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Discussion Starter #1
The ads for tube fenders say "allow you to run larger tires," but I'm not seeing anyone saying how much larger. I have a very low garage door and I'm trying to fine the sweet spot that allows me the biggest tire, but not so big a lift that I can fit in the garage. Any ideas? Are tube fender equal to a 1.5 inch lift? Thanks
 

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On a rubicon a tube fender would be the same as a 1 inch lift. Meatalcloak used to say you could run 35's with their fenders and no lift.
I have a jks 2.5 inch lift which on a Rubicon is only a 1-1.5 lift. Tube fenders and 35x12.5 tires. Tube fenders allow me to be able to stuff the tire up to max. I only have minimal bump added. If you ran 35's with no lift you would have to add a bunch of bump stop and would be hitting the bump stops all the time.
 

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The real answer is "it depends." Each application has different factors which play a part. Suspension type, wheel offset, axle width, and type of shock can make a difference (there are plenty more). With a relatively stock jeep, increased tire sizes are fairly well known. Many manufacturers even will include tires sizes in the description of the fenders.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for getting back to me. Your comments are very helpful. rlenglish you said " I
have a jks 2.5 inch lift which on a Rubicon is only a 1-1.5 lift." That was news to me. Did you mean your 2.5" lift only raise the roof of you Rubicon 1-1,5 inches? I hope that's want you meant. It would help a lot with my low garage problem.

I picked up a 2012 JKUR a few months ago. It still has some life left on the stock Goodyear Kevlar MTs, LT265/70R17 (31.7"). I want to go to bigger tires for clearance, but it want to keep the weight down and not mess with the OEM geometry more than I have to. My best option appears to be another Goodyear Kevlar MT, LT275/80R17 (34.6"). They will give me better clearance, but they are no wider than the stock. I was looking at the Teraflex 2.5" lift, which might be just enough to not stuff the tires off road or do I need to do both the 2.5" lift and tube fenders? If I go to a 3.5" lift I'll start to have garage clearance problems. Any chance I could get away with a simple spacer lift (2" in front, 1" in back) and still be able to off road reasonably hard trails?

Any suggestions?
 

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If memory serves me properly from the factory Rubicon sits about 1to 1.5 inch higher than a sport. lift kits are measured from a sport. So a 2.5 lift doesn't raise every Jeep the same.

I don't know about going to a 275/80. If using stock rims I feel your going to have a lot of rubbing on turns, so you will have to buy wheels with a 4.5 backspace or use spacers. I also think with a tire that tall and skinny you'll have to run high pressure so they don't squirm around. Jeeps ride really rough with high pressure.

If you like the way your Jeep rides I would recommend going with a spacer. If you decide to go with a proper lift then you really need to research because not all spring/shock combinations ride the same. If going to a proper lift down the road then you aren't out much money on the spacer kit.

I love my tube fenders but they are expensive. Most people start out by chopping their stock fenders.
IMG_2808 (2).JPG
 

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Oh, I forgot, Welcome to ROF.
Where are you from?
 
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Hi Mike, welcome to ROF.
I was looking at your tire stats and I'm seeing a 3" gain in tires alone. How much space are you working with to get in your garage?
 

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I don't have a JK, so no direct input.
However, even though the increase in tire diameter only equates to half the increase in ride height, pay close attention to the rim widths that the dimensions are based on.

Although if you are that close you may need to take other things into account, such as a curb at the door opening, slope of garage floor, contents of vehicle when measured, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi - I have 6" to work with. The stock JKUR is 73" high and the garage door is 79". Not a lot to work with since I want to clear the door and still have enough room to jack up enough to get the tires on and off. Once I'm inside I have 7" of clearance before I would be jacking into low hanging pipes on the garage ceiling.

My calculations are that the new tire would be 2.9" higher, but half of that would be on the top of the tire, so a net increase of 1.45" for tires. The a 2.5 inch lift, I was thinking 1.45+2.5 = 3.95" or 3" left for jacking. Close but doable if I'm real careful. However, rlenglish says my 2.5" lift will probably only raise the JK 1-1.5" depending on the lift, so that's better for garage clearance, but is it enough of a lift for these tires and moderate to hard off-roading?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If memory serves me properly from the factory Rubicon sits about 1to 1.5 inch higher than a sport. lift kits are measured from a sport. So a 2.5 lift doesn't raise every Jeep the same.

I don't know about going to a 275/80. If using stock rims I feel your going to have a lot of rubbing on turns, so you will have to buy wheels with a 4.5 backspace or use spacers. I also think with a tire that tall and skinny you'll have to run high pressure so they don't squirm around. Jeeps ride really rough with high pressure.

If you like the way your Jeep rides I would recommend going with a spacer. If you decide to go with a proper lift then you really need to research because not all spring/shock combinations ride the same. If going to a proper lift down the road then you aren't out much money on the spacer kit.

I love my tube fenders but they are expensive. Most people start out by chopping their stock fenders. View attachment 75208
hanks - The 275/80 is only 0.1" wider than the stock tire, so I was hoping that rubbing would be the effect of the height increase and not the combined effect of height and width, as it would be on a 35x12.5. If that's wrong, let me know before I drop a lot on money on tires that won't work.

I like your idea of spacers as a test. I see they're not expensive. Certainly less expensive than buying tires and a lift that don't give me what I want. There's an easy trail not far from me that I could test it out.

