33's or 35s


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KiknTiresLightnFires

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So I am new to the tire and suspension aftermarket world of Jeep, looking for some insight and expertise. I Had a TJ for about 6 years and just upgraded to the JL last Fall. I'd like to upgrade to larger tires and a modest lift but have never done so before so I have some questions. The big internal debate currently is do I go for 33s or 35s? I currently have a Sport S JLU 4 door with stock (31) tires and manual transmission.

I drive about 30 miles to work everyday and see a lot of highway. I'll probably take it off-road twice a month in southern California for moderate trails, no crawling. This is my daily driver.

I've been thinking of doing 33s with a 2.5' lift, but don't want to regret it and wish I went 35s. I'm trying to figure out if 33s will give me a capable enough platform without sacrificing gas mileage, power,
and the possibility of having to re-gear.


If anyone has made the switch from 33s to 35s, What made you switch and how significant was the difference in MPG, and ride quality? Is there anything you regret? Did you re-gear? Do you wish you stuck with 33s? (specifically in non Rubicon models)

Lastly, is there any recommendation in specific lift/spacers that you would suggest with both tire sizes?

Thanks for all your help guys. Excited to get started on this build!

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jakebrake

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Friend of mine runs 35s. Says it eviscerated her gas mileage.
 

JtwJL

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I run a 33x12.50x17 Mud Terrain (GNIEL3000), around the city you have no issue, the power from the 3.6 v6 is great and you don't need to worry about it when it comes to any tire size really but the bigger you go, you will def want to regear. the issue when running a tire of this width is the highway which I drive A LOT year round (my work is over an hour and half commute one way). 6th gear is completely gone, and on the highway depending on weather conditions and incline I need to drop to 4th. I didn't notice much of a mileage change honestly.

I am putting a 2.5" JKSpec lift w/ fox shocks on whenever it decides to come in, and I am gonna ware down the 33s (I can live with the 3.45 gearing for now with this setup) before I go 35s, but I know for a fact when I go 35s I am gonna re-gear to 4.53 or 4.88 (probably 4.88 because one day I probably will want to do 37s lol).

I think the ride quality is mainly going to come from what kind of tire you choose, from what you're saying and from what I gathered from other forum members the 315 load range C Ko2 will suit you the best (thats a 35") or go for the 33" version.

If you're getting new wheels go for a negative off set (mines -12) and avoid the spaces IMO.

I think your best option is a 2.5" budget lift kit, 33" Ko2s with a negative offset wheel, that'll look nice and will avoid you from regearing etc, but I will say you will regret not going 35s, but when u get 35s you want 37s...

If you go 35s, you more than likely need to regear, or at least want too - the 6 speed manual is not 'as good' compared to the 8 speed automatic on stock gearing.
 

jmcdtucson

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Here's a sport with 33" KO2's. The "lift" is Rubicon suspension and 3/4" spacers for net of 2" lift from stock. I probably lost 1 or 2 MPG between the tires and lift.
Note any 2.5" lift is going to be measured in relation to a stock Rubicon so you'll likely get over 3.5" of lift on your sport.

I'd probably go for 35's but the gearing on the sport really isn't made for that big a tire, especially with manual transmission, and regearing is multiple thousands of dollars.

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limeade

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Unless you KNOW you are going to re-gear, stay with the 33's. 35's, a manual transmission, and 3.45 gears is not a good combination. Will it look better than 33's....absolutely. But your mileage and power will be horrible and that takes the fun out of driving your Jeep. Plus the additional weight of the 35's will cause the stock steering parts to wear out more quickly. Then you'll want to upgrade to aftermarket steering.

By sticking with 33's, you will then have more money for upgrading other items instead of doing a re-gear. Winch, recovery gear, cool lights, etc. Add some good skid plates and you'll be able to go anywhere those on 35's without skid plates can go without any fear of damaging something. The slight additional height of 35's vs 33's won't make much difference off-road, but will be a huge negative impact on-road.
 

ThirtyOne

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Stock gears and manual transmission you should stick to 33s. A Rubicon take-off suspension will give you a little lift very economically.

If you get 35s you should get a full lift and re-gear. It's a big investment.

I wheel with 33s and a Rubi suspension. Everyone's version of off-roading is different but I rarely run into situations I can't handle and even when I do I can winch out of it.
 

MikeinDelaware

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Here is my sport (turbo with auto)(I added rubi suspension / fenders / wheels and tires). Ive really been wanting 35s recently--i'll admit mainly for looks and stance.
But after reading some of the posts in this thread, i think it's in my best interest to enjoy the 33s.
And if you do 33s, you'll love em just as much.

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ThirtyOne

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I will say this too - Nothing feels better than getting through a touch obstacle with a mostly stock Jeep.

Went wheeling last week and several times my wheeling buddies said they wanted to see me do it first before they gave it a shot. They all feel like if my Jeep can do it then anyone can. And most of the time I can.
 

scrape

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I'll probably take it off-road twice a month in southern California for moderate trails, no crawling. This is my daily driver.
You will be surprised at what that thing can do bone stock even with the stock highway tires. If your TJ was a non-rubicon with open diffs, your JL will be a lot more capable. And if you are ruling out rock crawling then there's no reason to get 35s or even a lift for that matter. I would have no hesitation taking a stock height sport with 33s across sidewinder in corral canyon. If you don't see yourself doing something harder than that then skip the 35s.

If I were you I'd do rubi take-off wheels and tires, frame-mounted rocker guards (LoD, poison spyder, and shrockworks are the good ones), stubby front bumper, and front sway bar disconnects if you don't want to mess with unbolting them every time.
 

Shots

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If you do 33s, you’ll just want 35s in two months. Get 35s! Plus 35s will look better on a 2.5” lift
I don't know about that, I was the opposite. I put 35's on a truck once, because everyone was all about 35's on the forum and I heard a lot of similar comments there. I got the 35's and shortly thereafter wished I hadn't. The extra weight, the extra width, the reduced torque. Not worth it unless you're doing the type of off-roading that NEEDS a bigger tire. Just my $0.02.

.....By sticking with 33's, you will then have more money for upgrading other items instead of doing a re-gear. Winch, recovery gear, cool lights, etc. Add some good skid plates and you'll be able to go anywhere those on 35's without skid plates can go without any fear of damaging something. The slight additional height of 35's vs 33's won't make much difference off-road, but will be a huge negative impact on-road.
Agreed, and well put.

You will be surprised at what that thing can do bone stock even with the stock highway tires. ...
I know I was blown away by what a bone stock Wrangler can do. A good example is to watch some of LIteBrite's early videos. They've gotten commercial now, and their Jeep isn't really a road vehicle anymore, but when they first got their JL they did a lot of stuff with it that was very unexpected of a stock vehicle on stock tires.


As for recommendations. I voted 33's, and completely agree with the KO2 recommendation. Great tires, though there are obviously other good options which are plentiful in 33". FWIW I've got 34's with a 2" lift. One of my deciding factors on tires was the width. I wanted to keep it at 285 or narrower. We see a lot of snow in N.E. Ohio and wide tires suck on snow/ice covered roads.
 

blnewt

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I went with 33's. 305/65/17 Cepek Extreme Terrain and Rubi suspension, with 1/2 in spacers. Gained 2 in inlift. Nice part is I can still hit 8th gear with our 2.0 l.
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Just love this shot, perfect setup and those tires/wheels are spot-on!
 

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