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I bought a Wrangler almost 3 years ago much to my wife's chagrin...literally I brought it home and it was in the drive way, she hadn't even seen it yet, and when I said it's right outside, all she had to do was turn her head and look out the window, she didn't...anyways, she's warmed up to it and has since enjoyed many romps on the beach in MD and on the Cape, not so many trails yet, but has certainly proved it's off road capabilities on certain occasions. Anyways, I'd like to change that dynamic and have been thinking about building it out. Right now I'm kind of being forced in to buying new tires because the current treads are under the legal limit and I will not pass inspection. My logic has been with my wife, to upgrade things as they need to be replaced, and this will be my first major upgrade...it's really the only way I can do this...

So...I have my heart set on some Cooper Discoverers either the STT Pro or AT3 XLT.

The difference here is obvious I think..stt pro's are the M/T and have no tread warranty and the AT3 XLT's are newer and have 60k warranty...I absolutely love the look of the stt pro's but practicality has a firm hold on me as I age...so I'll likely go with the AT3s. I want the wide stance and want to know what else I will need so I can go big on these...like 35s.

I can't afford a full suspension upgrade at the same time, but will ultimately want to go with the rock crawler 2.5" Flex System with the rock crawler 2.25 shocks
which I think should clear the 35s (AT3s come in LT325/65R18 E RWL 9 - 12 9.5 13 34.61 OR LT315/70R17 E RWL 8 - 11 9.5 12.6 34.33) depending on whether I go with 18s or 17s. Current wheels are stock 7 spoke 18s for the Sahara. But I'd like to at least get wheels, specifically Black Rhino Furys


Some things I know that may be limiting factors/essential upgrades based on added weight/stress...
So without the full suspension upgrade I know I'll need:
- flashcal
- tpms sensors
- 2.5" suspension spacer in lieu of full upgrade because I can't afford it...


Will I also need:
- wheel spacer given -18mm offset (4.54 back spacing) on fury wheels? If so, what size (1.25, 1.5, 1.75) does it matter? or just personal preference and 1.25 is plenty?
- shock adapters with 2.5 suspension spacer?
- drive shaft upgrade?
- upgraded wheel carrier?


Other questions:
Am I going to get any rub on the factory fenders?
What other weak points are there given the extra weight?
- steering shock, control arms, etc...
Is it going to feel really sluggish?
Why does quadratec sell their 2.5" lift and say they can only clear 34s?
How do I not compromise the ride? I'll still be taking it on longish trips...I have a commuter now though, so I'm only putting 5k a year on it now.
Are running 35s on the Sahara front axle recommended given it's a dana 30? I've read both opinions?

OR
Do I just go with 33s...and 17s so its lighter, better for offroading, etc.

OR
Do I just sell my Jeep and get a Rubicon because I'm an idiot...just kidding...but I'm sure some people are going to say this. It's fine you can take out your frustration on me for making you read this because I'm a stupid noob...took me 2 years to read enough to feel even remotely comfortable posting on here...


Thanks for any help, and feel free to answer as little or as much as you like.

Cheers,
Chris
 

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First off, welcome! Glad to have you here! :welcome: :wavey:

My opinion below in RED

Will I also need:
- wheel spacer given -18mm offset (4.54 back spacing) on fury wheels? If so, what size (1.25, 1.5, 1.75) does it matter? or just personal preference and 1.25 is plenty? 4.54 backspace will be plenty, no spacer needed
- shock adapters with 2.5 suspension spacer? Yes you'll want the shock brackets
- drive shaft upgrade? You'll be fine
- upgraded wheel carrier? Factory can handle 85 pounds, add up the weight of your combo to see if you need to upgrade the carrier


Other questions:
Am I going to get any rub on the factory fenders? Might graze them, but it will be OK
What other weak points are there given the extra weight?
- steering shock, control arms, etc... You'll have to trim some of the plastic on the front air dam (if you still have it)
Is it going to feel really sluggish? What gears do you have? If 3.21 then yes, it will be sluggish.
Why does quadratec sell their 2.5" lift and say they can only clear 34s? Dunno, ask them.
How do I not compromise the ride? I'll still be taking it on longish trips...I have a commuter now though, so I'm only putting 5k a year on it now. anytime you lift you change caster which will affect the ride. I'm a fan of the Rancho control arm relocation brackets that put your caster back where it should be.
Are running 35s on the Sahara front axle recommended given it's a dana 30? I've read both opinions? Dana 30 is just as strong as the 44, only the ring/pinion are weaker. You'll be fine for 99% of what you want to do
 

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I would recommend getting the 315's with the rhino's, that will fit fine without rubbing your frame or sway bar. As for a lift on stock fenders I would say something like a 2.5" front and 1.5" rear spacer lift should clear but you might have to add bumpstops.

