In our research for wheels and tires on our Tacoma Project we tackled two objectives. First, will it fit on the stock suspension, and second focus on the weight of the rolling wheel/tire assembly while retaining strength and durability. The additional benefit of changing the looks has to be on anyone’s mind when changing wheels and spending this kind of money. Mistakes in any of these areas are costly in a number of ways either with modifying your truck to make it fit, expensive at the pump due to a massive weight increase in unsprung weight, or simply what looked good online doesn’t look good installed. Our goal is an OEM + look. A little taller than stock with our own custom look to stand out from the sea of other Tacomas while keeping the unsprung weight in check.
Diving into our OEM + goals first we need a starting point and that’s our stock wheel/tire setup on our Off-Road Tacoma trim. Stock the truck comes equipped with a 16 x 7” wheel with a +25mm offset weighing 23lbs. Tires are Goodyear Wrangler A/T’s with Kevlar measuring 265/70/16 and weighing in at 37lbs for a total rolling weight of 60lbs. To get an idea of where we might go we did a bit of research over on Trail Tacoma. They have an incredibly detailed guide on wheels and tires that covers a wide variety of setups and combinations. One of the key points was that on a stock suspension a 265/75/16 or 265/70/17 is the largest we could go. This provides about a half-inch lift over stock without diving into suspension, fender trimming, or even more aggressive cab mount chopping.
To keep the unsprung weight in check we started looking at forged wheels but if you’ve looked at the pricing on forged wheels you may reconsider other cast options. We found a really nice balance of performance and price point with Titan 7 and their AK1 wheel specially made for the Tacoma/4 Runner/FJ Cruiser. Weighing in at a scant 20.6 lbs for a 17 x 8.5” wheel it’s 3lbs lighter than the smaller stock wheel. Offset is -8 compared to the stock +25mm pushing the wheel about 1.3” farther away from the body of the truck.
Titan 7 starts with an aircraft-grade solid cylinder of 6061 aluminum and pressurizes the cylinder with 10,000 tons of pressure to stamp out the basic shape. This process improves the grain structure of the aluminum making it strong and durable for the abuses of off-roading. This solid structure allows for weight reduction by performing inner spoke machining to reduce weight. All of these design decisions are made with a full FEA analysis and impact tested to JWL/VIA/TUV & DOT standards to ensure the light weight doesn’t come at the expense of durability. This is why Titan 7 can offer a limited lifetime structural warranty on its wheels.