First Impressions 3.45 to 4.56 Gears

Ran4

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Yesterday we wrapped up a regearing of my 2019 Sahara 4-door. I've been running 35" tires (315/70R17 Falken Wildpeak ATs) on the Jeep for roughly the past 10K miles using the OEM 3.45 gear ratio coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Throughout that experience, I had been claiming that this configuration is tolerable for both on, as well as off road. I still believe that. BUT...having made the huge leap from 3.45 to 4.56 gears, I simply could not be happier with the result! Not only have I been reintroduced to 8th gear on the highway, but the acceleration for passing and coming off a dead stop has been vastly improved. In addition to the performance improvements, its looking like the fuel mileage has made an impressive increase from roughly 17mpg (ish) combined City/Highway to around 19.5mpg (I've put only about 100 miles on the Jeep since the regear with most of that being on the highway in access of 70mph. Time will tell where the overall fuel mileage improvements will settle out).

With the 3.45 gears, the Jeep's 2.0L was turning 2200 RPM at 75mph in 7th gear. With the new Dana/Spicer 4.56 gears, I'm seeing 2350 RPM at 75mph in 8th gear. As I said above, the OEM 3.45 gears can and 'will' turn the 35" tires 'good enough' for daily driving as well as for moderate off-roading (I've earned four BOH medallions with that configuration), but having the 4.56s under her is like getting a whole new Jeep. I should mention that my Jeep is a daily driver, and I routinely make the 600+ mile drive from Charlotte, NC to south Florida. For 'my' purposes, I believe the 4.56 gear ratio on 35" tires and the 8-speed auto trans hits the sweet spot. If, on the other hand, my Jeep was primarily for off-roading with limited on-road driving, perhaps 4.88, or even 5.13 gears might fit the bill. But for me, this 4.56 Dana gear upgrade is perfect.

Sending out a 'thank you' to fellow forum members @Taznc, @MadDog27, and @jdubya421 for assisting with the installation (others helped as well that are not forum members), and a very special THANK YOU goes to @chevymitchell for showing all of us how its done. His attention to detail, and his 'go the extra mile' character is rare these days. Thank you, Sir!
IMG_20200802_065537.jpg





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GerJL

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Yesterday we wrapped up a regearing of my 2019 Sahara 4-door. I've been running 35" tires (315/70R17 Falken Wildpeak ATs) on the Jeep for roughly the past 10K miles using the OEM 3.45 gear ratio coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Throughout that experience, I had been claiming that this configuration is tolerable for both on, as well as off road. I still believe that. BUT...having made the huge leap from 3.45 to 4.56 gears, I simply could not be happier with the result! Not only have I been reintroduced to 8th gear on the highway, but the acceleration for passing and coming off a dead stop has been vastly improved. In addition to the performance improvements, its looking like the fuel mileage has made an impressive increase from roughly 17mpg (ish) combined City/Highway to around 19.5mpg (I've put only about 100 miles on the Jeep since the regear with most of that being on the highway in access of 70mph. Time will tell where the overall fuel mileage improvements will settle out).

With the 3.45 gears, the Jeep's 2.0L was turning 2200 RPM at 75mph in 7th gear. With the new Dana/Spicer 4.56 gears, I'm seeing 2350 RPM at 75mph in 8th gear. As I said above, the OEM 3.45 gears can and 'will' turn the 35" tires 'good enough' for daily driving as well as for moderate off-roading (I've earned four BOH medallions with that configuration), but having the 4.56s under her is like getting a whole new Jeep. I should mention that my Jeep is a daily driver, and I routinely make the 600+ mile drive from Charlotte, NC to south Florida. For 'my' purposes, I believe the 4.56 gear ratio on 35" tires and the 8-speed auto trans hits the sweet spot. If, on the other hand, my Jeep was primarily for off-roading with limited on-road driving, perhaps 4.88, or even 5.13 gears might fit the bill. But for me, this 4.56 Dana gear upgrade is perfect.

Sending out a 'thank you' to fellow forum members @Taznc and @jdubya421 for assisting with the installation (others helped as well that are not forum members), and a very special THANK YOU goes to @chevymitchell for showing all of us how its done. His attention to detail, and his 'go the extra mile' character is rare these days. Thank you, Sir!
IMG_20200802_065537.jpg
That is great feedback (especially the speed/rpm info) for those of us that are or will be in a similar scenario.
 
