Wheels & Tires

How To Fit 35″s Tires on Your Jeep Wrangler JK

Hi guys! Here we’re going to do a pretty simple setup of the Jeep. This is a 2013 4-door Sahara and it will get a lift and wheels and Tires for Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, but first we’ll discuss what tire size comes from the factory on this Jeep and how much clearance you have in stock.

We’ll then fit a larger set of wheels and tires before installing the lift kit to understand what kind of problems you can run into on an otherwise stock Jeep with a large wheel and tire. And finally, we’ll discuss the installation of this lift kit and lifting and I will explain how riding at the right height with the right tires can alleviate some of the problems that arise. Alright, let’s start!

2013 Sahara Jeep

But for now, let’s get into how this jeep is set up in the standard equipment. Like I said, this jeep is a 2013 Sahara and the reason Sahara matters is that the Rubicons were a bit higher from the factory and they also came from the factory with a slightly larger tire. But this, as it says in the standard equipment, is a Sahara, has a set of 32-inch tires and as you can see there is plenty of room there. You have a lot of leeway from the tire to the bottom of the flare and from the back here to the flare to the front bumper and when you turn the wheel all the way from lock to lock you have a lot of clearance between the wishbone and the rear frame and the front bumper and frame.

2013 Sahara JeepSo, absolutely no clearance issues with a factory tire and an otherwise factory jeep, which is exactly what you’d expect, it came off the assembly line floor. Using something wider can end up having some friction issues, but I don’t think you’re going to have a lot of up and down issues, especially if you stay on the road. And the JKs were even known to mount a 35-inch tire with a small leveling kit.

Now if you want to go off-road, separate stabilizers, have a lot of articulation, you can rub a little in this scenario, but you could adjust them on the road in particular. Really, the sweet spot for this jeep is right on a 3 to 3.5-inch lift if you want to drive a set of 35s, and that’s the blueprint for this jeep. So now let’s throw the 35s on this jeep. We’ll see what kind of release issues you might have, if you went with this combo and then you’ll eventually install the lift kit on the Jeep.

After the Installation

When you just installed the 35s on the Jeep and this is a set of 17s Dick Cepek Extreme Country 315/70 on some Fuel 17-inch rims, this is going to be a pretty extreme Dick Cepek tire. This is going to be a mud off-road tire, and the difference between a mud and all-terrain here is really the size of those studs, the distance between them. They are designed to provide excellent traction in mud and off-road.

Once you’ve tightened those last wheel nuts, you’re going to get the jeep down on the ground, doing the same thing as with the factory tires, twisting it from lock to lock. And if you’re just staying on the road and not doing a lot of off-roading, not dismantling stabilizers and expecting lots of articulation, you’ve got plenty of space here.

After the InstallationThere is a lot of space in the back. You’re a bit closer to that bumper and when you turned the steering lock to lock, you had some interference between the tire and the splash guard under the front bumper, but if you really wanted it you could rip the splash shield off and you would have really no major sharing issues when running this setup. If you’re going off-road, disconnect the stabilizers, expect a lot of flex, and you will end up having some problems.

You will definitely have some play issues between the fender flare and the top of the tire. Again, you can do this setup if you plan to stay on the road but off-road. This is not going to get you much at all and it does with a 35-inch tire. That wouldn’t be possible on a 37-inch tire. Even on the street without a lift, you will have some serious ground clearance issues.

Conduct an Experiment

Conduct an ExperimentWhen you’re going to get your Jeep out on the road with the 35 and stock suspension to see what kind of problems you might run into if you flex a bit or just drive around the road, you expect to hear and feel a rubbing because that is what you see when you are in there and indeed, when you turn towards the sluice, you get a rubbing. Since you’re just rubbing on this spoiler, you’re really not causing any damage. And of course, this front apron is very easy to remove if you wanted to tear it off. If you’re looking to ride a big tire like this just use this Tire Size Calculator, these will fit the road pretty well. If you remove this spoiler, you won’t have too many problems.

