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TJ Axle Upgrade
Need advice and recommendations
October 6, 2022
5:30 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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I could use some advice on new tires and wheels. I'm still considering 37's but also 35's. If I go to 37's I will get new wheels so I can use my 35's if I want. My concern it that my garage door is below standard height so if I go with 37's I want to be able to put my 35's back on if I want in the event it won't clear the door opening, especially once the hardtop it back on. It will be very close.

I'm currently running 35" Goodyear Wrangler MTR's. I never liked them in the snow but my main priority is rocks. What tire do you recommend and do you have any suggestions on wheels, including bead locks? Am I likely to have rubbing issues with 37's or other problems I should consider? My 35's do rub on my control arms. I can look up my current wheel specs, but how much backspacing is recommended? I have heard a lot of negative things about wheel spacers so I want to avoid them unless there is a compelling reason to get them. I don't put a lot of miles on my Jeep, it's an 04 with only with 83,000 miles on it, so high mileage ratings and longevity isn't a concern. I just want something good for the trails.

October 7, 2022
5:32 am
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JohnDF
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37s are cool, but if I had to change to a different set just to get in and out of the garage... not sure I'd do it.

I like the Pro Comp MTs. Very similar to the old style MT/Rs, which I loved, but I don't know how they perform in snow.

I used to wheel a lot. . .

October 7, 2022
7:38 am
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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JohnDF said
37s are cool, but if I had to change to a different set just to get in and out of the garage... not sure I'd do it.

I like the Pro Comp MTs. Very similar to the old style MT/Rs, which I loved, but I don't know how they perform in snow.

  

Thanks for the recommendation John. Going from 35's to 37's should raise my Jeep one inch. So I think it will just barely fit in the garage with 37's. Since I don't drive it that much I could air down but that too would be a pain and if I forgot to air down after a trip I might hit the hardtop driving into the garage.

October 7, 2022
2:27 pm
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Guy and Lynda
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Jeff_R said

JohnDF said

37s are cool, but if I had to change to a different set just to get in and out of the garage... not sure I'd do it.

I like the Pro Comp MTs. Very similar to the old style MT/Rs, which I loved, but I don't know how they perform in snow.

  

Thanks for the recommendation John. Going from 35's to 37's should raise my Jeep one inch. So I think it will just barely fit in the garage with 37's. Since I don't drive it that much I could air down but that too would be a pain and if I forgot to air down after a trip I might hit the hardtop driving into the garage.

  

Jeff - sounds like your garage height is your governing factor. We too don't use our Jeep much, but to let air out or change to smaller tire may not sound like much but being tired at the end of the run, at the end on a long day, is something I would complain about. I too have 37" Goodyear Wrangler MTR's & they work well in the snow & rock climbing as well. 

October 7, 2022
4:54 pm
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Sloguy
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My brother liked the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss MTs

 

As a reminder you could paint the rubber seal of the garage door "caution yellow" so you see it when it's up.

 

If you have the coin the BF Goodrich Teleflow setup at Sierra Trek was nice. You could air up/down from inside the cab.

October 7, 2022
7:36 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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Sloguy said
My brother liked the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss MTs

 

As a reminder you could paint the rubber seal of the garage door "caution yellow" so you see it when it's up.

 

If you have the coin the BF Goodrich Teleflow setup at Sierra Trek was nice. You could air up/down from inside the cab.

  

I actually take my garage door opener out of my Jeep when I put a box on my cargo rack so I don't accidentally drive in the garage with it on!

October 8, 2022
8:24 am
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Sloguy
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Jeff_R said

  

I actually take my garage door opener out of my Jeep when I put a box on my cargo rack so I don't accidentally drive in the garage with it on!

  

Well it saves you from reaching way up there to take it down smile

October 9, 2022
12:33 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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4Wheel parts was having a sale so I went and looked at tires and wheels. The salesman said that there aren't a lot of wheel choices for 5 on 4.5 bolt patterns and suggested wheel spacers to convert to a 5 on 5 bolt pattern. I have heard mixed things about using wheel spacers. Any thoughts on them? Also, how do I determine how much offset (backspacing) I need. My existing 35"s rub on my control arms on sharp turns. If I go to 37's that will be compounded. Who or what shop/store can I trust to give me solid advice on the wheels and amount of offset?

Here are some spacers that I have read are better than others (just someone's opinion on a TJ forum): https://www.northridge4x4.com/.....kit-1-25in

October 10, 2022
1:49 pm
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Jamie (K6NUB)
Folsom

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I have never liked the wheel spacer idea either but I have heard several conversations that end up at the following conclusions:

  1.  Buy a reputable brand, not Amazon knock off's
  2.  Maintenance is key, regularly pull off the tires and retorque the spacers (this seems to be the biggest problem, not making sure they stay torqued)

I've never used them so can't help with personal experience, but sounds like if you don't go that way the puzzle gets way more complicated and expensive.

For the right amount of back spacing, couldn't you jack the front end up, go full turn with the 35's and measure what you need to clear the current rubbing then add an inch for the extra meat of the 37's then adjust knowing your current backspacing? My MT/R's measured at 36.5 when new, if you go with a different tire you probably need to take that in to consideration also.

Jeff_R said
4Wheel parts was having a sale so I went and looked at tires and wheels. The salesman said that there aren't a lot of wheel choices for 5 on 4.5 bolt patterns and suggested wheel spacers to convert to a 5 on 5 bolt pattern. I have heard mixed things about using wheel spacers. Any thoughts on them? Also, how do I determine how much offset (backspacing) I need. My existing 35"s rub on my control arms on sharp turns. If I go to 37's that will be compounded. Who or what shop/store can I trust to give me solid advice on the wheels and amount of offset?

Here are some spacers that I have read are better than others (just someone's opinion on a TJ forum): https://www.northridge4x4.com/.....kit-1-25in

  

K6NUB

October 10, 2022
1:55 pm
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JohnDF
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I ran spacers for a while and had no issues, but they were a top brand.

Eventually I got new axles which were wider and solved the rubbing issue with bigger tires.

For my new Jeep, I visited some of the other Jeep forums to see what others were running for offset.

I'd talk to the tire shop too, they should be able to advise an offset that will work for you.

I used to wheel a lot. . .

October 10, 2022
3:05 pm
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Jeff_R
Meadow Vista
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JohnDF said
I'd talk to the tire shop too, they should be able to advise an offset that will work for you.

  

I got a quote from 4Wheels parts on tires and wheels. I asked the guy about backspacing (offset) and I didn't get an answer that made me feel like he had any confidence in it.

October 11, 2022
12:35 pm
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kris_olof
El Dorado

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You will need 3.5" backspacing and 9" wide wheels.  Spacers are a bad idea and I will ban them from extreme runs unless you are trailered because of failures I have seen on the road.  

 

https://sidetrackedoffroad.com.....ock-wheel/

https://sidetrackedoffroad.com.....ock-wheel/

https://sidetrackedoffroad.com.....ock-wheel/

 

Mention Tyler and the podcast and maybe you get a discount.

October 13, 2022
11:10 am
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Gilbert & Betty
El Dorado Hills
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Look into Vison Wheels their prices are good, and they have a 17x9 5x4.5 I have spacers and haven't had an issue.  But as guy said swapping tires after a long day that will get old Quickley. then adding wheel spacers. as for tires I'm looking at Nitto trail grapplers, my two cents.

October 19, 2022
7:07 am
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k-jeep
Parts Unknown

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Not the cheapest, but I have the BFG KM3s which run smaller. My 39s are only a hair taller than my Toyo 38s were.

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