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Ran4

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That is great feedback (especially the speed/rpm info) for those of us that are or will be in a similar scenario.
GerJL...to further inform regarding the RPM matter, on the somewhat rare occasions that I'd see 8th gear (with the OEM 3.45s)<, I was turned 1800rpm at 75mph. It would kick down to 6th going up a grade, and when it did I was witnessing 2600rpm at 75mph (again..with the old 3.45 gears)
 

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Yesterday we wrapped up a regearing of my 2019 Sahara 4-door. I've been running 35" tires (315/70R17 Falken Wildpeak ATs) on the Jeep for roughly the past 10K miles using the OEM 3.45 gear ratio coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Throughout that experience, I had been claiming that this configuration is tolerable for both on, as well as off road. I still believe that. BUT...having made the huge leap from 3.45 to 4.56 gears, I simply could not be happier with the result! Not only have I been reintroduced to 8th gear on the highway, but the acceleration for passing and coming off a dead stop has been vastly improved. In addition to the performance improvements, its looking like the fuel mileage has made an impressive increase from roughly 17mpg (ish) combined City/Highway to around 19.5mpg (I've put only about 100 miles on the Jeep since the regear with most of that being on the highway in access of 70mph. Time will tell where the overall fuel mileage improvements will settle out).

With the 3.45 gears, the Jeep's 2.0L was turning 2200 RPM at 75mph in 7th gear. With the new Dana/Spicer 4.56 gears, I'm seeing 2350 RPM at 75mph in 8th gear. As I said above, the OEM 3.45 gears can and 'will' turn the 35" tires 'good enough' for daily driving as well as for moderate off-roading (I've earned four BOH medallions with that configuration), but having the 4.56s under her is like getting a whole new Jeep. I should mention that my Jeep is a daily driver, and I routinely make the 600+ mile drive from Charlotte, NC to south Florida. For 'my' purposes, I believe the 4.56 gear ratio on 35" tires and the 8-speed auto trans hits the sweet spot. If, on the other hand, my Jeep was primarily for off-roading with limited on-road driving, perhaps 4.88, or even 5.13 gears might fit the bill. But for me, this 4.56 Dana gear upgrade is perfect.

Sending out a 'thank you' to fellow forum members @Taznc, @MadDog27, and @jdubya421 for assisting with the installation (others helped as well that are not forum members), and a very special THANK YOU goes to @chevymitchell for showing all of us how its done. His attention to detail, and his 'go the extra mile' character is rare these days. Thank you, Sir!
IMG_20200802_065537.jpg
Congrats! :like: I'd like to add 4.56 and lockers sometime in the near future, but doubt I'd have the nerve, skills or tools to do it myself.
 

JYD225

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Yesterday we wrapped up a regearing of my 2019 Sahara 4-door. I've been running 35" tires (315/70R17 Falken Wildpeak ATs) on the Jeep for roughly the past 10K miles using the OEM 3.45 gear ratio coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Throughout that experience, I had been claiming that this configuration is tolerable for both on, as well as off road. I still believe that. BUT...having made the huge leap from 3.45 to 4.56 gears, I simply could not be happier with the result! Not only have I been reintroduced to 8th gear on the highway, but the acceleration for passing and coming off a dead stop has been vastly improved. In addition to the performance improvements, its looking like the fuel mileage has made an impressive increase from roughly 17mpg (ish) combined City/Highway to around 19.5mpg (I've put only about 100 miles on the Jeep since the regear with most of that being on the highway in access of 70mph. Time will tell where the overall fuel mileage improvements will settle out).

With the 3.45 gears, the Jeep's 2.0L was turning 2200 RPM at 75mph in 7th gear. With the new Dana/Spicer 4.56 gears, I'm seeing 2350 RPM at 75mph in 8th gear. As I said above, the OEM 3.45 gears can and 'will' turn the 35" tires 'good enough' for daily driving as well as for moderate off-roading (I've earned four BOH medallions with that configuration), but having the 4.56s under her is like getting a whole new Jeep. I should mention that my Jeep is a daily driver, and I routinely make the 600+ mile drive from Charlotte, NC to south Florida. For 'my' purposes, I believe the 4.56 gear ratio on 35" tires and the 8-speed auto trans hits the sweet spot. If, on the other hand, my Jeep was primarily for off-roading with limited on-road driving, perhaps 4.88, or even 5.13 gears might fit the bill. But for me, this 4.56 Dana gear upgrade is perfect.