Wheeling on a Dana 30. I do it on 35's and dont really have much concern, when/if it breaks or bends I'll upgrade. But I know the risk I am running and drive accordingly. Given how you say you drive you should be fine, but if something breaks because you were using some extra skinny pedal don't be surprised.

You will very likely want to regear, but gearing is 100% personal prefrance so I wont go down that rabbit hole. I regeared to 4.56 and got an iDrive and I think my jeep drives better then it did on stock 31's.

You might start looking at flat fenders, because instead of a lift you can just run flat fenders and that rim and tire combo and be good to go. I have 1" of lift overall and no fenders and am good with no bumpstop in the back and 1" in the front
 

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In all truthfulness, if you cant afford a suspension lift at the same time probably also means regearing and axle reinforcement is out of budget as well - I would rule out 35s.

33s you will still be undergeared, but a plain level kit (or even no lift and some creative plastic trimming) will do ok. You will just need to make sure about wheel backspace and/or spacers.
 

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Hello there, I am new to the forum as well, and also pretty new to wranglers as well, but I have been doing tons of research using this forum, which I'm sure is exactly why you've joined now as well.

Just my thoughts based on what I've read over the past months, as I need tires soon as well and am trying to figure out if I want to lift:

I see you said you've done beach runs, but not really any trailing yet. Do you anticipate doing such with this upgrade? If so, how hardcore of a trail do you think you will run? I ask because I'm curious as to how much of a daily driver this is for you (since you said you were thinking of the AT3s to be more economical) and how much you are looking for "appearance" vs function. If it's more about wanting appearance, you could always look into some of the "budget boosts" or leveling kits. They will get rid of that factory rake in the front if you are not a fan of that, and will give you a SLIGHT overall lift, but one that will still help you to run a larger tire. For example I am looking to probably go ahead and install the Teraflex 1.5 Leveling Kit, a popular choice among the Jeepers here for those who don't want the full lift; most common seems to be a 33" tire paired with that kit, like a 285/70/17 for instance. Some also run upwards of 35s, with spacers, flat flares, etc. (depending on your wheels as well obviously). But then you get into gearing and (possibly) driveshaft issues like you mentioned. Just some thoughts.

Aaaaand now that I look back, all that I said is pretty common knowledge I think, and I could have just compressed this all into like 2 sentences......and after rereading your post, you have so much detail in question that it sounds like you do want a true lift. So maybe just disregard my pointless reply and let the experts come save the day haha. It was going good in my head but now I think it's time for the FNG to STFU. :facepalm:
 
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Why does quadratec sell their 2.5" lift and say they can only clear 34s?
Can't say with certainty because I don't know anything about their kit nor exactly how they "say they can only clear 34s", but I would imagine that is assuming everything is stock except lift kit and 34" tires: stock wheels, stock fenders, no spacers.

I installed my 34s (BFG KM2 285/75-17s) on stock Rubicon wheels with plastic fenders and 1.5" wheel spacers and a 2" Sport Lift from Rancho a week or two before I got around to installing flat fenders, and they rubbed the OEM fenders pretty nicely under flex. They looked great but didn't really clear except on the street. Here's a picture:







A week later, problem solved:







Even though the Qtec is claiming 2.5",

a) 2 or 2.5" is effectively the same and may be exactly the same -- just one manufacturer measures differently, etc., and

b) if Qtec assumes completely stock with no wheel spacers (like I have) they would most likely rub even if the lift IS a half-inch taller than the Rancho I had at the time of those pictures.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I had forgotten about this piece!



Pretty sure gear ratio is 3.73...I'll double check the spec sheet when I get home. It's a Sahara JKU, had all the bells and whistles.



I actually have a rear axle seal leak on the right side, had my local mechanic go to repair it and when he got in the differential after draining it, there were chunks of metal and so he stopped there and said you are gonna have to have this done, no point in replacing the axle seal if you're gonna have the re-gear, so he didn't charge me for that, he's a great guy...


So It's just a matter of time before I have to have that done at which point I will re-gear. I presume more stress could expedite this...
 

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What gears are you running?

I had forgotten about this piece!

Pretty sure gear ratio is 3.73...I'll double check the spec sheet when I get home. It's a Sahara JKU, had all the bells and whistles.

I actually have a rear axle seal leak on the right side, had my local mechanic go to repair it and when he got in the differential after draining it, there were chunks of metal and so he stopped there and said you are gonna have to have this done, no point in replacing the axle seal if you're gonna have the re-gear, so he didn't charge me for that, he's a great guy...

So It's just a matter of time before I have to have that done at which point I will re-gear. I presume more stress could expedite this...
 

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Do it right or compromise. That's what marriage is all about too.

Compromise - AEV 2" spacer lift is $285. Everything you need to safely run 33" tires and use stock rims and still enjoy your OEM suspension (saving more money honey).

One and Done - AEV 2.5" with shocks runs $1,000k. Everything you need to run 35" tires and enjoy a superior ride your wife will like (but you don't know how happy this will make me honey).

