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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Returning after 10 years with a 85 CJ7... tire / wheel quesitons

So I used to be a very regular poster here and used to do quite a bit off roading back when I lived in So Cal. 3 kids and a move to Texas and I have been out of the Jeep game until now. I just picked up a California 86 CJ-7 with the old 258 and Carter Carb. Its got all the emissions junk on there and has some issues. It's got once spot of rust on it and I new the old owner well.

For some background I have owned and made significant modifications to a 74 CJ-5, 80 Toyota Pickup, and 2000 TJ... but it seems some things have changed in 10 years and man I kind of felt ignorant tonight for the first time in a while.

Is it me or are the floating tire sizes for a 15 inch wheel going away? Tire rack only offered 4 crappy tires (crappy as in, no way near enough lugs for me!). Currently has 3 inch leaf spring lift and 32x11.50x15's on her. It has been sitting in a garage for 8 years. The tires are garbage... so my question. (yes I can be long winded)...

What are the most popular rim size / tire size that would be an appropriate swap? It seems the floating tire sizes in 15 inch rims anyway are going away or less common? Is everyone running 16 or 17inch rims now? I want to try to find a fairly popular size that is right for the jeep, so they won't be stupid expensive.

Things to consider... I am thinking of putting on the 4 inch Rubicon express leaf springs... or having some custom packed... so I might want to go a bit larger.

Lots more posts to come as I dig through and try to decide things like, fix the 258 and dumb down the emissions (nutter bypass maybe) or drop in a 304 (me likey but the axles won't... it has an AMC 20 )

Thanks in advance for the help!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4garage View Post
So I used to be a very regular poster here and used to do quite a bit off roading back when I lived in So Cal. 3 kids and a move to Texas and I have been out of the Jeep game until now. I just picked up a California 86 CJ-7 with the old 258 and Carter Carb. Its got all the emissions junk on there and has some issues. It's got once spot of rust on it and I new the old owner well.

For some background I have owned and made significant modifications to a 74 CJ-5, 80 Toyota Pickup, and 2000 TJ... but it seems some things have changed in 10 years and man I kind of felt ignorant tonight for the first time in a while.

Is it me or are the floating tire sizes for a 15 inch wheel going away? Tire rack only offered 4 crappy tires (crappy as in, no way near enough lugs for me!). Currently has 3 inch leaf spring lift and 32x11.50x15's on her. It has been sitting in a garage for 8 years. The tires are garbage... so my question. (yes I can be long winded)...

What are the most popular rim size / tire size that would be an appropriate swap? It seems the floating tire sizes in 15 inch rims anyway are going away or less common? Is everyone running 16 or 17inch rims now? I want to try to find a fairly popular size that is right for the jeep, so they won't be stupid expensive.

Things to consider... I am thinking of putting on the 4 inch Rubicon express leaf springs... or having some custom packed... so I might want to go a bit larger.

Lots more posts to come as I dig through and try to decide things like, fix the 258 and dumb down the emissions (nutter bypass maybe) or drop in a 304 (me likey but the axles won't... it has an AMC 20 )

Thanks in advance for the help!

Tire Rack might not carry much selection but there are still several brands making 31, 33 and 35 inch mud tires for 15 inch rims.
For suspension, consider using stock rear springs from JC Whitney and going spring over axle. The second leaf is military wrapped and you won't have u-bolts, u-bolt plates and lower shock mounts hanging below the axle anymore.
Before going crazy high, also consider a rear locking differential. That will make a huge difference too.
For the engine, if you keep the 258, check the timing chain, a motorcraft 2100 or 2150 is a good carb swap, large ford cap and rotor with cherokee plug wires and possibly an HEI conversion on the ignition. You can use an HEI module with the stock distributor, just check the amount of mechanical timing available in it.
The AMC 20 rear axle will hold up just fine with a 1 piece axle upgrade. If you want a little more width, wagoneer dana 44s are a good swap.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Will!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:07 AM
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If you're going to do the HEI swap.. then for not a lot more money install a junkyard GM EFI. It will make the fuel system as bulletproof as possible as well as increase your MPG.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Leve!

I'm leaning toward dropping in the 304... so that is some good advice... If you know of any good articles on it I would love to read up... Im pretty efficient at Googling however so... Thanks again!

Last edited by 4x4garage; 04-20-2017 at 09:18 AM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:25 AM
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:26 AM
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Check out the Maxxis trepadors. You can get those in a 33 & 35x12.50-15. They don't have the round floating look but I'm pretty sure they are the most aggressive tire out right now. And I believe you can get it in a radial or bias. The bias is more aggressive... You can definitely get better prices and options if you went to a 16" rim. Just a note for everyone, avoid anything with an 18" wheel. Tire choices are limited and prices are higher. 19" are worse if you are looking at aftermarket wheels.

Last edited by SilentBob2; 04-21-2017 at 08:33 AM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old Yesterday, 11:38 PM
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Here is the HEI conversion I was talking about. I used the stock distributor and just used the HEI module.
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