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Old 12-30-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
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3.21 vs 3.73 question, opinion

Hi Guys. I'm still a few months away from ordering my Wrangler and I'm reading the hell out of this form, just spend an hour on the 3.21-3.73 posts. I plan on ordering a Sport 2 door, limited slip rear, it will help with the icy roads we get here. Also getting the 6 speed manual. It will be my DD with almost no off road use and no towing. I want to get the best mpg I can get, mixed town and hwy driving and I plan to get 32" - 33" on 18" rims. I live in Pittsburgh PA, kinda hilly terrain. Opinions please ??

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Old 12-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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3.73 no question. I have 3.21s with 33s. Biggest mistake ever. I almost never use 5th gear, unless I am cruising on flat terrain at 75mph+ (2012 auto.)

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Old 12-30-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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X-2 on the lower gears. I have the 3:21s and they are fine with standard tires, I don't really tow and do little off road
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nobozos84 View Post
Hi Guys. I'm still a few months away from ordering my Wrangler and I'm reading the hell out of this form, just spend an hour on the 3.21-3.73 posts. I plan on ordering a Sport 2 door, limited slip rear, it will help with the icy roads we get here. Also getting the 6 speed manual. It will be my DD with almost no off road use and no towing. I want to get the best mpg I can get, mixed town and hwy driving and I plan to get 32" - 33" on 18" rims. I live in Pittsburgh PA, kinda hilly terrain. Opinions please ??
Well I don't know the price you will pay for it, but my 3.73 was a $50.00 option. Since then it has gone up 3 times in the last few months, which tells me most folks want it!

I don't know what kind of mpg I get with my BFG Mud Terrain 285/70R17 MK2's using the 3.73, but I,m real sure I would hate the 3.21 mpg much more...

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Old 12-30-2012, 01:25 PM   #5
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Get the 3.73s and don't look back.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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3.73s. No doubt. I also have 3.21s- less than 10K miles and just got 4.56s to install. I have 33" MTs. If you drive hilly terrain and are getting a larger tire you'll regret 3.21s. Its not scientific but I'll bet good money that the gas mileage would be virtually identical- you'll be pressing the pedal more to get it moving with 3.21s. We shouldn't even be having this discussion. 3.73s should be standard and your thread should be "3.73s or 4.10s".
Think of the $50 option as insurance. Against the possibilty you'll want to go bigger or do more modifications later. You're already here. So trust me- you will.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
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Great feedback, thanks everyone ! I have 3.73 on the brain anyway when I get to finally order my Wrangler, I just value other opinions just in case. P.S. JeepHerz, love the Avatar !!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobozos84 View Post
Hi Guys. I'm still a few months away from ordering my Wrangler and I'm reading the hell out of this form, just spend an hour on the 3.21-3.73 posts. I plan on ordering a Sport 2 door, limited slip rear, it will help with the icy roads we get here. Also getting the 6 speed manual. It will be my DD with almost no off road use and no towing. I want to get the best mpg I can get, mixed town and hwy driving and I plan to get 32" - 33" on 18" rims. I live in Pittsburgh PA, kinda hilly terrain. Opinions please ??
3.73! I just drove up to P-burgh over the Holidays. I've got 4.10 gears in my Rubicon and wanted every bit of that. It provides better control downhill and much easier starts/acceleration up hill. Given that most anywhere you're going to drive is going to be up or down a hill or in the city you won't see any advantage with 3.21 gears there.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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Just to put it out there...I lived in Johnstown Pa for about 3 years. We did go to Pittsburgh frequently. It is hilly (generally speaking) out there.....if you TRULY don't plan to off-road I would get the 3.21s.

I have a '12 JK with 3.21s with the "factory" 32" tires and it is fine, IMO.
and before I get flamed I also have a TJ with I6 and 3.73's on 33"s that needs regeared..but only if I am going to run it on the highway. ......around here.

If a person is going to see very little offroad and in that area, the 70mph+ is uncommon unless that has changed the INTERSTATE is only 55mph..and my TJ with 33's and 3.73s can do that.

