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Jeep Wrangler Tires and Wheels

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Comments

  • jeepgurljeepgurl Posts: 3
    I'm a newbie to four wheeling and I need an answer to a question about tires. I have a 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited that came from the factory with LT245/75R16 tires 30x9.5
    I want to beef it up a little and put bigger tires on it. I was thinking going maybe 32's or 33's do I need to lift my Jeep for tires that big? I have Dana 44 heavy-duty front and rear axles if that matters. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    For 33's you'll need a 3" lift. A 2" suspension plus a 1" body is the usual way to go. 31"x10.5" is the max otherwise.
  • jeepgurljeepgurl Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response. Do you know of any good web sites that might have some decent literature on lift kits?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Your best bet is to check out the various jeep forums out there.

    Many love the OME (Mac24, tsjay, and I all have it) for its onroad ride (many say better than stock, I agree), and it's nice flexing capabilities offroad. It is pricier, but with lifts, you often get what you pay for.

    Rubicon Express is another good one. I've also heard many good comments about Rusty's Offroad (located here in AL) having a nice ride and flex.

    Keep in mind, if you go bigger than 3-4", you have to worry about other issues (drivelines, steering geometry, etc), so a 2-3" suspension lift with a 1" body lift will be a GREAT way to get that Rubicon up in a decent manner.

    -Paul
  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    Jeepgurl, great timing. I was browsing the Jeep forums just for the question you had!
    I have a Jeep Unlimited and also want to "beef" it up. I was also considering 33" tires.
    A few more questions:
    - Why a 2" suspension lift and 1" body? Why not just a 3" suspension?
    - Any issues with driving at higher speeds (60-70mph) with a lift like this?
    - If I went 33 I was considering the BFG All-Terrain. Any opinions?
    - AND.. last but not least, for those of you who had your Jeep lifted, what was the overall cost? I'm in the Chicago area...

    Thanks!
    :)
  • jeepgurljeepgurl Posts: 3
    Thanks alot Paul for the useful information. Boy I sure have a lot to learn.. :)
    :shades:
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    That's why we're here. Ask anything else you need to know! :)

    -Paul
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Karl, as mac and I mentioned previously, there are factors to consider with going to a larger suspension lift.

    - You may have your axles shift to one side more
    - You may have to change your pitman arm, which alters the steering geometry and can lead to more uncontrollable steering (death wobble)
    - If you go too big on the suspension lift, the control arms will be too short. The stock control arms are good to about 3" or 4", but any larger, and you REALLY need to go long arm or run the risk of an unstable/uncomfortable Jeep.
    - Cost
    - Center of gravity

    A 2.5" lift or so will cost a bit less (normally) and minimally impact axle centering and steering geometries. Also, if you think of the control arms as the radius of a circle, with a smaller lift, the axles and wheels rotate down and 'in' towards each other. A higher lift will bring them in a bit more, leading to a possibly harsher ride. A SWB TJ is bumpy enough. :D

    Larger lifts will impact them more.

    While a 2.5" lift will fit 32's no problem, 33's will really fit nicely with that 1" Body lift, and 33's are about the ideal size for a daily driven Unlimited, IMO.

    That body lift also keep the frame lower, giving a better center of gravity (lower). That will help stability in turns. A body lift also opens the door for other mods, such as a tummy tuck to raise the transmission.

    As for the cost of the lift, I did the work all myself, but I bought the DPGOffroad Basic kit, and have since pieced together the body lift, motor lift, adjustable trackbars front and rear (to recenter the axles), and the quick disconnects for the sway bar for offroad articulation. That would be the ultimate kit on Dirk's www.dpgoffroad.com site.

    If you guys end up using him, just let him know Paul in Alabama referred ya. I don't get any discounts from him, but I like to let him know I'm keeping my word of letting people know about his EXCELLENT service and products. My entire suspension and lift is from him, as are all my headlights and driving lights (IPF).

    Even with my TJ being a 4cylinder, I have NO problems at highway speeds (up to about 78 or so).

    33" BFG AT's would be great for Chicago, but I'm not sure how well they handle winter snow/ice. I hear the Mud Terrains actually handle it better and I know a LOT of people who use the BFG MT's on their TJ. While they may be a bit noisier, I kinda like the road noise my Jeep makes. I have TrXuS Mud Terrains, but ran the 30" variety of the BFG AT's prior to that.

    And before you ask, the quick disconnects allow better articulation offroad and give better flex, like this:

    image

    -Paul
  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    Thanks to Paul for such detailed posting on the topic. I am still undecided on which kind of lift/tire mod to go. But more and more I am leanling toward OME kit which I think can be a relative permanent solution for me since I dont think I will go beyond 33" tires for obvious monetary concern. Couple of more questions assuming the setup is OME 2 1/2 lift + 1"BL and 33" tires:

    1) Will my stock 3.73 gears(4.0L/auto)be good enough for the much heavier 33" tires? Currerntly I have the stock 30" tires and I feel the power is very good.

