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Old 12-06-2019, 07:19 PM
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Who is running 33's on stock gears (3.55) - non Rubicon

I'm wondering how many of you have upgraded to 33" tires and have stock 3.55 gears. How bad is it? Any issues? What do you use your jeep for?

I'm trying to avoid the thousands of dollars it will cost me to get my Jeep regeared. Its a toy and not a daily driver.

Happy Jeepin'!!!


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Old 12-06-2019, 07:34 PM   #2
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Depends a lot on things you did not list; engine size and transmission.
I had 31's on my 2000 tj with 4.0 and 5 speed manual running 3.07 gears. Not optimal, but not the end of the world. 3.55 on the same set up would be very acceptable performance versus cost of regearing IMO. 2.5 and auto, not so much. 4.0 and auto would likely be a stretch too.
I am presently running 33's on a 2012 jk with auto trans and 3.21 gears and there is no noticeable difference from stock tires. Not exactly apple's to apples for sure.
Oh, I should also note, I am in New England so lots of hilly and mountainous driving. TJ and JK both were DD.

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Old 12-06-2019, 07:57 PM   #3
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Assuming 4.0 5 speed, 3.55 is tolerable w 235 75 15's... marginal to poor w 31's and crappy w 33's...

If it's 4.0 3 speed auto they would be great w 31's and meh w 33's
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:20 PM   #4
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Right now I'm running 33s on my nv3550 stock d44. I believe it's 3.73. I would love to regear but I cannot afford it right now. It's totally drivable, but definitely lost power.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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It must be a 1997 4.0L. No other TJ had 3.55 gears.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:00 PM   #6
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Based on what mine was like with 4.11 gears, it will truly, epically suck. I have a 99, with the 4.0L, and a 5 speed.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:10 PM
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Sorry... should have mentioned I'm driving a 2004 Wrangler Sahara with 4.0 automatic.

Thank you to everyone replying. I'm really looking for people's personal experience with 33's and no regear. I've been told it will suck and just want a perspective from someone who has been through it.



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Old 12-08-2019, 04:22 PM   #8
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04 4.0 auto should have 3.73 gears...
It will drive fine but you'll have to turn off overdrive each time you start the jeep...

I've done it... my 04 4.0 auto had 33's w stock 3.73 gears when I got it... I quickly swapped in 4.88 gears...
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:06 PM   #9
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2.5L 01 SE Auto stock with 31” tires 3.73 gears. It sucked. Had to regear to 4.56.

When I bought the tires I was ignorant about gearing and performance. I love mine after the regear and if I had to do it again I’d still regear it, just wish I knew what I was getting into before hand, I would have planned it out better.

33s even with a 4.0 will need a regear.
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Old 12-08-2019, 06:57 PM   #10
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Its sorta driveable but it sucks. I have the 3 speed auto and had 3.73s and 33s for a short time. I regeared as soon as possible.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:09 PM
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Perfect..those are the answers I'm looking for! Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:29 AM   #12
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Its sorta driveable but it sucks. I have the 3 speed auto and had 3.73s and 33s for a short time. I regeared as soon as possible.
4.10 is the proper gearing for 33s, 4.0L and that trans, so it should have been fine with 3.73s.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:31 AM   #13
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Its sorta driveable but it sucks. I have the 3 speed auto and had 3.73s and 33s for a short time. I regeared as soon as possible.
4.10 is the proper gearing for 33s, 4.0L and that trans, so it should have been fine with 3.73s.
You just said it wasn't right and I guess it depends on your definition of "fine." It was fine on the highway. Great RPMs and good mileage. Not great around town. You had to mash the gas to get going and it could be almost dangerous if you were making a left hand turn in traffic. Off road was fine in low range but I was on a few little hills where it almost stalled out in high. Really strained the torque converter and undoubtedly over heated the trans. I'm sure that's why the trans fluid looked like motor oil when I had it serviced.

So like I said, sort of driveable if you didn't mind potentially dangerous left turns in traffic, having to be in low range off road, and cooking your trans fluid. I'd say it's a stretch to call it fine and certainly not right or good.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:21 PM   #14
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I had 3.55 and 33s for a minute. Its driveable, but you'll be downshifting a lot on the slightest hill or headwind.
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:45 PM   #15
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Odd I have an 03 with 4.0l and auto and I have 35's and I can easily make the back tires bark on the pavement in 2wheel. I Will admit I bought it used so I don't know the gearing, but its the dana 35 for sure (was hoping for the 44, but it's not). Maybe I am reading this wrong but it seems people think it will be underpowered? Maybe mine has some lower gearing, I guess after reading this thread I need to check. Right now my issues with 35 is winter, most roads here are clean (pavement) so don't like to drive in 4 high, but corners and gas stations have snow and my back end just spins trying to push thos big front tires, hard to get going sometimes.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:04 AM   #16
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Odd I have an 03 with 4.0l and auto and I have 35's and I can easily make the back tires bark on the pavement in 2wheel. I Will admit I bought it used so I don't know the gearing, but its the dana 35 for sure
D35 with 35s, plus making tires "bark" on pavement equals
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:12 AM   #17
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Right now my issues with 35 is winter, most roads here are clean (pavement) so don't like to drive in 4 high, but corners and gas stations have snow and my back end just spins trying to push thos big front tires, hard to get going sometimes.
You can shift into 4HI while driving, when you need to.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:20 PM   #18
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D35 with 35s, plus making tires "bark" on pavement equals
Agreed, I only mentioned it as there was talk of Underpowered with 35's and I seem fine on power. From all my reading dana 35 and 35-inch tires are already pushing it and with time I may regret it. I am new with the jeep only a year of ownership and only talk as I have the setup the user was mentioning. I have done lots of deep snow and some mudding and I can say I now understand the "its a jeep thing". I have owned a few lifted other brands but this short-wheelbase Jeep with Super Swampers is flat impressive and more than that FUN!
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:45 AM   #19
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I ran 33s on a 3.55 geared YJ. It had a manual trans and i never used top gear after the tire switch. I ran all the trails in Moab that were rated 4+ (back then) and in low range the jeep did fine; the trade-off was on the street but it was manageable without top gear.

