Tire/Suspension Part Compatibility - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
UncleWilson
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Tire/Suspension Part Compatibility

I've got a 2006 jeep TJ Rubicon with 6 spd manual trans. I have been doing some off roading recently, but am beginning limited by the stock performance of the vehicle. Mostly from what I can tell is due to clearance deficiencies (transfer case skid plate has been busy).
That being said I know I need some combination of a suspension lift and tire size upgrade (maybe possible body lift).
I'm looking at anywhere between 3.5-5.5 inch lift. So my first question is:

1. Short arm or long arm suspension lift? What are the pros and cons of each, including additional parts (i.e. SYE, Driveshaft's, etc)?

The reason I have such a large range of lift height is cause I can't decide on tires size (33-35"). This is the part that we giving me the most headache. The obvious reasons- getting better traction, axle clearance, and visual appearance. But I have questions on compatibility of tires and the powertrain, suspension, rubi D44's, rubi lockers.

2. I know I will need new gearing, but what to choose? 4.56, 4.88, 5.13, or something else?

3. I've been to different forums saying the Dana 44's on the Rubicon edition are 'special'. What are the details behind that?

4. Last question, with upgraded tires and gearing, will I still be able to use the factory locker system?


With all that said, I do need to state that this is my only vehicle so I still need it to have good road manners and be useable for highway use. Any help or advice would be awesome. If anybody wants to post a link to another thread that would be great too.

Thank you

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post #2 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 06:57 AM
RubiconRazorbac
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Welcome to JF! This should help you get started:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj...embers-722109/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj-forum-faq-615132/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/i-...-my-tj-751873/



1. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/lo...basics-879206/

2. Please fill out your profile. That'll help people answer your questions accurately. Don't use the word "stock." Read the threads above and be specific. Gearing will depend on tire-size and which transmission you have (as well as limitations of the differentials).

3. There's nothing special about the Rubi D44 front axle. There have been many iterations of a D44 made throughout the years and the Rubi D44 is just one of them. The housing is a D44 and Dana Corp. calls it a D44 so it's a D44. However, the Rubi D44 shares most other components (like outer shafts, u-joints, steering knuckles, ball joints, etc.) with the Jeep D30. Other than the convenience of coming from the factory with a selectable locker, the only leg-up the Rubi D44 has over the Low-pinion TJ D30 is the D44's ability to be geared lower than 4.88.

4. Yes.

The search function on the forum is your friend, but this should get you headed in the right direction...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
Your shaft isn't long enough to handle that kind of droop...
My build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ru...thread-792423/

Last edited by RubiconRazorbac; 07-13-2010 at 07:10 AM.
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post #3 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 07:18 AM
emev0l
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The Rubicon has Dana 44 front and rear axles, all other TJ's have a front Dana 30 and either a rear Dana 35 or a rear Dana 44.

The rear Dana 44 is much stronger then the Dana 35.

The best thing about Rubicon axles is they have selectable lockers, where most stock TJ's do not with the exception of a few special editions.

Dana 30 front axles can only be geared to a maximum of 4.88 gears, since you have a Dana 44 you can go higher.

It's much cheaper for you to run 33" tires then 35" tires, once you get to 35's you want to start looking into stronger axle shafts and larger brakes.

I'm not saying not to run 35's, just letting you know it's going to cost you an extra couple thousand dollars to do so.

What part of Michigan are you from?

2001 TJ 4.6 Auto 4.5" AEV suspension 35's
2002 TJ 4.0 Manual 3" BDS suspension 33's
1987 Chevy 1 Ton 12" suspension 44's
1970 Cutlass 442 468CID TH400
1999 7.3 Powerstroke
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post #4 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
UncleWilson
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From what i can gather online, the Rubicon has 4.1:1 Differential Ratio, 4.0:1 Transfer Case Ratio and a Crawl Ratio of 65.92 (based on the Manual 1st 4.02:1). I'm still running the 245/75R16 (~31") Goodyear M/T.

The only mod's I've done (not impressive by any means) fire extinguisher, new toe hooks for front, and D-Shackle for rear. Just enough to make sure I can get pulled out of the trouble I get into.

I live in the Detroit Metro, but will take any excuse to get out of the city. Been here for 4 years but am still in a shock from leaving CO.

Last edited by UncleWilson; 07-13-2010 at 12:15 PM.
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post #5 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWilson View Post
From what i can gather online, the Rubicon has 4.1:1 Axle Ratio, 4.0:1 Differential Ratio and a Crawl Ratio of 65.92 (based on the Manual 1st 4.02:1). I'm still running the 245/75R16 (~31") Goodyear M/T.

The only mod's I've done (not impressive by any means) fire extinguisher, new toe hooks for front, and D-Shackle for rear. Just enough to make sure I can get pulled out of the trouble I get into.