You can easily use your stock rims with 33's no problem. Many guys use stock rims with 315's too, just have to find a shop will install them.

17" wheels are by far and away easier and less expensive to find tires for. Example -

Discount tire -

285/70/17 (33") size there are more than 75 tires available in this size at Discount Tires.
Nitto Ridge Grappler - 285/70/17 (33") E rated. $261

285/70/18 (33") size there are 5 tires available in this size at Discount Tire.
Nitto Ridge Grappler - 285/70/17 (33") E rated.$322
 
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I would ask how do you plan on using your Wrangler and have you been satisfied with its performance both on and off road. I would agree with Mommymallcrawler on 33's instead of 35's unless you are going to go all in and do it right for 35's. I did some rough figuring with the lift, tires wheels, shocks in your post and with a regear axle/reenforcement you are looking at about $8k to do it right. And yes you will need to upgrade the tire carrier as the tire/wheel combo you are looking at is approaching 100lbs each. If most of your off road is the beach or moderate trails the AT3 would be a reasonable choice. I ran a set on a Tacoma and did fine. Not very good in mud but never left me stuck. Cooper makes the AT3 4s in P265/70r18 would fit on your stock wheels, just slightly wider and taller than stock and only 45lbs per tire. Or P285/70r17 also only 45lbs per tire and would work on your wheel choice and be under the weight limit for the stock tire carrier. The P metric tires are also going to ride a lot better than the E rated tires which are designed for 3/4 and 1 ton trucks and tend to be very stiff and don't flex real well aired down under the weight of a Wrangler. Just some food for thought, a basically stock Wrangler with a good set of stock size (32") tires appropriate for the terrain has more capability than most owners will use. I think most run out of nerve before the Wrangler runs out of capability, myself included especially if the wife is along and I have scared her more than a few times. Just my $.02 FWIW.
 

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Just some food for thought, a basically stock Wrangler with a good set of stock size (32") tires appropriate for the terrain has more capability than most owners will use. I think most run out of nerve before the Wrangler runs out of capability, myself included especially if the wife is along and I have scared her more than a few times. Just my $.02 FWIW.
True that! Folks so underestimate a bone stock Jeep and think it's not/doesnt look cool/awesome/whatever your adjective because it doesnt have monster tires. Build a Jeep primarily for what you need it to DO. That was it will always meet your expectations and you will not be disappointed. If your Jeep already does what you need it to do, put a lot of money in the gas tank and enjoy it doing those things. You will remember the memories more than the tires.
 
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Just to put another spin on this, for the cost of doing 35's right you could take your family on a couple of nice vacations. I gather you are on the east coast. Have you ever been out west? The Silverton/Ouray area, Moab, Buena Vista, Yellowstone and lots of others. Breathtaking scenery, great trails and not to be missed in my humble opinion. I am partial to the Rockies and spent 4 of the past five summers in CO. Did Moab this year for a change of pace. I have no problem with folks who mod their Jeeps but I think the majority do it for looks/image rather than a need for increased capability. Memories last forever.
 

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There are memories in building a Jeep too. Much to my surprise my wife and kids love the mods I’ve done to my Jeep and now would not be happy with a stock one. We just got back from the bantam Jeep festival and OBX and had a great time.

My son has a Jeep power wheels and he opens the hood and checks it out every time before riding! He’s two! Some awesome memories.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If that's a 6 volt power wheels and you really want that thing to scream, cut the hood and put in an old car battery. I did. My son loved it, being able to do full spinning drifts up and down the driveway.
 

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You don't want to do tires twice, less painful getting it right the first time. If it's a 2 door the 33s will work. for an unlimited you just got to have the 35s.
 

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I had forgotten about this piece!

Pretty sure gear ratio is 3.73...I'll double check the spec sheet when I get home. It's a Sahara JKU, had all the bells and whistles.

I actually have a rear axle seal leak on the right side, had my local mechanic go to repair it and when he got in the differential after draining it, there were chunks of metal and so he stopped there and said you are gonna have to have this done, no point in replacing the axle seal if you're gonna have the re-gear, so he didn't charge me for that, he's a great guy...

So It's just a matter of time before I have to have that done at which point I will re-gear. I presume more stress could expedite this...



I had 3.73s with 35s for a bit, and upgraded to 4.56s,, its soooo much better now...



jscan + obd adapter saves you over 150 bucks on a tuner


im about to dial in the caster with front lower control arms and done deal..



good luck with your buildout
 

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@Jedi9, there is no difference between two vs four door whether 33 or 35 will work. It's all about gearing, backspace and tire size, not how many doors.
 

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I know all that, I do think that 33s look kinda small on the JKU and didn't notice if the OP had a 2 or 4 door. To me it would play into the equation.
 

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I know all that, I do think that 33s look kinda small on the JKU and didn't notice if the OP had a 2 or 4 door. To me it would play into the equation.
I knew that's what you meant and I agree.
 
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