I've been very happy with them and they aren't too glossy. I'd prefer stock wheels but had neither the time or $$ for them.

You should do fine with those if you're trying to stay on budget and eventually add bigger tires. I personally liked the extra backspacing as well.
 
OP
C

cody454

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Texas
Thanks all for replies. I guess I shoulda included an aluminum version too.
I know in the ATV/SxS world, rotational weight or unsprung weight can rob a lot of power, especially in a heavy mud environment that sometimes requires spinning the tires quickly to clean the tread, but, then again, this in regard to rigs with 1000cc or less power plants.
 

Not_Invented_Here_

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
343
Location
Kansas City
Thanks all for replies. I guess I shoulda included an aluminum version too.
I know in the ATV/SxS world, rotational weight or unsprung weight can rob a lot of power, especially in a heavy mud environment that sometimes requires spinning the tires quickly to clean the tread, but, then again, this in regard to rigs with 1000cc or less power plants.
For answers regarding that kind of thing, I'd wait for someone else with wheeling experience to drop in. I'd also specify your intended use to get more specific information and feedback - I thought this was purely about budget and convenience for you.

For me, it was just a $$ decision and I wanted to avoid something that looked flashy or gaudy. I dislike most non-stock/OEM wheels but I'd be lying if I said these black Tactiks haven't grown on me. I also don't know how you beat the price of 39.99 for a cheap wheel.
 
OP
C

cody454

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Texas
For answers regarding that kind of thing, I'd wait for someone else with wheeling experience to drop in. I'd also specify your intended use to get more specific information and feedback - I thought this was purely about budget and convenience for you.

For me, it was just a $$ decision and I wanted to avoid something that looked flashy or gaudy. I dislike most non-stock/OEM wheels but I'd be lying if I said these black Tactiks haven't grown on me. I also don't know how you beat the price of 39.99 for a cheap wheel.
I like the look of them and the price is ridiculously cheap! The primary use of the rig is a back-up vehicle for my daily driver Silverado. That being said, it is also going to be outfitted for an occasional off-road exploration in the Texas Hill Country or certain parts of Arkansas.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
11,507
Location
Escondido California
I've been running steel wheels on all my vehicles since forever. A lot easier to straighten a steel wheel than to weld a busted aluminum one.
I used to think that way too but not in many years.

My TJ spends most of its time on trails that are nothing but rocks and I switched from aluminum to steel in 2002 for nearly two years years. Big mistake. I spent more time pounding dents out of those steel wheels so they'd hold air than I could believe. I went back to aluminum in 2004.

My experience was that steel DEFINITELY dents and bends more easily on trails like than aluminum which is why so few serious rock crawlers run steel wheels any more. In my nearly 22 years of rock crawling, which is mostly what we have here in SoCal, I've had just one broken aluminum wheel which was a cheap cast wheel. That was 10 years ago and that's the only problem I've ever had with aluminum wheels. My steel wheel experiment lasted under two years before I was forced to give up on them. The trail that caused my single broken aluminum wheel was tough enough to have caused multiple breakages all at once. Broken control arm bolt, broken rear differential yoke, broken driveshaft, broken track bar mount, and the broken aluminum wheel. All happened at the same time on an "extra credit" section of a trail called Pumpkin Eater outside of Barstow CA. That bunch of repairs, including welding, made the broken aluminum wheel seem like a minor inconvenience. It was dark by the time I got back to camp that night.

THis is a friend's steel wheel after one weekend of rock crawling in Johnson Valley California, home of King of the Hammers. He went back to aluminum as well.

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These are two of the trails I ran steel wheels on where they just didn't hold up. The first was Sledgehammer in Johnson Valley, the other was in the Calico Mountains outside of Barstow CA. Both of these show my previous TJ.

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Doran Trail in Calico near Barstow...

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It was on trails like those why I had to start carrying BFH to pound the dents out so the tires would hold air. It was too frustrating to continue running steel wheels. Went back to aluminum and never looked Back. The red Jeep is my previous TJ which was stolen nearly ten years ago.

Never again would I run steel wheels unless the trails were easy, smooth, and not rocky.
 
Last edited:
OP
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cody454

New Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
16
Location
Texas
I would have t
I used to think that way but not in many years.

My TJ spends most of its time on trails that are nothing but rocks and I switched from aluminum to steel in 2002 for nearly two years years. Big mistake. I spent more time pounding dents out of those steel wheels so they'd hold air than I could believe. I went back to aluminum in 2004.

My experience was that steel DEFINITELY dents and bends more easily on trails like than aluminum which is why so few serious rock crawlers run steel wheels any more. In my nearly 22 years of rock crawling, which is mostly what we have here in SoCal, I've had just one broken aluminum wheel which was a cheap cast wheel. That was 10 years ago and that's the only problem I've ever had with aluminum wheels. My steel wheel experiment lasted under two years before I was forced to give up on them.

THis is a friend's steel wheel after one weekend of rock crawling in Johnson Valley California, home of King of the Hammers. He went back to aluminum as well.

View attachment 77014
I would have to say by the looks of the wheel, that your words are rather convincing.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
11,507
Location
Escondido California
For comparison, these are photos of my previous and present TJs on the typical trails I run with no problems with aluminum wheels. Aluminum is, by far, the most common wheel type on extremely tough rock-strewn trails here in SoCal.

If aluminum wheels can survive these types of trails, they'll be fine for you. :)

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