I'm currently amassing parts to build my jeep, and I'm really having a hard time deciding what size tires I should get. It is my only vehicle, so I need it to have good road manners, especially with a few hundred pounds of camping gear in the back over long distances, and possibly towing a boat or trailer as well.
I've read awesome things about 33x10.5 KM2's, and I can get them for $160 a tire shipped, which is a good deal. The great thing about these is that I can use my stock rims, don't have to worry about wheel coverage, and they are much lighter than a 35x12.5, so my brakes and drive train will get a workout.
I've also read awesome things about 35x12.5 MTR w/Kevlar. They are about $50 a tire more, and I would have to get 8" wide rims with the proper backspacing. Not to mention wheel coverage, upgraded brakes and steering beyond a better tie rod.
Obviously the 35's will be better off-road, but I'm not sure if the added cost and wear on my drive train will be worth it. How much better are 35's? Are they worth the extra thousand dollars it will cost (rims, brakes, steering etc)?
Would I be better off just getting some armour, locking my diffs and sticking with 33's? Or will I regret it right away, and wish I had 35's?
If I do go with 35's, my axles will be an HP D30 with 30 spline Yukon inner shafts, ARB and 4.56 gears up front (looking at picking this axle up this week for $700), and an 8.8 with 4.56 gears ($650 for gears an install) and either an LSD or an aussie in the rear.
If I go with 33's, my axles will be a LP 4.10 D30 with an aussie, (probably cost me around $400 for axle + locker) and an 8.8 with stock 4.10 gears and LSD in the rear (stripped and cleaned, in my driveway waiting to get the brackets welded on)
Clearly, 33x10.5 will be cheaper not only to build for, but to operate on the street, but I really don't want to have them on for a month and realize I should have just waited and saved up the money to do 35's properly.
I'm looking for some feedback from people who have run both sizes, and whether or not the bigger tires and expense to run them was really worth it on your daily driver.
Have any of you been in many situations where the guy on 35's locked front and rear got way further up the trail than the guy with 33's locked front and rear?
I started my build this March, I spent the money to comfortably run 35's locked. I am really wishing I had spent a little more and gotten the axles to hold bigger tires. I was sure I would never run bigger tires. I can tell you that when these tires wear out I will be upgrading axles again and going bigger. The 35's will take you places the 33's won't. Just make sure you are going to be happy with the choice you make.
well the original plan for 33's called for a $2500-$3000 budget. All I really have left to buy is a front axle, rear CV shaft and the tires. If I get a D30 with stock 4.10 gears, I'll be on budget. Right now I have the money to complete the build, as soon as I find the front axle I need, if I stick to the original plan.
If I get the used one with the goodies in it (4.56 gears, ARB, chromo) I'll be looking at somewhere closer to $5000 total cost to get the 35's on. This will probably delay the build by at least a few months.
I wheel at least twice a month. I really don't want my jeep to get to the point where it's useless for longer hauls though. I want to be able to drive a few hundred miles with a loaded up jeep without feeling like I just got kidney punched for 4 hours.
What size tire are you running now and are you limited in all reality in where you want to go? I have run a 255/85/16 (33.5x10) for years now without issue. I ran the rig in stock trim to determine what it needed and what it would take to get it where I wanted to go. Settled on this size tire after debating between 33's and 35's for a while. My rig is a DD that sees lots of street/highway time as well as heavy/hard off-road use. Tow a trailer as well. With the 6 speed, 33's and stock gears, my rig was worthless at best and couldn't get out of it's own way, let alone tow a trailer. Regeard to 4.88's and it's the perfect setup, wouldn't have it any other way. My steering is Currie HD setup, brakes are the Vanco original setup, alloy axles in the rear, etc... I have over 65K on the rig now with this setup and see no reason at all for running 35's. I go everywhere I want to go with these tires here in my state where I wheel the most, the rig is fully capable of handling more than I care to throw at it, it's wheeled parts of AZ, Moab, other areas in Utah, Oregon, Idaho, etc. and while I do drag and grind a bit, the lockers usually pull me through. Knock on wood aside from grenading my factory locker early on, I haven't broke anything else major with this setup. I'm planning on a trip to the Rubicon in two weeks which will be 1600 miles round trip that I have no doubts about driving it down and back. Otherwise, it's a very reliable, very dependable setup. I see no reason for 35's even though I'm able to mount them and go right now. Long story short-not everybody running 35's actually NEEDS them. Be honest with yourself, you'll know what to do.
as long as you have good shocks/springs and non-stock control arms you should be able to maintain a comfortable ride on 33s or 35s
Oh yeah I forgot, if I run 35's I'm gonna need longer/adjustable control arms and shocks to accommodate the extra lift I'll need to run. With the 33's I can live with the geometry of 2.5" of lift (plus 1"bl) on stock control arms until I get some more currie arms.
I've currently been wheeling my 31" AT's with 2"bb for over a year now, and my skid plates and oil pan can attest to the beating I've put it through with this setup. I need to get higher up, but I live near the mountains, so I don't need anything over 4" of total lift.
I am sort of where you are and I decided to get the 35s. I have 31s now and have never quite been satisfied for the past 5 years with them. I am getting the 35s now and will be slowly upgrading everything to make it work properly. I am into this Jeep thing pretty bad and it is my only real hobby so I plan to really build it well over time. I am going to get front and rear Dana 44s eventually and if I break the dana 35 before, it will just give me that much more of an excuse to upgrade. I would say get the tire size that you want and build around them. I didn't get the 33s because I knew that I would be disappointed a year from now.
I have my 33's for sale right now. I wish I would have just bought 35's. I have spent a fair amount to set up for 35s though. Just an FYI I went to get my 35'' MTRs and they are back ordered. I went ahead and ordered them since I'm not in a hurry, but it's going to be about a month before I get them.
I went 33, my truck has 38's so I didn't need another tree pruner. I find the 33 grapplers do all I need them to and/or I actually "use" the winch to justify the cost, but i've rarely really needed it since I usually can back up and take another run. 33's have good road manners, and with some jks adjustable coilovers cranked just enough to not scrub my rubicon fenders (mild control arm rub with stock rims- nothing a little bumpstop adjustment can't fix) I can keep it LCOG without suffering realistic trailability (that's what tube buggies are for). I'm happy, and the money I saved went into a Jackall and actually, (lol!) a Warn 8000 I bought for 250 bucks from princess auto (my lucky day...)
Where I have wheeled so far there are no rocks to clear. 32's have done very well and I will be going to 33's when they wear out. I've been some deep ruts and bottomed out, had to winch it out. A friend was running 36 inch swampers and had to winch him out. For my terrain the 33's will suit me fine and when they are a little to short the warn 9500 will kick in. It depends on your terrain.