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Do you ever regret going too big on your TJ build?


jazngab

TJ apprentice
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
1,367
Location
Montgomery County, PA, USA
I have no regrets but I bought mine already ‘built’ size-wise at 33s with a 3 inch lift which is what I wanted appearance-wise. I later added a 1.25 inch spacer in front to offset extra weight from the winch & some armor I added, and rake. My rig probably would have benefited from the recommended body lift too but I’ve tried to compensate for that with the coil lift and some extra bump stops.

On my mind of late has been the idea of lowering the entire rig by one inch with a combination of removing the coil spacers up front and swapping in 2 inch coils in the rear. Mostly, I’d like to do it for appearance sake and to make it a bit easier to get into, but I have some concerns about the mechanics of that idea (besides tires rubbing, some parts on there that may be affected, what comes to mind is the SYE/CV, currie steering and antirock, the existing Rancho shocks (2-3 lift)...). Part of me thinks this is a can of worms on which I oughta leave the lid. Also, I don’t mind losing performance off road, I’m not doing much anymore that really requires maximum suspension performance, I dipped my toe in those waters and I’m less & less inclined to go that route in the future. Tamer usage is likely my future.

Anyone here successfully run 33s with a two inch lift (3 in front to level it out)? Just in the kicking it around stages now, but would like to hear from anyone that’s done it.
I don’t think going smaller is anywhere near as difficult as going bigger....but I’m willing to help. I’ll take that currie steering off your hands🤙🏾 You’re welcome.
 
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jazngab

TJ apprentice
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
1,367
Location
Montgomery County, PA, USA
I will say that if this TJ was my everyday ride, I definitely would have stayed on 31s. Being it’s a weekend/extra vehicle/fun toy/hobby, it pushed me in the direction of 33s even though I truly don’t “need” 33s and my 31s were perfectly capable. I didn’t want my fun toy to be plain and boring like my Acadia/accord.
 

abart

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
102
Location
Iowa
I bought my TJ in 04 (05?), kept the 30s for a year to see what I wanted and then put a 4-inch lift and 33s and it hasn't changed since because I think it is perfect. Suspension has changed a good amount but not the height or tire size. I don't drive it everyday anymore but I could and be perfectly fine with it because I like how it drives on and off road. Living in Iowa, there isn't much to warrant bigger tires than my 33s (for me) but I prefer to stay at 33s for the long trips West I try to do often.
 
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Mumblewood

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
545
Location
Renton Wa
Short answer, NO

Most trails I run in the summer could be done on 33’s , come fall/winter/spring, which is my favorite time of year to run, 35’s are the minimum for what I run. But 37’s I have found to be a great size for what I do, and I still have to pull cable at times. My favorite tire were my 36” Iroks but I wanted to drive it on the street more so I went to 37’s MT/R’s and don’t regret it at all, especially in deep snow
 

JeepZilla380

TJ Addict
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 30, 2017
Messages
1,438
Location
Atlanta, GA
I was building for 35s (slow and steady) but I have come to the decision to stay on 33s. My only issue is more and more trails are getting rutted out with JK/JLs on 37s and greater and even Jeep Jamboree USA has extended tire sizes to 40s now. Only issue i run on my LJ is falling into deep ruts carved out by large tires when the trails are a bit sloppy. Even 35s aren't going to help me there.
 
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GASnBRASS

GASnBRASS

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
521
Location
Minnesota
Much of the advice given for lifts/tires often seems to be geared towards extreme wheeling. Mud bogging, rock crawling, forest trails, overlanding, there's no "one size fits all" setup that would fulfill all of these uses. But new owners (myself included) often see the biggest rigs and automatically think that's what's needed and start building. We should always be asking new owners what the intended use and terrain is first and foremost.
 

AustinJeepTJ

♪~ ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
36
Location
Washington
Driving 70 mph on 35s for the first time was a 2 hand affair. Now that I have it somewhat tuned, driving 80 is a one handed affair. Eventually, I hope to get to the point where 80 mph becomes a one finger affair, and I can comfortably push it to 90 to pass if necessary.
70 is my max, and I'm on 33's. I just about choked when you said 90. smh.
 

