33ís or 35ís?
Trying to pose this as a straightforward question but there are a lot of angles to this for me. Interested in peoplesí experience/opinions.
Should I run 33ís and re-gear back to 4.10 (or live with running 2800 rpm in the slow lane) or up-size to 35s?
2017 JKUR I bought used with 15k miles (dealer trade in)
Rock Krawler 2.5Ē lift with Bilstein 5100s
Fox ATS 2.0 steering stabilizer.
G2 Performance 4.88 gears
Tom Woods shafts f&r
Currently wearing OEM wheels and tires. Also have a partial set of 33Ē tires on JLUR wheels
My goals/philosophy of use:
The Jeep will be used to drive around town on occasion by both me and my wife and will be used almost every weekend for fishing, backpacking, and hunting trips. These trips will usually involve several hours of highway travel in each direction.
Iím 50+ years old and Iíve done the crazy ďdump money into a hole chasing problems and then sell itĒ thing already more times than I should have with cars and 4x4s.
I want something that will be very reliable and well mannered, but will get me to my buddyís place on a remote cove in Baja when the roads are washed out or get me deeper into a canyon so I can get a better head start on opening day of quail season. More so than my F-150, F-250, or Ranger FX4 LII can/could do. (But more comfortable than my FJ40, CJ5, CJ7, or Scout).
Iím not looking for rock-bashing, belly-dragging, wheel-bending, axle-snapping rock crawling just for the sake of rock crawling. (BTDT). I just want a cool Jeep that gets me places and keeps a smile on my face and doesnít piss off my wife.
Very interested to hear from people that have gone from 33ís to 35í and whether it affected reliability or general maintenance requirements. Also would love to hear from anyone that ran 35s and decided to go back to 33s and why.
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33's are basically the stock JK-sized tire. 35's fit very well and would match the 4.88 gears. With a JKU, you need a bigger tire. If I'm limited to those choices for a JKU going offroad, I will pick the 35's. I'll also recommend that you make sure you have a good belly skid.
Your axles should be perfectly fine, strength-wise to handle 35's with no reliability issues
What Don said, you need 35s with a 4 door. A 2 door would be okay on 33s as far as ground clearance but not a 4 door.
The problem with 35's...
I have 2.5 lift and 35's and wouldn't go back to 33's. The only problem is that with a 2.5 lift your up travel gets limited. I have high clearance fenders and have adjusted my bumps to get full stuff. If I had stock fenders then I would end up riding on the, or very close to the bumps all the time.
I assume you will have a 12.5 tire. with a 33 you could tuck it in a little more. Do you have fender laws?
If I started over I would go 2.5 lift and a 34x10.5 tire then after a year I would still upgrade to a 35. It would just be a dumb thing that I know I would do. I am 50 and still havn't learned about vehicles and money.
Thanks guys. I like this forum - a little less activity than the general Wrangler forums, but the responses always seem genuine and well-considered. I appreciate it; thanks for welcoming me into the fold.
When you say "belly skid" are you talking about a skid plate that covers the entire undercarriage as opposed to individual skids for the various pieces? Can you point me to a good example that is popular?
If I'm understanding you correctly, the thing I'd need to think about replacing if I go with 35's is the fender flares. Is the problem generally the outside lip making contact with the tire (because it extends outside the flare) and thus the need for "flat" fenders? Is there an option for a "wider" flare that will keep the mud from slinging all over the sides of the Jeep? (or are those all f'ugly?). I don't believe fender laws are really enforced here unless they really want to get you for something. Front license plates, however, are something people get routinely pulled over and ticketed for...
Just out of curiosity, why would you go with 34's first and then 35's?.
The crazy thing is that I'm sitting here with 2 complete sets of OEM Rubicon wheels, all of them with less than 2,000 miles on them. (5) JKUR with a full set of the OEM 32x9.5" BFG mud terrains and (5) JLUR along with three remaining OEM 33x11" BFG KO2s. But I've pretty much convinced myself that I don't want to run spacers, so i'm looking at new wheels (hopefully funded by selling all this stuff) and then either buy 2 new KO2s in 33x11" or try to sell those and go with 5 new 35x12.5's. My inner child of course wants the 35's but not if it is going to force me to always worry about issue with my suspension or lead me down a rat hole of constant tweaking to figure out why things are wobbling, scraping, grinding, etc...