Sending out a 'thank you' to fellow forum members @Taznc, @MadDog27, and @jdubya421 for assisting with the installation (others helped as well that are not forum members), and a very special THANK YOU goes to @chevymitchell for showing all of us how its done. His attention to detail, and his 'go the extra mile' character is rare these days. Thank you, Sir!
IMG_20200802_065537.jpg
Thanks, I'm in exactly the same place you were and that's really good info. I went to 35's and haven't seen 8th gear since. On the HWY at 75 my fuel mileage dropped from a solid 19.5 to around 15 and it's kicking back and forth from 6th to 7th gear on any slight hill. What's funny is when I'm on country roads driving 50-55 I only went from 19 to about 17MPG.

Up until about 2 years ago I had a close relationship with some FCA people and sat on an advisory for the Charger platform. The first, second and third thing the engineers talked about at every meeting was fuel mileage. If you look at slide charges which show "best fuel mileage, best overall and best off road performance" and compare the stock tire to the 345 gear it actually falls as far on the fuel mileage side as it can and that really throws the entire transmission/gear set up out the window as soon as you go up at all on tire size.

I'm definitely looking to gear up and was strongly considering 488 but I'm going to take a hard look at 456 gears after reading your experience.
 

Jason Oliver

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Up until about 2 years ago I had a close relationship with some FCA people and sat on an advisory for the Charger platform. The first, second and third thing the engineers talked about at every meeting was fuel mileage. If you look at slide charges which show "best fuel mileage, best overall and best off road performance" and compare the stock tire to the 345 gear it actually falls as far on the fuel mileage side as it can and that really throws the entire transmission/gear set up out the window as soon as you go up at all on tire size.
What does that mean?
 

JLAFAKASI

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Yesterday we wrapped up a regearing of my 2019 Sahara 4-door. I've been running 35" tires (315/70R17 Falken Wildpeak ATs) on the Jeep for roughly the past 10K miles using the OEM 3.45 gear ratio coupled with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Throughout that experience, I had been claiming that this configuration is tolerable for both on, as well as off road. I still believe that. BUT...having made the huge leap from 3.45 to 4.56 gears, I simply could not be happier with the result! Not only have I been reintroduced to 8th gear on the highway, but the acceleration for passing and coming off a dead stop has been vastly improved. In addition to the performance improvements, its looking like the fuel mileage has made an impressive increase from roughly 17mpg (ish) combined City/Highway to around 19.5mpg (I've put only about 100 miles on the Jeep since the regear with most of that being on the highway in access of 70mph. Time will tell where the overall fuel mileage improvements will settle out).

With the 3.45 gears, the Jeep's 2.0L was turning 2200 RPM at 75mph in 7th gear. With the new Dana/Spicer 4.56 gears, I'm seeing 2350 RPM at 75mph in 8th gear. As I said above, the OEM 3.45 gears can and 'will' turn the 35" tires 'good enough' for daily driving as well as for moderate off-roading (I've earned four BOH medallions with that configuration), but having the 4.56s under her is like getting a whole new Jeep. I should mention that my Jeep is a daily driver, and I routinely make the 600+ mile drive from Charlotte, NC to south Florida. For 'my' purposes, I believe the 4.56 gear ratio on 35" tires and the 8-speed auto trans hits the sweet spot. If, on the other hand, my Jeep was primarily for off-roading with limited on-road driving, perhaps 4.88, or even 5.13 gears might fit the bill. But for me, this 4.56 Dana gear upgrade is perfect.

Sending out a 'thank you' to fellow forum members @Taznc, @MadDog27, and @jdubya421 for assisting with the installation (others helped as well that are not forum members), and a very special THANK YOU goes to @chevymitchell for showing all of us how its done. His attention to detail, and his 'go the extra mile' character is rare these days. Thank you, Sir!
IMG_20200802_065537.jpg
Where do you recomend to get the gearing done? Also do you think 33's-34's need the gearing on the 3.45 ratio?
 
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Where do you recomend to get the gearing done? Also do you think 33's-34's need the gearing on the 3.45 ratio?
A friend of mine did the gears on my jeep (@chevymitchell ). Its kinda hard to answer the queston about 'need' when it comes to gears/tires combinations. IMO, it depends on how you use your Jeep, and what you're willing to tolerate. As I've said, my Jeep did pretty well with the 35s and the OEM 3.45 gears. ...and if I never wheeled, I doubt that I would have changed them (though I rarely saw 8th gear). But once you regear to what I would call the 'right' gears for your tire size, its amazing the difference it makes; especially off road. I'm sure that I could easily turn 37s now, but the 4.56s with 35s is perfect....IMO
 

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I am in the same boat and Thank you for this post as this is exactly what I was looking with my Sahara on 35".

