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Old 09-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
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My new to me jeep and couple questions



Just got this beautiful monster. 2011 w/12k miles. It has a Skyjacker 5" lift and 37" Nitto Mud Grapplers. This is my first Jeep and I have three things that I want to do to it as soon as possible.

First is that I need to get a step installed. I have a 10 year old daughter who also loves our new jeep but it's a real struggle for her to climb in and out and I'd like to find something to help with that. I have three different products that I'm considering right now. I don't think any of these are good for serious wheeling but I would say that I'm probably only going to get out in the mud very rarely.

N Fab J072RKR Rock Rail Jeep Wrangler 2 Door JK (2007-2012)

Jeep Slider Steps by Bestop

POWERSTEP

Secondly, I only have a daughter because I have a wife and sometimes she'll be driving our new baby. Because I know she will be, I'm wondering if I need to get some spacers. I've noticed that if the wheels are cranked all the way there is some inside rubbing. I don't know if I'd bother investing in spacers if it were just me driving it because I'm pretty sure I could remember to not cut the wheel too tightly but asking my wife not to do it is a lost cause. Any recommendations on spacers for this setup?

Lastly, my Jeep currently has no spare. I would like to get an aftermarket setup that could handle a full spare with the same wheels and tires I have on the rest of the rig. To me a Jeep without the spare on the back just doesn't look right. Any suggestions for what spare carrier to get would be greatly appreciated also.

Thanks for any input you can give. I've already enjoyed reading this forum quite a bit while I was working on my purchase and will probably lurking here quite a bit while I try to learn more about my Jeep.

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Old 09-22-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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The Powersteps look nice. Depending on cost of install, they may be the best bang for the buck.

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Old 09-22-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulpfishin

Just got this beautiful monster. 2011 w/12k miles. It has a Skyjacker 5" lift and 37" Nitto Mud Grapplers. This is my first Jeep and I have three things that I want to do to it as soon as possible.

First is that I need to get a step installed. I have a 10 year old daughter who also loves our new jeep but it's a real struggle for her to climb in and out and I'd like to find something to help with that. I have three different products that I'm considering right now. I don't think any of these are good for serious wheeling but I would say that I'm probably only going to get out in the mud very rarely.

N Fab J072RKR Rock Rail Jeep Wrangler 2 Door JK (2007-2012)

Jeep Slider Steps by Bestop

POWERSTEP

Secondly, I only have a daughter because I have a wife and sometimes she'll be driving our new baby. Because I know she will be, I'm wondering if I need to get some spacers. I've noticed that if the wheels are cranked all the way there is some inside rubbing. I don't know if I'd bother investing in spacers if it were just me driving it because I'm pretty sure I could remember to not cut the wheel too tightly but asking my wife not to do it is a lost cause. Any recommendations on spacers for this setup?

Lastly, my Jeep currently has no spare. I would like to get an aftermarket setup that could handle a full spare with the same wheels and tires I have on the rest of the rig. To me a Jeep without the spare on the back just doesn't look right. Any suggestions for what spare carrier to get would be greatly appreciated also.

Thanks for any input you can give. I've already enjoyed reading this forum quite a bit while I was working on my purchase and will probably lurking here quite a bit while I try to learn more about my Jeep.
On the rubbing check to see that it isn't that stupid plastic faux skid plate on the front bumper if it is cut it or pull it off. Learned that on mine
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisfp88

On the rubbing check to see that it isn't that stupid plastic faux skid plate on the front bumper if it is cut it or pull it off. Learned that on mine
Yep.... Rip the air dam off and throw it in the garbage.

Nice jeep..... 5" holy moly !!
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:16 PM   #5
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You're gonna need a HD tire carrier. One option is to buy a combination rear bumper/tire carrier. Probably run you close to 1G.

Otherwise, OR-FAB and TeraFlex make standalone HD tire carriers. The OR-FAB opens independently of the tailgate, and requires some drilling. You can get with or without can carriers. The TF opens with the tailgate, and requires no drilling.