I'm in Maryland outside of Washington DC, so the trails are mostly Appalachian mountain trails, either in the national forests in Virginia and West Virginia or the renovated strip mine off road parks like Rausch Creek and AOAA. One or two beach trips a year to Assateague on the Atlantic coast. So mostly rocky , narrow forest trails, which if YouTube is any indication you have plenty of in BC.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hanks - The 275/80 is only 0.1" wider than the stock tire, so I was hoping that rubbing would be the effect of the height increase and not the combined effect of height and width, as it would be on a 35x12.5. If that's wrong, let me know before I drop a lot on money on tires that won't work.

I like your idea of spacers as a test. I see they're not expensive. Certainly less expensive than buying tires and a lift that don't give me what I want. There's an easy trail not far from me that I could test it out.

I'm in Maryland outside of Washington DC, so the trails are mostly Appalachian mountain trails, either in the national forests in Virginia and West Virginia or the renovated strip mine off road parks like Rausch Creek and AOAA. One or two beach trips a year to Assateague on the Atlantic coast. So mostly rocky , narrow forest trails, which if YouTube is any indication you have plenty of in BC.
That was supposed to start "Thanks"
 

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Turn your wheels lock to lock and see how much clearance you have to your frame and control arms. Could you go a couple inches taller? Stock bumpers usually rub on taller tires but you can get ends to shorten them up.
 

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I can only reference my 2004 TJ, but I went from 31's to 33's with aftermarket fenders and a BL (body lift) and modifying back spacing on a 15" steel rim. I just escaped rubbing. Now with the same springs I added spacers because the springs were tired. I'm glad I did the BL because when I brought the belly up to the frame with an after market skid it gave room. My TJ stays on the street in California. Heck if I'm going to give up shop space! But, it does get a coating of ash these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The lock to lock test just passes. I have 1.5" left before rubbing and if the Goodyear specs are correct the tire will be 1.45" larger. It seems that specs are often off, but manufactures seems to overstate the height of their tires, not understate, I already have a winch bumper that has plenty of room.

Still, some size lift seems like a good idea. The question can I keep it low enough to fit in my garage, but high enough for good off-road clearance? That's how I came to wonder if tube bumpers would buy me better clearance without raising the jeep. From your info, I'm thinking it might buy an inch up and down, but nothing lock to lock.

Thanks again - Mike
 

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I ran 33" and then 35" MT/R Kevlars (before 37" Nittos) and found them to be a really good all around tire for the street and trail. Couple of cons though like every product.

The tread is asymmetric so they are designed to have one particular side facing out. Some tire sizes only came in white lettering and while people are used to mounting with the lettering facing the inside you are interfering with the tire design if you reverse. Then I found them to not be very true needing quite a bit of weight unlike my Nittos which required very little added weight to balance.

Lastly I had a performance issue with them on obstacles that were wet and especially with damp sand. The tread quickly got packed up with the sand and I couldn't climb up a small gentle grade shelf. It was quite embarrassing to be strapped over such a simple obstacle, at that point I decided to ditch them.
 

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I did Metalcloak fenders, a stubby front bumper and 35x12.5.17" Goodyear MTR kevlar tires on the stock Rubicon suspension for a year. There was a slight rubbing on the swaybar at full lock, but nothing I was concerned with. It's important to make sure that you have the correct backspacing on the wheels. I kept the stock rear fenders for a while and they would rub on really big bumps or if I had people/stuff in the back. I took the rear fenders off before I went wheeling though. They would not survived. Here are some pictures.

75209


75210
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I ran 33" and then 35" MT/R Kevlars (before 37" Nittos) and found them to be a really good all around tire for the street and trail. Couple of cons though like every product.

The tread is asymmetric so they are designed to have one particular side facing out. Some tire sizes only came in white lettering and while people are used to mounting with the lettering facing the inside you are interfering with the tire design if you reverse. Then I found them to not be very true needing quite a bit of weight unlike my Nittos which required very little added weight to balance.

Lastly I had a performance issue with them on obstacles that were wet and especially with damp sand. The tread quickly got packed up with the sand and I couldn't climb up a small gentle grade shelf. It was quite embarrassing to be strapped over such a simple obstacle, at that point I decided to ditch them.

John,

Very helpful to know. The LT275/80R17 is a rare enough tire that I'll special order them to be sure I don't get anything that's been sitting on the shelf for the last four years. I'll be sure to specify about the lettering. It's not my style, but if lettering would be fine, if it's the only option. Thanks for the tip about them being unidirectional. I usually do a diagonal five tire rotation, so I'll keep an eye out that I don't mount them the wrong direction.

I appreciate the heads up about sand driving. I only do a little on the Atlantic beaches, but I'll air down a little more than usual. The LT275/80R17 is appealing to me, not only because I can use the stock wheels without spacers, but it's also only five pounds heavier than the stock tires. I'm no kid anymore and have had back problems in the past, so changing 100 pound tires isn't in the playbook anymore.

Thanks again - Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I did Metalcloak fenders, a stubby front bumper and 35x12.5.17" Goodyear MTR kevlar tires on the stock Rubicon suspension for a year. There was a slight rubbing on the swaybar at full lock, but nothing I was concerned with. It's important to make sure that you have the correct backspacing on the wheels. I kept the stock rear fenders for a while and they would rub on really big bumps or if I had people/stuff in the back. I took the rear fenders off before I went wheeling though. They would not survived. Here are some pictures.

View attachment 75209

View attachment 75210

Thanks Dan,

Good to know. How much additional clearance to you think you got from the Metacloak tube fender? Rlenglish got about an additional 1".

Great looking rig,

Mike
 
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