What Gears Should I Use On A Jeep With 35 Tires

What Gears Should I Use On A Jeep With 35 Tires: Finding the Perfect Gear Ratio for 35″ Tires

When it comes to optimizing your Jeep for 35″ tires, one crucial aspect that often goes overlooked is the gear ratio. A critical factor in your vehicle’s performance, the gear ratio can significantly affect your Jeep’s power, fuel efficiency, and overall driveability. To the uninitiated, the phrase ‘What gears should I use on a Jeep with 35″ tires?’ might sound like an auto mechanic’s jargon.

However, by understanding this principle, you can substantially enhance your off-roading experience. So, let’s get started!

Understanding Gear Ratios

Understanding Gear Ratios

Before diving into the ideal gear ratio for a Jeep with 35″ tires, it’s essential to grasp what gear ratios are and why they’re important.

What are Gear Ratios?

Simply put, a gear ratio refers to the relationship between the number of teeth on two gears that are meshed or two sprockets connected with a common chain or the circumferences of two pulleys connected with a drive belt.

Why are Gear Ratios Important?

Gear ratios play a crucial role in translating the power produced by your engine into physical movement. In other words, the gear ratio determines how much power you can use from your engine and how effectively you can apply that power to the wheels.

Determining the Right Gear Ratio for a Jeep with 35″ Tires

Determining the Right Gear Ratio for a Jeep with 35" Tires

Now that we’ve understood the concept of gear ratios, let’s move on to the specifics of identifying the perfect gear ratio for your Jeep equipped with 35″ tires. If your Jeep is a model like the Wrangler Rubicon that is often used for trail riding, choosing the correct gear ratio becomes even more essential.

Transmission Type: Manual vs. Automatic

The type of transmission your Jeep has can significantly influence the gear ratio choice. Manual transmission Jeeps can get by with slightly lower gear ratios than their automatic counterparts due to the direct connection between the engine and the transmission.

Driving Conditions

Think about your typical driving conditions. If you spend most of your time on highways, you may want a lower gear ratio for better fuel efficiency. However, if you frequently go off-roading or drive in rugged terrains, a higher gear ratio can provide better control and power.

Engine Power

The power and torque provided by your engine also affect the gear ratio choice. Engines that produce torque naturally can handle lower gear ratios while still providing ample power.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is another key consideration when determining the right gear ratio for your Jeep. Higher gear ratios might provide more torque and better acceleration, but this can result in higher fuel consumption. Balancing power and efficiency is crucial, particularly if your Jeep is also a daily driver.

Tire Size

The size of your tires can significantly influence the ideal gear ratio. When you upgrade to larger tires, like the 35″ ones, you increase the circumference that the tire has to travel. Without a gear ratio adjustment, this can lead to reduced power and torque.

Vehicle Weight

The weight of your Jeep also impacts the optimal gear ratio. If you’ve added heavy modifications like winches, bumpers, or roof racks, your vehicle will require more power to move, and a higher gear ratio might be necessary.

Axle Type

Different axle types, such as Dana 30, Dana 44, or Dana 60, have different strengths and weaknesses that can affect your gear ratio choice. It’s crucial to ensure that your selected gear ratio is compatible with your axle type to prevent potential damage and wear.

Elevation and Climate

If you frequently drive in high elevations or extreme temperatures, these conditions can affect engine performance and may require adjustments in your gear ratio. For example, higher altitudes can cause a reduction in engine power, which a higher gear ratio can help compensate for.

Future Modifications

Consider any future modifications you might want to make to your Jeep. If you plan to switch to even larger tires in the future or add substantial weight, it may be worth opting for new gears now to accommodate these changes later.

Professional Advice

Finally, it can be beneficial to seek professional advice when choosing a gear ratio. A mechanic or a professional at a Jeep dealership can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific Jeep model, modifications, and driving habits.

Recommended Gear Ratios

35 inch tires, lower gears

Based on all the factors discussed, a good rule of thumb for a Jeep with 35″ tires is to aim for a gear ratio in the range of 4.56 to 4.88. If your Jeep is a daily driver with lots of highway time, lean towards the 4.56 end of the spectrum. On the other hand, if off-roading is a frequent activity or if your Jeep has an automatic transmission, the 4.88 ratio will likely serve you better.

How to Find Your Jeep’s Axle Ratio?

Knowing your Jeep’s current axle ratio can be a great starting point. The easiest way to find your jeep’s axle ratio is to inspect the axle. If the manual isn’t available, you can also physically inspect the axle shafts. Most manufacturers stamp the axle ratio on a plate attached to the front or rear axle.

The Re-gearing Process

highway driving

Re-gearing your Jeep is not a simple task, and it’s usually best left to professionals unless you have considerable mechanical experience. This gear change process involves changing the gears in the differentials to adjust the gear ratio. Although it can be a costly process, re-gearing can significantly enhance your Jeep’s performance and driveability, especially when transitioning to larger 35″ tires.

When to Re-gear Your Jeep?

The need to re-gear your Jeep becomes evident when you notice a decline in its performance or reduced fuel economy after installing larger tires. You might notice a lack of power, especially when climbing hills or towing. These are clear signs that your current gear ratio is not optimal for your new tire size.

Benefits of Re-gearing Your Jeep

The benefits of re-gearing your Jeep include the following:

With larger tires, you’re likely to see a decline in your Jeep’s cruising speed on highways. By re-gearing, you’re not only improving off-road performance but also making your vehicle more comfortable and efficient at highway speeds and cruise speeds.

Remember, if you’re driving a Jeep with stock gears and 35″ tires, the chances are that you’re not getting the best performance or fuel efficiency. With the right gear ratio, you’ll find that your Jeep performs better, both on and off the road, making your driving experience more enjoyable.


Determining the ideal gear ratio for your Jeep with 35″ tires is not just about picking a number. It’s a careful balance of your driving habits, engine power, and transmission type. By taking all these factors into account, you can optimize your vehicle’s performance, fuel efficiency, and overall drivability.

Remember, when you ask yourself, ‘What gears should I use on a Jeep with 35″ tires?’ consider your unique driving needs to arrive at the most suitable answer. Now go ahead and unlock your Jeep’s true potential.

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