Neither is cheap:

Jeep / Categories

| TeraFlex Suspensions

Just out of curiousity, are the front axle C's reinforced? Has it been regeared? Does it have adj control arms and track bars?

I've seen a lot of dealer-built Jeeps with big lifts, tires, and none of the above items. They're just problems waiting to happen.

Hope that's not the case with yours.

Sure looks good.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post
You're gonna need a HD tire carrier. One option is to buy a combination rear bumper/tire carrier. Probably run you close to 1G.

Otherwise, OR-FAB and TeraFlex make standalone HD tire carriers. The OR-FAB opens independently of the tailgate, and requires some drilling. You can get with or without can carriers. The TF opens with the tailgate, and requires no drilling.

Neither is cheap:

Jeep / Categories

| TeraFlex Suspensions

Just out of curiousity, are the front axle C's reinforced? Has it been regeared? Does it have adj control arms and track bars?

I've seen a lot of dealer-built Jeeps with big lifts, tires, and none of the above items. They're just problems waiting to happen.

Hope that's not the case with yours.

Sure looks good.
Thanks for these suggestions, I'm going to look into all of them. Unfortunately, I'm kind of a mechanical moron but trying to learn. I know that it was regeared with a 3.21 ratio but I don't know about adj control arms and track bars or front axle C reinforcement. From the sound of it, I need to look into this asap.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pulpfishin View Post
Thanks for these suggestions, I'm going to look into all of them. Unfortunately, I'm kind of a mechanical moron but trying to learn. I know that it was regeared with a 3.21 ratio but I don't know about adj control arms and track bars or front axle C reinforcement. From the sound of it, I need to look into this asap.


Not meaning to crap on your awesome new rig. I'd just hate for you to have issues later...A JK lifted that high, with tires that size, can turn into a financial tarbaby if it wasn't done right.

As for gears, 3.21 is probably what it had from the factory. If it's been regeared for that tire size (being a 3.8L engine Jeep), hopefully it has at least 4.88 gears (manual) or 5.13 gears (auto). Anything other than that and you'll know once you get on the freeway and try to pass slower traffic or go up a hill in top gear...

The gears won't hurt anything on your Jeep, even if they are too high (lower #). But the other stuff I mentioned could cause you problems in the future.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisfp88 View Post
On the rubbing check to see that it isn't that stupid plastic faux skid plate on the front bumper if it is cut it or pull it off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Yep.... Rip the air dam off and throw it in the garbage.

One other thing...if the rubbing isn't fixed by chris & kjeeper's suggestion above, try putting washers on your steering stops before going the wheel spacer route.

I'd be leery of putting spacers on a rig with tires that heavy; it'll just speed up the demise of your ball joints.

Here's a link on how to add washers to your steering stops:

Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Jeep JK Wrangler Steer Stop Adjustment
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post


Not meaning to crap on your awesome new rig. I'd just hate for you to have issues later...A JK lifted that high, with tires that size, can turn into a financial tarbaby if it wasn't done right.

As for gears, 3.21 is probably what it had from the factory. If it's been regeared for that tire size (being a 3.8L engine Jeep), hopefully it has at least 4.88 gears (manual) or 5.13 gears (auto). Anything other than that and you'll know once you get on the freeway and try to pass slower traffic or go up a hill in top gear...

The gears won't hurt anything on your Jeep, even if they are too high (lower #). But the other stuff I mentioned could cause you problems in the future.
I'm not easily offended and appreciate the input. I didn't even know that the 3.21 was factory and just assumed that they had been done at the same time as the lift and tires. Looks like my ignorance may be costing me some here. I've definitely already noticed the freeway symptoms you spoke of and when driving I couldn't find the rpm's to shift into 6th gear. I'm beginning to think I need to go to a local jeep shop, not the dealer because they don't really seem to know anything about after market stuff, and find out what I need. Is changing the gears a big job?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:04 PM   #10
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One other thing...if the rubbing isn't fixed by chris & kjeeper's suggestion above, try putting washers on your steering stops before going the wheel spacer route.

