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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I wanted to get the forums feedback on improving hwy manners on my JKU. First here is my current set up:

13 JKU Rubi
5-Speed Auto
Stock 3.73 Gears
AEV 2.5" XT Lift
AEV Geo Correction Brackets
Terra Flex Monter Track Bar
Method 17" Wheels
Falken Wildpeak AT 35x12.5x17
AEV Procal - used to set computer to the 35s

I recently moved to Boise, ID from Las Vegas and have been wanting to use my Wrangler as more of an Overland type vehicle since moving here. There are a ton of weekend destinations that are 1-8 hour trips from here such as Yellow Stone, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Tahoe, Moab, Bend, Portland, etc. The problem is anything over 2 hours in the Wrangler feels like a chore.

I got to talking with a friend and he said one of my biggest issues is the stock gearing and recommended that I switch over to 4.88. I did some read up on this and its seemed like a lot of people are happy with 4.88 and 35s but some said it makes the RPM cruising high. When i discussed this with my friend he said that is something I would actually prefer as that the 3.73s are not keeping the engine in a tq range on the hwy its making it extra work to hold hwy speeds making the engine feel underpowered. This logically sound correct but I wanted to get some more opinions on this.

Next I was thinking of adding a aftermarket steering stabilizer to firm up the steering feel as help reduce the need to correcting the tracking at hwy speeds. Any thoughts on this? I know its not going to make it feel like a F150 with IFS but I thought anything could be an improvement. On long trips the constant adjustments makes my shoulders tired.

Lastly I'm swapping out the the Falkens for a set of BGF KO2s as the older Falken Wildpeaks (not the new AT3s) are terrible in the snow and the 40,000 miles I put on my old Wildpeaks have them at end of life. Anyone think the newer KO2s are mistake?

Also any other thoughts are recommendations I'm open to hearing. I would just love to make my JKU a little more bearable for these long drives.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback.

I'll check out the Griffin. Do you think thats better then an upgraded stabilizer like the Fox ATS? or should I do both?

On the thread you linked it looks like the Griffin attenuator dampens some of the steering feel. So would you say it makes the steering softer? as I'm looking to firm up my steering.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I'll check out the Griffin. Do you think thats better then an upgraded stabilizer like the Fox ATS? or should I do both? On the thread you linked it looks like the Griffin attenuator dampens some of the steering feel. So would you say it makes the steering softer? as I'm looking to firm up my steering.
I sold my ATS after installing the Griffin Attenuator. What a great mod especially on a 2 door.
It mainly helps with feedback to the wheel but i also like how the jeep handles at speed. Switching lanes on the highway is less white knuckle. Fwiw i run shitty 37" MTR's and the Griffin helps with following ruts in the road.
For less then $150 its well worth it, hardly any negative reviews
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I sold my ATS after installing the Griffin Attenuator. What a great mod especially on a 2 door.
It mainly helps with feedback to the wheel but i also like how the jeep handles at speed. Switching lanes on the highway is less white knuckle. Fwiw i run shitty 37" MTR's and the Griffin helps with following ruts in the road.
For less then $150 its well worth it, hardly any negative reviews
Did you ever run both? If so was there a big difference with the ATS off?

Also does the attenuator change the steering weight at all? Do it address that 1/2" of play that comes on even stock wranglers?
 

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stock gearing with say ko2 34/10.5-17 tires will feel really good compared to running 35's. They are great in the winter and will do most offroading short of hard core stuff.
 

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If you are doing a lot of highway driving 4.56's are a better choice. Keeps the rpm's in a better range at speed. I'm at about 2700 rpm's at 70.

Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
 

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My setup...

16 JKU
6-speed manual
regeared to 4.56 Yukon
Mopar 2" lift
Teraflex Stabilizer
Fuel 17" wheels
KO2 315s

I use it for road trips too and I feel like my power level is back after regearing... before, with the 3.73s it was truly an endurance test to drive it for 8+ hours.

With E-Rated tires this wide it follows the grooves of the highway. That part sucks and I'm trying to accept it.

The stabilizer stiffened up the steering feel for sure.

I think this lift actually improved the ride quality.

I wish I could try a 35" pizza cutter tire.... Back when it was stock we went on a few long road trips (13+ hours at a time) and it was totally fine... even got 20+ mpg lol.

But I'm not complaining... the build will go on...
 

