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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new-to-me JKU sport that is rocking the stock 16 steelies on 29s. Needless to say, I am going up in tire size (to 33s).

My plan is to go with a 285/70R17 (11.4" wide) Duratracs. Can I get away with just changing the wheels and tires on the 4 operating hubs, and then put a cover to hide the 29" spare? I'd want to do this for a couple of reasons:

1. Don't want to change out bumper and/or extend 3rd light if I can avoid it. Mostly $ concern.
2. I save money. I can buy one less 17" rim and one less Duratrac, saving me about $400.
3. Easier to use for the kids/wife. The tailgate will just be lighter with the stock 29" on there.
4. Less overbearing look--wife and I are debating the rock-crawler look vs. a more "friendly" mall crawler. I got her to the 33 Duratrac's, but think the jeep may look "simpler" without one hanging on the back too.

However, I am concerned about a few things:
1. Will the spare even work, having a 29" spare when the other 3 sides are 33". It would be a true true spare. Note that our offroading (for now) is going to be simple trails with the kids, I don't anticipate getting stuck by myself anytime soon.
2. Will it look odd to have a (covered) smaller spare on the back?
3. What if I wanted the real spare at some point. Maybe go and buy 5 wheels and stash the 5th just in case?


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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can do it yes but we still know what's hiding under there ;)

1) The tire will fit no problem. I have 285/70R75 and it is a snug fit (tire rests on the bumper) but if you go aftermarket wheels you would need extended rubber bumpers on the tailgate.
2) Yep it will cost less.
3) Not that much difference really.
4) That's subjective... bigger tires with a smaller spare has always looked goofy to me.

1) No. Maybe in an emergency but not even sure about that (especially if you have limited slip rear) If you have a flat you will have to get it fixed immediately.
2) Yes
3) If you aren't doing it now, might as well wait and buy one later.

1a) Glad to know it fits (snugly)---is that for the bumper and the 3rd light (so no extension required)? Good point on the bumpers.
4a and 2b) Goofy--good word.
1b) This is the real question. Not sure what happens when on wheel is a good 2" shorter than the rest with a limited slip...

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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1a) The 285/70R17 you are looking at would probably fit without even touching the bumper. Here's a pic if the 285/75

the old tires 265/70R17 for comparison

so yours would be somewhere in between.

1b) not positive but if it does have lsd I'm sure it wouldn't be good for it. The wheel sensor would also be reading the difference and the ESP might interpret it as wheel spin.
Thanks for the pics. re: wheel spin---isn't that what 4wd is for :)
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