Last week, I had a complete set of wheels and tires installed on my 2013 Ram 3500. I want my truck to be ready and to look good when I pickup my new Northstar Laredo in Iowa in September. I have to say they look pretty sweet if I do say so myself! I had put this off for over a year to get some use out of the OEM wheels and tires–especially the Firestone highway tires–but the time was right to make a change. The Firestone’s provided me with very little off-road traction and the OEM wheels were ghastly–they almost hurt my eyes to look at them. In addition to the wheels and tires, I also replaced the OEM shocks on my truck. They performed fine unloaded, but performed poorly with my old 3,000 pound truck camper. Anyways, here’s more information about each new item:
1. KMC XD Series XD801 Crank Wheels: I bought these for $186 each from Discount Tire. I saw a set of these on a new Ford F-350 at a local gas station and they really caught my eye, so much so, that I snapped some close up pics for future reference. I really like the look of these Crank’s as they sport a combined matte black and silver milled finish. They are 18×9 inch, 0 offset rims and have a load capacity of 3,640 pounds each. This is the first time I’ve purchased a KMC product and so far I’m very happy with them. We’ll see how they hold up over time.
2. Nitto Terra Grappler AT G2 Tires: I bought a set of size 275/70R18’s at Discount Tire for $240 each, a great price nobody could beat. I originally bought a set of Terra Grappler 295’s, but with the 0-offset-XD-rims I just bought, I found that they rubbed when performing sharp turns so I returned them. This was a bummer to be sure. I liked how large they were, but I didn’t want to muck up my handling not to mention the higher profile a 2 inch leveling kit would’ve provided to give me the necessary wheel clearance. I really like the tread pattern and aggressive look of the Terra Grappler AT’s. They run exceptionally quiet on the highway–a big plus for AT’s–and provide superb traction on wet roads. I expect that these will do great off-road, but we’ll see. Oh, and like the XD rims, these 10 ply, load-range-E tires have a weight capacity of 3,600 pounds each, a 100 pound increase over the OEM tires and rims.
3. Bilstein 4600 gas shocks: I bought these online on Amazon.com. I’ve found that you can save a lot of money if you buy your shocks online. And if you buy through Amazon.com Prime you can get free shipping. Anyhow, the Bilstein 4600 shock is an old favorite. I’ve had them my last two heavy-duty trucks, a 2003 Ford Excursion and a 2011 Ford F-250 and really liked how they performed. Bilstein’s unique piston design really does offer greater sensitivity and superior control, even when hauling a 3,000 pound truck camper. I should note that the 4600 model is made for stock height trucks and is extremely easy to install–it bolts on directly with no modifications required. If you’re interested in getting a set for your lifted pickup truck, you’ll need a set of Bilstein 5100’s instead.