i just got my tj a few months ago so bear with me cuz i'm new to all this stuff haha. right now it is has no lift, BF Goodrich AT 225-70-16, and i think stock axles. i want to get 33's on there but i have been reading a lot about all the stuff i would need to get. i am looking at a 3" basic lift from rusty's with the jks disconnects (Rustys Offroad: TJ Wrangler 3" Basic Kit). i've been going through the forums though and it seems that everyone suggests getting a better axle in the back and changing the gearing in it. does this have to be done if i want to get thee 33s? i am in college and don't have a bunch of money so if it can be avoided that would be awesome. at some point i would like to get a dana 44 back there , but right now it's too expensive. i use it for a daily driver and only really get it out on some dirt once a month (sad isn't it), so it's not really being put through intense off roading. also, what kind of offset would i need to have on new wheels so that some 33x10.5x15 wouldn't rub? i don't know a whole lot about this stuff so try not to be too technical haha. thank in advance for any help, i have no idea where to start.
First you need to look and see what rear axle you have. Don't just think you have stock, stock can be a D35 or a D44 depending. Next look at the metal tag on the left side of the axle. It's dirty and hard to read, but you can clean it off and read it with a flashlight if need be. The last 3 #'s on that tag will tell you what gears you have. You can run 33's on a D35 fine for probably ever, bigger than that will not last so long.... Gears are what may or may not make you hate your Jeep. The higher the # the lower the gears, lower is better for turning big tires. Your engine will also dictate if you want to go that big. 4bangers are not fun with 33's for most folks. I6's are ok with them. Your speedo will be off unless you upgrade the speedo gear.
Didn't see anyone else mention: don't worry about the offset, it's not a factor on a vehicle like this. You want to look at the Backspacing. If you have 33x10.50's I guess the 4.5" would be ok. I personally would get something at a 3.75" or 4.00" so you have more clearance. My wheels are 3.25" with 33x12.50's and I still rub the control arms when it's cut hard.
2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport
4.0L / 5spd
thanks for the info guys. so i went out and looked at the rear axle and i'm pretty sure it's a d35. there is a tag held on by two bolts on the diff cover with a bunch of numbers on it, but i can't seem to find anything about the gearing on it. i looked on my brother's truck (which has a d44 on the front) and there is a metal tag on there clear as day that say 3.73. can't seem to find any number like that on mine. am i looking in the wrong place?