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Old 05-16-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
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Recommendations to get Jeep all-terrain ready

Hello! Just purchased a 2013 Unlimited Sport & I am in love! Totally new to the Jeep world but not the off-roading universe. Got a bunch of buddies that are into off-roading but this is my first time actually owning something I can play with. I will need some recommendations from you guys on outfitting my Jeep for a small Alaskan town that doesn't have any paved roads & where Mother Nature is bi-polar. It can get to -50F with daily blizzards in the winters to 30F mud galore in the summers.

Tires - Going to go with 35's & maybe Goodyear Duratracs. What would you guys recommend ? I need something that would have no problem handling ice/snow/standing water/permafrost for 8 months & then gravel/mud/tundra/rocks/clay the other 4 months.

Rims - I have a strong urge to get some black Moto Metal 962's in 20's. I feel like they've been calling my name for years now & I finally have an excuse to get them. But I haven't been able to find anybody on this forum with them, just other variants of the other Moto rims.

Lift - Thinking of getting a BDS 3 inch lift. Is 3 inches enough to clear 35's ? There won't be any serious off-roading going on, I just want to comfortably clear 35's with non-paved roads & the occasionally mudding/snow fun. What would you guys recommend if it was your money ?

Gears - I've read mixed reviews on here whether to re-gear or not with 35's/20's. My town's highest speed limit is 40 MPH I think & the Jeep will only see a highway once in it's life after the lift/wheels go on. Would it be absolutely necessary or can I get away with not re-gearing ? I've read on here some guys saying their Jeep feels sluggish while others say it feels just like stock.

The Jeep is in Anchorage, AK right now but it will be driven to Barrow, AK later this year once the ice road opens up & after all the mods are complete, .

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Old 05-16-2013, 01:04 AM   #2
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Here are the rims I'm talking about:






The only pictures I could find of them on a Jeep:




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Old 05-16-2013, 01:07 AM   #3
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You are not going to get too much support from forum members on 20s unless you run 40+ inch tires. For your conditions, you want maximum air down footprint, so I'd go with the smallest rim possible to maximize tire beef. In your case, that would be either a 16" or a 17" wheel. 15" wheels (like what I have) work, but not too many tires are available in 35s for 15" wheels and they seem to be hard to balance. 16" wheels and 35" duratracs would probably work well for you.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC View Post
You are not going to get too much support from forum members on 20s unless you run 40+ inch tires. For your conditions, you want maximum air down footprint, so I'd go with the smallest rim possible to maximize tire beef. In your case, that would be either a 16" or a 17" wheel. 15" wheels (like what I have) work, but not too many tires are available in 35s for 15" wheels and they seem to be hard to balance. 16" wheels and 35" duratracs would probably work well for you.
I think the smallest they offer the rim I want is a 18x9... You think I'd be able to get away with an 18 & 35 ? There are couple Jeeps in my town that run the 35/17 set-up, would an 18 inch make a huge difference?

I'm not 100% stuck on the 962 rims, I could always go 16/17 if I find a rim I like. I seem to be liking a lot of Moto's rims & the KMC's XD series.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:05 AM   #5
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Personally I'd go with a smaller rim, but an 18 is sure better than a 20. Remember, add a decent lump of cash for ever inch you go up in wheel size for tires. Check out ATX wheels. Excellent wheels and come in sizes you need. Don't forget to check the backspacing to make sure the wheel you want fits.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:17 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by it_felt_so_good View Post
I think the smallest they offer the rim I want is a 18x9... You think I'd be able to get away with an 18 & 35 ? There are couple Jeeps in my town that run the 35/17 set-up, would an 18 inch make a huge difference?

I'm not 100% stuck on the 962 rims, I could always go 16/17 if I find a rim I like. I seem to be liking a lot of Moto's rims & the KMC's XD series.
Yes you can get away with 18/35 rims. While NFRs2000NYC's comment is correct for your usage you should be fine and you can compensate the contact patch by increasing the rim width and tire width. Airing down is commonly used by people off-roading in challenging conditions.

Best thing to remember about moding your Jeep is why you are doing it: Looks or Function. Looks you buy the 20 inch rims and keep it on easy to mild trails, Function you get a similar looking 16/17 inch rim and you are prepared for everything from a wheel perspective. Compromise get the 18inch rims and know your constraints.

As for the rest of your Mods here is what I know:

Tires do some research but the BFG's seem to be a really safe bet. I have run the stock MTR's on my 03, Pro Comp 35's in the Mud and Sand of Hawaii, and Hankook AT's in Snow and Mud of Colorado. All of them were solid do some research and pay attention to reviews of people in similar environments that you are going to be running in.

Lift I am not 100% sure about since I just got my JK too but I have heard as little as 2" is all that is required to fit 35's. as for BDS I have heard good things, I would also look at Zone if you are tight on finance, Rock Krawler lifts have had the best reviews I have seen, or if you are willing to get crazy check out Metal Cloak. Stay away from Rancho and Rough Country.

Gears is also something I am not 100% sure of with the JKs but if your max speed is going to be 40 mph I would definitely consider a gear change to give you better low end, 4.56 or 4.88 would be my suggestion. I ran 4.88 in my 03 Rubi running 35's and it handled all the offroading I threw at it.

These are just my suggestions based on 10 years of my first Rubicon and the knowledge I have gained on planning my next Rubi's transformation. Good Luck

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