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Unread 05-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
Charley3
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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30 x 9.5 R15 tires for Daily Driver XJ, ZJ, YJ, and TJ

Note: Further down there is a list of all brands/models of 30 x 9.5 R15 tires made.

30 x 9.5 R15 in P rated, or especially load C rated, is a great size tire for daily driven XJ, ZJ, YJ, or TJ because it's excellent on road and good off road. An excellent upgrade for an XJ, or ZJ, and an excellent stock size for a YJ or TJ.
(Compared to load C tires) P rated tires cost less, ride softer (more comfort), and get better gas mileage, but P rated tread has less depth (less traction), and P rated are less tough for off roading. (i.e. - P might get damaged off road).

Load C tires have deeper tread for more traction, are tougher off road (prevents tire damage and flats). Load C are 1/2 ton truck tires, which is plenty of toughness on a 1/4 ton Jeep.

Load C ride firmer than P, but some load C tires (BFG AT KO, Cooper AT3, Mastercraft AXT, Hercules AT2, Multimile) ride almost as soft/comfortable as P. The Cooper AT3 and Hercules AT2 are my personal favorites.
On a stock Jeep: P and load C rated tires of this size are excellent for mild off roading. Load C (more puncture resistant and more traction due to deeper tread) is good for moderate off roading. I did plenty of that when my Jeep was stock. BTW - on a stock height Jeep Monroe Sensatrac shocks are ideal, IMO.

With a 1.5" to 2" lift (OME springs are my preference, though I've heard Currie also makes excellent front springs) and appropriate shocks (Bilstein 5100 or SkyJacker Hydro are my preferences), and a full set of skid plates, then load C tires of this size are excellent for moderate wheeling, and adequate for semi-hardcore wheeling.

That's awesome for a tire size that's excellent on road and even gets good highway gas mileage (for a Jeep). IME the highway gas mileage is about same as stock tire size.
30 x 9.5 R15 AT tires fit good on stock XJ, ZJ, YJ, TJ, and perhaps other Jeeps too. They are also excellent for many years of Ford Rangers and Explorers, and many other small to midsize SUVs that use 15" wheels. A 15 x 7 wheel is ideal with a 30 x 9.5 R15 tire for on and off road. A 15 x 8 wheel is OK on road.

30 x 9.5 R15 is an ideal tire size for someone who wants on and off road performance on a budget, and it's a simple, inexpensive, highly effective upgrade. IMO it's the ideal first upgrade for a new XJ or ZJ owner. I'm on my 3rd Jeep and I've tried many sizes of tires, including smaller and larger sizes, and 30s are my favorite size for a daily driver Jeep because they give an excellent combination of on and off road performance, and good gas mileage too.

I'm most familiar XJs. For that reason, the following talks about XJs mostly, but the list of tires below is useful to anyone interested in 30 x 9.5 R15 tires. This includes people with daily driver XJ, ZJ, YJ, and TJ (as well as Ford Rangers, Explorers, and other brands of 1/4 ton SUVs).

It's the largest tire you can fit on a stock XJ or ZJ. It's also awesome with 1", 1.5", 2", and 2.5" lifts. Most notably Old Man Emu (OME) lifts. It's also the largest tire that works good with stock 3.55 gearing, though someday I might regear to 3.73 because I live in mountains.

Some stock XJs might have minor rubbing (on swaybar, LCA, or front flare) while turning sharp, especially if the suspension is articulating. My stock 96 XJ did this with BFG AT, but it was so minor of a rub that I ignored it and it was never a problem. It never rubbed on road, and only rarely rubbed off road. My stock 99 XJ never rubs on or off road, even when articulating and turning sharp (front sway bar connected, rear sway bar removed). I think my stock 99 XJ might even clear my 30" tires during articulation with front sway bar disconnected. This is probably because my 99 XJ has tow package springs (so it sits slightly higher).

My 99 XJ is stock and running 30 x 9.5 R15 AT and nothing has ever rubbed on or off road. I intend to install an OME 1.5" lift (light duty springs) this summer, which will be a 1.25" lift with weight of my skid plates. My 30" tires don't need any lift. I just want a lift.