Steel City 06

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2019
Messages
2,886
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
70 is my max, and I'm on 33's. I just about choked when you said 90. smh.
I sure wouldn't want to sustain that speed. Right now things get a bit squirrely above 85. Governor is at 92 anyways. But better to pass someone with a full head of steam than to sit in the oncoming lane because they suddenly remembered they wanted to go faster...

80 I'll sustain if traffic around me is doing that. 70 is a happier speed though. I certainly don't take corners as fast as most.

Although I guess that governor at "92" is actually 105 mph since I haven't regeared or reset the speedometer...
 
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GASnBRASS

GASnBRASS

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
521
Location
Minnesota
Not sure if the old 32rh had a speed governor, but I once had my stock '98 briefly doing 105.
One word to describe it: LOUD

With new gearing my max is 70 but it's better at 65 or less.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
10,777
Location
Earth
Much of the advice given for lifts/tires often seems to be geared towards extreme wheeling. Mud bogging, rock crawling, forest trails, overlanding, there's no "one size fits all" setup that would fulfill all of these uses. But new owners (myself included) often see the biggest rigs and automatically think that's what's needed and start building. We should always be asking new owners what the intended use and terrain is first and foremost.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when I joined this forum, I had everyone tell me 2.5" OME and 31's is all you will ever need. Then I went and wheeled where I lived in TX and I could have easily used 35's. I was scraping and hitting every rock, messing up my oil pan royally with that setup. You do need to build for where you will wheel, unless you don't care about damaging your rig. Eventually, I altered the plan to go to 33's with an open end to go to 35's. Then we moved to WA. Now terrain is different. I could probably still use 35's on some things as @Mumblewood mentioned. But I think I'd rather spend my money on finishing up the 33 build and then spend on interior comforts like re-covered seats, seat heaters, exterior paint, and especially, TRIPS, going places in my TJ. One big trip a year sounds adventurous. The rest of the year enjoying a little local OHV, top off, creature comforts and the Jeep life.
 

Dilly Dilly

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
86
Location
Yorba Linda
Probably 90% of the trails here in CO can be done on 33s. There are a few where that 1" can make a world of difference (not getting hung up on rocks via the diff), but still possible to get thru. I wont go beyond a 35". Ive almost gotten everything dialed in for them right now.
Much of the advice given for lifts/tires often seems to be geared towards extreme wheeling. Mud bogging, rock crawling, forest trails, overlanding, there's no "one size fits all" setup that would fulfill all of these uses. But new owners (myself included) often see the biggest rigs and automatically think that's what's needed and start building. We should always be asking new owners what the intended use and terrain is first and foremost.
I think as you do more things you didn't think you would do your needs change. I never thought I would have so muuuuch money in extras on my tj 15 yrs ago. Adding to that I never wanted to do more than trail run, then I got sucked in and it became more of my past time. Most of the adds were to avoid more damage. I run trial runs 200 so far my biggest problem is making it work for the variety of jeeps. The one thing I always try to explain to the trail leaders who do not want newbies on their runs is our best members are the people we took the time to teach from scratch. They become a solid part of any group, I figure it's hard enough to come out as a newbie, then have hard coredrivers look down on you for nothing less than their lack of trail experience. Don't mean to go on and on but bringing new people into the group and seeing them get it is more rewarding than climbing any rock, been there done that a thousand times. This is an area I care the most about after a lot of yrs of rock climbing expanding the jeeping community with a good attitude.
 

Dilly Dilly

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2019
Messages
86
Location
Yorba Linda
I think as you do more things you didn't think you would do your needs change. I never thought I would have so muuuuch money in extras on my tj 15 yrs ago. Adding to that I never wanted to do more than trail run, then I got sucked in and it became more of my past time. Most of the adds were to avoid more damage. I run trial runs 200 so far my biggest problem is making it work for the variety of jeeps. The one thing I always try to explain to the trail leaders who do not want newbies on their runs is our best members are the people we took the time to teach from scratch. They become a solid part of any group, I figure it's hard enough to come out as a newbie, then have hard coredrivers look down on you for nothing less than their lack of trail experience. Don't mean to go on and on but bringing new people into the group and seeing them get it is more rewarding than climbing any rock, been there done that a thousand times. This is an area I care the most about after a lot of yrs of rock climbing expanding the jeeping community with a good attitude.
My last post on this. Sorry to drone on.
 

