New guy looking for some help/advice - : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-26-2015, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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New guy looking for some help/advice

Hey, everyone! I recently purchased a '15 Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock. This is my first step into the world of Jeeps. Needless to say, I'm a little lost with so many options for aftermarket parts.

This is my daily driver. I have about a 30 mile drive into work through town and some backroads (one way). The longest drives I would probably make in this vehicle would 200 miles or less. Anything longer than that and we would probably take my wife's Buick Enclave for family comfort (we have daughters 4 years old and 1 year old). I have never done any off-roading, other than the years I grew up racing dirt bikes. Never done any on four wheels, though. However, I'd like to do it. Obviously, I'd be starting with mild stuff until I learned my way around the vehicle and how to handle it off-road.

I'm wanting to give this Jeep a more stout look (like pretty much everyone else does). After tons of reading that has confused and clouded my thoughts, I've got some thoughts as to what I think I want. I'm looking to you guys to offer me some help and advice, so I know I'm on the right track.

I love the look of 35s, but I think I'm just going to go with 33s. I think they would handle pretty much anything I would throw at them, plus I wouldn't have to sacrifice as much in power and fuel economy (I know, it's a Jeep!), and I wouldn't have to add a new tire carrier to handle the larger 35" spare. To get a more stout look, I'm thinking I want 12.5" wide tires. I think the 33s would be a nice balance for daily driver and a little off-road fun.

To go with the 33s, I'd like to get some 15" wheels. Going down in wheel size will give more sidewall and help the more rugged look. A plus to that is also lower costs for wheels and tires. I'm not sure which wheels to get. I'm thinking I'd like to go with aluminum, but I'm not sure what backspacing I need to not have any rubbing. I'm not wanting to grind anything off the calipers. Any help in regards to which 15s and what backspacing would be greatly appreciated. If 15s are too much trouble, I guess I could go with 16s, but I'd have the same questions.

To gain a little more clearance, I'm looking to do a 2.5" suspension lift. I talked to someone at Terra Flex, and got some good advice about which kit to go with (although when I talked to him I was planning on 35" tires). He suggested the 2.5" suspension lift with shocks. From the reading I've done, Terra Flex seems to get good product reviews. I talked to my local Jeep dealer about the Mopar 2" lift, and to my surprise, they said they only install Rough Country lifts. I told them one thing I liked about the Mopar lift was that I would be able to maintain my warranty. I was told I would maintain my warranty if they installed the Rough Country lift. I haven't read too much about Rough Country for the Jeeps, so I'm not sure how their quality stacks up to the others. Any insight into this would be helpful. I'd really like to maintain my factory warranty, so the dealer install is attractive. However, I also don't want to toss some junk on my Jeep, just to lift it. Too much invested in the vehicle to ruin it with junk parts. How do the stock shocks on the Hard Rock compare to the offerings that come with the different comparable suspension lifts? Is it worth replacing them, or should I just continue using them?

So is my thought process going on the right track with these mods (33x12.5x15 and 2.5" suspension lift)? Sorry for all the questions. I've read so much that I have information overload and it has my head spinning. Figured I'd finally post something so I can talk things out and get some direct thoughts from you guys. Thank you for your patience with me and thanks for having me!
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-26-2015, 08:01 PM
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Welcome from another New Guy, Flea!

After a few years beng out side the Jeep life, I also picked up a '15 Hard Rock and absolutely love it. I also have the same interests as you describe.

However, I'm one step ahead of you in that, after doing tons of research, I went with a JKS 3.5' lift and their Advanced Geometry Kit. So far, it's been perfect. It went together really well and feels as good as stock, actually better.

The bummer is, she's screaming for tires. Like you, I'm wavering between the cost and brain damage with regard to 35's or 37"s, or wide 33"s.

Making me a little crazy.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-26-2015, 09:19 PM
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There is really no "warranty" benefit to having the dealer install the lift. The lift itself will be covered by the manufacturer of the lift. So Tera Flex will warranty the lift. As far as the vehicle warranty, having a lift installed by a dealer or non-dealer should, in theory, not make a lick of difference. If something fails on the Jeep that is not related to the lift, Chrysler will honor the warranty. If the lift itself fails, Chrysler is not going to warranty it because the dealer installed it. The dealer will warranty it, but so will any reputable 4x4 shop.

What is more important is finding a "mod friendly" dealer. I suppose a dealer that installs lifts would, hopefully, be "mod friendly", but personally I hate dealers and would not trust them to install anything on my jeep, much less a lift kit!! And there are plenty of mod-friendly dealers around. You can probably ask on this forum for references for dealers in your area.

As for running 33" tires, what does a stock Rubicon come with anyway? (I never look, I just take them off and sell them as soon as I get the jeep home!) I think its a 31" or 32" tire already. Why not just wheel it stock if that is all you are going to do?

IMO, 35s are the smallest tire you can put a JKU and have it look "right". Why are you reluctant to do 35s? With proper gearing you really won't be able to tell the difference, except on the trail!!

Wheel it for a while, then decide if you want 33s or 35s. Who knows you may want 37s!!
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-27-2015, 07:10 PM
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I've read a few threads elsewhere on the warranty issue. If the dealership installs the lift the manufacturer may not warranty any "broken parts". Some dealers, I hear, are modification friendly. Talk to them. They might help you out if something does happen. The manufacturer can, and probably will throw a ton of "supposed" data that proves that the lift or bigger tires somehow affected the problem. I'm just putting my "two cents" in here,'s your rig and do what you want with it! A jeep is not just your vehicle, it's who you are. Lift it, put bigger shoes on it and don't sweat the small stuff. Post pics when you do it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-27-2015, 09:53 PM
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You are already ready running 32" tires so you don't need a lift if you plan on 33s.

35s can be run with a 2" budget lift.

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-27-2015, 10:11 PM
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And don't go to a 15" wheel. I went that route and am going back to a 17" so I can upgrade my steering components, after I bent my tie rod.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-28-2015, 05:27 AM
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Rough Country is definitely one of the least expensive lift kits going. It's likely a bad deal if nothing else having the dealer install it (they are likely overcharging for the cheapest lift kit you can get).
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-28-2015, 05:56 PM
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35's fit a stock Rubicon?

Originally Posted by Savvy View Post
You are already ready running 32" tires so you don't need a lift if you plan on 33s.

35s can be run with a 2" budget lift.
Hi All Also a new guy, and needing new tires soon.
Can a stock Rubicon fit 33's?? I was reading about the new BFG KO2's. The specs say the 34/10/17 are 33.5, or the 285/70/17 are 32.7. The stock BFG mudders are 32's,
The snow rating would help.
Any recommendations for stock rims / winter tires / all Terrain tires?
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-28-2015, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I think I'm leaning toward just leveling, instead of the lift. I might also go with 35s and add some flat flares for clearance. And I'm probably going to stick with 17" wheels, just in case I want to upgrade the brakes later. If I choose to go with 35s, I might add a 2.5" lift if I find I need the extra clearance. Still haven't made up my mind on tire size yet.
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