33 inch tires

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Jun 4, 2008
Picton, Ontario, Canada
Has anyone put 33 inch wheels on their BJ60 3B with 3.70 diffs? Does it struggle on the hills or with a trailer? The engine is turboed so there is a little extra go power.
I thought all the diesels ran 4.11's? My 82 had them in the stock axles but I swapped them out for 4.88's and other than the lack of top end speed I really like how it drives with my 33's. I have a 4 speed but it's coming out tommorow for an H55.

My stock 3B ran fine with 31's not sure how it would have done with 33's.

The BJ 60 Canadian spec has the 3.70 differentials. The transmission is an H55. I am looking at a set of used wheels complete with the 33 inch tires mounted.
I would strongly suggest that you have a look at tire width and construction as well as just overall height. Running narrower 33s, if they suit your intended purpose, are going to give you much better performance than the standard 33 x 12.50 R15s will. I would suggest you look at, ideally, some of the 255 x 85 R16s on the market (not a huge selection, but some very nice offerings) or the 33 x 10.50 R15s that are offered (again, not much selection, but still a few nice ones to choose from).

The 16" rims/tires will give you a stronger tire carcass and lower rolling resistance over 15" offerings. 16" also run at higher pressures, in most applications, and will carry far more load than 15" options with much better stability. Also, most 16" tire size ratings are not puffed up and exaggerated to the same degree as 15" tires - where a 33 x 12.50 R15 might actually measure only 31.5" or 32" tall, a 225 x 85 R16 will come in at an actual 33.3" tall.

With a 3B and 3.70 gears, performance is going to be very lack lustre. I would suggest at the very least some 4.11s which can be obtained as a stock ratio, or perhaps some 4.56s if you're going to be in a hilly area or tow a trailer.

I have run many tires in these sizes and have just run, back to back over the last few days, these very sizes on my BJ74. The road manners of the 255s is far superior to the 33s. The off-road performance is as good or better with the 255s right up until you need the extra floatation, and then the 33s edge out the 255s.

A little food for thought...

Thanks, John, for your ideas and experiences. My first choice is 16 inch rims but I'll be damned if I can find any in this part of the country (south eastern Ontario). I have been looking for a used set now for about 6 months. I fully agree with you about the narrower, stronger carcase of the 16 inch tire. Rolling resistance is less as well as less steering effort is required. Maybe I just need to be patient and sooner or later something comes along. Have you had any luck with old GM 16 inch rims? Is the center hole 4.25 inches like the Toyota and what about the offset?
I really like skinny tires but there is one complaint I have with my 33 9.50's. When you need to, airing down is not much of an option before the sidewalls are on the ground. Not a problem for a road rig or mild wheeling but it has come up a time or two with the wheeling we do. Really stiff sidewalls sort of take away the advantages of airing down as well.

Don't think I am picking on skinny tires, I have no intention of changing mine. Just something to consider.

Try looking for some Unique wheels. 21- Series is what you want, ala these stats:

21-7755 16x7 5-5.5 0 4 " 35 4.2800 2000 C28EB
21-7760 16x7 6-5.5 0 4 " 35 4.2800 2000 C28EB

Unique Wheel - Quality Steel Wheels for Automobiles and Trucks

You do lose 1" total width, from the stock 3.5" BS. However, in the 16" a 4" BS will work. I ran these wheels with 255/85R16's on BJ42 for years and no issues.

If you want to buy new, find a Unique dealer near you and see if Unique will still custom BS their wheels for the dealer. They used to, for a nominal charge. I got some Uniques in 16x7 with 3.5" BS this way.


Thanks for the Unique Wheels connection, Greg. Are you buying them out of the States or is there a Canadian distributer? The site shows no distributer network for Canada.
Has anyone put 33 inch wheels on their BJ60 3B with 3.70 diffs? Does it struggle on the hills or with a trailer? The engine is turboed so there is a little extra go power.

My old BJ60 with stock tires, and my BJ70 with 33x12.50's both struggle on the same stuff (hills, wind, and hills with wind on the highway!). The BJ70 just struggles even more, or sooner. You notice the change almost exclusively with your 4-5th gears on the highway. You'll want to regear the first time you have to shift into 3rd on a busy highway, with semi trucks passing you! :)

I don't have any experience with turbos, so I'm not sure if it'll allow you to avoid shifting into 3rd, or if you'll be overheating? I'd definitely be interested to know how it works out.
I am disinclined to look at these wheels as an option. A fellow not far from me has a set chained up at the end of the driveway for sale which sort of sparked my interest but I think that the rig even with the turbo is under powered to push itself around without a change in differential ratios which has to be a real pain in the ass job to tackle. Previous information in the post confirms my suspicion about that.
Changing diff ratios to 4.11s is time consuming but not hard to do. You just need to find some that are already in housings that are from another Land Cruiser.

I've run up to 36" Swamper SXs on my BJ42 with the untouched stock engine and 400,000+ Kms on it. Not fast, but not a slug either.

33s and 4.11s will be fine.

i currently run 33 10.5 bfg AT's and love them my 84 bj60 is my dd and they go every where . no turbo and yes i do gear down but the turbo would definitely help message me i am in eastern Ontario as well and always like to meet another cruiser head .
I run 33 x 10.5 15 they are great I have a turbo as well as 4:11 gears and a 5 speed. the truck goes great and I usally pass people going up hills... I also have a buddy running 35" with stock gears 4 speed and a turbo his truck goes just fine as well

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