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Old 06-11-2018, 01:22 PM
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2004 LJ 3.73 on 33" tires

I know this is a subject that has been discussed at length, but searching didn't find answer...
New to me 2004 LJ, Auto Trans, 4" lift, stock axles D30F D44R with 3.73 ratio, Truetrac's F&R, currently running on BFG AT K02 33X12.5 R15's.
We got it as dedicated trail rig (very little on-road use, maybe to and from the shop etc.) - we do 4-5 Jeep Jamborees per year plus a few other trips on our own.
I know the gearing is not optimal for the tires - no question we will need to re-gear but not really in the cards $$ wise this year.
We just got back from a Jamboree in the Ozarks which was all rock crawling and trail (4 LO the entire time) - no mudding (not a fan of mud). For reference we have been wheeling a 2014 Unlimited Willy's with a manual. I didn't notice a lack of power or any bogging down and we had no trouble with any obstacles - no comments from the trail guides on an apparent lack of oomph or need for re-gear (and I asked a ton of questions since it was our first trip for this rig).

Question - Our next Trip will be the September Jamboree in Ouray Colorado so we will be at a 7000' + altitude. Will the altitude affect performance to the point of restricting/limiting what we can do?
Are we more likely to break something at that altitude?
Basically, will we be able to get by on the current set-up and still have a fun time on challenging obstacles & Trails? Again - I know gearing is far from ideal, just want to make sure we are not going to be disappointed.
Any advice or personal experiences at Ouray or at that altitude would be appreciated
TIA.

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Old 06-11-2018, 01:58 PM   #2
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https://www.9news.com/article/news/l...e/73-562670858


On a lighter note, you have a fuel injected vehicle. It will adjust to altitude. Not saying you wont lose a little performance though.

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Old 06-11-2018, 07:56 PM   #3
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I recently wheeled with a guy who had 3.07 gears on 33's and he did surprisingly well.....yeah not optimal.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:03 PM   #4
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I know the gearing is not optimal for the tires - no question we will need to re-gear but not really in the cards $$ wise this year.
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Originally Posted by Bird5 View Post
I recently wheeled with a guy who had 3.07 gears on 33's and he did surprisingly well.....yeah not optimal.
Probably not horrible in an auto.

My manual was on 33s with 3.73s and I was regularly smoking the clutch, "lurch braking", or stalling trying to find the right amount of gas to make my way over obstacles.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:15 PM   #5
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That isn't too bad really. Might become a bit of a problem on parts of trails that are rated in the 7-8 range. Gears are expensive, I'd try to live with 3.73s.

I'm swapping my 3.73 for 4.88 next week. But I have 35's which made a huge difference. Plus I'm obsessed with the Lake Como Trail which has some tough spots.
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:01 AM   #6
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I have an 01 TJ with the auto, 3.73's, and 33's. Not ideal but works surprisingly well. I live in Salt Lake so I wheel at altitude regularly and don't see any noticeable difference. I will be regearing this year when funds are available but until then I'll keep wheeling it the way it is.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:53 AM
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So what are the gearing options with stock axles? We have an LJ so it has the D30 front and D44 rear. Is 4.88 as low as you can go on the stock axles, or is 5.13 an option?
I may stick with the 33's for now but will go up to 35's at some point.

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:26 AM   #8
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It's not ideal, but you can run the 3.73 gears until you can upgrade. In the interim, do the following:
- switch the overdrive off, if not on the highway
- install a stacked plate transmission cooler

The 42RLE likes to run hot, so do yourself a favor and at least install the cooler. This is a relatively easy job that will help save your transmission from the number one killer, heat! Cost can be cheap, $15 - $20, if you pull from a junk yard. Worst case, $100ish online for a new one.

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Old 06-12-2018, 10:44 AM   #9
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so what are the gearing options with stock axles? We have an lj so it has the d30 front and d44 rear. Is 4.88 as low as you can go on the stock axles, or is 5.13 an option?
I may stick with the 33's for now but will go up to 35's at some point.

Thanks
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:55 PM   #10
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Unless you are loaded (think federal job) I'd stick with 33's and 3.73's for awhile. Pretty good size, pretty good gear ratio. After the tires are worn, you will have a better idea of what makes sense for you.

Tires and gears are about $3000. Not to mention the greatly increased risk of tossing axle shafts and u-joints. With 33's you can easily daily drive it anywhere. Smiles per gallon!
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:32 PM   #11
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The 42rle was under geared from the factory. Of all the TJ transmissions, it ought to be regeared the most, even for 33s.

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:11 PM   #12
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Unless you are loaded (think federal job) I'd stick with 33's and 3.73's for awhile. Pretty good size, pretty good gear ratio. After the tires are worn, you will have a better idea of what makes sense for you.

Tires and gears are about $3000. Not to mention the greatly increased risk of tossing axle shafts and u-joints. With 33's you can easily daily drive it anywhere. Smiles per gallon!