I live in the Detroit Metro, but will take any excuse to get out of the city. Been here for 4 years but am still in a shock from leaving CO.
Yeah your not far from me then.

The first thing your going to want to figure out is exactly how big you want to go. 33" tires or 35" tires.

If you go from your 31" tires to 33" tires you will gain 1" of ground clearance under your diffs, if you jump straight to 35's you will gain 2" under your diffs.

Without any body modifications you can run 33" tires on 3" of lift.

Without any body modifications you can run 35" tires on 4" of lift.

There are tons of options of ways to make larger tires fit, you can either lift it, or run tube fenders or some sort of high line fender setup. Some people run 35" tires or even larger at stock suspension height.

Where have you been wheeling in MI?

2001 TJ 4.6 Auto 4.5" AEV suspension 35's
2002 TJ 4.0 Manual 3" BDS suspension 33's
1987 Chevy 1 Ton 12" suspension 44's
1970 Cutlass 442 468CID TH400
1999 7.3 Powerstroke
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post #6 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
The first thing your going to want to figure out is exactly how big you want to go. 33" tires or 35" tires.
Initially, I was thinking 33's. I hadn't really looked into 35" until i started reading about gearing. I agree with you regarding 33" being a better/cheaper option, but have read many "you'll catch the bug" and I can see it happening. Right now I think i want the 33 to start with a 3-4.5" lift (suspension and/or body combo) to accomidate. Which puts me at the Short Arm or Long Arm jumping point. I would go for the LA for the obvious reason, except for the 3x $$$.

Quote:
Where have you been wheeling in MI?
So far it's just been at the Mounds. I looked at Bundy Hill too but on opposite side of town and haven't made it yet. Hopefully, heading north past westbranch over next few weeks.

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post #7 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:37 AM
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Why not ditch the stock skid plate with a higher clearance unit and re-evaluate? Here's what I'd do:

1.25" body lift
1" MML
UCF high clearance skid plate or similar (lopro mount would be easier on driveline angles)

That would gain you ~2.25" at the belly with no other ill effects. You could run 33's on that as well, which would gain you another 1" at the belly. Your jeep is already geared fine for 33's and decent for 35's. You already have disc brakes at all 4 corners so that's decent. Your primary concern should be to beef up the steering and add the smaller skid plates--steering box and oil pan. With the higher clearance skid plate, any suspension lift added on top of that will require adjustable rear control arms and a CV shaft. Since you have a Rubi, you don't need a SYE since you already have a fixed yoke. I'd keep the suspension lift low for multiple reasons--less likely to roll (lower cog), better suspension geometry on short arms, and fewer costs.

You're already setup to run 35's pretty well as long as you beef up the steering. It won't cost you "several thousand" due to the fact that you have a 6 speed Rubi.

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post #8 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:38 AM
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Get 33" tires, I have 255/85R16 BFGs (33.3") on my Rubicon, this size works very well for me, plus the tires don't stick out. I didn't re-gear and spent the saved money on other items.
Good luck!
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post #9 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:41 AM
emev0l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWilson View Post
Initially, I was thinking 33's. I hadn't really looked into 35" until i started reading about gearing. I agree with you regarding 33" being a better/cheaper option, but have read many "you'll catch the bug" and I can see it happening. Right now I think i want the 33 to start with a 3-4.5" lift (suspension and/or body combo) to accomidate. Which puts me at the Short Arm or Long Arm jumping point. I would go for the LA for the obvious reason, except for the 3x $$$.



So far it's just been at the Mounds. I looked at Bundy Hill too but on opposite side of town and haven't made it yet. Hopefully, heading north past westbranch over next few weeks.

Yeah, if you play at the mounds I would start building for 35's

Your going to obviously need a suspension lift, since you have a Rubicon you will not need a SYE (slip yoke eliminator) but you will still need a double cardan rear drive shaft. Your going to have to get your axles re-geared, 4.88's would work, 5.13's would be a little better but it depends on what speed your going to be going down the express way at. I would highly suggest installing chromo axle shafts if you go to 35" tires. Your either going to need wheels with better back spacing or some wheel spacers.

That's the basics, some people run stock brakes with 35's some upgrade there brakes. Some people run better pads and some go all out and spend $750 on a Vanco brake setup.

2001 TJ 4.6 Auto 4.5" AEV suspension 35's
2002 TJ 4.0 Manual 3" BDS suspension 33's
1987 Chevy 1 Ton 12" suspension 44's
1970 Cutlass 442 468CID TH400
1999 7.3 Powerstroke
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post #10 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:46 AM
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Wheeling in Michigan and you're limited by the stock performance of a Rubi?
I've seen many stock non-Rubi take on most of what we have around here.

