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Unread 06-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #1
Take_My_Top_Off
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Tires? Regearing?

First off, I am new to the Jeep world and addicted already. I've been doing a lot of research of what I need but I can't find what I need specifically. I don't know much about vehicles in general, but I want to learn.

I just bought a 2007 Wrangler Unlimited X a couple weeks ago. It has a 3.5 in suspension lift, 35/12.50 on 17in rims. It definitely needs new tires. The question is if I get tires for a 16 rim then get 16 in rims, will that effect anything else? What is regearing and do I need to do it? Should I get a larger tire to make up for smaller rims? I'm looking at the Maxxis BigHorn or the Dick Cepek Mud Country. Both in 35s preferably. I want to keep the same tire size. This will be a daily driver as well as some off roading but I need it to perform well for both.

I'm not sure what all has been replaced because when i got this I didn't know that so many things were effected by lifting it. Otherwise I would have checked into it more at the time, but honestly I was just in a hurry to have it as my own. Also, it has the death wobble but thats another issue for another day.


Last edited by Take_My_Top_Off; 06-20-2013 at 07:13 PM..
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Unread 06-23-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
5spdftw
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First off, I'm not sure that 16" wheels will clear the JK brakes. That's a question for someone else.
Next, If you stay with a 35x12.50 you shouldn't have to regear assuming you are happy with the power as it sits now.
Lastly, I suspect what you are experiencing is not death wobble. If it was you would not be saying it was an issue for another day. It will literally make your Jeep feel like it's trying to buck you off. Not something to be postponed.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #3
Charley3
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I'm not a JK expert, but I'm pretty sure 16" wheels would fit. If they fit, 16" tires will work better.

I think you would need to regear for 35s. Maybe not for 33s.

32s or 33s would be better for DD, IMO. But I realize that might not look right with your lift.
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Unread 06-24-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
Take_My_Top_Off
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The power is great as it is now with 35s. I just wasn't sure if it would make much of a difference to do to make it worth the trouble.

It's not a bad case of the wobbles. It just happens when I hit a bump the wrong way. Hasn't happened on the interstate yet. Just going around 40 mph.

And yeah I want to stick with 35s because of the lift and look.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
Charley3
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Originally Posted by Take_My_Top_Off View Post
It's not a bad case of the wobbles. It just happens when I hit a bump the wrong way. Hasn't happened on the interstate yet. Just going around 40 mph.
If death wobble happens on the Interstate at 70 mph it will be a life altering experience you'll never forget, if you survive.

I suggest you NOT use cruise control until after the issue is fixed. Nothing sucks worse than DW with cruise control on. You cannot disengage cruise with button on steering wheel because steering wheel is bucking and jerking. So you have to tap the brake to disengage cruise, but using brakes makes DW more violent.

Fear is healthy. Get some. Get it fixed before you have a life altering experience on the freeway at 70 mph.
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Unread 06-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
5spdftw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
If death wobble happens on the Interstate at 70 mph it will be a life altering experience you'll never forget, if you survive.

I suggest you NOT use cruise control until after the issue is fixed. Nothing sucks worse than DW with cruise control on. You cannot disengage cruise with button on steering wheel because steering wheel is bucking and jerking. So you have to tap the brake to disengage cruise, but using brakes makes DW more violent.

Fear is healthy. Get some. Get it fixed before you have a life altering experience on the freeway at 70 mph.
Hell, I drove home on backroads without a front lower control arm and the DW had me crapping my pants at 15mph. You couldn't pay me to ride in a DW prone Jeep at 70mph.
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Unread 06-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #7
3X4X4
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My JK came with 16X7 inch wheels. I replaced the stockers with Mickey Thompson 16X8 inch with the approx. 3.75 backspace. Plenty of room.



J
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Unread 06-28-2013, 11:32 PM   #8
Charley3
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Originally Posted by 5spdftw View Post
Hell, I drove home on backroads without a front lower control arm and the DW had me crapping my pants at 15mph. You couldn't pay me to ride in a DW prone Jeep at 70mph.
On my prior Jeep (an LJ) I had severe death wobble at any speed above 45 mph. That was doubly scary the first time it happned because I had cruise control on at 60 mph. So I couldn't coast to a lower speed. I had to tap the brakes to turn off the cruise control. Tapping brakes made the DW worse.

That's why I say never use cruise if your Jeep can't be trusted. Also, don't drivee on freeway until it's fixed.

My DW was caused by to soft of an aftermarket trackbar bushing, and I think 33s and less than stock BS contributed. The DW loosened up (destroyed) the joint where pitman arm attaches to the drag link (or whatever it's called). To fix the DW I had to have replaced the soft bushing with a firm bushing and replaced the joint.

