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Old 06-10-2019, 02:11 PM
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Re-Geared. Change Towing Capabilities?

I recently re-geared to 4.88s on my 2013 JKU Sahara. (currently running 33's, moving to 35's when needed. 2.5" Rubicon Express lift installed.)

Will this adjust my towing capabilities? I had 3.21s so I was limited to 2,000 lbs and 200 lbs tongue weight.

Not that I plan on doing a lot of towing, but we have a 2018 HD Road Glide Special that I would like to trailer to MN and SD this summer.

Trailer I'm looking at comes in at 1,275 lbs. Bike is 855 lbs. = 2,130
If I have another 300-400 lbs of stuff in the trailer, I'm looking at roughly 2,500 lbs.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Old 06-10-2019, 02:27 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert but I'd say not really, or just plain no. It will adjust your shift points is all. Tow rating is more about engine power/torque, wheel base and suspension.

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Old 06-10-2019, 02:32 PM   #3
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I'm not an expert but I'd say not really, or just plain no. It will adjust your shift points is all. Tow rating is more about engine power/torque, wheel base and suspension.

Thing is... all that stuff is the same on the other JKU's with a 3500 lb towing capacity. The only real difference is the gears.

Legally, the answer is going to be no. So if you get yourself in trouble you might not have the law on your side.

Practically though, yeah, you should be good for 3500 like the rest of them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
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I think you should be fine with 2500 lbs and the JKU. According to my 2017 manual, all JKUs and JKs with gears 3.73 and 4.10 are rated for 3500 lbs max gross trailer weight. The ones with 3.21 are limited to 2000 lbs.

EDIT: we tow a small trailer, about 2000-2300 lbs, and I highly recommend trailer brakes. AFAIK, in some states like CA, they are required on trailers exceeding 1500 lbs.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:47 PM   #5
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Remember, it's not just about how much weight you can pull. You have to be able to stop that weight also.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

"Thing is... all that stuff is the same on the other JKU's with a 3500 lb towing
capacity. The only real difference is the gears."


My thought was that the JKU's that came with 3.73s and 4.10s were good for 3500 lbs. So with 4.88s I thought I'd be OK. Not going to push the limits by any means, but it was good to read my logic made sense to others.

Thanks again,

EJH
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wandell View Post
Remember, it's not just about how much weight you can pull. You have to be able to stop that weight also.
All JKU's have the same brakes.

Heavier trailers should have trailer brakes, regardless of the towing capacity of the vehicle. Just because a pickup can tow 15,000 lbs doesn't mean you don't need trailer brakes.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:53 PM
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Remember, it's not just about how much weight you can pull. You have to be able to stop that weight also.
I learned that with a trailer full of wet mulch a couple years back. Not going to make that mistake again...
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EJH2013 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

"Thing is... all that stuff is the same on the other JKU's with a 3500 lb towing
capacity. The only real difference is the gears."


My thought was that the JKU's that came with 3.73s and 4.10s were good for 3500 lbs. So with 4.88s I thought I'd be OK. Not going to push the limits by any means, but it was good to read my logic made sense to others.

Thanks again,

EJH
It makes perfect sense. But don't discount the law. If there's a mishap and you're towing over the rated capacity, you may not be able to argue your way out of liability or negligence charges or whatever they might throw at you.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:56 PM
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It makes perfect sense. But don't discount the law. If there's a mishap and you're towing over the rated capacity, you may not be able to argue your way out of liability or negligence charges or whatever they might throw at you.
Good point!
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:03 PM   #11
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I believe the limit is due to engine cooling capacity.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:14 PM   #12
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I believe the limit is due to engine cooling capacity.
The 3500 pound limit is mostly due to the design of the suspension. It's not good at keeping a load stable at speed.

The JT has around double the towing capacity with the same engine. Granted, they made some small tweaks to the grill to improve cooling but not enough to double the tow rating.

The biggest changes in the JT is the longer wheelbase, added weight, but most importantly it uses a modified version of the Ram 1500 suspension.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:23 PM   #13
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The Very Best Advice so far (I highly recommend trailer brakes ) if you do not have Trailer Brakes get them and know how to use them
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:03 PM   #14
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Change your capability?? You bet. Change your tow rating? Nope... You are 2000lbs permanently.

Gearing, trailer brakes, trans cooler, oil cooler, big brake kit, etc will all give you better towing capability.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:31 PM   #15
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Tell me: are diff gears going to help the frame keep a trailer under control on a downhill corner, or are they just going to make starting a little quicker?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:06 PM   #16
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Tell me: are diff gears going to help the frame keep a trailer under control on a downhill corner, or are they just going to make starting a little quicker?
I think that OP's point was that JK/JKU with 3.73 and up gears are rated for 3500 lbs towing weight, but the ones with 3.21 gears are rated for 2000 lbs. Thus his question.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:29 PM   #17
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Change your capability?? You bet. Change your tow rating? Nope... You are 2000lbs permanently.