Says someone that doesn’t work for fedgov
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:20 PM   #13
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Says someone that doesn’t work for fedgov

Says someone who has watched skyrocketing payroll expenses. They pass around pay grade increases like candy. Todays battalions of Ingsoc sheep herders are at the same pay grade as yesteryears civilian counterpart to the base commander.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:24 PM   #14
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Says someone who has watched skyrocketing payroll expenses. They pass around pay grade increases like candy. Todays battalions of Ingsoc sheep herders are at the same pay grade as yesteryears civilian counterpart to the base commander.


Since you’re passing them out can I have one?
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:55 AM
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Someone on another forum recommended a Rubicrawler. No experience here so what are your thoughts on Rubicrawler vs re-gear? Pros & Cons? Maintenance/breakage issues?
Again, this is a dedicated trail rig so no highway/roads.
Thanks
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:05 AM   #16
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Someone on another forum recommended a Rubicrawler. No experience here so what are your thoughts on Rubicrawler vs re-gear? Pros & Cons? Maintenance/breakage issues?
Again, this is a dedicated trail rig so no highway/roads.
Thanks
Rubicrawler is a solid upgrade. Installed one in my 06 TJ a couple years ago and it was a game changer off-road. The ultra low gearing makes you able to finesse your way through challenging obstacles.

For a dedicated trail rig, the Rubicrawler is a better option than a regear to improve your crawl ratio. Installed myself in a day with no help. Removal of the spud shaft is the most difficult part of the install. Straightforward install after the spud shaft is removed.

Rubicrawler comes with a cable shifter so you can ditch the POS factory shifting mechanism.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:48 AM   #17
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I live about 3 hours away from Ouray and my town is right at 7,000 feet above sea level. I just put a 2.5" suspension lift, 1" MML, and a 1.25" Body lift on my 04 auto transmission LJ in order to fit new 33x12.5 Duratrec tires. My gear ratio is also at 3.73 for the time being. This was less than a month ago and I haven't wheeled any serious obstacles yet.

However, I've hit a number of easy-moderate off road trails, driven it on the highway and intentionally sought out a few obstacles that I couldn't have done stock. I'd like a little more power on the highway, but I haven't felt a lack of power at any point off road. I was at 10,000 feet this past weekend and had zero performance issues on the trail. I don't think your 3.73 gearing should be an issue in Ouray. I'll save this thread and post in the future if my 3.73 gearing causes me any issues this summer.

I intend on re-gearing eventually, but it is likely way down the line. The dip in performance from my stock setup isn't as drastic as I thought it would be and there are other places I want to spend money before going for a re-gear.

Have fun at the Jamboree! I wanted to go very badly, but unfortunately I'm out of town for work that weekend (literally my only weekend work trip of the year). Assuming the entire state isn't on fire by September, it's a beautiful area.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:16 PM   #18
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That isn't too bad really. Might become a bit of a problem on parts of trails that are rated in the 7-8 range. Gears are expensive, I'd try to live with 3.73s.

I'm swapping my 3.73 for 4.88 next week. But I have 35's which made a huge difference. Plus I'm obsessed with the Lake Como Trail which has some tough spots.
Why 4.88 instead of 5.13? Are you a manual? Just curious, especially with 35's
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:56 PM   #19
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Go with 5.13 or don't regear at all. I run 5.13's on 35's in my 05 LJR and its not a deep enough gear for me. I wish I would have gone 5.38's. 5.13's on 33's will crawl like a mofo. And you'll then have decent gears for 35's in the future.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:54 PM   #20
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Go with 5.13 or don't regear at all. I run 5.13's on 35's in my 05 LJR and its not a deep enough gear for me. I wish I would have gone 5.38's. 5.13's on 33's will crawl like a mofo. And you'll then have decent gears for 35's in the future.
If I could afford a new axle I'd go 5.38's. Considering putting off the whole regear until I can go all in
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:56 AM   #21
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5.13s in a Dana 30 is getting dangerously thin in the ring department, especially in a non-HP 30. Just bc they make them that low doesn't make them the best choice.
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:56 AM   #22
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5.13s in a Dana 30 is getting dangerously thin in the ring department, especially in a non-HP 30. Just bc they make them that low doesn't make them the best choice.
Are you aware of any 5.13 failures?

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Old 06-19-2018, 05:04 PM   #23
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i'm debating pushing my 42RLE up to 33's at 3.73 for abit, my tire size kept me off a few things last wkend, I know it's really only an inch, but that extra inch counts under the pumpkins as well. not spending any$ on my stock axles and don't dare wheel what I was in on 35's and twigs.
I get off my a?? and work my new axles it'll be 5.38's for 35's.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:25 PM   #24
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Are you aware of any 5.13 failures?

