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Old 12-04-2012, 07:48 AM   #1
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A fit suspension and lift combo

I just recently bought a 99' TJ and within the next year or so am looking into getting it lifted.

For starters, I go off-roading at least once if not 2 or 3 times a week as I currently live in Arizona and where there are plenty of trails to hit just about anywhere you go. With that being said, I've noticed a lot of the trails that I've been going on have been hard for my stock Jeep to get around; with that being said, I'm still extremely impressed with their overall stock capability and strength of the 4.0 I6 engine. I know I'll be having the Jeep for a long time so I want to be sure I don't make any upgrades on it that I'll have to get rid of in the future. I know a vehicle isn't an investment but am willing to put out the extra couple dollars and doing something the right way the first time rather than "making it work for the moment."

My Question: I've been lookin' at tire sizes and lifts and want some good height, 35's seem like a good size on a stock dana30 but I think I want a little bigger - at the same time I realize I'd definitely need new front and rear axles, drive shaft, etc. if I went as big as 40's. What are your opinions for tire sizes and good suspension lift height combinations? I'd like to spend around $5,000 or under if possible but am open to any options as I am trying to figure out what'll work best for the future as I know there's a big difference between a 35" setup and a 40" setup. I also know people who can help me with fabrication of parts but am curious how much it would be for someone else to install it as well.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
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You're all over the map. The difference between 35" and 40" tires is absolutely massive, both in terms of the stresses they place on the parts and the parts required. If you want to run 35's reliably and maintain or even make gains in how your rig drives on the road, plan on $5k minimum. Gearing, steering, brakes, quality suspension parts, etc. And that's assuming you've already got a 44 in the rear. 40's......triple that at a bare minimum. Both are assuming you will be doing all of the work.

Some will balk at those prices but that's the bare truth and that's assuming you won't cut corners.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
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No I agree, that's why I just need some direction as far as where to start. I know either way I'll be putting in a lot of money with a lift and tires let alone everything else that'll have to be adapted as well with it. What are you suggesting then with my budget, 35's would be more suitable? As far as the rear axle I'd have to double check but I believe it's a Dana35c - I could be wrong but what's the easiest way to differentiate between the two? The shape of the rear diffs?
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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As Imped said there is a HUGE difference between 35" and 40" tyres in terms of the modfications you will have to do.



If it were me I'd go for 35", perhaps even 33" and spend some more money on decent fenders, underbody protection with high clearance skids and proper lift components and arms.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
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Ok so if I go 33's or 35's, what size lift and brands do you suggest? I've been looking recently at Rancho, they seem to have some of the better suspension lift kits available but I also won't be trailering around the Jeep to off-road so it'd have to be "smooth" on the road as well where as I've heard lifts from Rough Country on the other hand tend to be pretty rough.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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As Imped said there is a HUGE difference between 35" and 40" tyres in terms of the modfications you will have to do.



If it were me I'd go for 35", perhaps even 33" and spend some more money on decent fenders, underbody protection with high clearance skids and proper lift components and arms.
X2. 33'S look very aggressive and functional.Are 35's legal were you are? I can't go outside flairs here.You would have cash for tunes w/33's. could even get by with the smaller rears if you don't spin and grab with the 33's.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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I've got stock Dana 44's on my rubicon with the 4.0 and the thought of going larger than 35 never crossed my mind. first of all, a 35 will take you just about anywhere. your money would be better invested on a higher quality lift, armor, etc for better trail performance. a 35" tire already invites the need for steering upgrades and if you don't already have 44's, plan on axles as the rubi 44's are already at their limits. regearing is next on the list of things to do. $5k isn't going to cut it and in my opinion, not by a long shot. the TJ's on 37's I see at the offroad shows do look badass though lol
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #8
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Dale, no in Arizona I see 40" setups all the time when I go up to Sedona and Flagstaff and even Phoenix where I live so I don't see that restriction being an issue at all. If I were to go 33's I assume the stock Dana35c in the rear would be able to handle them no problem? If I do decide to go bigger with the 35's, I assume I'd need to look into getting at least a rear Dana44 where I could still run the Dana30 in the front then right?
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:30 AM   #9
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Dale, no in Arizona I see 40" setups all the time when I go up to Sedona and Flagstaff and even Phoenix where I live so I don't see that restriction being an issue at all. If I were to go 33's I assume the stock Dana35c in the rear would be able to handle them no problem? If I do decide to go bigger with the 35's, I assume I'd need to look into getting at least a rear Dana44 where I could still run the Dana30 in the front then right?
Looking at getting a D44 rear in any case is not a bad idea.
If you have a look at a lift like this: Currie Johnny Joints Suspension TJ LJ