If you try 30 x 9.5 R15 tires on a stock XJ, it might rub (swaybar, LCA, or front flare) slightly during sharp turns. If this happens, it might be slight enough to ignore it; or a slight adjustment to steer stops will fix it and turning radius will still be good. Any tire store will adjust steer stops (usually for free) if you bought the tires from them.

===
Edited in 2 Years Later: I now have a Currie Antirock front sway bar that allows full articulation (as much as a disconnected front sway bar would). I can still fully articulate my XJ without rubbing anything. My front tire stuffs without rubbing anything. Likewise with rear tire. I have stock bumpstops. I'm using Cooper AT3 which are spec'd at 29.3" tall and has small side lugs.

I'm pretty sure most AT wouldn't rub, or not enough to be a problem, even at full stuff with my Antirock swaybar. However, most MT would rub, which would require extending bumpstops 3/4" (I recommend a JKS bumpstop disk for that). MT in this size tire are significantly taller than AT when you compare specs, plus MT have side lugs sticking out.
===
See post 41 for places to buy slightly to moderately used 30 x 9.5 R15 tires for big discounts. You can sometimes get nearly new tires for greatly reduced prices.
===

The only complaint I've heard about 30 x 9.5 R15 tires is an alleged lack of selection. I have heard this from Jeep owners and tire shops. I've even seen some posts on the Internet lamenting a lack of tire selection in 30 x 9.5 R15. That is baloney. There is lots of selection available. See the list below.

===

List of Available 30 x 9.5 R15 Tires.

Below are sections for highway tires (HT), all season tires (AS), all terrain tires (AT), hybrid tires (part AT, part MT tread), and mud tires (MT).
Sometimes tire companies refer to AT/S, AT-S, or ATS; which I assume means it's between AS and AT, though I'm not sure what ATS means.

Highway Tires
Kumho makes a few highway tires in this size

Yokohama Geolander HT-S

Nexan Rodian HT

Falken Wildpeak HT
(Falken also makes a few other HT in this size)

Kenda Klever HT
===

All Season Tires
(between HT and AT for tread)

Yokohama Geolander HT-S

Yokohama Geolander AT-S

Cooper ATR - (part AS, part AT) I like this tire.

Mastercraft Courser LTR (AS)

Hercules All Trac AT (Hercules calls it AT, but really AS)

Multi-Mile Wild Country XRT III (part AS, part AT)

Kumho Road Venture SAT KL61 (part AS, part AT)

Toyo Open Country AT2 version P (part AS, part AT)

Uniroyal Laredo AWT II (2) (part AS, part AT)

Falken ZIEX S/TZ04

Michelin LTX MS2 (not sure if this is an AS, or mix of AS and AT, you decide)
===

All Terrain Tires
All terrain tires reviews and rankings discussed... http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f15/n...e-one-1527835/

All terrain tires available in 30 x 9.5 R15
Cooper Discoverer AT3 (I'm running these right now in 30 X 9.5 R15 on stock 99 XJ, great traction tire, very quiet, great ride quality, soft riding on and off road). I like this tire a lot, but it's ice traction is only mediocre (for an AT). It's mud traction is very excellent (for an AT). It's snow traction is OK, but its ice traction is poor. A very good tire overall, but NOT if you drive on ice. It has a 55,000 mile tread warranty.

Cooper Starfire SF-510 (similar to Cooper ATP) I like this tire.

Cooper ATR - (part AS, part AT)

The tires in indented section are made by Cooper, but sold under other brand names. The indented tires below are brands that are subsidiary companies owned by Cooper, or independent companies that hired Cooper to make their tire(s).
Multi-Mile Wild Country XTX Sport LT (very similar to Hankook ATM, but also has similarity to Cooper AT3 and Hercules AT2). The Wild Country has twice as many sipes as Cooper AT3, and 1/3 more sipes than Hankook ATM. So the Wlld Country XTX probably has excellent Winter traction, including ice.) I haven't tried this tire, but I want to. I love the tread design, large voids, and lots of sipes. I expect it would be a great all purpose tire with good Winter traction. It is government snowflake rated as a Winter traction device. It also has larger voids for increased mud traction (for an AT). This tire could be thought of as similar to Hankook ATM, but with more sipes, larger voids, softer ride, and available in more sizes. The Wild Country XTX Sport LT might be the next tire I buy.

