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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm quite new to owning a Jeep and I'm not completely familiar with some things so I thought I would ask you guys. I'm currently 16 years old and have a few months until I'm able to drive it. The 1997 Jeep Wrangler I have has all of its stock parts still on it, and I'm wondering if I would be able to squeeze 33" tires on there with no lift. I will be getting a 3" lift or so on it a short time after I would be getting the wheels, as money is currently one of my problems. I also have some other question regarding the wheel size, tire size, and tire type. I've looked into some of this and think that AT tires are the tires that would suite me the best because I would go off-roading occasionally but will be using it as my main way of transportation. I don't know how I should choose the wheel size with a 33" tire. Also, I wouldn't know if I would want to buy the wheel and tire together, or where I would buy a decent tire for a decent price. I'm sorry for throwing all of my questions into one thread but I'm pretty clueless as it may seem. Thank you for your time, Jake.
 

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I'm quite new to owning a Jeep and I'm not completely familiar with some things so I thought I would ask you guys. I'm currently 16 years old and have a few months until I'm able to drive it. The 1997 Jeep Wrangler I have has all of its stock parts still on it, and I'm wondering if I would be able to squeeze 33" tires on there with no lift. I will be getting a 3" lift or so on it a short time after I would be getting the wheels, as money is currently one of my problems. I also have some other question regarding the wheel size, tire size, and tire type. I've looked into some of this and think that AT tires are the tires that would suite me the best because I would go off-roading occasionally but will be using it as my main way of transportation. I don't know how I should choose the wheel size with a 33" tire. Also, I wouldn't know if I would want to buy the wheel and tire together, or where I would buy a decent tire for a decent price. I'm sorry for throwing all of my questions into one thread but I'm pretty clueless as it may seem. Thank you for your time, Jake.
Don't try putting 33's on a stock height Jeep. Get the lift first. The Zone 4.25 combo lift is a great way to go for the $'s and for 33's. Wheels should be 15x8 with back spacing 3.75"-4". You might want to check your stock gear ratio. If it's 3.07, you will for sure, want to budget in a regear. 3.73 isn't great, but it'll get you around.
 

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There is a lot more to it than installing a lift and bigger tires.
Engine 4 cycl vs 6 cyl
Gearing
Transmission

That and being a new driver - Leave it stock for a year, get some driving experience under your belt, save up the money needed to do it right.
Read the forum posts, learn as much as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a lot more to it than installing a lift and bigger tires.
Engine 4 cycl vs 6 cyl
Gearing
Transmission

That and being a new driver - Leave it stock for a year, get some driving experience under your belt, save up the money needed to do it right.
Read the forum posts, learn as much as you can.
The only problem behind behind running it stock for a year is that one of my tires is currently flat. I don't want to buy a new set of tires below 33" and then 6 months later get my lift and then have to buy another set of tires to go with the lift. Can someone also give me a good website where I can get a good deal with wheel and tire combo?
 

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Put the spare on and buy one tire. 33s wont fit the stock height. Take your time, save up for a lift and tires.
 

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The only problem behind behind running it stock for a year is that one of my tires is currently flat. I don't want to buy a new set of tires below 33" and then 6 months later get my lift and then have to buy another set of tires to go with the lift. Can someone also give me a good website where I can get a good deal with wheel and tire combo?
Still haven't filled us in on what you have;
What engine?
What transmission?
What gears?

All these items go hand in hand with putting 33" tires on your your Jeep.
Just trying to be helpful. I'd rather spend $400 on a cheap set of tires now and save my $$ to lift it, gear it and tire it properly a year down the road instead of half-ass'd cheap lift and bigger tires. All will affect the pleasure and drive ability of your Jeep.
 

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Tires and wheels (rims) sold separately, but some places will install the tire onto the rim and balance them.
I assume you are in high school, does your school have a shop class? They will usually work on cars for free, just need to pay for your parts and supplies as needed.
Still advocate for getting four inexpensive or even checking Craigslist for used tires and saving to do your lift and 33 properly down the road.
 

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You really need to tell us more about you and your Jeep. If you live anywhere where there is snow, I would stay with 31s (more importantly 10inch wide). Also, depending on engine, transmission, and gearing 31s are probably a better choice. initial cost 31s are cheaper not to mention you really should not hang a 33 inch spare on your tailgate. If you snap an axle because you are running 33s can you afford to fix it or are you walking until you can save up?

On a stock drive train, tire size will not be the limiting factor off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You really need to tell us more about you and your Jeep. If you live anywhere where there is snow, I would stay with 31s (more importantly 10inch wide). Also, depending on engine, transmission, and gearing 31s are probably a better choice. initial cost 31s are cheaper not to mention you really should not hang a 33 inch spare on your tailgate. If you snap an axle because you are running 33s can you afford to fix it or are you walking until you can save up?

On a stock drive train, tire size will not be the limiting factor off-road.
I live in New Jersey where snow is common in the winter. One of the main reasons I had wanted to get 33's was because it would look nice with the Zone combo lift. I'm still unsure if I would want to run a smaller lift with the 31's that you were talking about. If running a slightly smaller lift with smaller wheels would save a decent amount of money I would choose that route. Also, my jeep is nearly completely stock as a 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport TJ. Thanks for the help
 

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Unless you have deep pockets go with a 2 inch lift and 31's. This will serve you well while you are in school and you can build on it to run 33 later. To be more helpful we need to know your specific model if jeep. IE. Motor and transmission.....
 

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(shotgun answer to comment on several posts ...)