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I'm sure there have been some, I haven't been involved in this long enough to know personally though. I've been hearing more and more that what people here tend to give as far as advice is the 'safe' or 'guaranteed' route. There are a lot of people that have been successfully running low gears and big tires on stock axles. Is it the smartest? No. Will it work? Sometimes (depends a lot on driving style, where you wheel, types of obstacles, etc.)

The other good point I've read is that these companies selling 5.13's don't want a reputation that their products fail. Do companies in the country/world sell products they know are bad or will fail? Sure. I think the 4x4/Jeep community is a little different. So much is staked on reputation. That's why you have guys that won't touch certain brands or products (Auburn ected locker) even after they 'fixed' their issues.

Apparently Revolution's gears are American made and all reports I've seen are they are strong.

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i'm debating pushing my 42RLE up to 33's at 3.73 for abit, my tire size kept me off a few things last wkend, I know it's really only an inch, but that extra inch counts under the pumpkins as well. not spending any$ on my stock axles and don't dare wheel what I was in on 35's and twigs.
I get off my a?? and work my new axles it'll be 5.38's for 35's.
I'm running 33's with the 3.73 and 42RLE right now (looking to upgrade though). It's honestly fine. Had a blast on trails so far and no issues in city driving where you don't hit the OD gear. The only issue has been on the freeway when there's a headwind. If I have a tailwind I can do 75-80 at 2k rpm, otherwise it's about 2800 at about 70 for longer drives. Takes patience with the throttle and not relying on the cruise control.
I'd prefer to wait on gears until I get a D44 or better up front... $$$
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:42 PM   #25
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I'm sure there have been some, I haven't been involved in this long enough to know personally though. I've been hearing more and more that what people here tend to give as far as advice is the 'safe' or 'guaranteed' route. There are a lot of people that have been successfully running low gears and big tires on stock axles. Is it the smartest? No. Will it work? Sometimes (depends a lot on driving style, where you wheel, types of obstacles, etc.)

The other good point I've read is that these companies selling 5.13's don't want a reputation that their products fail. ...
I'm not aware of any d30 5.13 failures either.

Once upon a time, people said my 4.88s were too weak. Personally, I would be perfectly comfortable running lower gears if the need arose. Proper gearing is easier on the drivetrain.

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Apparently Revolution's gears are American made and all reports I've seen are they are strong.


...
Most gears are made by a few manufacturers in South Korea. RGA gears are made by Circle K in South Korea. That's about the best you can get. Additionally, all 5.13 and 5.38 gears, regardless of the brand name, are supplied by Circle K.

RGA's top tier axle shafts are American made, though.

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:30 AM   #26
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I'm not aware of any d30 5.13 failures either.

Once upon a time, people said my 4.88s were too weak. Personally, I would be perfectly comfortable running lower gears if the need arose. Proper gearing is easier on the drivetrain.



Most gears are made by a few manufacturers in South Korea. RGA gears are made by Circle K in South Korea. That's about the best you can get. Additionally, all 5.13 and 5.38 gears, regardless of the brands name, are supplied by Circle K.

RGA's top tier axle shafts are American made, though.

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^ so don't bother worrying who's might be better? if they all come from same place just find a good price and best warranty.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:34 AM   #27
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^ so don't bother worrying who's might be better? if they all come from same place just find a good price and best warranty.
If you want to know that your gears are from Circle K, then buy from RGA.

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Old 06-21-2018, 09:26 AM   #28
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Why 4.88 instead of 5.13? Are you a manual? Just curious, especially with 35's

Interesting question. I talked to several axle shops when shopping for price. One recommended 4.56. Another acted like 5.13 was extremely rare, maybe it is outside of hardcore Jeeping circles.

Not much difference between 4.9 and 5.1 (rounding off).

Turns out I had 4.11's much to my surprise.

I do have a manual so first gear low is pretty snappy now.

Outside of Blanca Mountain, I intend to avoid trails in the 7/8 category due to the excessive wear and tear factor. This Jeep is slated to be my last and I hope to get another 20 plus years out of it. Already been 19. I like the simplicity of older vehicles though coil springs are nice.

My axle shop had a really great price but no paperwork, just a handshake. He operates out of his garage though he does a lot of gears. Had to ask for my old gears. Thinking a warranty claim might be difficult with no paperwork.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:34 AM   #29
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The recommendation for 5.13 gears has little to do with hardcore wheeling. It's all about overall driveability and putting the engine's power band in a place where you can make the most use of it. Appropriate gears for your engine, transmission and tire size will make both highway and off road driving better.

5.13s for the D30 are somewhat new. Revolution is the most common recommendation.

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:41 PM   #30
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The recommendation for 5.13 gears has little to do with hardcore wheeling. It's all about overall driveability and putting the engine's power band in a place where you can make the most use of it. Appropriate gears for your engine, transmission and tire size will make both highway and off road driving better.

5.13s for the D30 are somewhat new. Revolution is the most common recommendation.

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That would have been 4.56 gears according to the formulas.

I surely do enjoy being told what gears I should have bought......for driveability and power band.

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