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Old 04-23-2019, 05:20 PM
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JK Build Advice

I have a basically stock 2013 Jk Sport and I'm saving money to upgrade it at the moment. I'm considering a 2.5 mc game changer lift kit with 35's or 3.5 mc lift with 37s and plan on pairing them with the fox 2.0's. I'm just wondering what I need to run both setups. When it comes to the 35's all I need is a steering stabilzer, new gearing, and front driveshaft to my knowledge (besides the lift kit and shocks). Is there anything I'm missing and what do I need to run 37's over 35's? (I only have the Dana 30 axle in the front).

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Old 04-23-2019, 06:49 PM   #2
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Build a Jeep for what you need it to do. What kind of offroading will you be doing?
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:55 PM   #3
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35's to 37's is a pretty big jump in equipment needs... But that mainly rests on how you use your Jeep, as MMC notes above.

How much of this do you do?
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:12 PM   #4
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If you do not off road disregard the following:
Your choice of fox shocks will be very stiff without +3-400 lbs of other upgrades.(well this one is true if you domt offroad)
Lower control arm skids
Upper c gussets
35" add top of axle truss for the front
37" add rse outer sleeve, upper and lower c gusset. And upper truss. Note you have to do the outer sleeves first.
Recommended stronger axle shafts too. Rcv if possible in the front.

If you daily drive long arms and high steer will give you a better quality of life.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fuzzylogic_y2k View Post
37" add rse outer sleeve, upper and lower c gusset. And upper truss. Note you have to do the outer sleeves first.
Recommended stronger axle shafts too. Rcv if possible in the front.
If you're paying someone else to do this work, you can probably put a new 44 series axle under the front with a locker for nearly the same cost considering you will cut your re-gearing cost in half by ordering with the correct gears already in it.

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Old 04-23-2019, 11:04 PM
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Build a Jeep for what you need it to do. What kind of offroading will you be doing?

To be honest nothing hardcore at the moment, I just like the look of them and will be getting more into off roading as time goes on. Not sure how hardcore im gonna go on the trails considering this is also my daily driver.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:07 PM
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If you're paying someone else to do this work, you can probably put a new 44 series axle under the front with a locker for nearly the same cost considering you will cut your re-gearing cost in half by ordering with the correct gears already in it.

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Ok, how does that work, in the sense of do I need to change my rear axle as well if I get new dana 44 in the front or do I get a dana 44 axle in the front with the new gears built in and all I need to do is regear the rear as well to match?
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:18 PM   #8
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Buy the front axle built the way you want (gears, shafts, locker) then re-gear the rear to match. Your rear axle is already a Dana 44.

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Old 04-23-2019, 11:35 PM   #9
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How much of this do you do?

I do a lot of standing around like those 6 guys, that's why I have 37s.
BTW, I think there is a 7th guy behind the bushes.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Shiru View Post
To be honest nothing hardcore at the moment, I just like the look of them and will be getting more into off roading as time goes on. Not sure how hardcore im gonna go on the trails considering this is also my daily driver.
Here is my suggestion. Go out and hit the kind of trails you want to do now. Your Jeep will tell you what you need.

If it is a daily driver, a regear and some better tires in 33s, add a level kit if you want it to look lifted and cool, some skid plates, better diff covers and rock rails - and I bet this will get you through 100% of what you are willing to do offroad. That will still be reasonable as a daily driver. Then if and when you decide to go further, then consider swapping axles, big tires etc.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:07 PM
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Buy the front axle built the way you want (gears, shafts, locker) then re-gear the rear to match. Your rear axle is already a Dana 44.

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Alright thanks. for the front axle is there an easy way to swap my dana 30 for a front rubicon axle? Can I run a front rubicon axle in the front with a sport dana 44 in the back as long as the gearing matches or what Dana 44 axle should I get? a link or name would be great if you have the time.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:09 PM
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Here is my suggestion. Go out and hit the kind of trails you want to do now. Your Jeep will tell you what you need.

