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Old September 18th, 2011, 08:20
b_palmer22 b_palmer22 is offline
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4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Hey guys, I'm looking at picking up a RE 4.5 superflex w/ leaf packs with Re monotubes from 4x4 group buy.com they have it listed at $1299. I'm concerned about the 3.5 inch rear leafs sagging as i've seen them get their lean on on a few xj's. What are the other options though for a complete kit? I could go rusty's but to get everything the RE kit offers its more expensive. I've read a bizillion threads about RE going down hill and I emailed them about where they get their springs from...No answer. To their fairness its been only a few days. Anyway What do you guys think of a 4.5 superflex w/ leaves and 33 BFG AT's w/ 4.55's as a daily? I plan on doing the PORC Sye for 130 and picking up a frount DS for the rear. Plan on doing some wheeling but mostly road. And quite a few highway trips because I'm in the military and i live a ways away from the family. Looking to keep things in that price range. Thanks guys!
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Old September 18th, 2011, 08:23
b_palmer22 b_palmer22 is offline
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Jeep is a 00 AW4 lp d30 8.25 rear 321tc completely stock
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Old September 18th, 2011, 09:47
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

dont see why it wouldnt work. cant speak to the rubicon express quality issue. i daily drive my 96 with 4" of lift in the front and 4.5" in the rear with 33x12.5 with the factory 3.55's. i will change the gearing eventually but its not as bad as people say. i run a s10 bastard pack worth about 4" of lift and mj shackles for the .5". it works amazing, no sag and rides good. and it only cost me 50$! i just took a camping trip with the jeep loaded with gear and a trailer with 2 dirt bikes and it sat just below level (normaly sits rear high barely).
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Old September 18th, 2011, 10:23
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

The following observations are based upon my experience with 30", 31" and 33' diameter tires. Jumping from 31"s to 33"s involves a lot of extra work.

With an auto, it will be a dog until you regear. Add a transmission cooler.
For daily driver, 33''s are too big for the stock brakes no matter what you do. Freeway driving will be scary due to the poor stopping ability. Upgrading the brakes to WJ or Vancos and ZJ discs in the rear in the front is a good fix
At 4.5" of lift, the ride is going to be rough unless you install dropped brackets.
You will need to do a bit of trimming, front and rear, to keep the sheet metal intact as well as making sure the bumpstops are extended enough.
Shimming or adjusting the axle pinion angles needs to be done as well as a SYE.
You will need wider wheels (8"min) with around 4" of backspacing.

For a DD that will only be used off road occasionally, a 3" lift and 30"s or 31"s will do it all without so many negatives or the cash outlay.
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2001 Sport, 4 " lift, 33 X 10.50 KM2, DB, R.E.-UCA, JKS-LCA, ACOS, SYE, 4.56-8.25 TruTrac-D-30-E-Locker both with alloy shafts, Hidden M8000 winch, Vanco/Sport-Trac front and ZJ rear disc brakes, Frame stiffeners, Lots of armor, Towing baseplate. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwade/c...7603770130683/
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  #5  
Old September 18th, 2011, 11:16
twodoorXJ twodoorXJ is offline
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyxj View Post
The following observations are based upon my experience with 30", 31" and 33' diameter tires. Jumping from 31"s to 33"s involves a lot of extra work.

With an auto, it will be a dog until you regear. Add a transmission cooler.
For daily driver, 33''s are too big for the stock brakes no matter what you do. Freeway driving will be scary due to the poor stopping ability. Upgrading the brakes to WJ or Vancos and ZJ discs in the rear in the front is a good fix
At 4.5" of lift, the ride is going to be rough unless you install dropped brackets.
You will need to do a bit of trimming, front and rear, to keep the sheet metal intact as well as making sure the bumpstops are extended enough.
Shimming or adjusting the axle pinion angles needs to be done as well as a SYE.
You will need wider wheels (8"min) with around 4" of backspacing.

