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Old 06-15-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
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35" tires?? Need help from experience JKU owners please

Please excuse me as I am a first time Jeep owner and new to forums.....

My other half and I own a 2009 jeep wrangler unlimited 4x4.....bone stock. We want Smittybilt xrc bumpers, 2.5 lift, 35" tires with 17" wheels and (for now) chopped fenders. We are not hard core 4 wheel drive users but, at the most, will use 4x4 to get to minor off road terrain (for fishing on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii). In addition, we will mostly use the Jeep for city/highway use to/from work and our kids' school. One factor.....we live on a hill with a 40 - 45 degree slope and about 400' in length (from bottom to our house). We have done some online research and found that 35" tires can damage axles....but with heavy off road use. We are guessing our hill slope will play a factor and, we do not plan on making "heavy" modifications to the jeep drivetrain/transmission. Our main question.....do you think it would be okay to use 35" tires with the driving conditions we expect to put our Jeep through....without damaging the axles/drivetrain/transmission???? And, if yes, should we expect future, or soon than normal repairs due to wear and tear on the drivetrain/transmission from the sloped hill??? Please help! We are first time Jeep owners and are very new to owning and modifying a Jeep. Also, we feel 33" tires seems to be the best fit for our use, but we feel they would look too small with chopped fenders and a 2.5" lift. Any help and pictures are appreciated. Thank you in advance!!

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Old 06-15-2014, 09:09 PM   #2
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35's might cause some damage but not likely from mild off roading. But it's the weight that is the bigger issue. You go a heavy 35 inch mud tire on beefy seventeen inch rims and you could be 25 pound over stock...per wheel! But you can find some combos that are as light as stock (well, Rubicon stock anyway). If you go with 15 inch wheels that helps. Also all terrain tires are generally lighter than mud terrains. If you don't mind a slight balloon tire look, a fifteen inch wheel like a Black Rock 909 or a Level 8 Tracker with a 35x12.5x15 BFG AT KO is a very light combo.

I like 2.5 inches of lift and 33's. They look so much bigger than the stock 32's on my Rubicon because of the width and they aren't tucked so far under. Search Google for "2.5 inch lift 33 inch tires" and you'll get tons of pics and links to picture threads on the various forums, including this one. You might be right that with cut or flat fenders they might look a bit small.

By the way, what gears do you have? if you have 3.73's, 35's are probably OK. If you have 3.21's, 33 is probably the largest you should go otherwise you'll loose a lot of power.

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Old 06-15-2014, 09:28 PM   #3
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Only issue I foresee is a bent C. get the c gussets and be done with it.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:33 PM   #4
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which 2.5" lift will make a difference on how it looks. RK and MC lifts (as well as others) will net a higher lift than other manufacturers. I have a 2.5" RK lift and 37s with cut fenders and I like the look, 35s would look good too but i think 33s would be too small.

If youre not wheeling it hard, the just add gussets to the front C's and go with 35s. Theyre easy to install. If you cant, or dont want to, weld them yourself, a shop shouldnt charge much to take care of it. That can be done with the axle and everything still on the jeep.

Gearing, like fishnevada mentioned, could be an issue. With 37s and my 4.10s i pretty much lost 6th gear. With 35s and 4.10s youd be good to go, 3.73 will work fine, but 3.21 might be pusing it a little.

Main thing with big tires is dont bounce it around with your foot planted on the skinny pedal... that breaks stuff. Just take it easy and youll be just fine.
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:33 PM   #5
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With a 2009 if you have an auto you're probably going to want to regear if you go 35s. As far as wear and tear do c-gussests at a minimum and your ball joints will wear much faster.

^^^Well pretty much they said ^^^
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:48 AM   #6
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My first JK was an '09 and I would not want to drive even 40 ft up a 45 degree every day without the 5.13 gears I installed to match my 35" tires.

IMO, you might be better served by going with the 2.5" and 33" tires. Since you mostly drive your JK on the road you will be much happier with the performance, reliability and fuel economy. But you will still need gears in the 4.56 range.

The 3.8 is a lower performing engine than the 3.6 in 2012+ JKs and a lot of the posts you read refers to the 3.6 (Pentastar)engine.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:24 AM   #7
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Thank you all! All of your responses has given me a brighter and larger insight on my future goals for the JKU! I will look into all scenarios and make my decision!!! Thank you again! We highly appreciate it......aloha to all!!!!!!
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceelo_vee View Post
Thank you all! All of your responses has given me a brighter and larger insight on my future goals for the JKU! I will look into all scenarios and make my decision!!! Thank you again! We highly appreciate it......aloha to all!!!!!!
And don't forget to read through all the various threads until your eyes bleed. You're not a real Jeeper until you do
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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I'm not going to read all the replies, so this may have been stated.

