Stock Wheels or Aftermarket?

cb69

New member
Hi All -

My name is Craig and I'm new to the site. I've spent the last 2 weeks pouring over a ton of your posts. Thanks for all the great information and ideas!
I have a 2004 1500 stock Suburban 4WD. It's got about 200K miles, of which only 10 mi were in 4WD. I still have to read the owner's manual to remember how to shift into 4WD! Anyways, I want to start taking it out to the desert for a little fun, and the first thing to do is the tires and suspension. From all your posts I've decided on either 285/75R16's or 285/70R17's. My stock wheels are 16x7's, which are too narrow for 285/75s. I'll install rear spacers and crank the torsion keys so they'll fit, but my question to all of you is: do you think stock GM wheels (16's or 17's) are stronger/better than aftermarket wheels such as the ATX Mojaves? The stocks just look a lot beefier to me. Seems like I can get a set of stocks off CL for the same price as new aftermarkets. Thanks!
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
I have been doing this a long time and have never broken a stock wheel, for your rig I would mount up a set of 235/85r16 or 255/85r16 tires on the stock wheels and head out, there are threads on here discussing those two sizes and available tread patterns.
 
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ChevyPit

Observer
I had the same situation about 10 years ago. Finally, kept my 2001 Silverado K1500 with stock wheels (16X7") and bought some Procomp 16X8 for my 97 K1500 suburban, and some aftermarket used 16X8 for my 2004 HD K2500 Silverado. I run 285/75 R16 on all 3, sometimes AT tires, sometimes MT, 8 or 10 plies, depends on availability. Since then, I broke twice the GM wheels on the Silverado K1500, and never any aftermarket. I have to say the K1500 gets a lot more work offroad. Also, I think it has to do with the 285's being to wide, and putting to much pressure on the wheels lips, like if the tire is trying to expand more. I'm either, changing to 265's on the stock wheels, or buying another wheels to put the 285's.
285's will fit on the GM original 7" wheels, but my suggestion would be, no bigger than 265's, or get some 8" wheels to put 285's.
Always check and recheck the wheels ratings, the maximum weight they are design for.
 

Yroundrdn

Observer
I had 285s on a stock GM Duamax that was most often overloaded and never had a problem after 140k miles. Most of the stress was from weight and not off road but I did a few tough trails and had no problems. I was always wondering about those aluminum rims though. I just purchased stock steel wheels for my new build and plan to run the 285s on them. I like the look and think they will handle the tire just fine from the other vehicles I've put them on. For peace of mind, go 20mm less if your concerned. I doubt 20mm would make any difference on the trail.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
FWIW I'm running 285/75/16's on stock wheels and have no issues at all. My Suburban originally came with the (IMO ugly) 5 spoke 17" wheels but I wanted to go to 16's for a bigger sidewall and cheaper tires, so I obtained a set of Suburban/Tahoe 16" "cyclone" style wheels. I don't neccessarily like the "cyclone" style (IMO it looks very dated) but I have to say, they have thick "webs" and seem very rugged (and the looks are starting to grow on me, I have to admit.)
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Besides being an unnecessary expense (IOW if you're going to stick with the same size tire, why replace something that already works fine?) my biggest concern would be that while I'm sure some aftermarket wheels are stronger than stock, I'm also equally sure that some aftermarket wheels will sacrifice strength for "style." This is particularly true of some of the aftermarket wheels now that have very thin spokes.
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Now those are mostly intended for street trucks and cars but I would still worry that when making wheels, most aftermarket companies are more about creating a "look" than they are about creating strength.
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My $0.02 is: Keep the stock wheels and spend the money you would have spent on aftermarket wheels on better tires. ;)
 

ChevyPit

Observer
I forgot to add that the wheels I broke were the Aluminium ones, 5 spoke type for the 1999-2003 Silverado.
I would follow martinjmpr advise: Use what you have right now and buy good tires and gas to go out. The 265/75 r 16 are about 31.5", and the 255/85R16 are a little over 33". See what fits your needs.
 

