How much does it really cost to run 35" tires?


Chris

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Having run this forum for years now, one of the more common topics I see has to do with wanting to run 35" tires, what's required, and how much it really costs.

I decided it was worth making a thread about this, since I feel that many people end up purchasing a Jeep Wrangler TJ thinking that they'll just slap some 35s on it and call it a day. When they find out how much is required to actually run 35s and how much it costs, they gawk at the price and want to know if it can be done for cheaper.

I'm going to break this thread down into what I consider to be mandatory parts and optional parts required to run 35s.


Mandatory Parts
These parts should be considered mandatory to run 35s. I've included the cost next to each item, and please keep in mind these are high quality parts, nothing cheap here. Can you find a cheaper lift kit? Yes, I have no doubt you can. However, I'm using very high quality parts for this thread, as I am in the mindset of buy once, cry once.
Parts Total: $7,642
Labor Estimate: $2,000
Total: $9,642


Optional Parts

While these parts are parts I would consider optional on your path to running 35s, they are parts I personally wouldn't skip on.
Parts Total: $3,978
Labor Total: $1,400
Total: $5,378


So there you have it. You want to run 35s? Assuming you wanted to do it using quality parts and have someone else install them, you'd spend $9,642 roughly for the "mandatory parts". Add in another $3,378 for the "optional parts" and labor, and you've got a total of $15,081.

This of course doesn't mean it can't be done cheaper. It surely can if you were do do the install yourself. However, certain things like a gear install are something that most of us would never attempt ourselves, and the labor on a gear install alone is around $1,000 to $1,300.

Keep in mind those prices don't include shipping costs, sales tax, or anything else. The bottom line is that when you plan on doing a big project like this, always, always, always plan on spending more than you anticipate. Rarely ever does it come out to be the amount you originally have worked up in your head.


Conclusion
Before you think about running 35s, think about it really, really hard. Do you just want 35s to cruise around the streets and never take it off-road? It's still not going to be cheap, but it can be done for a bit less using lower quality components.

However, if you want to do it and do it right, I would say that you should expect to spend between $8,000 to $15,000, which isn't cheap.
 

Nickgsjeep

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Love this. Let’s not forego the idea of upgrading your Dana 30/35 combo either. Can 35’s be safely run on this combo. I’m agnostic so instead of leaving it to chance I decided to get Dana 44’s front and rear. I’m about halfway through your mandatory list and I’ve already exceeded the list cost 🤣😭.
Simply put as @Chris said, it’s no small affair.
 
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Chris

Chris

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Love this. Let’s not forego the idea of upgrading your Dana 30/35 combo either. Can 35’s be safely run on this combo. I’m agnostic so instead of leaving it to chance I decided to get Dana 44’s front and rear. I’m about halfway through your mandatory list and I’ve already exceeded the list cost 🤣😭.
Simply put as @Chris said, it’s no small affair.

Dana 30 / 35 combo works fine for 35s you build them.

But this brings up another good point. If you don’t already have lockers and you plan to re-gear, you’d be an absolute idiot not to put in lockers at the same time as the re-gear. So factor in another $2000 plus for that.
 
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jodomcfrodo

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So do you run 35’s on the stock steering box? I was under the impression that you really need hydraulic assist like PSC or RNR when you get to sizes that big

I run mine on a stock box and so do most people. The box is fine but you need to upgrade the linkage. Hydro assist is ideal, but not needed.



I wish I only had $15k into mine. With the frame swap and ridiculous amount of parts on mine, I’m getting up there. My original bill for the lift/lockers/tires/everything else in 2016 was $11k and then frame swap ran somewhere around double that overall when you include all the parts I put on it and labor. I’ve bought everything new and paid for labor on almost everything.


I think @jjvw nailed it with his build. Lots of nice parts and not for a ridiculous amount of money. It can be done for a lot cheaper than $15k if you are patient and know how to find a deal.
 
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jjvw

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Craigslist helps a lot. And many of these parts can be absorbed into maintenance costs over time. Having a clear plan in mind, learning to do the work yourself and sticking with it for the long haul makes a huge difference in how much and how quickly money gets dumped into the Jeep.
 

DrDmoney

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Love this. Let’s not forego the idea of upgrading your Dana 30/35 combo either. Can 35’s be safely run on this combo. I’m agnostic so instead of leaving it to chance I decided to get Dana 44’s front and rear. I’m about halfway through your mandatory list and I’ve already exceeded the list cost 🤣😭.
Simply put as @Chris said, it’s no small affair.
Did you get aftermarket axle assemblies or did you buy Rubicon axles?
 

Mike_H

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I'm going be be contrarian. I don't disagree with the basic premise of the upgrades needed for 35's, but I don't think all that stuff is necessary. Like everything else there are multiple ways to skin a cat. That build would work VERY well, but that is one of the annoyances I have with this forum. Its not the "only" way to build a jeep. For instance...

I have a limitation on how High I lift my Jeep. My wife is 5'2" and doesn't want to carry a ladder around to get in and out. I met up with @taylormade73 and he has a VERY nicely built LJ, following the guidelines here. I doubt my wife would be able to open the doors on his rig without a ladder, let alone getting in an out. That would frustrate her...and the ramifications of that would frustrate me! LOL.

My plan to fit 35's involve moving the fenders. Highlines, low lift, move shock mounting points to accommodate high travel. A lot of the stuff is the same...and probably should be done for 33's as well, IMHO. But...its a different way to spend money. Getting stuff used is a nice way to save too... as most on here know, I'm not too proud to run used stuff!

