Rubicon and 35s

DipStick45

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I have a 2005 rubicon 6 speed currently with 33s on it, I have been thinking about upgrading to 35s and wanted to get opinions about the stock Dana 44s handling the tires. I don’t really plan on off-roading too much and the car will likely be my weekend cruiser. I can live with it feeling a little sluggish and not regearing just yet, but I don’t want to break anything. Any advice is appreciated.
 
I have a 2005 rubicon 6 speed currently with 33s on it, I have been thinking about upgrading to 35s and wanted to get opinions about the stock Dana 44s handling the tires. I don’t really plan on off-roading too much and the car will likely be my weekend cruiser. I can live with it feeling a little sluggish and not regearing just yet, but I don’t want to break anything. Any advice is appreciated.

I'd get Black Magic Brakes pads and a V8 ZJ tie rod at a minimum.
 
The stock Rubicon axles are fine for a street driven rig. Front/rear chromoly shafts are a solid upgrade if you ever plan to wheel harder than what is offered in the Pine Barrens.
 
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I have a 2005 rubicon 6 speed currently with 33s on it, I have been thinking about upgrading to 35s and wanted to get opinions about the stock Dana 44s handling the tires. I don’t really plan on off-roading too much and the car will likely be my weekend cruiser. I can live with it feeling a little sluggish and not regearing just yet, but I don’t want to break anything. Any advice is appreciated.

Good morning,
Regarding your proposed move to 35's from 33's
  • Would this be mostly for looks? If so, what type of lift do you have?
    • Personally, I think 33's on a mildly lifted LJ look pretty nice. 35's look a bit stuffed on something stock or less than 3".
  • As for durability, I think Dana 44's should be fine with 35's if driven with some care/regard for preserving the vehicle, especially when locked Front/Rear. As mentioned above, aftermarket axleshafts are certainly a good choice, if the need is there? (or an easy upgrade, after the fact, if you break an axle shaft)
  • I'd recommend installing an upgraded steering system - we run a Currie Correctlync on ours. Gives us big-time peace of mind.
  • As for drivability, our rig is an auto, but I feel like 5.13's are a bare minimum for this setup and returning stock level power/acceleration. I could see us going to 5.38's quite honestly, but it's not a huge issue for us, just for cruising or for the wheeling we've done so far.
    • Along those lines - What gear ratio do you have right now with your 6-speed?
 
Us wheeling on a 7+/10 trail on 35's with stock Dana 44's:

8295AA7B-BE0B-49EC-8D90-D13A40C2C24E.JPGIMG-8626.jpg
 
Good morning,
Regarding your proposed move to 35's from 33's
  • Would this be mostly for looks? If so, what type of lift do you have?
    • Personally, I think 33's on a mildly lifted LJ look pretty nice. 35's look a bit stuffed on something stock or less than 3".
  • As for durability, I think Dana 44's should be fine with 35's if driven with some care/regard for preserving the vehicle, especially when locked Front/Rear. As mentioned above, aftermarket axleshafts are certainly a good choice, if the need is there? (or an easy upgrade, after the fact, if you break an axle shaft)
  • I'd recommend installing an upgraded steering system - we run a Currie Correctlync on ours. Gives us big-time peace of mind.
  • As for drivability, our rig is an auto, but I feel like 5.13's are a bare minimum for this setup and returning stock level power/acceleration. I could see us going to 5.38's quite honestly, but it's not a huge issue for us, just for cruising or for the wheeling we've done so far.
    • Along those lines - What gear ratio do you have right now with your 6-speed?

Currently lifted 4” and I believe the stock 4.10 gear ratio. Not going to be wheeling much.
 
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Currently lifted 4” and I believe the stock 4.10 gear ratio. Not going to be wheeling much.

Cool, ok, i think you should be good with that lift - I think rubbing would probably be minimal.

I think you're gonna hate 35's from a power point of view. See the link below, that would recommend 4.88's or even better 5.13's:
Just some food for thought. Gearing is one of those things that isn't SUPER fun to spend money on, but REALLY does change the way your Jeep will drive, in my opinion.
 
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I have a 2005 rubicon 6 speed currently with 33s on it, I have been thinking about upgrading to 35s and wanted to get opinions about the stock Dana 44s handling the tires. I don’t really plan on off-roading too much and the car will likely be my weekend cruiser. I can live with it feeling a little sluggish and not regearing just yet, but I don’t want to break anything. Any advice is appreciated.

I think its fair to say that going to 35's is no joke unless you want to live with lots of compromises. $$$$
 
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They should hold up most of the time, but are not quite strong enough to reliably run 35s IMO. I’ve seen plenty hold up, but your ball joints and stock shafts will be taxed to near limit.
 
I have a 2005 rubicon 6 speed currently with 33s on it, I have been thinking about upgrading to 35s and wanted to get opinions about the stock Dana 44s handling the tires. I don’t really plan on off-roading too much and the car will likely be my weekend cruiser. I can live with it feeling a little sluggish and not regearing just yet, but I don’t want to break anything. Any advice is appreciated.

You will hate every fiber of your being driving around on 35's and 4.10's. 33's and 4.10's on a 4 banger was useless. 4.0 and 4.10's on a tire step higher would be comparable. Not worth it without help in other areas.
 
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I don’t really plan on off-roading too much and the car will likely be my weekend cruiser. I can live with it feeling a little sluggish and not regearing just yet,

Sounds like you've already made up your mind and are just looking for some affirmation.
It's not just about the axles.
Most on this site would rather see it done right.