Stock 97 ZJ > 30X9.5 and towing? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
jb1331
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Stock 97 ZJ > 30X9.5 and towing?

Very long term owner... I am currently running 235/75R15s on stock Canyons that are getting old, so looking at new tires. Jeep is a 4x2, no lift, so only minor offroad very occasionally, 99% road use. Wanting to go up to 30x9.5's but wondering about impact on towing? I have not towed with this rig, but recently outfitted it with a Hopkins trailer light kit to pull a 5x8 uhaul trailer that will be loaded with about 800 lbs of stuff for a few trips (about 350 miles each way), but will distribute the load 60/40, so tongue weight should be pretty low and manageable . No sag in the suspension, and sits right with no load. Front end all recently rebuilt.

Anyone have an issues towing with 30's on stock suspension? Any rubbing? Should I have any concerns up front or just stick with 235 / 75's ?

Looking at Toyo OPEN COUNTRY A/T III 's


1997 ZJ Laredo 4x2 I6 Bought 2/1999 @29k, 186k
2004 Jeep Liberty LTD. Totaled @ 177k
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 02:22 PM
1996maroonzjf
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I’m guessing it’s a 4.0 non-tow package? If so you have 3.55 gears in your rear Dana 35 axle.

Towing is possible with that setup - I towed a utility trailer cross country several times with a 4.0, 3.55 gears and 31” tires. The performance is greatly affected by the larger tires I will say, but driving w/ OD off pretty much all the time and dropping down to 2nd gear often the ZJ will get the job done. I pretty much never used OD even around town. Pressing the OD off button right when I started the ZJ became second nature.

One thing I highly recommend is adding a transmission oil cooler. You will be giving the 42RE a workout.

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post #3 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996maroonzjf View Post
I’m guessing it’s a 4.0 non-tow package? If so you have 3.55 gears in your rear Dana 35 axle.

Towing is possible with that setup - I towed a utility trailer cross country several times with a 4.0, 3.55 gears and 31” tires. The performance is greatly affected by the larger tires I will say, but driving w/ OD off pretty much all the time and dropping down to 2nd gear often the ZJ will get the job done. I pretty much never used OD even around town. Pressing the OD off button right when I started the ZJ became second nature.

One thing I highly recommend is adding a transmission oil cooler. You will be giving the 42RE a workout.
Yes, 4.0, Dana 35 Non tow package. Because of the gearing as mentioned, I may stick with 235 75 R which are about 28.8.. You'd think 1.2 inches (up to 30") would not make that much of a difference, but I yeah, I could see it. I do like overdrive..

Regarding a tranny cooler.. Yes, I think I should go ahead with that as we will be towing up / down the Ozarks, and through the very hilly town of Fayetteville, Arkansas in August from Texas (so I may do some manual shirting / turn OD off anyhow). Any tranny coolers recommended for the 42RE along with needed accessories? Only concern is the stock cooler lines if they have to be modded in any way, I know they are really hard to find these days.

Tranny is in great shape (has had light use and well maintained)... but even pulling a small 5x8 trailer up and down the mountains without an ebrake does have some concerns too.

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post #4 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 04:16 PM
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I think towing light (under 2,000 lbs) you might not really feel it but towing near the limit (5,000) its going to downshift all the time. We have 30"x9.5-15s on our ZJ but do all the towing with the '07 WK 5.7 Hemi. I used to tow our boat with the ZJ with 235/75-15s on it and it was just adequate. When I started towing the same boat with the Hemi WK it was like night and day. We have a B&M Supercooler on the ZJ, I installed it years back, not a hard install and I did not have to modify the stock cooler lines, I ran it in-series with the stock cooler. I'd have to go back and see how I did it, it was like 10-11 years ago.

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post #5 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
jb1331
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Thanks for the feedback!

Looking at this B&M kit:

https://www.amazon.com/70268-SuperCo...ustomerReviews

or Hayden (additional mounting HW + $15):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1

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post #6 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 05:33 PM
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The B&M has a cold fluid bypass orifice built in to help the transmission warm up quicker in cold weather.


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post #7 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
The B&M has a cold fluid bypass orifice built in to help the transmission warm up quicker in cold weather.


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Thanks Polka,

That brings back a debate... to bypass the tranny cooler on the radiator to avoid the possibility of milkshake. Since I live in Texas, we are mostly above 32 degrees.. but then again, pulling a 2,000 - 2,5000 lbs in the heat up and down steep hills in the summer, probably better off inline after the stock rad cooler.

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2004 Jeep Liberty LTD. Totaled @ 177k
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 08:37 PM
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I've always had mine bypassed but you need an extra large cooler.


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post #9 of 24 Old 04-17-2021, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Order placed:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and some high quality worm clamps (one's that take alot of torque, 304 stainless, and won't dig into the lines).. I plan on doubling up

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I decided to go in line with the rad, so it will handle the initial warming up of the tranny fluid, and offer more cooling capacity.. Alot of XJ guys are using Hayden, and the quality is apparently pretty good.


I got a few months to decide on the tires...

