Almost. The engineers originally wanted to put 33s under the original Rubicon. But that would have required the same kind of lift and suspension redesign efforts we often go through.
What the engineers actually did was really push the limits of the stock platform. They added a bit of factory front bump stop to keep the tires mostly away from the fender sheet metal. But it is really not quite enough when the sway bar is disconnected.
There is a hint that they almost got what they wanted, though. The 2003 Rubicon speedo is incorrect from the factory. When I put my first set of 285/75r16 tires on, the speedo was really close to accurate.
@Rescue6 is my wheeling buddy here in Colorado. With him spotting me, I am able to follow him a lot of places on my 31s that I would never even think about attempting by myself. I'm learning so much from him! Plus, with him as my wheeling buddy I'm literally going out with a HC4WD tow truck being driven by an EMT. He also knows how to put out a forest fire if I accedentally start one. Haha!I’m in Colorado and yes most all of the trails that you will see online can be done on 31” tires especially the scenic ones to visit the old mining towns or high mountain passes. Is it ideal or as comfortable of a ride on the small tires. No. Rolling over large rocks is much easier and more comfortable with a larger tire. There are also a lot of trails that can be done on 33” tires As long as the driver has some experience or has a good spotter. That most would not attempt without 37”+ tires. And then there are trails that are just not Really meant for full bodied vehicles here in Colorado. But you can have fun regardless of tire size. Build your Vehicle for the terrain you want to wheel. Mine is on the verge of too big and overbuilt for what I run most of the time. However it rides really comfortable and I don’t have to worry about breaking it much anymore until I get the itch to go run the trails meant for the buggies that I will occasionally run as well. But it’s taken years to get to this point. I drove on 31”s and a budget boost for a year or so. Then 33”s with a 3” lift then went 4” with sye, and adjustable short arms, then added a 4:1, then lockers and gears in the Dana 30/Dana 44 drove a few more years, then went to long arms and 35”s and chromosomes shafts and a Dana 44 front, drove that for a few years till I started breaking stuff and running harder trails, then put a Currie rock jock 60 in the rear and a genright 4 link and stretched the wheelbase 5” in the rear and added 37”s and have replaced the front axle again with a high pinion Dana 44 aftermarket housing. I’ve added an Atlas 4 speed T case. I will be stretching the front soon and am building a hybrid 60 axle and three link in the next year to hopefully get 40”s as it’s really just a toy anymore. But even with all this crap sometimes I wish I was still on 35”s and even 33”s. It was much more fun to drive. Handled like a Dream. And I drove it a whole lot more often. Point is. Enjoy it for what it is. And you can get to a hell of a lot of beautiful and remote places even with a stock Jeep and some decent tires regardless of the size. Sometimes with the bigger stuff it is no longer fun and challenging. In fact I now try to do all the stuff in 2wd low just to be a challenge
31s, front lockers, and wisdom will get you there.
I dont have alot of "action" shots, just final result.
But to give you an idea if what you can do nearly stock.. sidewinder in corral canyon and bronco peak was pretty grueling.
Vid is not me, as I ran it 10 years ago.. but I made it through on 30's.
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And this guy....
2.5" lift, tummy tuck, open diffs, 31s and similar results here. A properly set up TJ on 31s is more capable than most realize.I know this is a somewhat old thread, but as I'm trying to decide the future of my TJ, I was reading this thread.
I wanted to post that I made it through sidewinder in late 2019 with a stock TJ on 30x9.5s. I hit my control arms, frame and shovel a few times but nothing serious. I went nice and slow, with a good spotter. I barely had to use 4x4 (maybe in one or two spots)... This is a black diamond rated trail. Open/open.
I also did Bronco peak in Late 2021 with my stock '17 JKUR. Now I know this is not the same as a TJ on 31s, but I would say it's actually even harder due to wheel base. I didn't use my lockers either. I couldn't take my TJ because it was in the shop. This is a double black diamond trail. I want to go back and run it with my TJ before I leave CA.
My TJ is now still on 30s with a 2" coil lift, still open/open, and I think I would've had an easier time on bronco peak with it. I think these experiences lead me to realize 31s and a 2" lift can get you pretty much anywhere that a sane person would go.
My TJ is setup with 31" x 10.5" DuraTrac tires. I mainly drive FS roads, both snow covered and not, and do some light off-roading. So far they've done everything I've wanted to do without an issue, and I can't say they've limited me much. I would like to go to 33" x 12.5" tires when I need new ones mainly for the added benefit in the snow.
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