    2) the stock wheel lug toque is at 90lb(I think). Do we stick with the same torque spec when switching to a larger and heavier tire??
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    You'll probably be happier by stepping up a ratio or two. However, it won't be undrivable on 3.73s, so try it and see but expect a reduction in acceleration. Weight of the tires has nothing to do with any possible requirement for changing the axle ratio, it's all to do with the increased diameter of the tire and therefore the final gearing.

    Lug nut torque will remain the same. It's related to size, construction, and loading of the wheel rims and the location hardware.
  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    Wow Paul, thanks MUCH for all the information. I feel much more comfortable going with the lift when I have this information.

    One other question - probably a silly one - but.. did you get 4 33" tires and keep the stock on the back, or did you get 5? Also, if I kept the stock as my spare, and a 33 went flat, what - if any - harm would it do to my Jeep to drive on 3 33" and one 30 to the nearest tire shop?? (besides looking extremely dumb).

    Thanks again!
  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    This is another 1000+ dollar question I have too. The 5th tire upgrade to say 33", will most likely become a 5th tire/wheel + a new rear bumper with tire carrier which is obvious a big tiget item.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Using a 31" tire and a 33" tire on the same axle will cause expensive problems in a very short time if you have an LSD, and just a short time if you don't! :)

    Differentials like to work for short periods at a time only.

    Regarding the bumper issue, you can get an adapter to move the spare up and out on the standard tire carrier. However, your solution is the best one long term.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    3.73 will be lugging a bit. I have a 2.5/5 speed and I went from 4.10 to 4.88. If I were you, I'd consider 4.56 as a good gear ratio. 4.88 would be good for you if you were going to 35's, but 33's and 4.56 with the auto is a good matchup with the 4.0L.

    -Paul
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I got the 5th tire. If I EVER have to change a tire on the trail, the tire needs to be same size, or as mac said, I'll grenade the diff/locker due to the different diameter tires turning at different rates.

    Spend the $$ at the beginning and do it right or pay $$$$$$ and fix it to the right way later.

    Seriously. I'm not trying to be a wise alec, but different size tires is BAD for vehicles.

    -Paul
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I went with the Jeeperman rear tire/carrier combination. Prior to the 33's I had just the basic bumper, but when I got 33's, I had to do SOMETHING.

    I got a Teraflex spare tire relocator from Bob Supplee in OKC for about 25.00 or so and it moved the tire up/out so it cleared the bumper. Problem is, it wasn't up against the gate, so I ran the risk of weakening the gate itself. It was a stopgap fix until I got the carrier, which works SOOO much better.

    I got a deal from the vendor where he credited me basically the plain bumper price and I returned it to him. He sent me one with the hinge pin for the carrier and a full carrier for just the difference between the two bumpers. :)

    -Paul
  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    "3.73 will be lugging a bit. I have a 2.5/5 speed and I went from 4.10 to 4.88. If I were you, I'd consider 4.56 as a good gear ratio"

    Is it(chaning gears) a possible do-it-your-self item with no experiece and only regular tools?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Is it(chaning gears) a possible do-it-your-self item.....

    Yes.

    ........with no experiece and only regular tools?

    No.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    x2.

    You could do it, but if you do it wrong, you'll grenade the differential. Spend the $$ and find a good installer. A local 4x4 club could probably point you in the direction of a good installer (perhaps even a club member who works cheap).

    -Paul
  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    Well, it looks like my budget for getting new tires + a lift is a little more expensive.
    - 5 new 32x11.5 BFG AT's, plus installation
    - 2.5" OME lift plus installation
    - Bestop Oversize Tire Carrier - I may try and install myself.

    I think I'm going with the 32" tires and a 2.5 lift rather than 33"'s.

    OK - so now one more question about backspacing. It seems like there's 2 was to do it: Either a new rim comes with its own backspacing, or if you stay with the stock rims you do your own backspacing with washers. So, if I'm going from 30x9.5 tires to 32x11.5 tires:
    - 1. If I stick with my stock rims, what backspacing is needed, and do most tire places agree to do this during the installation of the new tires.
    - 2. If I buy new rims, I see many come with their "own" backspacing. I'm assuming this means I wouldn't need the washers. What backspacing should I get on a new rim?

    thanks again for you help, I really appreciate. After this I think I got all my questions answered and will get going on the lift!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    .........or if you stay with the stock rims you do your own backspacing with washers.

    Arrgh..................no, no, no, please no! :surprise:

    Go to post #14 (or click here) to understand backspacing.

    If you want to change backspacing change the wheels or use a properly engineered spacer. Never space out the wheels with washers!

    The only time washers are used is for limiting the steering travel to prevent tires rubbing at full lock. In that case they're placed behind the steering stops on the knuckles.

