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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 2011 rubicon for a little over a year. It is completely stock and when my lease is up, I plan to purchase it. In the meantime I am learning what I can do to my jeep once I own it.

I'm in NYC and the closest trails to my knowledge are pine barrens NJ. I read online that stock jeeps can safely drive around many of the trails there and plan on making some trips there soon.

My question is about lift and gear ratio. I understand that the rubicon is very off road capable right out of the box. Since I am only going to be running beginner to medium level trails and rocks at pine barrens,

I wanted to know the largest tire size WITHOUT having to adjust the gear ratio. From what I read, the off road capabilities of the rubicon are great on intermediate level trails, hills, rocks and mud.

I would like to get 35" or 37" tires. I would like some recommendations on tire width. I understand that I would need to get new bumpers and fenders to accommodate the larger tire size. As well as a different spare tire holder.

I should mention that this vehicle is my daily driving vehicle, about 30-35 miles per day in NYC suburbs, traffic and highways. We also get snow just about every year.

I am open to all suggestions and recommendations of all types. I have two years left on my lease and hope to learn a great deal before I start customizing my jeep.

 

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I wanted to know the largest tire size WITHOUT having to adjust the gear ratio. From what I read, the off road capabilities of the rubicon are great on intermediate level trails, hills, rocks and mud.
This question is subjective as to what you can deal with on the road. It is drastically different for different people; some with 37" tires on 3.21 ratio gears so "oh its tolerable" which some with 33" tires on 4.1 ratio say its awful. Having a pre-2012 Rubicon, you automatically have the 4.1 gears (which is good). This means that if you upgrade to 33s you will likely see little power loss, and 35s will likely be tolerable. Gear wise, 37s would be pushing it and the power loss would be severe. I have a 2011 with 3.73 gears and 33.6" tires and think it drives great with plenty of power. But again, thats my opinion.

I would like to get 35" or 37" tires. I would like some recommendations on tire width. I understand that I would need to get new bumpers and fenders to accommodate the larger tire size. As well as a different spare tire holder.
If you are going to go with either of these tire sizes you will likely need a lift. Yes, you can fit 35s on with no lift and trimmed fenders; however, you will rub at the slightest hint of articulation. New bumpers or fenders are not necessarily needed to fit larger tires, especially if you have a lift. A 2.5" lift will be adequate if you run 35s, and a 3.5" lift is recommended for 37s. The width is not as important if you go with aftermarket wheels with more backspacing (4.5" is popular as it allows for a 12.5" wide tire without any rubbing). However, if you decide to keep you standard wheels and don't add spacers, you will either need to do some of trimming, or look for a tire that is less that 12" wide. You are correct in that with either of these tire sizes you will need a new tire carrier. With 37" tires you will also be looking into beefing up axles with gussets, new shafts, etc. to prevent them from failing under the load.

I am open to all suggestions and recommendations of all types. I have two years left on my lease and hope to learn a great deal before I start customizing my jeep.
My suggestion for you, being that you said you drive 30 miles everyday, and only do beginner to intermediate level trails, would be a 2.5" lift with 33" tires. This will be plenty for a beginner trail and perfectly adequate for an intermediate, especially with a rubicon. Moreover, with a 33" tire the loss of power will be much less noticable and a new tire carrier will not be required. Gas mileage will also be less affected, particularly if you choose a lighter tire. A 33" tire can also be done with no lift whatsoever, but if you plan to wheel the extra space would be useful. If you are determined to go with a 35 just know that the power loss will be much more noticeable, and gas mileage will be down.

Good luck! :thumb:
 

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I just finished some trails in Moab with my relatively stock JK Sport, and my bud has a 2009 rubicon. We both had no problem with trails like fins n Things, the Klondike Bluffs trail, etc. Unless you plan on seeking out really hardcore stuff, you don't "need" much more than what you own, believe it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
mudrunner, xpadrex, thanks for your reply,

I don't mind lifting my jeep, but i DO mind changing the gear ratio and the stock capabilities that come with it. I want to customize my jeep for the aesthetic value and keep the stock off road capabilities.

I want to put the biggest tires and the biggest lift on my rubicon for cosmetic purposes, but still want it to be able to handle basic to intermediate mud and rock trails. So I guess the question is

do you think i will be able to fit 35's on my jeep with a 4" lift and not compromise road driveablility and gas mileage?
 

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jeep10000 said:
do you think i will be able to fit 35's on my jeep with a 4" lift and not compromise road driveablility and gas mileage?
Yes, 35s will easily fit with a 4" lift. As i had previously mentioned, 35s will fit on a 2.5" lift. With any lift over 3" it is recommended that you change out your front driveshaft. Additionally, other components such as new control arms are recommended to retain the correct geometry and ride. Hence the reason I recommended a 2.5-3" lift. Lift kits are generally tested and researched significantly, thus a complete kit with all the right parts will not compromise the drivability. But the higher you go, the more parts are needed, and the more it costs. I highly recommend that if you lift your Jeep, you do it right the first time. After upgrading from a budget boost to a full suspension system with coils, shocks, trackbars, etc. the difference between them both on and off the road are significant.
 

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Is your jeep an auto or manual transmission? In terms of gearing, a manual is going to be much better at handling increased tire size.

Either way, going from 32s to 35s with a pre-2012 will absolutely cause a decrease in fuel economy and on road performance. If your present gas mileage concerns you or if you're occasionally frustrated that your jeep seems to lack passing power on the highway and coming off of stoplights, then you should be prepared to have those two problems become more pronounced when you add 35s and 3" of lift.