I have a lifetime warranty, how does regearing affect this? Does it have to be done at a dealer, or certified shop?

Thank you
 
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I am in the same boat and Thank you for this post as this is exactly what I was looking with my Sahara on 35".

I have a lifetime warranty, how does regearing affect this? Does it have to be done at a dealer, or certified shop?

Thank you
I have no idea how it may or may not effect the warranty. Sorry..
 

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I am in the same boat and Thank you for this post as this is exactly what I was looking with my Sahara on 35".

I have a lifetime warranty, how does regearing affect this? Does it have to be done at a dealer, or certified shop?

Thank you
Re-gearing will void any warranty claims for the axle and its components, unless it's performed by a dealer willing to accept the risk.

Here is a t-shirt recommendation for you, which also happens to be my absolute favorite @ThirtyOne has on his site. Haha.

https://jeepdoodles.com/short-sleeve-unisex-t-shirt/
 

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Randy,

Thanks a boatload for the very good write-up on your first impressions on 4.56 gears. What I'd like to pick your brain on is what led you initially to regear in the first place?

Was it just for performance? Was it to primarily reachieve 8th gear at highway speeds? Typically regearing lowers overall mpg but this is contrary to your experience. Is it some other reason or a hybrid of all of the above? Or perhaps just gentle nudging from the opinions of other way cool people and Jeeping experts on this forum like Shawn (@chevymitchell)?

I'm exactly in your position right now. I'm running 35x12.5x17s on a lifted 2019 2-door Sport S 3.6L Auto with the stock m186 / m200 (3.45) diffs.

However, I keep convincing myself I like this arrangement. One: This ZF8 transmission seems to have almost been designed with this size tire in mind. It's peppy enough for a utility vehicle, (I have no expectations, nor desire for a sports car feel in my lifted Wrangler). Two: I can always select 8th gear manually (via AutoStick) and get an overdrive on steroids. Three: by frequently manually selecting 8th, the ZF8 has seemed to understand that I like overdrive and it's now selecting 8th automatically, way more now than it ever used to. And finally four: the cost savings and complexity of not rebuilding the diffs.

So, can you please also share your thoughts on what lead you away (what really convinced you) to abandon the 3.45s in favor of the 4.56s to begin with? What really convinced you to pull the trigger to regear prior to your first impressions?

It sounds like this new gear ratio meets your expectations. What was it exactly that the 3.45s pissed you off to the point you just had to do something about it?

Again, thanks for your way cool feedback. Maybe I just need that extra little shove to get beyond my reluctance. Truthfully, I'm really enjoying this 3.45 setup but without driving your rig in comparison, I may be missing the real perceived benefit(s).

Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts.
Jay

P.S. In a prior life I used to be employed by Chrysler as a Powertrain Software Engineer helping implement Engine Controller software. However, I moved away from the Detroit area rat race favoring Colorado in order to pursue other career dreams.

So yes the regearing will most certainly void not only the warranty on your axle's but possibly your entire drivetrain. It won't take much of an excuse for the FCA lawyers and bean-counters to claim T-Case, Transmission or Engine problems potentially stemmed from the non-factory modifications of the diffs. They are after all looking to minimize warranty claim liability in the broadest possible way. That is exactly why they were hired -- to mitigate warranty expenses. Any corner case scenario from an unauthorized non-dealership performed modification, (any at all) positions you for additional warranty scrutiny.

I'm certain with a good lawyer, and a large enough wallet (and likely a very good amount of patience) you could possibly fight back in the event something really bad happened, but this is also another potential expense and complexity factor (for me) to believe that I like the 3.45 gears. Granted, the warranty is just a short-term contract and I'm much more interested in the longer term joy of ownership.

What say you? I'm really going to value hearing about your initial reasoning as well.
 
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Randy,

Thanks a boatload for the very good write-up on your first impressions on 4.56 gears. What I'd like to pick your brain on is what led you initially to regear in the first place?

Was it just for performance? Was it to primarily reachieve 8th gear at highway speeds? Typically regearing lowers overall mpg but this is contrary to your experience. Is it some other reason or a hybrid of all of the above? Or perhaps just gentle nudging from the opinions of other way cool people and Jeeping experts on this forum like Shawn (@chevymitchell)?

I'm exactly in your position right now. I'm running 35x12.5x17s on a lifted 2019 2-door Sport S 3.6L Auto with the stock m186 / m200 (3.45) diffs.