Dick Cepek Trail Country I like this tire. It's a relative of Cooper AT3.

Mastercraft Courser AXT (similar to Cooper AT3) I like this tire. It's performance should be similar to Cooper AT3, but the AT3 has slightly better/staggered side lugs, which would help in mud.

Hercules Terra Trac AT2 (similar to Cooper AT3, but the Hercules AT2 has twice as many sipes for Winter traction). I haven't tried this tire, but I'd like to. I like the tread design and lots of sipes. I expect it would be a great all purpose tire with good Winter traction. It's government snowflake rated as a Winter traction device.[/b] This might be the next tire I buy. The Hercules AT2 has smaller voids than Cooper AT3 or Wild Country XTX Sport LT. So I expect Hercules AT2 would have less mud ability than those other two, but have better Winter traction.

Hercules All Trac AT (mild AT, mix of AS & AT)

Hercules Terra Trac AT (very similar to Cooper ATP and Hankook ATM, somewhat similar to Cooper AT3) I like this tire.

Hercules Terra Trac RS (AT)

Definity Dakota AT2 (similar tread pattern to BFG AT, but tighter tread - smaller voids, and more sipes) Due to the smaller and more treads, tighter tread pattern, and more sipes, this tire is a mix of AS and AT, IMO. I suspect it'd be a great tire for those who drive on pavement, gravel roads, mild trails, and Winter roads. It's tread design and sipes make me think it's probably pretty good on Winter roads.

Procomp AT
Hankook Dynapro ATM (AT) I like this tire a lot.

Uniroyal Laredo AWT II (2) (part AS, part AT)

Atturo Trail Blade AT (similar looking tread to Cooper ATP and Hankook ATM)

Yokohama Geolander AT-S

Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor AT

Goodyear Wrangler GSA (these came stock on many TJ Wranglers. A lot of people talk bad about this tire. I don't know why. I had good luck with them for street and mild wheeling, which is what they're intended for. Even so, I wouldn't buy this tire because there are better choices.)

Dunlop Radial Rover AT

Kumho Road Venture SAT

Kumho Road Venture AT

Firestone Destination AT

Bridgestone Dueler AT

Nexan Rodian AT II

Falken Wildpeak AT

Federal Couragia AT

Kenda Klever AT

Maxxis MA-751 AT

GT Radial Savero AT

Liberator AT

Nankang AT

Treadwright Puma AT (tread similar to BFG AT)

Michelin LTX MS2 (not sure if this is an AS, or mix of AS and AT, you decide)

BFG AT (I previously ran these in 30 X 9.5 R15 on stock 96 XJ, good traction tire, reasonably quiet, great ride quality, soft riding on and off road)

General Grabber AT2 (Tread similar to BFG AT, but larger voids and more sipes)
I previously ran 30" Grabber AT2 on a stock 99 XJ. It had good traction tire, reasonably quiet, very harsh ride quality on and off road - every bump hits hard. This is because it has exceptionally thick/tough sidewalls for an AT. It's probably the toughest AT made. That extra toughness is good if you need it, bad if you don't need it because it makes a harsh ride. I don't need the extra toughness. Any brand of load C tire is tough enough for my off road adventures. Don't go for overkill. Go for what you actually need (whatever that may be).

The Grabber AT2 is the largest 30" AT made. It runs 29.8" tall, which is taller than any other 30 x 9.5 AT, and it runs approx 0.5" wider than others. Larger is only good when you can clear/fit it. This tire will clear on some stock XJs. Others may rub a little. The other brands of 30 x 9.5 ATs are slightly smaller and more likely to fit without rubbing. So whether the Grabber AT2 being larger than most 30s is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide. Being taller also makes it a bit higher geared, which may be a slight disadvantage for some. For others, being taller is appreciated.

