What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85r16

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What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85r16

Postby inspectorrgadget » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:27 pm

As a new owner of a 99 V-6 Amigo, I was pleased it came with 16-inch alloy wheels. However, they do not resemble a Snowflake in any way. On this forum, it seems many are proud of their "Snowflake" wheels. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever explained why the Snowflake design is so sought-after.

I intend to upgrade the tires on my ride, which currently are balding 255/70r16's. The stock 16-inch alloy wheel pattern is seen here:
SouthForkMountain.jpg


In order to upgrade the ground clearance and tire size, I acquired the second-to-last set of Sway-Away torsion bars that Indy4x had for sale. Also from Indy4x, I have a 3 inch body lift, longer Old Man Emu (OME) rear springs, and Skyjacker shocks on order.

When considering larger-sized tires, I found the Dick Cepek Extreme Country 255/85/R16 tires, which seem a good buy with the rebate (600 bucks for four). Converted to American, these would be true "pizza-cutters" measuring 33 X 10 R16. Does anyone have any experience with these tires?

I understand folks around here speak of "offset" when talking about bigger tires and rims. But if anyone could explain why the "Snowflake" are so superior, I would appreciate knowing that now, as I am about to buy some tires.
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby egagnon086 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:08 pm

Your OEM amigo wheels have +38 offset, snowflakes have -5 offset in a 16". So it will move your wheel out from where it is by 1.5"s. Its like built in wheel spacers. Make sure your wheel bearings are in good shape when you swap and put heavy tires on em.

I know, I had the same OEM wheels on my amigo and went to snowflakes, also put on some heavy mud terrains and had to replace the front wheel bearings, they wore out quick, they were old though.

I have 2" BL and 4.5" SL, 32s rub sometimes, so real 33's will require trimming your front fender to fit.

Those HD t-bars may make the ride harsh without more weight on your truck.

Nice Amigo, keep it up.

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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby inspectorrgadget » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:37 pm

Thanks Eganon086. In summary, Snowflakes widen the stance, possibly at the expense of a little more bearing wear. I think I want some.

Where do I look for Snowflakes? Troopers or Rodeos?

Are there any suitable Snowflake substitutes? Such as certain Chevy S-10 pickup wheels or whatever?
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby inspectorrgadget » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:46 pm

As for the front end, I figure once I have a custom front bumper welded up and put in a winch, the extra weight will be there to soak up the new torsion bar force.


FWIW, I am very tempted to get the CalMini Upper Control Arms. To which I would add Zerk grease fittings to lengthen the abysmally-short lives of the bushings.Which brings to mind this topic: Did anybody ever figure out a suitable bushing replacement for the CalMini bushings? Versus merely cranking up the stock arms and torsion bars, what extra benefit do the CalMini UCA's offer? Better alignment, I guess?
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby Ed Mc. » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:53 am

inspectorrgadget wrote:Where do I look for Snowflakes? Troopers or Rodeos?

Are there any suitable Snowflake substitutes? Such as certain Chevy S-10 pickup wheels or whatever?


16x7.5 Snowflakes came on '94-'97 Rodeos, '94-'95 Passports, and at least '94 Amigos (couldn't find info on subsequent years).

They are a nice wheel and the 7.5" rim width better fits wider tires. I have 15x7 Snowflakes on my '90 Trooper 3.4 LS with 31" BF Goodrich A/Ts and it's a nice combination.

I can't recall the S-10's having anything but a 5-lug pattern. The old Chev 1/2-ton pickups had a 6-lug pattern that would fit, long as the center hole was 4-1/4" (108mm).

There are a lot of wheels out there but not so many that meet that criteria. Most have a too-small center hole.

Some Toyota Tacoma and T100 rims would also fit but watch out for the newer ones as I think they went to a smaller-diameter 6-hole pattern.

Toyota alloy rims are hub-centric and our wheels are lug-centric; you'll have to buy about $50 worth of straight-shank lug nuts in the ZuZu wheel stud size to fit-up 'Yota rims.

Older Nissans had the six-lug pattern and larger center hole. Watch out for 2005-up Frontiers & Pathfinders as I believe they also went to a smaller-diameter bolt pattern.

There are lots of Rodeos and Passports out there with dead engine or dead trannies, so you may find a good deal on Craigslist for wheels.

HTH...........ed
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby egagnon086 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:05 am

The calmini ucas bushing last alright with the zerk modification. I have a set of HD nylatron bushing made but haven't installed, the calmini bushings seem to be holding up fine after about 8 months of use. They do correct alignment to a degree and will allow abit more down travel than the OEMs. Also the upper BJ is on top of the arm, so abit safer than a BJ flip.

