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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm installing a 7" SPOA lift on my Samurai now, and I'm really hesitating on the tire size I should get. I got a set of rims size 15"x8", and I'm really hesitating on the tire size.

I am still running the stock transfer case and R/P, but I have ordered the 6.5:1 gears from lowrange offroad. Is it possible to drive it with 33"ers with the stock until the 6.5:1 gears are installed?

Also, would the front axles be able to withstand the extra stress of the large 33" tires?

Any input is highly appreciated. In my region here, I can easily find 33" tires, but I'm really having a HARD time finding 31" or 32" Mud Terrain tires.
 

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At one point during the ever evolving trail rigs life, I had killed a 4.16:1 equipped t-case (it really wasn't pretty...) and I had a spare stock case sitting on the bench. I used that one until I ended up going for the 6.4:1 set from Trail Tough.

Running stock diff gears (3.73:1) and stock t-case with 33's is going to be tough on your clutch. But if the gears are coming, why not wait until they get there to put on the tires.

I found that running 33" tires, a stock t-case and 5.12:1 diff gears put the speedometer almost exactly back where it was supposed to be! I could drive it on the street and light trails well enough, but rock crawling and hill climbing was definately out until I got the lower t-case gears.

Now I have the 6.4's and the 5.12's and at almost 120:1 it can take the rocks easily, it just can't hit the highway without screamin' at 60mph (in high gear).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For now I'm planning to keep the diff gear stock; the T-case gears are on the way. So would you recommend going for 33" and get the new T-case gears in place? I'm really starting to favor that idea.

Have you upgraded your front axles? Or are you running on the stock front axles?
 

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For now I'm planning to keep the diff gear stock; the T-case gears are on the way. So would you recommend going for 33" and get the new T-case gears in place? I'm really starting to favor that idea.

Have you upgraded your front axles? Or are you running on the stock front axles?
You are going with deep gears, so they will handle the 33's with no problem.

I ran a stock front axle for many years, averaging one axle shaft a season... using 33's you will snap axles if you are a lead foot. I added a gusset to the stock front axle and a diff guard to save the pumpkin.


I still run that axle housing, but now I am running the 26 spline front axle shafts from Spidertrax.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You are going with deep gears, so they will handle the 33's with no problem.

I ran a stock front axle for many years, averaging one axle shaft a season... using 33's you will snap axles if you are a lead foot. I added a gusset to the stock front axle and a diff guard to save the pumpkin.


I still run that axle housing, but now I am running the 26 spline front axle shafts from Spidertrax.
I got the 33" tires now; here's a photo stacked up next to the Zuk, which is waiting for a SPOA surgery.

I realize the risk of running 33" tires; that's why I opted for a berfield ring when I ordered the SPOA. That should add some strength to the weak front axles. I gave deep thought about the issue. I figured the weaker axle should be fine as long as I don't fit a front locker. If I decide to go for a front locker, I'll upgrade the whole front axle to the Spidertrax, get a rear diff from the scrap yard and fit it in front, and install a locker, all at once. I'll wait for my current front axle to snap, then I'll go for that big upgrade. I found a local scrap yard that has four Suzuki Samurai that have retired from a security company fleet, with not a dent. Of course all four have been ripped off, but the rear diffs are all there.

BTW, in the first picture below, that white Toyota with the snorkel in the back is my daily driver.
 

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You think so? This is how it looked like when I first bought it a few months ago.

I need your opinion on the berfield ring; will it really strengthen my axle enough to handle the 33" tires?
You have given it new life!

The birfield rings and the birfield cups (from Calmini) both give a little more strength, but they are still no match for a heavy right foot. I learned to keep the breakage down to a minimum by learning how to control the rig without mashing the gas every time I got into a tough spot. I have this pic on my personal site with a few others in the 'destruction' section.



Both of these birfields blew their guts all over the place. The one on the left is a stock unit that cracked like an egg going through 'A Rock and A Hard Place' in Broad Canyon in Las Cruces. The unit on the right died the same way, and yes - that is what is left of a birfield cup installed on it. I have found that the cup only 'contained' the shrapnel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You have given it new life!

The birfield rings and the birfield cups (from Calmini) both give a little more strength, but they are still no match for a heavy right foot. I learned to keep the breakage down to a minimum by learning how to control the rig without mashing the gas every time I got into a tough spot. I have this pic on my personal site with a few others in the 'destruction' section.



Both of these birfields blew their guts all over the place. The one on the left is a stock unit that cracked like an egg going through 'A Rock and A Hard Place' in Broad Canyon in Las Cruces. The unit on the right died the same way, and yes - that is what is left of a birfield cup installed on it. I have found that the cup only 'contained' the shrapnel.

Thanks Bill. I went through your website yesterday and I really liked it. I love both your rigs, the stock-looking one and the beast. I've absolutely fallen in love with your stalker!

BTW, about this photo:


Haven't you considered putting a panhard bar?
 

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Thanks Bill. I went through your website yesterday and I really liked it. I love both your rigs, the stock-looking one and the beast. I've absolutely fallen in love with your stalker!

BTW, about this photo:


Haven't you considered putting a panhard bar?
Thanks for the kind words.
Take a close look just behind (above) the left side of the upper link (drag link). With the articulation the rig has - a panhard bar is a requirement. here is a link to the installation:
SPTRX Panhard Kit
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the kind words.
Take a close look just behind (above) the left side of the upper link (drag link). With the articulation the rig has - a panhard bar is a requirement. here is a link to the installation:
SPTRX Panhard Kit
Wow, great article! Thanks Bill. I think the picture above doesn't feature the Panhard bar. I can only see the steering rods.
 

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Wow, great article! Thanks Bill. I think the picture above doesn't feature the Panhard bar. I can only see the steering rods.
Oh, it's there, but not as clean as the drag link and tie rod. I marked the panhard in black and circled the passenger side mounting bolt.



The panhard was installed about 3 suspension systems before the current (YJ) system in the picture. I made sure the panhard stayed usable as suspensions changed.
 
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