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stock gearing with say ko2 34/10.5-17 tires will feel really good compared to running 35's. They are great in the winter and will do most offroading short of hard core stuff.
<snip>

Lastly I'm swapping out the the Falkens for a set of BGF KO2s as the older Falken Wildpeaks (not the new AT3s) are terrible in the snow and the 40,000 miles I put on my old Wildpeaks have them at end of life. Anyone think the newer KO2s are mistake?
A taller and narrower tire is going to work better in your application. You could also look at the 285/75-17 size which is basically a 35 and not as wide. The selection is getting better too. The Falken AT3W is in that size as is the new Nitto Ridge Grappler (love this tire on my daughters JK).

Also, if snow performance is important, the Kumho AT51 is a beast in the snow.

If you are doing a lot of highway driving 4.56's are a better choice. Keeps the rpm's in a better range at speed. I'm at about 2700 rpm's at 70.

Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
I agree.

My setup...

16 JKU
6-speed manual
regeared to 4.56 Yukon
Mopar 2" lift
Teraflex Stabilizer
Fuel 17" wheels
KO2 315s

I use it for road trips too and I feel like my power level is back after regearing... before, with the 3.73s it was truly an endurance test to drive it for 8+ hours.

With E-Rated tires this wide it follows the grooves of the highway. That part sucks and I'm trying to accept it.

The stabilizer stiffened up the steering feel for sure.

I think this lift actually improved the ride quality.

I wish I could try a 35" pizza cutter tire.... Back when it was stock we went on a few long road trips (13+ hours at a time) and it was totally fine... even got 20+ mpg lol.

But I'm not complaining... the build will go on...
Definitely consider the 285/75-17's when the time comes. The KO2's run small so it would likely be a little taller tire than you have.

I started with the Rubicon Express stabilizer linked below because I wanted the relocation bracket that it came with and I didn't want a gas charged stabilizer, but I found it to be a bit too stiff. Self centering was slowed quite a lot. It was overly firm...

Rubicon Express RXT2000BJK OE Replacement Steering Stabilizer for 07-17 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK | Quadratec
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys for all the feedback. Very much appreciated.

As for the KO2s they are ordered already so I think I'm just going to stick with them. I know they are a good all around tire, and maybe next time around I'll look for something a little more narrow. The one thing I did like about my 35x12.5" Falkens is that they did make the Jeep feel more stable (wider/ planted) then it did with the stock tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you are doing a lot of highway driving 4.56's are a better choice. Keeps the rpm's in a better range at speed. I'm at about 2700 rpm's at 70.

Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
Yea I'm not planning on going 37s on this Wrangler so I think your right that the 4.56s will be a better choice.
 

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Next I was thinking of adding a aftermarket steering stabilizer to firm up the steering feel as help reduce the need to correcting the tracking at hwy speeds. Any thoughts on this? I know its not going to make it feel like a F150 with IFS but I thought anything could be an improvement. On long trips the constant adjustments makes my shoulders tired.
Hey @Vegas_Sirk,

This is exactly the issue I'm trying to solve now. I'm fairly sure it's an issue with new, stock Jeeps too. I felt it on all of the Jeeps I test drove, the Jeep I purchased, and after we changed the suspension, wheels, tires, etc.

Essentially, the steering wheel has about an inch of play, which at high speeds means constant correcting, especially in windy conditions. You can't just hold the steering wheel straight like most vehicles (even large solid axle trucks).

I get that Jeeps aren't Porsches, but I'd still like to fix it so I can enjoy my Jeep more on long adventures.

My setup:
- 2016 JK HR
- Synergy Stage 3, ~3" lift
- Fox 2" RR shocks
- Yeti XD drag link with Griffin
- Yeti HD tie rod
- Fox ATS SS
- 37" K02s (D-rated)

This is roughly what you have with some of the upgrades suggested in this thread. The Yeti gear improved the steering and handling a little, but it didn't help with this issue at all.

I also contacted Ron at Steer Smarts for advice, but I don't think I articulated the issue well or he didn't know the fix.

Other than this, my Jeep drives like a dream on- and off-road. The Synergy springs feel just right, the Fox shocks are a great balance for my purpose, the Yeti gear has tightened up the front-end, and I'm loving the KO2s in 37s (overkill for an adventure Jeep, but hey...).

The Jeep shop I work with is going to investigate this issue in the coming weeks. My wild, uneducated guess is maybe it'll be solved by alignment (not using factory specs), aftermarket ball joints or aftermarket steering gear.

Would love to here if anyone else has solved this issue.
 

