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Hey fellow Jeepers!

Considering upgrading my 2010 JK from 33" KO2s to 35" KO2s. I have a 2 1/2" spacer lift, with Bilstein shocks. What are the pros and cons of upgrading? Sure there's price of the tires, but what about need to replace control arms, and other suspension parts, etc. I use my Rubicon for every type of off-roading, but mainly highway.

Thanks!
Keep on Jeepin'!
 

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there are very few places you probably will go offroad that a 33" will limit you vs a 35". You might have to take a better line. On road a 33"s is going to feel better especially with a 3.8L. 35's look better tho.
 

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The biggest down side will be the change in gearing that bigger tires brings. Unless you re-gear to compensate for it the bigger tires will make your Jeep slower and less powerful. How bad would depend in part on what gearing you have to begin with.
Other downsides are, worse fuel mileage, heavier tires are hard on the suspension and steering wear items, and the increased cost of the tires.
The upsides are obvious, and I do like bigger tires. But if you aren't really needing bigger tires and it is just a "want", you need to decide if they are worth the additional expense, in re-gearing or loss of performance, in increased wear, and in the higher cost of the tires themselves.

Have you done anything to correct your caster with the current lift? If not, you may find that larger tires makes a borderline amount of caster insufficient. If you don't already have them, you may need geometry brackets or longer / adjustable lower front control arms. Most spacer lifts don't have any caster correction. Also, if you aren't running the additional bump stops the kit likely included you will probably need to add them.
 

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35s on a Rubicon with a 2.5 lift should fit. On Hwy the 4.10 gears will be ok, but you will notice some performance reduction. Off road with the 4.10 transfer case, 35s will do just fine. Don't think you'll have to change anything on the suspension if you don't want to. Just check the bump stop and tire clearance at full flex.
 

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You'll loose a little fuel mileage, but it's not like you're driving a Prius. 2.5" lift with 35's is perfect, in my opinion. I have springs just delivered to give me the 2.5" (currently at 1.5") with my 295-70 (a bit over 34" actual). With a lot of articulation, you will rub the fender, but this can be reduced by cutting the lip of the fender near the middle of where the tire will be and the support inside the driver side. I've done this as I otherwise do rub at full articulation with 1.5" lift.
 

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there are very few places you probably will go offroad that a 33" will limit you vs a 35". You might have to take a better line. On road a 33"s is going to feel better especially with a 3.8L. 35's look better tho.
Usually I agree with jadmt. He is right that 33s will limit you only in very few places on the trail. But I have to disagree about the look - I think Jeeps with big tires and limited clearance look odd.

I like the look of 285/75R17 (nominal 34 but 33 on the Jeep) with my 4 1/2 inches of lift.

The big lift requires lots of other changes, but it sounds like for you 33s wouldn't change much. I run 4.56 gears because I like the gearing skewed towards crawling.

So 33s and re-gear if your Jeep feels to you like it needs it would work.

Here are 33s on 4 1/2 inches of lift with flat fenders.....I love it and am constantly being asked what lift and tires I have.
 

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I'm going to throw out a somewhat contrarian point of view. First of all, it kinda depends on whether you're talking about a JK or a JKU. Sorta

If you're just solving for "looks" (which let's be honest, is mostly the case most of the time) I personally think 33's look perfect on a JK and 35's look perfect on a JKU. I'm with @jadmt in there being very little difference between a 33 and a 35 in terms of limiting where you can go. And unlike @ExPatWillys, I personally don't care for the "big lift small tire" look with a huge gap between the fender and the tire. But thats the great thing about Jeeps - we all get to have it the way each of us prefers. :)

Here's a cautionary tale:

I have a '17 JKUR. I bought it used (from a Jeep dealer) with 15k miles with the original 32" stock KM2 tires and on the same day bought new takeoff wheels and 33" BFG KO2s from a JLUR. I really liked the look, and would have been completely satisfied with the performance, off-road ability, etc and looks.

But then realized after a couple of days of driving and a camping trip about 100 miles away that it seemed to be geared really high. I measured rotations and son of a gun, realized that the PO had re-geared it to 4.88 which made the 285 tires feel too small (I don't like driving on the freeway running 3,500 rpms!). Humbling moment for a guy who likes to pride himself in being knowledgeable about cars...

So on went a set of 315's (what most people will call 35's but they are a bit shy of that). Even better look, but now the chain of cascading consequences starts to hit...

  • Buying new wheels with less backspace
  • Flipping sway bar end link bolts so that they didn't interfere with tires
  • Fiddling with LCAs to reduce rubbing at full lock turns
  • Backing the steering stops all the way out to reduce turning radius
  • Replacing fenders to avoid having them torn off at full flex
  • replacing fenders necessitated replacing fender liners
  • Install Terraflex brake line anchors to keep the brake lines from rubbing the much wider tires
  • Synergy tie rod, drag link, and sector shaft brace kits
  • Longer bump stops to prevent taller tires from causing problems
  • grab handles so my 5' wife can get into the Jeep
  • and so on...

I'm not saying that none of these things would have been good (or possibly needed) running 285's but they are certainly more necessary when running 35's.

Honestly if my Jeep didn't have 4.88 gears when I bought it, I would be very happy to be rolling on 33's. Everything about it would be less complicated and less expensive and there'd be no appreciable difference in performance.

But it does look cool on the 35's...

OEM wheels & tires (32")



33" on JLUR wheels:



315's on Q-Tec Hardrock wheels (and with MCE front fenders):

 
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Something else you might consider. I am for when I wear out my current 295's. 35x10. You're going to be super limited in who makes them, but just want to throw it out there. Kenda is probably best known on this forum for this size. I did some looking around because the Kenda is nowhere near aggressive enough for my offroading and I found some Super Swampers that'll work. Having 2 1/2 inches less of width will reduce the weight and frontal area of the tire, so on road, theoretically, you'd get better mileage. It'll be a while before I get a set as my JKU is a third vehicle and unless I'm plowing snow in the winter or heading to trails in the non-winter, it mostly sits on my lift doing nothing.
 
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