you are talking about more than $2k without shocks - they sell the Rancho shocks seperately. On the upside it does include the Currie Antirock and some johnny joint control arms all round. You will also need a SYE and new rear driveshaft. Add to that some wheels, tyres, lockers, etc and you are all out of $5k.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by GHomer8 View Post
Ok so if I go 33's or 35's, what size lift and brands do you suggest? I've been looking recently at Rancho, they seem to have some of the better suspension lift kits available but I also won't be trailering around the Jeep to off-road so it'd have to be "smooth" on the road as well where as I've heard lifts from Rough Country on the other hand tend to be pretty rough.
There's a lot more to a proper suspension that's worth what you spend on it than ride quality alone. And honestly, the only Rancho product I'd bother with are their adjustable shocks. There are much, much better quality parts out there when it comes to the components that keep your axles in place.

There's more to this stuff than can possibly be answered in this thread alone. Kickstart the research machine and get to it. Build threads and other forums are great resources.

Go ahead and jump into the deep end:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f369/...metry-1423857/
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...ps-thread.html

That should keep you busy for a few months.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:27 AM   #11
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My advice would be to take your time and as mentioned above, do research. I've learned a lot from Imped and several others here.

Decide what kind of wheeling you want to do and have available and go from there. Factor in the type of ride you'd like to have, especially if your TJ is a daily driver.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #12
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Experience is sometimes the best teacher. I fist started wheeling in a stock IH Scout II years ago, then an FSJ Quadratrac Wagoneer. When I finally could afford a TJ, it was like "ANGELIC CHORUS SINGING - OMG, this thing can do anything!!!!!!". Still stock, I wheeled it carefully until IT TRAINED ME to be an experienced driver. Then I got under it and looked at what was beat the most, and how to avoid it next time. Flex, limited slips, lockers, tires....balance. But the stock junk taught me well, and it pays-off when you decide to dump some dough. And remember, you get what you pay for; a well-balanced rig will be higher in cost but get you out and back safely with entertainment to boot.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #13
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Looking at getting a D44 rear in any case is not a bad idea.
If you have a look at a lift like this: Currie Johnny Joints Suspension TJ LJ

you are talking about more than $2k without shocks - they sell the Rancho shocks seperately. On the upside it does include the Currie Antirock and some johnny joint control arms all round. You will also need a SYE and new rear driveshaft. Add to that some wheels, tyres, lockers, etc and you are all out of $5k.
Ok perfect, thats the kind of stuff I'm looking for - I knew there was "other stuff" that I'd need to be getting but wasn't sure what it all was. It looks like I have a lot more research to be doing then.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:58 PM   #14
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There's a lot more to a proper suspension that's worth what you spend on it than ride quality alone. And honestly, the only Rancho product I'd bother with are their adjustable shocks. There are much, much better quality parts out there when it comes to the components that keep your axles in place.

There's more to this stuff than can possibly be answered in this thread alone. Kickstart the research machine and get to it. Build threads and other forums are great resources.

Go ahead and jump into the deep end:
Suspension Geometry - JeepForum.com
Jeep Builds - JeepForum.com
Ultimate Wrangler Build Ups and Swaps thread - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum

That should keep you busy for a few months.
Ok great I'll definitely be checking that all out, I'm also looking to buy a few books as well, any suggestions of some you might've come across that have helped you out in the past Imped? Thanks again!
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:01 AM   #15
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Lindel and Wagoneer thanks and this thread has definitely helped a lot, I just needed some experienced advice to start me in the right path. I'm not someone to do things half a** so I'm glad to hear all this great advice, thanks again gents and I'm sure I'll be in touch soon enough! Thanks again all, any other suggestions are welcome too!
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #16
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Ok great I'll definitely be checking that all out, I'm also looking to buy a few books as well, any suggestions of some you might've come across that have helped you out in the past Imped? Thanks again!
No books. Everything you could possibly need is published online.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:32 PM   #17
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What you want to do will cost a whole lot more than $5000, that is just the tip of the iceberg. You might be better off to go buy a quality built TJ or a buggy.
Ron
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:52 PM   #18
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What you want to do will cost a whole lot more than $5000, that is just the tip of the iceberg. You might be better off to go buy a quality built TJ or a buggy.
Ron
Didn't want to scare him away, but this is pretty much dead on the money.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #19
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I run 37's (37x13.5x17 Nitto Mud Grapplers) on my 03 TJ with an 8" Skyjacker lift,4.88 gears, Yukon axles. I drive 100 miles a day to and from work and it's very comfortable at 70-75 on the highway and has great road manners. I love it and have yet to find anything she won't climb or go through.I wanted the clearance for 40's but went 37's to leave room for wheel travel. You will spend a lot for all that you need to ride on 37's, no doubt that part is true.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:39 PM   #20
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I run 37's (37x13.5x17 Nitto Mud Grapplers) on my 03 TJ with an 8" Skyjacker lift,4.88 gears, Yukon axles. I drive 100 miles a day to and from work and it's very comfortable at 70-75 on the highway and has great road manners. I love it and have yet to find anything she won't climb or go through.I wanted the clearance for 40's but went 37's to leave room for wheel travel. You will spend a lot for all that you need to ride on 37's, no doubt that part is true.
8"? Skyjacker? Those two items are problems.....but I'm glad you're happy.

