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Old 05-02-2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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Question Lift and tire size questions

Apologies in advance if this thread belongs in the "Tires and Wheels" topic (and mods feel free to move it if so), but I've got a tire/wheel/lift combination question.

First off, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to all things automotive so my post may lack the proper technical terminology. That being said, I've owned my first Wrangler for almost a year now and can't imagine driving anything else! With those caveats out of the way, here's my situation and subsequent questions...

I've got a 2003 Wrangler Sport with no suspension modifications and would like to lift it. I also need new tires and wheels. I anticipate doing some light off-roading, though the vast majority of my driving will be on pavement. I've currently got 265/75R15's, but I'd like to roll with 33" A/T tires if possible. My uncle is lifting his Wrangler this summer and has offered to give me his 2" spacers instead of me purchasing new spacers or an entire kit.

Here are my questions:

1. I've been told that a 2" lift (with the spacers) would truly only accommodate up to 32" tires without rubbing and that 33" tires require a minimum 3" lift. Is this true?
2. If I need to go with a 3" lift to accommodate the 33's, what kit(s) or spacers would you recommend? I'm on a relatively tight budget, so an inexpensive yet reliable option is desired.
3. What A/T tires would you recommend? Any wheel recommendations also?

Thanks in advance for anyone's suggestions!

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Old 05-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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You should have 3" lift minimum to clear 33's flexing off road. If you plan on staying on road then you can clear 33's if you trim the flares and extend the bumpstops. The cheapest way for you to get the 3" you need would be to use the spacers you have and add a 1" body lift. This would also allow for a tummy tuck down the road, should you choose to do one.

There are tons of tires out there to choose from, 15's are less expensive and more abundant than 16's... You will need either wheel spacers or new wheels to fit a wider than 10.5" tire. Something with no more than 4.5" backspace. Many of us choose Cragar soft 8's for our TJ's due to the cost (about $40 ea.) and their subdued look.

I run a 2" spacer lift and 33x12.5x15" GY Duratracs on soft 8's... w/trimmed flares. It does go off road, but I don't disconnect, and I steer clear of the crazy stuff...

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Old 05-02-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kcarey24 View Post
My uncle is lifting his Wrangler this summer and has offered to give me his 2" spacers instead of me purchasing new spacers or an entire kit.
if you get just the spacers, you'll still need new shocks and the bumpstop extensions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcarey24 View Post
Here are my questions:

1. I've been told that a 2" lift (with the spacers) would truly only accommodate up to 32" tires without rubbing and that 33" tires require a minimum 3" lift. Is this true?
2" lift fits 31s actually. the thing you need to understand is lift height is NOT related to tire size. I repeat, lift height is NOT related to tire size.

Bumpstop height is a better determinant. No matter what lift you get, you need to extend the bumpstops to fit the shock length and tire size accordingly.

33's are fit in 2 common ways:
1. 4" lift, with 2" bumpstop extension in front, and ~2.5" extension in the rear. Requires a SYE/CV shaft.
2. 2.5" lift, with 1" body lift, and 1" bumpstop extension in front, and ~1.5" bumpstop extension in the rear. Works well with a 1" MML, or small t-case drop to alleviate vibes. SYE/CV shaft recommended, but not required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcarey24 View Post
2. If I need to go with a 3" lift to accommodate the 33's, what kit(s) or spacers would you recommend? I'm on a relatively tight budget, so an inexpensive yet reliable option is desired.
I wouldn't recommend spacers for 33s. Save your money and do it right with a quality spring lift. Not having a lift won't hurt anything, but doing a lift wrong can really damage your wallet down the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcarey24 View Post
3. What A/T tires would you recommend? Any wheel recommendations also?
Goodyear Duratrac, BFG AT, Dynapro, Firestone Destination, Bridgestone REVO, etc.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernoGirl View Post
You should have 3" lift minimum to clear 33's flexing off road. If you plan on staying on road then you can clear 33's if you trim the flares and extend the bumpstops. The cheapest way for you to get the 3" you need would be to use the spacers you have and add a 1" body lift. This would also allow for a tummy tuck down the road, should you choose to do one.

There are tons of tires out there to choose from, 15's are less expensive and more abundant than 16's... You will need either wheel spacers or new wheels to fit a wider than 10.5" tire. Something with no more than 4.5" backspace. Many of us choose Cragar soft 8's for our TJ's due to the cost (about $40 ea.) and their subdued look.

I run a 2" spacer lift and 33x12.5x15" GY Duratracs on soft 8's... w/trimmed flares. It does go off road, but I don't disconnect, and I steer clear of the crazy stuff...
x2. What she said. I have 31s on my LJ with no lift at all and PLENTY of room for them. I had a 4" lift on my TJ with 33s, no SYE, no CV driveshaft, no motor mount lift, and no driveline vibration problems. If your just going to be doing very mild off-road stuff (and you will if you run A/T tires) and you aren't looking for a huge suspension lift, just go with the 2" spacer, trim the flares, and run the 33s. New shocks with a 2" spacer are not a mandatory requirement either, they're just nice to have. Don't disconnect your swaybar and you'll be fine with stock bump stops too since you're only doing very mild off roading. And, in my opinion, BFG A/Ts are just about the best there is.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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I appreciate the three of you taking the time to help me out. Excellent information! I intended to send each of you a PM of thanks, but can't find a PM option. Didn't want this to appear as a shameless bump, but I also want each of you to know I really appreciate the guidance.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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You're welcome, that's why we hang out here, to help and get help....
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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No problem, I'll always do what I can to help out another Jeeper. No matter how long you own a Jeep, you're always going to learn something new, that's why I'm on here too (the learning part).

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