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Old 09-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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Tires and Lift

I'm in the process of ordering the 2013 - ultimately I want to drive it to South America and back, will 35" tires and 2" lift accommodate this? Do I even need 35 or can I go stock 32s? Also will the 35s kill my gas mileage and already limited highway handling ability? Thanks

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Old 09-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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I'm in the process of ordering the 2013 - ultimately I want to drive it to South America and back, will 35" tires and 2" lift accommodate this? Do I even need 35 or can I go stock 32s? Also will the 35s kill my gas mileage and already limited highway handling ability? Thanks
You going all off-road, or you gonna take freeways?

35's will wreck your mileage, but it's not like Jeeps get good mileage to begin with.

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Old 09-01-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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I do both - probably 90 percent of mileage on freeways, for South America I have to assume the Panama highway will be equivalent to a logging trail at some points - still need to do a lot of research
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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From the sounds of it, there's no reason to get 35s for this. Or a lift. Stock will do fine, especially if you get the 32" BFG MTs.

Why do you think you need a lift and 35s to drive real far on the highway?
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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From the sounds of it, there's no reason to get 35s for this. Or a lift. Stock will do fine, especially if you get the 32" BFG MTs.

Why do you think you need a lift and 35s to drive real far on the highway?
I don't think I do - just that i got my 2010 Rubicon high centered in deep mud covered by water on a logging trail and it took us a bit of effort to get it out - if i had a winch would've been ok though
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:17 PM   #6
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I don't think I do - just that i got my 2010 Rubicon high centered in deep mud covered by water on a logging trail and it took us a bit of effort to get it out - if i had a winch would've been ok though
I'm looking at your suspension spec - that might be what I need
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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I'd just get a good all around tire. You'll need to be competent off road.... be sure to take 2 spares. I really like my duratrac 33's. Most overland travelers that I know, tend to stay close to stock. No need to go big. Clearance is an issue, so yes, a 2.5 inch suspension lift (read: good shocks/good coil springs) will help you out.
I tried to pull off a trip to Central America and back this year, but life got in the way. You can read trip reports on expedition portal . com - lots of good overlanding advice there.
I'm going to settle for a central Mex..... ferry across to Baja, up the Baja peninsula for my next trip.
You must own your vehicle outright (no bank loans) and driving through Columbia isn't recommended (particularly to the south)....
Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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I don't think I do - just that i got my 2010 Rubicon high centered in deep mud covered by water on a logging trail and it took us a bit of effort to get it out - if i had a winch would've been ok though
Gotcha.

A lift and 35s are each going to adversely effect your gas mileage. I think a winch and recovery gear would be a better buy for you, along with some really good 32" tires if you don't go with the stock BFGs. And traction devices "lockers, LSDs, etc.) if you don't go with a rubicon.

If you wanted to get a little extra stance, appearance, and clearance, go with a 2.5" coil lift and 33s. Check out my jeep in my profile for that look. It won't hit your gas as much as 35s and will still give you room to flex under 2.5" of lift.

Beyond a certain point, big tires and lifts are more about flexing and driving over big rocks than they are for trails. Search YouTube for "jeep j8." It's the military version of the JK, and it's got a lot of extra features you won't have (D60 rear axle, leaf springs, diesel, etc.), but it also only has 29" tires I believe. Take a look at what it drives through.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:27 PM   #9
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MTH and CG3 thanks for the great info - this is very helpful
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #10
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Are you going to ship to cross the Darien Gap?
"Beware there are no roads connecting Panama with Colombia, hence it is not possible to drive from Central America. People overcome this problem shipping their cars from Colon (Atlantic side in Panama) to Cartagena or Barranquilla (Colombia), or from Panama City (Pacific side of the Panama canal) to Buenaventura (Colombia) or Guayaquil (Ecuador). The Pan-American Highway is a series of routes starting in Central America and running to the tip South America. It does not cross through Colombia, but is otherwise an interesting option for those with a good vehicle, plenty of spare parts, and a desire to explore the western edge of the continent".
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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good luck with your journey and be sure to snap lots of pictures.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #12
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Yeah I'm gonna have to boat the Dariwn Gap. Intention is to go the Panama Highway. Not sure where in Panama I'm gonna start. Do. Need to be diesel for this or is there planet of gas. I'm def gonna take tons of pics.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:59 PM   #13
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CG3 - below tells me i have to traverse the gap

This 60 mile gap without roads has been successfully crossed a handful of times - usually by expeditions equipped with off-road vehicles and staffed by special forces types. Attempts to bridge the gap with a road have stalled, partly because of environmental protest and concern that an overland route may expose North America to foot and mouth disease from South American cattle. Crossing by a combination of foot and boat is not only possible but relatively easy - as long as you stick to the Caribbean side and "hedgehog" from resort to resort, thus avoiding the dangerous inland zone.

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