If it is a daily driver, a regear and some better tires in 33s, add a level kit if you want it to look lifted and cool, some skid plates, better diff covers and rock rails - and I bet this will get you through 100% of what you are willing to do offroad. That will still be reasonable as a daily driver. Then if and when you decide to go further, then consider swapping axles, big tires etc.
You know your're probably right, but I already have stock 32s. But if I'm gonna put money into modding, at the very least I want 35s, but I'm considering investing the extra money since 37's looks so nice. Really not sure yet, mainly depends on my budget.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:48 PM   #13
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Alright thanks. for the front axle is there an easy way to swap my dana 30 for a front rubicon axle? Can I run a front rubicon axle in the front with a sport dana 44 in the back as long as the gearing matches or what Dana 44 axle should I get? a link or name would be great if you have the time.
There are multiple axle manufacturers out there. You can install a Rubicon take-off front axle. I just put a Dana Ultimate 44 under mine. I would have likely bought a G2 axle, but I was on a time line and they had a 4-6 week lead time to get what I wanted.

You can run whatever axle you want up front with your stock rear axle as long as the gear ratios match.

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Old 04-24-2019, 03:09 PM   #14
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Unless you can get a Rubicon axle for cheap there are much stronger aftermarket axles available. If you want to bulletproof your axle housing and Cís for future larger tires this will save a lot of time, money, and headache down the road.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:19 PM
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Unless you can get a Rubicon axle for cheap there are much stronger aftermarket axles available. If you want to bulletproof your axle housing and C’s for future larger tires this will save a lot of time, money, and headache down the road.
I see what you mean. I'm about to be broke after the tires, lift kit, shocks, and driveshaft so maybe 35's make the most sense right now and maybe I'll get 37's down the road. Keep in mind I'm only 19 so a new built front dana 44 might take me a bit money wise lol. Also how much is it roughly to install an axle? (paying someone else)
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:23 PM
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There are multiple axle manufacturers out there. You can install a Rubicon take-off front axle. I just put a Dana Ultimate 44 under mine. I would have likely bought a G2 axle, but I was on a time line and they had a 4-6 week lead time to get what I wanted.

You can run whatever axle you want up front with your stock rear axle as long as the gear ratios match.

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Ok that helps a lot. Whenever I put in my jeep info on website to see if the front rubi axle is compatible with my sport wrangler it says it's not. So what your're saying is that it's only incompatible because of the different gear ratio. So as long as I get the same gear ratio I can mix and match axles essentially? Also since a front rubi axle has a locker I would have to pay more $ to get that all wired and connect it up properly correct?
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:22 PM   #17
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I would suggest finding a reputable shop in your area and talk to them about your options. That way they can quote you prices with install labor. My install was bundled with a bunch of other work, so I can't even give you a good estimate on the number of hours. I can tell you that my local shop charges around $750 per axle to regear with parts and labor. Some shops charge higher labor rates if you supply the parts, so weight your options. To quote my local shop, quality isn't expensive, it's priceless. Take your time, choose your components carefully, and make sure your shop does quality work.

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Old 04-25-2019, 06:54 AM   #18
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I see what you mean. I'm about to be broke after the tires, lift kit, shocks, and driveshaft so maybe 35's make the most sense right now and maybe I'll get 37's down the road. Keep in mind I'm only 19 so a new built front dana 44 might take me a bit money wise lol. Also how much is it roughly to install an axle? (paying someone else)
If money is a concern, I would definitely recommend 35's over 37's. That two inches doesn't look like much but it is an expensive two inches.
You can always go to 37's later, but you are already going to find 35's are expensive to do right. Heck, Jeeps are expensive, period. They are like a large hole in the dirt I throw money into.
I do recommend you learn to work on your own Jeep. Upgrades are twice as expensive when you have to pay someone else to install them.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:28 AM   #19
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If you actually plan to wheel, I would stick to 35s and:
- truss and gusset front axle
- regear to 4.88. Install a locker in rear - I wouldn't lock front on a d30.
- skid plates
- rock sliders (or Rubicon rail takeoffs on a budget)
- ball joints (or wait tilt they fail, but be forewarned will be at the worst possible time)
- axle shafts (see comment for ball joints)
- steering tie rod/draglink (see comment for balljoints)
- skid plates including cross member
- driveshaft (see comment for ball joints)
- brakes (see comment for balljoints)

Lift, shocks, tires, wheels, programmer,etc.

