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33's or 35's with Metalcloak Overline fenders?

Jerry Bransford

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Thanks for all your help guys! You have me sold on 33's. I don't want a mallcrawler. Maybe someday if I upgrade the axles and put some 2-3" springs on it I'll go to 35's but until then 33's should do.

Now to choose between Genrights and Metalcloaks...
With that "I don't want a mall crawler" comment I'd stay with the 32RH which has a sterling reputation. Especially among offroaders. You'll never regret or need to apologize if you go with Genright, Savvy, or Currie among the more widely respected brands.
 
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imahnu

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Thanks for all your help guys! You have me sold on 33's. I don't want a mallcrawler. Maybe someday if I upgrade the axles and put some 2-3" springs on it I'll go to 35's but until then 33's should do.

Now to choose between Genrights and Metalcloaks...
To make your decision easier for you, if your wanting a LCoG build with only 2" or 3" max of suspension lift, use the fenders that give the most clearance.
 
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TRE3TOP

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F58FEC17-C390-4E91-96EC-0BD8995C3035.jpeg


For reference these are new 35” tires on 3” coils and 1.25” body lift. I don’t know that I would go any lower than that for 35” tires unless I was cutting the rear tub wheel well and running true high lines in the front.

For armor I would recommend genright aluminum. The weight savings is pretty significant over steel when you add up 2 fenders, 2 rockers, 2 rear corners and if you decide to go with their bumpers as well(only front is aluminum.) They also do an excellent job of stocking their products so your wait time will be minimal.

If you go 35” I would go no less than 4.88, probably 5.13 if you keep your automatic, which I would if it’s working fine.
 
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Wildman

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You can get Metal Cloak in aluminum also. I screwed up when I ordered mine. I wasn't thinking about it and they only offered the stretch rear corners in steel. But if I'd been thinking I could have gotten the rear mount plates for their flares and used GenRight blank rear corners.
 
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Trevlaw

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Definitely don't swap out the 32rh. 3000rpm is about what it runs on the highway straight out of the factory, so absolutely no issues there. You'll probably get 12-14 mpg with 33's geared correctly. It's also the shortest transmission offered in the TJ, your driveshaft will thank you later. My 32rh has roughly 160k on it, many of those miles being at 3200 rpm for hours on end all without a single hiccup.
 
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Jerry Bransford

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If you go 35” I would go no less than 4.88, probably 5.13 if you keep your automatic, which I would if it’s working fine.
He doesn't have the 42RLE automatic where 5.13 would be a good choice for 35's, he has the 3-speed 32RH where he'd want 4.56. For 33's 4.10 would be the way to go for his particular transmission.
 
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Wildman

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He doesn't have the 42RLE automatic where 5.13 would be a good choice for 35's, he has the 3-speed 32RH where he'd want 4.56. For 33's 4.10 would be the way to go for his particular transmission.

Yes listen to Jerry on this. Without a overdrive you don't want to gear it as deep.

Don't worry about the nay sayers. Know that the marketing by Metal Cloak is a little bit misleading but the fenders are still a good choice if you go with them.
Any hi-line fenders are going to require you to have to move things around under the hood. It isn't impossible as many people have done it.
But if you like the look of Metal Cloak then get them. It's your rig and money.
 

jjvw

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Thanks for all your help guys! You have me sold on 33's. I don't want a mallcrawler. Maybe someday if I upgrade the axles and put some 2-3" springs on it I'll go to 35's but until then 33's should do.

Now to choose between Genrights and Metalcloaks...
For what you want, Metalcloak and a manual should not even be a consideration. Regardless of the tire size, do a real spring lift and if you insist on fenders, do something that requires you to cut the hood.

Fwiw, the standard build for 35s should get you about 5-5.5" of up travel under stock fenders. The compressed shocks are the limit to up. You won't get that without the spring lift. Maybe if you build your own shock mounts with the right shocks and springs.
 
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Stitch1

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You can do a lot of wheeling on 33's. This was my TJ with a 2" Old Man Emu lift and a 1.25 body lift with 33" tires. I later went bigger but shouldn't have. This was a fantastic setup for both on and off-road.

image-png.png
 
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JMT

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Hello everyone! Newish here but long time Wrangler enthusiast. I am about to pick up a 98 Sahara Hardtop that has been sitting in a driveway for 15 years. If the frame isn't shot I'm going to go for it. Resto-mod is a bit of a stretch with what we plan to do but we'll essentially be taking it apart, upgrading and rustproofing things and putting it back together.

This will be a father and son build and will become my new daily-driver/weekend toy. I plan on installing Metalcloak Overline's and am wondering if I should go with 33's or 35's. The current suspension is shot as its been sitting all this time with a plow hanging off of it. So are all of the rubber bushings everywhere.

Here are the major plans:
  • Rebuild the engine. Probably go the poor mans stroker route.
  • Swap the 32RE for an AX-15. It will see alot of highway time.
  • Install 03-06 TJ Rubicon Unlimited OEM springs. Probably the 130(FR) and 106(RR) springs.
  • Savvy/Currie Johnny Joints all around
  • Currie HD steering
  • Some sort of upgrade for the trackbars. Either new bars/relocation brackets or new/better bushings.
  • Simple/compact steel bumpers, rock sliders, and corner guards.
  • High clearance tube fenders such as Metalcloak's Overline's.
  • Vanco 17" big brake kit.
  • 1.25" solid body lift in preparation for a future tummy tuck.
  • Regearing to be at about 2500RPM at 70mph with either 33's or 35's.
So overall I am going to have about 1.5" lift over stock. The type of wheeling I do isn't too aggressive, mostly rough fire roads and climbing over downed logs so I don't need crazy articulation. I DO NOT want to sacrifice uptravel though which is a possibility with 35's.

