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Things I leaned from my first Barnwell trip

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  • #16
    I have been wheeling for a long time and have never heard of regrets on going lower gears. Just saying sounds like Mall crawler
    1997 TJ. Mostly Stock with a couple bolt on's!

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


    • #17
      As far as daily driver the experience I have is kinda broad...I daily drive a Chevy Suburban on 40/13.5s with 5.38s...700R4 with .73 overdrive...doing 60 is comfortable enough...70 is a really load roar and RPMs and driveline rotations are just too much for me to be comfortable for long distances...older truck yes....also had a 2005 Ford Excursion V10 daily tranny with 37s and 3.73s...mountains of torque to get by around town highway was downshifting all the time to get up hills..switched to 4.88s and ended up being a bit too deep even after I switched to 38.5s...put me into around 2650-2750 rpm 70-80ish...took about 1.5 mpg off compared to 3.73s...Also have driven regularly the XJ with superduty axles 5.38s and 37s...4.0 inline 6 is a rpm limited engine with more low end torque...the 5.38s are great for trail but honestly it drove much better on the highway with the 4.27s with 37s we had in it for brother has a 2006 TJ Rubi I have driven a lot as well with 33s on the stock is perfect around town but the 55-65 range is iffy doesnt want to hold 75 its onto the JKs they have no low end guts like all of the trucks and jeeps mentioned above therefore if its was mine and you were planning 35s on a JK with a dana 30 front I would go 4.56...unless you are upgrading to Dana 60s in a year or 2 to handle 37s you should be perfect and not sacrifice your streetability...if you go to 37s in the future you will need at least a D44 front and you could regear at that time if it ever happens...4.88s would be a tiny bit too deep imo for highway running...of course there is plenty of opinion...if wheeling was my focus for the next 10 years I would wait to swap gears and save for a D44 rubi front and rear set for 3000 and sell your old axles for 800 and you get lockers and stronger axles etc. for easy to do and better deal than putting money into the d30 and stock d44 you have now...done it before plug and play


      • WJ_Guy
        WJ_Guy commented
        Editing a comment
        Good point discussing the straight-6 drivetrain vs the V6's in the newer Jeeps. Both my and Zac's setup is on the straight-6. With the more power in the newer V6's, you probably don't have go as deep.

      • ZacT
        ZacT commented
        Editing a comment
        I still feel like a 4.88 is best for a 35-37 tire. Tire weight is also a big factor in how much load you are putting on you engine and maintaining speed at certain RPMs. I know gear ratio is always a topic for debate and it comes down to personal preference and vehicles intended use. I daily drove a f150 on 35's with 4.56 gears and is drove like stock. However with a jeep and small engine displacement/wanting to wheel a 4.88 just feels right.

    • #18
      Great point Zac...when you research tire weight there is a BIG disparity...a BFG 37/12.5 KO2 is 69 lbs i believe....a Toyo MT 35 incher is around 73 lbs! Also some 35s measure about the same as a short 37...true height is another factor...Some are quite heavier


      • #19
        You're right on your bicycle analogy. the other component is the engine's power curve. most make considerably more power at higher RPMs. 4.88s will have you turning a few more RPMs and keep you in the juicy part of the curve, but will burn more fuel. My rig will be trail only, so going over 50 is not something I care about. If I didn't already have the gears, i'd go 5.13 but I do so that's what's going in.

        NONE of what we do to our jeeps helps fuel economy. lift, bumpers, winch, bigger tires will always hurt us at the pump. KO2s are better than KM2s for example, but the size and weight of bigger tires will always mean more fuel burned than a stock rig.

        fuel sipper or capable off road rig. pick one.
        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


        • #20
          Originally posted by denverd1 View Post
          fuel sipper or capable off road rig. pick one.
          That’s great! So true. It really goes back to Zach’s original question:

          Originally posted by ZacT View Post
          Before you modified any further you need a direction to go. what do you want the end goal of your jeep to do?
          My objective is to be as far from “mall crawler” as possible! Put me in the woods and on the trail!
          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