Bought CJ7 with well done SOA lift. Now have 35" tires. Really don't like the height. Still have stock 3.07 R&P set so really have to rev it to take off even on level ground. Probably going to go with a set of 3.73 gears to help some but also want to go down in tire size. Any opinions on smaller tire size without looking ridiculous with such a tall lift but too small tires. Swapped one of the 35's with a 33 that is the spare. Didn't look too bad but any advise would be appreciated. Ideally I would change to a 2.5 lift and get new 32's and change gearing but not willing to drop that much cash when I still need bodywork(dents, rust and faded baby blue paint), etc. Thanks.
35 look just right on an SOA. I'd just change gears to get the drivability back and call it good. If you just want a 2" lift, I'd recommend Old Man Emu, best in my opinion. Good military wrap springs and great shocks.
Thanks guys. Newbie question here. What is the carrier? Looked through every Chiltons, Hayes, quadratec etc. and can't find a part called the carrier. Why do you need to change it to do a ring and pinion swap?
Somebody will correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure that the Ford 9" uses one carrier for all ring gears, regardless of ratio. With the AMC 20, there are two sizes. One is for 2.73 gears and the other one covers ratios from 3.07 and up. The front axle has a different break point. One carrier covers up to 3.54 gears where the other size picks up and goes from 3.73 up.
If you're going from an SOA to a regular 2" SUA just make sure you have everything you need before you start. It's going to be a bit more involved than just bolting a kit on that you buy.
Do you have stock springs installed on the SOA or are they lifted springs also? Also is there a body lift installed? Those might be two easy ways to lower you down a bit.. then again those options may not be there for you.
1986 Jeep CJ7 (photos)
Remanufactured 258, ARB lockers front & rear, 4.10 Yukon gears, 35x12.5" Super Swamper SSR's, Motorcraft 2100, 4.5" Rubicon Express Extreme-Duty lift, York 210 OBA, Big Daddy steering, Tatton rear CV driveshaft, Herculined interior, TJ flares, lots of body & upholstery work
Stock springs and no body lift. I wouldn't do the gear swap myself but gears alone are 200 an axle plus carrier plus big time labor bill. I really would be happy with close to stock height and a set of 30's. According to the above chart my 3.07's should be fine. I can sell the 90-95% new 35's. Get rid of the chrome wheels and get black steels. I don't plan on hard-core off-roading and I really don't like the 35's anyway. Convert back to SUA. Thanks for all of the help.
Just a thought, but it would probably be cheaper and easier to find someone with stock axles who is looking to go SOA. You could just swap with them and be done. Most guys would even pay you a little for the privilege. FWIW - My old CJ-7 looked great with 31's and no lift. It even had 2.73 gears and worked fine with a 4 speed.
3.07s and 32s are a poor combination and did not give me acceptable street performance. If you are going to stay with stock gears I would advise you to stick close to the stock tire size, or be willing to live with decreased (from stock) performance.
Automobile manufacturers spend a lot of money to optimize the gearing and tire size to give the desired mileage and performance if you change one significantly the other also needs changing.
35s work pretty well with 4.56 gears. Some folks with automatics can get away with a bit higher gearing due to transmission slippage.
Too many folks think that large tires look neat but are surprised by the decreased performance (its simple physics; no one should be surprised).
...a well prepped, well driven, vehicle should do well in any terrain, including the highway.
Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.
I don't know if this would be an option for you but I'm getting ready to do soa with dana 60"s and won't need my springs, tires, or axles. Tires are 31's with maybe 85% tread and axles and springs are all stock and in good condition. Brakes are good too with new pads and shoes. Just a thought. I was waiting til I got all the parts together but if I could sell it for a little money it would help me do the swap sooner. I don't have any idea what a fair price would be but that would be as close to a bolt up kit as you will find.