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Things I leaned from my first Barnwell trip

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  • Things I leaned from my first Barnwell trip

    1. ETXJC is a great club!
    2. A good spotter is worth their weight in gold.
    3. Engine: No complaints or issues here. I would like to upgrade to a boxed cold air intake at some point.
    4. Suspension: No complaints. I am super pleased with my Fox shocks and my heavier duty coils. Any future upgrade suggestions are welcome.
    5. Lift: Okay, every inch counts . I’m not going to say a 3” or more lift wouldn’t be a good idea, BUT I still have my stock KO2’s (LT265/70R17) which are only 31.7” in diameter. And you lose probably an inch or two when you air down. So a 2” lift is almost back to stock when you air down. I just put a lift on and gained ~2.5” of lift. Should I go bigger? Can I go bigger without changing everything? Could I just add some pucks? Thoughts?
    6. Tires: I am really impressed with the BFGoodrich KO2’s. I honestly do not have any real complaints here. I believe they performed admirably on the trail under most situations considering their size (diameter), but were completely inadequate for real crawling situations. I believe this is where I am going to drop the most money on my next upgrade – wheels and tires. I am seriously considering going with BFGoodrich KM3’s next time (LT315/70R17). These tires are 34.4” in diameter which will increase my overall lift – even when aired down. After seeing a variety of tire sizes on the trail, I am a believer that bigger tires simply perform better on the trail – especially when crawling. LT325/60R20 tires are 35.4” in diameter, but would require 20”x9” wheels. The other thing to consider when going with bigger tires is upgrading my gear ratios. I see that 4.10 is probably the least I would want to go. This is what is in my rear Dana 44, but my front Dana 30 would certainly need an upgrade and I am sure I would want to keep them the same if possible. 4.56 would allow me to go all the way up to 39” tires. Input here would be welcome for sure.
    7. Wheels: I am 98% certain that I am going with steel wheels because they are so much cheaper and I know the hell that your wheels go through on the trail. I do not see the point in dropping $150 plus on some silly bling, bling wheels that are going to get torn up on the trail. Besides, steel rims can be beat back into shape on the trail if need be. The only reason I would drop more money is if was going to drop ~$325 plus on some true beadlocks. The only question I have here is (if I go with non-beadlocks) should I go with 8” or 9” wide wheels? ZacT suggested that narrow rims were better because they are more protected when your tires are aired down, which makes complete sense, but I am a bit worried about popping a bead with fat tires on narrow rims and the tire selection is more limited the narrower you get. The KM3’s that I mentioned above will fit on 8” rims. 9” seems to be a good “in the middle” solution. Thoughts?
    8. Front and Rear Lockers: Yes. Nuff said. I am considering ARB air lockers, but I am open to suggestions. Maybe I will win the ARB compressor!
    9. Sway Bar Disconnects: I added Rough Country front sway bar disconnects literally hours before I left for Barnwell. I believe I saw the greatest performance increase out of this one simple upgrade.
    10. I need a few more trail tools in my arsenal. Namely a big and small hammer and a bar that can be used for leverage (a long crowbar or long ratchet would work). I need to drop the money on a snatch block too, etc, etc., etc.
    11. I need to buy the rock rails I have been eyeballing. My rubi-rails did a fine job, but I would like a little more distance between the body and the rock.
    12. I need to invest in some more armor for the underside.
    13. I need to change out my fender flares.
    Bottom line: I need a million bucks

    Any and all wisdom is welcome...

    2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
    Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
    Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
    Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
    Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
    CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

  • #2
    #6 - Both front and rear axles have the same gear ratio and should stay the same. Honestly, you could probably get away with your current gearing (4.10) running the LT315/70R17 KM3s you mentioned until you save money for a regear. It's not ideal, but not far off.

