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


Rescue6

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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.
It would be really hard for me to go smaller. I have none of the factory suspension arm mounts, rear shocks were out boarded, and with 5.13 gears anything under 35”s would max out at about 55-60mph unless running super high rpms. Then there is the fact that Dana 60 pumpkins are going to be catching on everything without the height from the tires giving them clearance.
 
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jjvw

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Mine is also fully committed to it's 4" spring and 1.25" body lift. And will only be moreso in the future.
 

THunter

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A great thread for a newb like me - thank you. A lot of what will regulate my investment is my wife's tolerance of difficult stuff. I've done some of the high passes in CO on my bike, but this is all a different animal. I'll take it slow so the both of us learn our limits and go from there. Stock on 32's for the near future.
 

JMT

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A great thread for a newb like me - thank you. A lot of what will regulate my investment is my wife's tolerance of difficult stuff. I've done some of the high passes in CO on my bike, but this is all a different animal. I'll take it slow so the both of us learn our limits and go from there. Stock on 32's for the near future.
You can sort of run 31’s on stock. For 32’s you really need 2-3” of lift. The Jeeps are capable, but the wife can get scared. I have seen my wife’s veins as she gripped the roll bar for dear life! She is better now, but I just let her get out if she doesn’t want to do something.
 

THunter

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Copy - thx. I'll recheck the tire size on there. So far, fire roads and on road so not pushing it really. Going on a run Saturday which will expose some limitations. My wife has walked on stuff I did in my 2WD Tundra, so.... :)
 

Plumber1

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So I guess we can all agree it just depends on the type of trails you run and budget. 31's, 33's, 35's you have to decide whats best for you and your jeep. Some go bigger just for the looks and that's fine too.
 

JMT

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So I guess we can all agree it just depends on the type of trails you run and budget. 31's, 33's, 35's you have to decide whats best for you and your jeep. Some go bigger just for the looks and that's fine too.
Yeah, we’re pretty much back to square 1.
 

HarleyMick

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Mine has been on 33's with a 4" lift since I bought it back in the summer of 2008. Honestly it is more than I generally need, but it looks cool, and I'd rather have more than enough than not enough...and it looks cool, if I forgot to say that.
Definitely looks cool!
 

HarleyMick

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When I was first starting, I saw a few posts that recommend that I go to the final tire size first, and then worry about the rest of it. So I went straight to 35 inch tires, as that was the largest I could reasonably do.

I've had a few hiccups along the way, and am far from my goal. But I still agree with the logic.

For example, I want to airbag my Jeep to adjust to changing load conditions. (I haven't decided whether to go with a simple system like the Air Lift 1000 bags or a full on air suspension like the Airock.) If I had started with that on a stock Jeep, every time I changed the lift height or tires or body lift or shocks, I would have to readjust the bumpstops, shock length, air bag size, etc. But being at the final tire size makes it all permanent. No temporary measures. No swapping airbags. And all of the effort spent tuning it goes into the final product.

I am far from done. I'm probably currently much more capable than a stock Rubicon. But I do not regret going to 35s, as everything I do goes to improve it.

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.

So no, I do not regret going to 35s. The key is to avoid the "gradual" aspect. Bite the bullet and start where you want to be. Then make it work.
Yours is the first post I've noticed besides mine with a substantial lift and 35" tires that is comfortable with higher speeds. I have no problems driving 90 with one hand as it remains stable as fast as the 4.88 gears will take it. Mine only has a couple of inches of travel in the suspension and I guess that makes it effectively 'sport tuned' giving it that stable feel on the highway. Your thoughts?
 

Irun

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Yours is the first post I've noticed besides mine with a substantial lift and 35" tires that is comfortable with higher speeds. I have no problems driving 90 with one hand as it remains stable as fast as the 4.88 gears will take it. Mine only has a couple of inches of travel in the suspension and I guess that makes it effectively 'sport tuned' giving it that stable feel on the highway. Your thoughts?
You can fairly easily build a TJ/LJ that will handle 35" tires, have 10" (+ or -) of travel and drive straight down the road at 70+ mph. Numerous people here, myself included, have done it. It only takes careful thought, quality parts and assembling, time and money. The most important thing about going down this path is that you have to take a holistic approach. Suspension, shocks, bump stops, steering, brakes, tires, wheels, fender and wheelwell clearance, body lifts, motor mount lifts, steering risers, skid plates, driveshafts, bumpers etc. all have to be factored in.

