New to jeeping: tires, wheels, lifts and tops

T_Willys

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Hello all, brand new member to the forum community here--looking to start planning out mods for my 19 JLU Sahara, which I've had since November. Currently, everything is stock. While my primary usage for the jeep is commuting, I want to start upgrading so that I can off-road with more peace of mind. So far, I've been advised to run a 2.5-3" lift, get 35" all terrain tires, and get 17" wheels--I've heard differing opinions on whether to go with alloy or steel. I quickly realized how costly this may become, and would love to hear your input on some questions:

-is it a good idea to start w/ just getting 32 or 33" AT tires, or is it better to do everything together?
-are spacers / budget boosts viable options, or should I really only consider a full lift?
-How crucial is it to go from 18" to 17" wheels? Opinions on alloy vs steel?

While not as critical, I'm running a hard top right now and am curious about if it's viable to alternate seasonally between my current hard top and a besttop fastback soft top--any input on this would also be greatly appreciated.



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Ma$$iveDebtAche

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Your best bet, is to wait. Make sure it drives to your liking; no wandering, looseness, etc. Before you do a lift or swap out the factory tires/ wheels.
It's best to work out those problems and deal with warranty issues in stock form.
 

Nole_Dynasty

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Planning to bring my wheels/tires to the dealer once my Jeep arrives. Have them installing the Mopar lift for $2,100 but fully covered under the warranty.
 

JtwJL

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Hello all, brand new member to the community here--looking to start planning out mods for my 19 JLU Sahara. Currently, everything is stock. While my primary usage for the jeep is commuting, I want to start upgrading so that I can off-road with more peace of mind. So far, I've been advised to run a 2.5-3" lift, get 35" all terrain tires, and get 17" wheels--I've heard differing opinions on whether to go with alloy or steel. I quickly realized how costly this may become, and would love to hear your input on some questions:

-is it a good idea to start w/ just getting 32 or 33" AT tires, or is it better to do everything together?
-are spacers / budget boosts viable options, or should I really only consider a full lift?
-How crucial is it to go from 18" to 17" wheels? Opinions on alloy vs steel?

While not as critical, I'm running a hard top right now and am curious about if it's viable to alternate seasonally between my current hard top and a besttop fastback soft top--any input on this would also be greatly appreciated.
First thing - drive it stock, feel it out first and build up, I have a 2018 JLUS with the 6 Speed M/T and I drove it stock for probably 10,000 KM before I decided to up to 33" M/T tires. I lost 6th gear all together, the automatic transmission does wayy better from what I heard. City driving is fine, but highway I sometimes need to drop to 4th depending on weather conditions etc (Wind/inclines).

at 48,000 KM I decided I want to move up, so I am adding on a 2.5" JKSpec lift kit with fox shocks, I am gonna see how that drives with the 33s before I decide to do 35's, more than likely I will go to 35s but I will 100% regear the same time if I do, I drive a lot of highway, if you have the automatic transmission, you might be fine, I don't have experience with it, other than I know the automatic tends to run better.

Just a note for you; Sahara's come with 3.45 gears and dana 30 front, 35 rear axles unless you opt for LSD which gives you dana 44 rear.

These axles will be fine on 35s if its not serious off roading, if you're plan on doing some tense trails theirs a risk your axles will break, so if you like you can look into buying rubicon takeoff axles through the member market here if thats your route.

But to answer your questions;

1) I would start with the stock tires, trust me jeeps are capable as fuck stock form, but if not go 33s if you want, ride it out then decide if you want to lift the Jeep or go bigger tires.
2) I am not a fan of budget boost or spacers, but its a cheap alternative to get the 'lift look' I personally would go with the full suspension ( as I am ) this is obviously a personal preference though, so abit bias.
3) not crucial, the whole reason 17" wheels are nice is because you have more tire sidewall, which will avoid scratching your wheels when off roading, but giving you more tire to air down on trails for better traction.
4) A lot of people switch through it, I am actually on a huge debate between buying a soft top or the sunrider kit from bestop, I think I would like the soft top but at the same time I don't really have a place to store a hard top all the time, I think the sunrider kit is the best of both worlds. If there is a day I want to go full topless I still can but the weather here is very unpredictable lol.
 
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T_Willys

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First thing - drive it stock, feel it out first and build up, I have a 2018 JLUS with the 6 Speed M/T and I drove it stock for probably 10,000 KM before I decided to up to 33" M/T tires. I lost 6th gear all together, the automatic transmission does wayy better from what I heard. City driving is fine, but highway I sometimes need to drop to 4th depending on weather conditions etc (Wind/inclines).

at 48,000 KM I decided I want to move up, so I am adding on a 2.5" JKSpec lift kit with fox shocks, I am gonna see how that drives with the 33s before I decide to do 35's, more than likely I will go to 35s but I will 100% regear the same time if I do, I drive a lot of highway, if you have the automatic transmission, you might be fine, I don't have experience with it, other than I know the automatic tends to run better.

Just a note for you; Sahara's come with 3.45 gears and dana 30 front, 35 rear axles unless you opt for LSD which gives you dana 44 rear.

These axles will be fine on 35s if its not serious off roading, if you're plan on doing some tense trails theirs a risk your axles will break, so if you like you can look into buying rubicon takeoff axles through the member market here if thats your route.

