Preparing for 35s: Overview
It has come time to get some new tires. If you want to know what I think about the stock BFGoodrich Mud-terrain tire that comes with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, check out my review HERE.
I’m making the jump to 35” tires and in this post I’m going to talk about my reasons why I am making the jump and what things need to be done to the Jeep to make that happen. I am putting together individual posts for each one of the main points here.
**THE LINKS WILL NOT BE ACTIVE UNTIL THE POSTS ARE PUBLISHED. THEY SHOULD BE POSTED WITHIN A FEW DAYS OF THIS POST BUT PLEASE BE PATIENT. **
As I started researching what I needed to do to put 35” tires on the Jeep, I became concerned with the amount of weight that would be added to the tailgate. Horror stories of the hinges breaking, or the welds on the body panel breaking, made me imagine myself driving down the road and the spare suddenly coming off and flying into traffic… this is something that CAN’T happen.
I needed a way to reinforce the tailgate to carry the extra weight. I already have a rear bumper that I love and it does not accept a tire carrier so that was not an option for me. I began researching how to strengthen the hinges and came across VERY pricey options like Teraflex. Everyone swears by it and I bet it is great but I cannot afford that along with all of the other things that need to be done.
I finally settled on the Aries Heavy-Duty tire carrier, which I found on sale.
If you would like to read more about the tire carrier, check out my review of the install and first impressions HERE.
Rock Slider Issue
One of the main reasons I initially purchased the Rubicon model of the Wrangler was because it had factory rock sliders. While I never intended to do any crawling, I felt like the protection was necessary for those worst-case scenarios. One issue with the factory rock sliders is that they stick fairly far into the rear wheel well and with 35” tires installed, they are likely to contact the tire.
This requires a trim of the rock slider which was fairly easy. Check out a full write-up on that process HERE.
The next issue is clearing the body under flex of the suspension. You can do this with a body lift (I hate these after having one on a YJ I had back in the day) and a full suspension lift that lifts the whole vehicle for the proper clearance. A long time ago, I decided to go with a 2.5” Skyjacker lift. If you want a full review of that kit, let me know and I’ll throw that out there. I will say that I am slowly replacing it piece by piece so… yea. I bet it is great for some people but if you plan on using your rig at an expedition weight, this is NOT the kit for you.
I have replaced all of the shocks with Fox Shocks’ Adventure Series and plan to replace all of the springs in the near future with something that will hold an expedition-weight vehicle.
Even with the 2.5” lift, there are some clearance issues with the 35” tires. An easy way to solve this problem is to buy some new fender flares and remove the rear inner fender. Since 35” tires require some additional up-front cost, this is not an option for me so I have to get creative. I saw many people cutting their stock fender flares and I think this is something I can do.
Check out the full write-up on cutting the stock flares HERE.
I mentioned the inner fenders because they take up a good bit of room in the wheel well. The rears are easily removed and so are the fronts but the front inner fender actually protects components in the engine compartment so I wanted to keep that protection. I decided to get some aluminum inner front fenders and you can check out my review and install of them, as well as what I did with the rear fender, HERE.
When I had my old YJ, I had to do the math and get a new gear to put in the transmission to get the speedometer to read correctly. In this new world of electronics, I had to buy a programmer that will do that calculation for me. You can read my review of it HERE.
New Tire Selection (Finally)
The last step (or so I thought) was picking a tire. This is where things get controversial but after buying all of these other things to jump into owning and operating a Jeep on 35” tires, I didn’t have a lot of funds to get the tires I wanted so I went the cheap route. Maybe you are in the same boat so lets consider this “market research”. Yea, that makes is sound better than I’m just poor and have to get the cheap tire…
I’m also influenced easily apparently because after seeing the Atturo Ford Raptor at the Mexico Border, I decided to give them a shot. I decided to go with the Trail Blade X/T, All-terrain tire in a 35×12.5r17. They run about $70 cheaper than something like the General Tire ATX or the BFGoodrich KO2 but I really want to see what they are capable of. Time will tell.
If you want to get my initial reaction of the new tires, check that out HERE.
Well, that all I can think of. Remember that the links above may not be active until the posts are written and published so please be patient with me and check back often so see what is new.
Thanks for reading and let me know if any of you have had experiences moving to a big tire and if you regret it or not.