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Unread 07-11-2013, 12:44 AM   #1
1997xj
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Stock on 235's vs 31's with a 2" lift

So I'll need some tires for the fall. I've been thinking to just stick with 235's on my DD hunting and fishing rig. But I'm wondering how much better a FS road rig it would be on 31's with a 2.5" (probably OME) lift. Don't think I want to go higher than that since I'm already driving a brick, and I want to avoid doing a sye and everything else that needs to be done to do it right.

So the question is, how much better is the mild lift on 31's on the FS roads and how much worse on road? Cool looking waste of money, or a significant upgrade?

Let me have it boys!

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Unread 07-11-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
96xjKing
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You could just trim the fenders an adjust the stops accordingly to keep the same heighth yet fit 31s better? I've got a 3" RC with 31s and I love it, I'm kinda new to this forum an I'm not sure what you mean by FC? I probably wouldn't say it's a significant upgrade but a way to make a DD a more capable trail rig, but so would fender trimming. If you do a mild lift with 31s you'll have to adjust the steering stops so they don't rub the LCA's an you wouldn't have to do the SYE I don't believe. My opinion would be do the mild lift buts that's just me
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Unread 07-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
Motorcharge
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If it's nothing but a hunting rig I'd trim the fenders and flatten the wheels wells and run 32x11.5s on a 2" leaf and coil upgrade. Just make sure you bumpstop so the fenders dont chew up the tires.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 12:00 AM   #4
1997xj
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Yeah if it was primarily a trail rig it'd be no question, I'd lift it but its my dd too

@96xjking FS = forest service. Sorry man

I don't need to do any really serious wheeling just want to be comfortable on my way to the trail and not get beat up too bad at the pumps on my way to work
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Unread 07-12-2013, 12:13 AM   #5
Muddy97Cherokee
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Increasing your tire size will affect your MPG's more than a short lift. You could lift it up to 3" and still get the same MPG's on the same tires as you were stock. Its not a major decrease in MPG's changing from 235's to 31's but you will notice it if you are picky about it. Also notice a slight difference in power to the axles. If you are wanting to get good MPG's then regear to 3.73's.
Chopping the fenders and putting bigger tires under it is a great idea if the hunting/fishing roads are mainly flat surface and not to wild. Won't get the same flex you would as right now and it may affect the way you drive on those roads. If it is just deep ruts then i would say go for the fender chopping and stuffing tires. If they are crazy backwood roads then i would seriously consider a small lift with key lift components. You can buy the Old Man Emu kit separate for less than what the entire kit together cost. Could also get a small spacer and shackle or aal (both if your leaf springs are not inverted, if they are then new leaf packs would be best) with some longer shocks and sway bar discos to really get to you hunting/fishing spot that no ones else could think of going. Lifting it may also look better than chopping the fenders!
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Unread 07-12-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
1997xj
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^ thanks for the response! That's good to hear about a mild lift not affecting mpg too much. I'm not hugely picky about it but I just don't want to keep whittling away at it until its crap.

Maybe the way to go is to get the 235s and lift it if I need/want to. So far its been ok on the 225s if i act like im driving a car. But I've been just driving areas I know are tame

We've got pretty much the whole spectrum of roads up here. Plenty of dirt roads you can get down in a civic and some that you guys would drool over. Probably the most frustrating thing for me is the deactivated roads. They put a big mound of dirt in front of a ditch to keep you from driving it but the rest of the road is often decent if you dont mind some brush. Mountain bike works well for that but then its a long drag back to the rig with a deer or bear. I know, boo hoo.

I'm guessing that the smoothest ride (in Cherokee terms) will be from a lift to soak up the bumps?
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Unread 07-12-2013, 01:55 AM   #7
chriskeenan
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lifting it doesn't make the already horrible aerodynamics much worse, they really can't get much worse.

The more you lift thought the rougher the ride will be unless you're willing to pay for nice parts (OME is nice parts) and do some homework on suspension design (+2in isn't much of a difference in CA angles). As for absorbing bumps, you will want up-travel, and good amounts of it. Up-travel allows the shocks to compress and absorb the energy of the bumps, more travel allows for more time to do so before it hits the bumpstops, this gives the driver a less jarring ride, more up-travel allows the suspension to handle larger bumps at higher speeds assuming the shocks correctly valved.

note: for 99% people off-the-self shock valvings are fine, no need to go out and buy high-end tunable racing shocks, unless you're racing or just like high-end tunable things.

