Wheel size

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Forgive my ignorance about this, but why may I ask do larger wheel sizes keep being pushed? My 03 Ram has 17's which seem plenty big enough. I keep getting asked though, why not put 20's on it? I can see that it
would be good for top end speeds but it sure would seem to be a lot more work getting there IMO. Thanks in advance. John
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jeh wrote:

Seems to be a new thing to want more metal and less rubber. I think a truck or SUV with 20"+ wheels looks down right funny. Why do some people think more rim looks better than more rubber? Whats more is that the rather low profile sidewalls of such tires have got to mess up handling and ride comfort.
My 2004 Durango has 17" and thats fine for me. My Ram has 16". I'd rather have 16" on my Durango as new tires for it were expensive and selection very limited. No reason for the 17".
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heck what was wrong with the old 15" wheels?
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Christopher Thompson wrote:

15" is fine for smaller trucks and cars. I think they're too small for full sized trucks and SUV's. Thing about the new 20"'ers is the overall diameter of the tire isn't increased much. Just more rim, less rubber.
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ive had several full sized half ton trucks that performed fine under load with 15" wheels. although i agree you can get larger brakes under a 16 or 17 wheel i still see little added benefit other than the larger brake capability with the larger wheel.
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Christopher Thompson wrote:

In theory thats true but the stopping distance of the newer Rams with 17" is about the same as the older 16" models. Aren't Fords and Chevy's still 16"? They seem to do just fine with em.
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Its the gansta ghetto attitude

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John, Wheel size is not circumference. Short side walls provide less sidewall shift to the sides when cornering and therefore are more surefooted when cornering under high speed conditions, but they do so at the cost of comfort and load carrying ability. Your 17" wheels were an upgrade from 16s to provide more crearance for larger brakes. If you have a 2500 or 3500 with an 8 lug bolt pattern, you can find conversions for 19", 22" and 24" 10 bolt truck wheels. These have the load bearing ability and go fast wheels do not. Steve

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Steve Lusardi wrote:

That makes sense.
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Steve Lusardi wrote:

Which makes little sense. Mopar brakes have never been very good. Other manufactures still use 16" with fewer problems than Dodge. Main issue is that the Mopar rotors are junk. Rather than make them larger diameter Dodge should have focused their efforts on just making them decent quality.
At 35K the Rotors on my 2004 Durango need replacing. They've already been turned twice by the dealer under warranty and probably have little metal left. Same problems with my 2001 Ram. Come on Dodge, make a frigg'n decent rotor!!
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I've been of the belief that the folks using a air gun are the cause of a lot of rotor problems. Gotta use a "click wrench" and set them to spec's properly imho.
Roy
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Roy wrote:

That can happen but I still think that Mopar rotors are junk. Most dealers and independent shops I've been too have signs posted all over saying lug nuts are hand torqued.
Why did this become such a problem lately? Or was it that sometime in the late 80's or 90's shops failed to hand torque? I never ever had rotor issues back then like I do now.
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Always was a bit of a problem. But when the tire stores really came into vogue it took off.
Roy
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15:41:06 -0400, Roy wrote:

A store tried to convince me that after 30K, our Neon needed new rotors. I was extremely dubious. After a bunch of back and forth, I finally got it out of them that the rotor thickness was below spec to face it. I asked to see the book. They assured me over and over that Dodge rotors are crap, and it was almost unheard of that rotors could be "turned."
When I finally got the caliper readings and the book side by side, it turns out they were looking under the "new" column. Duh. No wonder. How many rotors are still at "new" thickness by the time you need pads changed? The question is... was it intentional, or were the folks there just idiots? I complained to the AAA (which this place was approved by), it closed, but then reopened under another name right after.
This may not be very common, but I bet it happens more than people might want to believe.
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on Sat, 15 Apr 2006

the
ive seen them also have their "own" rotor spec book and if they dont have the specs for your rotors in their book then its a automatic replacement in their minds. never try to look in the FSM to findout what detriot has to say about discard thickness.
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Right... a beam-style wrench will warp 'em sure as hell! :)
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

Personally I prefer hydraulic torque wrenches. Far more accurate than anything else and more powerful when high torque values are needed. Course the several $1000 cost is kind of a killer.
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miles, Please don't think I'm being condescending, but I drove a chevy s10 for 10 years and changed pads twice, never the rear shoes. Both the rotors and the drums looked almost new. On my '96 Dodge Ram I changed the pads twice, never touched the drums and shoes. At 132,000 the rotors and drums looked new. You probably drive like my daughter, she eats brakes too. The key is anticipation. Dodges have fine brakes. Steve

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Steve Lusardi wrote:

Not me. Like I said I've never had brake troubles until my two Dodges. My 2 1993 Nissans both had over 140,000 and I only replaced the pads once. Rotors were fine. I'm pretty light on brakes, coasting to stops rather than going straight from gas to brake as some do...or ride the brakes and alot of snowbirds do here!
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says...

No, they don't have "fine" brakes! The 94-2001 Rams were known for having poor brakes. And that has nothing to do with rotor quality, they needed bigger rotors and better calipers even more. When they decided to put 20" wheels as an option, better brakes were a necessity.
I've been driving, and buying new cars and trucks since 73. I never had a warped rotor, period, until my 1988 S10 Blazer got them at about 12K. The dealer turned them, and they were ok, until about 30K, when it came back, right after I had to replace both front tires after running over a huge pile of screws in the street. This time, I had to have rotors and the dealer replaced them under warranty. No more problems.
My next vehicle, a 93 Grand Cherokee, warped the fronts by 6K, and had to have new rotors at 15K. They were so bad turning wasn't an option. Mopar gave me those, but refused to go for another pair about a year later when they were even worse than the first ones. I bought some hugely expensive aftermarket ones, and they were fine until I got rid of it in 99, when I bought a new GC, and it warped them by 7K, and needed new ones, that DC did do under warranty, at 14K. They were as bad as the first ones, but aftermarkets weren't so $$, so I went with them, and solved the problem.
The seats in the 99 killed my back, so I traded it on a 2000 GMC Sierra, and warped both front and rears within 6 months. The rears never warped again, but the fronts were turned twice and replaced under warranty. They warped really suddenly and really severely one morning during a rainstorm. I went and bought some cheap aftermarkets, and the problem was solved. Not to say the brakes, the ABS on the rears ever worked right, a small bump made the whole system freak out, and it's amazing that the govt hasn't made them recall them and fix it.
When the Sierra was wrecked, I got my present 2003 Ram QC 4X$, and at about 7K, the shakes and pulling started again. The dealer turned the rotors, and they were ok until 24 K, when they warped again. They turned them again, and they just were legal(I saw the reading). I will need front pads next spring, and rotors too. I will try powerslots or some other decent aftermarket rotors before wasting my money on factory junk ones. When the rotors are straight, my truck stops amazingly fast, and straight..
Side by side, the difference in rotors, even some of the crappiest aftermarket ones are noticeably heavier than the stock ones, and appear to be machined a lot better too. The difference between the stock Sierra rotors and the cheap aftermarkets was so obvious, just by looking at them side by side, it was clear the 25 buck each aftermarkets blew away the factory ones. They were much heavier too.
BDK
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