If you go through my meego build thread it shows most if not all of these mods, its a progressive sickness, I'm a terminal case, Lol.
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby lorenzo816 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:49 am

one more tid bit of helpfull info.
You can eyeball a 15x7" snowflake vs. a 16x7.5" snowflake by simply looking at the holes.
If the holes are round, its a 15".
If the holes are "D" shaped, its a 16" (Ed's pic above is a 16')
I liked the 15's better back in the day because finding tires for them were much more plentiful and cost wise was a little better than looking for similar tires in the 16" size.
The wear you will experience is negligible if you rotate your tires and get a front end alignment done.

one last bit of info, the center caps for both size snowflakes are interchangeable.
The screw holes are the same.
I know from experience. Had three sets and sold them all a few years ago to marlin (chris VX guy)
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby kg4miq » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:05 am

lorenzo816 wrote:one more tid bit of helpfull info.
You can eyeball a 15x7" snowflake vs. a 16x7.5" snowflake by simply looking at the holes.
If the holes are round, its a 15".
If the holes are "D" shaped, its a 16" (Ed's pic above is a 16')
I liked the 15's better back in the day because finding tires for them were much more plentiful and cost wise was a little better than looking for similar tires in the 16" size.
The wear you will experience is negligible if you rotate your tires and get a front end alignment done.

one last bit of info, the center caps for both size snowflakes are interchangeable.
The screw holes are the same.
I know from experience. Had three sets and sold them all a few years ago to marlin (chris VX guy)


Yes, BUT... The 15" have zero offset, while the 16" have -5 offset, meaning about an inch wider stance on each side of the vehicle. On a first gen Trooper, this makes them stick out far enough that mud slings everywhere and they may not be technically legal to drive like that in most states (even though this law is not usually enforced - I see trucks all over the place with six inches or more of tire sticking out each side). Google gives lots of results for tire width discussions. Here is one: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/legality-issues-with-truck-tires-width-and-height

Also, there are two different height center caps. The shorter ones are not as common, but I've seen at least one Rodeo with busted center caps because they used the shorter ones on the front hub, which will not work correctly.
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby BigSwede » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:49 pm

Ed Mc. wrote:16x7.5 Snowflakes came on '94-'97 Rodeos, '94-'95 Passports, and at least '94 Amigos (couldn't find info on subsequent years).

You can search car-part.com for a "12-spoke" wheel for the above years/models.
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby trooper4kids » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:16 pm

Here's an example of tall vs. short center caps that I happen to have sitting on the shelf. I found these on a Trooper (late '90's, I think) at the junkyard.
IMG_20160909_141215.jpg
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby egagnon086 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:32 pm

My snowflake caps don't look like either of those.
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby lorenzo816 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:43 pm

Those are not snow flake caps.
Those are trooper 5 spoke caps
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby trooper4kids » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:17 pm

I didn't realize there were different caps... sorry if I mislead anyone.
1995 Trooper - first Troop long time ago, sold when 3rd child arrived
1994 Trooper - SOHC, 5 Spd, oldest child's first car
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby inspectorrgadget » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:42 am

Gentlemen:

Thanks so much for cluing me in! If I may offer constructive criticism, it seems to me that too often posts are rendered on this forum which assume a bunch of knowledge that not everyone is privy to. Often, products are referenced without including a weblink or other way to source something. Now that the whole story of the Snowflake is here, its advantages, and its various iterations are posted here in one tidy spot! I hope the wheel doesn't need re-inventing. (Yukk yukk at my pun). :drunken:

Special thanks to to BigSweede with his tip to search car-part.com for the "12-spoke" wheel. Thanks also for the tips about the offset of 15 inch versus 16, and that "D" shaped hole denoting a 16.

Thanks to your guidance, I arranged a deal for some 16's with serviceable tires for 150 bucks. I hope somebody tells me if this is a bad deal, good deal, or square deal. See exemplar photo:
WHEEL.JPG
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby inspectorrgadget » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:48 am

I forgot to say: 150 bucks is for a set of four, with tires on each.
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Re: What's the deal on "Snowflakes?" Also, Dick Cepek 255/85

Postby kg4miq » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:39 am

I'd say that's a great deal, considering the rims alone usually go for around $150-200 per set!

Agreed, this site should be renamed "the Isuzu encyclopedia," or something similar!
How to rebuild a 2.6L 4ZE1 distributor

'89 S Trooper - "Kal-El" - 4ZE1
'88 LS Trooper - "Delta" - 4ZE1
'92 Pickup - "Blacktail" - 4ZE1
'89 S Trooper - "Red Leader" - 4ZE1
'89 SE Trooper - "Vader" - 4ZE1
'90 Trooper - "Leia" - 4JG2T swap on hold
'89 Pickup - "Wicket" - 4ZD1
'90 S Trooper - "Nan" - 4ZE1 (possible V8 swap - Ford 302 with 5 speed?)
'94 S Amigo - "Artoo" - 4ZE1, SOLD
'92 XS Rodeo - "Jabba", LH0, 3.1L V6
'89 S Trooper - "Chewie" - 4ZE1, TRADED
'89 XS Trooper - "Red" - 4ZE1, SOLD, bought it back
'89 LS Trooper - "Obi-Wan" - LH0, 3.1L V6
'88 S Trooper - "Stormtrooper" - 4ZE1, SOLD
'91 S Trooper - "Ghost" - L32, 3.4L V6, SOLD
'89 S Trooper - "Angry Bird" - 4ZE1, SOLD
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