Bigger tires, lift, and re-gearing question - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-06-2014, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Bigger tires, lift, and re-gearing question

My 2012 Sport has 3.21 gears and the stock steel wheel/tire setup. I am planning on going to a 17x9 KMC, XD Crank series with LT 285/70/17 Duratracs, and more than likely going with a Teraflex 2.5" lift. Or should I go with the performance leveling kit from Teraflex.

So should I re-gear, or will the 3.21 ratio do fine. I thought about going to a 4.10 ring and pinion kit for the Dana 30/44 setup.

Suggestion?

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-07-2014, 07:23 PM
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I'll make two comments...

1. With the tire size you're considering, regearing is almost a necessity. I drove a 2012 w/ 3.21's, 6 spd and 33's. Really not bad as is. I've driven a 2014 auto w/ 35's and 3.73 and I really questioned the need to regear. I would propose doing which ever lift you choose, put the tires on then decide. It will be livable... and then you can make an informed decision. Some people simply can't tolerate the loss of felt power.


2. With a 2.5 lift, you can easily go 35's. 33's are a nice little touch to make it just slightly different than the next stock JK, but 35's really make the difference. Either way, you can use the stock rim if you choose. A basic 2.5" lift is relatively cheap as well.. might as well stay away from the spacer/leveling kit approach.

IF you choose to regear with 33's, I would say a 4.10 is a bit too much.. rather a 3.73 would be more appropriate. That said... now is the time you REALLY need to be true to yourself and consider what you really want your Jeep to do/look like. Gearing is really expensive... do it once and be done!

IF you choose to go 35's, a 4.10 is definitely the way to go. If you go this route.. let me know. I've got a set that came out of my JK, have about 40K on them that I will sell cheap!
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-15-2014, 12:33 PM
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Purely Personal

The advice to mount the tires and then decide is right on.

From there your personal desires rule. In moving from stock 32's and 4.1 to 35's, I couldn't stand the loss of torque. Went 4.56 and still twitch occasionally whether 4.88 would have been best. Only occasionally since I tried to balance around town, interstate, and crawling. Many on this forum advised 4.88 from the get-go.

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-15-2014, 01:53 PM
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The advice to mount the tires and then decide is right on.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-15-2014, 05:08 PM
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so 4.10 with 33's and the 4speed auto isnt a bad idea?

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 07:02 AM
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so 4.10 with 33's and the 4speed auto isnt a bad idea?
In my world that's a desirable combination. Acceptable highway performance and good torque.

2013 JKR, Auto, Yukon 4.56, Goodyear MTR/K 35/12.5/17 on XD222 KMC Enduro Beadlocks,Teraflex Big Brakes & Spare Carrier, Warn RC Winch, Metalcloak Front & Rear Bumpers, Metalcloak Overliner Flares & Front Inner Fenders w/ Corner Guards/Tail Lamps, Metalcloak Game Changer 2.5" w/6-Pac's, ARB Diff Covers & Onboard Air, AFE High Tuck Muffler, Front Lower Control Arm Skids, Artec Aluminum Skid System, Poison Spyder Hood Vents, Ripp SC.

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 03:07 PM
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so 4.10 with 33's and the 4speed auto isnt a bad idea?
Should be fine.


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post #8 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneJK View Post
so 4.10 with 33's and the 4speed auto isnt a bad idea?
3.8L or 3.6L? Did you mean 5 speed?

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 05:31 PM
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4-Spd. Automatic VLP 42RLE Trans
4.10 Rear Axle Ratio
3.8L V6 SMPI Engine

i have an early JK, 17,128th built
and with the next gen D35
i was going for 285/75-R16 Duratrac

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 06:18 PM
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so 4.10 with 33's and the 4speed auto isnt a bad idea?
My 2012 Unlimited Rubicon came with 4.10s from the factory, so 4.10s are, in no way, too low for your 33s (the stock Rubicon tires are about 32s). Now, some may prefer a higher gear like 3.73s or even the 3.21s for the decreased RPM at cruising speed, and the improved fuel efficiency that should theoretically provide, but the fact remains that 4.10s are stock gears on many JKs. Just for reference, I now run 37s with 5.13s and it's actually not much lower geared than it was off the truck -- about 200 RPM higher at 65 MPH. But it catches a LOT more wind, and has more inertia in the rolling mass, so my fuel mileage has dropped by about a 25%.

It's important to understand that gearing is not just about how it "feels" to drive, but more importantly has an impact on the durability of your vehicle. An undergeared setup will be more tolerable (from a mechanical standpoint) with a manual trans than it will with an auto. The auto will continually be searching for the right gear when you're cruising down the highway (especially under a load: steep grades, trailers, headwinds, etc.), whereas you can put the manual (manually) in whatever gear you choose. A gear setup that's too low will run higher RPMs at any given speed, so it may force you to drive a little slower in some circumstances but it won't kill your rig (unless you over-rev it, but that's another discussion). So from a strictly mechanical perspective, too low would be better than too high (especially with an auto).

To the original question, it's hard to say what gears would be best since I don't know what trans you have, but generally speaking I would not think 3.21s would be satisfactory, nor healthy for an auto. Unless I am mistaken, that's the highest gear they put in a JK and it's primarily on the lower trim levels with the pizza-cutter tires. There is a reason the factory puts 3.73s and 4.10s in the Rubicons -- and it's at least partly because they have bigger tires.

In your case, I would think 3.73s would be the highest gears you'd want to consider, and 4.10s will definitely be better. And if yours is an auto, you might even like life better (from a performance standpoint) with 4.88s. But like was stated above, this is the time to think long and hard about your ultimate goals. If you have any thought whatsoever of eventually going bigger than 33s, this is the time to plan for that. You definitely don't want to have to regear twice just because you find that you were short-sighted from the outset.

It's also time to weigh MPGs and vehicle longevity against intended use. Lift, bigger tires, lower gears, all are going to cut into your fuel budget. If that's a concern, stick to the highest gears your Jeep can live with (i.e., that won't fry your auto trans clutches, or lug your manual), to keep your RPMs down, and live with a slightly less peppy Jeep (it's not a hot rod, after all). If it's not a DD, then go for the lower gear to give you the performance you want both on the road and off.

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post #11 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 07:00 PM
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i'd be adding 125 pounds in rubber with 285/75-16 duratrac load E vs. my 29" wrangler ST(got 5 with 95% tread free dangit! dealer cousin threw them and my rims in free for me since the stocks were bald and the rims were in bad shape)
Personally i feel like my 4.10 has a bit TOO much power (with 29's, front lifts up 6 inch when gunned, we checked) and is only gutless below 1700 RPM.

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post #12 of 12 Old 10-17-2014, 07:30 PM
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LOL. Thanks. I agree that 4.10s with 29s might be a little overkill.

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