    Check out that post (#14) by Tom, it explains things very clearly.
  • tecker2tecker2 Posts: 3
    I'm thinking about going from 215/70/R15's to 31 inch tires. I also was thinking about a 2 inch suspension lift for a more agressive look. 1) Would the susp. lift just be a waste of $$.. 2) Would there be much if any impact with engine sluggishness with the 31"s. 3) Would this scenario mess with drivetrain, create "death wooble" etc.
    2002 Wrangler Sport, 4.0, Auto, new to me Jeep! Will be buying new rims and tires.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    1: No.

    2: Some, but minimal.

    3: Not as long as you plan for the possibility for a motor mount lift (or transfer case drop) if necessary.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    1: No.

    2: Some, but minimal.

    3: Not as long as you plan for the possibility for a motor mount lift (or transfer case drop) if necessary.


    What mac said, but to expand. 31's should fit with no problem on your stock suspension. BUT, a 2" lift will set you up if you want to go up to 32's down the road. 31's will still look nice with a 2" lift and you'll have lotsa room for flex.

    It is not a waste as you do get a nicer tire/aggressive look with that lift.

    You shouldn't have a vibe problem with that lift, but a motor mount lift will really cure that (that is one way to fix the potential problem, and probably the cheapest unless you want to lower the t-case, which seems backwards to me). Death wobble again shouldn't be an issue, but each Jeep is different. If you ensure all steering linkages are secure like they are supposed to be, your tires are well balanced, and your steering geometry is relatively stock, you should be good.

    -Paul
  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    Ooops! :surprise: I actually had read Tom's post before, but I mixed up the washer thing for the backspacing instead of the steering stop.

    After deciding with 32" tires, I'm just going with a 2" lift. I'm assuming that is all I need.

    Also, after reading Tom's post, and an article on TireRack, I'm still a little confused about backspacing. Assuming the stock rims on the Jeep have 5.5 backspacing (I know I read that somewhere), if I go from 30x9.5 to 32x11.5, does that mean I need an additional 2" of backspacing, meaning I want a rim with 3.5" backspacing? Or do I want 7.5"? Or does it even matter??

    Thanks!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    No, you don't need an additional 2" of BS. Remember, your tires are 1" wider on the outside, and 1" wider on the inside. So if you really wanted to compensate for that 1", you would want 3.5" of BS. That is a VERY low BS amount IMO. 3.75 to 4.25" is about ideal for that setup. I have 4.25" of BS on my stock Canyons, but I added the SpiderTrax wheel spacers. It took the 5.5" and reduced the effective backspacing 1.25" to 4.25" and they work just fine. These are not washers. Do a Yahoo or Google search and you'll see what they are.

    5.5" BS and 32x11.5's will rub when you turn. You can adjust the steering stops by adding washers to THEM, as described at http://www.4x4xplor.com/steerstop.html.

    Here are the SpiderTrax spacers, as installed on my rear drums:

    image

    -Paul
  • tecker2tecker2 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the complete info, I appreciate that. Seems like the jeepers out there really are into building their own. Now for the bad news, found out today from the dealer that they want to put in a new front axle. The local jeep guys say I can just get a fabricator and put in one new front right axle mount. (The jeep was hit from the side and bent the axle mount) I've been on the internet now for the last two hours, looking for front TJ axle mount brackets, but not coming close. Any ideas out there? Yes, the whole axle is shifted over, but someone did on hell of an alignment, ;cause it drives straight!
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Now for the bad news, found out today from the dealer that they want to put in a new front axle.

    I don't remember your tire and lift question relating to an accident, but why is getting a new axle bad news? Unless you have no insurance I'd jump at it. There could well be internal damage associated with the impact, but it may not be apparent for a few thousand miles. Unless the axle housing has been stripped and measured you can't tell that it's still straight.

    However, assuming that the housing is straight and is internally undamaged, it's no big deal to cut off, straighten, then reweld a mounting bracket. It just requires careful measuring.

    Most aftermarket axle suppliers (like Currie) carry rear brackets and you may be able to modify one of those, but straightening the bent one or just fabricating a new one would probably be more cost effective.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Like Mac said, free axle? GO FOR IT!

    ask em for a D44 front axle from a Rubicon! Just make sure they have the same gearing as the rear.

    Dana 30's are stock, but if you can manage a Rubicon D44, that'd be sweet. You can also possibly work it out to get Super 30 shafts, which are stronger than the stock shafts. Use this opportunity to go with stronger u-joints too, and you'll be much better off should you decide to venture offroad with it.

    Remember, there are no accidents - just opportunities to mod and upgrade! :)

    -Paul
  • tecker2tecker2 Posts: 3
    Thanks again guys. Unfortunately this was undisclosed damage, so it is on my dime. So, I think I'll just try to fix it (add better axle mounts? and control arms?) and then wait to see if anything goes bad in the next year or so. Then start upgrading parts. I did find front axle mounts at Tellico4x4.com and a whole kit at Northridge4x4.com.

    Paul, I like the philosophy, "opportunities to mod and upgrade" That works for me. :)
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