• Hey Guest! We need your help! 2019 EJS Potato Salad Hill Cleanup

Jeep Advice on tires and wheels for the XJ

Homefryy

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
Well after my wife locked up the tires and slid in the rain and then I slid to a stop 1" from a car's bumper trying to turn into a parking spot in a snowy parking lot my wife is finally convinced that not only should I buy new tires but I NEED to buy new tires. It is with great joy that I set out to purchase my first set of tires for my first 4x4 and I look to you RME for some guidance.

I have a 96 XJ with the 4.0, AW4, stock 3.55 gears and 3.5" Rubicon Express lift. My main use is remote camping and exploring. The current tires are 235/75R15 Big O Bigfoot A/Ts that were on it when I bought it.

Based on what I have seen I think my best choice of tire is going to be the BFG KO2.

I really want to go with 33x10.5R15 KO2's. I know it isn't recommended to go to 33s on stock gears and I don't have the money to re-gear right now but I think it may be tolerable and if it isn't maybe the wife will decide that re-gearing is also necessary :D. The other option is 31x10.5R15's but I have that size complex and really want 33's. Am I a fool to think that I can live with 33" tires on stock gears trying to drive at highway speeds in the Utah mountains loaded up with camping gear? Hopefully the skinnier 10.5" wide tire instead of a standard 12.5" one would help with that.

I want to get 5 tires on matching rims so I can have a matching spare and do a 5 tire rotation. For a 10.5" wide tire I think a 7" wide wheel would be best. The stock wheels are 7" wide so if I could find another matching one I could avoid buying new wheels but would have to buy spacers to push the stock wheels out further for the wider tire. Spacers seem to be a bit controversial. What are people's thoughts on this? I'm not sure if 4 quality spacers at around 1.25" thick would really save much money over 5 cheap steel wheels.

Let me know what you think. Are there other tires I should be looking at other than the KO2? There aren't many options in 33x10.5 but pretty much everything is available in a 31x10.5.

I live in South Salt Lake and will also be needing an alignment with the new tires. Any place that you guys would recommend for buying tires & wheels or just having them mounted depending on if I buy them local or order online? I haven't dealt with any tire shops since moving to Utah.

Here is how the XJ sits currently.

20181227_113336.jpg
20181227_165617.jpg
 

gatchmo5710

Active Member
BFG ATs/ End thread. Anyone who suggest there is a better tire is wrong ;)

and 4wheelparts has them on sale now. 640$ shipped!!!!!!! 33x1250x15
 

DAA

Premium Member
Supporting Member
I really like the KO2's. Have them on my Landcruiser. As soon as I can afford it, will replace the Duratracs on my truck with KO2's too. Unless the KO3's actually happen first. If I was smart (I'm not) I'd put KO2's on my LJ when the KM2's on it now are done. But I'm not smart and I won't.

Size, gears... Your call. I'd be looking for ways to just end it and make it go away driving around on 33's/3.55's/4.0/AW4 though. Even as light as an XJ is, I don't think I could take it. I'd stick with the 31's if you aren't ready to re-gear. Just me though. And it ain't like I'd really try and talk anyone out of bigger tires anyway.

Quality spacers - not a problem in my opinion. The money part, eh, can slice that up a few different ways but I'd rather run good quality wheels with good quality spacers than crappy cheap wheels and no spacers. I know sometimes a tire store won't deal with them, which would suck. But I also know that usually they don't have a problem with them. Just kind of luck of the draw on that I think. I'm planning to put some 3/4" spacers on my LJ pretty soon. I would not consider it if I believed there was a safety issue. Like a lot of things, it's up to you as the installer and owner to make sure the are tight and right. If they are, no problems I can see.

I usually buy tires at Discount. They don't do alignments though.

- DAA
 

xj_nate

Poser
Location
UT
I rocked 33x12.50's on 3.55's for years and didn't mind it. Are you going to be spending a lot of time in OD? No, but it's not that bad. This also depends on how healthy your motor is to be honest.

I would recommend getting some cheap steelies over using stock wheels with spacers.
 

Homefryy

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
I rocked 33x12.50's on 3.55's for years and didn't mind it. Are you going to be spending a lot of time in OD? No, but it's not that bad. This also depends on how healthy your motor is to be honest.

I would recommend getting some cheap steelies over using stock wheels with spacers.
I had my engine completely rebuilt by Clegg Machine a bit over a year and about 10k miles ago after it spun a rod bearing so it is healthy although I do have issues with the cooling system. I'm not sure what is going on with that yet. Water pump, thermostat, all hoses and the fan clutch (heavy duty fan clutch upgrade) were replaced when the engine was rebuilt and the radiator was pretty new shortly before that when I bought the Jeep. It wants to overheat at highway and slow speeds when it is warm out but when it is cold it will sit right at 196° no matter the load or speed. I have everything to do a system flush/cleaning which will hopefully take care of that once I get around to it.
 

