Jeep Wrangler JK: Wheel and Tire General Information

The tires on your Jeep Wrangler require much more attention than what most people give them. Read on to learn how to maintain your tires.By Bassem Girgis – January 13, 2016

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The Jeep Wrangler JK is equipped with monstrous tires. It is a vehicle designed to go over any possible terrain. However, there is much more to tires than what they can handle when you put them through hell. The tires are one of those components that you have to regularly maintain if you want them to last long. In addition to that, poorly maintaining your tires can result in wearing out other components, such as your shocks and bushings. This guide will shine some light on your tires and how to maintain as well as inspect them in the Jeep Wrangler.

Tire Size

Choosing the right tire size is important for maintaining comfort in the Jeep Wrangler. You can find the tire sizes on the tires themselves, or you can find them on the label inside the driver’s door jamb. If you want to go up in size, it’s recommended you replace the rims as well.

Figure 1. Tire size located on all four tires.

Tire PSI

The second most important thing, after having the right tire size, is to ensure proper tire pressure. The tire pressure tends to vary depending on the weather or if you have a tire leak. The cold weather deflates the tires, while the warm weather inflates them. It’s important you invest in a four dollar tire gauge. Checking the tires once a month is a piece of maintenance that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the weather changes, be sure to check the tires as soon as you can. Uneven tire pressure could cause the Wrangler to handle poorly, and it will also cause it to pull in one direction; not to mention the tire wear it will cause. This piece of maintenance takes about two minutes total and could save you a lot of money down the line. The proper stock tire pressure for the Jeep Wrangler JK is 37 PSI for all four tires.

Figure 2. Tire pressure gauge.

Tire Wear

Detecting uneven tire wear can save you a lot of money. There is a reason your tires are wearing unevenly, and if you catch it early on, you could save yourself the headache and the money of purchasing new tires. Bad alignment could cause the tires to wear unevenly, even if they are brand new. Improper tire pressure can also eat away at your tires, along with imbalanced wheels. It’s important you glance at your tires as you walk by them, along with investing two minutes to thoroughly inspect each tire for uneven tire wear. As soon as you feel a difference in handling, check the tires and tire pressure.

Figure 3. Tire wear.

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Jeep Wrangler JK: All-Terrain Tire Reviews

To better educate oneself before dropping several thousand dollars on a new set of all-terrain tires, we’ve compiled a list highlighting the pros and cons of five popular tires available for the Jeep JK. Consult this source for information on wet weather ability, sidewall strength, pricing, road noise, performance in snow and outright grip.By Thomas Parry – December 9, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

As most JK owners browsing these forums have entertained the idea of taking their Jeep off-road, we’ve decided to compose a list which details five popular tires designed for a bit of fun off the paved road. We understand that these tires will be used, in most cases, on the road as well, so we’ve considered the everyday usability of these models as well as their wet weather performance, effectiveness in snow or mud, price and livability. All this information has been sourced from consumers and enthusiasts to be as objective as possible.

Popular JK All-Terrain Tires

Goodyear DuraTracBFG T/A K02Yokohama GeolandarGeneral Grabber AT2BFG KM2
Wet PerformanceGood wet weather performanceDecent grip in the wetNot good in the mudWorks well in rainFair
Off-Road PerformanceGood in cold weather, snowNot as good in cold weather (though capable), ideal for hotter weatherGood grip in dirt and sandWorks well on gravel, mudWorks decently on rocks on mud
NoiseModerate levels of road noise; reasonably quietQuieter than Goodyear DuraTracFairly quietVery quietModerately quiet
Mileage60,000+55,000+30,000+45,000+40,000+

Best Quality: BFG T/A K02

Best Value: BFG KM2

Goodyear DuraTrac

Price – $1,350

Wet Performance – Excellent

Off-Road Performance – Good in cold weather and snow

Noise – Moderate

Mileage – 60,000-75,000 miles

A popular tire, available in 33″ size for the Wrangler, is the Goodyear tires and are excellent for the daily driven Jeep. They offer superior performance in cold, snowy conditions, while providing excellent wear characteristics. Many poster on the forums advise that their lifespan is in excess of 60,000 miles. Recommended for those willing to pay a price premium for an excellent all rounder tire with good street manners.

