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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:49 PM   #16
GrantYJ
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OP,
What is the terrain like where you live? Do you take your Jeep off road? If it's flat and you don't wheel aggressively, you should be OK on 33s for a while. It won't be impressive, but you should be able to get it to 65. I live in the Ozarks (very, very hilly). My nephew has a bone stock 4 cylinder TJ with too much body lift and 33s. It's not a race car, but he can maintain highway speed. I have a heavily modified '92 YJ still running the 2.5/AX5/4.10 gears. It's not a speed demon, but I can definitely go fast enough to get a ticket.

You indicated that you don't have a lot of automotive experience. Is that by choice? If you plan on wheeling, but not working on your Jeep, you'll find out very quickly how expensive a hobby this can be. If you're willing to learn, find a local 4WD club and ask for help. Most of the fellows in this hobby enjoy working on Jeeps. Dinner and beverages will often get you plenty of instruction and assistance and you'll make some friends in the process.

That being said, I agree with the previous poster about piecing together a lift. You can follow his instructions (but you'll probably need longer shocks in addition to what he mentioned) or you could source a couple of sets of front Wagoneer springs. They'll net you about 2 1/2" of lift and if you decide later that you want a little more length, you can turn them around and gain extra wheelbase. This in conjunction with an inch of body lift and perhaps shackles should clear 33s without much issue. As said before, you'll need to address shocks and brake lines as well, but if you only put 2 1/2" of lift, you may not need mess with your drive shaft angle and steering. I've seen 4" lifts that worked fine w/o a SYE or a TC drop and I've seen 2 1/2" lifts that needed the drive shaft angle addressed. It just depends on the Jeep.

Yes, it's possible that your rear axle may self destruct; however, if you don't abuse it, it should last long enough for you to save up for an 8.8 install. Also, if you keep stock tires and wheel it hard, you may still blow the D35...

Yes, fifth gear may very well fall off; however, there's a good chance that it will happen anyway. Also, keep in mind that if you're running 33s with factory 4.10 gears, 4th gear is effectively an overdrive. Just because it has a fifth gear doesn't require that you use it.

There are also a handful of things that you can do to coax a little more power from your engine (4.0 TB, 19 lb. Injectors, Electric fan conversion, and etc.).

Sure, in a perfect world you'd bump up to 33s, swap the rear axle, put on a smooth riding super flexy lift, regear, and do a full engine/transmission/transfer case swap all at once. Typically, this is not how it's done (definitely not on a daily driver). Honestly, once you've done all that, you might as well get 35s.

If you decide to have the work done, find a decent 4WD shop and get an estimate and start saving. If you want to wrench on it yourself, find a 4WD club that you mesh with, ask for advice, and use some of your cash to buy a decent quality starter tool set. Craftsman tools are priced well for the quality and there isn't a lot that you can't do with a good starter set.

Do a little at a time as funds and comfort level allow and as you things break or don't function the way you want. Start with fluid changes and a tune up. You might find out that you enjoy it.

Sorry for the length of this, but I was trying to answer both the question and the questions that you don't yet know to ask.

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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #17
Siva283
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I DD mine. I have the 2.5 with stock 4.10 gears. I run 75 mph each way to and from work. I drive 110 miles round trip a day. I can hold 65 over the moutain I cross. I get 17 mpg summer and 14ish in the winter. I run 33x12.5 tires. I got 260,000 miles out of the first engine and trans. Then the trans died and I replaced it. The next day the exhaust valve in cylinder 2 broke and the valve head punched a hole in the piston. So I now have a new engine and trans. Like I said I got almost exactly 260,000 miles out of them. Up until recently I took mine off road every weekend and beat it like it owed me money. If you take care of it it will take care of you. I am also running the D35 still. When it breaks I will go 8.8 but so far so good.
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1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

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[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 04-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #18
Old4X
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If you can't do the labor yourself, it is far cheaper to sell your jeep as is and get a 4.0 (91 or later). You won't have any problems running the speeds you want, getting the low end torque for off road, and have a better transmission from the get go.