Gearing, trailer brakes, trans cooler, oil cooler, big brake kit, etc will all give you better towing capability.
The only time you will have any problems at all, is when you get into an accident where somebody dies. If the investigating agency digs deep enough (which they probably WON'T) and finds out all your mods, and do the PHYSICS calculations of what you've added/subtracted/modded, and finds you were 150 lbs over the tow weight you should have been towing, you might have a problem! This will never happen. I guarantee you this as one who used to investigate traffic collisions for 22 years. BUT, the question is how good of a driver are you? An excellent driver will NEVER be put in that situation. A "COWBOY" driver will be in the 'Hot Seat' within the first year!!! What kind of a driver are you????
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:35 AM
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I think that OP's point was that JK/JKU with 3.73 and up gears are rated for 3500 lbs towing weight, but the ones with 3.21 gears are rated for 2000 lbs. Thus his question.
This...
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:50 AM
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The only time you will have any problems at all, is when you get into an accident where somebody dies. If the investigating agency digs deep enough (which they probably WON'T) and finds out all your mods, and do the PHYSICS calculations of what you've added/subtracted/modded, and finds you were 150 lbs over the tow weight you should have been towing, you might have a problem! This will never happen. I guarantee you this as one who used to investigate traffic collisions for 22 years. BUT, the question is how good of a driver are you? An excellent driver will NEVER be put in that situation. A "COWBOY" driver will be in the 'Hot Seat' within the first year!!! What kind of a driver are you????
My question was not related to the laws of physics or driving ability. Just questioning the 3.73 and 4.10 factory geared Jeeps having a higher towing rating that those that have 3.21 gears. Since I changed my gears I wanted to confirm / get advice related to the 3,500 lb tow rating etc. The example I listed was towing closer to 2,500 lbs total.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:26 AM   #20
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The only time you will have any problems at all, is when you get into an accident where somebody dies. If the investigating agency digs deep enough (which they probably WON'T) and finds out all your mods, and do the PHYSICS calculations of what you've added/subtracted/modded, and finds you were 150 lbs over the tow weight you should have been towing, you might have a problem! This will never happen. I guarantee you this as one who used to investigate traffic collisions for 22 years. BUT, the question is how good of a driver are you? An excellent driver will NEVER be put in that situation. A "COWBOY" driver will be in the 'Hot Seat' within the first year!!! What kind of a driver are you????
Yep, me personally? I've been towing for over 30 years... I'm the guy at the boat ramp that sneaks in between two others with 1 foot between us, launches and is out of there before they even get their boats unhooked from the winch...

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My question was not related to the laws of physics or driving ability. Just questioning the 3.73 and 4.10 factory geared Jeeps having a higher towing rating that those that have 3.21 gears. Since I changed my gears I wanted to confirm / get advice related to the 3,500 lb tow rating etc. The example I listed was towing closer to 2,500 lbs total.
Yes, with the gears you have given the Jeep much more ability to tow... Get yourself a trans cooler too. Run trailer brakes with a 7 pin harness also.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by EJH2013 View Post
My question was not related to the laws of physics or driving ability. Just questioning the 3.73 and 4.10 factory geared Jeeps having a higher towing rating that those that have 3.21 gears. Since I changed my gears I wanted to confirm / get advice related to the 3,500 lb tow rating etc. The example I listed was towing closer to 2,500 lbs total.
OH!!?? OK, YES! Sorry, I'm always looking at the results of my actions in "What If" situations. I forget not everyone does that. MY BAD!!!
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:45 AM   #22
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Unless your tow rating is listed on your title, unlikely, then you are good to go. The tow rating is totally determined by gears, 2000 lbs for 3.21 and and 3500 for 3.73 and above.

People get really confused about this subject. You have 2 stickers on the door. The first, yellow and white will list your payload as well as the tire pressure to run. This is just for the tire that was delivered with your rig at the tire pressure printed. As an example mine states is is only 674 for payload. Changing tires or air pressure changes that payload number.

The second is sticker, white is much more important. It gives the GVWR, this is the what your total vehicle can weigh and this you can't change. Based on the number specified my payload is 5100 lbs. My as delivered weight was 4100 giving me a payload of 1000 lbs. Out of the 1000 lbs I have to subtract tongue weight, passengers and luggage. As long as I stay within that number everything is ok. I am also assuming here you are staying within the sail parameters (frontal area) stated by FCA.

