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Old 04-22-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
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Confused more than ever

I have been lurking the forum for a while. Then I joined and lurked some more.
Reading and reading trying to determine what mods I like.
Learn about lifts and wheel and tire set-ups
So far I learned no 15" wheels on a JKU then yes you can. Then this tire is the best but everyone is selling theirs.
Man I am on my second wrangler the first I am planning on modding.
This is confusing.

So please tell me if I am stupid in my thoughts
First I rarely will off road maybe hit the badlands once to say I did and the worst after that would be a cow pasture at a buddy's farm.

I was looking at the zone 3" lift do I upgrade to the nitro shocks?
Goodyear duratrac 33x12.5 17 mounted on black steel wheels.
Do I need a stabilizer?

Input is welcome please

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Old 04-23-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
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Are you from Indiana? You said Badlands and we have a park called Badlands. If so, you should check out Indy Jeep Junkies we have both on road and off road trips. I have a stock YJ and we make sure stockers have fun on our trips. If you join we have great support in the group. The group is mostly JKs and we even have a parts supplier in the group.

That being said...You can run 33s without a lift on the JK. 3inch lift might be a little much to run 33s.

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Old 04-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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Yes I am from Indiana. Way up north 2 hours from Indy off 31. I have a good friend who is/was an avid off-roader and he insists that my jku will do better than I imagine and I will become a junkie.
Thanks for the input on the lift.
I may reevaluate the lift height. Most important to me with the new wheels and tires is I do not want to regear my jeep.
It has 3:73 w/limited slip and I like it very much. I know I am giving up fuel economy for tires and I will sacrifice some feeling of power with the larger wider tires.
I initially wanted 15" wheels but with all the confusion about if you can or can't or grinding parts to make them fit I think I will go with 17" and eliminate the questions.

I will look at the lifts again and try to find good reference pics of 3" with 33"
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To poor to do the mods I want
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:21 PM   #4
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first...we establish some common nomenclature:

15" is simply the outside diameter of the wheel.....that is not a factor in whether or not it'll work on your JK. I went from factory 17" to 15" and have no problem.

The point people make when they say 15" steels wont fit is that SOMETIMES the Backspace isnt deep enough to clear the calipers.

Thats a new term....backspace. If you lay a wheel flat on its back on the ground, the "Backspace" is the distance from the surface of the ground to the back (bottom) of the mounting face of the wheel.

The smaller the backspace...the more shallow the clearance. I may be wrong but I think the magic number for clearing the calipers on the JK is 4.5" You want that or more. Less will rub.

So...wheels...15" diameter...no problem....4.5" or more back space...no problem....at least 8" wide....no problem.

Now wrap that sucker in some rubber. Here is where the options go wild.

Jk can mount 33" tall by 12.5" wide tires without lift. They look good and work great. I off-road ever day and never have a problem. But Im doing it for a living, and not for fun. Recreational wheelers look for tough spots where more clearance, lifts, bigger tires could be useful. I dont do; that so I cannot comment on it.

Again, I'm talking outside dimensions of the tire. You can have alost any sized wheel inside that tire. You said you like 15" (so do I) so I am gonna concentrate on that.

There are virtually endless options for tires. almost any of them are good. a few are great. and some are bad. most tire websites have consumer reviews. It can be fun...and monotonous research.

Just like shoes for your feet...get tires that fit your needs. If you are going to be on asphalt a majority of the time...you might wanna look at All Terrains as opposed to mudders. They are smoother and quieter and typically last longer. At the same time, mudders sure look nice on a jeep.

Personally, I run Falken Rocky Mountain (aka wilderness) all terrain 33x12.5 on 15" Chaos 5 from Discount Tire and couldnt be happier. I drive 160-200 miles a day. 80% Pristine toll road at 85mph. 10% gravel roads at 30mph. 10% rock trails cactus and mesquit at 1mph. Works like a champ.

Similarly....others swear by their brands. To each their own. No matter what you choose, I promise that they will not be the last tires you buy.

Learning what you like is MOST of the fun.

Happy trails, all.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:08 AM   #5
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We have a member running 33s on stock suspension. Here is a pic. He does rub when he turns all the way left or right. As you can see he is on stock wheels w/ bushwacker flares. He is planning on running wheel spacers until he goes new rims and 35s with lift.



Also, he did some very challengeing trails at Redbird SRA last weekend. Granted you have a slightly longer wheel base. But your Jeep is not the weak link off road, it's your off road driving ability. That isn't an insult. Sounds like you are new to off roading and until you gain much more experience a relatively stock Wrangler will not be your weak link. If you plan on going off roading much you should really think about joining the club. You won't get to do too much of the local club activities but going off roading with 25+ jeeps is worth it.

Here is us at Redbird last weekend.


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Old 04-24-2014, 08:29 AM   #6
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Completely agree with Thomas.

Heck, even if you arent planning to get dirty (which would be quite a shame) I would still recommend joining a local Jeep club. Its such a valuable source of info on your buggy and there is no better way to learn about what mods you like and dont like than by seeing it on other rides or bs-ing around a fire.

If at all possible....let others be the guinea pigs., and learn from their "experiences".

Besides, its fun to hang with like-minded folks.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:53 AM   #7
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The down side is it costs $40 to join. Weather it is worth it to you or not will be a personnel decision. I can say that we have a lot of JKs and JKUs in the club and with that many we have tons of wheel/tire/lift combos with real world experience. We have a very active FB page where your questions would be answered almost instantly.

And like I said, I drive a stock YJ (well, I have 31s) but I led our group around Redbird last weekend. Our group had a stock TJ and the rest were big tired (33s+) JKs and a JKU with varying amount of lift. Our group is great about catering to stock vehicles or ppl who just want to take a nice drive off road.

Indy Jeep Junkies

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