1997 ZJ Laredo 4x2 I6 Bought 2/1999 @29k, 186k
2004 Jeep Liberty LTD. Totaled @ 177k
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-18-2021, 12:52 AM
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You might as well toss on a temp guage while you are at it. Especially if you are towing.img_20200211_144839.jpg
img_20180621_180338.jpg


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post #11 of 24 Old 04-18-2021, 05:56 AM
jeepjeepster
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My 4.0 with 235/70/16 tires and 3.73 gears struggles to pull a 1,000lb trailer. Any hill and it will start slowing down immediately, even with O/D off. This area is nothing but hills, but I cant imagine trying to tow with bigger tires and 3.55 gears.

With your ZJ being 2wd, you could swap in some 4.10 gears if you plan on towing a lot and dont do a lot of interstate driving. I would really like to have a 2wd ZJ and put a limited slip in it.

polka, do you see quick spikes in the trans fluid since you have that in the cooler line? Theres a thread somewhere on the xj forum where they put a sensor in both cooler lines and in the trans pan. It was neat to see the fluid temp at all locations.

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post #12 of 24 Old 04-18-2021, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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I went ahead and picked up some new tires (235 / 75 R15) at Walmart of all places.. Dextero All Terrain DAT1 .. $64 a tire, $511 out the door for five new tires balanced / installed with road hazard. The reviews are actually pretty decent, and the ride home I was quite pleased (so far). I replaced the spare as I still had the original 24 year old never touched Lawsuit era Firestone in the back still mounted and covered in the original vinyl LOL (I did get a free set of tires out of that debacle after I ran the old ones 50k miles, about 30 days left on the recall and I forgot about the spare since it was still in the vinyl).. I only drive this Jeep about 3-4k miles a year for the past 15 years, the rest of the time it has been a garage queen and a project to keep up with / tinker. I am sure these tires will be dry cracked with alot of tread left before I replace them (same as last set, so that is why I tend to opt for lesser expensive tires).

This Jeep is a time capsule.. Sure it has alot of new parts all throughout, but they are cheap as I do keep up with it in it's stock form.

Most of my Amazon prime order will be here Tuesday, the rest Friday, so next weekend is booked for the trans cooler project.
Attached Thumbnails
tire2a.jpg   tire1.jpg  
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1997 ZJ Laredo 4x2 I6 Bought 2/1999 @29k, 186k
2004 Jeep Liberty LTD. Totaled @ 177k
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-18-2021, 05:48 PM
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Stock 97 ZJ > 30X9.5 and towing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepjeepster View Post
My 4.0 with 235/70/16 tires and 3.73 gears struggles to pull a 1,000lb trailer. Any hill and it will start slowing down immediately, even with O/D off. This area is nothing but hills, but I cant imagine trying to tow with bigger tires and 3.55 gears.

With your ZJ being 2wd, you could swap in some 4.10 gears if you plan on towing a lot and dont do a lot of interstate driving. I would really like to have a 2wd ZJ and put a limited slip in it.

polka, do you see quick spikes in the trans fluid since you have that in the cooler line? Theres a thread somewhere on the xj forum where they put a sensor in both cooler lines and in the trans pan. It was neat to see the fluid temp at all locations.

It fluctuates more but it's consistent with driving conditions. I like to know how hot the atf is getting so I don't cook it. Once it shears it's not doing anything to protect the transmission.


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post #14 of 24 Old 04-19-2021, 08:42 AM
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Since I didn't use it to tow after I got the WK-Hemi I never put a gauge on the ZJ. And, I really put the cooler in the ZJ since I gave it to my son and he used it for 4Wheeling on the beach, where the trans can really heat up unless you air way down (we use like 12-15 lbs). Anyway I checked it a few times with my IR temp gun (both on the pan and on the dipstick right after pulling it and it was always below 180*. On the beach the WK runs at the same temp and standard they have a pretty big cooler.
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-01-2021, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got around to putting in the Transmission Cooler. I was delayed a bit as my daughter had a minor accident in her old Camry, so I quick fixed her car on the cheap with a little Bondo, heat gun to push the bumper back out, new headlights / turn signal lamp, sanding, primer and painted with Duplicolor in a rattle can... I was going to paint her wreaking yard bumper cover at some point anyhow.. She is rather accident prone, so all in all I spent $197 in case she has any more accidents:



After (good enough):




Anyhow, onto the Jeep.. I took my time on this.. Rainy day here today but cool. I got the Transmission Cooler to just fit without touching the condenser, and it is firmly mounted using the metal strips you buy as a kit separately.

The top left was the most challenging to fit without touching the condenser. It does not touch, but I did glue a felt grommet around the nut just in case of any vibration:


Mounted (note, I did use a few washers as spaces on the triangular mount. Hose clamps are doubled up on the TC:


I doubled up on ALL hose clamps to buy some peace of mind, and I wrapped the sending hose (in the middle) with duct tape in case of any vibration against it with the hose clamps.. I did zip tie all the hoses into place, and made sure I kept the natural direction of the spliced factory return hose, so I have hoses going around both sides underneath to the front:


Not touching:


All buttoned up, tranny fluid topped off, and no leaks:

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1997 ZJ Laredo 4x2 I6 Bought 2/1999 @29k, 186k
2004 Jeep Liberty LTD. Totaled @ 177k
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