You have only budgeted about half of what it will cost to transform yours if you are paying for labor.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 10:46 AM   #19
jschilling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrantYJ
OP,
What is the terrain like where you live? Do you take your Jeep off road? If it's flat and you don't wheel aggressively, you should be OK on 33s for a while. It won't be impressive, but you should be able to get it to 65. I live in the Ozarks (very, very hilly). My nephew has a bone stock 4 cylinder TJ with too much body lift and 33s. It's not a race car, but he can maintain highway speed. I have a heavily modified '92 YJ still running the 2.5/AX5/4.10 gears. It's not a speed demon, but I can definitely go fast enough to get a ticket.

You indicated that you don't have a lot of automotive experience. Is that by choice? If you plan on wheeling, but not working on your Jeep, you'll find out very quickly how expensive a hobby this can be. If you're willing to learn, find a local 4WD club and ask for help. Most of the fellows in this hobby enjoy working on Jeeps. Dinner and beverages will often get you plenty of instruction and assistance and you'll make some friends in the process.

That being said, I agree with the previous poster about piecing together a lift. You can follow his instructions (but you'll probably need longer shocks in addition to what he mentioned) or you could source a couple of sets of front Wagoneer springs. They'll net you about 2 1/2" of lift and if you decide later that you want a little more length, you can turn them around and gain extra wheelbase. This in conjunction with an inch of body lift and perhaps shackles should clear 33s without much issue. As said before, you'll need to address shocks and brake lines as well, but if you only put 2 1/2" of lift, you may not need mess with your drive shaft angle and steering. I've seen 4" lifts that worked fine w/o a SYE or a TC drop and I've seen 2 1/2" lifts that needed the drive shaft angle addressed. It just depends on the Jeep.

Yes, it's possible that your rear axle may self destruct; however, if you don't abuse it, it should last long enough for you to save up for an 8.8 install. Also, if you keep stock tires and wheel it hard, you may still blow the D35...

Yes, fifth gear may very well fall off; however, there's a good chance that it will happen anyway. Also, keep in mind that if you're running 33s with factory 4.10 gears, 4th gear is effectively an overdrive. Just because it has a fifth gear doesn't require that you use it.

There are also a handful of things that you can do to coax a little more power from your engine (4.0 TB, 19 lb. Injectors, Electric fan conversion, and etc.).

Sure, in a perfect world you'd bump up to 33s, swap the rear axle, put on a smooth riding super flexy lift, regear, and do a full engine/transmission/transfer case swap all at once. Typically, this is not how it's done (definitely not on a daily driver). Honestly, once you've done all that, you might as well get 35s.

If you decide to have the work done, find a decent 4WD shop and get an estimate and start saving. If you want to wrench on it yourself, find a 4WD club that you mesh with, ask for advice, and use some of your cash to buy a decent quality starter tool set. Craftsman tools are priced well for the quality and there isn't a lot that you can't do with a good starter set.

Do a little at a time as funds and comfort level allow and as you things break or don't function the way you want. Start with fluid changes and a tune up. You might find out that you enjoy it.

Sorry for the length of this, but I was trying to answer both the question and the questions that you don't yet know to ask.
Thank you all for the help again! I take my jeep out wheeling at a minimum of once a month and will probably be taking it out more often during the summer. Also I am pretty aggressive offroad. I've also been looking into joining an offroad club called the Ohio River Four Wheelers.

Just a few more questions on tires.
Would I have all these problems with 31" tires? And if I did choose to go with 31" tires instead of 33's would there be any significant difference in my jeeps ability offroading?
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Unread 04-03-2013, 10:48 AM   #20
jschilling
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Forgot to add this into the last post. My daily commute is around 20-30 miles. I live in Kentucky and occaisonally have to drive it on some pretty hilly roads but for the most part it is flat roads.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 12:40 PM   #21
GrantYJ
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I ran 31s for a long time (close to 10 years) when my Jeep was my DD with nothing more than shackle lift and bastard packs that had a second leaf from some S10 packs added to the stock packs. It rubbed the flares when flexing, but didn't make it to the body. I drive about 70 miles a day and it's very hilly in my area. It wasn't a powerhouse, but it could run 70+ as long as it was relatively flat, 65-70 on hills. I'm running 33s now and it's not that much different, but I have aluminum wheels and Hankook Dynapro MTs. The Hankooks aren't terribly aggressive for a MT tire and they weigh about the same as my old 31s.