I never felt at ease in that Jeep again and never again used the cruise. It never wobbled again, but I never trusted it again. I sold it.

If you have DW, it means something is wrong, and the DW will loosen or destroy other parts, which makes looser steering, which makes worse DW. Fix it ASAP before it damages other parts and before it gets you hurt.
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Unread 06-28-2013, 11:40 PM   #9
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FWIW, it is my opinion that larger tires and/or less backspacing makes DW more likely.

Others may have other opinions, but when has a stock Jeep ever had DW? I've never heard of a stock Jeep having DW.

I've never had DW with stock wheels and tires 2 sizes taller than stock. Never heard of any one else either.

My current Jeep has stock wheels and tires only 2 sizes taller than stock. I'm pretty sure it will never DW. Point being, I've learned the value of moderation in mods.

In future, I will try tires 3 sizes taller than stock, but still on stock wheels. I doubt that will ever DW. To go 3 sizes taller tires than stock and have that fit on stock wheels, I'll use 9.5 wide tires.

This is one (of many) reasons I prefer narrow tires. They are usually lighter per height, and they allow me to use stock wheels (with stock BS).

---

Of course you can have a reliable Jeep with aftermarket wheels that have less BS and much larger heavier tires than stock, but you are then pushing the limits of wheel bearings, bushings, and joints of steering and suspension. So bearing, bushing, or joint failure is more likely, and therefore DW is more likely. To have everything work properly with large tires and less BS, every bushing, joint, wheel bearing, and steering stabilizer has to be kept in excellent condition (which is harder to do when extra wear from heavier tires and less BS). Less BS moves wheels out, which puts more leverage on wheel bearings and entire steering system. So a higher standard of maintainance is needed to keep all of it working reliably and no DW.
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Unread 06-29-2013, 02:34 AM   #10
3X4X4
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My stock JK DW with stock tires and wheels, completely stock. Worn out shocks, worn out front control arm bushings, worn out, out of round tires. Made needed repairs, cured issue. Lifted, got new MT wheels, tires etc, still no issues. Now all of the VSC and ABS, that is a whole 'nuther issue.

J
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Unread 06-29-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
biffgnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley3 View Post
Others may have other opinions, but when has a stock Jeep ever had DW?
Stock jeeps can definitely get DW. Read the DW threads in TJ Tech for example and you'll see people reporting it. As jeeps get older and bushings wear it will happen even with a stock setup.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 03:49 AM   #12
Charley3
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Huh. I didn't know stocker Jeeps could DW. I've never had a stock Jeep DW, but my Jeeps have all been lower mileage.

I still think larger tires and less BS makes DW more likely though. That combo gave me DW on a new LJ that never wobbled when stock.

One thing I think everyone agrees on is that worn parts can cause DW. Larger tires and less BS increases parts wear, as well as increasing weight the steering and suspension must deal with, and less BS moves wheel/tire out, which increases leverage and strain on wheel bearings, king pin, and steering system in general.

So I still think larger tires and less BS can contribute to DW, or make it more likely, and wears parts faster. But it is very informative to learn DW can happen on a worn out stock Jeep.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 03:53 AM   #13
Charley3
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I wonder if Jeeps are prone to DW. Like maybe a design flaw.

No other brand of vehicle I've ever owned had DW, and some of them were high mileage cars and trucks.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 05:51 AM   #14
mschi772
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charley3
I wonder if Jeeps are prone to DW. Like maybe a design flaw.

No other brand of vehicle I've ever owned had DW, and some of them were high mileage cars and trucks.
Pretty much any track bar located solid front axle (usually coil sprung) will be vulnerable to DW. I've seen Dodge Rams with it; I think there's a video of a Ram with DW (filmed from a vehicle in front of said Ram) somewhere out there. There's also a scary vid of an F-250 with DW out there.

I think we hear about it more from Jeeps because we pay closer attention to Jeeps since we're Jeep guys and because Jeepers more commonly lift and upsize tires to a greater relative magnitude than others.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 07:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mschi772 View Post
Pretty much any track bar located solid front axle (usually coil sprung) will be vulnerable to DW. I've seen Dodge Rams with it; I think there's a video of a Ram with DW (filmed from a vehicle in front of said Ram) somewhere out there. There's also a scary vid of an F-250 with DW out there.

I think we hear about it more from Jeeps because we pay closer attention to Jeeps since we're Jeep guys and because Jeepers more commonly lift and upsize tires to a greater relative magnitude than others.
x2

And as to bigger tires creating more potential for DW . . . . . duh!! Bigger tires put more strain on parts and wear them out faster which then allows DW to happen.
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