I guess I'm one to talk, we many stick to two tracks in the West Branch area.

Welcome, there's plenty of info here.

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post #11 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:47 AM
emev0l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
Why not ditch the stock skid plate with a higher clearance unit and re-evaluate? Here's what I'd do:

1.25" body lift
1" MML
UCF high clearance skid plate or similar (lopro mount would be easier on driveline angles)

That would gain you ~2.25" at the belly with no other ill effects. You could run 33's on that as well, which would gain you another 1" at the belly. Your jeep is already geared fine for 33's and decent for 35's. You already have disc brakes at all 4 corners so that's decent. Your primary concern should be to beef up the steering and add the smaller skid plates--steering box and oil pan. With the higher clearance skid plate, any suspension lift added on top of that will require adjustable rear control arms and a CV shaft. Since you have a Rubi, you don't need a SYE since you already have a fixed yoke. I'd keep the suspension lift low for multiple reasons--less likely to roll (lower cog), better suspension geometry on short arms, and fewer costs.

You're already setup to run 35's pretty well as long as you beef up the steering. It won't cost you "several thousand" due to the fact that you have a 6 speed Rubi.
The mounds gets pretty ruff pretty quick, a lot of big trucks play there that sit on 44's, 54's, and tractor tires. Without 35" tires your left out of quite a bit. It's deep sloppy mud.

2001 TJ 4.6 Auto 4.5" AEV suspension 35's
2002 TJ 4.0 Manual 3" BDS suspension 33's
1987 Chevy 1 Ton 12" suspension 44's
1970 Cutlass 442 468CID TH400
1999 7.3 Powerstroke
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post #12 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emev0l View Post
The mounds gets pretty ruff pretty quick, a lot of big trucks play there that sit on 44's, 54's, and tractor tires. Without 35" tires your left out of quite a bit. It's deep sloppy mud.
Doesn't sound like a place I care to go. Mud blows.

With that said, it wouldn't be NEARLY as expensive to run 35's well as it was for us non-Rubi fellas.

OP, just call up Savvy Offroad. Tell Gerald you want to run 35's and want a flat belly. He'll hook you up with the 4" Currie kit (untouchable when it comes to bolt on short arm performance) and whatever else your wallet allows.

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post #13 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleWilson View Post
I live in the Detroit Metro... am still in a shock from leaving CO.
you moron I went the other way...Michigan/Ohio to Colorado

Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiconRazorbac View Post
Welcome to JF! This should help you get started:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj...embers-722109/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj-forum-faq-615132/

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/i-...-my-tj-751873/



1. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/lo...basics-879206/

2. Please fill out your profile. That'll help people answer your questions accurately. Don't use the word "stock." Read the threads above and be specific. Gearing will depend on tire-size and which transmission you have (as well as limitations of the differentials).

3. There's nothing special about the Rubi D44 front axle. There have been many iterations of a D44 made throughout the years and the Rubi D44 is just one of them. The housing is a D44 and Dana Corp. calls it a D44 so it's a D44. However, the Rubi D44 shares most other components (like outer shafts, u-joints, steering knuckles, ball joints, etc.) with the Jeep D30. Other than the convenience of coming from the factory with a selectable locker, the only leg-up the Rubi D44 has over the Low-pinion TJ D30 is the D44's ability to be geared lower than 4.88.

4. Yes.

The search function on the forum is your friend, but this should get you headed in the right direction...
^^x2 what he said.

only thing I would add to #1, is nothing wrong with short arms if setup correctly. lots of short arms do just fine over crazy rough terrain. long arms just give you a bit more flexibility in suspension setup and articulation parameters, if you understand how to set it up. either way its about learning suspension geometry and how stuff works, then applying it smartly for your needs.
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post #14 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
You're already setup to run 35's pretty well as long as you beef up the steering. It won't cost you "several thousand" due to the fact that you have a 6 speed Rubi.
I said a couple thousand.

Gears and axle shafts = a couple thousand

2001 TJ 4.6 Auto 4.5" AEV suspension 35's
2002 TJ 4.0 Manual 3" BDS suspension 33's
1987 Chevy 1 Ton 12" suspension 44's
1970 Cutlass 442 468CID TH400
1999 7.3 Powerstroke
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post #15 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emev0l View Post
I said a couple thousand.

Gears and axle shafts = a couple thousand
I've driven his tranny/gear combo with 35's. It's not bad at all and with 4:1 low, it's plenty low offroad. He should give the gears a shot before assuming the cost. And I don't think axle shafts are a need with 35's. I run Superiors in the rear only because I had to buy shafts for my Rubi housing anyway. Stock shafts up front with no problems. Locked, full throttle in the rocks. Both gears and shafts would be excellent upgrades but aren't needed....and that's coming from someone who is 100% against halfassing.

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