Personally, I traded my almost new 30 x 9.5 Grabber AT2 in for some new 30 x 9.5 Cooper AT3 to get a softer ride. I did then notice a greatly improved ride comfort. I also discovered the Cooper AT3 is just enough shorter that it benefits my 3.55 stock gearing enough to be noticeably helpful in the mountains. Part of that might also be the difference in rolling resistance. Grabber AT2 has a higher rolling resitance than most ATs.
Toyo Open Country AT (still available at this time, but will soon be replaced by Toyo AT2)

Toyo Open Country AT2. I like the LT version.
There are 3 versions (P, LT, and Xtreme). Size 30 x 9.5 R15 is LT version, load C.
P has least aggressive tread (closer to All Season). LT has intermediate tread (AT). Xtreme has most aggressive tread (hybrid tread, IMO).

I prefer the LT tread version for AT use and that's what the 30 x 9.5 R15 is.
===

Hybrid Tires (Aggressive AT aka Commercial Traction) (tread between AT and MT)
Cooper ST (hybrid - crossbreed of AT & MT) I owned this tire before. It's on road performance is OK (between AT & MT) and it's off road performance is excellent. Winter road traction is terrible, until you add extra sipes to center treads. With extra sipes Winter traction is pretty good.

Dean SXT MT (called MT, but really an aggressive AT or hybrid) It was recently discontinued, but some still availailable new and used. Similar performance to Cooper ST. Needs extra sipes added to center treads for Winter traction.

Note: Hercules tires makes a tire with tread that looks exactly like the Dean SXT.
===

Mud Tires
The less aggressive MT could possibly be called hybrid tires. Some of the MT below are mild or hybrid like, while others are typical MT, and some are very aggressive MT.

Hankook Dynapro MT (I've read it's good on road and excellent off road)

Firestone Destination MT (I've read it's good on road and excellent off road)

Nokian Vativa MT (I've read it's good on road and excellent off road)

Maxxis Bighorn MT-762 (I've read it's OK on road and excellent off road)

Cooper STT

Mastercraft Courser MT

BFG KM2 MT

Anteres Mud Digger (looks good to me, but that's only my visual impression. I don't know much about this tire)

Dunlop Mud Rover MT

Wild Country Radial MTX

Hercules Trail Digger MT (I've seen some excellent reviews on these for off road use. No idea how they are on road).

Definity Dakota MT

Federal Couragia MT

Yokohama Geolander MT

Yokohama Geolander MT Plus

Sumitomo MT

Maxxis Trepador 8060 MT

Treadright (several tread choices, mixed reviews)

Thunderer MT

Kumho KL71
===
===
===

The 3 tires below were good in their day, and are still good for the money, if you can find them. I've read conflicting reports that they are discontinued, and other reports saying they're still made. I currently see sources on the Internet selling them under Trivant brand name.

I've heard these were/are made by BFG, Cavalier, National, and Trivant. I have no idea which company made these, or perhaps all 3 made them?
Sport King AT

Traction King (looks like an AT to me)

Mud King MT (looks like a hybrid to me)
===
===
===

If you like 30 x 9.5 R15, please vote for that size here http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f15/a...18/index3.html

.

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Unread 05-15-2013, 11:00 PM   #2
kippen
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This is awesome and timely. Exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks for the great write up.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 12:24 AM   #3
Charley3
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I see you are in Seattle. A 9.5" wide tire is good on wet freeways because little or no hydroplaning. So there's another benefit of 30 x 9.5 R15 tires for you.

A 10.5" wide tire can make a light Jeep (stock XJ or TJ) hydroplane on wet freeway at 65 or 70 mph.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 02:59 AM   #4
Charley3
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Top Rated ATs

All terrain tires reviews and rankings...

See this thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f15/n...e-one-1527835/
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Unread 05-21-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
Charley3
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A digital tire pressure guage is most accurate.