For a DD that will only be used off road occasionally, a 3" lift and 30"s or 31"s will do it all without so many negatives or the cash outlay.
Im going to have to disagree with the brake argument, when i ran stock brakes and 33s, it was not scary, were they as good as stock? no. but i could still lock em up, just stay on top of your brake maintnence, and youll be fine. But a ZJ rear disk conversion is cheap and effective.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 15:39
Wheelsxj Wheelsxj is offline
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

A good set of Brake pads will improve your braking performance with the stock brakes. I put a set of Hawk HPS brake pads on my Cherokee and it stops well with 33x12.50 M/T MTZ's.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 16:31
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyxj View Post
The following observations are based upon my experience with 30", 31" and 33' diameter tires. Jumping from 31"s to 33"s involves a lot of extra work.

With an auto, it will be a dog until you regear. DISAGREE

Add a transmission cooler. AGREE

For daily driver, 33''s are too big for the stock brakes no matter what you do. Freeway driving will be scary due to the poor stopping ability. DISAGREE

Upgrading the brakes to WJ or Vancos and ZJ discs in the rear in the front is a good fix. AGREE

At 4.5" of lift, the ride is going to be rough unless you install dropped brackets. STRONGLY AGREE

You will need to do a bit of trimming, front and rear, to keep the sheet metal intact as well as making sure the bumpstops are extended enough.
Shimming or adjusting the axle pinion angles needs to be done as well as a SYE. AGREE (except shimming, good leafs will have this built in)

You will need wider wheels (8"min) with around 4" of backspacing. DISAGREE

For a DD that will only be used off road occasionally, a 3" lift and 30"s or 31"s will do it all without so many negatives or the cash outlay.

1.) I ran 3.55's with 33's for a LONG time, it was no dog. It'd pull just fine in the dirt, on the road, etc. I hate that everyone thinks you HAVE to re-gear before running 33's. If you've got a healthy motor, ESPECIALLY an HO, then you'll be just fine. Here's a video of me on 33's with 3.55's... does it look like a slouch?



2.) Transmission cooler is ALWAYS a good idea, even if you're stock. However, mine survived hell without one, but I'm not saying it didn't shorten its life at all.

3.) This is COMPLETELY wrong. XJ brakes aren't top of the line by any means, they're normal, single piston calipers on an average sized disk. However, a quality pad, and proper brake bed-in will go a LOOONG way. I can lock up a set 33's on the street with stock brakes, as you know that's more braking power than you need.

4.) Like the transmission cooler, while not necessary, upgrading your brakes to a WJ setup or similar is always a good idea. But don't think you can't run 33's safely without them.

5.) I can't say this enough! This man speaks the truth about drop brackets. A short arm lift over 3" or so without drop brackets is harsh, and while you may argue "It's not that bad", try installing some drop brackets and tell me it's still not that bad. You'll never go back, and they're cheap enough that it's hard to justify NOT doing it.

6.) Also agree with the trimming, you'll need trimming both front and rear if you ever expect to flex the thing, you'll also MOST LIKELY need a slip yoke eliminator, depending what year, but it's STILL always a good idea to have. As for shimming your axle, most decent leafs will have the angle built into them, and shimming is relatively unnecessary.

7.) Why would he need wider wheels? I run a 7" wide wheel with 3.5" of backspace. Always have, always will unless I step up to 35's. I run a 10.50 wide tire because of the offroading I do. 7" is fine, 8" is fine, but stating he'll HAVE to get 8" wide wheels is incorrect.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 18:01
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjim View Post
1.) I ran 3.55's with 33's for a LONG time, it was no dog. It'd pull just fine in the dirt, on the road, etc. I hate that everyone thinks you HAVE to re-gear before running 33's. If you've got a healthy motor, ESPECIALLY an HO, then you'll be just fine. Here's a video of me on 33's with 3.55's... does it look like a slouch?



2.) Transmission cooler is ALWAYS a good idea, even if you're stock. However, mine survived hell without one, but I'm not saying it didn't shorten its life at all.

3.) This is COMPLETELY wrong. XJ brakes aren't top of the line by any means, they're normal, single piston calipers on an average sized disk. However, a quality pad, and proper brake bed-in will go a LOOONG way. I can lock up a set 33's on the street with stock brakes, as you know that's more braking power than you need.

