I’m thinking I want to put 40-inch Boggers on my 1¼-ton CUCV truck. So that means I pretty much need 15s or 16.5s since that’s all the wheel sizes that tire is available in. If I go with 15s I have to run steel wheels so they will fit over the calipers (once I grind them). I’m leaning toward MRW (www.mrt-wheels.com) because I like the thick beadlock rings and the ability to get them in 15x10 or even bigger with almost any offset.
The other option is recentered 16.5-inch military Humvee wheels. However I’m worried that at 9.75 inches wide I just won’t get the look I want. I know you ran them on your Dodge Ramcharger for a long time with 42-inch Super Swampers. Did you hate your recentered Humvee wheels? Are they easy to mount tires on? Are they heavy? Other input?
Editor, Four Wheeler
I tried to put 15s on my Ramcharger to avoid the 16.5s. You’ll be really surprised at how much you actually have to grind out of the Dana 60 caliper even when using wheels with 2 inches of backspacing.
On the Humvee wheels, they assemble comically easy. You just have to make sure you don’t get too aggressive with the impact gun when tightening them and spin the ½-inch studs. Still, they’re made to be assembled with air tools in the field, so I don’t know why I worried. Oh, and lube the O-ring. I don’t know about Vaseline, but there’s a lube made for pool filter O-rings. I’ve discovered that’ll work really well. You can buy it at any Leslie’s Pool Supply, but when I did mine I just used Windex to lube them and I never had a leak. I bet you can just spit on ’em and they’ll be fine forever.
I kept the magnesium runflats full-height in my wheels, but some guys trim them down to avoid pinching a tire at lower pressures. Because of the runflats, I never really aired down past 10 psi because I was worried about pinching. You can trim most of the runflat down if you have access to a bandsaw. That’ll let you air down to like 3 or 5 psi, which is really where you’d want to be for some terrains and thick-wall bias-ply tires.
I had no problems with my wheels other than the weight. Remember, Humvee wheels have 7 inches of backspacing, so you really have to recenter them unless you’re running dualie axles. Back when I did mine, I couldn’t find anybody who would recenter them with dished centers. Jason at Twisted Customs (www.twistedcustoms.biz) did mine with 3⁄8-inch-thick, cold-rolled centers. They were strong and didn’t bend, but they were crazy heavy. Today you can have Stazworks (www.stazworks.com) recenter them with normal-gauge dished centers that will resist flexing and bending without chucking hillbilly amounts of steel at the centers, that’d be the way to go.
Or you could just pick a different tire and use some 17-inch beadlocks and make your life easy.
Editor, Jp Magazine
I have been reading your magazine and off-roading since I was in diapers. I have a decent amount of technical knowledge and wheeling experience, but when it came to regearing my Chevy C1500 Prerunner I am stuck between a rollcage and a hard place. I read the July ’12 issue which discusses gearing several times and I am still stumped.
To set the scene: my truck is a 2WD ’08 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 4.8L V-8, 4L60E, and GM 10-bolt rearend with 3.27 gears. This truck is my daily driver and it sees a lot of trips from Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, to Phoenix, Arizona. But it is also set up for high-speed desert use with a Camburg Mid Travel kit and 33-inch Hankook’s. However, the truck originally came with a 28-inch tire. I have lost all torque. I want a gear ratio that will keep the trucks great highway manners (low cruising rpms and 15 mpg) but give me more torque for the desert and better mpg around town.
I have been told a 4.11:1 ratio would be best but wonder if that would be too much for highway use? I guess to make a long story short, I wanted your opinion as I know you really know your stuff when it comes to gearing. Being an active-duty Marine I only have the money to do this once. I really appreciate any help you can give me.
With the stock 28-inch tires and 3.27 gears your engine would run at about 2,000 rpm at 75 mph. With the 33-inch tires and 3.27 gears the engine should be running at about 1,700 rpm at 75 mph, which is really too slow. To correct this you would ideally run a 3.83 gearset. But there isn’t a 3.83 available for your axle, the closest gears are 3.73 and 4.10. So if you find that you spend most of your time on the highway at speed and you want the best economy possible, you might want to go with 3.73 gears. With the 3.73 gears and 33-inch tires the engine will spin at about 2,000 rpm at 75 mph, which is what it did stock.
For more torque off-road and slightly less top-speed highway work the 4.10 gears would be a good choice. Me? I would go with the 4.10 gears which would up the highway cruising-speed rpm and fuel consumption, but it would also make the truck peppier around town. With the 4.10 gears and 33-inch tires your engine will spin at about 2,200 rpm at 75 mph.
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