Ok, so that little (not so little) howl was telling me something. Seems like my pinion bearings have failed so bad (102k miles) that this morning the ring and pinion slipped a few times backing out of my driveway. 5 miles later I had to crawl to the safety of a friendly driveway. I have not looked yet, but I would bet I banged up the gears a bit. Re-gearing was on the wish-list anyway, but this event just bumped it to the top of the list. . . my Jeep guy (SVE in East Haven, CT) comes highly recommended from multiple sources. With my description of use (98% on road DD in New England and 2% hunting and fishing access on rutted two-track) he talked me into going with a Trac Lok and 3.73 gears while he does the bearings. 32" tires and a 2" suspension lift are on the wish list too, but the 29" Destinations that came on the TJ are near new and I will likely drive them down. From what I read it sounds like for the small increase in cost (I need to replace the carrier to re-gear no matter what) the Trac Lok will give me some increased performance on snow covered roads and in muddy ruts. Your thoughts? Mostly looking for input on gear size and Trac Loc vs. just another open diff. Thanks for looking!
I'm not big on any kind of locker or even LSD on a D35 though if I was going to push my luck I certainly wouldn't go bigger than 33's. He's putting you at the limit IMO but as long as you don't wheel the heck out of it I bet it'll survive with what he recommends.
It'll be nice in snow and muddy ruts yes. As for gears, that seems like a nice setup for what you're doing. You're going to have to be in there doing gears, no big reason not to do a trac loc while you're at it I suppose. This is one of very few situations that I'd say it's not a bad idea. It'd be much safer on 31" tires do you really need the 32s or are you just wanting to re-gear anyway?
How much $$$ is he quoting you? If it was me doing what you're doing I'd consider doing a S35 kit as you would never have to to worry about breaking anything with 32" tires and a locker or LSD.
LOL...Blown up Sir!! Are you men telling me you completed your training on your own? How appropriate, considering Jeepers usually end up doing something we've never been taught to do, on our own in the dead of night. Thank God for this forum when our Platoon seargent/ the person who knows how to fix the problem we are having ends up out of commission.