BFG T/A K02

Price – $1,500

Wet Performance – Decent

Off-Road Performance – Ideal for hot, dry climates

Noise – Quieter than the Goodyear

Mileage – 55,000+

The BFG all-terrain tire has long been the go to tire for Jeepers everywhere. Due to the tread design, the BFG really shine in the sand and dry rock climbing elements typical of places in the Western United States. If you play with your toys in the sandbox, then the BFG is the tire for you. Recommended for those who live in dry, warm climates.

Yokohama Geolandar

Price – $1,200

Wet Performance – Not good in muddy conditions

Off-Road Performance – Good performance in the sand and on dirt trails

Noise – Fairly quiet

Mileage – 30,000+

With one of the least aggressive tread designs in this comparison, the Yokohama is aimed squarely at the Jeep owner who sees mainly on-road miles and wants a more comfortable ride. The tread design also has the benefit of low noise and vibration versus a more rugged tire. That said, the Geolandar still offers all-terrain performance, though it is geared more towards water or sand versus more hardcore rock crawling. Recommended for those who want a comfortable street tire.

General Grabber AT2

Price – $1,350

Wet Performance – Works well in the rain

Off-Road Performance – Good in gravel and mud

Noise – Very quiet

Mileage – 45,000+

The Generals are a tire that are mid-pack in price, but with a unique selling proposition. While the sidewalls are quite stiff, the actual tread block is super softer in composition than the other tires here, which results in a quiet, creamy ride quality. Additionally, the soft compound combined with the specific tread block design makes it very adapt at both channeling rain or snow, as well as being able to easily fling gravel or mud from the tread blocks, resulting in superior performance. Recommended for those who want great performance and a quieter ride.

BFG KM2

Price – $1,250

Wet Performance – Fair

Off-Road Performance – Decent on rocks and gravel.=

Noise – Moderate

Mileage – 45,000+

With its more aggressive tread design, it’s no surprise that these BFG tires excel when it’s time for more serious rock crawling. The large tread blocks are good at sticking to the rocky stuff, and easily moving through the muddy stuff. Coming in on the lower end of the price spectrum, they can be forgiven for their noisier driving characteristics. Recommended for those who are willing to trade off a harsher ride for increased off-road capability.

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Jeep Wrangler JK: Why is My TPMS Light On?

The TPMS light is supposed to tell you when your tire pressure is low, but that’s not always the case. Read this diagnostic to find out more.By Jared Hammond – November 24, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

Your TPMS is there to indicate when your tire pressure is below the recommended level. In most cases this will be the culprit, but there are other circumstances that could trigger the light such as a routine tire rotation, or getting a new set of tires. If your TPMS light is on constantly, then it’s directly related to tire pressure, but if the light is blinking, then something is wrong with the system and you’ll need to take it in to a dealership. Keep reading for suggestions on getting the light to shut off.

Step 1 – Check the tire pressure

There is a sticker on your Jeep that will tell you at what PSI the tires should be kept. This is typically around 37 PSI. Check the tire pressure on all four tires with a tire pressure gauge to ensure it’s at the recommended amount. If not, then increase the tire pressure with an air pump until it meets the recommended level.

Figure 1. Use a tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure.

Pro Tip

An important thing to consider is that the recommended tire pressure is for when the tires are cold. Don’t add air to your tires after driving on them. To be extra sure, wait until morning or late evening before adding air to your tires.

Step 2 – Drive around for a bit

It might seem strange, but it’s perfectly reasonable to ignore the light. If you’ve just fixed the tire pressure, or perhaps you’ve recently done a tire rotation or installed new tires, then it can sometimes trigger the light because the sensors in the tires need to adjust. It typically take 5-10 miles of driving for the sensors to fully adjust.

Step 3 – Check for leaks

Recheck your tire pressure after driving for a bit. If it’s lower than when you last checked, then you may have a leak on your hand. The TPMS is useful for spotting leaks because it will usually tell you which tire has low pressure. Lift the Jeep with a jack and inspect the problem tire carefully. If you find any tears or holes in the rubber you can either patch it or replace the tire completely.

Figure 2. Some JK models show you which tires have low pressure.

Step 4 – Make sure you have the correct sensors installed

If you have a 2013 or newer Jeep Wrangler JK, then there is a possibility that the wrong sensors are installed to your tires. An easy way to check is to write down your Jeep’s VIN number and plug that info into the Mopar Parts Website. That should list the part number for the correct sensors for your Jeep. If you need to install new sensors, you’ll also need to install new gaskets to prevent leaks after installing the sensors.

