15 inch vs 16 inch rims

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 21:18
ThreadID: 20589 Views:4368 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Hi all, I'm sure this has been asked before but what are the pros and cons of going for 15 inch rims with 30+inch tyres vs 16 inch rims with 'normal size' tyres?

If this discussion has already taken place can someone direct me to it, I can't find anything with the search engine.

I'm looking to replace tyres on a 60 series which I'll use for 80% gravel, red dirt, corrugated roads up here in Arnhem Land and the rest some beach/sandy bush work, generally not too heavily loaded and no trailer.


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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 22:37

Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 22:37
With 15 inch (Common tyre being the 31x10.5R15) the tyres and rims are relatively cheap, but are not as strong and can't carry as much weight (load index is usually only 109). You are also restricted to "fat" tyres.

With 16 inch tyres, you have 2 choices.
#1 Stick to the standard split rims with 750R16 (say 8PR) tyres, the rims are cheap, the tyres are reasonably strong (load index of 112), but the tubes may fail or fatigue.

#2 Fit aftermarket 16x7 rims, and fit 235/85R16 or 265/75R16 tyres. These are the strongest (load index of 119-120) but the combination is more expensive. IMO, this is the best, hassle free option, but will cost you money.

The 31x10.5R15 tyres are also 3% smaller than standard.

Over to you.

AnswerID: 99111

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 17:22

Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 17:22
G'day Phil,
I'd have to say go for the 15 inch. 1-Because you can,which is the reason for2-they're much cheaper. I believe this is because any cruiser after about 96 (guess) can't fit them (think similar for Patrols). They don't clear the brakes. Therefore all the new vehicle owners have no choice but to fit 16 inch tyres. Too bad for them but good for you.

As far as carrying capacity, my 15 inch BFG's have enough to be fine under my cruiser which is loaded to within kg's of GVM (note to insurance company, I said within!! ;) promise) and tows 3.2 tonne Bushtracker.

Hope of some help,

AnswerID: 99167

Reply By: Member - muzzgit - Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 21:25

Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 21:25
I had the same thought a few years back on my FJ62. I found the best option for me was to get rid of the 31 x 10.5 and get new 33 x 10.5 x 15 BFG all terrains put on my white rims.

YES THATS RIGHT, 33 x 10.5 not the 12.5 wide, I'm not a fan of really fat tyres on a forby. Gave me an instant increase in height under the axles, and sand or rough roads were easier to traverse. The only down side is the speedo is out a bit, but thats only a small thing to get used to. Just sit on 96 klm/h when you need to be doing 100.
AnswerID: 99224

Reply By: old-plodder - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 08:55

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 08:55
I have a pajero an found that the cheaper 31x10.5x15 tended to aquaplane on wet bitumen to easily for my liking. But that may not worry you.

So I am running 235/85/16 LT (10 ply/116 load rating and 32" OD) on nissan 16x6 white spoke steel rims. Same offset and got a vehicle modification plate to cover the change. Would be tempted by the 265/75/16 LT tyres if I needed more flotation. Same OD at 32". 265/75/16 seems to becoming a common size over the last 5 years. Beware because I noticed that 265/75/16 is also available in a non LT rating.

The 235/85/16 are also interchangable with 7.5/16 (32" OD) out west in case we do too many tyres. We tend to do most of our travelling out west. Touch wood, the 10 ply LT tyres seem to stand up to the gibbers and other rough areas without any major problems.

The 31x10.5-15 were OK on the sand though with a mild tread pattern.

AnswerID: 99276

Reply By: 4WDPhil - Saturday, Feb 26, 2005 at 14:51

Saturday, Feb 26, 2005 at 14:51
Thanks for all this information guys. Given I won't be loading the vehicle up too much and I'll be carrying 2 spares anyway it sounds from what you have all said that the rim size won't be critical for me. At the end of the day, given my remote location the actual tyre (and rim) decision will be dictated largely by what's available to me.

AnswerID: 100254

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