cb69

New member
I had the same situation about 10 years ago. Finally, kept my 2001 Silverado K1500 with stock wheels (16X7") and bought some Procomp 16X8 for my 97 K1500 suburban, and some aftermarket used 16X8 for my 2004 HD K2500 Silverado. I run 285/75 R16 on all 3, sometimes AT tires, sometimes MT, 8 or 10 plies, depends on availability. Since then, I broke twice the GM wheels on the Silverado K1500, and never any aftermarket. I have to say the K1500 gets a lot more work offroad. Also, I think it has to do with the 285's being to wide, and putting to much pressure on the wheels lips, like if the tire is trying to expand more. I'm either, changing to 265's on the stock wheels, or buying another wheels to put the 285's.
285's will fit on the GM original 7" wheels, but my suggestion would be, no bigger than 265's, or get some 8" wheels to put 285's.
Always check and recheck the wheels ratings, the maximum weight they are design for.
The only reason I was looking at wider rims was that most or all the 285's show a recommended minimum width of 7.5". Will the big tire chain stores sell and mount 285's on the 7" rims? Does it void the warranty?
 

cb69

New member
FWIW I'm running 285/75/16's on stock wheels and have no issues at all. My Suburban originally came with the (IMO ugly) 5 spoke 17" wheels but I wanted to go to 16's for a bigger sidewall and cheaper tires, so I obtained a set of Suburban/Tahoe 16" "cyclone" style wheels. I don't neccessarily like the "cyclone" style (IMO it looks very dated) but I have to say, they have thick "webs" and seem very rugged (and the looks are starting to grow on me, I have to admit.)
.
Besides being an unnecessary expense (IOW if you're going to stick with the same size tire, why replace something that already works fine?) my biggest concern would be that while I'm sure some aftermarket wheels are stronger than stock, I'm also equally sure that some aftermarket wheels will sacrifice strength for "style." This is particularly true of some of the aftermarket wheels now that have very thin spokes.
.
Now those are mostly intended for street trucks and cars but I would still worry that when making wheels, most aftermarket companies are more about creating a "look" than they are about creating strength.
.
My $0.02 is: Keep the stock wheels and spend the money you would have spent on aftermarket wheels on better tires. ;)
Me and my wallet agree with keeping the stock wheels, that'll save me $400-500! When you upgraded your wheels and tires, did you keep the TPMS sensors installed?
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Me and my wallet agree with keeping the stock wheels, that'll save me $400-500! When you upgraded your wheels and tires, did you keep the TPMS sensors installed?
I had the TPMS valve stems swapped from my old 17" wheels onto my "new to me" 16's.
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And BTW Discount Tire had no issues putting 285/75/16's onto my stock 16 x 7 rims.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
BTW if you're wondering what an '04 Suburban with factory 16" wheels, a mild key and Z-71 spring lift and 285/75/16 (33") tires looks like....here you go:
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IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
With regards to strength, every wheel has a rated load capacity.
Very important info if you run heavy.

A few years ago I ditched the factory steel wheels on my truck mainly due to corrosion.
I managed to find a good set of high capacity alloys for cheap, so I went that way.
But I did make sure to verify they had the same (or greater) capacity rating.
Turns out, they were (3400lbs) so its all good.


Beyond that, also realize that alloy wheels are more rigid than steel, therefore more brittle.
That's one of the biggest reason off-roaders tend to stick to steel wheels.
A steel wheel can take some hits, and even be bent, without significantly weakening or breaking the wheel.
 

cb69

New member
Nice suburban Martin, that's what I'm going for. Do you have rub issues in the front or have to user spacers? Any issues when they're assured down? What brand tires did you go with?
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Nice suburban Martin, that's what I'm going for. Do you have rub issues in the front or have to user spacers? Any issues when they're assured down? What brand tires did you go with?
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To answer your questions in order:
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1. No rubbing issues although I will eventually trim the back corner of the plastic valance panel underneath the bumper as it's a little too close to the tire for my liking. No spacers, they are stock wheels off of an LS or fleet model Suburban/Tahoe (mine was an LT.)
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2. Assuming you mean "aired down", I haven't done that yet. Don't anticipate any problems though, there's plenty of clearance around the wheels even at full lock with the key lift.
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3. Tires are Falken Wildpeak AT3W. I had originally been planning on going with the old tried-and-true BFG AT KO2 but decided I would look around to see if there was a more budget friendly option. The Falkens saved me about $35 per tire, almost $200 by the time you factor in the taxes and fees, and like the BFG's they carry the "mountain snowflake" "severe weather" rating that I wanted, since I live in Colorado. So far the only "off roading" I've done has been the Mt. Lemmon to Oracle road near Tucson but they performed fine, even though I neglected to air them down (which I should have done as it was a pretty rough road.)
 
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