02-03-2006, 06:31 PM
I have an opportunity to acquire some split rims. I'm not trying to obtain these for the sake of having split rims themselves, but rather they would be an OEM solution to getting a narrower wheel & tire on my vehicle.
Is running inner tubes such a PITA it isn't worth it? What are the up/down sides to split rims?
02-03-2006, 06:47 PM
I've commented on this subject before here somewhere.
I ran factory split rims (16 x 6) on my Land Cruiser for a couple of years while leading trips in Mexico. Unfortunately I discovered that you can't just put tubes inside a tire such as a BFG All-terrain, which is what I used (235/85R16). I suffered two catastrophic blowouts (on the freeway, in an FJ40, towing a trailer full of sea kayaks - not fun!) from what I later surmised was excess heat buildup. The first I thought was coincidence - and in fact BFG replaced the tire - but after the second one I realized something else was going on.
So, first, if you want to run split rims you need to find tube-type tires to run on them. That's going to severely limit your choices in this country.
That aside, my own experience was that while, yes, it was cool to be able to break down a rim and repair a flat anywhere, I found I got a lot more flats than with tubeless tires. It seemed that small thorns that wouldn't flatten a tubeless tire would do so on a tube.
So I ditched the split rims and installed alloy 16 x 7 rims. The 235/85 16s fit just fine on them, but I since moved to a 255/85 16, just a bit wider but significantly taller. As a byproduct of moving to wheels that were probably 20 pounds lighter each, my ride and compliance improved drastically.
With modern air systems you can break down and reseat a tubeless tire if necessary, so I really don't see a need for split rims anymore. Even Chris Scott, the Sahara veteran, has switched to tubeless BFGs.
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