Be Our Valentine 3 DAY CHALLENGE

Day #1 – Tire, Axle and Gear Breakdown

Dare I say this can be the most confusing and most controversial part of the Jeep Build.
Be Our Valentine 3 Day Challenge – Day One Training
Download’s & Worksheets for this Challenge Lesson.

Day One Training Lesson;

It can seem overwhelming at first or even in a build to really understand the breakdown of tires to gears to axles.

There is a lot to it,
and I can not cover all the aspects and details in a day…..
so I am going to share with you the most important aspects to understand when you are doing a build.
The #hardtruth here, is we don’t want to make mistakes in decisions we make on our build to have to re-build and build our Jeep multiple times. Not only for the financial cost that takes but also on a frustration level as well. There is nothing worse than doing gear, lift or axle work more than once. I want to share these tips with you today to help drive you down the trail of your build.

The #1 most important thing is to decide on your tire size platform. That will then be the platform that all your build is built around. What is the most common mistake I see made with this concept? A Jeep built on a tire size platform and then the owner wants to put a bigger tire on their Jeep down the road. Most of the time this means having to change the already set up build.

Why? A platform is designed around the tire size so that the mechanical and modifications are for that specific build.
How can you prevent making this mistake? Take the time to really think through the question of what size tire could I ever see myself wanting to run on this Jeep. If there is a chance you would ever want to….even maybe…..even way down the road… a larger tire then use that as your Build Design and platform. You can always run a smaller size tire on a larger tire size built platform. You just can not run a larger size tire on a smaller tire size designed platform.

A couple things to keep in mind when deciding on your ultimate Design Build is what is your goal for your Jeep. Are you going to be 90% as a daily driver and 10% trail and off-road driving? Do you want 60% trail and off-road capacity? The second #hardtruth is if you have not owned your Jeep and driven your Jeep for a while you may not really know yet. I have seen it happen a lot of times….someone will say I will not do off-road and trail riding so I only want a 33 on my daily driver or max I would ever go is a 35 and then they go to one Jeep event and drive and have a blast. 3 months down the road the Build Design has changed already….what they thought they would want and then what they really want has changed. The great thing is a Jeep can be a great daily driver and very capable off-road and enjoyed.
Take some time and really think through your answer. What could possibly be the most tire size you would really want? Build to that specification. Then, be honest with yourself and allow yourself to TAKE YOUR TIME in designing and making final decisions on your build.

The third #hardturth the larger your tire build the more modifications and upgrades to factor parts you are going to have to do. The smaller the tire platform build the less modifications and upgraded that have to be made to the stock parts. The amount you trail ride and drive your Jeep off-road as well as the demands and expectations you put on your Jeep off-road also play a large part in those decisions. If you do a 33 build but want to push your Jeep on harder or more treacherous terrain you will need to upgrade stock parts. When you go 37″ tire and larger tire build platform you will be changing out and modifying the most amount in your build. It may even feel like every stock part has been upgraded on your Jeep.

Why is this? Your Jeep comes stock from the factory VERY capable!! It also comes stock with parts meant to turn and drive the stock size tire. The larger the tire you put on your Jeep the more demand that puts on all parts and mechanics of your Jeep. It is purely science, the larger the tire the more weakness on stock parts will show up.

Step One is really decide on your ultimate tire size. If one day you might want to run a 35 but right now want to run a 33….Design Your Build on the 35″ tire platform. That way when you are ready all you have to do is put the 35’s on and not upgrade or re-build anything. Same is true for if you want a 35 now but one day could want to go to the 37 then build to the 37 platform and only build once.

The stock axles that came on your Jeep are going to be different based on year, make and model of your Jeep. If you have a Jk/JKU you most likely have a Dana 30 or Dana 44 stock front end from the factor. You would find the Dana 44 in the Rubicon’s.
When we move onto the next piece which is gearing you will see that the gear and the axle go hand in hand as well. The larger the axle size the larger housing and therefore the larger the gears themselves. As you change gears the pinion gear gets smaller. The larger the axle the larger the size of the actual gears so the pinon is not getting as small in a Dana 44 as in a Dana 30 for example. The axle itself is larger which also means you are going to have a stronger axle.

Question of course I hear is can’t you re-gear in a Dana 30 the same you would in a Dana 44. Yes and No. You can, but you have a smaller axle to begin with. That means it is not meant to turn a larger tire. If you are going to do a 37″ tire or larger build platform then you need to have a Dana 44 or Dana 60 axle. This is the fourth #hardtruth ​yes you can run a 37″ tire on a Dana 30 axle re-geared but not forever. People do run this, and you will see this….but ultimately this is not the Build Design I will recommend. Over time for longevity of your vehicle you will probably end up having to swap out if you are driving your Jeep on Trails and Off-road. You are always better to build to the higher standard when it comes to these Jeep builds.

The question of re-gearing and what gears to run with what axle and what tire size come up frequently. Trust me I understand why! I have had the hardest time understanding the gear size and platforms as well. Again as before you will re-gear based on the end tire size platform you are going to be running. Each tire size will call for running different gears. You can run a larger tire with the same gear you have now…..but not for long. When you add the bigger tire, again science comes in, you are adding all that extra stress now and especially to mechanically moving parts. There are different opinions out there depending on who you talk to and that can make things even more confusing. I attached a chart that is on the conservative side of what gear you need for what tire size, as well as what gear should run in what axle.

Download and Print the My Jeep Spec’s Page and take the time to fill out where your Jeep is currently at right now. That is the first step and a great way to start Day One together!



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