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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone! First off, just want to say I've been coming here for just under a year (per the recommendation of a fellow Wrangler-owner) to do research, and you guys are awesome! I finally mustered the nerve to join and post, but I apologize in advance if my questions are dumb.

I have a '14 JKU that I got last July, and instantly got the "itch" that I'm sure everyone of you have to start modding. Quite incredible really since all I've ever wanted was a Wrangler just to take the top off, and now all of sudden that's not enough. I wonder if that's what crack is like ;)

In any case, I'm looking to put on 315/70/17 DuraTracs, which is where my questions begin. 99% daily driving, but if off roading presented itself sometime I'd probably take it (here in MN, there isn't a TON of space in the metro to do that, but maybe I need to research more). I mostly just like the aggressive look of larger tires/lift, but probably won't put it to "use" very often.

I'd love your points of view on what suspension (and brand) works best for what i'm trying to do. I've heard good things about Rancho and not quite good things about Rough Country, but I obviously have no clue.

I've heard that anywhere from a 2.5-3.50 will accommodate the tire/wheel size without rubbing, however I feel like I read/heard somewhere that I need to be looking into modding exhaust and drive shafts. I have no clue on that.

Also, do I need to do anything with my gears? I keep reading things like 3.21, etc. but I don't know what that means (or what I have on my Sahara and whether I should change it.

Is there anything else that I need (I know "need" is subjective) with these tires to ensure I don't screw something up with my JK?

Any ideas on where I could get this stuff installed (either from folks locally in MN or if there's a national chain)?

Any thoughts on where/how I can sell my current wheels/tires? They only have 8k miles on them, so it would be shame to just toss them in the garage to collect dust. I have them on Craigslist now for $700, but not getting a ton of hits. Am I overpriced?

Thanks so much everyone! Sorry for the dumb questions, just super excited and don't want to f it up.

212 Posts

Welcome to WF (or at least welcome to your first post since you've been around a while)

I can't answer all your questions since there are many more knowledgeable people here than me and I'll let them chime in.

I will address what I can. First, what kind of wheels are you looking to unload? You'll find some are much more desirable than others, e.g. Willys and Rubicon wheels will go quickly but Sport wheels are kinda a hard sell.

Next, I know I'm not in the majority here since a lot of guys will say that you should go big when it comes to tires, but I think 33s for a DD are more than enough.

I just got my '15 JKU and am looking to put a 2" Mopar lift on it with 285/70/17 tires. I did a lot a research and I think for my use that's the sweet spot. There were a number of limiting factors for me (and maybe you too), but it mainly came down to the extra expense of running 35s.

First, you mentioned gear ratio. That refers to the gears in the differentials and the 3.21s are generally despised by all here. I ordered 3.73s which most say can run 35s but I decided to play it safe. I'm not sure what Saharas came with though. Next is the potential issue with suspension if you plan to off road much (35s with a larger lift can play with the suspension geometry some).

Another issue that came into play for was running a 35" spare on the stock carrier. Lots will say it's ok but there are others whose tailgates broke and I couldn't justify the extra $ for a new carrier.

All that said, I did end up getting 17" wheels just in case I decide to make the leap some day :whistling: but for now I'm happy with going with 33s.

Premium Member
554 Posts
Welcome to the forum!

I agree with cosmo on the wheels, I bought 18's from a sahara for $125 on craigslist. I originally had the 17'' from a sport and the only reason they sold was a guy needed tires on his xterra (I threw the rims in to get them out of the garage). Having the extra set isn't a bad idea though especially if your up north and exposed to salt in the winter.

33's are how I started out and it was a DD, it looked great and it didn't require anything more then a 2.5'' Budget lift. I still have that lift and 35's on it now, so I wouldn't think you'd need to go any taller and it'll give you the room for up to 35's. From what ive read everyone is different on the exhaust spacer whether they need it or not, but with a 2.5'' you wont need driveshafts or exhaust spacers.

3.21 is typical gear ratio for JK unless you get a tow package or ask for 3.73 (rubi 4.10). all that says is for one tire rotation the driveshaft spins 3.21 times. If you cut one of the stock tires (don't literally do this) and roll it out, it covers a set distance, For example lets say 4'. So a stock 29'' tire covers 4' of ground on one tire rotation or 3.21 spins of the driveshaft. A 35'' tire rolled out lets say is 5', now your covering more ground but still the driveshaft is only spinning 3.21 times to that rotation. Your going to loose a substantial amount of power and stress other things, tranny, engine etc.. Now unless your driving through hill country it probably wont be very noticeable or even bother you, so id say do the lift and tire setup you want and decide on gearing later. Ive been running on 35's with 3.21 for 3yrs and back and forth to work is fine, but I went to Colorado in January and passing through Amarillo with the wind against me I was in 3rd gear at 50mph pedal to the floor (I pissed off a few folks lol).

On the lift you'll just be looking at springs and a shock setup, some kits come with shock extension brackets. Mine did but I just felt uneasy about it and spent the extra buck to get 4 new shocks. I have the rough country 2.5'' lift and yes its cheap, but its just springs nothing to technical. You'll hear that Rough country springs sag and that is correct they do, but im still running 35's with stock fenders. I only have experience with rough country so I can only advise about them.....DONT BUY IT. Post pics though when you decide!!

Premium Member
7,920 Posts
Welcome to the club....I am kinda new to the club as least for a JK.

Had a "pretty nice" TJ for 11 years and finally decided 3 Jeeps was to many for the amount of wheeling I do.

And since a "Stock" Jk is almost as big as my 11 year old TJ with 180K on it, to me it made sense to "dump" the TJ and invest the cash in the JK.

Again FOR MY USE...33"s were all I ever needed on the TJ for what is available for me. With the stronger motor and better transmission, I knew I wouldn't need to do much to a JK.

I went OME 2.5" SL because it was so good ON and OFF road on the TJ. It is great on the JK. I knew I was going heavy Bumper and winch so I again went with the "Heavy" kit from OME. I didn't change wheels but "upgraded" to the Duratracs in the "stock JK" size, based on my TJ experience with tires.

Yes my mpgs have dropped. That is to be expected that much weight and lift. However no issues with speedometer, no recalibration needed. I did add front sway bar Quick Discos as I knew from experience that makes a big difference. I will see what kind of clearance I have left when wheeling and decide if I NEED bigger tires...I am satisfied for now.

I also have the 3.21's....they are great on the street and highway...I have my reservations as far as "off road"....but haven't had a chance to wheel it yet. Hope this helps?

Bottom line I am Happy!!!

Here are the Pics...... :)


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