I recently bought a 2012 JKU Sahara and I am thinking about lifting it 2-2.5" and getting some 33" tires with 16-17" rims on it. I do not plan on doing any serious off-roading for the time being - trails here and there, but 90% of my driving is around town and on the highway.
To start: I am COMPLETELY green/new when it comes to suspension/coil/spacer lifts and Jeeps in general. I have done some cosmetic mods so far (grill inserts, tail light covers, new hood latches) but have not touched anything else. So all advice is welcome!
1) What product would you recommend that would give me 2-2.5 inches of lift that would give me good ride quality (even the same quality as stock is fine), is going to last me years, and is reasonably easy to install for $300-$500? I have read that suspension lift is more reliable/better for the vehicle than spacer lift. Thoughts?
2) As far as tires are concerned, I am pretty set on 33" Goodyear Duratracs on 16-17" rims. This car is a daily driver and I live in Canada - for those that have them, are they good in snow/ice? Also, how many miles can I expect out of them if I drive like a normal person?
3) What is the optimal width/backspacing I should look for in a 16-17" rim? I see a lot of JK owners going with a 12.5" rim but I'm worried that might hurt me a bit when the snow starts to fall.
P.S. Sorry for the wall of text - I have a lot of questions. Thanks guys!
First off, congrats on getting your first JK! I am looking forward to see your build come together!
And now to answer your questions....
1) Lift - I would suggest going with an upgradeable lift because we all know, its never going to be "finished"
A great starter set up would be a Rock Krawler 2.5" Stock Mod. This lift will give you enough lift to run 33's to 35's no problem. With upgraded flares, you can even run 37's. This lift will ride awesome and flex well when you hit the trails. It is easily upgradeable when you are ready.
2) Tires - I recommend 17" wheels because you will have way more tire choices across all sizes. Also, prices on 17's have improved over the years and sometimes are cheaper than comparable 16's. The Duratrac is a great all around tire, including in the snow.
3) Wheels - 12.5" width is tires, not wheels. For wheel size, I would recommend something between a 17x8 to 17x9. with a back space of between 4-4.5".
This setup will get you going in the right direction with a ton of options to choose from for now and when you are ready for more.