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Old 04-21-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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is the 4 cylinder platform worth the build?

My 98TJ just turned over 109,000 miles and is bone stock minus the 31"BFG's... I've been considering dumping some cash into it this summer, budget boost, 1" body lift etc... before I do so I wanted your opinions on if it's even worth it to start a build on a 4 cylinder jeep? I do not take it wheeling too hard (there's a few local class IV trails I frequent, but that's about it) but I have come across a few climbs that it just doesn't have the power/clearance to make... I wouldn't mind spending some money and lifting it and adding some cosmetic/functional offroad pieces, but at the same time I could probably sell it while it's still worth some money and upgrade to the I6.... thoughts?

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Old 04-21-2008, 09:44 PM   #2
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get the 6, just my opinion, but hey, you asked.

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Old 04-21-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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id say depending on what you wanna do with it you want to make a serious rock crawler one day i have the 6 cyl and want a 4 cyl plus less gas. but for rock crawling iv heard that the weight differnce is almost 150 pds. and i know a few pro crawlers that want to put a 4 cyl in place and just put super low gears in it. but for trails and stuff it can really go either way. with 4 cyl your less likely of breaking an axle. just some stuff you can think about.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
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how about an atlas tcase to solve ur gears problem?
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:00 PM   #5
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Here is my 4 cylinder with 4:88's and a Ford Explorer 8.8 rear end climbing through rocks and sand at EL Mirage a couple of weeks ago. It serves me well. Its locked front and rear. The only draw back to the 4 that I have noticed is it makes more noise on the freeway getting to the trail. It runs at 70 at 3000 rpm with 32" tires, and I am getting ready to lift it to 3.5 RE. and putting 35" tires on it. This should bring the RPM's on the freeway down. I really like my Jeep, but with that siad, I did just buy my wife a fully loaded 6cy with cruise. The only reason I went with the six was because of the comfort level on the freeway. Now I guess if you are into some serious rock crawling you might want a 6, but then again you may upgrade your 4 to an 8. So experiment with the 4. If you get the bug go with the 10K upgrade to an 8. Make sense?



BTW the other Jeeps with me had 6" lifts, and 6 cylinders.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:19 AM   #6
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Don't underestimate the good ol' four cylinder. Hell the TJ's 4 banger has quite a bit more power than a lot of notable 4 cylinder off road vehicles in the past.

I hate to admit it, but I'm part of a Land Rover Club haha, only because of the lack of clubs in little Rhody, however I went trail riding with them a few weeks back, sadly I had just bought my TJ and hadn't looked it over for trail integrity, but we went with by buddy's 1978 Land Rover Series III with the following specs:

4 cylinder: 85 hp; 95 ft-lb of torque give or take
4 Speed Manual with manual overdrive
5.88:1 R/P Ratio
2 inch under axle parabolic spring lift
Procomp Shocks
32" Goodyear AT/S's
Aluminum Rock Sliders

Other trucks had bigger tires, "better" lifts, modern computer b/s, lockers, and V8s.

The series with it little 4 banger out climbed, and simply outwheeled every other truck, cause its light, simple, tough, and not powerful enough to break stuff, yet able to be a daily driver and the jeep wrangler is a similar platform, not by specs, but by characteristics certainly.

4 cylinders have been the heart of trucks that do important things for nearly a century, starting with Jeep.

Therefore, I say build it.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:23 AM   #7
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dont mess with it, thats a pack of 85 horses with 10-15 of them injured
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:44 AM   #8
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dont mess with it, thats a pack of 85 horses with 10-15 of them injured


