Taco Con Carnes: Adding More Meat to a 2017 Tacoma
Level 8 Wheels
For wheels, we went with Level 8’s MK6 wheel. We chose their 16×8 wheel with 0 offset. Level 8 makes these wheels for a number of truck applications and in 17 and 18” variants as well. It’s a high pressure cast wheel, which isn’t anywhere near as fancy as the forged Volk TE37s they are clearly emulating, but they’re also worlds cheaper than Volks. We were looking at a set of Method wheels until we realized that the Level 8s have a higher load rating and are slightly cheaper than an equivalent Method.
Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts
For tires we we used Nitto’s Trail Grappler M/T. My preference would have been to grab another set of Hankook Dynapro A/Ts, just like we put on Project VehiCross a few years ago. For my money, the Dynapro is the best daily driven truck tire you can buy. It’s cheap, quiet, handles well on-road, is slow wearing, and as our experience in the Gambler 500 shows, is good in off-road conditions. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go with the Hankooks because they only come in 285-75/16. This would be too tall and would hit the front fenders under compression and turning. The Trail Grappler is much more aggressive and off road biased than we would really want on a daily, mostly street driven truck, but it’s one of the few tires that comes in a 285-70/16 and the only one that isn’t a lame soccer mom tire.
Nitto Trail Grappler Closeup
The Trail Grappler is a hardcore off-roading tire. It features big fat lugs with a ton of voids and big deep sipes for biting into mud. These are 10-ply tires as well which is great for preventing punctures, but makes them very heavy. Obviously the weight impacts performance, hurting handling, braking, and power, but the ability to keep going no matter what is the goal for choosing a tire like this. Obviously a tire with this much void will be a lot louder than an OEM tire, but that’s another trade-off one takes with an off-road tire.

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