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  1. #1
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    General newbie questions about suspension

    First post here and I have a few questions hopefully someone can assist. disclaimer, I love jeeps but I'm no mechanic or a mods guy.
    Recently I finished paying off my 2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited. I would like to get away from the factory 18" wheels and 32" tires that came standard and go to a 17" wheel with a 33" tire. I'd also like a wider tire. I see Jeeps on the road that don't appear to be lifted but have this config.
    I'd really appreciate some clarification on my understanding if someone can help it would be great:

    1. With 17" wheels and 33" tires my understanding is that I don't need a lift, is this correct? - since its the same clearance in total?
    2. The wider wheel base I'm seeing are 9" - does this make sense?
    3. Will buying this config with Wheels such as 17" Black Rhino's or Rock Stars with 33" MT AT's put extra strain on the factory suspension? (would this be hard on the factory steering, control arms, sway or tie rod)?

    Something like this is what I'm looking for - I don't believe this is lifted. I prefer a lower clearance between the tire and hub.
    50CE6020-74D0-4F1F-ACF1-4600BA03AD70.jpeg



    Thanks!
    Last edited by awparker; 07-30-2020 at 08:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Poster MrXshun's Avatar
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    1. Depends if you are wheeling, flexing out, and backspacing of wheel, but should be fine. The rubi's for example have 32.5" tires, however, not 12.5 wide, and their springs have a slightly higher height rating.
    2. I assume you mean wheel width. 9 is likely the more common I believe.
    3. Slightly, but not enough to be concerned. There will be a slight circumference increase, and weight increase, but people run 37s on stock front 30 axles, and wheel, and get away with it. Wheeling, and how you drive would have more of an input to that. These parts wear out though eventually anyway, all part of typical maintenance at some point.

    Sounds like you like the look of a bigger tire stuffed into not much space in the wheel well. The only thing to consider there is if you ever want to try out wheeling, and believe me, it's awesome, but with disconnecting the front sway bar links allows for that angled articulation you see in photos of vehicles with one wheel up on rocks, with less clearance in the wheel wells, you will have less travel you can take before coming in contact with the flares or other areas in there, limiting your articulation. Just food for thought. IF you change down the road, and need more clearance, a good start is a cheap puck spring lift for around $200 I believe, that can get you up to 2 inches of lift, and is fairly manageable with the rest of your components without having to starting replacing a bunch of other things.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by MrXshun; 07-30-2020 at 09:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    Awesome reply, thanks for that!
    This is just a daily driver. I am on the market (now that I'm no longer paying the bank) for something that i can off-road in. I'd love to get my hand on an old CJ for a learning project.

    Thanks again for the clarification

  4. #4
    Content Team Drizit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awparker View Post
    First post here and I have a few questions hopefully someone can assist. disclaimer, I love jeeps but I'm no mechanic or a mods guy.
    Recently I finished paying off my 2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited. I would like to get away from the factory 18" wheels and 32" tires that came standard and go to a 17" wheel with a 33" tire. I'd also like a wider tire. I see Jeeps on the road that don't appear to be lifted but have this config.
    I'd really appreciate some clarification on my understanding if someone can help it would be great:

    1. With 17" wheels and 33" tires my understanding is that I don't need a lift, is this correct? - since its the same clearance in total?
    2. The wider wheel base I'm seeing are 9" - does this make sense?
    3. Will buying this config with Wheels such as 17" Black Rhino's or Rock Stars with 33" MT AT's put extra strain on the factory suspension? (would this be hard on the factory steering, control arms, sway or tie rod)?

    Something like this is what I'm looking for - I don't believe this is lifted. I prefer a lower clearance between the tire and hub.
    50CE6020-74D0-4F1F-ACF1-4600BA03AD70.jpeg



    Thanks!
    1: no it's not the same total hight, 17 vs 18 is just the size of the hole in the center for the rim. 33" is the total height of the tire from the ground to the top of the tire. Now given the factory 31.5" Sahara tires you shouldn't have a height clearance problem, it's only an extra 3/4" on any given side. However the width will make a big difference. The factory tire is setup to fit inside the lip of the fender when you flex, however with a greater offset rim and wider tire, it will hit the fender lip when you flex. This is ok on most roads and speedbumps, a curb may cause rubbing but shouldn't do damage. If you go off road, you will probably rip the fenders off. The good news is that's an excuse for aftermarket fenders.

    2: a 9" wide rim makes sense, the narrower the rim the better it holds the tire, so an 8" rim will let you run a lower air pressure then a 9" off road, however on road at 35psi it just changes the look a bit. The wider rim makes a flatter more vertical sidewall, a narrow rim gives the sidewall a more rounded balloon shape. Pick what you like. What's more important is the backspaceing of the rim. To accommodate that wider tire and still be able to steer you need to push it away from the frame. To do that you need a lower backspaceing. The factory rim is I believe 5.75" backspaceing (ie the distance from the inside lip of the rim to the mounting surface) most aftermarket rims tend to be in the 4.25 to 4.5" range. That tends to be the sweet spot for most setups on a JK. Some people push to a 3.75" backspaceing but that's usually just so they can run a 15" rim.

    3: check out the weight of those rims, and the tires you are looking at, those brands tend to run heavy and that will put extra strain on components but even that not too badly. (although it will influence in town mileage, then again any larger tire will, but more weight, more gas.) the biggest factor in part longevity is going to be the wider tire and the lower backspaceing, pushing that rim and tire out further buts greater leverage on wheel bearings and steering components. Sway bars and control arms won't be affected. As a rule an MT tire does worse on the road then an AT, this is not true 100% of the time but it generally works. If you are keeping this thing on pavement I'd look at AT tires, MTs are usually louder, handle worse, and last half as long.

    4: that's a JL not a JK, the JL Rubicons can fot 35s with no lift and 37s with a budget boost. I'd find some pictures of JKs with no lift and 33s before you pull the trigger. Personally I think they look like they have a bit too much tire width but not enough height for the JKU, for me the JKU needs at least a 35" tire to start looking right, 37s are better . But that's just my personal taste.
    @adrian@4lojeeps made a thread a couple of years ago when photos explaining about the clearance issues of aftermarket rims and tires without lift on the JK. If I can find it I'll post a link, won't be soon though so you may want to hunt a bit.

 

 

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