4.) Like the transmission cooler, while not necessary, upgrading your brakes to a WJ setup or similar is always a good idea. But don't think you can't run 33's safely without them.

5.) I can't say this enough! This man speaks the truth about drop brackets. A short arm lift over 3" or so without drop brackets is harsh, and while you may argue "It's not that bad", try installing some drop brackets and tell me it's still not that bad. You'll never go back, and they're cheap enough that it's hard to justify NOT doing it.

6.) Also agree with the trimming, you'll need trimming both front and rear if you ever expect to flex the thing, you'll also MOST LIKELY need a slip yoke eliminator, depending what year, but it's STILL always a good idea to have. As for shimming your axle, most decent leafs will have the angle built into them, and shimming is relatively unnecessary.

7.) Why would he need wider wheels? I run a 7" wide wheel with 3.5" of backspace. Always have, always will unless I step up to 35's. I run a 10.50 wide tire because of the offroading I do. 7" is fine, 8" is fine, but stating he'll HAVE to get 8" wide wheels is incorrect.
i still love that video. it gives me so much inspiration!
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Old September 18th, 2011, 21:39
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjim View Post
1.) I ran 3.55's with 33's for a LONG time, it was no dog. It'd pull just fine in the dirt, on the road, etc. I hate that everyone thinks you HAVE to re-gear before running 33's.

3.) This is COMPLETELY wrong. XJ brakes aren't top of the line by any means, they're normal, single piston calipers on an average sized disk. However, a quality pad, and proper brake bed-in will go a LOOONG way. I can lock up a set 33's on the street with stock brakes, as you know that's more braking power than you need.

4.) Like the transmission cooler, while not necessary, upgrading your brakes to a WJ setup or similar is always a good idea. But don't think you can't run 33's safely without them.

6.)As for shimming your axle, most decent leafs will have the angle built into them, and shimming is relatively unnecessary.

7.) Why would he need wider wheels? I run a 7" wide wheel with 3.5" of backspace. Always have, always will unless I step up to 35's. I run a 10.50 wide tire because of the offroading I do. 7" is fine, 8" is fine, but stating he'll HAVE to get 8" wide wheels is incorrect.

Great video.

Running fast in the desert is a little different than using your XJ primarily as a daily driver or even crawling up a steep trail. Properly matched gears are a pleasure. What are the Jeep Speed guys running- 4.88s?
When I went to 31”s, the down shifting on every little hill drove me nuts until I re-geared to 4.11s. Now that it is on 33”s, I hate the fact that it, once again, often downshifts I should have gone with 4.56 gears in the first place.
You don't have to re-gear but once you have done it, you will wonder why you waited so long.


My XJ weighed 3400 lbs when I bought it many years ago. It now weighs over 4000 lbs, it has tires and wheels that weight almost twice as much as stock and are 5” taller, there is a hundred pounds of winch and bumper sitting on the nose and the center gravity has been raised about 6”- all contributors to degraded braking. So while your stock XJ brakes, on 33”s may work great, my XJ's brakes were nothing like the brakes were when it was stock (which were not great compared to my Acura's brakes).
No way could I safety and quickly stop the 33”s from 70 MPH, nor could I lock them up on dry pavement. Even with premium parts and various high-end pads, the brakes, with 33”s, were not up to 'my' standards. As usual YMMV.
It really doesn't matter how good the pads and rotors are, XJs suffer from weak caliper brackets that flex under heavy braking effort. Hard braking at high speed, with big tires, causes darting from side to side.
WJ and other aftermarket brakes all use different knuckles with rigid caliper mountings, a major reason why this is a popular upgrade. This has been the subject of dozen of threads on the XJ, ZJ and TJ forums for years.
Better brakes are like the right gears, once you experience it the 'right ' way, you will never want to go back.

I have bought several sets of leaf springs, R.E. and OME for example, and never a set that came with axle shims...never. Never seen leafs springs advertised as coming with shims either.
If the OP installs a 4.5" kit, he will have to shim the rear axle to prevent vibs, with or without an SYE.