A buddy of mine has an '06 with the 2.4ltr engine, and those 4 little squirrels have balls. We climbed Rt 515 in Vernon (North Jersey members know of it) and never dipped below 55MPH
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:54 AM   #9
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how big of tires do you want to end up with and how fast do you like to drive on the highway, the problem with the 4cyl is not on the trail, you can regear to get a really low gearing and go slow and use its torque, the problem is on the highway. My suggestion is to just not go as high, you can get a VERY capable rig with just 33's still
my suggestion is 3"susp. lift
1.25 in BL
33's
SYE/CV
tummy tuck
tube fenders
critical body armor (want to keep weight down though)
manual lockers front and rear
then touches like lights, bumpers, etc.
this will get you a good amount of ground clearance especially with the tummy tuck and a few skid plates so ur not as afraid of bottoming out, and still keep ur tire size small so you dont struggle to go 55 on the highway
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:10 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input. I'm not looking to build a rock crawler, just something that can navigate over some of the random larger rocks on these NH trails, and look bad ass in the process. I think a 2-3" lift, with a 1" body lift and some armor is definitely in order to start... back in my youth I used to had a ricer (accord) with a four banger in it, and I noticed a considerable gain in ponies from intake/header/exhaust upgrades- is this a worth while option four the 2.4L to gain a bit more power?
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:20 AM   #11
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nahh not really, u may get 2 HP from each one of those things, but they will all cost about $100 so ur looking at $100 a horse, not worth it in my opinion, its better to regear to lower gears so your in the peak HP band then to gain 4-5 hp
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:28 AM   #12
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nahh not really, u may get 2 HP from each one of those things, but they will all cost about $100 so ur looking at $100 a horse, not worth it in my opinion, its better to regear to lower gears so your in the peak HP band then to gain 4-5 hp
but i really miss that ricer-sound!!! hahaha
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:00 AM   #13
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I have been thinking about rebuilding a 4 banger only with higher compression so that I could utilize E85. E85 actually runs very well in a high compression engine and in the case of a few XJ owners from Brazil who got 4.0L factory export engines which run 11:1 they get about 30mpg with their ethanol engines. The downside is that once you up to that compression ratio gone are the days of running regular gas, you now need 97+ octane if you put gas in.
I also like that 4BT conversion that was done but if diesel keeps climbing the numbers keep getting worse.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #14
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how big of tires do you want to end up with and how fast do you like to drive on the highway, the problem with the 4cyl is not on the trail, you can regear to get a really low gearing and go slow and use its torque, the problem is on the highway. My suggestion is to just not go as high, you can get a VERY capable rig with just 33's still
my suggestion is 3"susp. lift
1.25 in BL
33's
SYE/CV
tummy tuck
tube fenders
critical body armor (want to keep weight down though)
manual lockers front and rear
then touches like lights, bumpers, etc.
this will get you a good amount of ground clearance especially with the tummy tuck and a few skid plates so ur not as afraid of bottoming out, and still keep ur tire size small so you dont struggle to go 55 on the highway
Dead on. The freeway is the issue, but if you regear... then you will want bigger tires to bring the RPM's down. I am running 4:88's, and I am going to put 35's on my 4. This will put me around 2600 RPM at 70... I think... I have also heard ...(I think it was Tom Woods web site) that you don't need a SYE until you go over 4", but some have had different experiences.

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nahh not really, u may get 2 HP from each one of those things, but they will all cost about $100 so ur looking at $100 a horse, not worth it in my opinion, its better to regear to lower gears so your in the peak HP band then to gain 4-5 hp
X2.... total waste of money and time. Don't bother. Higher octane is probably a better investment. Although, I put a K&N in mine. Funny thing is when I purchased my Jeep (used) it had a piece of foam taped to the air filter which was sufficating the engine. Not sure why anyone would do that.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:35 AM   #15
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Higher octane does NOTHING on regular stock natural aspiration engines.

Take pics of the foam. If i'm correct it was probably put on there to try to clean the air more.

K&N is trash. K&N is trash. Get it?. K&N is trash.
It lets more dirt in than it filters. It's got very big holes compared to what a filter should have to do its job efficiently. While you're at it put a fly net on there so at least you get unrestricted air lol.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:04 AM   #16
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Dead on. The freeway is the issue, but if you regear... then you will want bigger tires to bring the RPM's down. I am running 4:88's, and I am going to put 35's on my 4. This will put me around 2600 RPM at 70... I think... I have also heard ...(I think it was Tom Woods web site) that you don't need a SYE until you go over 4", but some have had different experiences.



X2.... total waste of money and time. Don't bother. Higher octane is probably a better investment. Although, I put a K&N in mine. Funny thing is when I purchased my Jeep (used) it had a piece of foam taped to the air filter which was sufficating the engine. Not sure why anyone would do that.
You will get worse mileage on a low compression engine with high octane fuel which is what the auto industry has built for the market since the 70's. thats why those 'e85 dual fuel' engines are such a joke. E85 works well in high compression, just look at alky dragsters for an example.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:17 PM   #17
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I have 33's, 4.88's, Yukon 35 rear axle, ARB rear, Lockright front. For around town, I LOVE IT! On the trails, I LOVE IT. The only place I have an issue is on the highway. I can hold 70-75 with no problem, but a long gradual grade or a short steep one will have me downshifting. I find I downshift less with 4.88 and 33's than I did with 4.10's and 30's.

For a weekend wheeler and casual trails (with the occasional hard ones thrown in), it is a very nice option.

Here's mine.





If you wanted to replace the engine, you'll be doing the transmission and def the rear axle at a minimum. A V8 or strong V6 would likely grenade the transmission and D35 in short order. I'm not going to debate the D35 merits or whether or not it is a turd. In my application with a 2.5L, the upgraded Yukon 35 shafts have been wonderful for me with the ARB in back.