L J

TJ Addict
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
1,509
Location
SoCal
Driving 70 mph on 35s for the first time was a 2 hand affair. Now that I have it somewhat tuned, driving 80 is a one handed affair. Eventually, I hope to get to the point where 80 mph becomes a one finger affair, and I can comfortably push it to 90 to pass if necessary.
It is indeed all about setup. I can drive at 80mph with no hands on the wheel (not that I do it outside of initial testing) due to having my LJ set up by one of the best. I can say that I feel more comfortable at speed with the 35x12.5s than I did with the 30.5x9.6 OEM size.
 
OP
GASnBRASS

GASnBRASS

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
521
Location
Minnesota
I think as you do more things you didn't think you would do your needs change. I never thought I would have so muuuuch money in extras on my tj 15 yrs ago. Adding to that I never wanted to do more than trail run, then I got sucked in and it became more of my past time. Most of the adds were to avoid more damage. I run trial runs 200 so far my biggest problem is making it work for the variety of jeeps. The one thing I always try to explain to the trail leaders who do not want newbies on their runs is our best members are the people we took the time to teach from scratch. They become a solid part of any group, I figure it's hard enough to come out as a newbie, then have hard coredrivers look down on you for nothing less than their lack of trail experience. Don't mean to go on and on but bringing new people into the group and seeing them get it is more rewarding than climbing any rock, been there done that a thousand times. This is an area I care the most about after a lot of yrs of rock climbing expanding the jeeping community with a good attitude.
Well said. Any activity where you are the newbie and the experts have the skill, knowledge, and social "clicks" is quite intimidating. I'd like to find a group that doesn't trash their rigs on the weekend and spend the next week fixing it.
 

Queticon

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
244
Location
Minnesota
I have no regrets but I bought mine already ‘built’ size-wise at 33s with a 3 inch lift which is what I wanted appearance-wise. I later added a 1.25 inch spacer in front to offset extra weight from the winch & some armor I added, and rake. My rig probably would have benefited from the recommended body lift too but I’ve tried to compensate for that with the coil lift and some extra bump stops.

On my mind of late has been the idea of lowering the entire rig by one inch with a combination of removing the coil spacers up front and swapping in 2 inch coils in the rear. Mostly, I’d like to do it for appearance sake and to make it a bit easier to get into, but I have some concerns about the mechanics of that idea (besides tires rubbing, some parts on there that may be affected, what comes to mind is the SYE/CV, currie steering and antirock, the existing Rancho shocks (2-3 lift)...). Part of me thinks this is a can of worms on which I oughta leave the lid. Also, I don’t mind losing performance off road, I’m not doing much anymore that really requires maximum suspension performance, I dipped my toe in those waters and I’m less & less inclined to go that route in the future. Tamer usage is likely my future.

Anyone here successfully run 33s with a two inch lift (3 in front to level it out)? Just in the kicking it around stages now, but would like to hear from anyone that’s done it.
define "successfully"
 

Vasq

asks a lot of questions
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
887
Location
Everett, WA
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when I joined this forum, I had everyone tell me 2.5" OME and 31's is all you will ever need. Then I went and wheeled where I lived in TX and I could have easily used 35's. I was scraping and hitting every rock, messing up my oil pan royally with that setup. You do need to build for where you will wheel, unless you don't care about damaging your rig. Eventually, I altered the plan to go to 33's with an open end to go to 35's. Then we moved to WA. Now terrain is different. I could probably still use 35's on some things as @Mumblewood mentioned. But I think I'd rather spend my money on finishing up the 33 build and then spend on interior comforts like re-covered seats, seat heaters, exterior paint, and especially, TRIPS, going places in my TJ. One big trip a year sounds adventurous. The rest of the year enjoying a little local OHV, top off, creature comforts and the Jeep life.
AMEN!!
 

jjvw

Everything is great. No issues.
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
13,134
Location
Colorado, USA
Maintaining the minimum of 4" up isn't too difficult or unreasonably expensive. But it does require thought, planning and effort. It also means the appropriate tire for the intended lift height might be smaller than desired.