I should have stated if he wants to run a 12.50 tire, as most seem to, he will need a rim wider than the stock 7”. A 10.50 is fine on a 7” rim.
I run 10.50 X 33 X15 KOs on stock 7” alloys and are within manufacturer's specs. I would prefer an 8” wide wheel for more even tire wear with the 10.50s.
Tire manufacturers specify rims wider than 7” for 12.50 tires. For example, here is a popular tire's specs.
BFG KO 12.50 X 33 X 15 Click '”Specs"
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....rrain+T%2FA+KO
Rim size 8.5-11”
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Old September 18th, 2011, 21:54
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

I should add that in the current stages of my build, I'm going 4.88 gears and doing a WJ knuckle/brake swap. I'm DEFINITELY not saying it's not better to be geared, just that you don't HAVE to to have fun, don't feel like you need to gear first before you buy 33's, or do it at the exact same time. I hear ya on the hills, I usually hit third and let it do its thing. As for the Jeepspeed guys, most are running 5.13's in 9" rears. Those guys gear DEEP.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyxj View Post

I have bought several sets of leaf springs, R.E. and OME for example, and never a set that came with axle shims...never. Never seen leafs springs advertised as coming with shims either.
If the OP installs a 4.5" kit, he will have to shim the rear axle to prevent vibs, with or without an SYE.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply they came with shims. Most aftermarket leafs are a bit longer than stock, giving a better shackle angle and better flex. By making the spring longer you have to move the center pin forward as to not extend the wheel base. By moving it forward up the spring, your axle moves up the arch, somewhat correcting your angle. I can tell you this is more prominent on my Deavers, second to my Alcans I used to run.


As for the 7" vs. 8" debate. I run the 7" for the 10.50's to "squeeze" the tire a bit more, so I don't roll a bead. I ran 10.50's on an 8" wide wheel on my MJ, they definitely weren't as stable.


7" vs. 8":




Last edited by crazyjim; September 18th, 2011 at 21:58.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 21:59
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

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Originally Posted by xj dreamin View Post
i still love that video. it gives me so much inspiration!
Glad it can inspire somebody Expect more once my current build is done. Every time I see the video it makes me want to jump back into the build.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 23:02
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

I ran 33s on stock gears and it sucked. It was much slower than with the previous 30s and gas mileage tanked. I wouldn't make that jump again.

My stock brakes stopped my Jeep just fine. I never once felt unsafe, never had a close call due to poor braking, etc etc. I still have stock front brakes, just upgraded to ZJ discs out back when I installed the D44.
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Old September 18th, 2011, 23:25
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

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Originally Posted by crazyjim View Post
Glad it can inspire somebody Expect more once my current build is done. Every time I see the video it makes me want to jump back into the build.
nice! let me know the next time you start working on it. i would love to check out the progress!
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Old September 18th, 2011, 23:35
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

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Originally Posted by crazyjim View Post
As for the 7" vs. 8" debate. I run the 7" for the 10.50's to "squeeze" the tire a bit more, so I don't roll a bead. I ran 10.50's on an 8" wide wheel on my MJ, they definitely weren't as stable.
That's a good point. I have run the 10.50s many times at 8-psi without rolling a bead. Fitted on the stock 7" alloy rims, with 1-1/4" spacers, they tuck nicely under the cut and raised flairs. Guess I should stick with the 7" rims. The price is right.
I tried a couple of 12.50s, off friend's rigs, and they didn't fit nearly as well and would require more cutting. After-market flairs would become necessary to stay legal.

10.50 X 33s are not very common but are a great size tire for XJs since they can be made to work well with too much cutting or inner fender massaging. At a relatively low 4"s of lift, I have 5" of shock up-travel, front and rear. Getting the bump stops right did require a bit of time and was well worth it.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 01:36
b_palmer22 b_palmer22 is offline
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Re: 4.5 short arm & 33's for daily

Hey guys op here, I plan on doing 33 12.50's. Shimming and i've been thinking about drop brackets but I'm concerned about loosing ground clearance. I dont mind the ride of a short arm at 3.5 but i hate it at 5.5 So we'll see how it goes. I will re gear with in 2-3 months of the lift being installed. Probably going to 4.55. You guys had any experience with IRO's lifts. I had one on my Grand and it was well built.
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