My logic for the 4 was that the lower price point allowed me some extra budget room for some of the mods I've done - some cosmetic, most capability enhancements.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:27 PM   #18
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Gilez; erickpl,

While on the topic, I also plan a small build for my four banger which would be Rusty's 2" Springs, OME Shocks, RE Discos, and vital armor. I plan to run 31 inch tires and eventually a limited slip in back and ARB up front which is plenty to get me through the trails I want to ride and maintain 20+ mpg. My concern isn't primarily the complete lack of durability of the Dana 35, with my anemic four banger and close to stock tire plan.

Its the AX-5. Anyone with some feedback on the trans?...I may post this somewhere else, however I was looking at a Dana 300 transfer case on craigslist in my area as an upgrade for the np231 and came across some depressing info looking for a conversion kit. Problem is the AX-5 is its basically a car tranny, which I don't want in an offroad truck. However is has been used successfully as a truck tranny in the Jeep and Toyota markets.

SO before I go commit myself to my little four banger, what about the AX-5?...How much of a weak link is it?

You guys both have some real bad ass trucks by the way.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:27 PM   #19
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idk why everyone wants to crap on the 4banger. Mine has gotten me wherever I wanted to go so far. If I want a highway superstar, I'll drive my wife's car.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:50 PM   #20
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If you're referring to me, I simply am concerned with the durability of the AX-5 transmission offroad. The 2.5 is a fantastic motor that more than suites my needs. And I'll never get a speeding ticket!
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:03 PM   #21
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not meant at anyone in particular. just notice a lot of people think the 2.5 is so underpowered it isn't drivable. I can do 70 on the highway @ less than 3k rpms on 30x9.50 MT's. (it's an auto)
I really don't care to go faster than that in a wrangler. I just got back from a trip to bama. the hills didn't bother me, i got right at 17mpg on the trip and 275 miles only took me 4 1/2 hrs.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:21 PM   #22
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Cool

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Originally Posted by Triple88a View Post
Higher octane does NOTHING on regular stock natural aspiration engines.

Take pics of the foam. If i'm correct it was probably put on there to try to clean the air more.

K&N is trash. K&N is trash. Get it?. K&N is trash.
It lets more dirt in than it filters. It's got very big holes compared to what a filter should have to do its job efficiently. While you're at it put a fly net on there so at least you get unrestricted air lol.
OK... so your real passionate about this issue. Now logic seems to dictate that if you put foam in front of the air cleaner, it stops the engine breathing. Now I could keep the engine real clean if I just stopped up all the air, but that is not really my objective. So I have a K&N which seems to get pretty good press everywhere else. (What do you have). What evidence do you have for the repeated claim X3 (I got it ) that K&N is [did you say] "Trash". BTW my Jeep ran much better after making the change from packing foam to K&N.


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You will get worse mileage on a low compression engine with high octane fuel which is what the auto industry has built for the market since the 70's. thats why those 'e85 dual fuel' engines are such a joke. E85 works well in high compression, just look at alky dragsters for an example.
Well if that is the case maybe I will save myself some money. How do you know this is true? Any objective evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailsurf7713 View Post
Gilez; erickpl,

While on the topic, I also plan a small build for my four banger which would be Rusty's 2" Springs, OME Shocks, RE Discos, and vital armor. I plan to run 31 inch tires and eventually a limited slip in back and ARB up front which is plenty to get me through the trails I want to ride and maintain 20+ mpg. My concern isn't primarily the complete lack of durability of the Dana 35, with my anemic four banger and close to stock tire plan.

Its the AX-5. Anyone with some feedback on the trans?...I may post this somewhere else, however I was looking at a Dana 300 transfer case on craigslist in my area as an upgrade for the np231 and came across some depressing info looking for a conversion kit. Problem is the AX-5 is its basically a car tranny, which I don't want in an offroad truck. However is has been used successfully as a truck tranny in the Jeep and Toyota markets.

SO before I go commit myself to my little four banger, what about the AX-5?...How much of a weak link is it?

You guys both have some real bad ass trucks by the way.
I still have the stock trans setup. I am waiting for it to break before upgrading, so I have the same questions you do.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:30 PM   #23
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Best part about my 4 banger.

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Old 04-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #24
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Best part about my 4 banger.
Oh, rub it in, why don't ya!!!

Of course, I have SEVERAL thousand dollars in my pocket, that I didn't put into my heep.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:55 PM   #25
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I still have the stock trans setup. I am waiting for it to break before upgrading, so I have the same questions you do.
Haha. Well I guess I'll throw some good tranny fluid and a cooler on her and hope for the best [knocking on wood] (I just bought it). When it does break, and I know it will, its either another AX-5 or a NV3550.

Hmmmm...