But many of us are modded and every mod reduces our payload. In my case I am over my payload limit before I even step in the Jeep. Here all you can do is be smart. Being smart is not to exceed is not to exceed your axle ratings, for a 44 that is 2775 for the front and 3200 for the rear. Also it calls for upgraded springs, brakes and cooling. At least that is my formula. The other thing to do is slow down. This will allow you to play with your tongue weight, I tend to keep mine at 200 lbs regardless of the trailer I am pulling in the Jeep. Along with that though you must slow down, I limit my speed to 60 mph when the trailer is hooked up.

It would be great if we good get our rigs tested to SAE J2807. This would allow us to legally change our tow rating.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:27 PM   #23
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Jeep rated the JKU for 3500lbs. That is likely the safe limit for the platform regardless of gearing. With 3.21 gears its rated for 2000lbs so -1500lbs for bad gearing. I think your limit is 3500 and that is still a lot of weight for the Jeep.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:44 PM   #24
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My understanding when I researched and bought my 2014 JK 5 years ago was JK = 2000# and JKU = 3500#, because of wheelbase. Shorter WB vehicle gets pushed around by a trailer much easier than longer WB vehicle. My 3.73 Willys is rated 2000#.

I'll look this up to when I get a minute but I think you guys are misunderstanding the difference in the two ratings. No way on earth the difference between 3.21 and 3.73 would be worth 40+% more towing capacity.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:54 PM   #25
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My understanding when I researched and bought my 2014 JK 5 years ago was JK = 2000# and JKU = 3500#, because of wheelbase. Shorter WB vehicle gets pushed around by a trailer much easier than longer WB vehicle. My 3.73 Willys is rated 2000#.

I'll look this up to when I get a minute but I think you guys are misunderstanding the difference in the two ratings. No way on earth the difference between 3.21 and 3.73 would be worth 40+% more towing capacity.
All JKs are rated at 2,000 pounds regardless of gearing. It's as you say, the wheelbase limits your safe handling with a trailer.

JKUs with 3.21's were rated at 2,000 pounds. This is mostly because the tall gearing makes accelerating with a load much more difficult.

JKUs with 3.73 or 4.10 gears are rated at 3,500 pounds because that's the limit of safe handling with the chassis, suspension, brakes, etc.

JLs and JLUs are similar though I seem to remember they're not exactly the same.

JT's have a much higher tow rating because of wheelbase and suspension design that is much better for towing.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:57 PM   #26
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Jeep rated the JKU for 3500lbs. That is likely the safe limit for the platform regardless of gearing. With 3.21 gears its rated for 2000lbs so -1500lbs for bad gearing. I think your limit is 3500 and that is still a lot of weight for the Jeep.
Well it is the limit for the US but the vehicle can handle more, it is a question of speed. In Australia the limit for a JKU 2200 kg or 4850 lbs. Speed limit is 62 mph.

Our limits are no doubt based on liability.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:01 PM   #27
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All JKs are rated at 2,000 pounds regardless of gearing. It's as you say, the wheelbase limits your safe handling with a trailer.

JKUs with 3.21's were rated at 2,000 pounds. This is mostly because the tall gearing makes accelerating with a load much more difficult.

JKUs with 3.73 or 4.10 gears are rated at 3,500 pounds because that's the limit of safe handling with the chassis, suspension, brakes, etc.

JLs and JLUs are similar though I seem to remember they're not exactly the same.

JT's have a much higher tow rating because of wheelbase and suspension design that is much better for towing.
The 2016 to 2018 JK's have the same tow rating as the JKU's.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:44 PM   #28
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My question was not related to the laws of physics or driving ability. Just questioning the 3.73 and 4.10 factory geared Jeeps having a higher towing rating that those that have 3.21 gears. Since I changed my gears I wanted to confirm / get advice related to the 3,500 lb tow rating etc. The example I listed was towing closer to 2,500 lbs total.
Tow ratings are related to physics. Again, do you really think that your gear ratio is going to change the amount of weight that the vehicle can handle? It'll change your acceleration, but it won't affect the Jeep's ability to shrug off everything the trailer tries to do to it.

The fact that a brochure sums things up neatly doesn't mean that if you change that one thing you change everything else: even though chickens have feathers, as RubiconSS says in his sig "Sticking Feathers up Your Butt does Not make You a Chicken".
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:48 PM   #29
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Tow ratings are related to physics. Again, do you really think that your gear ratio is going to change the amount of weight that the vehicle can handle? It'll change your acceleration, but it won't affect the Jeep's ability to shrug off everything the trailer tries to do to it.

The fact that a brochure sums things up neatly doesn't mean that if you change that one thing you change everything else: even though chickens have feathers, ss RubiconSS says in his sig "Sticking Feathers up Your Butt does Not make You a Chicken".
There is no difference in the parts used between 3.21 geared Wrangler and a 3.73 and above Wrangler other than the gears themselves.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:24 PM   #30
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There is no difference in the parts used between 3.21 geared Wrangler and a 3.73 and above Wrangler other than the gears themselves.
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