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Unread 07-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
rileysTJ
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Little 4cylinder question

I just bought a 97 4 cylinder tj and i really want to throw some new tires/wheels on it. My question is, what is the biggest tire size this engine can handle? Thanks in advance

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Unread 07-28-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
MO2500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rileysTJ View Post
I just bought a 97 4 cylinder tj and i really want to throw some new tires/wheels on it. My question is, what is the biggest tire size this engine can handle? Thanks in advance
As big as you want, but it is all about gearing. Factory gearing should be 4.10 on your Jeep if it is a 5 speed.

If keeping the factory axles, 33" tires with 4.88 gearing is a pretty good all around combo for the 4 cylinder. 4.88 is as low as you can go with the factory axles which is why I wouldn't recommend larger than a 33" tire if you want to maintain near stock street/highway manners. 35" tires and 4.88 gears is okay but a little under powered. 5.13s would be better for 35s but would require an axle swap front and rear.

Gearing is important with these little engines. The factory gearing is only okay for about a 31" tire, above that, consider a regear at the same time IMO. I ran 33s for about a year with 4.10 and it was okay but highway performance suffered a lot. 4.88s and 33s was perfect. FWIW, my 4 cyl Jeep is no longer street legal and doesnt get driven on the road but I'm currently running 37" tires with 5.38 gearing and feel it would perform well on the street/highway if I did.

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Unread 07-28-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
TripLeader
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I suggest 31s. You can put them on without any lift. If you add a two inch lift later they will still be good to go.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
tyvanwie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO2500

As big as you want, but it is all about gearing. Factory gearing should be 4.10 on your Jeep if it is a 5 speed.

If keeping the factory axles, 33" tires with 4.88 gearing is a pretty good all around combo for the 4 cylinder. 4.88 is as low as you can go with the factory axles which is why I wouldn't recommend larger than a 33" tire if you want to maintain near stock street/highway manners. 35" tires and 4.88 gears is okay but a little under powered. 5.13s would be better for 35s but would require an axle swap front and rear.

Gearing is important with these little engines. The factory gearing is only okay for about a 31" tire, above that, consider a regear at the same time IMO. I ran 33s for about a year with 4.10 and it was okay but highway performance suffered a lot. 4.88s and 33s was perfect. FWIW, my 4 cyl Jeep is no longer street legal and doesnt get driven on the road but I'm currently running 37" tires with 5.38 gearing and feel it would perform well on the street/highway if I did.

If anyone knows, it's this guy right here.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
rileysTJ
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Im not looking to go bigger than 33s, as of now at least. What kind of price range would i be looking at for a regear?
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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rileysTJ
Im not looking to go bigger than 33s, as of now at least. What kind of price range would i be looking at for a regear?
~$1000 for both axles. Depends on the shop though. I've heard a wide range of prices.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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4cyl's rule! Price for re-gear between a 1000 and 1500, parts and labor.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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1998 TJ (pictured here in Moab) with 2.5/5-speed/3.5" RE lift/285/75/16" (33x11.5") tires/4.88 gears (and a bunch of other stuff). 4.88 gears and 33" tires are the sweet spot for four-cylinder TJs. It brings it back to the same ratio as the factory size tires and gear ratio. You're not slipping the clutch around town, and you can use 5th gear on the highway and keep up with traffic. I wouldn't go larger than 33" tires with a four-cylinder TJ.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 11:57 PM   #9
mkiv808
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How do 30's feel with stock gears?

I was thinking of going with 235-75-15 to keep the acceleration and highway manners intact (mine came with tiny 205-75-15's), but I'm not sure if I need to go that small?
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Unread 07-29-2013, 05:09 AM   #10
rileysTJ
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I'm running 30s on stock gears now and it feels good. Also, how much of a body lift can you go without starting to replace things?
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Unread 07-29-2013, 05:12 AM   #11
tyvanwie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rileystj
i'm running 30s on stock gears now and it feels good. Also, how much of a body lift can you go without starting to replace things?
~1.25"
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Unread 07-29-2013, 07:40 AM   #12
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I'll agree with the guys saying 4:88 with 33s is the "sweet spot" for us with 2.5s. I regeared to 4:88 and ran 33's for a month and loved it, then ran across a smokin deal on some 35's and now run them. I won't set any land speed records, but the 35's give me a bit more clearance and since my TJ isn't a DD, it works for me.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 08:00 AM   #13
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35" tires will definitely give you more clearance than 33" tires. One inch to be exact. Even though there are two inches in height difference between the two tires, you gain one inch above the center line, and one inch below the center line. It's the one inch below the center line that gives you the additional clearance.

Just saying.....
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Unread 07-29-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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I've got a 98 TJ 4 cylinder automatic. I started out with stock gearing and 33" tires with a budget lift. Terrible on windy days or going up a hill, could not keep speed. I regeared to 4.88 and love it. Mind you it's still not a speed demon but hill and highway speeds no problem.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 08:11 PM   #15
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97 TJ here with 33s and geared to 4.10

just picked up my 8.8 at the beginning of july and awaiting gears to regear
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