NV3550 = Really F***ing Expensive! : Really F***ing Bulletproof

AX-5 = 1000 and a little change for new clutch : Not so Bulletproof

Oh the choices. I guess they'll have to be made when the time comes. What are you running Mr.Clifford?

Cool Links on the Subject
Ax-5 to NV3550: http://www.high-impact.net/transmiss..._AX5replmt.htm

Ax -5 to Ax-15: http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181361
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:57 PM   #26
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Well if that is the case maybe I will save myself some money. How do you know this is true? Any objective evidence.
I still have the stock trans setup. I am waiting for it to break before upgrading, so I have the same questions you do.
I have to ask, do you know what octane is used for ? Short version, low octane fuel in a high compression engine ignites early under that increased compression and before the spark plug fires, octane is added to prevent this premature detonation known as knock. High octane fuel gives an incomplete burn in a low compression, the octane actually prevents the fuel from burning. Alcohol on the other hand works really well in a high compression engine, as for proof, hit your local dragstrip on a weekend and check out the AA fuel dragsters, thats what they burn and in the other classes with superchargers added they put out a bit more horsepower

As for K&N, I ran one for a few years in my 98XJ, about the same time I switched from regular oil to Mobil-1, I noticed the oil got dirtier faster but in my ignorance figured the oil was cleaning the motor so I never bothered further. Then one weekend I decided to pull the TB and give it a good cleaning, that was around 180,000mi, decided to clean and relube the filter too so I stuck a new stock OEM I had in the air box, I also pulled that big air pipe going from the box to the TB and while I had my hand in there carrying it thought it felt really grainy in side, my hands were coated with this real fine black almost sand like stuff, I cleaned it out, cleaned the TB and put everything back together, changed the oil and cleaned the K&N, put it out to dry before I oiled it, figured I would change it next oil change which was for me about a month and a half. Next oil change my oil was still clean, much cleaner than I was used to, made me go hmmmm. Felt around inside that tube and it was clean, did the oil change, swapped filters and kept commuting, next change the oil was much dirtier and that stuff was back in the tube. I went back to paper filters and have not gone back to K&N air filters since. Now this was with the K&N flat panel, maybe the bigger cone styles work better but I'm not going to bother testing that. If you are running a K&N feel inside that big hose from the airbox to the throttle body and see if it is clean then make your own choice. Me, I never noticed any difference in performance or mileage, the only thing noticed was the K&N was louder.
Me, I drive my stuff at least 500,000mi or until it rusts out but I take care of it. It ticked me off that the #3 injector stuck open on my 98XJ and took out #3 cylinder, that engine ran flawlessly till that happened at 330,000mi. Now I do injectors at 150,000 whether they need it or not.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:41 PM   #27
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Me, I drive my stuff at least 500,000mi or until it rusts out but I take care of it. It ticked me off that the #3 injector stuck open on my 98XJ and took out #3 cylinder, that engine ran flawlessly till that happened at 330,000mi. Now I do injectors at 150,000 whether they need it or not.
I don't know if you've heard of it, but I run Startron consistently in my present and past motor. Its a fuel additive which was developed to decrease the harmful affects of ethanol in marine tanks and motors.

I was skeptical, however I work at a West Marine and get a decent discount on the stuff. In my old 3.9 magnum I was getting about 300 miles per 18 gallon tank of 87 octane. I started using 89 octane and picked up about 20 extra miles per tank. Then I started using startron consistently with the 89 octane and went up to 360 miles per tank. That's 20 mpg average in a 4000 lb underpowered pickup truck.

I've been using it in the Jeep since I bought it, with 100,000 miles. 2 oz. per tank. I've notice a small gain in mpg, but the best thing is I can now do almost my entire commute in 5th and thats over 2 - 2 mile long bridges.

www.startron.com

As for K&N...over the long haul, they're simply not worth it. I'll be running a True Flow Foam Filter and Rusty's Air Tube soon enough for road use and a simple paper filter and the stock air cleaner assembly offroad.

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Old 04-22-2008, 10:47 PM   #28
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I know nothing about octane other than what the average joe knows. Higher octane .... higher performance. It seems that I get better performance with the 89. Don't really care about gas milage... (global warming is a hoax).

I will certainly check out the inside of the tube, but maybe I should have clarified. I do not have a CAI. I just have the drop in K&N brand filter. Does that make a difference to the theory???

Thanks for the education. Again this forum has been very helpful.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:48 PM   #29
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:44 AM   #30
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Location: Sac town
Posts: 978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilez View Post
The only draw back to the 4 that I have noticed is it makes more noise on the freeway getting to the trail. It runs at 70 at 3000 rpm with 32" tires
Finally! i've been waiting for someone to give me an idea about what my rpm will be after gears. I'm guessing around 2875 with 33" tires for me then. Not bad considering I can only get to 3k rpm with the stock gears.

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