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Hey guys,

I wanted to get the forums feedback on improving hwy manners on my JKU. First here is my current set up:

13 JKU Rubi
5-Speed Auto
Stock 3.73 Gears
AEV 2.5" XT Lift
AEV Geo Correction Brackets
Terra Flex Monter Track Bar
Method 17" Wheels
Falken Wildpeak AT 35x12.5x17
AEV Procal - used to set computer to the 35s

I recently moved to Boise, ID from Las Vegas and have been wanting to use my Wrangler as more of an Overland type vehicle since moving here. There are a ton of weekend destinations that are 1-8 hour trips from here such as Yellow Stone, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Tahoe, Moab, Bend, Portland, etc. The problem is anything over 2 hours in the Wrangler feels like a chore.

I got to talking with a friend and he said one of my biggest issues is the stock gearing and recommended that I switch over to 4.88. I did some read up on this and its seemed like a lot of people are happy with 4.88 and 35s but some said it makes the RPM cruising high. When i discussed this with my friend he
said that is something I would actually prefer as that the 3.73s are not keeping the engine in a tq range on the hwy its making it extra work to hold hwy speeds making the engine feel underpowered. This logically sound correct but I wanted to get some more opinions on this.

Next I was thinking of adding a aftermarket steering stabilizer to firm up the steering feel as help reduce the need to correcting the tracking at hwy speeds. Any thoughts on this? I know its not going to make it feel like a F150 with IFS
but I thought anything could be an improvement. On long trips the constant adjustments makes my shoulders tired.

Lastly I'm swapping out the the Falkens for a set of BGF KO2s as the older Falken Wildpeaks (not the new AT3s) are terrible in the snow and the 40,000 miles I put on my old Wildpeaks have them at end of life. Anyone think the newer KO2s are mistake?

Also any other thoughts are recommendations I'm open to hearing. I would
just love to make my JKU a little more bearable for these long drives.
I built my 13 JKU auto as an overlanding/adventure travel Jeep and found the 3.73 gears more than capable over a wide range on roads, speeds, distances and weight loads. I have changed my gearing to 4.10 due to pulling a small travel trailer now on our adventures. More on that below.

35" tires are in reality tall 33s when new and only get smaller with miles. Think about when you set your ProCal and had to measure your tires under load. This measurement is the true size of your tires not the on paper size. The 4.88 gears though great for a rock crawler will cause your RPMs to run very high at FRWY speeds of 70-75mph and reduce your mpg by a fair amount. Over the road and overloading Jeeps need range more than low speed crawl rations. 13mpg is not uncommon with 4.88 gears over long high speed frwy trips which = about a 260 mile usable (20gal) fuel range = 3.5 hrs endurance at 75 mph. This is of course with no head winds, foul weather or long grades. Point is with 4.88 gear plan on stopping for fuel often.

For the type of use you state consider looking at 4.10 gearing. It is the best balance between power, mpg and high frwy cruise speeds with your actual tire size of ~33.5". When we started pulling our trailer we discovered the 3.73 although capable when not pulling a trailer was over whelmed a bit with the trailer. Re gearing to 4.10s we regained the power loss and soon discovered that the 4.10s made long road trips (2500 miles on average) without the trailer seem smoother with less effort on the Jeeps part. Mpg at 75 mph (without the trailer) stayed in the high 17s, about the same as with our 3.73 gears.

Next for ride quality do not overlook your shocks and tire psi. Quality shocks can be the difference between tolerable vs enjoyable hours (8-10+) behind the wheel. Tire psi depends on load, for long trips (1000+ miles one way) I have found it better to run my "35/315" tires at 30 cold vs day to day at 28. Not much but enough to help with handling and increased weight loads when psi reaches it's hot psi.

Your choice of BFG AT2 is a good one for over the road travel but still provide for excellent moderate off road traction and durability. I might also point you toward the Toyo AT2 which are also excellent DD and over landing tires.

My .02 cents, safe travels in your overlanding adventure.
 

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Hey @Vegas_Sirk,



This is exactly the issue I'm trying to solve now. I'm fairly sure it's an issue with new, stock Jeeps too. I felt it on all of the Jeeps I test drove, the Jeep I purchased, and after we changed the suspension, wheels, tires, etc.



Essentially, the steering wheel has about an inch of play, which at high speeds means constant correcting, especially in windy conditions. You can't just hold the steering wheel straight like most vehicles (even large solid axle trucks).



I get that Jeeps aren't Porsches, but I'd still like to fix it so I can enjoy my Jeep more on long adventures.



