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Old 01-22-2020, 09:17 PM
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Purchasing a wrangler, need some help!

Hey all,
I want to try and keep this as short and clear as possible but I have some questions.

So, I've been looking at Wranglers for a while now and I am weeks if not days away from purchasing one. I am looking at a 2016 Sahara with 31k miles on it. However, I looked up the build list and I notice it has 3.21 gear ratio which is making me second guess whether it is the right pick for me. They have a 2015 Sahara for about $2000 less with 41k miles but it has the 3.73 gear ratio. I plan on modding the jeep over time and I have been doing a lot of research on it to try and plan out what I want to do and find out a rough estimate of pricing for it all. I want to get a 3-3.5 inch lift and 35 inch tires.

My first question is; Would it be better to buy the 2015 with the 3.73 because it has the higher gear ratio? I know regearing can be expensive and I would prefer to not spend the extra money to re-gear when I want to get new tires and a lift kit. A side note is that the 2015 Sahara has the 7 spoke rims which I am not a big fan of so I would prefer to get newer rims and tires sooner rather than later.

My next question is a little more involved, but I basically want to know all I would have to do to get bigger tires and a lift on. I know there are issues that arise when lifting so I want to get a better idea of what type of work would have to be done other than installing a 3-3.5 inch lift and 35 inch tires. I know there has to be adjustments for certain geometry, the driveshaft might have to be replaced, exhaust clearance issues etc. I also know that tires are heavier so I'm not sure if I will also have to buy a beefier tire carrier to not put unnecessary stress on the hinges. So basically I want to figure out all the possible things I would have to do to safely and thoroughly to build my Jeep without running into issues down the line.

I hope this was clear and I am open for discussions regarding my questions. A disclaimer is that I am not the most "mechanical savvy" person so I am learning as I go and am doing a lot of research to help myself learn more about Wranglers. I appreciate any help that I can get and I hope I can make a decision that is best for me.

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Old 01-22-2020, 09:26 PM   #2
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If you're looking to mod, skip the Sahara. It was designed to be a pavement princess for those who simply have to have a Jeep for no other reason that it's a Jeep. Get a Sport if you plan on doing a lot of modding. Get a Rubicon if you want something that's trail ready and doesn't need as much modding.

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Old 01-22-2020, 09:54 PM   #3
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If you're looking to mod, skip the Sahara. It was designed to be a pavement princess for those who simply have to have a Jeep for no other reason that it's a Jeep. Get a Sport if you plan on doing a lot of modding. Get a Rubicon if you want something that's trail ready and doesn't need as much modding.


Yep. The Sahara sucks. Total mall crawler.

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Old 01-22-2020, 10:12 PM   #4
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If you're going to go with 35's, definitely pass on 3.21 gears. Also, I agree, if you're going to mod, get a Sport if you can, simply because you're likely to ditch 90% of the trim components that you buy with the Sahara. I agree with SSINGA, it will be whatever you make it, but if you look at his pic, he ditched the color matched fenders, ditched the side step, ditched the colored insert bumpers, so effectively every external aesthetic feature of the Sahara was modded out of the Jeep. I know this because I did the exact same thing, thinking every step of the way that I had paid extra for something that I just tossed into the dumpster. There are some technology advantages internally with the Sahara, but if you don't plan on using bluetooth, wanting heated seats, etc., etc., you're better off to get a lower trim level if you can save money doing it.

All that said, I repeat that you'll want the 3.73 or higher with 35's.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:27 PM   #5
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@Nuke83 - a lot of the Sahara upgrades over the Sport are interior items.
@ricodylan13 - You could always use the $2k savings and get it regeared or put it toward lift & tires.

I also think the the 3.73 gears came with the rear limited slip diff.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:16 PM   #6
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:40 PM   #7
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Depending on how you use your Jeep (amount of on road time around town or on the highway, how much off road time and type of terrain), how you drive, and your expectations of how a Jeep should drive, you may be dissatisfied with stock gearing and 35 tires, even if you get the 3.73s.

Unfortunately, the lift wheels and tires come as an expense all at once. You cant fit the tires without the lift and lifting without bigger tires looks pretty odd in my opinion. If you buy properly sized wheels for 35 tires, they will be too wide for the stock tire size, so that normally happens at the same time too. Your choice on wheel diameter, but keep in mind that like sized tires (width and overall diameter) for a 17 wheel are cheaper than for an 18 wheel.

The gearing you can put off for a while depending on your preferences. I drove mine with 35s and 3.21s for several years. It was sluggish and the trans spent more time in 4th than 5th, but it was livable. I now have 4.88s and the acceleration is great, but at the cost of higher RPMs on the highway.

The need for additional parts is somewhat dependent on how much lift and how complete the kit is. Im running 2.5 of lift with adjustable control arms and no geometry correction brackets. Replaced the front driveshaft around 65k miles when the boot finally tore. Still running stock rear shaft.