    Also, you probably do not want to go any bigger than 35" tires on that Dana 30. Otherwise, you will be asking for trouble on the trail.
    Last edited by CDE; 09-12-2018, 04:36 PM.
    2004 TJ ex-X Model :
    3.5" Rock Krawler Springs, Rock Krawler Adj. Control Arms, Fox 2.0 Shocks, 33x12.50R15 MTRs, TeraFlex High Steer System, TeraFlex 2WD Low Range Kit, TeraFlex Extreme Short SYE, Adam's CV Rear Driveshaft, G2 4.10 Gears, Dana 30 front with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Aussie Locker, Rubicon Dana 44 rear with G2 Chromoly Shafts & Detroit Locker, Durango 160A Alternator, Rugged Ridge Nautic 9500lb Winch with Synthetic Rope

    Comment


    • #3
      #7 - I think it is harder to unseat a bead on a narrow rim than a wider rim. It seems to me that the body of a wide tire on a narrow rim would try to keep the bead pulled outward and seated where the body of a narrow tire on a wide rim would try to pull the bead inward and unseat the bead. I am not completely sure on this though.
      2001 TJ 4.0, 32Rh auto tranny, Dana 44 Trac-Lok 3.73 rear, Dana 30 Detroit Truetrac 3.73 front, Rancho adjustable lower control arms, 2 inch lift, BFG mud terrain 31/10.50/15 tires

      Comment


      • CDE
        CDE commented
        Editing a comment
        I second this. I think the most common width everyone runs is 8". That being said, I run a one-off size that American Outlaw made that is 8.5" and I haven't come close to coming off the bead, but I only air down to 11psi.

    • #4
      My opinion skip #3 as getting in high water could be bad. Raise transmission, transfer case, and axles vent tubing. Cheap upgrade.
      #7 keep the wheels you have an add wheel spacers till you crack a wheel and need to replace.
      Last edited by RoRo72; 09-12-2018, 08:43 PM.
      2016 Wrangler 2 Door Willys
      Current Mods: Daystar Hood Wranglers, Cobra 29 LTD, MetalCloak 2.5" Dual Rate Springs, Fox IFP Shocks, Rock Krawler Adjustable Control Arms & Bumpstops, Currie AntiRock Front, Teraflex Front & Rear Trackbar, Synergy 1.75" Wheel Spacers, Teraflex tire carrier, 295/70/17 General Grabber X3

      On Order:
      Rock Hard Crossmember and Oil/Trans Skid

      Comment


      • Grauler
        Grauler commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey RoRo72, I have not heard of this - "Raise transmission, transfer case, and axles vent tubing". More information about this would be nice. What would be the advantage to doing this? Does it simply help for water crossings?

    • #5
      Wow so much information. Before you modified any further you need a direction to go. what do you want the end goal of your jeep to do?

      Axle gear ratios should always numerically be the same. If you are going to re gear and add locker there is nothing better then ARB. I have had a great experience with them. When it comes to gear changes you need to do you research on the installer because this needs to be done right.
      I am assuming you were trail riding in low gear. That being said you should have had enough low gear in low range for your tire size.
      I would stick to your stock wheels for now and your 2" lift should clear a 35" tire with minimal modifications. You can space the stock wheels out if needed for the extra clearance.
      if you plan of wheeling your jeep DO NOT buy 20" wheels. The 17" wheel is ideal allowing more tire contact area and space between the ground and wheel.
      With a narrow wheel and wider tire you are forcing the tire to stay on the bead area. I have wheeled several wheel tire configurations and a 12.50 or 13.50 wide tire on an 8" wide wheel can easily be ran at 10PSI with no bead breaking issues.
      I would leave your engine compartment stock until you have the need for something like intakes.
      Sway bar disconnects are a must for quickly setting up for trail time.
      Cutting your stock fenders is a easy and simple solution for clearance.
      It never hurts to have added/upgraded skid plates. Choose wisely as some are better then others.


      1997 TJ. Mostly Stock with a couple bolt on's!

      "My jeep practically drives its self"
      "Just Bump It"

      Comment


      • #6
        Like Zac said don't go with 20's. I run 35's on 9 inch wide 17s @ 8 psi with no beadlocks and no problems yet.
        1981 CJ-7 350 SBC Fitech Go EFI TBI, T350 trans
        Dana 300 t-case twin sticked
        AMC 20 rear end with a Detriot,
        Dana 30 front (Hobart Locked)
        H1 Hummer steering box swap
        Sams offroad steering brace
        Custom built rock sliders
        White Rhino Fab flat fenders
        KOZ offroad rear cage with a Mojo Tops shade top
        Waggy leafs front and rear Stretched 4 inches
        on 35's for now..