Tire Air pressure for 30 x 9.5 R15 load C tires

I arrived at these conclusions after much experimentation for 4 weeks with 2 different brands of AT load-C 30 x 9.5 R15 on my stock XJ with tow package (tow package rides stiffer than standard springs). Experimentation on my XJ started with using tire pressure formula described below for a starting point. Then a chalk test to determine if contact patch flat, except I use duct tape instead of chalk because tape is faster and more convenient to apply, lasts much longer (about 20 to 30 miles), and gives a more accurate test. Then final tests involved road tests checking handling on curvy roads, ride on bumpy roads, and high speed driving to see if it tracks strait or wanders, and testing high speed cornering. In the final tested I changed psi in 0.5 psi increments to find the best. Tire pressure always tested and adjusted on cold tires in garage around 55F at 9 PM. Driving tests were done in various weather conditions from cold and rainy to warm and rainy, to cold and dry, to hot and dry. In addition to road test on city roads, rural highways, and interstate freeways, I also tested on gravel roads and on a very bumpy road paved with baseball size rocks. I was looking for a tire pressure that worked on all paved road conditions, gravel roads, and on the very bumpy lumpy road paved with baseball size rocks. Can one tire pressure work for all those things? Yes. It works good on paved roads and mild off road conditions without need to air down. I think it will also work well for mild Winter road conditions without needing to air down.

Note: Cold pressure, or cold tire pressure, means the car has been sitting parked in the shade for at least an hour before testing tire pressure.

Here are cold tire pressures I find work best: 27 psi front, 24.5 psi rear at air temp around 55F to 60F. If air temp is 67 F to 72F, I want 28 psi front, 25.5 psi rear. If air temp is 79F or higher, I want 28.5 to 29 psi front, 26 to 26.5 psi rear.

With less psi steering wandered on highway. With more psi ride was HARSH on bumps and front tire(s) sometimes bounced off the highway (air born) when hitting worst bumps on highway, which is adversely affects steering and hurts my back.
Note: Rural highways in NW Oregon are poorly maintained. Some rural highways are like prerunning over bumps at 45 to 60 mph.

Friggin government stimulus money for road repairs was spent on what? Not the roads in this area!
BTW - Monroe Sensitrac shocks are the softest riding stock length shocks that I know of for a stock XJ. Though even softer (and longer) for front shocks is Old Man Emu TJ comfort shocks N66C (which will fit a stock or low lift XJ). However, the N66C shocks might be discontinued now. I'd better buy another pair while I can.
My psi figures for stock XJs are for the 30 x 9.5 R15 load C tires I have used. If you use a different brand or model of tire, your best psi might be 0.5 different than my figures. My figures are for load C tires. If you have a P rated (passenger tire), the same psi might work good, or it might need slightly different psi.
If you want to carry more than 200 lbs in rear cargo area, add 1 psi for every additional 100 lbs of cargo. Note: This info is specific to 30 X 9.5 R15 size tires.
Road test your psi. If adjustment is needed, adjust 0.5 psi and test again.

A digital tire pressure guage is most accurate and makes it easy to adjust in 0.5 psi increments.

---

Stock YJs and TJs are a similar weight as XJs. So the above applies to stock TJs, though there will be slight differences in best psi.

---

Stock LJs and ZJs are heavier (than XJs) and will need more tire pressure (than XJs).
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Unread 05-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #6
kippen
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Thanks for all of the information in this post. Very impressive and very helpful.
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Unread 05-22-2013, 11:34 PM   #7
DavisI
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Just to add to the list, the Definity Dakota MT from Pep Boys is actually pretty good, and super cheap. I had a set on a stock TJ I used to have.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
Charley3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavisI View Post
Just to add to the list, the Definity Dakota MT from Pep Boys is actually pretty good, and super cheap. I had a set on a stock TJ I used to have.
Thanks. I added it to the list of tires in the OP.

The Definity Dakota MT looks same as Hercules Trail Digger MT, which is to be expected since both brands are (to the best of my knowledge) owned by Cooper. i.e. - Definity and Hercules are subsidiaries of Cooper (I've heard). So it makes sense their tires look similar to each other, and have similarities to Cooper tires. So that makes them 1st cousins to the Cooper AT3, but at a lower price.
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Unread 05-26-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
VietVet67
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Schwab also makes an Open Country "sport" quiet tire and cheaper than most of the other Open country line BTW Works good in the snow i have found!here in Oregon!
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Unread 05-27-2013, 12:38 AM   #10
Charley3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VietVet67 View Post
Schwab also makes an Open Country "sport" quiet tire and cheaper than most of the other Open country line BTW Works good in the snow i have found!here in Oregon!
Schwab doesn't make tires. Schwab sells other brands of tires.

