Choosing a wheel, it should be more than good looks…
Normally I am not a fellow that goes crazy when it comes to wheel choices. I either run a stock looking steel wheel so I can beat it back into shape if some rock attacks me in the back country or stick with the stock aluminum wheels if they are the right size.
However there are times even someone like me who isn’t about looks needs to find the right wheel, and that is usually when your wallet is also going to lighten up buying bigger tires.
In the case of our Transit build, Ford blessed us with a cute little 28 inch tire on a 16 inch wheel of steel. Normally this would be great as a 255/85/16 has been a fantastic size on my last few builds. However with the Quadvan 4wd conversion I also need to change the offset in order to squeeze as much tire in and not rub against the coil spring on the strut. Oh and yeah in the very near future we are going to see what can be done about some custom reservoir shocks with custom rate coil springs.
This mean a bit of research into 5x160mm bolt pattern wheels…..and only a few showed up. While I didn’t have first hand experience with any of them I did know Method from watching how well they held up during all the NORRA Mexican 1000’s I chased for. Almost any wheel will work on the street and most will work for a normally loaded rig on forest roads. But beat on a wheel in Baja or put it on a heavy vehicle and the real test begins.
Now is the point you start thinking, “well of course he likes Method, they are giving him free wheels”. Nope, I am paying for these, yes there is a discount but I would rather pay for something that works in remote areas than run free that leaves me stranded.
With previous SEMA builds the wheel choice did come down to the best partner deal since all the choices were about the same in performance. However for this van since I can’t more than a 33 inch tire and can’t really go wide I know I will be airing down often and many times way way down. That means a higher risk of rolling off a bead in sand, mud or snow. Sure I know how to re-seat a bead, and with the Extreme Outback compressor and a tank it won’t be hard. But even better is not having to deal with the problem in the first place.
I have seen first hand Method Trail series wheels aired down to 5psi and hold a bead, to me that is worth paying for.
So the winner for our Chase Red Transit will be Method 701 bronze wheels in 17 inch size……and now to figure out tires.