I'd be leery of putting spacers on a rig with tires that heavy; it'll just speed up the demise of your ball joints.

Here's a link on how to add washers to your steering stops:

Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Jeep JK Wrangler Steer Stop Adjustment
Awesome and thanks! I like this much better than spacers.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:13 PM   #11
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Holy smokes


That thing must be a turd trying to turn those heavy meats w/ 3.21's ....... No?
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Pulpfishin View Post
I'm not easily offended and appreciate the input. I didn't even know that the 3.21 was factory and just assumed that they had been done at the same time as the lift and tires. Looks like my ignorance may be costing me some here. I've definitely already noticed the freeway symptoms you spoke of and when driving I couldn't find the rpm's to shift into 6th gear. I'm beginning to think I need to go to a local jeep shop, not the dealer because they don't really seem to know anything about after market stuff, and find out what I need. Is changing the gears a big job?
Your Jeep came with either 3.21 or 3.73 gears. Rubicons come with 4.10.

I would definitely find a shop that knows Jeeps; it may sound odd, but many dealers simply don't do a good job modding Jeeps, for a variety of reasons. Plus, they'll charge you a lot more than an experienced Jeep shop.

Gearing is pricey. It'll run you around $1500-$2K to get your Jeep regeared. Also, a shop that's good with lifts and general mods may not be the best choice to do a regear; you'll want someone who specializes.

If you decide to regear, talk to the guys at the shop, and let em order the gears for you. That'll keep the gear mfr and the shop warranties intact. The specific brand of gears is pretty wide open. A company named CHA Industries makes most of them. Yukon, USA Standard, Superior and Alloy USA are all good gears. Tell the shop to order a master kit; chances are your pinion nut and other items will be trashed during the removal of your current gears.

At the end of this is a link that'll give you an idea of how different gears will affect your Jeep's performance.

Keep in mind, gearing is fairly subjective; what feels like a turd to one driver might feel great to another.

GENERALLY speaking, you'll wanna match your gearing to the tire size you plan on running. If you think you'll stay with 35" or 37" tires, I'd say to go with 5.13 gears on an auto (as low as you can go w/out an axle swap). If your Jeep's a manual, it's kind've a toss up between 4.88's and 5.13's (if you think you might one day go down a size to 35" tires, go with 4.88).

At any rate, the goal of the regearing is to enable your engine to turn around 2500 rpm (give or take) @ 70 mph in high gear.

There are some charts in this link (some are for the 3.6L Pentastar engine, others for the 3.8L) that'll help you match your gearing to tire size. When you read these you should be going by ACTUAL tire size...just cuz the mfr says your tires are 37" doesn't necessarily make it so. I'd measure em with a level and a tape measure on a flat surface, and go with that #.

For example, my 35's are actually 34" tall. It's only an inch, but it'll make a significant difference when you're eyeballing the charts in the link below.

As with most charts, it's just a guideline.

Page 1 of this link deals with the Pentastar engine. You want page 2, starting with posts by a member named Yella - he was going through the process of figuring out a gear change, as well, albeit with 35" tires: Want 35s dont want to REGEAR ??

Keep some Advil handy.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Holy smokes


That thing must be a turd trying to turn those heavy meats w/ 3.21's ....... No?
Even in Florida...
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:13 AM   #14
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Your Jeep came with either 3.21 or 3.73 gears. Rubicons come with 4.10.

I would definitely find a shop that knows Jeeps; it may sound odd, but many dealers simply don't do a good job modding Jeeps, for a variety of reasons. Plus, they'll charge you a lot more than an experienced Jeep shop.

Gearing is pricey. It'll run you around $1500-$2K to get your Jeep regeared. Also, a shop that's good with lifts and general mods may not be the best choice to do a regear; you'll want someone who specializes.