TRD270

Web Wheeler
Location
SaSa Sandy
BFG ATs/ End thread. Anyone who suggest there is a better tire is wrong ;)
People either love or hate KO's, I'm one that loves them. I've had them on my last couple rigs and currently on my wife's FJ. I think they are a fantastic tire. I would have put them on my truck but I scored a set of Cooper AT's over the holidays on a stupid cheap sale from pep boys, which so far I've been happy with, haven't had them off road yet.
 

bryson

RME Resident Ninja
Supporting Member
Location
West Jordan
What @Greg and @smartass_kid said. The takeoffs are probably the best bang-for your buck. Yes, you'll have to run adapters, but, buy a quality set and install them properly, and you'll be just fine. Like Greg also said, I don't think you'd fit 33s without a LOT of trimming.

Up to a 32-ish inch tire, I think you'll be fine with the stock gears. Just don't plan on winning any races.
 

kmboren

Well-Known Member
Location
Southern Utah
If you go with JK take offs I have a set a spacers I don't need anymore. That go from the DJ to jk wheels. I also have 2 inch XJ to XJ adapter.
 
Last edited:

Homefryy

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
JK take-offs are an option, I went that route with mine and love the look.
You will need spacers/wheel adapters but if you hunt around you can get a set of 5 with <1000 miles
I like this idea, even more so if you can get Rubicon take-off's. The 255/75/17's are about a 32" tire and that's good as 33's don't fit an XJ without a lot of lift or a lot of trimming.
At first I was a bit skeptical about this since I'm not sure how I feel about the 17" wheels but the idea is growing on me. It looks like the price may be right and if I buy them used and am not happy with them I should be able to sell them again without as big of a loss.

Doing some searching on KSL I'm seeing a bunch of KM2's and not KO2's. Are KM2's what come standard on the JK Rubicon? Would KM2's be a good option? How are they in packed snow/ice?


If you go with JK take offs I have a set a spacers I don't need anymore.
I may be interested in these. How much?
 
Last edited:

OrangeSkidPlate

Active Member
I'll be different and say Toyo AT2, when I was a tire tech, the shop I worked at sold tons of the them. They balance incredibly well and take hardly any weight, they last 50k miles easily if you rotate them regularly. Nothing against the BFG, just wanted to be different, although Toyo might not make that specific size you are looking but they might have something similar in metric.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
At first I was a bit skeptical about this since I'm not sure how I feel about the 17" wheels but the idea is growing on me. It looks like the price may be right and if I buy them used and am not happy with them I should be able to sell them again without as big of a loss.

Doing some searching on KSL I'm seeing a bunch of KM2's and not KO2's. Are KM2's what come standard on the JK Rubicon? Would KM2's be a good option? How are they in packed snow/ice?
Yeah, the KM2's are the standard Rubicon tire on the JK.... they're a Mud tire, of course. I don't know that they'd be nearly as good as a KO2 in snow/ice, but you could have them siped and that would really help them in Winter driving quite a bit.

Another similar option would be JL wheel/tire takeoffs, the Rubicon tires on them are KO2's in a 285/70/17. Those are close to a 33" tire and I've seen them priced around $1000.
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
I've got a set of 5 take-off wheels and tires from a Sahara JK I need to get rid of. They are similar in size to the Rubicon take offs, but are an AT tire on an 18" wheel.Bridgestone Duelers. 60% tread. $200 and they are yours.
 

kmboren

Well-Known Member
Location
Southern Utah
At first I was a bit skeptical about this since I'm not sure how I feel about the 17" wheels but the idea is growing on me. It looks like the price may be right and if I buy them used and am not happy with them I should be able to sell them again without as big of a loss.

Doing some searching on KSL I'm seeing a bunch of KM2's and not KO2's. Are KM2's what come standard on the JK Rubicon? Would KM2's be a good option? How are they in packed snow/ice?




I may be interested in these. How much?
Lets say $75 shipped to your door. I live in Southern Utah so would have to ship them.
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Location
West Haven
I would steer clear of the KM2's is you want a good traction and smooth running tire on pavement. They are an awesome tire off-road but I was not impressed with the ride the last 10k or so miles and if even a skiff of snow on the road I had to use 4WD to even get moving and then it wasn't the most stable. I got decent miles of out them but just not conducive to the driving and off-roading I do.

I then switched back over to the all terrains but this time tried the KO2 and absolutely love that tire. I have had my 35's on my heavy JKUR for the past 48k driven miles and have flat-towed it another 18-20k behind our coach and they still have some tread left, not a lot but some.

I have been a BFG fan for the past nearly 30 years and was going to get another set of KO2's when I stepped to 37's this time around but opted to try something a different tire, I hope I don't regret it.

As for gearing, I am a proponent of gearing correctly and not overworking the engine or the rest of the drivetrain. I am not one who suggests to merely suffer through on gearing because it really takes its toll on components and even wears on the driver. In my opinion gearing will pay back sooner rather than later in the stress on drivetrain, over-working and over-heating aspects of the vehicle.

Mike
 

Homefryy

Premium Member
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
I am working on getting adapters from @kmboren and will be going the JK takeoff route for wheels and tires. This should let me try out bigger tires while being able to resell them at not too huge of a loss if I am not happy with them.

I've got a set of 5 take-off wheels and tires from a Sahara JK I need to get rid of. They are similar in size to the Rubicon take offs, but are an AT tire on an 18" wheel.Bridgestone Duelers. 60% tread. $200 and they are yours.
How are the Bridgestone Duelers? I'm not familiar with them. From the research I have done so far it looks like they are a good on road tire but not the best off road. I don't need anything too extreme but do want something that will perform well for my use off road.
 
Top