So I probably just spent more than $10k (or more if you buy quality parts) of your money especially if you have others do the work. If you're going to do it, do it right - and have a considerable slush fund for when things begin to wear much quicker.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:37 AM   #20
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If you actually plan to wheel, I would stick to 35s and:
- truss and gusset front axle
- regear to 4.88. Install a locker in rear - I wouldn't lock front on a d30.
- skid plates
- rock sliders (or Rubicon rail takeoffs on a budget)
- ball joints (or wait tilt they fail, but be forewarned will be at the worst possible time)
- axle shafts (see comment for ball joints)
- steering tie rod/draglink (see comment for balljoints)
- skid plates including cross member
- driveshaft (see comment for ball joints)
- brakes (see comment for balljoints)

Lift, shocks, tires, wheels, programmer,etc.

So I probably just spent more than $10k (or more if you buy quality parts) of your money especially if you have others do the work. If you're going to do it, do it right - and have a considerable slush fund for when things begin to wear much quicker.
+1 you have alot of parts to buy a head of you.

go wheel on the 32's. in stock form the jk is very capable. buy parts as you go depending on what you need for where you wheel. you'll get more useful life out of already paid for parts and learn alot!!!!

aim for 35's and build the jeep as funds allow. doesn't have to be all at once.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:07 AM   #21
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If you aren't planning to do a lot of wheeling, you don't have to spend as much money. You could put 35's on your present wheels and get a set of 1.5" spacers and you'd actually be fine on road. Heading to the boulder farms, yah, you'll need a lift to keep from ripping off the fenders. You could get by with trimming the OEM fenders. You don't need a different steering stabilizer, but if you're going on the trail, get a kit to relocate it on top so it doesn't get destroyed.

I started out just last season and made it through 3 events with a stock JKU on OEM Wrangler tires. My absolute best upgrade was the Cepec Extreme Country tires. Allowed me to drive up hills instead of being pulled up.

I'm a budget guy, so built my own front lift (about 2 1/4 inch) and used a 1" Terraflex rear. On the JKUs, the rake is pretty extreme and there's still 1/4 of it left in my rig.

If you're wheeling in boulders, you're going to want rock rails. The cheapest way to go is find someone's OEM Rubicon rails on Craigslist. I see them all the time for $50....but they always seem to be over an hour away. I spent the money on White Knuckle Offroad rails which are frame mounted, spent the extra money for DOM to get the 70% extra strength and painted them myself, knowing that rocks scrape off paint or powder coating just as quickly. Been really, really happy with them.

Look into skids for the trail. There are tons out there.

It's very easy to spend $10k in upgrades. Heck....if anyone wants to give me $20k, I'll be happy to outfit my rig.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:35 PM
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Alright so it seems like 35's make more sense and I wouldn't have to spend as much money to get it done right. I plan on wheeling, but don't plan on doing anything hardcore so probably 95% of the time 35's are gonna be fine. IF I decide to be unreasonable could I just run an Arctec front Axle Armor kit https://www.artecindustries.com/JK_4...Axle_Armor_Kit on my Dana 30 with 37s then slowly upgrade driveshaft/drag link/ball joints/regear/lockers later on? Also do I need to upgrade the 44 axle as well for 37's or will it be fine as long as I dont do anything hardcore?
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:57 PM   #23
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Stock gearing will absolutely suck with 37s, even more than it will suck with 35s. Which is a lot more than it already sucks with 32 inch tires.

You could start with the truss and gears for 35s and just stay cautious and upgrade the rest before it implodes.

I would not even consider 37s on a D30 axle.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:43 AM   #24
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If you are not gonna do anything "hard core" 35's would be fine 100% of the time.
There are people who run 35's without re-gearing, but I would not. Re-gearing to match my tire is the best money I have spent on our Jeep.
You can upgrade the D30, but you could also save that money and spend it on replacing the D30. It depends on what you want to do. If you really think you are going to go to 37's at some point you will want to replace the D30. If you are going to never go beyond 35's and you aren't going to do anything "hard core" you could upgrade the D30. My chosen upgrades are not the same as MMC's, as I would not put trusses at the top of the list. The top of my axle upgrade list if going to bigger tires is ball joints. The D30 axle is a little weaker than the D44, but that weakness is in the size of the pinion and ring gear. You can't change that, the D30 pinion and ring gear are always going to be smaller and weaker. But that small gear set should be fine as long as you don't gear to far and you don't push it to far. Some won't run a full blown locker on a D30 for that reason. The axle tubes and the rest of it is pretty much the same between the two axles. But the stock ball joints are not made for 35" tires. I would also recommend a stronger tie rod. If you want to truss and brace the axle, to me that is after ball joints and tie rod.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:05 AM   #25
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What you use the Jeep for matters. If you're going to do only unmaintained roads (called class VI in New Hampshire), then a stock Jeep cuts it just fine.

