I Got Big Boy Pants On

I never understood what the big deal was about having 35s instead of 285s that Rubicons come with. After getting up to speed on gearing and tire size, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to get away from what Jeep considers the perfect combination. Yet almost everyone I know has 35s or bigger. Heck, some of my buddies have 40s, and they’re running their stock 4.10 gearing. That’s insane!

Having upgraded to Rubicon axles in November, I have 4.10 gearing and lockers. So I knew that moving from 285s to 35s would subject me to compromised gearing, and the sluggishness I felt when I moved from 245s to 285s with 3.56 gearing. I knew I would lose 8th gear. But I decided to do it, after realizing that I have so much fun wheeling with the Cumberland Crawlerz. I’m able to keep up most of the time, even when I’m lured onto Black trails (even though I only find out afterwards).

I knew that in order to move to the next level, I needed to upgrade to 35s. As I prepare for my June trip to Moab>Rubicon, I knew I needed to bite the bullet. The sooner the better. This way I can wheel with the group and get used to the bigger tires, different accelleration, braking, steering, etc.

I wanted steel, since I needed the comfort of knowing I wouldn’t end up with catastrophic failure at Rubicon. I mean, yea, so aluminum looks great, and they’re lighter. But they get scratched up easily, you can’t bend them back into shape, and you can’t just paint them. I started to price tires and wheels, and fell off my chair a number of times. I ended up buying a used set of tires and wheels from a buddy. He was moving away from steel and and onto bigger tires.

He sold me a set of five Pro Comp 97 steel wheels (17×9), and four Nitto Grappler MT tires (35×12.5×17). The tires have more than half the tread left, and I was able to find a fifth tire, though its a Nitto Ridge Grappler (35×12.5×17), on Facebook Market Place for cheap. Total cost came in at under 1/3 the price if I had bought it all new. Quite a steal if you ask me.

I will no longer walk up to my buddie’s Jeep thinking “Man I wish my Jeep looked like that!”

Wait. Yea, I probably will keep saying that. Since he moved to bigger tires. #sigh

Well I finally decided it was time to get the 35s installed. A neighbor helped me schlep the five wheels and tires to the local Monro service center. I had five new Chrysler 433mhz TPMS units. I asked Monro to install them on all five wheels. They were done installing the TPMS and fifth tire, and balancing, in under two hours. After they took it for a spin, I hopped in and rolled off into the sunset.

The Jeep felt taller and a bit sluggish, as expected. But I knew to expect that, and I know I’ll need to re-gear to 4.56, or more likely to 4.88, before the June trip.

Happy to report SUSUSUCIO no longer looks like Mr. Universe with chicken legs.