I'm also on 37's and DD mine whenever I want. I did today, in fact. There's a whole lot more to running 37's than fitting them. Steering, brakes, gears, axles, a proper suspension that can hold up to tires that big, and many finer details I'll leave out. Hell, all of that stuff applies to 35" tires.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #21
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8"? Skyjacker? Those two items are problems.....but I'm glad you're happy.

I'm also on 37's and DD mine whenever I want. I did today, in fact. There's a whole lot more to running 37's than fitting them. Steering, brakes, gears, axles, a proper suspension that can hold up to tires that big, and many finer details I'll leave out. Hell, all of that stuff applies to 35" tires.
Hell over here 37" tyres alone is almost $5k.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:19 AM   #22
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I'm running 40's on my Tj and its almost my DD and If you do your research and ask guys that have done it I think with 5k you'll be fine
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:18 PM   #23
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I'm not one to be scared away I just look at it as a challenge to be honest. I know Ill be spending a lot and am willing to - my one thing is that I just wanna make sure I do it the right way the first time that's all. If it takes $10,000, then ill do it. I'm gonna be workin my ass off this summer in the forest services here on AZ and will be makin plenty to out away but I deff wanna put some good money into the Wrangler for sure as a "self present" - I'd like to do all the work myself though so I can learn about the it, not have some half ass mechanic I don't know do the work and charge me up the ass.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #24
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I'm running 40's on my Tj and its almost my DD and If you do your research and ask guys that have done it I think with 5k you'll be fine
You seem to be the "odd man out"in sayin ill be ok with a $5000 or so budget, so I'm curious - what's on your rig? What'd you spend and what did you add on the rig? Did you "cut any corners" or resuse parts or what? Any suggestions? I've been lookin into junk yards and all the hidden gems they have there, did you do any searching there for parts?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:21 AM   #25
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You seem to be the "odd man out"in sayin ill be ok with a $5000 or so budget, so I'm curious - what's on your rig? What'd you spend and what did you add on the rig? Did you "cut any corners" or resuse parts or what? Any suggestions? I've been lookin into junk yards and all the hidden gems they have there, did you do any searching there for parts?
I went to junk yards looking for the axles and it took me 3 months to find ten at the right price, also went looking for the best price on the joints, a friend helped me build the long arm suspension and I can say the most expensive parts were the tires
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:30 AM   #26
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I went to junk yards looking for the axles and it took me 3 months to find ten at the right price, also went looking for the best price on the joints, a friend helped me build the long arm suspension and I can say the most expensive parts were the tires
Ohh ok I gotcha and that's kinda what I figured you were gonna say - glad to hear that you got it done around that price. I think I just need to make some more contacts out here in AZ then kinda go from there but I think it's probably a good idea to obviously start searching early and get to know my Jeep a little more too. Thanks for the advice Xavierss!
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:05 PM   #27
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Ohh ok I gotcha and that's kinda what I figured you were gonna say - glad to hear that you got it done around that price. I think I just need to make some more contacts out here in AZ then kinda go from there but I think it's probably a good idea to obviously start searching early and get to know my Jeep a little more too. Thanks for the advice Xavierss!
Any question just send me a PM, I got it in the budget asking for advice from people that already had done it
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:39 AM   #28
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Any question just send me a PM, I got it in the budget asking for advice from people that already had done it
I will definitely do that 100%, but first I'm gonna learn a little more about what I'll need to do and do some more research to find out all my options. I'm sure I'll have more questions along the way too. Thanks again X.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #29
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35" is the money pit gateway for Jeep. I'm on 33's right now and they get me through most of the trails that I wheel on in Oregon. Every time I get the urge to consider 35's or taller, I just run through the numbers and after computing the grand total plus a 15% tolerance for unexpected costs, I think - I'm happy and content with running 33's.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:59 AM   #30
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35" is the money pit gateway for Jeep. I'm on 33's right now and they get me through most of the trails that I wheel on in Oregon. Every time I get the urge to consider 35's or taller, I just run through the numbers and after computing the grand total plus a 15% tolerance for unexpected costs, I think - I'm happy and content with running 33's.
Now, when your pluggin the numbers in for what you want when you look at 35's - whats your range? How big of a lift had you been lookin at for the 35's?

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