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15" vs 16" Wheels

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John Cotner View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 10:42am
I've got 15" wheels on my '46 CJ2a, and am looking for another one for a spare.  It seems 16" wheels are much more common.  Is there any reason 16" wheels are more desirable than 15"?  Would there be a practical reason to go from 15" wheels to 16" wheels?  Just wondering.  
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John Cotner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lee MN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 11:56am
Originally posted by John Cotner John Cotner wrote:

I've got 15" wheels on my '46 CJ2a, and am looking for another one for a spare.  It seems 16" wheels are much more common.  Is there any reason 16" wheels are more desirable than 15"?  Would there be a practical reason to go from 15" wheels to 16" wheels?  Just wondering.  


16” were stock on a 2A/truck/wagon of the 1940’s, the 15” may have been an option but were not standard till the 3B/CJ5 in the mid 50’s.... What makes one better than the other I have no idea, 16” seems to have more heavy duty options and load carrying capacity.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mbullism Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 12:01pm
I thought the 15" were a response to complaints of lack of flotation with the std 6x16 NDTs?  a.k.a. taller sidewall allows more "squish" and a wider footprint
1946 CJ2A #69750 - "Plowshare"
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1969 Kaiser CJ5 (sold)
1973 AMC CJ5 (sold)
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Analog spoken here....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lhfarmbt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by John Cotner John Cotner wrote:

I've got 15" wheels on my '46 CJ2a, and am looking for another one for a spare.  It seems 16" wheels are much more common.  Is there any reason 16" wheels are more desirable than 15"?  Would there be a practical reason to go from 15" wheels to 16" wheels?  Just wondering.  

Bob Westerman's article on the 1949 Nebraska Tractor Test (https://cj3a.info/cj3a/farmjeep/ntt.html) notes that the 3a was equipped with 15" wheels.  He says "The 15" tires probably provided more floatation in loose soil."  Our 49 3a also came with 15" wheels.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 48cj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 2:45pm
My 48 CJ2A also came with the original 7.00-15 Goodyears


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldtime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 3:04pm
Group 25-01
All early cj’s were equipped with 16” if standard.
15” became the standard mid year 1963 yet 16” remained as an option through 1971.
All earlier cj’s were available with 15” as an option and also 13” high flotation wheels that are very uncommon.


Edited by oldtime - 29 Apr. 2021 at 3:05pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oldpappy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 8:00pm
Interesting about the 13" high flotation wheels, I didn't know about that.

I have seen a couple of DJs with 13" wheels, but don't know if they were "high flotation".


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldtime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 8:33pm
I’ve never seen a set of the 13” wheels myself but it seems like someone told me they were used in fruit orchards so as not to pack the soil around tree roots.
Not really sure but logic suggest a rib implement tread design that might see beach duty.
IDK
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Apr. 2021 at 11:43pm
The 4.5 x 15 wheels were optional from 1945 to at least 1962.
(and I hate to admit it, but it appears both Goodyear and Goodrich were sourced for the 7:00-15 later in CJ production.)

The 13" was a rib type ag tire design, actually a "sand tire" from Goodyear for Coast guard and military applications. I suppose it could have been special ordered for farm jeeps, but I haven't tried to look that up.


Edited by Joe Friday - 29 Apr. 2021 at 11:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Cotner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 11:10am
Thanks for all of the interesting info.  If 15" wheels became standard for 3a models, they should be more common.  Would 3a wheels fit on a 2a?
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John Cotner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oilleaker1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 11:36am
Back in the late 60's and early 70's 15 inch tires were way easier to find and cheaper than the 600-16's. I had 16" saw dust M&S re-treads on my '48 CJ2A at the time. They worked quite well. My Highschool friends said I was running razor blades for tires-----LOL. They had '55 Chevys and drag raced while I went to the back woods. They enjoyed my Jeep however. Scared a few too! Those were good times for me. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldtime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 1:10pm
Originally posted by John Cotner John Cotner wrote:

Would 3a wheels fit on a 2a?
Basically they used the exact same wheels.
CJ Wheels barely changed at all I till the creased disk came along in the mid 50’s.
And then nothing else changed till the slightly wider 15” wheels became the CJ standard in mid year 1963.
Except for early 2A there was also the Heavy Duty 16” wheel which at that time was identical to the standard pick up wheel and also the M38 and M38A1 wheels.
Lots of people think the Willys wagon used 16” but that’s not true.
Willys wagons only ever had 15” wheels.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cpt logger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 7:49pm
Well Oldtime, I am surprised to find out that all of the wagons had 15" rims from the factory.

