With the 95 we put 33x12.5x15 inch mud tires and only had some slight rub at full turn. Proper back spacing on the rims had a lot to do with that. When I did my first turn around on a tight trail the lugs hit the leaf springs and it was pretty loud. Thunk, Thunk, THUNK! SO the solution was wheel spacers.
Moving on to the 2007 JK with no leaf springs so 33x12.5 should be fine. I searched the forums, asked the club, and checked around. O sure, you can stuff them under with no lift… Enter the 18” Sahara rims. Not much of a negative off set in the spacing department. We took a trip to St Cloud to get the tires installed and after the first mount the shop called to let us know the rear tires were rubbing against the sway bar. Ugggg, The choice was new rims with the right spacing, or Spacers and stick with the Sahara rims. Rims rum around 150 to 250 each, a set of 4 Spidertrax Spacers cost 200. Spacers go between the rotors or drums and bolt to the existing lug nuts. There are cheap ones that cost around $80 for all 4, they are junk and not safe. I have heard too many horror stories of people’s wheel falling off while driving down the road. Spidertrax is made in the USA and has a very good reputation. Your tire could fall off anytime you don’t tighten the lugs correctly. So if you are going with spacers make sure to follow instructions to what torque to tighten them. VERY IMPORTANT… Check them after 100 miles or so at 10 pnds less to see if they moved.
One week later we got all mounted up and the JK now sitting nice on Radar’s Renegade R7 M/T tires with 1.5” spacers, it was time to see what they felt like. The drive home provided the chance to get up to and above 50 mph. The power is still there, and still plenty of get up and go. Hills don’t slow me down like in the YJ, so let’s just say I am a happy Jeeper. The sound is good, you don’t buy mud tire to sneak down the road. (Make Tim Allen sounds here.) Not as loud as the YJ tires with a low hum to give you the feeling that a Jeep should have. Slightly squishy compared to street tires with a very slight sway. Still the 18” rims on 33” tires is more street friendly then the 50-50 rule. (15” rims = 30” tire) (17” rims = 35” tire) for me it is (18” rims and 33” tire) that make a little more street friendly. I see some day 37” tires going on. They stop well, roll good, and sling mud. In Florida we do have mud.
So with new tires on the JK, winch and bumper set up, what’s next you ask?
Hmmm we shall see…
Tires installed by Tires Plus in St Cloud. They did a outstanding job and even let me ask questions. Polite and helpful. The price was right and solid with NO extra fees. They took the time to clean the blue off the letters and shine the tires up.
Matt N Randy
Jeep Enthusiast, Pastor, Photographer, Artist, A husband and wife team that loves going out and seeing God's Creations.