So, drive straight ahead at normal driving speed without expecting any major problems. And the only time you run into any ground clearance issues with those tires on this no-lift Jeep is when you go hard over lock to lock or when you make hard turns on off-road terrain. That being said, adding the lift kit not only allows you to ride on the road with ease, but also off-road, disconnecting the stabilizers and flexing hard, getting a ton of traction and loads of articulation, all with no play issues with these large tires.

How to Install the Lift Kit

First, I wanted to tell you a little bit about some of the components that are included in the lift kit and how they will help you drive these 35-inch tires without play problems, whether you are on the road or off-road.

Shock Absorbers

Lift KitSo, this will be the 3-inch lift kit with the 9550 vehicle specific shock absorbers and a front tie rod. You will of course receive four new coil springs that give you your new higher ride height. You will also get these 9550 vehicle specific shock absorbers. They are actually designed for the weight of your vehicle. So, these are 2-door, 4-door specific and offer a really comfortable ride on the road as well as really good off-road performance, so you can get a lot out of these shock absorbers.

Set of Stabilizer End Connections

You will also have a new set of stabilizer end connections for not only the front of the jeep but also the back of the jeep. These will of course be longer than the factory versions for this new higher ride height, which will keep your stabilizer angles a little closer to where you want them.

Set of Wishbones

Along with these main components, you also have a new set of wishbones. These are now the lower wishbones in the front and the upper wishbones in the rear, so you get four arms in total. And then at the back it’s all about the pinion angle, again, make sure you don’t have any vibration. These are now the main components in this kit, but it also contains all of the other things you will need to install it, including some brake line extension brackets at the front and rear and all of the small pieces of hardware that you will need to install on the Jeep. So, a very complete kit and the most important thing is that you can run these 35-inch tires with a lot more leeway.


1. You’re going to eliminate many of the ground clearance issues you had with the big, no-lift tire. You will end up encountering many of the same distance problems that you had with 35s and no lift when running 37s on a 3-inch lift. So again, 3 inches of travel, this 3 – 3.5 range is really perfect for 35s. So, what you’re going to do now is take the jeep outside, bend it on the hill.

Installation2. There you turn in the same spot out there and there is a ton more wiggle room. You have a fair amount of space. There is still a bit of space between the suspension bumper and where that suspension bumper will hit, so there is a bit more room to travel when you are in a real off-road situation and the suspension really is twisted, but as you can see there is still plenty of room there to move the axle up without the tire hitting the fender. So that’s exactly what you wanted to see, with more than enough space back there. Let’s jump forward and see what it looks like there.

3. As you can see up there, you have a lot of freedom. As long as you connected these stabilizers you had a fair amount of space and you had more and the 3-inch lift installed. Of course, this picture would look very different, if you separated the stabilizers, but you still have a lot of space, even if you separate these stabilizers, even if you go off-road you will have a lot of space there. You can see how much space this tire needs to have up here before it has any type of contact, and there is less space than between that bumper and that cleat. So, as you can see, the lift kit is well put together there, lots of space for the 35s that you have installed on the jeep.

A Little Ride

When you take a little ride, nothing moves to the right, no rubbing to be heard in this direction. There you are. Not much and not at very high speed either, but if that bothers you, you can always remove the splash guard. It really doesn’t do you much good so you can put it down, get it out of the way and then you have absolutely no rubbing.

And as we have already seen on the mountain, the additional freedom of movement of the 3-inch height increases means that you won’t have to rub it up or down. This 3 to 3.5-inch stroke range on a JK is just perfect for driving a set of 35-inch tires. It’s a really great combination. It looks good. It works really well. And the lift kit does a really good job, it’s very complete and also made up of some very high-quality components so you get something that will last you for a long time and ride this kit really comfortably.

That’s It!

So, please comment below. Let me know what you think of this setup, what you are currently driving on your Jeep, what you like, what you don’t like or what you are currently shopping for. Have a good day!

About the author

Andy Shane

My name is Andy Shane, and I like to spend my free time conquering the most difficult off-road tracks. Off-road vehicles fascinate me more than any other vehicles types. Surely, there are not so many people who would share the passion for getting out of all possible muds and wilderness in their Jeeps, but those who do will find lots of interesting information in my blog.

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