My setup:

- 2016 JK HR

- Synergy Stage 3, ~3" lift

- Fox 2" RR shocks

- Yeti XD drag link with Griffin

- Yeti HD tie rod

- Fox ATS SS

- 37" K02s (D-rated)



This is roughly what you have with some of the upgrades suggested in this thread. The Yeti gear improved the steering and handling a little, but it didn't help with this issue at all.



I also contacted Ron at Steer Smarts for advice, but I don't think I articulated the issue well or he didn't know the fix.



Other than this, my Jeep drives like a dream on- and off-road. The Synergy springs feel just right, the Fox shocks are a great balance for my purpose, the Yeti gear has tightened up the front-end, and I'm loving the KO2s in 37s (overkill for an adventure Jeep, but hey...).



The Jeep shop I work with is going to investigate this issue in the coming weeks. My wild, uneducated guess is maybe it'll be solved by alignment (not using factory specs), aftermarket ball joints or aftermarket steering gear.



Would love to here if anyone else has solved this issue.


I have none of those problems when my 15 Sahara was stock and not now after mods.

I can steer my Jeep at 75 with one finger and almost no play. Tires dont wander either and really, drives as well as stock if not better. Just the added height sucks in crosswinds.

Look at my signature for specs


DIRT BOY
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited - Hydro Blue Pearl * Dual Top * AEV 2.5 Dual Sport XT Lift * Old Man Emu OME-SD48 Steering Stabilizer * TOYO Open Country R/T 35x12.5R18LT * Fuel Anza D55 18 x 9 Wheels * BEST LED Headlights & Fogs * JWM 4x4 Billet Grill Insert, TeraFlex HD Carrier * Rugged Ridge Black Aluminum Hood Latches * AMI Stubbie 21" * PIAA Superior Bass Horn

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey @Vegas_Sirk,

This is exactly the issue I'm trying to solve now. I'm fairly sure it's an issue with new, stock Jeeps too. I felt it on all of the Jeeps I test drove, the Jeep I purchased, and after we changed the suspension, wheels, tires, etc.

Essentially, the steering wheel has about an inch of play, which at high speeds means constant correcting, especially in windy conditions. You can't just hold the steering wheel straight like most vehicles (even large solid axle trucks).

I get that Jeeps aren't Porsches, but I'd still like to fix it so I can enjoy my Jeep more on long adventures.

My setup:
- 2016 JK HR
- Synergy Stage 3, ~3" lift
- Fox 2" RR shocks
- Yeti XD drag link with Griffin
- Yeti HD tie rod
- Fox ATS SS
- 37" K02s (D-rated)

This is roughly what you have with some of the upgrades suggested in this thread. The Yeti gear improved the steering and handling a little, but it didn't help with this issue at all.

I also contacted Ron at Steer Smarts for advice, but I don't think I articulated the issue well or he didn't know the fix.

Other than this, my Jeep drives like a dream on- and off-road. The Synergy springs feel just right, the Fox shocks are a great balance for my purpose, the Yeti gear has tightened up the front-end, and I'm loving the KO2s in 37s (overkill for an adventure Jeep, but hey...).

The Jeep shop I work with is going to investigate this issue in the coming weeks. My wild, uneducated guess is maybe it'll be solved by alignment (not using factory specs), aftermarket ball joints or aftermarket steering gear.

Would love to here if anyone else has solved this issue.
Would love to hear back on what you find out as I was thinking of going with the Yeti stuff, but I'm worried on spending the money and it not accomplishing what I want.

On the JK forum I was reading up and some people as saying the problem is steering box and thats where the play is. I guess there are aftermarket ones but Im not sure if they truly fix it.
 

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I built my 13 JKU auto as an overlanding/adventure travel Jeep and found the 3.73 gears more than capable over a wide range on roads, speeds, distances and weight loads. I have changed my gearing to 4.10 due to pulling a small travel trailer now on our adventures. More on that below.



35" tires are in reality tall 33s when new and only get smaller with miles. Think about when you set your ProCal and had to measure your tires under load. This measurement is the true size of your tires not the on paper size. The 4.88 gears though great for a rock crawler will cause your RPMs to run very high at FRWY speeds of 70-75mph and reduce your mpg by a fair amount. Over the road and overloading Jeeps need range more than low speed crawl rations. 13mpg is not uncommon with 4.88 gears over long high speed frwy trips which = about a 260 mile usable (20gal) fuel range = 3.5 hrs endurance at 75 mph. This is of course with no head winds, foul weather or long grades. Point is with 4.88 gear plan on stopping for fuel often.