I would highly recommend a heavier tire carrier. I went with TeraFlex when they first introduced theirs and have been very satisfied with it.

Good luck with your purchase and mods.


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Old 01-23-2020, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dwtgolden View Post
Depending on how you use your Jeep (amount of on road time around town or on the highway, how much off road time and type of terrain), how you drive, and your expectations of how a Jeep should drive, you may be dissatisfied with stock gearing and 35 tires, even if you get the 3.73s.

Unfortunately, the lift wheels and tires come as an expense all at once. You cant fit the tires without the lift and lifting without bigger tires looks pretty odd in my opinion. If you buy properly sized wheels for 35 tires, they will be too wide for the stock tire size, so that normally happens at the same time too. Your choice on wheel diameter, but keep in mind that like sized tires (width and overall diameter) for a 17 wheel are cheaper than for an 18 wheel.

The gearing you can put off for a while depending on your preferences. I drove mine with 35s and 3.21s for several years. It was sluggish and the trans spent more time in 4th than 5th, but it was livable. I now have 4.88s and the acceleration is great, but at the cost of higher RPMs on the highway.

The need for additional parts is somewhat dependent on how much lift and how complete the kit is. Im running 2.5 of lift with adjustable control arms and no geometry correction brackets. Replaced the front driveshaft around 65k miles when the boot finally tore. Still running stock rear shaft.

I would highly recommend a heavier tire carrier. I went with TeraFlex when they first introduced theirs and have been very satisfied with it.

Good luck with your purchase and mods.


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Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking about a 3'' lift with 35's and I was seeing a lot of info about having to replace the driveshaft, re-gearing and other adjustments. I just wasn't sure how much needed to be changed just by adding a lift and bigger tires. I just want to make sure I am not "cheaping" out on parts and end up causing more issues down the line.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:54 AM   #9
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The easiest lift out there is a 2.5" Everyone offers one and in a wide price range. 2.5" and 35's on a 17" rim are a dime a dozen all around the country. 2.5" wont need driveshafts or much else to make it a reliable daily driver and capable off roader, except regearing.

Sahara's almost all come with 18" wheels. You will have a much smaller choice of tires and a much higher cost with 18" rims compared to 17" rims... which come standard on all Sport and Rubicon models... as well as some Saharas (usually special editions). Factory 17" wheels will hold a 35" (315/70/17) but will need wheel spacers to keep the tires from rubbing on suspension components. So you can spend $125 on 4 spacers or $100-300 apiece on rims to move to a 17" from a Sahara 18".

As an example, do a search on discounttire.com and you will find:

17" tires: 216 options.

18" tires: 44 options.

In the end if you can find a Rubicon in your price range, that's what I would choose. If you plan on building out something to your taste and want to save money up front and a lower monthly car payment, a Sport model is best.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:23 PM   #10
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Stick with a 2.5" lift and geometry brackets.
What is your budget?
Quote:
2016 Sahara with 31k miles on it
This sounds like you are planning on spending 25k-28k
I would just go Rubicon 2016-2017 with a few more miles on it.



Also the gear ratio in the Rubicon manual is 4.10...many off these dealer ads list 3.73 but they are listed incorrectly.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:06 PM   #11
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4.10 was a Rubicon option only I believe. 3.73 was standard for manuals.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:59 PM
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The easiest lift out there is a 2.5" Everyone offers one and in a wide price range. 2.5" and 35's on a 17" rim are a dime a dozen all around the country. 2.5" wont need driveshafts or much else to make it a reliable daily driver and capable off roader, except regearing.
I might actually consider a 2.5'' lift now. There seems to be less geometry issues and other issues when only lifting 2.5''. And I suppose I could always upgrade to a bigger lift down the line if I really felt it was necessary. My main goal was to get 35'' tires on my Jeep so if a 2.5'' lift could support that I don't have any issues looking into it.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:01 PM   #13
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I might actually consider a 2.5'' lift now. There seems to be less geometry issues and other issues when only lifting 2.5''. And I suppose I could always upgrade to a bigger lift down the line if I really felt it was necessary. My main goal was to get 35'' tires on my Jeep so if a 2.5'' lift could support that I don't have any issues looking into it.
This might help.

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Old 01-24-2020, 02:12 PM   #14
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Local shop near me (Jeff Daniels) dropped this lift kit (AEV 3.5") with 35's on 17" wheels when I bought my jeep. JD is very reputable in the Philly area and I don't believe there was anything additional with the exception of an exhaust addition for clearance. Before I bought the Jeep, I stopped in the shop to make sure I ordered a good 'base'. The first thing he said was to make sure I got the 3.73 (or higher) gearing.

When I ordered the Sport, the additions I wanted took it to the same price and options as a basic Sahara. I did not want the factory painted fenders so I went with the sport.

https://www.quadratec.com/p/aev/3.5-...ep-wrangler-jk

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