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emkayd 07-14-2011 06:27 PM

Newb lift, tire, gearing questions
Hello experts out there!
So here are a few questions that I was hoping that all you geniuses can answer…
Disclosures –
- I have 1999 TJ Sport 4x4 5MT (117k miles) stock runs on totally bald set of 75R15 tires, rear is D35 front D30 and I believe it’s got 3.07 rear, also I think stock suspension might be in its last leg.
- I’ve never done ANY off-roading before (not in a jeep at least). I will start with this truck.
- Would like to be able to go up to 70 or 75 mph (wishful), only if possible and safe to (live in AZ, speed limit’s 75 around here).
Questions -
1. I would like to get a (max) of 2” suspension lift – any particular kit? A discussion here basically asked to stay away from procomp, rough country and skyjacker kits. Are they really that bad? Even for a total novice like me? And are they worse than an aging/creaking suspension with 117K miles?
2. I went and looked at Teraflex, FT, OME sites and it’s quite confusing as to what kit to order and where to stop, every kit has an upgrade (sway bar, track bar, control arm and probably a dozen shocks to choose from!
3. What new set of tires should I get (size wise) 31x10.5s or 32x11.5s? BFG A/Ts?
4. Does the above need new axle(s) and rims?
5. If no new axle, does it need new rear gearing? (even for 31s)?
6. Does new set of tires need spacers of any kind to avoid rubbing?
7. Would I be able to get away with getting tires first and lift next (probably 31s)?

Or if 31x10.5s don’t need any lift or re-gearing, can I just replace stock suspension with stock from a craigslist or elsewhere and maybe

I hope these are not too much to ask for, any suggestions, advice will greatly appreciated. Let me know if you need more info. I will keep reading more!
Thanks much!

Yellow_Fox 07-14-2011 06:45 PM

1. i would go with ome lift talk to my man dirk Old Man Emu Ultimate TJ/LJ Wrangler Kit | he will hook you up with the right lift. the kit comes with everything you need.
2. tire size is completely up to you
3. you do not need new axles or gears to run 32's usually if your running really big tiers like 36's n up yu'll need to be regeared or new axles to push thows big tires. Regearing wont hurt tho and if you regear yu'll brobably be able to get to that speed you wanna go.
4. depending on what kind of tires and rims you get and the size of them well tell you if you need spacers or not
5. i would NOT get new tiers 1st because they will look amall after you get the lift. you want tiers that go with the lift

i hope this helped somewhat

MikeMTJ 07-14-2011 06:52 PM

I would check out BDS too. They make good stuff.

You do not need a lift for 31" tires. If you're looking to stay stock, find some coil springs on eBay. Buy some rancho shocks and you're good to go. Your axles will also be okay with 31"

As for running 31" tires with 3.07s, I can't answer that. My TJ has 3.73s.

mholger 07-14-2011 06:53 PM

Just to quickly touch on this, at least the bits I have experience with:
3) 31x10.5 will be about as big as you can go on stock suspension/wheels. (There are a couple exceptions to the stock wheel rule; but most of the stock rims will only safely accommodate a 10.5" width tire). You'll also have some rubbing on the control arms if you turn the wheel too far left/right - you can adjust the stops if you like, or just not turn the wheel too far. :)
4) No.
5) No. You will lose some power - I'm running 31x10.5s on the same transmission/differentials and I simply don't use 5th gear anymore :) 70mph in 4th isn't a problem though.
6) To avoid rubbing, yes. You can get wheel spacers, wheels with a deeper offset, or you can pull the steering stops out, add a couple of washers for spacing, and screw the stops back in...(or, just don't turn the wheel that
7) Yup. I picked up my 31x10.5 BFG MTs a month or so before installing my 2" lift. They fit fine, but the added room from the lift definitely paid off.

Essentially you can run 31x10.5's on an otherwise stock Jeep without any further mods being necessary. That said, a 2" coil spacer kit is dirt cheap, and if you're looking at replacing the suspension anyway ... just do it. Re-gearing, while also not strictly necessary, will be dictated by how you drive. In my case, I still had enough power in 4-Low for the trails I drive, and yet can maintain a good 18 to 20mpg on the highway, as well. If money is a concern, I'd put the 31s on and drive it for awhile like that, just to be sure I'm happy with the gearing. Your mileage may vary...(pun intended ;))

I've been riding on 31s for 70k to 80k miles now, and haven't re-geared or addressed the wheel-rubbing issue, I just adjusted my driving habits instead. :)

emkayd 07-14-2011 10:07 PM

Thank you guys!
I will go read up on everything you all have mentioned.
Any idea as to how much it would cost to re-gear from 3.07 to 3.73? Meaning if i took it to a garage, i don't think i have the tools or the skills to get that done!

Is there any other size in between a 31x10.5 and the stock tires?
Yes money is an object now, wife will kill me (i just bought my awesome truck 48 hours ago). I'm trying to stay within $500 for suspension replacement and tires (highly doubt if i can accomplish that, figured I'd ask here :-) )

Given my tight budget, I think MikeM's idea sounds good, so any coil springs will do?
Also no need to replace anything related to the steering? Or CV joints or tie rod or the track bar to strengthen before offroading?

emkayd 07-15-2011 12:09 AM

I think BDS site nice, very simple and easy choose. The 2" kit w/ Steering stabilizer looks/sounds good, so how can i tell that my Jeep is equipped with front cam bolts on the lower control arms or not? If i can i find that out then I might be able to save about $40.

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