Lifting goes towards getting more up-travel if you don't have to bumpstop it to much to keep tires out of fenders (cut the fenders more) and shocks from bottoming out. shock selection is key, get one with to long of a body(compressed length) and lose up-travel, or get a shock with too short of a body and the shock not extend far enough to make up for the new extra ride height and down-travel.

If you're worried about it getting stuck, put the lift on the back burner, get some aggressive tires in either 30' or stock 29' and put "lunchbox" locker in both axles. It'll get you down anything vaguely resembling a road, the ride comfort will remain as it is, and the MPGs should remain roughly the same as well. Or even lift it and lock one axle, you'll be amazed at the things you can drive up, they make everything (within reason) look easy, lockers are one of the best bang-for-buck mods, especially now that you can drop one in an axle for about 300$ in your driveway.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
1997xj
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^. Helpful post man. Thanks

In reading the responses and thinking on it a bit more I think the 235s are prob the way to go for me. Mild lift if I need later on but I don't really think the bigger tires are going to give me a big enough difference in clearance to make it worth the rest of the work it might then need (fender trim and/or taller lift). Ruts aren't really too big of an issue up here since we've got more land than people. And if I put a rear locker on it I could prob just go around some of the stuff I'd need more clearance for anyhow.

Thanks again for the help guys. Replacing some leaking ps lines and a noisy pump as soon as I get back in town, then a headlight harness upgrade, kj disc conversion after that then I can start to play with fun stuff :-)
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Unread 07-14-2013, 04:52 PM   #9
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I'd get the OME lift (Springs and shocks) just to get the better ride, makes a MASSIVE difference in all conditions.
Tire size... if you're not dragging your dig, just make sure the tire is aggressive enough to get you in and out of where you are going.

I am on the Fire and oil lease roads all the time in my 2500HD, and I can tell you one thing. Good shocks are worth their weight in gold on those roads. Same with some good tires.
My OME XJ with 31's rides awesome, looks great, and gets me though as much or more than friends with trucks that are way more heavily modded.

If you are replacing the power steering pump look into the durango upgrade.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 08:31 PM   #10
1997xj
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@Ride. Yeah the OME kit seems like the way to go. I'm sure ill end up with one eventually but i think a no-slip is a bigger priority. I should have posted this thread earlier. Already got a rebuilt ps pump when I was in the states last :-/

What tires are you running? Sounds like youre on the same kind of stuff i am. I'm leaning towards some duratracs but still a little worried about the sidewalls
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Unread 07-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1997xj View Post
@Ride. Yeah the OME kit seems like the way to go. I'm sure ill end up with one eventually but i think a no-slip is a bigger priority. I should have posted this thread earlier. Already got a rebuilt ps pump when I was in the states last :-/

What tires are you running? Sounds like youre on the same kind of stuff i am. I'm leaning towards some duratracs but still a little worried about the sidewalls
I'm running the Cooper AT3, and love them. My sig has my jeep, I have a lockrite in the rear, another great mod.
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Unread 07-15-2013, 01:42 AM   #12
1997xj
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lol sorry man surfing by phone
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Unread 07-16-2013, 09:39 PM   #13
Kevin108
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Is stick with 235s unless you're finding yourself stuck on a regular basis. No reason to build beyond what you need. With gas and tires as expensive as they are, keeping costs at a minimum is prudent.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 12:02 AM   #14
1997xj
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Yup, think that's what I'll do. I'd just hate to feel like I should have gone bigger 3 months after getting new tires. I've got a couple of weeks before a moose hunting trip north, so I'll hit a few trails around here on the crappy 225s and see if that changes my plan.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 12:26 AM   #15
chriskeenan
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seriously, a locker, I ran 235 A/Ts with a front locker on mine for a while after I lifted it, it went everywhere the TJs on 35's and JKs on 37s went (unless it was wet/muddy, the A/Ts are horrible once it gets wet). Large tire size is helpful in some situations, but its not necessary in many.

6in lift, 235 A/Ts, front locker, makes this look easy.

We got a KJ on +2in lift, 31in A/Ts, and lockers up this same washout, KJs can't flex worth anything, i think it could have been done in a stock XJ with a locker.
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