        "I only camp to wheel" Charles Pipes

        Comment


        • Grauler
          Grauler commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, I would never entertain running 20's (I encouraged my son to get rid of his 20's when he first bought his Jeep). The only reason I mentioned them above is because the KM3 LT325/60R20 tires would have required them, but those are bigger than I want to go anyway.

      • #7
        Hey guys, great feedback. This is exactly what I hoped for. I appreciate all of your input so far.

        So, to summarize wheels and tire - I plan on moving to 35" tires with 17" rims at some point. Based on y'all's feedback I will certainly stick with 8" width. Unfortunately, my current stock rims are only 7.5". I think I could run 33" tires for this width, but not 35". I am not going to buy 33" and then buy 35" later. I will just run what I have into the ground until I have the money to upgrade.
        Last edited by Grauler; 09-14-2018, 09:11 AM.
        2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
        Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
        Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
        Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
        Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
        CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

        Comment


        • ZacT
          ZacT commented
          Editing a comment
          A 35x12.50 will fit on you current wheel. I know several people running a 12.5 on a stock JK wheel

        • Gotcha-Again-LOL
          Gotcha-Again-LOL commented
          Editing a comment
          I second Zac...We have run 12.5s on 6.5 inch and 8 inch wheels with heavy loads and off roading never had any issues...I

      • #8
        I can confirm that I have a 3.21 gear ratio in the front and rear, so upgrading to 4.10 or 4.56 is a must at some point. Given that there is little or no difference in cost, I might as well go with 4.56 and have more freedom and less worry. Is there any reason not to upgrade the gears now - before I make the tire size jump?
        2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
        Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
        Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
        Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
        Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
        CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

        Comment


        • ZacT
          ZacT commented
          Editing a comment
          I highly suggest looking at a gear ratio chart. If you plan on going to a 35" I would recommend a 4.88 ratio. 4.56 would be great for 33-35 on the highway but a 4.88 will be better for street and trail with 35" tires.

        • WJ_Guy
          WJ_Guy commented
          Editing a comment
          Regearing now with the stock (smaller) tires will drive your RPM’s much higher out of the factory powerband. It is called “having too much gear” and your gas mileage and top speed with suffer. Optimally you would do the larger tires first then the regear.

        • Grauler
          Grauler commented
          Editing a comment
          ZacT, I did refer to some charts here (https://www.morris4x4center.com/jeep...atio-chart.htm) and here (https://www.extremeterrain.com/regea...explained.html), but I assume those are not necessarily taking trailing, but rather general driving into consideration, so 4.88 is good to know. To solidify what you are saying ZacT, the Extreme Terrain chart does indicate that 4.88 is "...performance oriented. Okay for daily driving, but more for rock crawling and extreme trails.". So, 4.88 it is! WJ_Guy, good information. I will apply that. Thank you both!
          Last edited by Grauler; 09-17-2018, 10:28 AM.

      • #9
        I have done a lot of research on gears. I recommend going 4:56 for 35’s with the 3.6 engine.(if your doing more hiway/ than trail)
        If it was the old 3.8 then I’d say 4.88.
        The only thing I’m not 100% on is low range. Mine has the lower ratio transfer case and I haven’t considered how yours will work when crawling in low 4wd.
        2016 JKU Rubicon Hardrock
        3.5 MetalCloak game changer ARB edition
        35" BFG KM2
        17x9 Mayhem Monstir wheels

        Comment


        • Grauler
          Grauler commented
          Editing a comment
          That’s interesting information JKURH. I want to be able to crawl with confidence. That being said, there is a lot of highway between me and those awesome trails. So what is the balance? I’m not in a position to trailer my Jeep everywhere so I have to travel the distance (Barnwell, Colorado, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, etc.) you get the idea. But when I get there I will need my Jeep to perform on the trail. So I ask again. What’s the balance?

      • #10
        Grauler,

        I have a very similar setup to you and I am running 35's. 2016 JKU with 2.5" lift, fox shocks and 3.21 gears. I plan on upgrading to 4.88's and lockers soon but it works very well as it is. I did add 1" pucks up front and .5" in the rear but mostly to counter added weight of passengers and cargo. I also added front C gussets, lower control arm skids and I have sleeves to add when I re-gear. If you want to see how it will work if you add 35s now, you can drive mine to get a pretty good idea. There is definitely a performance loss but nothing like I expected. It crawls (and handles the mud, as I found out at Ridges and Ribs) just fine.

