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Old 09-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
PassDTabb
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Default Tire width safety on lifted wrangler

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and have a question regarding the safety of tire width on lifted jeeps.

I own a 2002 wrangler sport that has a skyjacker body lift and off road suspension. I honestly don't know if the suspension is higher than the original. The body lift looks to be about 2.5 or 3". I currently have over sized tires. They are 33" and about 10" wide.
I live in the middle of Houston, TX and don't use the jeep for off roading (I would love to, but I am a college student and can't afford the repairs on potential damage from off roading, on top of the usual car maintenance costs). I purchased the car already modified.

I am having huge issues with hydroplaning in medium/heavy rain if I'm driving 35 mph or higher. I believe that replacing my tires with narrower ones will alleviate the problem, but I don't know how narrow I should go. Will I compromise safety if I go to a 7" or 8" width? I want the hydroplaning issue to stop, but I don't want to cause a flipping issue either. I also will get tires that are smaller than 33".

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions to make my jeep safer? Will anyone suggest a particular size and width? I am so attached to the jeep that I really don't want to trade it for a more city friendly vehicle. I figured a jeep forum with others that love their jeeps like I love mine would know better than anyone!

I really appreciate any help!
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
Sparky-Watts
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First of all, welcome to J-O! I can't believe nobody has answered your question yet, that's pretty unusual for this place.

We may need a bit more info before we can safely answer your question. What kind of tire are you running, all-terrain, mud terrain, or street tire? How much tread is left on the tire? I'm guessing there isn't much, regardless of the type of tire, as a good tire with good tread shouldn't hydroplane at 35mph. But, since you're thinking of replacing them, this isn't an issue right now. As for what type of tire to get, that's a little different. I can pretty much guarantee that a good mud terrain tire won't hydroplane (unless you're doing 70 mph through 4 inches of water on the road). However, if you never plan on wheeling the Jeep, a mud tire is a bit of a waste. You could conceivably get away with running an all-terrain tire. For fuel economy and less wear and tear on the drive train, go with something in the 30" x 9" size.

Also, since you're dropping tire size and are concerned about rollover potential, I'd suggest getting rid of the body lift and going back to stock bushings. Generally, anything over a 1" body lift is not recommended, as it puts more stress on the body mounts and can create too much body roll in cornering and off-camber situations. If you have any mechanical aptitude and a place to work, you can replace the body mounts in a few hours.

I hope this has helped you out. If you have more questions, feel free to ask and hopefully someone will answer faster the next time. Until then, enjoy your Jeep!
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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I can pretty much guarantee that a good mud terrain tire won't hydroplane (unless you're doing 70 mph through 4 inches of water on the road).

X2
I'm running a 35x13.5 tire and only have issues when one side is in deep water and the other is on dry pavement. (Amish buggy's destroy roads)
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PassDTabb View Post
I am having huge issues with hydroplaning in medium/heavy rain if I'm driving 35 mph or higher. I believe that replacing my tires with narrower ones will alleviate the problem, but I don't know how narrow I should go. Will I compromise safety if I go to a 7" or 8" width? I want the hydroplaning issue to stop, but I don't want to cause a flipping issue either. I also will get tires that are smaller than 33".

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions to make my jeep safer? Will anyone suggest a particular size and width? I am so attached to the jeep that I really don't want to trade it for a more city friendly vehicle. I figured a jeep forum with others that love their jeeps like I love mine would know better than anyone!

I really appreciate any help!
+Whatever number it is by now. A 30x9.5 and stock height goes well. If you really want to maximize your wet traction, get tires with good channeling and lots of siping. Many cheap AT, HT, and AP treads will work well for commuting. Check Walmart and Sam's Club for prices on tires, rims, and mounting/balancing.

As far as width goes, 15x7s or 15x8s will fit a wide range of tires for your Jeep. I'd recommend around 4.5-4.75" of backspacing with a 15x7 rim and 9.5"-wide tires, to keep most of the tread under the stock flares while still clearing other componenets.
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