But to answer your questions;

1) I would start with the stock tires, trust me jeeps are capable as fuck stock form, but if not go 33s if you want, ride it out then decide if you want to lift the Jeep or go bigger tires.
2) I am not a fan of budget boost or spacers, but its a cheap alternative to get the 'lift look' I personally would go with the full suspension ( as I am ) this is obviously a personal preference though, so abit bias.
3) not crucial, the whole reason 17" wheels are nice is because you have more tire sidewall, which will avoid scratching your wheels when off roading, but giving you more tire to air down on trails for better traction.
4) A lot of people switch through it, I am actually on a huge debate between buying a soft top or the sunrider kit from bestop, I think I would like the soft top but at the same time I don't really have a place to store a hard top all the time, I think the sunrider kit is the best of both worlds. If there is a day I want to go full topless I still can but the weather here is very unpredictable lol.
Thank you, yes I'm driving an automatic. Had some traction issues in the mud with the stock tires so may just go A/T and keep the same size until ready to consider lifting. I do a lot of highway driving as well, so don't want to lose performance there / struggle at higher speeds
 

JtwJL

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Thank you, yes I'm driving an automatic. Had some traction issues in the mud with the stock tires so may just go A/T and keep the same size until ready to consider lifting. I do a lot of highway driving as well, so don't want to lose performance there / struggle at higher speeds
With the automatic trans and 33s A/T you probably wont see much of a difference, if you go 35s you might not get 8th.

I would go with the mopar lift kit to keep your warranty and go 33s, I think you'll be happy with that. Best of both worlds.
 
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T_Willys

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With the automatic trans and 33s A/T you probably wont see much of a difference, if you go 35s you might not get 8th.

I would go with the mopar lift kit to keep your warranty and go 33s, I think you'll be happy with that. Best of both worlds.
For affordability purposes, is it a viable option to take 33s now and do a 2.5" mopar down the road? Also, any recommendations on A/T 33s?
 

JtwJL

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For affordability purposes, is it a viable option to take 33s now and do a 2.5" mopar down the road? Also, any recommendations on A/T 33s?
Totally fine! I'm running 33x12.50x17 GN3000 M/T on my Sahara stock, I've had it like this for 20-25k KM's id say, once this virus stuff calms down the lift will be getting put on.

K02s seem to be really popular, I don't have any experience with it.
Duratracs are another good tire from what I heard.
 

JWAustinVTX

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My opinion - I respectfully disagree with JtwJL advide of a 2.5 lift an 33s. A lot of expense vs. very nominal results in that recommendation.

If your goal is 35s go do what it takes to go there (a 2.5 will likely do it). I like 20s myself- I'm after a bad ass looking rig that's capable to hit medium trails a few times a year vs. every other weekend hardcore. It all depends on what you're after.

On the top, I'll run my hardtop and remove it with a hoist in the rare occasion. I can't see spending 2K on another top and keeping up with it but everyone has their own take.
 

JtwJL

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My opinion - I respectfully disagree with JtwJL advide of a 2.5 lift an 33s. A lot of expense vs. very nominal results in that recommendation.

If your goal is 35s go do what it takes to go there (a 2.5 will likely do it). I like 20s myself- I'm after a bad ass looking rig that's capable to hit medium trails a few times a year vs. every other weekend hardcore. It all depends on what you're after.

On the top, I'll run my hardtop and remove it with a hoist in the rare occasion. I can't see spending 2K on another top and keeping up with it but everyone has their own take.
Main reason I said 2.5" and 33s it will give him the option down the road of running 35s if he truely changes his mind, people do like the look of 2.5" and 33s, but at the same time thats probably going to be the best performance without regearing.
 

JWAustinVTX

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Main reason I said 2.5" and 33s it will give him the option down the road of running 35s if he truely changes his mind, people do like the look of 2.5" and 33s, but at the same time thats probably going to be the best performance without regearing.
Regearing for 35s only if doing some serious off road. Bang for your buck is do the lift go 35s and determine if you really need regearing.
 

JtwJL

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Regearing for 35s only if doing some serious off road. Bang for your buck is do the lift go 35s and determine if you really need regearing.
I run 33s with my Sahara with the 6 M/T and I already want to regear with this lol, you don't even get close to using 6th gear, I can't imagine doing 35s.
 

JWAustinVTX

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I run 33s with my Sahara with the 6 M/T and I already want to regear with this lol, you don't even get close to using 6th gear, I can't imagine doing 35s.
Regear and let us know :)
 
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I have had several lifted Jeeps and trucks over the last 25 years with full suspension lifts and one Jeep with a budget boost. My advice for your setup is to go with the budget boost and 35" tires. This should provide all the capability you will need offroad and preserve your factory components. Like others have mentioned, the larger tires will slow you down and worsen your gas mileage. If you want to try 33x12.50" tires, you can probably clear those without a lift (You may be able to find some used ones on Craigslist if you want to try them out).

I don't think there is much of difference between 17-18" wheels. I personally run 15-17" wheels on my vehicles. Try checking if a certain size wheel provides more tire options. I do not have an opinion on alloy vs steel wheels.

It is easy to switch between a soft and hardtop seasonally.
 
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JeepzJL

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If I remember correctly 17" is the lowest rim size you can do on a JL because of the stock calipers?
 

                           
























































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