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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy! I'm not new to Jeeps, but I'm new to Wranglers. We just bought a bone stock 2006 LJ with 14k miles. 6spd, all the goodies. It has the original tires on it, and while low mileage, they're 9 years old and need to be replaced. My current train of thought, with limited funds, is buy a set of take off 14-15 Rubicon wheels and tires, hub adapters and a set of coil spring spacers until I figure out what I want to do to it. So should I do that? Or stick with a 15" wheel and go with 32s for now? I'm never planning on doing hard core crawling, but general off roading, mudding, light crawling...basically just having fun. It won't be a daily driver, but I don't want to make it completely unstreetable.

So? Ideas? Advice? Thanks in advance!
 

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Probably comes down to personal preference in terms of cosmetics, and then price. Sounds like you are committing to a spacer lift regardless, so that is a wash. Can you find JK take-offs and spacers for a comparable price to a set of 32's for your current wheels? I have no idea what the market is like in your area, but around here the JK take-offs seem to be going in the $6-800 range, plus ~$150 for a decent set of spacers/adapters... So best case maybe $750? That is probably less expensive than a good set of (5) 32's mounted up and out the door, so it's down to whether or not you like the look of the larger wheel diameter and style. In my opinion, which is worth exactly what you paid, the answer would be no. For an off-road type vehicle, I personally don't like 17's for anything less than a 35" tire.
 

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Congrats on the LJ find - them are some seriously low mileage numbers. It looks almost identical to mine (except for the hard top) when I bought it a year and a half ago, although mine came with a bit over twice the mileage.

I'm not a fan of big wheels, and I'm running 35's on 15" MB Razors. I'm happy with the choice and there are lots of tire/wheel combinations available in that size. All other things being equal, tire size-wise, you get more sidewall with a smaller wheel which, in my opinion, gives you more grip to work with when you air down. 32's would work fine with your stock wheels - Ravines, right? - and would look good with a small lift, whether coils or spacers. If you can find a better deal on takeoffs, though, I'd say go for it. There's a lot to be said for keeping costs down as long as you aren't sacrificing quality or safety.

BTW, the first "mod" I did on my LJ was to lose the chrome grille cover and the milk jugs. Obviously, if you like 'em, keep 'em, but really...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LongJeep- Ok, I don't know all the terminology yet..milkjugs? Is that the bumper extensions? Yes, they're Ravines, so I'll look at the price. As far as the Jeep, yeah, I'm traveling from Kansas to Las Cruces to get it. I couldn't pass it up.

Toby- Thanks for the opinions. I'm taking them all under advisement!

So I guess a further question is, what size 32s will fit on the stock wheels? And if I do 32s on 15" wheels, do I need spacers?
 

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I believe most, if not all, 32's for a 15" rim are going to have an 11.50" width. There may be some oddballs out there (for example I know BFG makes a 33x9.5R15, so they may also make something different in the 32" flavor??), but it's pretty safe to say any of them will fit your current wheels just fine.

As for spacers, are you talking lift spacers or wheel spacers? You don't need either, but wheel spacers can help keep the tires out of the front LCA's when you turn sharp. Depending on your appetite for suspension travel, you may also want to look into slightly longer bumpstops if you notice the tires getting into the fenders under compression travel.

I've got a friend who runs a TJ with a 2" spacer lift and 32" Goodyear MTR's on stock wheels, it's a nice looking and great performing setup for the vast majority of the trails we run here in the PNW.
 

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As Imped noted, spend some time reading, because there is a wealth of knowledge here. If your considering tire options and want to minimize costs, keep your factory rims, install a 3" suspension lift, a 1" - 1.25" body lift, and run 33x10.50 BFG A/T tires. I say the 10.50 tires because, based on your comments, I'm guessing you wont be doing much rock crawling or dune running (33x12.50 would be better suited for this).

- Sticking at 3" and below suspension lift will allow you to run without a Slip Yoke Eliminator (SYE) and give you a good ride height for the LJ.
- Running 33x10.50 tires will give a a better street ride and less of a hit on MPG (Tire choices are very limited, but BFG makes two good ones (KM2 and A/T))
- Sticking with the stock wheels (Ravine) will allow you to run, in my opinion, the best looking wheel Jeep had. Plus minimize cost, by not having to purchase new ones.

Some things to think about:
- Going to a 33" tire won't be a big impact on gearing, because you have a manual
- Most suspension lifts lower the transfer case, which is considered bad. It doesn't hurt the drive train technically, but lowers the transfer case, thus negating the lift, and it creates a "shovel" effect with the skid
- The body lift will set you up for a tummy tuck (do research here) later
- You really should consider a SYE, and driveshaft in the future. The longer length of the LJ driveshaft can absorb the lift without negative effects, but a SYE is just a good idea

For what it's worth, I ran a similar setup on my TJ for years and loved it. When I ultimately switched to a wider tire, I definitely noticed that I lost some of the "nimble" steering feel.
 
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