Sunday, November 15, 2009

35 in Tire Upgrade

Outside of a suspension lift, the most dramatic changes you can make to a vehicle is upgrading the tires and rims.  I wanted a 35" tire, but had to do quite a bit of research to find out what the best tire/rim combo would be for me.  I live in the City of Chicago and drive the Jeep to work almost every day.  I need a tire that works well on the pavement, snow and off-road.  A new All Terran Tire hit the market earlier this year that has been receiving excellent reviews.  The tire I'm talking about is the Goodyear Duratrac.  There are many folks out there that have commented on its aggressive looks and how well it performs on and off road.  I decided the Duratrac would be the best tire for me.

The second choice was what rims to buy.  The factory rims do not have adequate backspacing to clear the suspension components when fully articulating, so you have to use add-on wheel spacers if you go with larger tires.  Wheel spacers do the job, but they require more maintenance.  The tires have to be removed to check the torque of a spacer regularly.  Many folks have actually had wheels fall off because they didn't check the torque of their spacers!  I don't want to be one of them, so I needed to find a rim that had 4.5" of backspacing or less.  I ended up with the ATX Thug.  It is a black Teflon coated rim that is strong, lightweight and cool looking.  ATX is also known for extreme off road racing and build parts that last.

The install was fairly straightforward.  Take the tires & rims to a shop and have them mounted and balanced.

Here's the Before & After pics

The 35" tires fit the Wrangler Unlimited very well. They give a 2.5"-3" lifted Jeep a balanced/aggressive appearance without being overstated.  However, there's no mistaking the fact that the Jeep has been modified.  I now tower over most cars and trucks.

my Jeep next to a Hummer H2

The Hummer H2 is one of the largest SUV's on the road and we are now about even in height.  The 315/70R17 tires lifted the Jeep an impressive 1.5".  Add in the 2.5" TeraFlex suspension lift I previously installed and my Jeep now sits 5+ inches above stock.

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