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Old 18 Aug 2003
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Location: Penrith, UK
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Changing from Alloy to Steel wheels

Hi - I have a fairly simple question, I think, which I hope someone can help me with.

I'm currently preparing my Toyota HDJ80 Land Cruiser for a biggish jaunt to north/west africa and beyond next year. The car is currently fitted with Alloy wheels (16 x 8 J fitting) and I'm considering changing to Steels they are arguably a bit less fragile and certainly easier to fix if you ding the rim.

My question is about sizing. Try as I might, I can't find any 16 x 8 steel wheels, though I can find lots of 16 x 7 ones. Is it the case that the same size of tyre (265/70 x 16 in this case) would typically fit larger alloy than steel wheels, or am i just looking in the wrong place for wheels?

hope you can help!

cheers -Andy B
(04 KTM 640 Adv 'Naartjie'/11 KTM 990 Adv 'Tsumeb')
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Old 20 Aug 2003
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First of all good idea changing from alloy to steel. I used to think it was a bunch of crap until I broke an alloy wheel while going about 5 mph on a forest service road. I caught a rock just right. Check with experts, but 15x7 will probably work. Check out offroad.com and so a search for off road, 4wd etc and see what they say. Keep in mind many of these folks have testosterone poisning and go places that are extreme, so they tend to over build the vehicle. Take care.

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Old 3 Dec 2010
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okay, you can read the fact of should i change or not;
steel Wheels Vs. Alloy Wheels
for much of the recent past, the average car came with steel wheels. However, for the last few years, car manufacturers have been fitting their higher-end vehicles with alloy wheels. Indeed, they have also become commonplace among a few compact cars. However, there are still advantages and disadvantages to consider for each type of wheel--whether you are buying a car, or thinking of replacing the current set of wheels on the one you have now.
Cost and Manufacture
Steel wheels have been popular because they are easier to manufacture (they primarily consist of a circular rim), they have lower material costs and they easily meet one's basic driving needs. Alloy wheels are more expensive, particularly the forged aluminum ones, which are made to be stronger than steel to optimally withstand the most strenuous of racing-car activities.
Weight and Performance
Alloy wheels tend to be lighter than steel wheels. The lighter the weight helps increase acceleration, improve handling and increase fuel efficiency. This is especially good for racing cars, which need as little wheel weight as possible to increase performance.
Alloy wheels are also better heat conductors than steel wheels. This translates into reducing the chance of brake failure, which is essential in more demanding driving situations.
Maintenance and Repair
Steel wheels are easier to repair. Since they bend, they can be beat back into shape. Also, steel wheels can be painted several times over when they begin to wear out.

Alloys, on the other hand, tend to break or crack rather than bend. They also require a high level of maintenance. When they sustain scratches and dents, they absorb a lot more work to refurbish than their steel counterparts. And they also are not as resilient in winter weather.
For the best maintenance of alloy wheels, make sure they have a substantial layering of car polish on the surface to stave off road salt and brake dust, and give them frequent washes using mildly soapy warm water.
Steel wheels have the benefit of being covered with wheel covers or hub caps. They make the wheels more aesthetically pleasing than if they were bare, and they also conceal any defects the wheels have. Alloy wheels, on the other hand, do not need hub caps. They come in different makes and designs and, generally speaking, alloy wheels are more attractive than steel wheels.
One or the Other
For a basic driver's needs, steel wheels are sufficient enough. However, for performance or sports-oriented vehicles, alloys are the premium choice.
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Old 3 Dec 2010
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Well, thanks for that - very interesting. I changed from alloy to steel wheels for my trip across North Africa and Asia, but overall it would have taken a far more extreme bit of off-roading than I did to come close to damaging the wheels, so on balance i would probably say it wasn't necessary (overlandcruiser.net) at least for MY type of trip.
I hope the guys who posted the question in 2003 enjoy reading your answer as much too

Last edited by ilesmark; 3 Dec 2010 at 11:59.
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Old 3 Dec 2010
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Don't forget to change your wheel nuts as well to "steel" type ones.

although on Land rovers (I don't know about Toyotas), you can use the alloy nuts on a steel wheel (not vice versa) although they look horrible! (they stick out lots)
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Old 3 Dec 2010
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Wow, talk about digging an old thread out of the graveyard!!

I bet that andybee has long forgotten what he wrote let alone if he is still on the HUBB
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
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Old 6 Dec 2010
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I run 15 inch alloys in the uk on my H60, but I have steels with 7.50x16 tyres for expedition use. the steels for toughness and the ability to hammer them back into size. 7.50x16 because of the widespread availability of this size of tyre
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
2012 Hilux, mountain top and bedrug with GG AT2s
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