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Ideal setup for 32s?

psrivats

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I'm one of the few guys here that is very happy with 32" tire size. Inspired by the " Ideal setup for 33s" thread, I thought I would start this companion thread to benefit the "mild build" folks on the forum. I want to make this a 2 part question.

1. If budget was not a constraint, how will you build for 32s? Channel your inner @jjvw and assume the twin goal of good off road capability and great ride quality on pavement with better than stock suspension travels and handling. How much lift will you choose? Will it be all suspension lift or a combination of suspension lift with a small body lift? Would you do a custom short/midarm setup with proper, new CA locations? Will you outboard the (appropriately chosen) shocks ? Will you have an aftermarket swaybar setup like Currie Antirock or Swayloc? Would you do a "mild" tummy tuck? Would you regear the axles? Note that I'm aware that the effort needed here may not be far from what is needed for a proper 33"/35" tire size build, but for the sake of this thread assume 32s is the size that the build is based around.


2. How would you build of you don't have big offroad needs (or a big budget), but still want a Jeep that drives and handles very well on the pavement? What would you change compared to what you thought you would do in (1) above? What things would you cull and what would you add?

Bonus Q for extra credit: What do you consider the breaking line between a "mild build" and a "big build"? Where do you draw the line? Note that when I say "big", I mean "big" as in scope/potential of the build, not necessarily tire size.
 
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DylanM345

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Im assuming you daily drive yours(as I do myself) and want it comfortable on street but decent off road, I would go with some all terrain tires. Im planning to go with BFG KO2s all terrains, they dont wear out on the street too fast and perform pretty well. If you were wanting a budget friendly build on 32s you could do a 2inch spacer for the suspension and do a 1 inch or 1.25 inch body lift. A friend of mine is on 32/10.5/r15 bfg ko2 all terrains with 2inch OME springs, rubicon express shocks, 1 inch m.o.r.e body lift, jks front quicker disconnects and jks 1 motor mount lift(im prob missing stuff). His stock skid is now flat since he was able to raise the tcase up some. Ive seen his rig (alot) on and off road and it performs pretty damn well for his setup
 
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JEEPCJTJ

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I have 235/85 R16 Duratrac tires, tire size calculator shows them at 31.74" high by 9.25" wide so they round up a hair to 32"

Maybe installing them on stock wheels is more like an extremely mild build but it's all I've done. I've have had no rubbing and it does pretty well climbing hills, crossing creeks, and going through mud sometimes deeper than I think I should be in.
 

Vasq

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I would imagine it would be the same as 33" set up. Is the difference between 32/33" tires that big? I'm currently on worn out 32's and will be moving to 33's

I think "ideal" build would be 3-4" lift (including BL) and a TT (and related sye, cv, etc), with re-gear, with axle shafts, brake upgrades, selectable lockers, and all the overlanding goodies that are currently on my wish list..
 
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Goatman

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I have a 2 1/2" OME lift. For a more off road tire I'd go wit something like a Cooper STT, for a more on road setup it would be(and is) Cooper AT3 4S LT both in a 265/75R16.
The problem comes from where you live. South or SW would be a more aggressive build than here in the NE for two reasons..
1) the SW is a more aggressive environment than the NE off road so tire selection can be geared towards the desert
2) The NE has snow and salt that the SW doesn't have to deal with and requires tires better able to deal with on road conditions
3) BONUS REASON. I don't really know what would work best on the opposite side of the continent.

Standard short arm suspension using upgraded arms and links. A Currie anti-sway bar up front, rear is ok stock
4.10s are good choice for 32s and the 6 speed. I've never owned an automatic trans, so gearing is a guess, but wit an O/D I would stick to 4.10s (241 transfer).
Keep it light with good bumpers front and rear and you should be ready for whatever 32s can do.
 
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psrivats

psrivats

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I have 235/85 R16 Duratrac tires, tire size calculator shows them at 31.74" high by 9.25" wide so they round up a hair to 32"

Maybe installing them on stock wheels is more like an extremely mild build but it's all I've done. I've have had no rubbing and it does pretty well climbing hills, crossing creeks, and going through mud sometimes deeper than I think I should be in.
I have 265/75R16s currently and I have already decided to get the 235/85R16s when these wear out even though they are E rated. I like the skinnier footprint better at this size.

