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Unread 07-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
rachaelbarr
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Lift/gear questions for 4 cyl TJ

I have a 98 TJ with a 2.5L engine. The 2.5 is already slow and weak but i want to get a lift to try and compensate off road. Because of the engine and stock gears I probably shouldn't go bigger than like 32" tires right? and I want about a 3" lift, so ideally I would want like 33" tires. I'd like any suggestions people have as well as a few questions:
1. Should I upgrade the gears?
2. If I don't upgrade the gears, whats the biggest tires/lift I could get without drastically worsening my gas mileage or speed capacity?
Thanks!

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Unread 07-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
clintrivera
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I personally wouldn't go over 31" tires on stock gears. Reagearing is pretty expensive unless you do it yourself.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
99_TJ_Wyoming
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I ran 33"s on stock gears for about a year, its hard to drive any highway miles that way, but offroad it does just fine, in fact better than fine, but you dont want to go above a 31" without getting alloy axle shafts first. I have this year regeared to 4.88s and the different is pretty remarkable on the road, offroad it doesnt feel much different from the stock 4.10s, alloy shafts and regearing are the best 2 mods you can make, the gears arent so pricey.

I got Motive Gear 4.88s with master install kits for both axles for less than $500 from Rough Country, you will want to have them installed by a very competent shop with gear experiance if youve never done them before, it isnt hard, but its very precise work, if you havent done it before you shouldnt, I had a freind with lots of experiance help me with mine so the install was free, I read hear that $1k isnt out of line for parts and labor. There are a few threads about how to do the regear, if your patient and very detail oriented and have the right tools its fairly easy to do, but its expensive to get it wrong.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
sc00bz
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I just had 4.88 gears done about a week and a half ago. It ran me right around 500 for parts and install was 425.

33s need gears with a 4 banger.

If you have an auto and drive a lot on the highway, 4.56 is the general consensus as far as ratio. If you don't do a lot of highway, 4.88.

If you have a manual, 4.88 all the way.

I will also say that with 4.88s and 33x12.50s, I have a lot more get up and go as well as better gas mileage than I had with stock gears and 30x9.50s.
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Unread 07-09-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
rachaelbarr
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okay thank you all so much! its manual and i do a lot of highway so i'll probably spring for the 4.88
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Unread 07-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
armyRN
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Another vote for the 4.88 gears with 33" tires and a four cylinder/5 speed. That's what I'm running with my Jeep, and it works well.

How well? Read about it here: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f58/a...nture-1371427/
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Unread 07-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #7
rachaelbarr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN
Another vote for the 4.88 gears with 33" tires and a four cylinder/5 speed. That's what I'm running with my Jeep, and it works well.

How well? Read about it here: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f58/a...nture-1371427/
What kind of lift do you have?
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Unread 07-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #8
armyRN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachaelbarr View Post
What kind of lift do you have?
Short answer: RE 3.5" lift kit

Long answer:

I have a Rubicon Express (RE) 3.5" superflex kit (4.5" superflex kit but with 3.5" springs). I bought it as a package deal from 4x4groupbuy.com and along with the lift kit the package came with an AA SYE and a Tom Wood's rear CV driveshaft. I'm still kicking myself for not getting after measurements, but most will tell you RE's 3.5" lift will get you closer to 4" or slightly higher. It's plenty tall for 33" tires (285/75/16" is what I'm running).

Included in the kit were fixed lower control arms, adjustable upper control arms, 3.5" springs (of course), adjustable front track bar, rear track bar bracket (still needed to buy an adjustable rear track bar to center the axle), bump stop extensions, longer front brake lines, sway bar disconnects (which I sold to help pay for the Currie Antirock), and I'm probably forgetting some other minor stuff that came with the kit. I also purchased four RE shocks & boots, and rear axle shock mount extensions (I believe by teraflex).

I later replaced the rubber bushings in the control arms for some poly ones by Daystar; I think they're now sold with the poly bushings. Not that they were going bad; I did it because I could. I've been happy with the suspension kit. I think it's a good middle-of-the-road lift kit; an upgrade from the cheap lift kits you can buy out there, but I'm sure if you want to spend the bucks you can go all out.

But to bring it back to the original topic: with all this lift and bigger tires and body armor and such (added weight), driving it would suck if I didn't have 4.88 gears in the axles. It's the 4.88 gears that make it all work with the four cylinder engine and 33" tires.

When we were in Alaska and Canada we had a GPS that gave us our mph so I could compare what the speedometer said compared to the GPS. With 33" tires (285/75/16") and 4.88 gears, when the speedometer said 65 mph the GPS said I was doing 62. Close enough.
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