Titan7 Tacoma AK1 Wheels & Toyo Open Country A/T III Tires

MotoIQ_Project_Tacoma.jpgIn 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.

Titan7_AK1_ToyotaTacoma
Titan7 wheels are fully forged, they take an aircraft-grade solid cylinder of 6061 aluminum and then heat it, and literally press it into its shape. The heating process for forged wheels improves the crystalline structure of the alloy by locking together the sections of the atoms at different angles. Since they use a single billet there’s no oxygen, dirt, or other impurities that you would find in a cast wheel which leads to an overall stronger product.

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.

Titan7_Forging
Titan7 uses 10,000 tons of pressure to form their wheels

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.

Titan7_Rigid_Spoke_Tracer
Titan7 added structural improvements to their wheels including these rigid spoke tracers. Not only do they add durability but as a secondary benefit, they reduce the overall weight of the wheel. To ensure strength is retained all designs are FEA tested both in a lab and in real-world conditions.

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.

4 comments

  1. I went from Nitto Ridge Grapplers to the tToyo A/T III’s on my 2017 Ram 2500 CTD about a year ago. The Toyo’s have noticeably softer sidewalls (I drive my truck like my Subaru Legacy…or at least I try too) and they do make more noise but they seem to be wearing much better (I frequently tow close to or over the trucks rating) and have better traction in the limited offroad excursion the truck sees. I have no complaints with the Nitto’s but I’ve also been very happy with Toyo’s!

  2. I’m running 16” SCS F5s with (stock size) Michelin ltx m/s in 265/65-r16 on my 14’ taco and love the setup. Wheels are around 17.5lbs and tires around 37 iirc. Michelins are quieter and grippier on the street than my previous KO2s and weigh less. They work great off road in mud and sand when aired out. Haven’t tried Toyos but heard they wear out quickly.

    1. It looks like you’re definitely seeing the benefits of only going as large as you need (16 inches) which is a great way to keep the rolling weight down. I have yet to be disappointed by a Michelin tire I’ve purchased.

      As far as the Toyo’s wear time will tell but after the many reviews I’ve read many people seem happy with the longevity.

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