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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to make this a specific discussion as opposed to the millions of "what lift and tires should I get" threads.

I'll start it, looking for others to add to it.

By leveling kit, I mean a spacer lift that puts a puck between the coil spring and the mount, reusing the stock springs and shocks, and that gives a little more boost to the front than the rear to even out the factory rake. By 2.5" lift, I mean replacement springs and shocks that are advertised as producing that much lift despite usually providing a little more in real life.

Leveling Kit with 33's

Pros:
Significantly cheaper
Easier to install
Easier to revert back to stock
Will not require any other components like exhaust spacers or trackbar mounts
Impact on MPG and on road driveability will be less
No need to regear
Can use factory wheels with spacers

Cons:
Less ground clearance
Reduced articulation
Less aggressive appearance

2.5" Lift with 35's:

Pros:
More ground clearance
More articulation
More aggressive appearance
Depending on kit, components will likely be substantially stronger than stock

Cons:
More expensive (more parts included)
Somewhat harder to install
Somewhat harder to revert back to stock
Greater impact on MPG and on road driveability
Requires new wheels
Will likely need to regear if axles are 3.21's
 

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Why would a 2.5" lift require different wheels and a regear? Not saying it isn't common to see those mods done at the same time, but I wouldn't say they were required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why would a 2.5" lift require different wheels and a regear? Not saying it isn't common to see those mods done at the same time, but I wouldn't say they were required.
The lift doesn't require different wheels, but 35" tires will (unless going for pizza cutter). As for gears, 3.21 is bad enough stock, can't imagine it with 35's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you like 35's get them. I was kicking myself in the butt after a few months with 285/70/17's.
If you have 3.21, you'll also want to regear especially if you have a 6spd. Small inclines on the highway sucks. Off-roading sucks too.
I was trying to make the thread more generic so it will be relevant to everyone not just me.

I have a JKUHR with 6 speed and 4.10"s. But yeah, I'm torn. LK and 33's would be much cheaper and easier even though I know I want the 2.5 and 35's. I guess I could do the former and keep it that way until the 33's wear out and then do the lift and 35's and sell the leveling kit and wheel spacers. That's actually the direction I'm leaning.
 

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I get that the wheels/tires and regear normally go hand in hand, (this isn't the thread for that argument), but like I said; neither are required with a lift. Might look goofy I suppose, but not required.

EDIT: My apologies, I was ignoring that the OP was looking at two specific tire sizes instead of just the different types of lifts. For 35's I definitely agree that a different wheel and regear is optimal if you don't like the pizza cutter look, and already have numerically low gears (3.21s).
 

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And an option right smack in the middle is a 2.5" budget boost, wheel spacers and 35's.

A good option especially if your JKUHR has the higher spring rates from the factory.
 

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Pros and cons to both as have been pointed out. I went with 33s and the LK. For my needs and what I am doing with my jeep it will be plenty. Yes I take it off road and have actually completed most all of trail 25 at redbird SRA in indiana. Love my setup. Everyone has a "lifted" jeep and I am sure they all have their reasons for doing why they did. My opinion.. Wheel your jeep totally stock wherever you plan to wheel it most of the time then decide is a LK right for me or do I need high clearance and bigger tires.
 

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I've done/had both and if you like and want the 35's, go there from the start, I was lucky and able to sell some of my stuff to pay for the upgrade, but I still lost some money during the process. you can use spacers and stock wheels to run the 35's, which saves some money in the budget.
 

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Shouldn't the answer be based more on what sort of driving profiles you are using? Purely off-road, or like most of us, 85% on road?
 

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Off roading or not it really comes down to this, when you walk away from your Jeep and look back (we all do) does it put a smile on your face?...Mine does and I run a beefy 33 but mine is also a 2 door and imo 33's look great on a 2 door, but a 4 door again imo looks better with 35's. The much longer wheel base of the JKU can make 33's look a bit small.

So op if you are already thinking that you would prefer 35's then it's best that you get them right off or you will be looking back while walking away and wishing you had. With 4.10 gears there would be no hurry for you to re-gear and like stated above a 2.5 budget boost and you're golden or run a leveling kit and go to flat fenders that will work quite well too.

I've run the Teraflex spacer leveling kit for over 2.5 years without any issues and it has performed just fine for me off road so don't let a spacer lift put you off as you already have a quality spring and you could also run a longer shock such as the Rancho RS9000xl's to regain any lost articulation.
 

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Off roading or not it really comes down to this, when you walk away from your Jeep and look back (we all do) does it put a smile on your face?....
^ exactly
 

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That's interesting. Mine came with 18/60 springs.
That's what mine came with also.

I put a RC budget boost and wheel spacers on right away. Gives it just enough attitude over stock. I've wheeled it a little bit and have about 13k miles on it now. No issues.

My plan is to run the stock tires down, then try to find something in the 34 x 11 ish range on stock wheels. Or up to 35's depending on weight.

I think it'll be a good dual purpose set up
 

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I went 35 with no lift, flat fenders. Next set is going to be a 37. I couldnt do it this time around because I needed gears and atleast 2.5 inches of lift.

When I see my jeep it does look good and I do get compliments but I wish they were 37's. Whatever you get, you will feel the same. You will wish you got bigger.
 
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