1575391339073.png
 
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JEEPCJTJ

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We'll probably see some posts here about how terrible it will be to have a load range E tire on the TJ. I've spent a couple 3+ hour drives on the road and several whole days off road and haven't noticed a problem. Does it ride like my wife's Forester? Nope. Can that Forester go anywhere the TJ goes? Nope.
 
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bobthetj03

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Having gone from 30's, to 31's, then 32's, and now 33's, my ideal setup for 32's would be,
2.5" SL (including adjustable arms, TB's), 1" BL, (yes I said it, butt crack!), 1" MML, 1" bump stop extensions, re-gear to 4.10's or whatever gear works for your transmission choice, SYE, Modest TT.

If on a budget, skip the SYE and rear adjustable TB and just use a bracket, and skip the TT to keep the drive shafts happy.
 

OlivierJeepDad

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1. I can’t really answer question 1 because budget was a constraint for me.

2. I choose my build as a budget friendly mild build that kept road comfort at a premium.

Spoke with Dirk at DPG off road based on advice from this forum and couldn’t be happier with my ride quality/capabilities. To be fair, I don’t do any extreme off roading but I’m fairly confident that if the need arises the Rubicon is up to the task. My tires are technically 32 but really 33s. The milestars ride great and are surprisingly quiet, plus they are cheap😉. Not sure how they will do on longevity as this isn’t my daily driver. I didn’t feel the need to regear with the manual and Rubicon gearing.


2.5” OME ultimate TJ lift from DPG offroad
OME sport shocks
OME coil springs
1” Brown Dog motor mount lifts
JKS quicker Disco Swaybar links front
JKS Swaybar end links rear
OME HD steering stabilizer
JKS adjustable front and rear trackbars
DPG extended bumpstops x4
1.25” JKS body lift

285/75/16 Milestar Patagonia MT on MOABs
1.25” spidertrax spacers

Bonus: I would consider regearing a big thing just because I have no experience with it but to many on here it’s like changing the oil🤷🏻‍♂️. If you have to start welding or changing stock attachment points for suspension then that’s my line for a “mild” build, but I’m sure this is very subjective😁. I’m sure my mild build is someone’s cosmetic upgrades and someone else’s idea of a major undertaking.
 
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Vasq

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Having gone from 30's, to 31's, then 32's, and now 33's, my ideal setup for 32's would be,
2.5" SL (including adjustable arms, TB's), 1" BL, (yes I said it, butt crack!), 1" MML, 1" bump stop extensions, re-gear to 4.10's or whatever gear works for your transmission choice, SYE, Modest TT.

If on a budget, skip the SYE and rear adjustable TB and just use a bracket, and skip the TT to keep the drive shafts happy.
I've got a question for ya: what would your real world opinion be as to the actual difference for the jump from 32's to 33's?? And by difference I mean clearance, sluggishness, etc.
Does the 1 inch really make a big difference?
 

bobthetj03

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I've got a question for ya: what would your real world opinion be as to the actual difference for the jump from 32's to 33's?? And by difference I mean clearance, sluggishness, etc.
Does the 1 inch really make a big difference?
That's a good question. When I considered switching from 32's to 33's, I can't really recall any solid reasoning for doing so, other than getting caught up in the bigger is better rabbit hole. My TJ is a daily driver, so I was looking for a narrower tire (10.50 vs. 11.50) for better street manners. At the time I was also lifting the jeep a bit more in prep for 33's. I ended up running the 33's for a couple years before finally re-gearing to 4.56's. 3.73's with my 5 speed was ok with 31's. 32's I really did notice a performance loss with 5th gear not performing well. Was it tolerable, sure, but not ideal. 33's on the 3.73's was even worse. 5th gear was useless, and it always felt like I was taking off from stop signs in 2nd gear. I'm pretty sure running those couple of years on 33's before re-gearing led to the demise of my clutch, which I had to replace at 125K miles.

Having said all that, if I were to do it all over, I think I would stay on 32's with a 2.5" SL, 1"MML 1" BL, and maybe re-gear to 4.10's. I'd probably still need to do the SYE and adjustable arms in order to pull off the mild TT and keep the drive lines happy. By sticking with the 4.10 ratio, I could switch back to 31's if I wanted, or even go to 33's knowing performance won't be ideal, but tolerable, or just stick with the 32's and call it good. Heck, I made it thru the Rubicon trail on 32's, and I really don't foresee doing any trails that are more difficult than the Con.
 
