Which Wheels Work on Which Wrangler?

Which Wheels Work on Which Wrangler?

Last Updated August 4, 2019 | Sam Padgett
Contents

One of the best things about Jeep Wranglers is their modularity. Since the inception of the Jeep YJ, the Wrangler name has become synonymous with a rugged 4X4 that invites its owners to wrench on it. That being said, there is no lack of Wrangler parts out there, and plenty of them work across generations. A part you need for your JL could be somewhere on a JK, and vice versa.

In this case, let’s take a look at Wrangler wheels, and which wheels work for each generation. Wheels are both an easy and important part to upgrade on your Wrangler. Additionally, if you frequently browse forums or even craigslist, you can find some good deals from a fellow Jeeper who is trying to get their old wheels off of their hands. With this article, you will be able to know if these wheels will work for your rig.

What Wheels Fit a YJ

Red YJ Wrangler Wheeling

Let’s start with the YJ Wrangler: The square headlight wonder. Here are the overall specs of a YJ’s tires. A good thing to note is that there are plenty of cross compatibilities with YJ tires across other Jeep vehicles. Jeep Cherokees (XJ) and Jeep Grand Cherokees (ZJ) have the same wheel specs as the YJ. So remember, you can venture outside of the Wrangler realm in order to find some rims for your Wrangler.

  • Tire Size: 15-16”
  • Bolt Pattern: 5 x 4.5”
  • Lug Nut Size: ½" x 20
  • Center Bore: 71.5 mm

In terms of Wrangler cross compatibility, the only Wrangler that can accept YJ wheels is its immediate successor, the TJ Wrangler. So, if you are wondering will TJ wheels fit your YJ, then the answer is a resounding yes.

What Wheels Fit a TJ

Lightly Modded White TJ Wrangler

Next up is the TJ. Given that the YJ can wear a TJ’s tires, the reverse is true as well. This also means that the TJ can draw from the same stock of various Jeep vehicles (XJ and ZJ). Here are the specific specs for TJ wheels.

  • Tire Size: 15-16”
  • Bolt Pattern: 5 x 4.5”
  • Lug Nut Size: ½" x 20
  • Center Bore: 71.5 mm

To put it simply, YJ wheels will fit on your TJ. A quick note about tires though. Since the wheels are the same basic dimensions between both Wrangler generations, the same dimensions apply to the tires as well. Without any major modifications to your Wrangler’s suspensions system, the largest tires that can comfortably run on either a TJ or a YJ are 31-inch tires. Keep in mind, this is for “comfortable” driving. It’s possible to run 33s on a TJ, but that will require some wheel spacers and or a fender trim.

What Wheels Fit a JK

Olive JK Wrangler In Field

Now we are moving into the more modern Wranglers. The JK’s wheels do change a fair bit from the TJ, so they are no longer directly compatible with each other. That being said, the JK’s wheels aren’t in a vacuum. Here are the wheel specs of a stock JK Wrangler.

  • Tire Size: 17-18”
  • Bolt Pattern: 5 x 5”
  • Lug Nut Size: ½" x 20
  • Center Bore: 71.5 mm

The only things that really changed in terms of dimensions between the TJ and the JK wheels are the bolt pattern and stock wheel size. While it is possible to run larger wheels on a TJ, the different bolt pattern prevents them from being directly cross-compatible. There are some other Jeeps that JK can take donor wheels from, however. The JK can use wheels from the Jeep Commander (XK) as well as certain sizes of later model Jeep Grand Cherokees (WJ and WK). It should be noted that WJ and WK wheels come in sizes up to 20 inches which could potentially be run on a JK with some major suspension upgrades.

Regardless, JK Wranglers can run JL wheels just fine. Even though they do have different sized lug nuts, they will work. To see this in action, take a look at this video from CJ Off-Road’s YouTube channel.

A quick note about bolt torque. Up until this point in the Wrangler’s history, ½ x 20 sized bolts are used on their wheels. These specific types of bolts require 75-85 lb-fts of torque to be properly tightened. So, when you strip down some wheels off of a Grand Cherokee, you know how much force it’ll take to fit them snugly onto your Jeep JK.

One final thing to be aware of with JK and JL Wranglers is finding the proper tire pressure monitoring sensor. There are different types of TPMS sensors for each generation of Wrangler, so be sure to pick the right wheel in order to avoid seeing that pesky light on your dashboard.

What Wheels Fit a JL

Finally, we have the JL. The JL has the same basic wheel specs as the JK, but it uses different sized lug nuts. Regardless of these differences, JK wheels will bolt on just fine to a JL. One final note, JL wheels also work on the Gladiator (JT) as well. They have the exact same specs.

Stinger Front Bumper With Winch

If you are looking for a new set of wheels for your Wrangler, then CJ's is the place to look. There are wheel and tire packages available for every body style of Wrangler, so if you do your shopping here, you won't have to wonder if a TJ wheel will fit a JK (it won't).

Which Wheels Work on Which Wrangler?

The Jeep Wrangler is a relatively modular SUV. Wheels from one generation can work well on another, so learn which Wranglers share parts with the others to potentially save you some money and time.

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