Concerning the transmission, sooner or later 5th is going to fall off. The bigger the tire, the more likely that it will happen. The AX5 might make a great boat anchor, but they're terrible transmissions. I just don't use 5th anymore. I'm planning a Ford 302/NP435 swap right now (haven't decided on a TC). If my transmission gives up again, I'll be expediting the swap, but I doubt it will be a factor since I don't use 5th.

The rear axle is a wild card. I know guys who are downright abusive who haven't had problems and I've seen them let go for no apparent reason. I wouldn't worry about it right now, but since you're wheeling, you should probably start thinking about swapping it if you're going to 33s (or even aggressive wheeling on 31s). I've messed up two on 31s. If you decide to wait, do NOT put a locker in your D35. It will self destruct.

For wheeling, bigger tires make things easier, but even with stock tires you'd be amazed where you can put a YJ (it just takes more skill). There's only 1" of clearance more with 33s in lieu of 31s, but 33s have a much easier time going over things (just as 35s climb easier than 33s). Most people think that you put on bigger tires for more clearance; however, while clearance is nice, it's not nearly as much of an issue when wheeling as diameter of tire when you're trying to get over or through something.

The pretty picture below illustrates how the angle of the tangent of the tire to an obstacle changes with tire diameter on a few different sizes of obstacles. The closer the angle gets to 180 (flat) the easier it is to climb. A degree or two makes a world of difference. I hope this clears up what I mean about tire size for climbing rather than clearance.

tan-tire.jpg

The bottom line is, the transmission and rear axle that came in your Jeep just suck (I'm in the same boat). They are the weak points in your drive train. Bigger tires exacerbate the problem. Deeper gears would help (not cure) concerns about the transmission, but won't do all that much for the rear end (except throw money away by swapping gears into a D35).

Just decide what tires you want to run and plan accordingly. At the moment, I've got 33s with the same drivetrain that you've got and it's holding up fine. I'm prepping to reinstall my 8.8 now and I'm planning on swapping to a different engine/trans/TC, but my end goal isn't the 33s that I'm running. I want to go bigger. For 33s, I don't see a terrible problem with the setup you have. I wouldn't run 35s with it, but I'm comfortable with my 33s.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #22
Xpress
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrantYJ View Post
The bottom line is, the transmission and rear axle that came in your Jeep just suck
Keep in mind that Jeep did not design the YJ to be modified, nor a hard core balls to the walls offroad machine.

In stock form, everything works perfectly. The market was to those who are looking for a vehicle that makes a practical daily driver that can leave the road and explore a bit if the owner so desires to. Chances are, they never thought we would be doing what we are doing to them.

They work fine in stock form, even with mildly larger tires, but nothing more than that.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #23
GrantYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpress View Post

Keep in mind that Jeep did not design the YJ to be modified, nor a hard core balls to the walls offroad machine.

In stock form, everything works perfectly. The market was to those who are looking for a vehicle that makes a practical daily driver that can leave the road and explore a bit if the owner so desires to. Chances are, they never thought we would be doing what we are doing to them.

They work fine in stock form, even with mildly larger tires, but nothing more than that.
The AX5 is a lemon. It's very well documented. Even on bone stock Jeeps it has a history of losing the syncros and fifth gear falling off. I agree that the D35s will typically hold up in stock conditions and that in those conditions there are less problems with the aforementioned lemon, but that has no bearing whatsoever in this thread.

Nobody is trying to debate the merits or flaws of the original intended design here except for you. The OP didn't ask what he should be concerned about on a stock Jeep. He asked about concerns running 31s or 33s. In this circumstance, I'll happily stand by my statement that they "suck" (admittedly, not the most eloquent statement that I've ever made).

On a side note, if you think that people weren't building up CJs while AMC was designing the YJ, you're delusional. AMC and Chrysler were/are corporations. Corporations that don't want to go out of business have to make decisions based on sales and costs associated with manufacture. It's simple economics. They simply didn't/don't care what we do with them after we buy them as long as we buy them. They could have put AX15s behind the 2.5, but the AX5 was more cost effective. They could have put any number of rear axles under the YJ, but the D35 was cheaper.

