Can You Fit 33-inch Tires on a Jeep With a 2-inch Lift?

by Garrett · 17 comments

Submitted Question:
Hey, I have a 99 wrangler sport, stock automatic. It needs new shocks and I’m thinking of getting a 2″ suspension lift while getting the shocks. I would also like to put 33″s on it after the lift and all. Will I have any rubbing issues? And how much power loss would I have if any? Should I go up to a 4.5 geat ratio? I’m unsure of my current gear ratio(Tried looking but couldn’t find any numbers). I am also very new to jeeps and have no experience with it. I already have trouble going 50 up even slight hills. Thanks alot. Answer:
To fit 33-inch tires on a Jeep TJ, you really need a minimum of 3 inches of lift. A 4-inch lift is preferred to prevent rubbing (especially if you plan to take it offroad). A 2-inch lift is not enough for 33s…you’ll have some significant rubbing issues.

The amount of “power loss” that you get from increasing the tire size will really depend upon your current gear ratio. For example, if you have 3.07 gears currently, the power loss when adding 33s will be much more pronounced than if you’ve currently got 3.73 gears. There is a little debate about what the “ideal” gear ratio for 33-inch tires is. Some argue 4.10 gears and others will argue 4.56s. Personally, I’m in the 4.56 camp…that’s what I run in my own Jeep (and I’m very happy with that ratio).  That being said, if your Jeep has the 3-speed automatic transmission (I’m not sure which one you have) you should lean towards the 4.10s. 4.10s are better suited for the 3-speed automatic and 4.56s are better suited for the 5-speed manual when running 33s.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt August 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

What 4″ lift would you recomend? Looking to keep it under $600 if possible. Thanks.


Garrett August 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm

A 4″ lift kit for under $600 is tough. Yes, you can buy a kit for under $600, but it won’t be “complete” (even though the product ads will imply that). For example, you can buy a Rubicon Express 3.5″ Standard Kit for under $600. Rubicon Express is a good company, but what they don’t emphasize here is that the “standard” kit does not come with lower control arms, adjustable track bars, or an SYE/driveshaft combo. Once you lift your Jeep 4-inches, it’s just a matter of time before you’re going to need those things. So, yeah, you can get started with $500-$600, but if you keep your Jeep long (and drive it regularly) the purchasing will not end there. I’m not trying to be a downer, just want to be realistic about what the entry-level kits provide.

I started out several years ago with an entry-level Superlift 4″ kit. My Jeep looked good, but I couldn’t align it properly b/c the kit didn’t come with control arms (extra purchase #1). Next, I started getting the wobbles b/c my redrilled front trackbar wasn’t holding up…had to purchase an adjustable track bar. Rear trackbar was binding up b/c they just give you a relocation bracket…bought another new trackbar. Driveline vibrations got progressively worse b/c I was using a transfer case drop as a band-aid fix. Ended up buying an SYE and new driveshaft. In the end, I ended up replacing pretty much every component from my entry level kit…I just wish I knew in the beginning that I was going to have to do that. Probably would have taken a different approach had I known. I guess that’s one of the reasons I built this website. 🙂


Matt August 6, 2010 at 9:17 am

Thanks for all the info about the arms and sway bar. Would have never thought of them. Could you tell me if this package comes with the control arms I would need?


Garrett August 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Yes, that Rough Country lift kit does come with control arms.


mike niman November 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I have 2004 jeep rubicon want to lift for 33 inch tires should go to 4inch or 2 and half inch.