As noted above, whether those changes are unacceptable to you is a matter of preference. But you need to be honest with yourself about the changes you're going to experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
mudrunner, i found this thread, this guy has a oem driveshaft and lifted his jeep more than 3 inches
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/wh...hen-you-put-a-3-lift-on-your-jeep-165097.html

mth, thanks for the reply!
my thoughts are this:anyone that gets a jeep does not have fuel economy first and foremost on their mind. its not a deal breaker for me. my jeep is an automatic. when my lease is up in 2014, i will be faced with the decision of buying a fully loaded 2011 rubicon or i was thinking of ordering the basic 2014 model and modifying it from there. cost is definitely a factor for me there. my jeep now will cost less than 20000 to buy and pricing jeeps on the website right now you cant build a wrangler for less than about 25000. thoughts?
 

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mudrunner, i found this thread, this guy has a oem driveshaft and lifted his jeep more than 3 inches
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/wh...hen-you-put-a-3-lift-on-your-jeep-165097.html

mth, thanks for the reply!
my thoughts are this:anyone that gets a jeep does not have fuel economy first and foremost on their mind. its not a deal breaker for me. my jeep is an automatic. when my lease is up in 2014, i will be faced with the decision of buying a fully loaded 2011 rubicon or i was thinking of ordering the basic 2014 model and modifying it from there. cost is definitely a factor for me there. my jeep now will cost less than 20000 to buy and pricing jeeps on the website right now you cant build a wrangler for less than about 25000. thoughts?
With 3" of lift, your driveshafts will likely EVENTUALLY have to be replaced. Not immediately. But eventually it'll likely catch up to you. That would be my expectation anyway. If you make it all the way until you resell to somebody else, then I'd consider that a bonus--but I'd expect to have to replace them before that time.

Whether you go with an older Rubi or a new Sport is a typical question many folks have to consider. There are a number of threads here every few weeks asking that question or something similar. There's no "right" answer. For me personally, any pre-2012 auto transmission would have to be regeared . . . even on stock tires. So going to 35s is out of the question for me without a regearing in a pre-2012. I'd want 5.13s or even 5.38s in there.

So, if it were me, I'd need to de facto add another ~$1500 or so to the sale price of the current jeep. That'll bring it closer to the price of the new Sport. The 2012s and beyond, whether manual or auto and especially if equipped with the 3.73 gears (Sport, Sahara, or Rubi) or 4.10 gears (Rubis only) are much better at handling 35s. Provided you at least bump up to the 3.73 gears in a 2012+, you probably won't feel the desperate need to regear for 35s that I know I would on a pre-2012 auto transmission.

I think the right choice comes down to a realistic evaluation of your needs. In 4L, the pre-2012s will have plenty of power to turn 35s. So if your goal is the best offroad performance for the least amount of money, a used pre-2012 Rubi is going to be a "wiser" choice than a 2012+ Sport almost every time.

But if your goal is onroad performance and the occasional basic trail, then there's no reason a 2012+ Sport wouldn't be more than adequate for your offroad needs and would also be better on the road than a pre-2012 Rubi.

Only you know what's best for you.

If I was in the market today with a limited budget, for the same money I'd pick a new Sport over a pre-2012 Rubi. The Rubi's extra offroad goodies are great, but I wouldn't use them as much as I'd use the added onroad performance. And offroading mods are generally easy to add over time.
 

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Buy your loaded Rubicon, unless there is something wrong you do not want to deal with, then give it back to dealer

Sj
 

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Honestly i'd be hesitant to lift a Jeep if I did the bulk of my driving in NYC, you can probably do a lot fo the pine barrens stock, and I don't imagine parking a lifted jeep with big tires is easy in the city and I wouldn't be surprised if you got parking tickets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i like the idea of replacing the fenders, i looked at smittybilt xrc fenders and also the body armor, the body armor has a much tougher look and seems to give you the most flex
 

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That's fine and in line with the general advice offered around here.

Assuming you've handled the backspacing on the wheels (i.e., have new wheels with less backspacing or have put spacers behind your stock wheels), you can get 35s under there with no mods. You'll hit your fenders and pinch seam when you flex offroad though.

So you can trim (or replace) your fenders and trim the pinch seam. Done.

That gets you 35s, though it doesn't give you the added underbody clearance you'd get from a lift. So the next option is to lift, at which point the sky's the limit in terms of cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mth ive been reading more about the gear ratio in different jeep models and years. i do believe my 2011 2 door rubicon has a 4.10 gear ratio. ive read some stories online of people running 37 inch tires with a lift but without regearing. there seem to be some minor issues people have with road driving: speedomoter reading and gas mileage.
seems the 4.10 gear ratio in rubicons can handle 37s if you lift and remove fenders but you would have to get the speedomoter recalibrated.

thoughts?
 

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I have a stock sport 12 and it laughs at everything it's seen in the pine barrens so far. Just watch out for the puddles. they can be a lot deeper than they look. you'd be fine in the pines with a stock rubi as long as you're not trying to go mudding...which you're not really supposed to be doing in the pines anyway. Of course you can drive through puddles if you have to, but tearing them up shouldn't be the goal...IMO anyway. It's a reserve and shouldn't be torn up. tread lightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
potts, thanks for the reply. if you can pm id like to get to know more about pine barrens without taking up forum space. anyways, i have never been off roading with my jeep yet. i am still learning about it all and i wanted to get a taste for off road and see if i liked it.
 
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