Figure 3. TPMS is located inside the tire and is attached to the valve stem.

Step 5 – Try reprogramming your sensors

Flash programmers such as the ProCal module or the Superchips Flashcal are designed to work with the Wrangler JK. These programmers give you the option to adjust the PSI level that triggers your TPMS sensors or to even turn off the TPMS sensors entirely. However, this does mean that you’ll lose the functionality of the TPMS.

Figure 4. Use programmers like this one to adjust or turn off your TPMS.

Step 6 – Unplug the battery

It is possible that the TPMS is stuck in a triggered state. Unplugging the car battery and leaving it unplugged for 5 to 10 minutes will reset the TPMS along with everything else. Doing this means you’ll lose your clock and radio settings as well.

Figure 5. Disconnect the battery.

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Jeep Wrangler JK: Wheel and Tire Diagnostic Guide

The more you drive, the more reasons will come for you to learn how to diagnose your wheels and tires. Read on to learn how to do so in the Jeep Wrangler.By Bassem Girgis – November 24, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The wheels and tires are your Jeep Wrangler’s shoes. They are constantly being rotated and used as long as you’re driving the car. There are many things that can go wrong with your wheels and tires, which can affect the way your Jeep feels. This guide will help you diagnose various issues for your wheels and tires, and it will show you what you will need to do to fix it. Next time you feel your Wrangler is driving differently, your tires are losing air, or something just doesn’t sound right, you can always refer to this guide and solve your wheels and tires issues.

Figure 1. Jeep Wrangler’s wheel.

Materials Needed

  • Flashlight
  • Tire monitor

Step 1 – Check tire pressure

It could be low.

The first thing you do if you feel your Jeep is pulling in one direction, or if you feel the tire looks strange, is to check the tire’s PSI. You can find the appropriate tire pressure on the tire itself, but an easier place to find is in the driver’s door jamb. There is a sticker that states the proper PSI for your tires. Use your tire pressure monitor to read your tire pressure, inflate or deflate as necessary to make it match your sticker.

Figure 2. PSI sticker.

Figure 3. Measure tire pressure.

If your pressure is proper, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 – Check the wheels

It could be bent.

A bent rim could cause air to leak out of your tire. So even though your tire might not have any holes in it, the rim could be the cause. You can bend a rim while you’re parking by hitting the curb, or you can easily bend it while off-roading. Inspect your rim and make sure it goes around straight with no bends. The most common spot to bend a wheel is on the inside of the barrel. If you’re suspecting a damaged wheel, it’s best to pull the wheel off the Jeep and take a careful look at the inside.

Figure 4. Bent rim.

If your rim is straight, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 – Check tires for uneven wear

Your tires could be wearing unevenly.

Tires could wear unevenly if your car is out of alignment or in need of re-balancing. It should be noted that when shock absorbers go bad, they can cause your alignment to go out of whack and cause “cupping” on the tires, which results in abnormal wear. Check the outside of the tire and compare it to the inside tread. If they don’t match or if one side is worn faster than the other, be sure to balance your wheels and align your car. Uneven tire wear could also be caused by uneven tire pressure, so make sure all your wheels match in pressure.

Figure 5. Uneven tire wear.

If your tires are worn equally, move on to Step 4.

Step 4 – Check tires for bulges

Your tire could be bulging from an impact.

If you enjoy off-roading, you will most likely experience a bulging tire. The tire could bulge if you hit a hard pothole or have any extreme impact. Most of the time, the bulge doesn’t show up on the tire for weeks, so you damage the inside of the tire, then slowly it shows on the outside. To fix this issue, you will have to replace the tire.

Figure 6. Tire bulging.

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Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Replace Wheel Studs

The wheel studs is what your wheels bolt onto, so if they are stripped or broken, replacing them is necessary to ensure a safe drive in the Jeep Wrangler. This guide will show you how to do it.By Bassem Girgis – November 24, 2015
Contributors: Robar

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The Jeep Wrangler’s wheels are held in place by wheel studs. The lug nuts go over the studs to hold the wheels in place when you’re driving. Sometimes, these studs could get stripped, it could happen by over-tightening the lug nuts when you’re replacing the tire. The more stripped they are, the less they hold the wheels in place. So whether you do a lot of off-roading or you simply drive exclusively on the road, having sturdy, threaded wheel studs is an absolute necessity in ensuring a safe drive. Read on to learn how you can replace them and install new ones in their place.