My point here is that most people don't plan, they just start bolting things on, then wonder why their stuff doesn't work right. The other thing people overlook is weight, both sprung and unsprung. Weight is a Jeep killer and when I ask people if they think about the weight for every part they put on their Jeeps, they typically look at me like I'm crazy. Lighter Jeeps climb, accelerate, handle and stop better that heavier Jeeps. All that said, the point about looking at your desired end state is spot on. However, most people can't afford to do it right up front, so they do it in stages. This inevitably costs more, but can yield good results, if there's a plan!
 

jjvw

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Yours is the first post I've noticed besides mine with a substantial lift and 35" tires that is comfortable with higher speeds. I have no problems driving 90 with one hand as it remains stable as fast as the 4.88 gears will take it. Mine only has a couple of inches of travel in the suspension and I guess that makes it effectively 'sport tuned' giving it that stable feel on the highway. Your thoughts?
Mine does 90mph pretty well the few times it's been up there. 11"/12" travel, Antirock, 3/4 link on 33s. But 35s wouldn't change that ability.
 
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GASnBRASS

GASnBRASS

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So I guess we can all agree it just depends on the type of trails you run and budget. 31's, 33's, 35's you have to decide whats best for you and your jeep. Some go bigger just for the looks and that's fine too.
I remember when the TJ first came out that 33's were considered big, and 35's were massive.

Now people are running 35's like it's no big deal. My how times and perspectives change.
 

HarleyMick

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Mine does 90mph pretty well the few times it's been up there. 11"/12" travel, Antirock, 3/4 link on 33s. But 35s wouldn't change that ability.
Mine does 90mph pretty well the few times it's been up there. 11"/12" travel, Antirock, 3/4 link on 33s. But 35s wouldn't change that ability.
Even with Jeep Wranglers, crawling is meant for rocks and not the interstate. :cool:
 
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DieselJeep

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I'm at the point I need to measure my garage to determine my lift and if I can get away with 35s, but I really like 33s. I've run a lot of 30", worn down to 29", and 31s in the past. Those tires aren't bad, but I often scraped my gas tank skid(suspension lift could have solved this). With 33s, so far I've been clear and I haven't noticed any road manners with KM3s. Narrow mud tires in my area have given me the best results, but I haven't seen many rocks.

I do want to maximize 33s and would love to be able to able to run 35s for some brief runs without many mods from my 33" setup. My gearing will be adequate for 35s once I do a gear swap and add a locker and axle shafts and the gearing will be ok even with 31s, though I think ideal for 33s. I do see the advantage for staying mostly stock, because as I'm researching, maximizing a tire size (well it's always a compromise) seems to require a lot of different aspects and could easily be done in a way that could be problematic from what I've read.

The great thing with 33s is that you can get a budget lift and lots of bump stops if you want them for looks (or diff clearance). And the great thing about Jeeps is that they're fairly good from the factory, but tire profile makes a big difference. I started off with 33 x 12.5s and if it rained I was using a winch (just didn't have good tread and it floated instead of grabbing). I went to 30" x ~8"or 9" wide knobby tires and rarely touched the winch, but was terrible on the road and 55mph would rattle your teeth out. Now I'm back to 33 x 10.5s and I have to winch some, but 85 mph wasn't an issue, though I try to stay around 65 mph, just because MPG seems to fall to the low 20s/high teens above that.

There are the what ifs that I have with 35s, but I just don't see myself pushing the rig to places where those are needed. If I was running a LJ (I assume longer wheelbase), maybe 35s are their sweet spot for most. I think if you like to explore then bigger may get you to new places or maybe it's just easier to justify. I haven't been exploring in a very long time and when I did it was on foot (I was young, no money, no 4x4 but had time), so it's hard to justify pushing my rig much further than I've currently needed, especially with time being tight for many more years to come.

I think with over 35s, you gotta do some serious mods, but I don't know, which is another reason I haven't really considered anything bigger for this wheelbase. I would want to know capability and the cost before moving to any tire size.
 
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jjvw

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If you are going to be changing tire sizes back and forth, build for the largest and deal with the the drawbacks of the smallest.
 
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THunter

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Well, I appreciate the comment re 32's. My memory failed me - again - and after checking 245/75r16 again, 30 1/2's it is. Stock everywhere else. See where it goes from here.