Of course, this is all theory. Until I actually go into the garage and start mocking things up, who knows how well it will work!
 

JMT

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@Chris. Didn’t you know everyone was going to disagree with this just as much as they do on other threads about going to 35’s!? 🤣

I do think the labor is Cheap in the Optional parts. Gears alone are $1000-1200.

You’re pretty conservative on some items. Wheels, for example, could easily go for $1000 or more. Good list and good post. Even though there are other ways, I’m not sure where they would save much.
 
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jjvw

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I'm going be be contrarian. I don't disagree with the basic premise of the upgrades needed for 35's, but I don't think all that stuff is necessary. Like everything else there are multiple ways to skin a cat. That build would work VERY well, but that is one of the annoyances I have with this forum. Its not the "only" way to build a jeep. For instance...

I have a limitation on how High I lift my Jeep. My wife is 5'2" and doesn't want to carry a ladder around to get in and out. I met up with @taylormade73 and he has a VERY nicely built LJ, following the guidelines here. I doubt my wife would be able to open the doors on his rig without a ladder, let alone getting in an out. That would frustrate her...and the ramifications of that would frustrate me! LOL.

My plan to fit 35's involve moving the fenders. Highlines, low lift, move shock mounting points to accommodate high travel. A lot of the stuff is the same...and probably should be done for 33's as well, IMHO. But...its a different way to spend money. Getting stuff used is a nice way to save too... as most on here know, I'm not too proud to run used stuff!

Of course, this is all theory. Until I actually go into the garage and start mocking things up, who knows how well it will work!

There are many ways to go about this. However, one important thing to keep in mind is to at least maintain the factory up travel. Anything less is a downgrade from the factory capabilities.

If you work to at least maintain the factory up travel, you will discover that Chris's "only way" doesn't change that much and your dreams of a LCoG rig aren't going to play out the way you think they will.
 
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Chris

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@Chris. Didn’t you know everyone was going to disagree with this just as much as they do on other threads about going to 35’s!? 🤣

I do think the labor is Cheap in the Optional parts. Gears alone are $1000-1200.

You’re pretty conservative on some items. Wheels, for example, could easily go for $1000 or more. Good list and good post. Even though there are other ways, I’m not sure where they would save much.

People will always disagree, I have no doubt.

Of course no matter how they want to do it, they will still find that once it’s all said and done, it still isn’t going to be cheap.

I mentioned in the very first thread that this is not the ONLY way to run 35s, it’s just an example of doing so using high quality parts.

I agree that my labor price for the optional parts was too cheap, I need to adjust that👍
 
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Chris

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If you work to at least maintain the factory up travel, you will discover that Chris's "only way" doesn't change that much and your dreams of a LCoG rig aren't going to play out the way you think they will.

I smell a LCoG discussion on the horizon 😉

@Mike_H can have all his wife’s height related problems solved with @Wildman’s airbag suspension 😜
 

Mike_H

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There are many ways to go about this. However, one important thing to keep in mind is to at least maintain the factory up travel. Anything less is a downgrade from the factory capabilities.

If you work to at least maintain the factory up travel, you will discover that Chris's "only way" doesn't change that much and your dreams of a LCoG rig aren't going to play out the way you think they will.
I'm at 5" of uptravel right now, with 2" of spring lift, 1.25" body lift and 33's. Factory uptravel is 4". By quick math, I add an inch of tire to the overall diameter, I add an inch to bumpstop and I've maintained factory travel...Ok, yes, the tire may hit the rear of the front fender. But to just dismiss my ideas by grouping them into the LCOG category is also not correct. I'm doing a custom highline. Not buying fenders from Genright or Poison Spyder or any of the other places.

I'm not so arrogant as to say you're wrong. I might end up exactly as you say...but on the other hand...maybe not.
 

Irun

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I guess it depends on what you consider "mandatory". I wouldn't consider running stock gears and steering on a rig with 35" tires. Can it be done? Sure, but the first will only frustrate you and the second is a problem waiting to happen. That said, to do it correctly, the ultimate cost is in the $12 - $15K range, depending on who does the work. As was said though, two things are important:

1. Have a plan
2. Do it right the first time

Number 2 is important, because you will only end up spending more money if you don't!
 
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Chris

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A lot of people also wouldn't consider a brake upgrade mandatory.

However, having driven with 35s and stock brakes, I can tell you that it's a very scary ordeal if you ever have to really hit the brakes.
 

gaabbee

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Why not just buy new axles from g2. You can get a 44/60 with most of the parts you listed plus a lift, steering, drive shaft, and sell your stock axles to re-coupe some.
 
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Why not just buy new axles from g2. You can get a 44/60 with most of the parts you listed plus a lift, steering, drive shaft, and sell your stock axles to re-coupe some.

Because fitting a Dana 60 is going to take even more work and more money. It's also not required to run 35s, so it's unnecessary in my opinion.
 

gaabbee

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Because fitting a Dana 60 is going to take even more work and more money. It's also not required to run 35s, so it's unnecessary in my opinion.

These look to be made for the tj/lj. I only went with this because they were the same price as the 44's they offer. If the 60 does take other mods then use the 44 they offer.
 
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These look to be made for the tj/lj. I only went with this because they were the same price as the 44's they offer. If the 60 does take other mods then use the 44 they offer.

Hmmm, maybe those bolt right on, you may be right. I hadn't seen them before, so these are new to me.

At $3700 for the rear axle (how much for the front), I'd have to do the math, but this may come out roughly the same as re-gearing (plus labor) new axle shafts, and lockers on an otherwise stock TJ.

So yes, this could be one viable upgrade path.