All of the 12 or so wagons I have had came with 16" rims and all the ones that I have checked had 16" rims as well. Heck, the only Jeep I have owned that came to me with 15" rims was my 1970 CJ-5. Of course my '73 DJ-5 came with 14" rims. All the other Willys & Jeeps I have owned came with 16" rims. Even my friend's Willys Jeepster came with 16" rims.

If one needs rims, Ford & Dodge 1/2 ton four wheel drive pickups & Broncos as well as at least some Ram Chargers had the same 5 on 5 1/2 bolt pattern. The center hole is big enough on the 4X4s but not on the 2WD units. International Harvester 1/2 ton pickups, Scouts, Travelers & Travel-alls all had the correct bolt pattern & center hole 2WD or 4X4. Heck, I found that some of the IH farm equipment used the same rims.

Oh, do not forget the Jeep 1/2 ton Forward Control pickups. I do not know about the 3/4 or 1 ton FCs.

My disclaimer; Do not take my word for it, check each rim to be sure that they fit your CJ. You never know what "Bubba" has done. I also do not guarantee that the offset will work, IME most will.

IHTH, Cpt Logger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldtime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 7:53pm
Well that’s interesting capt logger.
Idk myself I’m not a wagon guy.
But the parts list clearly only specify various 15” wheels depending on exact the wagon model.
Am only stating info from the various 1945-1975 Jeep publications.
I have every parts list and service manual 1945-1973.
One thing I don’t have is any of the station wagon service standards publications. 1947 through 1964.
So maybe that needs to be looked into further.



Edited by oldtime - 30 Apr. 2021 at 8:03pm
Currently building my final F-134 powered 3B .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocnroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 8:13pm
Originally posted by oldtime oldtime wrote:

Lots of people think the Willys wagon used 16” but that’s not true.
 
 
Per Paul Barry at Willys America....
 
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'48 CJ2A Lefty

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cpt logger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 8:51pm
Fellows, I did not/do not doubt Oldtime, he is much more of a guru on originality then I will ever be. To be clear he has forgotten more than I will likely ever know. I am still very surprised to learn this.

I am just relating my experiences with the Wagons. I am by no means an expert on this. Still this goes to show that lots of things get swapped out in the 70 +/- years that these rigs have been around.

I will run the incorrect 16" rims on my Wagons. That leaves the harder-to-find 15" rims for others who like to be original. Sadly, to some folks, I do not worry about originality, I care about functionality. The 16" rims work well.



Edited by cpt logger - 30 Apr. 2021 at 9:02pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldtime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 9:25pm

This is the 1962 MPL and still no reference between SW’s and 16”.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr. 2021 at 9:53pm
Just to add a little to this. Years ago, I produced automotive parts catalogs - pre computer. You had to be careful on published info and make sure you are using a trusted source. Back then it was product managers who compiled their own data - from what they "knew" and other sources - competive catalogs. In fact copying was so prevalent, we all put made up/fake applications in our catalogs to catch competitors using it. At least it kept us entertained!
After computers, not really convinced data was more accurate, but it did allow us to make mistakes faster. We always had errors when a parts catalog was printed - we just hoped it wasn't too many. Now back to 15" wheels...
I should add that OEM data was generally more correct - aftermarket catalog sources were more risky for reliable/correct info. You remember those old 4' long catalog racks at jobber stores! Once a parts catalog made it in there, it could be years before it got replaced.


Edited by JohnB - 01 May 2021 at 12:56am
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