The first upgrades that many Jeep enthusiasts wish to install upon purchasing a Wrangler are usually a suspension lift and larger tires. Whether you have an older Inline-4 or Inline-6 in a YJ or TJ, or the newer V6 found in the Wrangler JK, larger tires can translate to sluggish acceleration and decreased performance on the highway. The most common solution: swapping the factory gearset for a lower aftermarket one. One of the more popular gear ratios when running larger tires on a Wrangler is 4.88, shown here, being installed on a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
When installing gears, it is important to note that the proper gear mesh pattern has been achieved (see top image) through proper setup. Above, linear movement (backlash) between the ring and pinion gears is measured by digital indicator, to ensure proper fitment. This 4.88 gearset is sold by Alloy USA; similar kits are also sold by Alloy USA for older generations of the Jeep Wrangler, known as the YJ and TJ, as well.
At RubiTrux, when we regear any Jeep Wrangler JK, the axle seals and bearings on the rear Dana 44 are always replaced; this is a shop policy, due to the fact that the old axle seals tend to leak after this type of modification. Shown here, a new bearing is being pressed onto the axle shaft of the rear JK Dana 44.
Shown here, the Rubicon Express 4.5" long arm kit will provide clearance to run up to 37" tires; the installation requires several modifications to the stock Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the least of which is the removal of all stock control arm mounts. In addition to cutting the stock control arm mounts off, the gas tank also needs to be removed during assembly, and new brackets are added to the frame for the new long arms, shown below.
While gears will restore lost performance in regards to acceleration and speed, a steering stabilizer will eliminate any front end vibes caused by the larger and heavier offroad tires. Shown below, the Fox 2.0 ATS Performance Series Stabilizer is a revolutionary design that allows for adjustment and fine tuning of the stabilizer, as well as extended offroad use and performance, thanks to the integrated oil reservoir.
Additional images below show the new crossmember required to fasten the long arms to the frame of the Jeep (left), as well as a loop delete for the stock Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited exhaust system (right). This Jeep will also be receiving a Warn Zeon 8s winch, AEV Heat Reduction Hood, AEV rear bumper and tire carrier, a Borla cat back exhaust, and Fuel Wheels. Stay tuned for more!