If you decide to regear, talk to the guys at the shop, and let em order the gears for you. That'll keep the gear mfr and the shop warranties intact. The specific brand of gears is pretty wide open. A company named CHA Industries makes most of them. Yukon, USA Standard, Superior and Alloy USA are all good gears. Tell the shop to order a master kit; chances are your pinion nut and other items will be trashed during the removal of your current gears.

At the end of this is a link that'll give you an idea of how different gears will affect your Jeep's performance.

Keep in mind, gearing is fairly subjective; what feels like a turd to one driver might feel great to another.

GENERALLY speaking, you'll wanna match your gearing to the tire size you plan on running. If you think you'll stay with 35" or 37" tires, I'd say to go with 5.13 gears on an auto (as low as you can go w/out an axle swap). If your Jeep's a manual, it's kind've a toss up between 4.88's and 5.13's (if you think you might one day go down a size to 35" tires, go with 4.88).

At any rate, the goal of the regearing is to enable your engine to turn around 2500 rpm (give or take) @ 70 mph in high gear.

There are some charts in this link (some are for the 3.6L Pentastar engine, others for the 3.8L) that'll help you match your gearing to tire size. When you read these you should be going by ACTUAL tire size...just cuz the mfr says your tires are 37" doesn't necessarily make it so. I'd measure em with a level and a tape measure on a flat surface, and go with that #.

For example, my 35's are actually 34" tall. It's only an inch, but it'll make a significant difference when you're eyeballing the charts in the link below.

As with most charts, it's just a guideline.

Page 1 of this link deals with the Pentastar engine. You want page 2, starting with posts by a member named Yella - he was going through the process of figuring out a gear change, as well, albeit with 35" tires: Want 35s dont want to REGEAR ??

Keep some Advil handy.
I'll throw out the Sunday paper and get on this link. Will I do any harm to my engine or anything else if I run it for a while before getting the new gears? Thanks again. An amazing amount of info you're providing.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:15 AM   #15
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Even in Florida...
I don't know if I'm showing my ignorance again here but it hasn't felt bad at all to me. I've been happy with the ride.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:16 AM   #16
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kbbwolf,

Your post was very informative. Should the tire size be measured while on the Jeep with the tire compressed from the weight of the Jeep? Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:27 AM   #17
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I'll throw out the Sunday paper and get on this link. Will I do any harm to my engine or anything else if I run it for a while before getting the new gears? Thanks again. An amazing amount of info you're providing.
You can run it forever without getting new gears. Won't hurt a thing, except mileage. And that's gonna stink no matter what you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulpfishin View Post
I don't know if I'm showing my ignorance again here but it hasn't felt bad at all to me. I've been happy with the ride.
That's why I stressed the subjectivity of it in one of the above posts. If you're happy, save the $$ for other things...like the tire carrier.

If you're really undergeared, you'll notice it primarily on the freeway, especially on hills.

Driving around the city will be fine.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:27 AM   #18
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kbbwolf,

Your post was very informative. Should the tire size be measured while on the Jeep with the tire compressed from the weight of the Jeep? Thanks.
Yup. I measured mine while it was in my garage, tires cold.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:44 AM   #19
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Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:14 PM   #20
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Dang,,nice starter jeep ! If your not gonna wheel it would you mind if I try it out?
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:29 PM   #21
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Dang,,nice starter jeep ! If your not gonna wheel it would you mind if I try it out?
I want to wheel it eventually but right now I'm still so in love with the cleanliness of it I don't even want to get it dirty. I've haven't had a nice auto in over 15 years.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:57 AM   #22
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I want to wheel it eventually but right now I'm still so in love with the cleanliness of it I don't even want to get it dirty. I've haven't had a nice auto in over 15 years.
I can understand that you have a nice one..I do agree with the guys on a gearing upgrade,,,you will want to eventually and you will love it even more..plus it can be hard on your engine to work that hard to get rolling .Enjoy your Jeep!
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:05 AM   #23
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Update. After taking a trip this weekend and towing a trailer with two ATV's on it I've decided to go ahead with the gear upgrade ASAP. My first quote is for 4.88 Motive Gears at $1600.00 plus tax.

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