Re: engine and gearing ... he said it's a '97 Sport. I believe (based on research I did when I had a '97 Sport) that he certainly has a 6-cyl (Sport came standard with that, right?) and most likely has the dreaded 3.07 gearing (again, I think that was standard).

Will 33' fit stock ... technically, it will. My parents' neighbor has a '98 Sahara stock running 33's. Personally I think it looks kind of good but he also fully admits that it rubs at the slightest bump. Given that it's his weekend toy to cruise around Ft. Lauderdale in (as opposed to wheeling), it doesn't bother him. I imagine it'd probably bother most everyone else here.

Jake ... things you need to know ...

Assuming I'm right and you have the 6-cyl engine with the 3.07 diffs, you really don't want to go up to 33's until you change the diffs - and that's on the expensive side. I ran 31's on my '97 Sport with the 5-spd and unless I was on a completely flat highway, I never used 5th gear. I can't imagine how miserable it would have been on 33's. Had I kept the Jeep (I moved to an '06 LJ) I'd have changed them out.

The advice to run stock for a while is dead on for you right now. Not what you want to hear but it really is the best advice. For the time being grab a tire for the flat one that is the same size as the other 4, research everything about what you think you might want to do, ask a ton of questions and save up your money. You do it this way, you'll come out with something that shouldn't cause a lot of headaches. You start jumping into things now, you will likely end up more miserable than you want to be.

Finally, if you haven't already, get the frame checked out ASAP. You really don't want to jump into putting a lot of money into lifts, tires, wheels, etc. only to find out that your frame is rotting and likely to snap on you.

Good luck.
 

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i can assure you, you will not enjoy driving a 4000lb vehicle (give or take) on 12.5 inch tires in the winter. The 31s with a 2" lift look great, IMHO, and function well and would be wwaaaaayyyyyyy cheaper. 33s starts a whole new world of gears and slip yoke eliminators and axle shafts. Not saying you can't throw in a 2"BB and throw some 33s on her (that is how I bought my TJ) but it doesn't perform well, can't hardly drive up a hill, wanders all over on the freeway, Scary as hell on ice.

Spend your money on decent 31" tires you will be happy for a while and when you have to much money (think after college) you can drop $10,000 and go to 33s

I love my 31" Goodyear Duratracs
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
(shotgun answer to comment on several posts ...)

Re: engine and gearing ... he said it's a '97 Sport. I believe (based on research I did when I had a '97 Sport) that he certainly has a 6-cyl (Sport came standard with that, right?) and most likely has the dreaded 3.07 gearing (again, I think that was standard).

Will 33' fit stock ... technically, it will. My parents' neighbor has a '98 Sahara stock running 33's. Personally I think it looks kind of good but he also fully admits that it rubs at the slightest bump. Given that it's his weekend toy to cruise around Ft. Lauderdale in (as opposed to wheeling), it doesn't bother him. I imagine it'd probably bother most everyone else here.

Jake ... things you need to know ...

Assuming I'm right and you have the 6-cyl engine with the 3.07 diffs, you really don't want to go up to 33's until you change the diffs - and that's on the expensive side. I ran 31's on my '97 Sport with the 5-spd and unless I was on a completely flat highway, I never used 5th gear. I can't imagine how miserable it would have been on 33's. Had I kept the Jeep (I moved to an '06 LJ) I'd have changed them out.

The advice to run stock for a while is dead on for you right now. Not what you want to hear but it really is the best advice. For the time being grab a tire for the flat one that is the same size as the other 4, research everything about what you think you might want to do, ask a ton of questions and save up your money. You do it this way, you'll come out with something that shouldn't cause a lot of headaches. You start jumping into things now, you will likely end up more miserable than you want to be.

Finally, if you haven't already, get the frame checked out ASAP. You really don't want to jump into putting a lot of money into lifts, tires, wheels, etc. only to find out that your frame is rotting and likely to snap on you.

Good luck.
Thanks for the large and detailed response, it helped a lot. I totally agree with 33's being out of the option (for now). My car shows little rusting on the outside in a few spots (not sure how bad this is).
 

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Thanks for the large and detailed response, it helped a lot. I totally agree with 33's being out of the option (for now). My car shows little rusting on the outside in a few spots (not sure how bad this is).
pics? have you looked at the frame lately to check for rust?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One last question regarding the wheels and the lift, than I will leave everyone alone. So if I were to stick with something like a 2" lift and 31's, is there a specific kind of lift or combo lift that is commonly used that would stay in the lower price range? Also same with the 31's, I just want a money efficient set of AT wheels that is commonly used and good as well. I would again like to thank all of the people who had helped me get some jeep knowledge throughout this thread, Jake
 

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If your Jeep is nearly stock as you said earlier, it almost certainly needs some suspension work anyways. A two inch kit from, pick your favorite manufacturer, that includes shocks will give it a good look, make plenty of room for 31s (they will fit under stock suspension in good condition) and most importantly, it will make it ride and handle better.

I only recommend a kit that includes springs and shocks on the assumption that yours current suspension is probably in need of repair. If it were a stock suspension system that is in good repair, I would lean towards a 1" body lift and a 1" motor mount lift. If you are going to maybe, eventually go towards 33s the body and mm lift would reap benefits.

There's always the Budget boost option but again you will need new shocks but I don't think its cost efficient
 

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I really like the Goodyear Duratracs. Nice aggressive look, good road behavior. Also have had good luck with Cooper ST3 tires but not as aggressive.
 
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