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psrivats

psrivats

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Having gone from 30's, to 31's, then 32's, and now 33's, my ideal setup for 32's would be,
2.5" SL (including adjustable arms, TB's), 1" BL, (yes I said it, butt crack!), 1" MML, 1" bump stop extensions, re-gear to 4.10's or whatever gear works for your transmission choice, SYE, Modest TT.

If on a budget, skip the SYE and rear adjustable TB and just use a bracket, and skip the TT to keep the drive shafts happy.
This is a good list (and more of the kind of response I am hoping to see) for 32s.

What prevents you from other more serious mods (outboarded shocks/custom arms/geometry correction) I mentioned? Budget or you don't see the need for these with 32s or a bit of both? Just curious.
 
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Vasq

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That's a good question. When I considered switching from 32's to 33's, I can't really recall any solid reasoning for doing so, other than getting caught up in the bigger is better rabbit hole. My TJ is a daily driver, so I was looking for a narrower tire (10.50 vs. 11.50) for better street manners. At the time I was also lifting the jeep a bit more in prep for 33's. I ended up running the 33's for a couple years before finally re-gearing to 4.56's. 3.73's with my 5 speed was ok with 31's. 32's I really did notice a performance loss with 5th gear not performing well. Was it tolerable, sure, but not ideal. 33's on the 3.73's was even worse. 5th gear was useless, and it always felt like I was taking off from stop signs in 2nd gear. I'm pretty sure running those couple of years on 33's before re-gearing led to the demise of my clutch, which I had to replace at 125K miles.

Having said all that, if I were to do it all over, I think I would stay on 32's with a 2.5" SL, 1"MML 1" BL, and maybe re-gear to 4.10's. I'd probably still need to do the SYE and adjustable arms in order to pull off the mild TT and keep the drive lines happy. By sticking with the 4.10 ratio, I could switch back to 31's if I wanted, or even go to 33's knowing performance won't be ideal, but tolerable, or just stick with the 32's and call it good. Heck, I made it thru the Rubicon trail on 32's, and I really don't foresee doing any trails that are more difficult than the Con.
I really appreciate all that info! I think I geared myself towards 33's just because it seemed like a milestone or something, in the way 35's seem to be. But after the BL and TT (which is a can of worms) I've been wondering if I gave myself too much lift, or if the jump from 32 to 33 will fill the gap.
About your 4.56's, would you say that's perfect gearing for the 32/33 size? Or do you ever find yourself wishing for 4.88's?
thanks in advance for all your insight.
 

bobthetj03

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This is a good list (and more of the kind of response I am hoping to see) for 32s.

What prevents you from other more serious mods (outboarded shocks/custom arms/geometry correction) I mentioned? Budget or you don't see the need for these with 32s or a bit of both? Just curious.
After listening to comments from others way more intelligent about these sort of things concerning mid arm lifts and those that require more severe geometry changes, I've come to the conclusion that you really need 4"+ of lift to yield any meaningful performance gains. As far as outboarding shocks?, I have never experienced the benefit of such a mod, so I can't really comment on that. Did you get to drive Chris's TJ after all those mods?
 
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psrivats

psrivats

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After listening to comments from others way more intelligent about these sort of things concerning mid arm lifts and those that require more severe geometry changes, I've come to the conclusion that you really need 4"+ of lift to yield any meaningful performance gains. As far as outboarding shocks?, I have never experienced the benefit of such a mod, so I can't really comment on that. Did you get to drive Chris's TJ after all those mods?
I think there is benefit to geometry correction and shock outboarding even with 2" of lift (provided everything else is taken care of properly). Of course, you'll get more bang for the buck with these items at higher lift heights. Dave seemed to think that 2.5" of lift is where geometry correction starts to make a difference.

2.5" lift is where I start putting on geometry correction or track bar relocation if it's in the budget.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
I sadly did not get to drive @Chris' jeep after the mods ... he had to sell it even before I saw it in person after the mods.
 
