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I have a 97 Wrangler 4.0. & I run 35inch tires. When I go up hills it bogs down.
Do I need different gears? I have been told I do, but to switch out the gears it
would run me $1800 to $2000. Are they right? or is there another less expensive
way to go.

Thank you,
Gene
 

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They are right...the only way to really solve your problem is to regear, change your tire size to something smaller, or do a motor swap (or other major motor mod). Regearing can vary in price, you just have to shop around to see what you can find. For example, my regearing cost 900 out the door when others had to pay 1500 or more. It all comes down to your location and the mechanic.
 

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Also before you spend that amount, if your still running a rear dana 35, consider upgrading it.
 

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Yes - you need your gear ratios to correspond to tire size, so if your tires got bigger and your gears didn't change...they need to. No way around it - if you want to play with big tires, this is part of the program.
 

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I have a 97 Wrangler 4.0. & I run 35inch tires. When I go up hills it bogs down.
Do I need different gears? I have been told I do, but to switch out the gears it
would run me $1800 to $2000. Are they right? or is there another less expensive
way to go.

Thank you,
Gene
New gears should only cost $1100-1200 or so to install for both axles, all parts and labor included. My last regearing job cost me under $1100. or 35" tires and 5-speed manual transmission, you definitely want 4.88 gears in both axles. 4.56 is not quite enough gear for 35" tires, 4.88 is.

BUT... what rear axle do you have? The standard rear axle is a Dana 35c and it's not quite strong enough for 35" tires if you are geared properly (like to 4.88) since the right gearing allows/helps the engine to develop more power which places greater strain on the rear axle, sometimes enough to snap an axle shaft. With factory gearing, the engine can't develop enough power when big tires are installed for that to be an issue but it can be once you regear to the right ratio.

So if you have the Dana 35c rear axle, see photos below to know what you have, I'd swap the 35" tires and go with 33" tire where 4.56 would be the right ratio.

If you got lucky and your TJ has the optional stronger Dana 44 rear axle, keep the 35" tires and regear to 4.88.

Basically the Dana 35c has a perfectly oval cover and its lubricant fill hole cover has a black plastic cap snapped into it.

The stronger Dana 44 cover is more angular shaped and has a threaded steel plug screwed into its lubricant fill hole.
 

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