There is no tire size or weight that will tip the scale of damage or not to drivetrain components.

Big tires cause big stresses. Pick up a 31" then pick up a 35".

Don't think in terms of "is it too much". Decide whether you want worn out bushings, a clapped out front end, heavily worn wheel bearings, etc... In 20,000 miles.

35" tires won't damage components instantly, they wear them faster. A linear increase in size has an exponential increase in stress.

Buy the 35" inch tires. Drive without an air filter too, that way you can time the engine rebuild to coincide with the front end rebuild.



From my school of thinking, the old school one, 35"s are meant for 3/4-ton running gear. A modern Wrangler barely qualifies as a half-ton, optimistically.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:34 PM   #10
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Flyfishnevada, Thank you! I will research until my eyes bleed! Haha!
Daisycutter, thank you too!
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post

From my school of thinking, the old school one, 35"s are meant for 3/4-ton running gear. A modern Wrangler barely qualifies as a half-ton, optimistically.
larger tires do wear certain things out sooner than smaller tires but its not as drastic as you may be implying. However this last statement I have to disagree with. Youre running gear depends on a lot of things, mostly weight and power. A 3/4 ton truck runs larger axles because of extra weight and extra power. These jeeps weight considerably less and much less power.
35's are just fine on our axles. You may wear stuff out SLIGHTLY sooner but so what? Once you do, replace it with 3/4 ton tie rod ends and the such.

Oh, and for the record, dana 44s were used in some 3/4 ton trucks, so we do have 3/4 ton running gear... just depends on which 3/4 ton youre talking about.

To the OP: There are downsides to everything, if you want to maintain the stock reliability/strength keep it stock. If you want to lessen the life of parts, build your jeep cheaply. If you want to increase strength then build your jeep right and replace parts, when they get worn out, with stronger ones and enjoy what the Jeep is for!
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusthol View Post
Only issue I foresee is a bent C. get the c gussets and be done with it.
What Dusthol said. C gussets should be all you need for 35" tires. Well as long as you don't do any high speed of road racing or bounce off of 4' ledges. =)
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceelo_vee View Post
Please excuse me as I am a first time Jeep owner and new to forums.....

My other half and I own a 2009 jeep wrangler unlimited 4x4.....bone stock. We want Smittybilt xrc bumpers, 2.5 lift, 35" tires with 17" wheels and (for now) chopped fenders. We are not hard core 4 wheel drive users but, at the most, will use 4x4 to get to minor off road terrain (for fishing on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii). In addition, we will mostly use the Jeep for city/highway use to/from work and our kids' school.

Quote:
One factor.....we live on a hill with a 40 - 45 degree slope and about 400' in length (from bottom to our house). We have done some online research and found that 35" tires can damage axles....but with heavy off road use. We are guessing our hill slope will play a factor and, we do not plan on making "heavy" modifications to the jeep drivetrain/transmission. Our main question.....do you think it would be okay to use 35" tires with the driving conditions we expect to put our Jeep through....without damaging the axles/drivetrain/transmission????
Yes. A jeep can handle a steep driveway.

Quote:
And, if yes, should we expect future, or soon than normal repairs due to wear and tear on the drivetrain/transmission from the sloped hill???
No. I doubt you will notice any difference in repairs.

Quote:
Also, we feel 33" tires seems to be the best fit for our use, but we feel they would look too small with chopped fenders and a 2.5" lift. Any help and pictures are appreciated. Thank you in advance!!
Yes, 33s would look too small.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:56 AM   #14
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Thank you all again! Now, I'm looking at c gussets, light 17" wheels with 35" tires and 2.5" lift......after I confirm ratio. All your responses are helping even more! Thank you, aloha and God bless!
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #15
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I'd suggest reading this post I put together.

So you want bigger tires

Anytime you increase the tire size, height or weight from stock it will have an effect, that effect being more stress on the steering, suspension and drive line components. Those effects can be countered with other upgrades, etc.

You're driving style and the terrain you drive on will determine a lot in how much faster your components wear.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:09 PM   #16
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Thanks Greenmachine! Will do!

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