Also, your choices now don't mean you're married to these. Do a bunch of reading. I specifically did not go to 35's and a locker in the D30 because I don't want to be breaking axles. I do rock crawl. Big tires make it easy to abuse axles.

Again....if you're mainly looking for looks, the things you do become less important. Driving 42's into the mall parking lot won't break anything. Driving them up a ledge without axle/gearing/diff upgrades is asking for trouble.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:54 AM   #26
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where do you buy those parts?
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:56 PM
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After considering what u guys have said, I think the thing that makes the most sense for me is to get the 3.5 mc game changer lift kit with 35s, with the 3.5 lift I have room to upgrade to 37s if I really wanted to down the road. This guy is actually running a 3.5 lift on 35s and it looks really good to me https://www.wranglerforum.com/f354/m...or-747266.html. Anyways after getting the 3.5 lift and 35s I'll probably get a new front drive shaft and run on my stock components until I have enough money to get a pro rock 44 front axle and ill regear the rear the match the gear ratio in the front. How does that sound?
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:56 PM   #28
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I went 4.5 Metal cloak with 35s. Going to go 37s next. I run very heavy with gear-lots of equipment as well as the 10 gallon aev fuel caddie. I have to run a 2" tetraflex hard rubber spacer on the passenger rear and a .5" hard rubber spacer on the drivers for it to not lean over. I would suggest the 4.5 hi-steer. I run stock fenders and unless you want to limit yourself with lots of bumpstops..........

Got better diffs after bending my front housing, breaking off a control arm mount and chipping out the axle splines.

I would suggest 4.5 and 35s, then after recharging your bank account, do the axles geared for 37s, and by the time the 35s are worn, replace with 37s.

Anywho....... that seemed to work for me. I had a 2.5" lift for 3 years. Did a number on my fenders. Wish I would have just done the 4.5 to start.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:54 PM   #29
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This is your daily driver and you depend on it every day ? ..... how can you possibly rationalize taking it out to anyplace you can expect to end up upside down, or at the very least wipe out the front end, back end or one side and have to tow it to a mechanic for major work. Your insurance company will quickly inform you were not covered and will never be in the future. Even Richard Petty didn't drive his Dodge to work the day after Daytona ... What are you smoking?
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:54 PM   #30
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Shiru, There's a lot of good advice here. I'm kind of where you're headed. I have a 2013 sport, last November I put a Teraflex 2.5" kit (springs, 9550 shocks, rear control arms) and AR Raptor wheels and Cooper Discoverer STT Pro's tires. I am very happy with this build but I am going to pick up a beefed up steering stabilizer since I get a bit of drift. After I do some offroading, I'll decide if I want to bump up to bulletproof my 35" set up or jump to 37's. I've watched a YouTube channel named LiteBrite where they went to 35's, beefed up axel 35's, 37's now at 38's and eyeing 40's. This is the Jeep version of waterboarding yourself - not recommended unless you get most of the stuff for free. The steps 35/35+/37 get geometrically more expensive and you can waste a lot of money along the way. Many of the folks go with the - "if it ain't broke, don't upgrade it - philosophy. I'll be doing some of that when it comes to replacement brakes - I'll likely go with the PowerStop Z36's. When the ball joints finally wear out, I'll up grade them, etc...



Oh, for the 35's, get a reprogrammer of some sort (I pocked up a SuperChips FlashPaq) so you can reset your speedometer (bigger tires=inaccurate speedometer=tickets to the policeman's ball and psychiatrist visits for false low mileage depression). It also resets your transmission shift points to a far smoother ride and, in my instance, I put on a 93 Octane "tune" and actually get better gas mileage with my 35's than I did with my stock tires.



Unless you have a hard core Jeeper as a friend, use this forum and watch a lot of YouTube to see what people at actually replacing because it needs to be stronger, higher, etc. You can waste a lot of money doing nice-to-have upgrades. One guy has enough body armor and skid plates to survive a Sidewinder missile attack.


Good luck with your build. As you go along, update your profile on this forum and add entries to the Build section. You'll get a lot of good input there. - Good luck!

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