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Old 07-12-2015, 09:03 PM
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3.21, 3.73, or 4.56 on new JKU

I'm new to the jeep world and plan on ordering a new 2016 JKU Sport as soon as granite crystal metallic is available. My initial plan is to do a 2.5 inch lift and replace the stock wheels with 35s. The thing that got me initially interested in wranglers was when my wife said "since we're moving to Florida, you should buy a jeep and drive topless sell the time". So I"m 80% concerned about the appearance/quality drive and 20% off road capabilities tight now. With that said should I just go with the factory 3.21 gears and plan on upgrading them to 4.56? Or pay the $500 factory upgrade for the 3.73? This will be my daily driver in NW Florida with about a 50% split of stop and go and highway driving. I plan on buying a manual and initially only light trail driving. I would hate to pay the $500 upgrade only to have to replace it immediately. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-12-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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i have light duratracs 315/70-r17 and 373. i think its powerful enough...remember youre in flat florida thats low elevation....should be good with 373. Test drive one with 35s

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Old 07-12-2015, 09:46 PM   #3
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I think the 3.73's are a bargain. You end up with 34-35's you'll be fine.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:52 PM   #4
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i have light duratracs 315/70-r17 and 373. i think its powerful enough...remember youre in flat florida thats low elevation....should be good with 373. Test drive one with 35s
I've run 315's with 3.73 and thought it was plenty. I run 4.10's with 37's and its adequate. I think 4.56 would be better though.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:54 PM   #5
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I live in FL and have the 4.10's with 35's. I think the 3.73's would have been fine since it's mostly flat here, but I wouldn't do the 3.21's personally. I say pay the $500 for the 3.73's and call it a day.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:56 PM
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I've run 315's with 3.73 and thought it was plenty. I run 4.10's with 37's and its adequate. I think 4.56 would be better though.
4.56 would be better for you on 37s? Or me if I only plan on going up to 35? It's my understanding anything more than 35 would require substantially more work.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:58 PM   #7
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That $500 isn't going to mean anything by the time you get through your mods.

Go with the factory upgrade and run it until it becomes a detriment. (Probably never)
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:59 PM   #8
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I would go with 3.73, but what I can't wrap my head around is how we feel paying $500 for a higher gear is a bargain. It's now more effort to install one from the other and the parts cost the same.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:04 PM   #9
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+1 on 3.73... For light off-roading with 35s in relatively flat land, its fine. On-road, its great. Stay away from 3.21 with any bigger tires than the stock 29s.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:07 PM   #10
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4.56 would be better for you on 37s? Or me if I only plan on going up to 35? It's my understanding anything more than 35 would require substantially more work.
I also drove 315's with 4.10's and they were great. I definitely felt the difference when I went to 37's. I really haven't done anything more for 37's than I did for 315's except Synergy ball joints. I also did C-gussets, but I did that for 315's as well.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:11 PM   #11
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What tire do you want to run?? That will make a huge difference. Many 35's weigh more than my 37" KO2's.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:12 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I was leaning towards the factory 3.73. Unrelated but opinion question: how much is a color worth? I really like the Granite color but I'm ok with Anvil. I have a timeline on when to purchase because of taxes and residency. Basically if I purchase prior to November I can save on sales tax (roughly $2100). So if granite isn't available by then I could always find an Anvil for probably $1000 less than what I'd order a 2016 for plus save $2100 on taxes. Anyone out there love their color more than an extra $3100+?
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:15 PM
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I haven't decided on tires yet. Like I said very new to jeeps. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:21 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advice. I was leaning towards the factory 3.73. Unrelated but opinion question: how much is a color worth? I really like the Granite color but I'm ok with Anvil. I have a timeline on when to purchase because of taxes and residency. Basically if I purchase prior to November I can save on sales tax (roughly $2100). So if granite isn't available by then I could always find an Anvil for probably $1000 less than what I'd order a 2016 for plus save $2100 on taxes. Anyone out there love their color more than an extra $3100+?

Just my personal opinion, of course, but I can't think of any color on this planet that is worth an extra $3,100 to me. Not even close. I once paid $200 extra for a color -- Nail Polish Red on an 85 Mustang GT -- and I thought that was a lot..... LOL...

On a Jeep, in terms of a factory option, I'd pay $3100 for a diesel engine or a V8, but that's about it.... a color? Hell no.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:39 PM   #15
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I haven't decided on tires yet. Like I said very new to jeeps. Any suggestions?
Lighter tires like the Duratracs or KO2's or even KM2's will require less gearing. Toyos and Trail Grapplers will probably require 4.56 because they even weigh much more than my KO2's. What's most important?? Ride quality, off road??
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:42 PM
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Ride quality for the immediate future.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:52 PM   #17
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He wants ride quality on the road, not off. Light ATs will be fine, right?