IMO the 3.21s would be fine since no one is going that fast!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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I think the 3.73 option is $195 now. I just picked mine up yesterday and didn't even look to see how much that option was because it was a "just gotta have" item for me. If you are doing an order I would say get them for sure.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:53 PM   #11
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Stock tires weigh next to nothing. While I agree that on stock shoes 3.21s are fine- anything larger or heavier will lug the engine. Guarantee I am killing my MPG on 3.21s because I am constantly trying to correct the tranny by giving it gas. My Jeep is constantly upshifting at too low an RPM. I am frequently at 1400-1500 RPMs- even 1000. That's idle. I am not trying to race anyone here- the complaint is not that the Jeep is slow. It's that the tranny just doesn't shift in a way that feels correct. My 10 year old truck shifts better. And we up sized its tires too. (I don't like manually shifting the auto. With the flat torque curve there is no feel/gauge for what gear you are in. )
As mentioned I do have 33s" and about 400 lbs of armor. When it was stock 3.21s were fine. As with anything else - matter of opinion.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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Lets make this more fun. This is my DD, taking it off road is a pipe dream. I live in hilly Pittsburgh PA, I may go 17" or 18" rims, 32", 33" tires, something a little more aggressive that what comes stock on the Sport S or Saraha. For now, this is a mall crawler, I need the look and mpg's. 3.21's or 3.73's
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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I am back in at the 3.21's......While Jeep Herz brings up valid points armor bumpers etc...if it is staying "stock" IMO 3.21's work as he said earlier. But again it is an OPINION thing....maybe drive one for a day or 2?
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #14
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I'm close to Somerset PA.. Got mine at tri-star and got 3.73 with 6 speed! Love it
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:42 PM   #15
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Personally I would order 3.73s given the choice but in all honesty in my non-off roading mall crawling experience with our JK the 3.21s are perfectly fine with 33" tires. Plenty of get up and go and cruising speed is more than adequate. But off the line with the bigger tires you do have to give it a little more gas than with the stock steelies and for a couple hundred bucks more I would recommend the taller gears. If you weren't pre-ordering one I'd say it probably won't matter to you which gears you get.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:42 PM   #16
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I have a 2012 6-speed Sport with 3.21's. Just put on a set of 33" KM2's. 1st gear is actually usable now on the street. I find I ride in 1 gear lower than I used to. Power isnt a problem that Ive noticed (not with a 2012...). Havent had it in the trails yet since the tire switch, Im pretty sure that I will be wishing I had the 3.73 for off-road. I think its going to be a little fast in 1st in 4hi. Oh, well. There's always 4lo and 2nd gear...
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #17
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I live in a hilly area and I wouldn't want anything but the 3.73s. Especially now with my 33's and my added bumpers. I took mine on a long road trip and 21.5 MPG, so I don't think 3.73's really hurt the mileage.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #18
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The price is so insignificant between the two i don't see why anyone would go with the 3.21 when it comes to ordering...however to buy one on the lot without waiting, it pisses me off that i could not find one on the dealer lot with 3.73 on it, they all had 3.21, and if it has 3.73 it comes with a bunch of crap i don't want making the price 4-5K more...to me, a perfectly optioned JK would be Hart Top, A/C, 3.73 gears..that's it, keep the price low and use the rest of the money or mods...dont need stinking power windows and locks, and GPS, pftttt, gonna get stolen or broken into..
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:28 PM   #19
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Great feedback everyone, the wait is killing me !!!!! love this form !!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:01 PM   #20
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If you need help getting a good deal i believe i got a good deal, and VA is but a few hours away to drive to save some money...
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #21
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If you need help getting a good deal i believe i got a good deal, and VA is but a few hours away to drive to save some money...
I'm all ears .......
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #22
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I have 3.73 and stock 17's. Around here I generally start off in 2nd. When I have to slow down to 35 to go through one of the small towns on my way, I never shift out of 6th. It can go good at speed and when lugged down to 35 it still accelerates. Thats about 1200 rpm. I was getting a little u der 21 mpg before the winter gas.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:04 PM   #23
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Im pro 3:21. I have 2013 with 3.6/auto and Im running the combo 33/12.5015 on MB TKO wheels. I couldnt tell much if any difference in the stock tires going to the new ones.I live in a hilly area and most of my DD is up and down the hills. I have been very satisfied with my 3:21 and 33" tires. Having said that I think I will be going to 35" tires next time and now wish I had 3:73s lol. If you plan to stay under 33s the 3:21 is just fine for a DD .I think if I were ordering one it would be 3:73 for sure. If I were buying one off the lot and could only get a 3:21 I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:19 PM   #24
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Im pro 3:21. I have 2013 with 3.6/auto and Im running the combo 33/12.5015 on MB TKO wheels. I couldnt tell much if any difference in the stock tires going to the new ones.I live in a hilly area and most of my DD is up and down the hills. I have been very satisfied with my 3:21 and 33" tires. Having said that I think I will be going to 35" tires next time and now wish I had 3:73s lol. If you plan to stay under 33s the 3:21 is just fine for a DD .I think if I were ordering one it would be 3:73 for sure. If I were buying one off the lot and could only get a 3:21 I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.
I'm in this camp, I got the Jeep I wanted on the day I wanted it ('13 JKU Sport S, Auto, Rock Lobster). Given the chance to order, would've got the 3.73 for towing. Also, with your combo (15's), from the research I've done, the weight (rolling mass), of this combo is at least close or equal to stock, which I'm considering as well for this exact reason. The weight of 285/70R17's with aftermarket wheels is considerably more, however I have not driven anything other than mine stock, but logic would say you would feel it more than your combo.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:37 PM   #25
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I said this earlier in another thread.....as of right now, 3.73s are the only way to go. Later on when someone cracks the rolling code BS, and the tuner modules will allow us to reprogram the shift points, I will stop recommending the 3.73s and recommend the 3.21s or the 4.10s. It isn't so much the gearing as it is the tranny shifting too early. So until then, I will stand by my 3.73 recommendation, and learn from my mistakes...the 3.21s are no good with the stock transmission programming.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:45 PM   #26
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373 over the 321, I have 410 and love them, 410 not a option on sport.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #27
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no question 3.73s for the 6 speed manual. i daily drive it with the stock wheels and tires and i wouldn't want anything lower. My combined average over 12k miles is ~20.5 mpg (every mile logged), which is higher than the EPA number. if you're on a highway with any sort of hill, you'll find yourself in 5th even with the 3.73s. 3.21s will cause you more clutch wear and potentially make it harder to sell down the road.

i don't think it's as big of a deal with the autos because the torque converter gives you a numerically higher ratio anyway, until it locks up.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:39 PM   #28
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Got my '13 JKU 'Freedom' 6spd w 3.73's two weeks ago. So glad I did not get 3.21's. In fact my mpg's are good enough that I'm thinking 4.10's would've been nice.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:06 AM   #29
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Amazing info, thanks again everyone. Do any of you have the limited slip rear end ? Posi rear ? It's a $295.00 option !
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:49 AM   #30
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I ordered the limited slip on mine.

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