        I would like to know why JKURH recommends 4.56 over the 4.88.
        2016 JKU, Mopar 2.5" lift w/ fox shocks, JKS quicker disconnects and brake line brackets, Synergy gussets, skids and sleeves. Synergy tie rod, Poison Spyder diff covers, LOD rear bumper / tire carrier, rugged ridge front bumper, EAG roof rack, Ironman 35s, Alpine i209 and some other stuff.

        Comment


        • WJ_Guy
          WJ_Guy commented
          Editing a comment
          Willys14 will have some input on the 4.88's.

      • #11
        4.88 will be too low for 35s for everyday driving. It’ll be awesome on the trails. 4.56 might be too low, depending on automatic or standard. Most find 4.10s and 35s make the best all around combination.

        Comment


        • #12
          Willys14 I would have to strongly disagree with 4.10 I put 4.56 in my Ford with 35’s and it was good. With the lower power of a Jeep 4.88 keep the RPM in the best spot for power and cruise. Jack runs 4.88 with 35’s and he can cruise 70 no problem. 4.10 would be better then stock but no room to move up later.
          1997 TJ. Mostly Stock with a couple bolt on's!

          "My jeep practically drives its self"
          "Just Bump It"

          Comment


          • #13
            Originally posted by ZacT View Post
            Willys14 I would have to strongly disagree with 4.10 I put 4.56 in my Ford with 35’s and it was good. With the lower power of a Jeep 4.88 keep the RPM in the best spot for power and cruise. Jack runs 4.88 with 35’s and he can cruise 70 no problem. 4.10 would be better then stock but no room to move up later.
            Me too. I'll be putting 4.88s 44 axles turning 37s
            98 XJ 4.5" lift on 33s. bumper w/ 10K winch, lights
            locked front and rear
            cowl intake, CB and a lot of skinny pedal

            Comment


            • #14
              This whole conversation on 4.56 versus 4.88 is very interesting. I think of it like a mountain bike, the higher the gear, the more power you have, but your feet are going to be chugging (i.e. higher RPM) – not great for flat road, but great for up hills. The lower the gear the less power but the RPMs go down too – great for flat road, but not as good for hills. Is this analogy incorrect?

              I have read some other forums on the subject just to see if it possible to find a general consensus. Nope. There is a lot of discussion about RPMs and gas mileage. Regarding RPMs, I understand that your tire diameter and gear combination will directly affect your RPMs. So you have to find that sweet spot. I believe 4.56 seems to be most common for 35” as a daily driver (DD) – both for the RPMs and gas mileage. Whereas 4.88 is the winner for trails. I believe this is the same consensus we have come to. Several guys talked about doing a reprogram (e.g. Diablo reprogram, Super Chips 87 Tune).

              Some guys mention an mpg hit when going with 4.88. I am not sure how big of an issue this really is. I imagine your tire choice has a bigger impact on mpg than your gear choice.

              The question still remains: which is right for you? Well, for me I think I will go with 4.88 simply because this gives me room to grow and plenty of performance on the trail. At the end of the day, I have my Jeep to enjoy the great outdoors – especially when on the trails. I may suffer a bit in mpg and I might run a bit high on RPMs, but I am not sure that those are show stoppers. If they are, someone please let me know!
              2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
              Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
              Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
              Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
              Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
              CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

              Comment


              • ZacT
                ZacT commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like your going the right direction

            • #15
              One statement I found by a fellow Jeeper was, "4.56 regret isn't very common- there have been some people that regret 4.88s...Either way you WILL be happy over 3.21s.".
              2017 Wrangler JKU Big Bear
              Armor: Smittybilt SRC Gen2 Front Bumper, Barricade Rock Sliders
              Winch: Warn ZEON Platinum 10-S Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope
              Lift: 2.5" Pro-Comp Lift w/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks
              Lighting: Rough Country 3" Wide Angle OSRAM LED Lights, Rough Country 12-inch Cree LED Light Bar (Dual Row | Black Series w/ DRL)
              CB Radio: Cobra 75 WX ST and Firestik FireFly antenna

              Comment

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