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bobthetj03

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I really appreciate all that info! I think I geared myself towards 33's just because it seemed like a milestone or something, in the way 35's seem to be. But after the BL and TT (which is a can of worms) I've been wondering if I gave myself too much lift, or if the jump from 32 to 33 will fill the gap.
About your 4.56's, would you say that's perfect gearing for the 32/33 size? Or do you ever find yourself wishing for 4.88's?
thanks in advance for all your insight.
IMO, 4.56's are exactly perfect for my 5 speed, 33" tire combo. 4.88's would be more suitable for 35's, but now that is coming from a guy that commutes daily in his jeep. Those that don't drive theirs all the time might opt for the lower gearing for better trail performance.
I might also add, and forgot about this mod, a BBK is worth it's weight in gold, even for 32's. The offroad performance of a BBK is where it really shines. It'll pay for itself the first time you are stuck on the trail at a down or up slope with your foot on the brake for more than a minute while waiting for the guy in front of you to clear an obstacle. Or, when the idiot in front of you on your way to work slams on the brakes not leaving you much reaction time to stop from imprinting a "Warn" emblem on his trunk.
 
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Vasq

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IMO, 4.56's are exactly perfect for my 5 speed, 33" tire combo. 4.88's would be more suitable for 35's, but now that is coming from a guy that commutes daily in his jeep. Those that don't drive theirs all the time might opt for the lower gearing for better trail performance.
I might also add, and forgot about this mod, a BBK is worth it's weight in gold, even for 32's. The offroad performance of a BBK is where it really shines. It'll pay for itself the first time you are stuck on the trail at a down or up slope with your foot on the brake for more than a minute while waiting for the guy in front of you to clear an obstacle. Or, when the idiot in front of you on your way to work slams on the brakes not leaving you much reaction time to stop from imprinting a "Warn" emblem on his trunk.
I completely agree about the brakes. I'll be doing the 15" kit once I decide on a front axle. And that's good to know about the gears, to be honest I love going off road but I love the whole journey and the trip too. So for example: road trips to a far away off road destination or just trips in general. I had sorta settled on 4.88's because that's what most people seem to recommend but 33" is my end all tire size, so I'd like to gear for that specifically. I also plan on having a small camper trailer that will weigh roughly 1500lbs so I was also leaning towards the 4.88 for that reason.
Have you had your Jeep loaded up pretty well and still felt good with those gears?

re-reading that, its slightly redundant to my other questions haha.
 
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psrivats

psrivats

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IMO, 4.56's are exactly perfect for my 5 speed, 33" tire combo. 4.88's would be more suitable for 35's, but now that is coming from a guy that commutes daily in his jeep. Those that don't drive theirs all the time might opt for the lower gearing for better trail performance.
I might also add, and forgot about this mod, a BBK is worth it's weight in gold, even for 32's. The offroad performance of a BBK is where it really shines. It'll pay for itself the first time you are stuck on the trail at a down or up slope with your foot on the brake for more than a minute while waiting for the guy in front of you to clear an obstacle. Or, when the idiot in front of you on your way to work slams on the brakes not leaving you much reaction time to stop from imprinting a "Warn" emblem on his trunk.
I only have the black magic pads with centric rotors and I am very impressed with their stopping ability. When I talked to Blaine before I ordered, he said a BBK is not needed for 32s, but I only asked about pavement ... did you ever run just the pads before you moved to the BBK?
 

GASnBRASS

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First question from us should be:
What is the intended use and terrain like?
Are you driving forest roads, extreme rock crawling, lots of side hilling, mudding, etc?

How I would build for 32's might not be what you'd want for 32's.

In response to the bonus round, I consider it a big build when it requires lots of high dollar custom parts or permanent modifications that can't be changed back to stock. Tub chopping, long arms, custom built non-factory axles with proprietary parts, V8 swaps, BBK's, wheel base stretch, frame modifications, etc.
 

bobthetj03

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I completely agree about the brakes. I'll be doing the 15" kit once I decide on a front axle. And that's good to know about the gears, to be honest I love going off road but I love the whole journey and the trip too. So for example: road trips to a far away off road destination or just trips in general. I had sorta settled on 4.88's because that's what most people seem to recommend but 33" is my end all tire size, so I'd like to gear for that specifically. I also plan on having a small camper trailer that will weigh roughly 1500lbs so I was also leaning towards the 4.88 for that reason.
Have you had your Jeep loaded up pretty well and still felt good with those gears?

re-reading that, its slightly redundant to my other questions haha.
I have towed a few different things since re-gearing, and really didn't feel at any time that I should have geared lower. Granted, most weight I've towed was usually under 1000lbs.
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