When deciding on the type of wheels for a four-wheel drive vehicle, you should consider the limit available for width and height. When fitted with tires, the wheels should not cause problems such as interfering with the allocated rolling radius for a particular car model. When choosing wheels for your 4wd vehicle consider the following factors:
1. The mass of your vehicle
The wheel you settle on has to be able to support your vehicle. There are two measurements for mass. One, when the vehicle is stationary and secondly, when it is moving. Wheels are made of steel or aluminum alloys. The former is relatively heavy compared to alloys wheels. Steel wheels are stronger and suitable for heavy vehicles. They also have a better handling when the vehicle is in top speed.
2. Heat and load management
Allow wheels that are good conductors of heat. They are good for dispelling heat from tires and brakes. Wheels for 4-wheel-drives must have the ability to withstand the rigors of off-road driving. Look for wheels that have passed certification tests for heat, and strength. Other than that, they should compliment your vehicles appearance and have low maintenance needs.
3. Symmetry of the wheel design
When fitted to the vehicle, the wheel should be on the centre of the rolling radius vertically. Horizontally, there should be an appropriate distance from the wheel to the edge of the mounting flange. This offset distance is needed to maneuvering the vehicle without causing unnecessary friction. When the offset distance is adequate, tires align well with the hub bearing. The result is a reduced load on the stub axle, which translates to enough space for the braking system of the vehicle.
The wheel design takes care of ventilation for the brakes and airflow as with aerodynamics.
4. Studs, lug nuts and bolts
Nowadays, you need a different type of wheels for different cars because each model has a different offset. 4wd's from the early 80s had similar front ends and 16'' wheels from one vehicle would fit other models.
You have to check the number of studs for your vehicle to know which wheels to buy. There are more 16'' 4wd wheels compared to other size wheels. If you want replacements in future, going with the 16'' Mag wheels size is a sensible choice. Studs and nuts hold the wheel to the hubs.
5. Tire choice
Depending on your choice of tires, your wheels should have proper safety ridges to hold tires in place in case of a sudden deflation. For tubeless tires, your wheels should be well based. Their bead seats must make a 15-degree angle to the flange. The benefit of a flat base demountable flange is that, tire removal only needs the removal of one flange after deflation. After market, wheels may require that you purchase new lug nuts and bolts for fitting. This usually occurs when the wheel requires a specific seat shape and diameter.
You can reduce the recommended wheel size by an inch, and increase your tire size by an inch to leave an overall balance.
Our last set of 4WD Wheels lasted longer and proved to be much tougher than regular wheels. We also tried Mag Wheels before which were not too bad when it came to style and performance. BSA Wheels stocks a great range of wheels from top brands. This is where we bought our wheels from.