So yesterday I managed to seize up the rear end in my 95/YJ. Now is a good time to make a change if there is an option.. I am not a trail rider primarily because it is my daily driver.. Is there a different rear end I could put in it to make it more road friendly.. gas mileage, performance reduced RPM / speed ratio?
I don't have much of a proper answer for you, but I'd say that weight would probably be the most important aspect thus making the best choice, probably, at D35 (I only assume it's the lightest). I will point-out to you that lower RPMs don't necessarily mean better MPG.
Most people think that less revs will equal better MPG. That is not always the case as less revs can also mean more strain on the engine which causes more fuel use. According to a engine design text‚ maximum fuel economy occurs with open throttle and at a piston speed of 1200 – 1500 ft/min. So if you know the stroke of your engine‚ you can calculate the rpm for best fuel economy. Usually comes out somewhere between 2000 – 3000 rpm. Dino provided me with the following numbers. The 4.0L has a stroke of 3.411" and a 4.5-4.8L stroker has a stroke of 3.895" so the numbers would be as follows: 1200-1500ft/min piston speed = 2110-2640rpm on a 4.0, 1848-2310rpm on a stroker. So use the table above to pick the right gears for your tyre size. Above gives the average cruising speed of 65 mph or 105 kph. The more weight you carry the more revs you need to stop the extra fuel use through engine strain. The extra revs is also better for the auto and even engine temperature with less strain and the water pump running faster to circulate the coolant.
You can also use the gear chart to work out what axle ratio is needed to return you to stock gearing by finding your stock gear tooth number under the new tyre size. Below is also a guide to what revs you will have with different combinations. This is about what you will have in overdrive or forth in a auto, ( 0.75 ). Pre '91 will be slightly slower at 0.70, Peugeot ( BA-5/10 ) had a 0.72 and faster for a AX-15 manual at 0.79 or a AX-5 with 0.85.