Where are you going to take it off road? Out of state?
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:52 PM   #18
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4.56 would be better for you on 37s? Or me if I only plan on going up to 35? It's my understanding anything more than 35 would require substantially more work.
Just to be clear (at least my opinion)

35's are common on JK's and generally regarded to be suitable for stock rigs, on road and mild to moderate off road. But given that typical 35's will also jump you up to a 12.5" width, you will be running substantially more tire and weight. You should expect increased wear and tear on your steering/suspension components (reduced life) and be prepared for upgraded/replacements even if a while down the road. Also - expect noticeable differences in ride, handling and braking. Acceptable difference? To most "jeepers", yes. But it will be noticeable.

I think everyone pretty much agrees once you go above 35's you have more definitively crossed a line and should incorporate other mods into your plan.

Now - there are some 33" - 34" options out there. You might loose 1/2" - 1" in ground clearance, but you'll have 10.5" - 11.5" width options and presumably an opportunity to keep weight down a bit, all of which can go A LONG way towards improved on road performance and increased steering/suspension life.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:08 PM   #19
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So happy the 4.11 is standard with the 6 speed on the Rubicon. Didn't have to spend a cent there.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:38 PM
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Right now the Eglin AFB has a range that some forum member drive on. I'll start there at first and then venture out of state most likely. If there's 33-34s out there that are comprable and not dramatically smaller in appearance, I would be easily swayed in that direction if it saved $$$ down the road as well as improved drivability for the 95%+ time I'm driving in town.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:52 AM   #21
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I think the 3.73's are a bargain.
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I would go with 3.73, but what I can't wrap my head around is how we feel paying $500 for a higher gear is a bargain. It's now more effort to install one from the other and the parts cost the same.
That was going to be my post as well. It's all "what the market will bear", but it's only a bargain at $500 if you compare it to getting 3.21s, and then having a shop replace with 3.73s.

I suspect the reason for the extra cost is a combination of "we can get it so why not," plus 3.21s help average CAFE, so let's make that the standard and de-incentivize people to upgrade to shorter gearing. Chrysler is in effect making you (and me, I have 3.73s also!) pay whatever their tax is for lower fuel economy.

Just a couple years ago the cost was $50 in the US, and still is in Canada (or at least it was in 2014.) That probably more accurately reflects the extra cost of having optional gears, doing the paperwork, keeping the inventory, etc.

But yeah, the gearset itself shouldn't cost any more.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:13 AM   #22
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Exactly. It IS a Bargain for the person that wants 3.73's (4.10's are an upgrade fee as well on the rigs that offer it) anytime somebody "wants" something different than the standard offering it is going to be an upcharge.
NOT everybody wants the deeper gears.
You want onion rings instead of Fries? More money.
How about an AT when MT is standard? More money.
"Different" costs more.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:23 AM   #23
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This is a great thread. Can some one explain or point me in a direction to read up on what the differences, advantages, disadvantages etc on the numbers ?

I am in the process of buying my first Wrangler and trying to figure out what I want.
Thanks
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:26 AM   #24
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I have the 3.73's with the automatic transmission and could not be any happier.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:35 AM   #25
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This is a great thread. Can some one explain or point me in a direction to read up on what the differences, advantages, disadvantages etc on the numbers ?

I am in the process of buying my first Wrangler and trying to figure out what I want.
Thanks
You mean the gears?

Lower the number - Higher the gear ratio = Better fuel economy (if stay stock)
Higher numbers - Lower the gera ratio = more power for towing, launches from a stop and better for Larger Tires which in turn raises your gear ratio again.
So, wanna stay stock and get the Best MPG's - 3.21 gears.
Want a little more "grunt" but still have decent MPG's - 3.73's
IF offered (Rubicon as one example) even more Ooomf - 4.10's
After that it is gear swaps for Bigger tires and it gets complicated.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:23 AM   #26
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I run 35s with the 410s and am glad I chose them. There's a lot of up and down in Utah and the 410s seem perfect. My brother is keeping his JKURHR stock but is also glad he got the 410s.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:35 AM   #27
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Whether I'm going to take it or not is undecided BUT, I ordered a JKURHR and I opted for the 4.10's (just incase) my last Rubi had 4.10's and it was a beast.
Stock or larger tires - 4.10's would have it covered. IF I had gotten 3.73's when I got my Sahara I'd probably Not be strongly considering relpacing it.
The 3/21's are "ok" most of the time but when they give up they really are noticeable.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:45 AM   #28
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RubiconSS, perfect that helps!
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:33 AM   #29
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In Florida, the 3.73s should be adequate though 4.56 will always be a much better choice that will keep you in the right power band. I have 4.10s with light 35s (~64 lb MTRs) and find it barely adequate...3.73s would have been re-geared if I had it. I live near the mountains though. If this motor had more torque, 4.10s would be perfect. As it stands, the power to the wheels (not crank) is pretty low. 4.56 is probably the best choice for most who run 35s. Some guys run 4.88s but I noticed that they "usually" have heavy tires too (like Toyos or Nittos) or tow trailers.e
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #30
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All true, as the gear chart shows. It's about a range of acceptability.
My JKU with 3.21's and 32" tires is adequate until I hook up a trailer or hit the mountains. IF I keep this Jeep and go larger, I will regear to 4.56's.
IF my next rig (coming with 4.10's) gets larger tires it'll probably stay 4.10's.
Not an exact science by any means.

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