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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, So after a couple hours of searching... I have come up with no definitive answer. I see threads full of opinions, but no facts.

Here's the setup...
I have a 2001 TJ Wrangler Sahara.
4.0 and 5-speed manual.
It has a 4" rough country suspension lift.
I'm running BFG 31x10.50-15's.
I'm pretty sure I have the D30 in front and The D35 in rear (the rear tag is missing, so I will have to count revolutions to be sure of the ratio.)

Time for tires has come and I want to go bigger to fill out the wheel wells. I need to know what I will have to do to:
1) Run 33's
or
2) Run 35's

I assume I will need to re-gear both front and rear to the same ratio. I also assume with 35's I will have to get chromoly axle shafts.

I'm looking for minimum wheel width with both sizes and what gear ratios go with what size tires. If there are multiple choices for ratios, what are the benefits of each one? (fuel mileage vs power/acceleration)

Personal experience and opinions are appreciated, but please throw as many facts in as you can.
 

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I think there are a lot of facts in every one of the threads regarding this topic, it's just that the facts don't support what people want to do for the money they are willing to spend. The problem is that most people compromise in a big way when it comes to tires and gearing, the same way they do with "lift kits".

How good are you at physics math and basic rates/ratios? The facts are mathematical in nature and are not easily discredited by anyone who understands it. It's the folks who have to justify their purchases that convolute the issue here.

So ask yourself this: Do you want the answer with zero compromise, minimal compromise, a fair amount of compromise, or the one that fits what you want to do?

Edit: If you have the D35 I wouldn't trust it for anything bigger than 33" unless you're building a street "look" rig, and even then I'd be wary. If you plan on 35's a better axle would be in order.
 

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For 33's your gonna want to regear to 4.56. Which is about the most that people will say with a locker that the 35 will handle. Can upgrade to the super 35 kit also

For 35's you want 4.88's but to properly run 35's you really need to upgrade your brakes and steering also. Most people will probably say dont waste time on the dana 35 if your gonna run 35's and step up to a 44 or an 8.8. You will be fine with the 30 up front.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The facts are mathematical in nature and are not easily discredited by anyone who understands it. It's the folks who have to justify their purchases that convolute the issue here.
Most people will probably say dont waste time on the dana 35 if your gonna run 35's and step up to a 44 or an 8.8. You will be fine with the 30 up front.
Thanks for the honesty! That's exactly what I'm looking for. I re-checked and found I have 3.07 ratios front and rear.
So to be reliable, I pretty much need a dana 44 rear axle, and lower ratio ring and pinions for both. Anything less is gonna be questionable. Is that pretty much the general idea?
 

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What kind of budget are you working with and how much of the work are you capable of or comfortable with doing yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What kind of budget are you working with and how much of the work are you capable of or comfortable with doing yourself?
Well, I was looking to spend about $1,500 including tires. But now, I realize I will have to spend a bit more.
I had also planned to do a slip yoke eliminator kit and rear double cardan driveshaft that I was going to have someone install for me. So I may just have them do all the work.
Right now, I am trying to see what work needs to be done. Then, depending on cost, I may have to do it in sections.
 

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I get it. I personally decided to get a set of 31" tires until I can afford to do the gearing/lockers/shafts front/rear to deal with 33". I'm running 3.73 gears with a d44 rear d30 front and a 42rle trans. I realize that I'm in the minority with my approach to this but I would rather run 31's and accept the limits than run 33's and suffer the consequences of a poorly set up rig. I'm getting new arms, an anti-rock, a body lift, Novak t-case cable, SYE, driveshaft, underarmor skid, MML, etc., before I do anything to the axles. When I do the axles I'm doing them together with selectable lockers and onboard air so I've got plenty of time to get my mileage out of my 31's. It works for me for now.

3.07's aren't going to be good for anything, though I've read people here running 33's on them. Figure out whether you want to run 33" or 35" tires and build accordingly within your budget. You will be happier if you do it that way. Good luck with whichever way you go.
 

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Get yourself a book by Jim Allen, it called Jeep 4X4 Performance Handbook 2nd edition. He puts together the math tables for all things necessary to calculate for a drive train. Very informative and no bull.
 

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Where did you find your gear ratio? I was under the impression the Sahara's had Dana 44 rear axles and 3.73 gears.
 

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Where did you find your gear ratio? I was under the impression the Sahara's had Dana 44 rear axles and 3.73 gears.
My Sahara has a Dana 35 and 3.73. It was on a tag on the diff cover but I threw it away. It's also on my window sticker. :)
 

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I was just wondering because he said the rear tag was missing from his dif, maybe checked the front dif tag. I guess now I know Sahara's came with D35's.
 

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I was just wondering because he said the rear tag was missing from his dif, maybe checked the front dif tag. I guess now I know Sahara's came with D35's.
Unless it was a special order i believe the only ones to come with the 44 is the Rubi and the Unlimited. Dont hold me too it
 

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Only automatically on rubi and unlimited and a couple other special packages but an option you could order on at least sport and Sarah and maybe even the X

I knows 98 sport build sheet included the D44 in the back
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bskank, I looked again and found the tag under a couple layers of mud. Ha ha.

I found a Dana 44 locally off a 99–04 grand Cherokee. I know they are completely different from a Wrangler, but does anyone know if it would how much work it would be to drop it in?

Also, if it will work, what is a ballpark price for one of these?
 

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axles

You'll want to stay away from that "dana44" in the grand Cherokee. There an alum housing unit, weak, not the same as one found in tj's.
I couldn't imagine running 33's on 3.07's but my 00' sahara 4.0/5sp has 3.73's and its fine, Dana 30/35 and I am getting 17-21mpg (calculated using GPS)
I do however plan to upgrade to most likely, a d44 in the rear and a hp30 up front geared at 4.56 and selectable lockers.
I plan to peice it all together And as always do the work myself
 

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Maybe Craigslist too. I watch it for axles and stuff all the time here and some already built stuff has been parted out relatively cheaply fairly regularly.
 
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