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Old 07-07-2010, 08:24 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3
new to wheeling, need suggestions

Ive had a TJ for a few years now, havent really had the time to go wheeling. Im coming off of 10 years of racing dirtbikes, and im active duty navy and need a hobby. I know a little bit about jeeps from working on mine. I just want to get a good set up for a DD/wheeler.

right now im just looking for a good lift/tire/ axle combo.

i want a decent budget on this.

i need good brands for suspension and a small body lift. (keep in mind i want it to ride DECENT down the road) im not asking for a cadillac. (something with a quick-disconnect sway bar)..... maybe a 4 or 4.5"?

good tires (reliability/performance) 33's or 35's?

right not my jeep is stock with the dana 35's. would anyone recommend swapping the 35's out for tougher axles? or are the 35s good enough for light wheeling with 33 inch tires (possibly 35" tires)?


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Old 07-07-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
Knows a couple things...

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Jerry Bransford's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Escondido, Calif.
Posts: 38,495
The Dana 35c axle that is in the rear of your TJ (the front axle is a Dana 30) is ok for up to about the 33" tire size but just don't install a locker into that axle. The Dana 35c just isn't strong enough for a locker.

If you have the budget, there is a way to make the Dana 35c strong enough for a locker and 35" tires, or you can just replace it with a Dana 44 which is strong enough for 35" tires and a locker. It's all what you're willing to spend.

I'd probably go for something like a Rubicon Express 3.5" lift which will provide enough lift for 33" tires without the need for a body lift. RE's 3.5" lift is more like 4" to as much as 4.5" in reality so it will steepen your rear driveshaft's angle enough that it will cause drivetrain vibrations that you can't just live with. Installing a SYE (slip yoke eliminator) onto the rear of your transfer case will allow you to install a longer aftermarket CV (constant velocity) driveshaft that will eliminate the vibrations. There are cheaper ways to cure those vibrations but they are a kludge and cause a loss of some of the ground clearance gained with the 3.5" suspension lift.

A very good 33" tire is either the BFG Mud Terrain KM2 or a more rugged nearly cut-proof tire is the superb Goodyear kevlar reinforced MT/R.

That should at least get you rolling, and a big welcome to WF! Thank you for your service, glad to have you here!

When you have a choice, buy American.

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3
thank you, i think that makes for a pretty good budget too.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: AZ-Rock heaven
Posts: 670
You can range from a couple hundred to $20K for what you are asking. From a 2" BB and used tires to a full custom suspension, coilovers, D60s(or 9", 609, etc), full hydro steering, and the best 35s out there.

If you want to run 33s(maybe 35s), I would suggest a GOOD 3.5-4.5" long arm suspension lift(RK, RE, etc), SYE and CV DS, good shocks, and a set of GY MTR/K or BFG MT KM2s. Ditch the D35 rear, look for a D44 or Ford 8.8(or a set or Rubicon take off axles). Buy alloy shafts for both axles along with ARB lockers, gear to 4.56 or 4.88, a high quality CAGE, some armor, and enjoy!
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