Alex Z. January 22, 2011 at 12:55 am

I know that this post is a little old but my suggestion would be, depending on your budget, to get the small lift that you were looking at and a body lift. The type of jeep you have (i am assuming that it’s a TJ because of the year) isn’t like some of its jeep brothers. Wranglers are one type of jeep that have their bodies bolted to the frames. On Older jeeps (I’m not sure on the new ones as i don’t have one) such as the 95 Grand Cherokee i drive or the 95 Cherokee i have in my backyard don’t have this option. These jeeps have what is called a unibody meaning their body is actually welded right to frame as to make them slightly lighter and help spread the load out. Just doing some quick research a body lift for your model jeep might cost anywhere from 100.00 to 300.00 dollars. Again i don’t know what your budget is but it’s always nice to keep your options open. As for going with 33’s to be honest I wouldn’t. Depending on what you are going to be using your jeep for, off-roading, mudding, daily driver I would actually stick with a set of 31’s. These tires aren’t as wide so you won’t kill your gas millage and will offer a little more flex that a 33. But hey it’s your jeep and what you do to it makes it your very own. Go with what works best for you and your budget.



Randy March 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm

i have a 99 wrangler sport 4.0 with a 2 inch rubico n express lift and 33×12.5-15’s and i havent had any issues with rubbing….but i dont do any extreme offroading either….just a little mud here and there


john October 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I just bought a 04 wrangler with i think,a 3″ lift and 32,when i drove it i noticed vibration at 50 mph and got worse as i went faster.They did lower transfer case looks like 1in.and half.lifted by coil springs,same rear track bar,i think original shocks,because how they look.i had shaft balanced and universals replaced because when rear shaft removed,vibration goes away,next we checking pinion angle,then differential,then transfer case.Am i on right track?thank you


AlexA December 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I have a 01 grand Cherokee limited and was wondering if a 2in lift would alow for 31s


Anison Miles III December 24, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I have a 2006 jeep grand cherokee laredo V6 3.7 liter with 28’s on it and now I want to put 30 inch rims on it with a 275/25/30 tire and it measures 33.5 inches in height. I want to know what size suspension lift and what gear ratio I will have to use so I won’t have much rub and can pull them. Contact me at


jim March 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

i just got a 96 cherokee which i plan on liftin her up n adding 35’s.i understand there are some companies that offer a complete kit.for about 6000$.which includes everything you need.hardware,shocks,even rims n tires.can anyone give me a website of some of these companies.i wanna do everything right the first’ll see the streets mostly during the week,but i’ll be off roading on weekends.thanks


William Smith August 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm

One of our teachers has bought an 06 Wrangler (stock) and she wants it to “look like a Jeep”. She is wanting to lift it and put bigger tires on it. The students in the Automotive Shop class is going to do the work. The problem is what to do. The Jeep will not be used off-road, she just wants the “LOOK”. It has the 4.0 engine and 225\75-15 tires now. I am seeing 33s and 35s in the remarks, but how much difference would it make (if any) in whether they are on 16 or 17 inch wheels? If they went with a 2 or 3 inch body lift, would there be a lot of extra work as far as having to move, lower or change out other parts? I’m thinking body lift because of the cost and , hopefully, less time and labor. I doubt she has thought about the gas mileage and may not care, since she will not be driving it everyday. Any thoughts or recommendations would be helpful.


Kelly September 23, 2012 at 1:52 am

I would suggest 2 things, first a 2″ body lift and a 1.5 – 2″ coil lift, whihc woudl give her an inexpensive lift that would allow the 35″ tires yet not require all of the other items you need from a 4″ suspension kit. Not to mention that it will be a lot cheaper.


Shiller November 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I have a jeep wrangler renegade 1991 wich already had 33/12.5/15 tires in I would love to change the front shocks, trying to get them ordered on ebay or amazon I have no clue about how many inches when they’re fully colapsed or extended they should be, do yo guys have any idea?


Ron March 16, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I have a 2000 wrangler,the black coating on the support arm of my mirrors and on the hinges on my back lift glass is peeling off. Any help would be appreciated.


burhan November 6, 2014 at 1:16 am

what is the maximum size of tiers can be fit in jeep wrangler 4 doors 2011 without lift the jeep


mike April 10, 2016 at 5:41 pm

my jeep tj is on 33/12.50/15 just backspace them and you will have no problems


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