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Steel vs. Alloy: Pick the Right Wheel

When it comes to wheels for your Jeep, you only have two basic options - steel or cast alloy. Although the categories are few, you need to know the difference between each to ensure that you install the right wheel for the type of driving you want to do, whether you need lightweight wheels with maximum performance, or a heavy duty set that handles an off-road workload.

Comparison Chart - Steel Wheels VS Cast Alloy Wheels

  Steel Wheels Cast Wheels
Material Heavy duty steel Aluminum Alloy
Process Stamped manufacturing process offers increased durability and reduced defects or impurities Low-pressure casting allows better metal flexibility
Durability Heavy steel provides extended durability Rust-resistance provides a long-lasting shine, but cannot take the punishment of off-roading
Performance Rugged wheels can withstand punishment on the toughest trails Lightweight construction makes them ideal for race applications
Cost Inexpensive to make, and cost-effective for the consumer Depending on style, brand, and wheel size, alloy rims come in every price class

Steel Wheels

  • Steel Wheels

    Nothing sparkles quite like a set of Pro Comp Alloy Wheels. Built from lightweight aluminum alloy, these Pro Comp wheels come in a wide variety of high-polish designs, and are designed lighter for much better wheel travel ability.

Advantages of Steel Wheels

  1. Durability

    Steel wheels are heavier than alloys, making them more durable. Steel is more malleable than aluminum, giving steel wheels enough flexibility to withstand impacts without breakage or chipping.

  2. Consistency

    The uniformity and symmetry of the stamped construction process increases the structural integrity of steel wheels, and diminishes the occurrences of defects.

  3. Longevity

    A steel rim provides increased protection from dirt, sand, brake depletion, and corrosion.

  4. Shop Wheels: | Pro Comp Steel Wheels | American Racing Wheels

Alloy Wheels

  • Alloy Wheels

    Alloy wheels are lightweight, and the low-pressure manufacturing process allows for a great variety of styling options that are not achievable with steel wheels. The light weight makes alloy rims perfect for racing or speed-tuning applications, and the nearly limitless styling options let you select a wheel that will set your Jeep apart. The less-porous nature of the metal improves airflow and lets heat dissipate more quickly from the brake system.

Advantages of Alloy Wheels

  1. Low-Pressure Casting

    Alloy wheels are made using a low-pressure casting process. This process provides increased malleability during the production process, allowing for the creation of numerous wheel designs.

  2. Porous Metal Compound

    The porous nature of aluminum alloy provides improved airflow through the rim, which cools down heated brakes more efficiently.

  3. Rust-Resistant Shine

    Although aluminum alloy is more porous than steel, alloy wheels are rust-resistant and easy to clean. This provides a consistent, long-lasting finish.

  4. Shop Wheels: | Pro Comp Alloy Wheels | Mickey Thompson | Dick Cepek

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