35's on a TJ also requires its own set of upgrades. I'll probably do some upgrades to the Dana 30 but will eventually want to put a Dana 44 in it. I think most of the other complementary mods that are listed above should cover the rest.

All that said....will 1.5" of lift be enough to stuff a 35 on a healthy stock suspension without rubbing using Metalcloak Overline fenders? I'm not 100% committed to Metalcloak either. I want as much tire clearance as possible and will consider other brands if you guys think they offer more room for the tires.

Whatever tire size I settle on...I'll be going with 17x8 rims with a 3.75 or 4" backspacing. So what do you think based on what I've said....33's or 35's???

Thanks in advance!!!
No, you can’t stuff 35’s under there and do anything. 31’s would work.
 
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JMT

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Thanks for all your help guys! You have me sold on 33's. I don't want a mallcrawler. Maybe someday if I upgrade the axles and put some 2-3" springs on it I'll go to 35's but until then 33's should do.

Now to choose between Genrights and Metalcloaks...
Easy that was. 🤣
 
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Mike_H

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You can do a lot of wheeling on 33's. This was my TJ with a 2" Old Man Emu lift and a 1.25 body lift with 33" tires. I later went bigger but shouldn't have. This was a fantastic setup for both on and off-road.

View attachment 302588
Yeah...33s can get you in a LOT of trouble, and have a lot of fun. I've gone into the 35 pool headfirst. Got all the fancy suspension and have tried to do it "right". I have a buddy that spends as little as possible on his jeep. 3" quadratech lift , 33's, 4.56 gears, front lunchbox locker and rear limited slip. There has been exactly one obstacle that I could do that he couldn't in all the times we've been wheeling (and that was when I was on 33's too). I'm in Michigan though, so the big builds aren't that necessary. We're going to start travelling this year...I better be able to go farther, LOL
 

JMT

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Yeah...33s can get you in a LOT of trouble, and have a lot of fun. I've gone into the 35 pool headfirst. Got all the fancy suspension and have tried to do it "right". I have a buddy that spends as little as possible on his jeep. 3" quadratech lift , 33's, 4.56 gears, front lunchbox locker and rear limited slip. There has been exactly one obstacle that I could do that he couldn't in all the times we've been wheeling (and that was when I was on 33's too). I'm in Michigan though, so the big builds aren't that necessary. We're going to start travelling this year...I better be able to go farther, LOL
I still haven’t gone anywhere I hadn’t on 33’s, I just don’t hit my CA mounts and rear bumper as much, and I can get through rock piles faster.

EDIT: if you really want to go farther, do a meaningful mod like MC fenders or angry bird grill
 
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Gollywomper

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Yeah...33s can get you in a LOT of trouble, and have a lot of fun. I've gone into the 35 pool headfirst. Got all the fancy suspension and have tried to do it "right". I have a buddy that spends as little as possible on his jeep. 3" quadratech lift , 33's, 4.56 gears, front lunchbox locker and rear limited slip. There has been exactly one obstacle that I could do that he couldn't in all the times we've been wheeling (and that was when I was on 33's too). I'm in Michigan though, so the big builds aren't that necessary. We're going to start travelling this year...I better be able to go farther, LOL
The doing it right part will show down the road when your rig is still in one piece and not beat to crap. When your lift components are still tight and operable and his cheap joints are worn out causing drivability issues.
 

TRE3TOP

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Yeah...33s can get you in a LOT of trouble, and have a lot of fun. I've gone into the 35 pool headfirst. Got all the fancy suspension and have tried to do it "right". I have a buddy that spends as little as possible on his jeep. 3" quadratech lift , 33's, 4.56 gears, front lunchbox locker and rear limited slip. There has been exactly one obstacle that I could do that he couldn't in all the times we've been wheeling (and that was when I was on 33's too). I'm in Michigan though, so the big builds aren't that necessary. We're going to start travelling this year...I better be able to go farther, LOL
Driver mod also helps. I’d wager he probably beats on his and you probably take a little more care of yours.
 
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AMS417

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I have the MC arched fender and their 4.5” long arm kit. I don’t like the looks of the fender but with a spacer I swing 37” tires through the full shock travel. Just have to set stuff up right and bump stop as needed.

Having said that I don’t like the looks of the arched fender. Or the 8” flares. Also don’t like the radius arm front suspension.

I’m going Motobilt next time. GR makes nice stuff and will save you some weight, but the cost is just not justifiable for me.

Lots of opinions here, do some research, call some vendors, decide what fits your needs.
 

Gollywomper

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Cheap joints? You mean factory arms?
No. You didn’t say he was on stock arms. 3” lift and stock arms with stock rear drive shaft? Kind of proves what I was saying. What kind of angle is that rear drive line at when his rear suspension is fully drooped? My point was things wear out faster when they are operated at the extremes of their limits.
There are a lot of folks who can go where I go with lesser built rigs. But they will have to push their rigs harder than a well built rig. This resulting in more wear on their rig.
 

Mike_H

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No. You didn’t say he was on stock arms. 3” lift and stock arms with stock rear drive shaft? Kind of proves what I was saying. What kind of angle is that rear drive line at when his rear suspension is fully drooped? My point was things wear out faster when they are operated at the extremes of their limits.
There are a lot of folks who can go where I go with lesser built rigs. But they will have to push their rigs harder than a well built rig. This resulting in more wear on their rig.
Yeah, I don't even think he has an SYE. His Jeep doesn't vibrate or anything, so whatever. He does push it. I'm the anal retentive guy they all make fun of... But when they break down, guess who's the guy to get em out of the woods?