If doing it with an auto I would definitely shut off overdrive every time you start the Jeep - as previously posted and maybe see if you could get shift points re-programmed.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:34 AM   #20
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There is no way to change the shift points
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:00 PM   #21
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We have an '04 Sport with a 4.0, 3.73 gearing on 33's. It runs well enough on the street, but still have to switch off the overdrive often when driving on the highway. If it's flat, no issues to 70 mph, but any hills and it quickly slows unless I turn off the overdrive. One thing to note is that the overdrive does change the shift points too as I find if I am driving in hilly areas and the overdrive is off, sometimes it bogs down until I put the overdrive back on (go figure). Off-road, no issues what so ever. Running 33's with 3.55 gearing will accentuate this even more, but will still be usable if you don't mind the noticeable lag on the road.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:08 PM
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We have an '04 Sport with a 4.0, 3.73 gearing on 33's. It runs well enough on the street, but still have to switch off the overdrive often when driving on the highway. If it's flat, no issues to 70 mph, but any hills and it quickly slows unless I turn off the overdrive. One thing to note is that the overdrive does change the shift points too as I find if I am driving in hilly areas and the overdrive is off, sometimes it bogs down until I put the overdrive back on (go figure). Off-road, no issues what so ever. Running 33's with 3.55 gearing will accentuate this even more, but will still be usable if you don't mind the noticeable lag on the road.
Thanks for the feedback. How did you end up with 3.73 gearing? Did you regear or did your Sport come with a Dana 44? Just curious.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:26 PM   #23
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Afaik 3.73 is standard w the 4.0 42rle combo...

My 04 came w that combo and a d35 for sure...
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:12 PM
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Afaik 3.73 is standard w the 4.0 42rle combo...

My 04 came w that combo and a d35 for sure...
Interesting. Guess I should drag my old tired ass under my rig and check the tag.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:31 PM   #25
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Based on what mine was like with 4.11 gears, it will truly, epically suck. I have a 99, with the 4.0L, and a 5 speed.
I ran 4.10 gears with my stock axles and a locker with 33"s.
It had had limited slip in the rear before and I think I bet those stock axles to death before I swapped out for the larger tires.
Popped an axle (driver) almost on my first rock climb. You could see it had some twist in it. Broke the passenger side years later on a steep climb as well.

Ginny ran the roads well enough but I did lose some gas mileage with it all. The fella that brought it swapped those factory axle assy. for Ford 8.8 front and rear.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:56 PM   #26
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I have no problems around town, on the highway or out in the sandy roads of the pine barrens here in Jersey. I have an 03 TJ 4.0, auto, 2" body lift, 2" suspension lift, 33's with 3.73 gears.
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Old 01-09-2020, 06:51 PM
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I have no problems around town, on the highway or out in the sandy roads of the pine barrens here in Jersey. I have an 03 TJ 4.0, auto, 2" body lift, 2" suspension lift, 33's with 3.73 gears.
No issues with top speed or loss of power on the freeway? Acceleration?
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:22 PM   #28
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Terdwillow, I am totally satisfied with how she rolls now compared to when she had 31s. I don't often get on the freeway but it keeps up with traffic just fine when I do. And I'm in south Jersey, there are no mountains or hills for that matter so I can't help you with any real time experience going up a grade for several miles. That might be my only concern.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:42 PM   #29
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Sorry... should have mentioned I'm driving a 2004 Wrangler Sahara with 4.0 automatic.

Thank you to everyone replying. I'm really looking for people's personal experience with 33's and no regear. I've been told it will suck and just want a perspective from someone who has been through it.



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I can tell you from experience that not regearing to the proper gear ratio is a mistake. My 42rle equipped TJ had 4.88s, which were awful given the 35” tire size. Bumped up to 5.38s and my rig is now enjoyable to drive. You need 5.13s given your transmission/tire size combo. Regear is the cheapest performance mod you can make to a Jeep.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:27 PM   #30
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Op... as I told you before IF you actually have 3.73's it will drive just fine as long as you always turn off the overdrive.... if you have 3.55's it'll be mostly ok too

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