However, I keep convincing myself I like this arrangement. One: This ZF8 transmission seems to have almost been designed with this size tire in mind. It's peppy enough for a utility vehicle, (I have no expectations, nor desire for a sports car feel in my lifted Wrangler). Two: I can always select 8th gear manually (via AutoStick) and get an overdrive on steroids. Three: by frequently manually selecting 8th, the ZF8 has seemed to understand that I like overdrive and it's now selecting 8th automatically, way more now than it ever used to. And finally four: the cost savings and complexity of not rebuilding the diffs.

So, can you please also share your thoughts on what lead you away (what really convinced you) to abandon the 3.45s in favor of the 4.56s to begin with? What really convinced you to pull the trigger to regear prior to your first impressions?

It sounds like this new gear ratio meets your expectations. What was it exactly that the 3.45s pissed you off to the point you just had to do something about it?

Again, thanks for your way cool feedback. Maybe I just need that extra little shove to get beyond my reluctance. Truthfully, I'm really enjoying this 3.45 setup but without driving your rig in comparison, I may be missing the real perceived benefit(s).

Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts.
Jay

P.S. In a prior life I used to be employed by Chrysler as a Powertrain Software Engineer helping implement Engine Controller software. However, I moved away from the Detroit area rat race favoring Colorado in order to pursue other career dreams.

So yes the regearing will most certainly void not only the warranty on your axle's but possibly your entire drivetrain. It won't take much of an excuse for the FCA lawyers and bean-counters to claim T-Case, Transmission or Engine problems potentially stemmed from the non-factory modifications of the diffs. They are after all looking to minimize warranty claim liability in the broadest possible way. That is exactly why they were hired -- to mitigate warranty expenses. Any corner case scenario from an unauthorized non-dealership performed modification, (any at all) positions you for additional warranty scrutiny.

I'm certain with a good lawyer, and a large enough wallet (and likely a very good amount of patience) you could possibly fight back in the event something really bad happened, but this is also another potential expense and complexity factor (for me) to believe that I like the 3.45 gears. Granted, the warranty is just a short-term contract and I'm much more interested in the longer term joy of ownership.

What say you? I'm really going to value hearing about your initial reasoning as well.
Jay,

When you said, "..hybrid," you kinda nailed it. My reasons to regear were several. There's that old saying, "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." But, in my opinion, the opposite sometimes holds true as well. In other words, "You don't know how bad you had it until you get something better."

As you point out (..and, as I have said on numerous occasions), running 35s on the 3.45 gears is not the end of the world. ...not even close. I wheeled my Sahara fairly hard on the 3.45s and the taller tires. The only 'big' issue (though still tolerable) was on the highway when I only rarely saw 8th gear.

BUT...enter the 4.56 gears. Wow, I love 'em! The guys will testify that when we were out west last year I was almost 'giddy' about how well the Sahara tackled steep inclines and rocky, slow crawls. Could I have done all those obstacles with the OEM gears? ...sure I could have, but the difference between the two gear sets adds a whole lotta fun to the equation.

My Sahara is only on a 2" puck lift, and riding on 35s. Compared to lots of rigs, it's dang near stock. But there were very few obstacles that I by-passed in Moab and Colorado last summer. Having said that, I can definitely see why guys build rigs specifically for hard core off-roading. Even though I may be able to struggle over a hard obstacle or two, it sure looks fun to drive a Jeep that's been modified far beyond where I've taken my daily driver..:)
 

jeepoch

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Randy,

I'm not totally to the point of giving up on the 3.45s, but your really high recommendation and enthusiasm of the 4.56s are certainly noted, and will most certainly use this to help sway my decision in the future.

For 35s this is so borderline subjective. Especially on a good 2.5" inch lift and disconnected sway bars. For any larger tire a re-gear is most certainly necessary, (beyond any shadow of doubt). 4.88s or even above 5.xx will be required for the truly bigger rubber. However (for me), 35s are as large as I'm willing to go on my Sport.

I too do a lot of off-roading. Maybe not as aggressive as you but difficult to severe is certainly in my comfort zone. I'll gladly let the professionals tackle the extreme boulder bouncing crap.

Living along the Colorado Front Range my desire is to see way more of my state and truly experience the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Not necessarily scrape my way through the most rockiest ravines in doing so. However, the more than occasional (more than difficult) obstacle must be expected anywhere within our National Forest System trails.

So your setup indeed has a lot of appeal. Thanks for sharing your experience, reasoning and thoughts on the matter.

Thank you so much for your advice and feedback. Very much appreciated.

Jay
 

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