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Reckincrue 10-14-2010 01:25 PM

Advice on lift, wheels and tire size.
I plan to lift our Rubicon this winter, put a set of wheels and tire on it.

A 4" lift seems more than adequate for the driving we do. The wife likes the black Rockstar wheels (which the smallest size is an 18" from what I am told) and I need to decide between 33's and 35's.

I do not want to ruin the road manners of the jeep, as it will be the wife's daily driver (2 miles highway highway, 3 miles in town). Any advice, pros or cons?



03 RUBI 10-14-2010 07:09 PM

LOTS and LOTS of threads on this forum on lifts, tires and wheels. I run a 4" lift, 15" wheels (more tire choices) and 12.5x33's. Suits me just fine.

Jerry Bransford 10-14-2010 07:13 PM

You will need a lot of mods to make your TJ worthy of and ready to run 35" tires. Those mods include a SYE kit and CV driveshaft, beefed up steering, and regearing both axles to a lower axle ratio. A 4" lift is ideal for 33x12.50 tires and it won't cost as much to get it ready to run those 33" tires. I don't think I'd want to run a wheel as big as 18" for only a 33" diameter tire though. That combination, an 18" wheel and 33" tires, starts looking a bit like a pimpmobile.

camper 10-15-2010 08:52 AM

I agree with the above comments. Just to pile on a little.

I happen to agree with you that a 4 inch suspension lift and 33 inch tires is more than adequate to get started. And I also did not want to diminish the highway driving qualities of my jeep. I wanted to enjoy driving it every day. I have a 3.5 inch spring kit and a 1 inch body lift. I have enough room to run 35 inch tires, but the additional expenses required to keep the jeep safe and mechanically dependable convinced me that 33 inch tires would make me happier.

I continue to learn about ways I could have modified my jeep. But I still believe you have to spend enough to get some good products and modify some key mechanics, if you want to have a problem free experience.

I usually just drive around town, but I don't find it uncomfortable to drive all day on the interstate. I can cruise 70-75 mph with one hand on the wheel. Mud tires do create a road roar, and it's more comfortable with my hard top and roll up windows when driving long distances at speed.

I find myself reading these internet jeep forums quite often. There are several like this one that are good sources of information. (Just in case you hadn't looked around yet on the internet.) Many will agree that one of the smartest things you can do is take a few days or weeks and read various conversations like this one you've started. Sometimes you'll be surprised to learn something in a topic that you normally wouldn't think would interest you. I can think of several jeep ideas that I was advised against that consequently turned out better for me.

When a jeep owner asks a question, it's sometimes difficult to determine how much they already know. What I usually do is look at the date the jeep owner joined the forum and how many times they've posted a comment. I might check their personal jeep profile to see if they include a picture or other information. None of which really proves anything, but it helps when someone wants to give advice. You recently joined and you ask a fairly basic question. So I'll guess you might appreciate a thorough comment. But if you already know some of this stuff, maybe someone else reading will find it useful. I like to read a complete answer but most fellas are wise enough keep it short. I don't often say anything because I feel compelled to say too much....:D

You have a '03 rubicon package TJ. The rubicon was first available in '03 and it continued until the end of the TJ in '06. The package continues in the redesigned wrangler starting in '07. In addition you have a special edition "tomb raider" package that included some dress up items. Jeep has been famous over the years for doing special packages. Way back they got a lot of mileage out of using Levi's Jeans fabric as seat upholstery on a special edition classic jeep. Anyway, the "rubicon" model is well regarded generally for the extras you get.

It's not easy to see your profile picture, but it looks like someone replaced the original alloy wheels that came with the jeep. The original wheels were popularly called "moabs". They would have been 16 inch diameter by 8 inches wide. I believe they had about 4 inches of backspace that kept the original tire tucked under the plastic fender flares. The standard size on wranglers up till then was a 15 inch wheel in various styles. My guess is that the increasing popularity of disc brakes with their larger rotors and calipers dictates that there be room inside the wheel that older tech drum brakes didn't require. There may be other reasons for the trend to go to larger diameter wheels, but many traditional fellas will advise you stay with a 15 or 16 inch wheel for 33's.

The new style wranglers come factory with 17 and sometimes 18 inch alloy wheels, so I'm behind the times. I'm slow to warm up to changes. I don't care for the look of low profile tires and large diameter wheels, especially on a truck. Maybe you could convince your wife to reconsider the "rock stars ". Maybe someone else will speak up with other reasons to help you decide.

I'm at work....I gotta stop....

530ktm 10-15-2010 11:17 AM

Jerry and Camper put it best. I hate it when I have nothing else worthwhile to add.

Frisco Rubi 10-15-2010 03:33 PM

There are lots of things to consider as have been mentioned above. I bought my 05 Rubi new in October, 04. I went to Moab many times and watched and looked at what people had. Also looked over a lot of jeeps here in Colorado. You need to decide what you want to do with your jeep, extreme trails, rockcrawling and so on. I added several things over the years that I knew I would use. I finally decided on a RE 4 1/2 long arm and 35s, after owning it 5 years. I have been very happy with the way it drives on the road and also on trails and rockcrawling. Wife and I just got back a few days ago from a 4 day trip doing a lot of the trails in the San Juan mountains in SW Colorado, first time over there with the lifted jeep and it did great. Really like what it does in Moab. Things to consider, will the wife like getting in and out of the jeep with it lifted? My wife is 5 ft and I carry a fold up stool with a rope attached to pull it in. She still doesn't like getting in and out. Will your wife be able to stop the jeep quick in traffic with out a brake upgrade. If you have a standard will she get tired of shifting all the time? Ours is not a daily driver and is parked from October to the Moab Jeep Safari. Talk it over with her before going ahead with the build.

AOR 10-15-2010 04:42 PM

Well said everyone. As asked, will your wife dig getting in and out of the Jeep multiple times per day, every day, when it is lift with 35s? When you do take it off road, what type of driving are you planning on doing? Answer those two questions and you'll have a better idea of where to go, regardless of budget.

Oh yeah! See if you can find a rim that is very similar in a smaller diameter. You will have many more options for tires and the prices on said tires will be less expensive because they produce more of them.

Reckincrue 10-18-2010 01:32 PM

Our off-roading is going to be a little mud, a little snow. She is not going to want to bang up the Jeep.

AOR 10-18-2010 03:08 PM

Since that is all the off-roading you "currently" plan on doing and you want to keep the road manners, I would go to a long arm kit. It gives you options for future wheeling prowess and handles much better than a short arm kit on the street. Definitely stay with a 17" rim. They are a very popular size in the market and plenty of "look-a-like" Rock Star rims to choose from. Plus as mentioned you have many more less expensive tire options to choose from. Money saved, is money better spent somewhere else on the rig that matters (i.e. better quality lift or LA instead of SA, higher quality adjustable shocks).

ya get the point.


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