I have a set of the Rock Krawler adjustable front UCAs in a box, so it would be just a matter of installing them and then finding a competent shop to set the pinion angle, right?
Sorry... so many questions. :-)
x3 on the 35s. Based upon you're very clear questions and analysis, I'd bet you would have very little issue "tuning" your Jeep for the 35s.
X4 on the 35's!
As for the gear question:
I'm running my TJ with a 5 speed stick and the 35's, with 4.88's and it is perfect around town and on the highway (65-75mph).
My gearing with the NV3550 is probably a little different that your JK. That being said, I would not pay good money for going back to the 4.10's. As you wrote, you're done with throwing money at vehicle problems, so don't do it! :-)
On a side note, I have a lot of fun pulling away (for about 100 yards) from Beemers and Tesla's from a stop light. Once they figure out what is going on, they're gone but it is fun at least for a little while. lol
As for the other questions:
You've bitten off on quite a pickle. I would make a decision on 35's, then take one thing at a time as you discover how your rig responds to the 35's.
Thanks again. So it looks like options in a 35x10.5 are limited (I prefer a skinny military look and less weight; I don't run deep sand dunes, so "flotation" from wide tires isn't really a decision criterion for me)
I just built a cart with 5 inexpensive (Mamba "M18") wheels and (5) KO2s in 34x10.5 and it was $2,700. Thats gonna be a tough one to sneak past the wife. 285/75's are a couple hundred less for 5, but they are load range E - not sure if that makes a difference...
OTH, I can get the wheels and a pair of 33" BFG KO2s to match the ones I destroyed for about $1,450. I figure I might be able to get $600-800 for the JKUR wheels + KM2s and probably about the same for just the JLUR wheels (I hope), which means I have $1,200-ish to play with. Perhaps I just live with that (and travel slowly on the highway) until I'm ready for the investment into 35's...
I guess I have to decide whether that extra inch is worth $1,300... (plus the $1,000 for flat fenders)
But I think the general consensus so far is "35's aren't going to be any more of an issue in terms of ride quality, handling, or reliability of suspension components than 33's would be..." (other than the fender issue pointed out by rlenglish, which is gonna cost an additional ~$1,000 to fix) . Am I right?
When I ran 4.88's & 33's on the CJ and 5.13's & 35's on the Scout I, I solved the freeway RPM problem with Warn Overdrives. That was a great solution. Does anyone make something like that for the JK 6-speed? >:)
I've put about 50,000 miles on my JK with 35" tires, the first 12,000 miles were with stock suspension and flat fenders. I have had zero issues that I would blame on the size of the tires. Pinion angle will be affected by your lift not your tires. The bigger tires will move the axles and transfer case the same amount resulting in no change in angle. If the angle is currently correct and you have no drive shaft issues you won't need to change anything on that front. I don't remember if your lift came with upgraded steering components. If yes, don't worry about it, if no you might want to look into replacing the draglink, trackbar and tie rod with 35" tires. That's also something that you can wait and see to spread out the expense, but the heavier tires will wear down the components more quickly.
Do some googling on cutting the stock JK fenders. With a Dremel and steady hand you can have flat fenders for an hour or two's worth of work. I've seen some that were so well done they look like they could be aftermarket fenders.
When comparing the cost of 33s to 35sdon't forget to add in the cost of gearing back to 4.10. That won't be cheap either.
I have the 34 X 10.50 X 17 BFG KO2's, I like the tires, but it was hard to find wheels with the proper offset that weren't too wide. Most of the wheels are designed for 11--12 inch wide tires. I think the ones that I got were 9 inches wide, they are a bit too wide for the tires IMHO. If I did it over again I would have run my stock Rubicon wheels with spacers to get the correct offset. I run SpyderTrax spacers on my LJ and have not had any problems. Just be sure they are hub and wheel centric. By the way, our 4-door has 3.73 gears, it hasn't been a problem so far, with the 5-speed automatic I just shift down a gear if I think the engine is lugging. Off-road you can control your low speed progress with left footed braking, so as to not lunge over rocks too fast.
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