Please don't misconstrue this as complaining. I'm happy that they made the Wrangler a financial success. If it hadn't been, we wouldn't be able to go buy a new Jeep today (or have stuff to modify in another 15 years).

OP, I apologise for getting off topic.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 07:11 PM   #24
mcoulter57
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Well this post is kind of bumming me out since I just ordered 33-12.5's today. I've been running 32-11.5 I bought from a friend on the cheep, but they are pretty dry rotted. I just moved to OK and haven't had any trouble on highway doing 65 mph. How do I find out which transmission and gears I have?
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Unread 04-03-2013, 07:15 PM   #25
Siva283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoulter57 View Post
Well this post is kind of bumming me out since I just ordered 33-12.5's today. I've been running 32-11.5 I bought from a friend on the cheep, but they are pretty dry rotted. I just moved to OK and haven't had any trouble on highway doing 65 mph. How do I find out which transmission and gears I have?
Even if you have the ax5 its not as bad as people say. I got 260, 000 trouble free miles out of my last one and 100, 000 of those were on 33x12.5. Keep the fluid changes and clean (it uses 10w30 motor oil) and it will treat you right. I even regularly tow a small trailer with mine.

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1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

[QUOTE=Magnum;14117863] I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=ldso;16498409]. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Luuca;16122017]diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Overhead;17658665]this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #26
GrantYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoulter57 View Post
Well this post is kind of bumming me out since I just ordered 33-12.5's today. I've been running 32-11.5 I bought from a friend on the cheep, but they are pretty dry rotted. I just moved to OK and haven't had any trouble on highway doing 65 mph. How do I find out which transmission and gears I have?
If it's a 4 cylinder, it has 4.10 gears and an AX5. If it's a 6 cylinder, what year is it?

Also, I'm not trying to rain doom and gloom. I'm just speaking from personal experience and the experience of people I know. 5th has fallen off twice in the time I've owned it (14-15 years and 300k miles). Mine has always been well maintained and I'm fairly nice while wheeling. My nephew has a TJ with about 100k and to my knowledge, his hasn't had anything go wrong.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:48 PM   #27
mcoulter57
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It's a 4 cyl 94. What does it mean when 5th falls off? I rarely use 5th, but it is there I have used it.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:55 PM   #28
GrantYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoulter57 View Post
It's a 4 cyl 94. What does it mean when 5th falls off? I rarely use 5th, but it is there I have used it.
Exactly what it sounds like. There is a retaining clip on the end of the shaft that holds your gear (5th gear) in place. It has a nasty habit of breaking. When you try to shift into 5th, it's like you put it in neutral.

It isn't like it happens every other time you drive it, but it's a known problem.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:58 PM   #29
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Can you live with it? And is it a expensive fix
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Unread 04-03-2013, 09:21 PM   #30
GrantYJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoulter57 View Post
Can you live with it? And is it a expensive fix
Mine came off twice. The last time was around 2002 or 2003 (three or four years before I had an accident and stopped DDing it). Both times I pulled it and took it to a local shop to have it fixed. The second time, my normal guy was backed up and I took it to a different guy... when I told him that it had come off before and I didn't want it to come off again, he assured me it wouldn't. A few months later when I heard "ticking" while in 5th, I realized what he meant. The ticking was a chip in the gear resulting from the fact that he welded it on and messed up the temper. That's when I quit using 5th.

I know that there's a fix out there (now) but I never looked into it because I'd have to replace a shaft and a gear. I'd rather just swap my drive train.

If you're concerned about it, do a search. I believe that there's a fix that entails installing something that keeps it from coming off. If you end up in a situation where it's already fallen off, I wouldn't want to drive around with a decent sized chunk of steel rattling around gears that are rotating at those speeds.

Sorry that I'm not more helpful, but I haven't bothered looking into it further since I don't use 5th and I don't have to worry about it coming off again. Hopefully, one of the guys who's done this will chime in.
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