What brand is this tire? Toyo? Other?

It's available in 30 x 9.5 R15 ?

I can't find it on Schwab's website, but that could be a deficiency in their Website.

Edited in Later: He was probably referring to Multimile Wild Country XTX Sport LT, or Toyo Open Country AT. Not sure which since it appears he combined the names of the two into one.
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Unread 06-02-2013, 02:21 AM   #11
Charley3
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Most 30 x 9.5 R15 tires are 29.5" tall (manufacturer stated actual diameter).

Some are shorter (such as 29.3"). Some are taller (such as 29.8").

---

Examples:

BFG AT and Hankook ATM 30s are 29.5" tall.

Cooper AT3 30s are 29.3" tall. There are many Cooper related brands of ATs that are also 29.3" tall (Hercules, Definity, Procomp, and many others). Point being, 29.3" is a common height. It makes fitment on stock Jeeps without rubbing easy, and works good with stock gearing.

General Grabber AT2 and Hankook Dynapro MT are 29.8" tall.

I owned BFG AT, Grabber AT2, and currently own Cooper AT3. The Cooper AT3 is my favorite of the tires I've tried. The Hankook ATM is my other favorite AT.

The Grabber AT2 was noticeably taller and wider than BFG AT or Cooper AT3.

---

I have heard the Maxxis Bighorn runs tall, but I haven't checked. Maybe it does.

There may be other taller than average 30s that I don't know about.

---

The below applies to XJs:

Taller than average 30s would be good, if you have 1" lift, or a tow package XJ (sits a little higher), but on a typical stock XJ the taller than average 30s might rub slightly during tight turns, but probably not enough to be a problem.

With stock diff gears, a taller tire strains the engine and tranny a bit more on hills on highway, and in reverse when trying to back up a hill.

So the taller 30s would be better with 1" to 2" lift, and maybe 3.73 diff gears, but will work with no lift and 3.55 gears.

With no lift and 3.55 diff gears, a shorter 30 x 9.5 R15 is better.

An average height for a 30x9.5R15 is actual diamter 29.5". Less is a short 30 (my Cooper AT3 30s are 29.3").

What I said about diff gears applies to 4L engine with auto transmission. I don't know anything about manual transmission XJs.

---

I have run 29.5" (BFG AT), 29.8" (Grabber AT2), and 29.3" (Cooper AT3) on two stock XJs with 4L, auto transmission, and 3.55 gears.

IME 3.55 gears worked great for 29.3" tires, OK for 29.5" tires, and strained the engine with 29.8" tires. However, I drive mountain highways a lot. On level highways, all those tire heights work great with 3.55 gears.

Since I drive on mountain highways a lot and will be adding 200 lbs of skidplates, someday I want to regear to 3.73 diff gears. But the 3.55 gears are good if you don't add skid plate weight, or if you live in a level area. In a level area 3.55 would be ideal.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 11:36 PM   #12
Charley3
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Anyone who comes across this thread and has an interest in 30 x 9.5 R15 tires, please make a post so this thread stays alive.

Thanks
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Unread 07-14-2013, 04:12 PM   #13
sunsetclb
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Thread alive!!!! Thanks helps me...the debate in my head??? Small lift, no lift....30's no rub.... 31's some rub...
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Unread 07-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
jimk403
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Hey Charley, you forgot to list prices!
Just kidding.
With my previous '88 XJ, 4.0, auto, 3.55 gears at around sea level, I could run 31x10.50s and be ok. I changed to 4.10, and ran 32s, and wish I had gone 4.56. So I went back to 31s.
3.55 to 3.73 is not much difference, if you change gears, I would highly recommend lower.
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Unread 07-16-2013, 12:54 AM   #15
Charley3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsetclb View Post
Thread alive!!!! Thanks helps me...the debate in my head??? Small lift, no lift....30's no rub.... 31's some rub...
I you can use 31s on a stock TJ with no rub. 30s would be ideal for stock gearing.

30s are max tire size for stock XJ and ZJ.

Not sure what's max tire size for stock YJ. Probably 30s.
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