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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2013 Sahara with stock 18" wheels.

I enjoyed the few off road trails I ventured on with my young sons, and understood I would benefit from different tires and different wheels, plus a lift kit to provide the articulation and clearance.

What I am all confused about is how to begin matching wheels to tires. I'd like to start with the 2.5" lift, but stick with the stock weeks/ tires until the rubber warrants replacement. And hopefully by then have enough money saved up for the wheels and tires.

I can look at rims and know I like the look. So how does one go about knowing what size tire (i hear folks say 33`s or 35’s) fit on a rim diameter (for example, my Sahara has 18") ?

I know there are things like spacers that may be needed to move the wheel out depending on how fat the tires are.
The whole thing is confusing, overwhelming, and more importantly stopping e from enjoying my vehicle on the sand trails here in FL.

Please help me understand.
 

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I don't even know where to start. There are a lot of variables here and the best way to start is to decide what size tire you want to run and go from there.
First and foremost watch the Teraflex videos on lifts and tires.

TeraFlex Tech: Choosing a Lift for your Jeep - YouTube

TeraFlex Tech: Choosing Tires for your JK - YouTube

The height of your lift is very dependent on what size tire you want to run. Just keep in mind that the larger you want to go with tires means the more problems you will run into.
Then decide rim size. You can buy 35" tires for almost any size rim 15,16,17,18. If you buy rims with the correct backspacing (usually around 4.5") you shouldn't need spacers. The stock rims for example have much more backspacing and in that case you would need spacers to bring it out to 4.5"
One thing to consider when choosing rim size is that a 35" tire for a 15" wheel is much cheaper than a 35" tire for a 17" wheel.
I am sure someone with more knowledge will chime in here soon but I'll try to give you what help I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. But how do you know what size tires you need? Is it just looks? I'm using it mainly for daily driver but with the hopes of 2 weekends a month going off-roading with my local jeep club
 

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You don’t “need” any different tires than what came with your Jeep, it is about what you want. Obviously the bigger the tire the more ground clearance you will gain and the type of tire will determine the amount of off road traction you gain (like maximum traction, highway traction, all terrain etc…)Maximum Traction is like mud tires. Large voids and lugs to self-clean mud and debris also have re-enforced sidewalls to prevent side punctures while off-road. Highway Traction is on road tires. All Terrain is something in between.

Also the bigger the tire the more unsprung rotational mass you are adding, effectively compromising performance. Typically if you buy wheels from a reputable vendor they will order/sell you wheels with the correct backspacing to run wider tires. Since you have Sahara 18’s, tires will be MUCH more expensive for this wheel. You could probably buy a 15” or 16” wheel with tires versus tires alone for your 18” stock wheels plus you would still need to spend about $200 on good wheel spacers.

You have to ask yourself what kind of wheeling do you do, what look are you going for and what is your budget. Only you can answer those questions. We can suggest though. A 2.5” lift is perfect, doesn’t funk up steering geometry and will fit 33’s or 35’s nicely. In your case though I would suggest 33” tires, like Goodyear Duratrac. An all-terrain tire but with an aggressive tread pattern. 33’s will not require you to re-gear your axles and will fit nicely under the lift, but will also fit at stock height.

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Awesome advice. I was planning on some flat black wheels, and now know where to start size wise. I was thinking 2.5" teraflex. So time to save money.
 

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If you are gong with a 2.5" lift you can go either 33 or 35. Here is some advice from someone(me) who made one decision then regretted it the first time I went offroading. Bought 33s and loved the way they looked. Then I lifted my Jeep and went wheeling and immediately knew I should have bought 35s so I did! If you have any inclination that you may want 35s just do it the first time
 

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You don’t “need” any different tires than what came with your Jeep, it is about what you want. Obviously the bigger the tire the more ground clearance you will gain and the type of tire will determine the amount of off road traction you gain (like maximum traction, highway traction, all terrain etc…)Maximum Traction is like mud tires. Large voids and lugs to self-clean mud and debris also have re-enforced sidewalls to prevent side punctures while off-road. Highway Traction is on road tires. All Terrain is something in between.

Also the bigger the tire the more unsprung rotational mass you are adding, effectively compromising performance. Typically if you buy wheels from a reputable vendor they will order/sell you wheels with the correct backspacing to run wider tires. Since you have Sahara 18’s, tires will be MUCH more expensive for this wheel. You could probably buy a 15” or 16” wheel with tires versus tires alone for your 18” stock wheels plus you would still need to spend about $200 on good wheel spacers.

You have to ask yourself what kind of wheeling do you do, what look are you going for and what is your budget. Only you can answer those questions. We can suggest though. A 2.5” lift is perfect, doesn’t funk up steering geometry and will fit 33’s or 35’s nicely. In your case though I would suggest 33” tires, like Goodyear Duratrac. An all-terrain tire but with an aggressive tread pattern. 33’s will not require you to re-gear your axles and will fit nicely under the lift, but will also fit at stock height.

-Dan
Great advice!:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are gong with a 2.5" lift you can go either 33 or 35. Here is some advice from someone(me) who made one decision then regretted it the first time I went offroading. Bought 33s and loved the way they looked. Then I lifted my Jeep and went wheeling and immediately knew I should have bought 35s so I did! If you have any inclination that you may want 35s just do it the first time
Were you okay with the wheels you bought, or did you have to buy all new wheels besides the tires?
I think I have to deal with that "pinch" seam at the front of the rear wheel wells. I'd assume it has to be fixed for either 33`s or 35's
 

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Were you okay with the wheels you bought, or did you have to buy all new wheels besides the tires?
I think I have to deal with that "pinch" seam at the front of the rear wheel wells. I'd assume it has to be fixed for either 33`s or 35's
I decided to get new wheels each time. First time I used 17" and got new ones so I could sell the stock wheels and tires and help offset the cost. When I switched to 35s I went o a 15" wheel for two reasons, 1, cost, and 2, better for offroading with more sidewall flex when aired down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I decided to get new wheels each time. First time I used 17" and got new ones so I could sell the stock wheels and tires and help offset the cost. When I switched to 35s I went o a 15" wheel for two reasons, 1, cost, and 2, better for offroading with more sidewall flex when aired down.
Good points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I decided to get new wheels each time. First time I used 17" and got new ones so I could sell the stock wheels and tires and help offset the cost. When I switched to 35s I went o a 15" wheel for two reasons, 1, cost, and 2, better for offroading with more sidewall flex when aired down.
Why did you decide to go from 33 to 35?
 

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Why did you decide to go from 33 to 35?
I wanted a tire size that performed better offroad and the lift I ultimately chose gave me a bit more lift so it looked a little funny with the 33s.
 
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