For the type of use you state consider looking at 4.10 gearing. It is the best balance between power, mpg and high frwy cruise speeds with your actual tire size of ~33.5". When we started pulling our trailer we discovered the 3.73 although capable when not pulling a trailer was over whelmed a bit with the trailer. Re gearing to 4.10s we regained the power loss and soon discovered that the 4.10s made long road trips (2500 miles on average) without the trailer seem smoother with less effort on the Jeeps part. Mpg at 75 mph (without the trailer) stayed in the high 17s, about the same as with our 3.73 gears.



Next for ride quality do not overlook your shocks and tire psi. Quality shocks can be the difference between tolerable vs enjoyable hours (8-10+) behind the wheel. Tire psi depends on load, for long trips (1000+ miles one way) I have found it better to run my "35/315" tires at 30 cold vs day to day at 28. Not much but enough to help with handling and increased weight loads when psi reaches it's hot psi.



Your choice of BFG AT2 is a good one for over the road travel but still provide for excellent moderate off road traction and durability. I might also point you toward the Toyo AT2 which are also excellent DD and over landing tires.



My .02 cents, safe travels in your overlanding adventure.


In reality my "35s" are a hair under 34" under load.

These are my Toyo R/Ts. My 275/70/18 Toyo A/Ts were a hair over 32".

Agree the Toyo Open Country A/T is an amazing tire. But R/T handles better in the rain.


DIRT BOY
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited - Hydro Blue Pearl * Dual Top * AEV 2.5 Dual Sport XT Lift * Old Man Emu OME-SD48 Steering Stabilizer * TOYO Open Country R/T 35x12.5R18LT * Fuel Anza D55 18 x 9 Wheels * BEST LED Headlights & Fogs * JWM 4x4 Billet Grill Insert, TeraFlex HD Carrier * Rugged Ridge Black Aluminum Hood Latches * AMI Stubbie 21" * PIAA Superior Bass Horn

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have none of those problems when my 15 Sahara was stock and not now after mods.

I can steer my Jeep at 75 with one finger and almost no play. Tires dont wander either and really, drives as well as stock if not better. Just the added height sucks in crosswinds.
My jeep has always had the 1/2" of play on the steering (both ways, left and right) since stock. Also like toddCO said I noticed it on the ones I test drove.

I just have never fully understood why the Wranglers handeling is so sloppy compared to full size sold axel trucks. The Ford Super Duties are a pleasure to drive and are solid axel as well with nice firm steering and zero play.
 

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My jeep has always had the 1/2" of play on the steering (both ways, left and right) since stock. Also like toddCO said I noticed it on the ones I test drove.



I just have never fully understood why the Wranglers handeling is so sloppy compared to full size sold axel trucks. The Ford Super Duties are a pleasure to drive and are solid axel as well with nice firm steering and zero play.


That's strange. Mine has very little. When was stock last summer, I drove from Miami, FL to the South Carolina and I was surprised how well and easy mine drove. NOT what I expected. Over 1100 miles round trip.


DIRT BOY
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited - Hydro Blue Pearl * Dual Top * AEV 2.5 Dual Sport XT Lift * Old Man Emu OME-SD48 Steering Stabilizer * TOYO Open Country R/T 35x12.5R18LT * Fuel Anza D55 18 x 9 Wheels * BEST LED Headlights & Fogs * JWM 4x4 Billet Grill Insert, TeraFlex HD Carrier * Rugged Ridge Black Aluminum Hood Latches * AMI Stubbie 21" * PIAA Superior Bass Horn

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Thanks for that info @DIRT BOY.

I wonder what's the differentiator here:
- I've only driven Rubicons (vs your Sahara)?
- Road conditions?
- AEV lift?
- Perceptions?

I can drive 75mph+ on a nice highway with no wind, but there's a lot of mountainous 1- or 2-lane driving at 60mph+ around here (CO), which is when the steering wheel play becomes exhausting.

There's a chance your AEV lift corrects something from the factory that other companies don't. This seems like a long shot, but at this stage I'm open to considering everything. I'll look into this.

I can't imagine we just have different perceptions of the issue. I have about 1 inch of play either side without the Jeep moving. At speed, it causes a significant time delay in the steering. I realize wind will push no matter what, but this is more than wind.

Maybe I should test drive a Sahara to narrow down the possibilities.
 
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