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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys (and gals), I'm just looking of some advice on what I should do to my 1999 Jeep TJ SE 2.5. I would like to have an aggressive look with larger tires. I have $1,600 to spend. Any recommendations? What do you think my top 5 upgrades should be?
 

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I would recommend the zone combo lift ($550) and 33" tires (700-1000 depending on brand) and wheels if you are still using stock ones. This is a good place to start for any jeep, regardless of engine.
 

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Zone makes shitty lifts...yep, I said it.
please elaborate? It seems like everyone else on here has had success with the zone 4.25" combo
 

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I'm curious on the zone hater. Not because I have any argument but because I haven't heard anything bad and was interested in their combo with an adjustable front track-bar for my future lift

But to answer the op, you want to check your axle gearing. Especially with a 2.5, you will notice a lot of power loss as you lift with bigger tires. I'm not saying it's a bad idea because some run 35s no problem but you need to have the proper gearing. If you let us know what gearing you have (usually stamped on the back differential cover I believe) we can help you figure out your best options.
 

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I'm curious on the zone hater. Not because I have any argument but because I haven't heard anything bad and was interested in their combo with an adjustable front track-bar for my future lift But to answer the op, you want to check your axle gearing. Especially with a 2.5, you will notice a lot of power loss as you lift with bigger tires. I'm not saying it's a bad idea because some run 35s no problem but you need to have the proper gearing. If you let us know what gearing you have (usually stamped on the back differential cover I believe) we can help you figure out your best options.
If he has the manual then it's 4.10 gears. Tolerable with 33's

If it's an automatic (which id be surprised if he does. I've never seen one with the automatic) then I would not recommend 33's at all. The 2.5 auto combination was so underpowered that Chrysler recommended not ordering one with AC because it made it undrivable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sadly, I've got the 2.5 auto. When I bought it there were 31s on it, and it felt really weak. As much as I hated doing it, I got smaller all season tires due to it being my DD. I wish I had gone for the 4.0... :(
 

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With the auto I definitely would not recommend 33's I would give caution about 31's. Sorry, but you've got a tough life ahead of you if you want that jeep to have big tires. Even if you regeared to 4.88, the lowest you can go with your stock axles, I wouldn't recommend anything much bigger than 31's. Maybe 32's.
 

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I would recommend the zone combo lift ($550) and 33" tires (700-1000 depending on brand) and wheels if you are still using stock ones. This is a good place to start for any jeep, regardless of engine.
I agree with this. I have been very happy with the Zone Combo and 33" on my '99 SE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With the auto I definitely would not recommend 33's I would give caution about 31's. Sorry, but you've got a tough life ahead of you if you want that jeep to have big tires. Even if you regeared to 4.88, the lowest you can go with your stock axles, I wouldn't recommend anything much bigger than 31's. Maybe 32's.
It is perfect for what I need now, and I will gradually try to make this Jeep as nice as I can. That way, when I want a 4.0, I can sell it and use the money towards something better for me.
 

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It is perfect for what I need now, and I will gradually try to make this Jeep as nice as I can. That way, when I want a 4.0, I can sell it and use the money towards something better for me.
There's nothing wrong with the jeep you have now. It just won't ever look as big as other jeeps. Doesn't mean it won't be as capable though.

Absolutely nothing wrong with a 2inch quality lift and 31's. With that size tire you can lock the 35 rear without any issues like most people with 33's run into. You can turn the jeep you have now into a quality jeep that can outperform people with 33's and no lockers. Also, 31" tires cost significantly less so that's more money saved there. If you like the jeep you have now then just build it right.

My ideal build in your situation:
2" bds suspension lift
31" duratracs
Winch
Any armor you might want
Arb selectable lockers front and rear
Tummy tuck.
Regear to 4.88

With top being most important and bottom being least important. With out regearing, highway performance will suffer drastically but off road performance losses will be negligible.
I'd also recommend any armor be aluminum to reduce weight.
 

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There's nothing wrong with the jeep you have now. It just won't ever look as big as other jeeps. Doesn't mean it won't be as capable though. Absolutely nothing wrong with a 2inch quality lift and 31's. With that size tire you can lock the 35 rear without any issues like most people with 33's run into. You can turn the jeep you have now into a quality jeep that can outperform people with 33's and no lockers. Also, 31" tires cost significantly less so that's more money saved there. If you like the jeep you have now then just build it right. My ideal build in your situation: 2" bds suspension lift 31" duratracs Winch Any armor you might want Arb selectable lockers front and rear Tummy tuck. Regear to 4.88 With top being most important and bottom being least important. With out regearing, highway performance will suffer drastically but off road performance losses will be negligible. I'd also recommend any armor be aluminum to reduce weight.
How much would it cost to regear to 4.88?
 

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Re-gearing typically cost about $1200 total for parts and labor.
 

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Yep, average is 1200. Sometimes you can find a place that will do it for cheaper though so call a get a quote from every shop within an hour drive if you are going to get it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you Stubbs for giving me honest info and not simply disregarding any type of build due to it being a 2.5 auto. You would recommend the DuraTracs, though? I have aftermarket 16" wheels so I'd have to go with a P265/70R/16 size to keep it around 31" diameter.
 

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Thank you Stubbs for giving me honest info and not simply disregarding any type of build due to it being a 2.5 auto. You would recommend the DuraTracs, though? I have aftermarket 16" wheels so I'd have to go with a P265/70R/16 size to keep it around 31" diameter.
I would definitely recommend the duratracs, in whatever size you need them in. They aren't the cheapest but they aren't the most expensive either. They are worth every penny though.

If you REALLY want 33's you could change out both axles so you could have lower gears than 4.88, but in my opinion I'm not sure it would be worth the money.

Automatics are usually better for off-roading then manuals anyway so the automatic is no real hinderence offroad, only on-road.

I feel like you could turn this into a very capable rig as long as you limit yourself to 31" tires.

I've personally been considering going back down to 31" tires on my 2.5 manual so I can lock the rear without having to upgrade my axle and also it will eliminate my need to regear. Most of the trails I do I don't need 33's for anyway. But I'm young and thought they looked good. Haha more money than brains right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would definitely recommend the duratracs, in whatever size you need them in. They aren't the cheapest but they aren't the most expensive either. They are worth every penny though.

If you REALLY want 33's you could change out both axles so you could have lower gears than 4.88, but in my opinion I'm not sure it would be worth the money.

Automatics are usually better for off-roading then manuals anyway so the automatic is no real hinderence offroad, only on-road.

I feel like you could turn this into a very capable rig as long as you limit yourself to 31" tires.

I've personally been considering going back down to 31" tires on my 2.5 manual so I can lock the rear without having to upgrade my axle and also it will eliminate my need to regear. Most of the trails I do I don't need 33's for anyway. But I'm young and thought they looked good. Haha more money than brains right now.
Haha right now I feel like its more brains than money for me :rofl: And the 265 duratracs end up being around 30.7" diameter. so I'd end up being just below the 31" mark. Any lift kits for my rig that you'd recommend? Or just the BDS?
 

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If you're thinking of selling this jeep in the near future I would be careful about spending too much on it. You don't get much return on your money. A lift, new tires, and re-gearing both axles will run you at least $3k and you would be lucky to get $1k back out of that. And that would be mainly because the big tires looked cool!
 

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you might look at the 245 75R16 load range C tire it is a little lighter and narrower than the 265, which will make your onroad performance that much better. There may be other tires that offer lighter weight than the duratracs also. You don't have much power to waste with that 2.5 and auto so think lightweight when you consider other add-ons also, you have a nice light rig now so play to its strengths.
 
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