Figure 1. Stripped wheel studs.

Materials Needed

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Tire iron
  • Hammer
  • New wheel studs

Step 1 – Raise car and remove wheel

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheel you will be working on, then raise the car. Secure your Jeep using your jack stands, then remove the lug nuts and wheel.

Figure 2. Loosen lug nuts.

Figure 3. Raise Jeep and secure with jack stands.

Step 2 – Remove brake caliper

To remove the caliper, you will need to remove the two rear bolts holding it in place. Use your 18mm socket to remove the two caliper bolts, then remove the caliper. Make sure to not let it hang from the brake line; either set it somewhere safe or hang it from the coil spring using a wire hanger, or something similar.

Figure 4. Remove brake caliper.

Step 3 – Remove brake rotor

Before you remove the brake rotor, remove the rotor retainers. There are little washers that go on top of the studs. Finally, remove the rotor by pulling it out. If you’re having a hard time doing so, tap it with a rubber mallet to get it loose, then pull it straight out.

Figure 5. Rotor retainer.

Figure 6. Remove brake rotor.

Step 4 – Hammer out old stud

Use your hammer to hammer out the old stud. Be sure to hit it straight back so it doesn’t bend. Don’t worry about ruining it, as long as you can get it all the way out.

Figure 7. Hammer out stripped stud.

Step 5 – Install new stud

Feed the new stud through, and as soon as it shows on the outside, use one of the lug nuts to help get it through. As you tighten the lug nut, the stud will come through more and more, so be sure it’s going in straight.

Figure 8. Use lug nut to get stud through.

Figure 9. New stud in place.

Step 6 – Install components

Install the brake rotor in place, then install rotors retainers. Install the brake caliper on top of the rotor, then tighten the two rear bolts using your 18mm socket. Finally, put the wheel in place, hand-tighten the lug nuts, lower the car, and tighten the lug nuts in a star fashion.

Figure 10. Install wheel and tighten lug nuts.

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Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Make Center Caps

Here’s an inexpensive modification you can add to your Jeep Wrangler’s wheels.By Bassem Girgis – November 23, 2015
Contributors: axsys

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

If you own a Jeep Wrangler, you know you want it to be different. Fortunately, when it comes to modifying the Wrangler, there are no rules. This modification is designed to add a bit of a flavor to your wheels without spending too much money, or spending any money at all. This guide will show you how to make center caps for the wheels. The other alternative for the owners who want to change the looks of their wheels is to either buy new wheels, which will cost close to a fortune, or paint the wheels, which is not for amateurs. Read on to learn how you can install center caps to your wheels and have fun doing it.

Figure 1. DIY center cap.

Materials Needed

  • Sterno cooking fuel cans
  • Spray paint
  • Can opener
  • Tin snips
  • Tape and plastic bags
  • Goo-Gone
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wooden block

This guide works with ProComp 97s; it could also work for the Cragar Soft 8s. It iwll work for anything equivalent in size and shape.

Step 1 – Prepare can

Remove the top of the sterno can using a can opener. Use Goo-Gone to remove all the labeling on it. This part could take a while, but be patient so you can make it nice and smooth.

Tape your can, leaving 1/2″ away from the bottom of the can, then use your tin snips to create flaps around the can. Make sure the flaps are small, even, and close to one another. Finally, bend them outwards as shown in Figures 4 and 5 below.

Figure 2. Sterno can.

Figure 3. Remove labels.

Figure 4. Cut flaps.

  • Figure 5. Bend flaps out.

Step 2 – Install can on wheel

Place the can on the back of the wheel, in the center. Put the wooden block on top of it and hammer it in, straight and gentle. Continue to do so until it is flush with the back of the wheel.

Figure 6. Install can in the center of the wheel.

Step 3 – Paint the cap

Use your plastic bag to cover the wheel, and create a small hole the size of the can in the center. Feed the can through the hole and tape around it to avoid paint going through to the can. Use spray paint (color of your choice) to paint the can. Spray roughly eight inches away from the can, and keep your hand moving as you spray. Wait 15 minutes between coats, and do three coats total. You can repeat the procedure on the other wheels as you wait for the other ones to dry. The reason you paint the can after you install it is because if you paint it first, you’ll end up scratching the paint when you hammer it in.

Figure 7. Spray painting the cap.

Figure 8. Final product on front wheel.

