Steel Wheel Tech

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Feb 10, 2002
Canton, Mississippi
It’s amazing how times change.

For years we took off the steelies and added mags, white spokes, beadlocks and chrome.

Now it seems the worm has turned and steelies are all the rage.

I’ve got a few different sets of steel wheels I’m going to opine about. Hope to put some tech all in one spot

The ones I can speak for are:

OEM Toyota 15”
CityRacer 16” OEM replica
OEM Splits

Last set....., first I’ll discuss.....generic 16x6 steelies

Feel free to toss in your steelie tech
Last weekend @Bossman showed up at the CottonLand Campout with a new-to-him Troopy with some really cool steel wheels that “looked” to me, just like split rims

I started messaging the prior owner about the wheels and I pulled the trigger on a set of 5 from eTrailer. I ordered on Monday and they arrived Wednesday. Price is right.

The only problem with these wheels is the bore is too small. 3.65” pilot and the Cruiser (fronts or full float rear) need 4” pilot


So, easy fix......drop them at my local machine shop to make them 4”


I smoothed them out with a flapdisc




Edit @island45 says 4.25” is a better bore size
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Machine shop charged me $25 per wheel.

Time for paint. This is my go-to OEM wheels color to match 69 and up OEM steelies and splits


Clean em and line em up


Front side done with 2-3 coats with one can. I plan on doing the insides as well. Just need more paint

The wheels above are for those vehicles that you never plan to run hubcaps with. You can certainly add hubcap clips to them but then you really get into the weeds.

If you want a superb set of ready-to-use 16”
Wheels that balance out excellent and have some of the best powdercoating I’ve seen, get these wheels

I have two sets. One on my 45 with 750-16” BFGs

One set on my FJ40 with 235/85-16 Yokahama MTs


These I wanted to keep black as many E-68 trucks had black steelies

I would have gotten another set but I wanted them to look like splits
OEM Splits.

These things are cool as hell but most people around here are scared to death of them.

I traded my set off to a crazy Marine that worked on them in the military that had zero fear.

With these, if you want hubcaps you need to buy and install clips. @Racer65 sells them separately

Also, you need tubes and liners for them.

Here are @USMC22 that he put 255/85-16” KM2s on.





Excellent info. I ran 16x6 trailer wheels (white spokes) on my 62 for a long time with 235/85's. Never saw the "steekie style." I am going to have to get a set of those for my '61 40. Lots of haters out there concerning trailer wheels, but the load rating is more than adequate and they have worked great for me.

One such debate. There is absolutely nothing 1/2 ass about these wheels. They are heavy as heck. If they balance I’ll be fine and I’ll know that soon.

One such debate. There is absolutely nothing 1/2 ass about these wheels. They are heavy as heck. If they balance I’ll be fine and I’ll know that soon.
The white spokes I ran balanced fine. A good tire shop will also balance trailer tires the same as car tires without even being asked, never had an issue getting them balanced even with lesser quality overseas 5 lug trailer wheels.
Cool, thanks OP I’m a big fan of steelies always have been. The appeal for me is that they are oem, they look tough, and foreign models always seem to have them. Dad and I went with the OEM 15s for the ‘79 because they were half the price of City Racers and we are going all stock for the resto. I would have liked 16s but I’m content with BFG A/T’s in 33/10.50. Still tall and skinny and I’ve always been very happy with this tire on the 40, run them in all conditions for years and never let me down.

The 92 will be getting a steelies retrofit soon as my bigfoots wear out. These came off a tundra, somebody powder coated them. Removing the tires revealed a nasty bit of rust inside. So elbow grease then POR 15 it is before mounting some tall skinnies (255/80/R17). Such is the plight of the steel wheel owner :frown:. Sweet Toyota caps on em too but I’m not sure they’ll fit the 80.

One tidbit I’ve learned is that the tundra steelies though bigger, feel at least 3-5 lbs lighter than the oem 40 wheels.
It’s amazing how many people are now going back with the OEM steelies.

Yes, agree, the 33x10.50-15 and the OEM steel wheels are a killer combo.

I’ve run them on everything from a stock suspension to a 3” lift.

Back to the wheels.

Still available, as are the hubcaps through Toyota or your favorite retailers

I run them on my Pig. Bought them from @beno and then painted them with Rustoleum Smoke Grey


A couple of facts about OEM Land Cruiser 15” steelies.

E-75 the wheels were riveted together. These wheels won’t bolt directly to a later disc brake front axle without the rivets hitting the brake caliper.

76+ wheels are welded and have the proper clearance. All the new OEM wheels are welded.

The way to tell is to look inside the wheel. If they have big rivets holding the inners with the outer they are drum brake wheels.

Last note.

The black paint or powder on the new OEM wheels fades out fast. If you want to run them black, make sure you paint them first.

These are only a year old (a friends Cruiser)

That Iron pig is lookin stout @wngrog!
I would add the price point of steelies is another plus I forget to mention...

I plan on finding a gray in single stage industrial to finish off the 15s, but I won’t go off topic again ;)
Acorn Caps. Old thread but I got 2 sets in the last 18 months.

Passed a Ford dealer a few weeks back and I swear a new Ranger on the lot had steel wheels that looked just like the Tundra/Tacoma steelies.
I would not doubt it. Maybe they come to dealer with them and get swapped to aluminum. Both my TRD Pro 4Runners came from Japan with steelies and they add the TRD pro wheels and tires at port
OEM Splits.

These things are cool as hell but most people around here are scared to death of them.
From where did you order the tubes and flaps? Don't see the company name in the attached picture... I have a set of 5 splits holding up the wife's '74 while it is being resurrected from a long nap in the pasture. They currently have 7.50x16 bias mud grips which I think means they have bias style tubes which won't work with radial tires... I'm planning to swap out to 265/75/16 radials that I took off my DD suburban that were at least made in this century.

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