Bought a ’97 TJ (4.0, AX-15, NP231 w/SYE) in Aug, the previous owner put a Dana 44 and Ford 9in from a ’85 Bronco on it. The front has a Detroit with locking hubs, the rear is open. Shafts front/rear are Yukon (4340/1541). He put 38” Super Swamper TSL’s on it and geared it 4.56. I’m for sure going down to 35”. His intent "have a real head turner on the beach and the trail".
I really don’t want to spend the money going one or two deeper (4.88 or 5ish). Questions are; When I go to 35’s, just be happy with the current gears and save the money? But, I do have the knowledge/tools of regearing at home. Take out the Detroit (sell it, if I even can) and get a posi for the front or a selectable locker for the rear with open front? The TJ is only driven on hardball when my daily driver XJ is down or to get to a mud hole (Florida panhandle)?
Other info: 4in lift (springs are Superlift, lower front arms appear to be Currie due to the joints, front uppers are OE), OE control arms on rear, 3 in body lift (I know, I know). Track bar is Currie, tie rod and drag links are from an F-250 (or so he said). I made the mistake of just throwing parts/money at my XJ, really don’t want to do it this time around. If my budget is $3k what direction should I go?
Currently, I'm thinking; reduce BL to 1", replace OE control arms (Currie short, please only have a strong reason for long arms. I live in the swamp), keep the diffs and gears as they are with the new 35's, and relocate the rear coils vertical. Other option was just to replace all of the suspension and new tires, but that'll eat up more than my budget. Open to suggestions.
Other things to note; I'm pretty conservative on the trail and don't like testing things to there limits. The PO had 2in coil spacers, which those and all the silly parts stickers and chrome were the first things I took off. Also, replaced all the control arm bushings with OE ones. I guess the 38's wore them out. The deal on this TJ was too good to pass up even with the awkward direction the PO was taking it. He put 6k miles on it in the 8 years he owned it.
I think with 4.56 and 38"s you would not be in the right range. Going with 35" would be much better. I've driven 35"s geared from 4.10 to 4.88 and personally I did not experience much difference. Off-road at least.
4.56 and 35's will be far better than 4.56 and 38's. 4" spring and 1' body is good, just make sure your bumpstops are setup to keep things out of the fenders. I would keep the front locker for now, see how you like or don't like then decide. Over all sounds like you have a good working plan.
CJ.XJ.CJ. TJ. TJ.ZJ. TJ.TJ. ZJ.ZJ.YJ. XJ
Keep the 4.56s with 35s. Not enough of a difference compared to 4.88s to justify the expense. Definitely reduce the BL to 1''. Look into control arms made by Savvy to replace the OEM uppers. You may also want to replace the coil springs with higher quality units from Currie. These upgrades should be well within your budget.
I've never really posted too many things on forums, but have always read them. It always seems so many guys on the forums get hung up on tuning gears just right with everything else. So, thanks for seeing it the same way I do. I am for sure keeping the gears as is. I'm pretty much heading the direction on the entire Currie 4in w/ Antirock. Which I found is only a $100 or more when added to the suspension kit. Never been much on "looks" or having something shiney, but that Currie sway bar looks awesome and from I've read very functional. With the new 35's, I'll be a little over, but at least I won't be spending anything for awhile on any (planned) major Jeep expense, except a new couch for the wife. It's time to reenlist again and I'm selling the max on leave.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Savvy just another name for Currie? I think their shops are fairly near each other in CA.