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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a 98 tj, father-son project, it has a 4cyl. He wants to lift a little and put on 33x12x50 but I want some info on the problems we are going to go through. I have read alot of posts and they have said alot of different things about this. Not going rock crawling just street mostly, what do I need to do?
 

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Regearing for the correct tire size would be very helpful. I have a 4 cyl with 31s and it definitely struggles to move the jeep up steep hills.
 

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You're jeep is gonna slow down a bit. Nothing to drastic. I think for your purposes, re gearing would be overkill. If it's just a little off road, and mainly street don't worry to much.

Secondly, you could also consider 33x10.5 inch tires.
 

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Contrary to what they've told you above, regearing is most necessary on-road. The power on road is what gives you the ability to pass, accelerate pulling onto the highway and generally be able to keep up with traffic.

For 33's with the 4-cyl, you'll want 4.88s if it's a manual.
 

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Remembering my high school days (granted i had a '76 Trans Am with a 400) you might want to add the tires/lift and then leave it alone. Sometimes slow and powerless is a good thing....(from my experience as both a fireman and ER nurse.)
 

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Contrary to what they've told you above, regearing is most necessary on-road. The power on road is what gives you the ability to pass, accelerate pulling onto the highway and generally be able to keep up with traffic.

For 33's with the 4-cyl, you'll want 4.88s if it's a manual.
Agreed. My 4.0 has 33's and off-road I have no trouble since its all slow driving and mostly in 4lo, but at highway speeds I wish I had 4.10's (or numerically higher) instead of 3.73's...
 

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Agreed. My 4.0 has 33's and off-road I have no trouble since its all slow driving and mostly in 4lo, but at highway speeds I wish I had 4.10's (or numerically higher) instead of 3.73's...
You would be happier with 4.56 gearing instead of 4.10's.;)
 

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Contrary to what they've told you above, regearing is most necessary on-road. The power on road is what gives you the ability to pass, accelerate pulling onto the highway and generally be able to keep up with traffic.

For 33's with the 4-cyl, you'll want 4.88s if it's a manual.
+1. On road is where you want gears moreso than wheeling. I'd go 4.88.
 

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I just went from P215s to 31s... I can still use 5th gear but it certainly doesn't have the umph that it did. I'd expect that if a person goes to 33s you can probably forget about using 5th until you change out those stock 4:10s. I'm not planning to go to 33s... I'm very happy with the 31s for what I do. However, I am planning to eventually drop in some 4:56s in the not-so-distant future.
 

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I have a 94 TJ, 4 cyl and 5 speed...was running 31'x10.5 on it on MOAB (rubicon stock) rims...and that engine could barely get it up to highway speed going downhill. Off road it was great, but for highway driving, forget it. So I switched to 15 x 8 steel rims and new less aggressive tires that aren't as wide...and now it has some zip and gitupandgo...but still very rare to get it into 5th gear. Going with 33's? Not if he wants to go anywhere and get up to 55! The only way you are going to do it, as said above, is regear...and then you can lose all the advantage offroad.
Can't have it both ways with a 4 banger...highway driving OR big tires...one way only.
 

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4.88 gearing and 33s will make the Jeep pretty much feel like stock again when driving around, power-wise. It's a great combination for the 2.5L. Also, the speedometer will read correct.


Stock 4.10 gears and 33s were ok IMO when I had that setup, as long as the road was flat. But where I live there are a lot of hills, and commuting over a mountain pass made me do the re-gear ASAP. With the 4.10s, 5th gear was pretty much useless also.
 

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I've got 29 in super swampers. Still look mean but I didn't have to re gear and still cruise along pretty well
 

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I have a 97 tj with a 4 banger and 33x12.5x15s and I didn't notice any different between 33s and 31s I get up to 75 on the highway without a problem.
 

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Definitely go with 4.88 gears with the 33" tires and a four cylinder. I'm glad I didn't go with the 4.56 gears when I changed mine out.

Speaking of 33" tires; a 285/75/16" tire is a very common size, and is a 33" x 11.5" tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info!! Where is the best place to get the 4.88 gears? I guess I would need the same for the front?
 

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Would you suggest the 4.88 with an auto 4cyl (I know...double wammy :( but it was a steal so i took it)

I'm plannin on doin a 4" lift with 33x13.50...
 

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Sometimes it is cheaper to buy a 6 cyl than it is to try to get a 2.5 to run even half as nice as a 6 cyl. My 99 is 4 cyl. auto and it would barely move with 265 75 15's on it. I dropped down to 235's and it made a huge difference. I can't imagine a 4 cyl. auto with tires bigger then the
265's I had. A lot of it depends on how mechanically inclined you are. If you can do the re gearing your self you can go for it but by the time you pay somebody to do the work you could probably buy a 6 cyl. jeep.
With my 265's my jeep would only be pulling about 1800 RPM at 55 mph. It would just lug the engine and if I came to a slight grade in the road I would start going backwards, and forget about trying to pass anybody.
 

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Thanks for the info!! Where is the best place to get the 4.88 gears? I guess I would need the same for the front?

Yes, you need the same gear ratio front and rear. Unless you're experienced with changing gears (ring-and-pinions) you're best bet is to have a shop install them - preferably a shop that specializes in 4WDs. Many shops won't install gears unless you buy them from their shop - but talk to them. Definitely shop around because changing out gears is not cheap; just a front and rear changeover (parts and labor) can easily cost between $1000 and $1500. But changing gears is your best bet for compensating for larger tires. And while you're at it, you should discuss with the shop options such as lockers or limited slips.
 

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I disagree. Is this jeep gonna see a lot of highway time? If the jeep is gonna be a city jeep with some weekend wheeling, it's overkill. I guess if you've got the cash, then do it.
 

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I have 33s on my SE. Works fine. I hit 65 on the speedo (75ish corrected) with no problem. Just need to learn how to drive it.
 
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