Related Discussion

Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Install Wheel Spacers

The wheel spacers are little devices that goes between the rotors and the wheels to make the wheels come out. Learn how to install it yourself on the Jeep Wrangler.By Bassem Girgis – November 16, 2015
Contributors: Andrew LaFollette

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The Jeep Wrangler is a mean looking car, but if you want it to look even meaner, nothing can do that as much as a wider stance. Wheel spacers are little steel devices that bolt onto the rotors, which creates a bit of space so the wheels stick out. There has been a long debate about if they are safe or not. Nothing is safer than stock, so if you’re comparing it to stock, the obvious safe option is how the Jeep came out of the factory; however, if you insist on widening your stance, which could assist in stability, be sure to install the wheel spacers with the studs, as these tend to hold much better than just the steel plate. Read on to learn how to install wheel spacers in your Jeep Wrangler.

Figure 1. Wheel spacer installed.

Materials Needed

  • Socket set
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Wheel spacers

Step 1 – Raise car and remove wheels

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels you will be installing wheel spacers on, raise the car using your jack, then secure it with jack stands. Remove the wheels that are off the ground.

Figure 2. Raise and secure your Jeep.

Step 2 – Install spacer

Install the wheel spacers, but don’t use the factory lug nuts because you will use the lug nuts that came with it. Put the wheel spacer on the rotor’s studs with its studs facing out. Install the lug nuts that came with it, with the rounded edge facing inside, towards the car. Use your socket to tighten them in a star fashion.

Figure 3. Align spacer.

Figure 4. Install lug nuts.

Figure 5. Tighten lug nuts.

  • Figure 6. Spacer installed.

Step 3 – Install wheel

Install the wheel over the wheel spacer’s studs and install the lug nuts, but don’t tighten. Remove the jack stands and lower the car, then tighten the lug nuts.

Figure 7. Install wheel.Featured Video: Wheel Spacer Install Jeep Wrangler

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Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Plasti-dip Wheels

Plasti-Dip is a type of paint you can use on your Jeep Wrangler’s wheels to change their look to your liking.By Bassem Girgis – November 13, 2015
Contributors: How-to Wrangler

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

When it comes to wheels, changing their looks usually requires replacing them, which can be a very costly task. If you’re like most Jeep Wrangler owners and you bought a Jeep with stock wheels, you change their colors and thus their entire look. Plasti-Dip offers a protective coat that goes on the rims easily. So, along with changing the looks of your wheels, you can actually protect them while you’re at it. With the Plasti-Dip cans average six dollars a piece, and you can touch it up easily by just buying a can or two. Since the Wrangler is designed for extreme off-roading, protecting the wheels can go a long way. Read on to learn how to paint your Wrangler’s wheels with Plasti-Dip.

Materials Needed

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Tire iron
  • Rag
  • Rim cleaner
  • Cans of Plasti-Dip

Step 1 – Remove the wheels

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels you will be removing, then raise the car and secure it on jack stands. Remove the wheels you will be painting.

Figure 1. loosen lug nuts.

Figure 2. Raise the car and secure it with jack stands.

Pro Tip

You can paint the wheels without removing them, but it will require much more prep work. Avoid getting paint on other components by removing the wheels first.

Step 2 – Clean the wheels

Use your soap, water and rag to clean the wheels thoroughly and dry them properly. Make sure there is no dust or dirt on them. Anything left on it will be trapped under the paint and could cause an uneven application.

Figure 3. Wash and dry the wheels.

Step 3 – Paint the wheels

If you’ve decided to leave the wheels on the car, be sure to cover the brake components behind them and the lug nuts. If you removed the wheels, then you’re ready to start.

Hold the Plasti-Dip spray can about 6 to 8 inches away from the wheel, and once you start spraying, be sure to keep your hand consistently moving left and right. Cover the whole surface. At first, it may look messy, but as you go over it, it will start coming together and the paint will look consistent. Once you have a semi-consistent coat, wait 15 minutes then spray another coat. The goal is to do three coats for each wheel.

Figure 4. Spray 6 to 8 inches away from wheel.

Figure 5. Paint three coats for each wheel.

Step 4 – Re-install the wheels

After you’ve done three coats for each wheel, install the wheels back on. Hand tighten the lug nuts, then lower the car, finally tighten the lug nuts and enjoy your new, unique wheels.

Figure 6. A before (left) and after (right) shot of Plasti-dipped wheels.

Featured Video: How to Plasti Dip Wrangler Wheels

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