I can't justify the cost of re-gearing the d30, and I can't afford a d44 or junkyard 1 tons. I have been running 35s for about 12k miles but I am seriously considering going down to 33's or 285's. Should I expect to regret downgrading my jeep to see a marginal increase in performance?
Yeah, 3.21's are pretty tall, and you ARE stressing the piss outta your drivetrain every time you lug it(like climbing hills in lower RPMs)
The best deal I've personally seen for a complete re-gear is about a grand, here in SoKal.
If you've got the fender clearance for 35s, you might not like the way it looks if/when you step down to 285s, but since you didn't mention anything about off-road performance I'm gonna assume the loss of traction, clearance etc. doesn't matter to you.
I got the feeling from reading a couple of your posts that you want to step down to 3's, and you're more or less looking for people to agree with you/give you a push.
It's YOUR vehicle, if that's what you wanna do, DO IT.
You also mentioned something about pocketing a fair chunk 'O change in the process(IIRC), an if that's the case and you really are looking to get back on 35's-the RIGHT way-, then put the money in your pocket, save some more, then come back at it when you can afford to re-gear.
If you don't off-road the thing, then don't worry about lockers obviously