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Old 02-06-2007
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I am: Lucas Jacobus
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Horsham, PA
Vehicle: 2000 Ford Ranger XLT
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Which would you upgrade first?

I've been trying to understand the relationship that exists between wheel/tire size and gear ratio. Not having the experience of driving any rangers other than my own and only relying on info I've read here on the forum, I'm not sure how other gear/tire combinations will really feel in either highway or offroad conditions. The question I pose is relatively simple I guess, but also is asking of personal opinions as well.


The truck is a 4.0L (auto) with 3.73 gears. I would like to have 32" tires, but fear I may need to regear to 4.10's. I've calculated that with the 32" tires, there will be a slight drop in RPM's at a given speed, but is it really large enough to necessitate new gears on the 4.0?

I've considered beginning by upgrading the gears to 4.10 and at the same time installing an electronic locker (either Auburn or Eaton) too since it'll all be open. Then when my 'truck fund' has enough cash again, purchase 32" tires and wheels and a body lift.

On the other hand, I could go with 32" tires and new wheels from the start, see how they feel with my stock 3.73s and determine if I should upgrade the gears sooner or later or not at all, saving on some money.

As far as on-road performance goes, I'm not sure which upgrade path would be better.

As far as offroad performance, I'd think 4.10s and a locker on stock wheel size would be pretty good, compared to stock gears with no locker and only larger wheels/tires?

First question, is the basic question...how does a 4.0L with 3.73 gears perform with 32" tires in comparison to stock size? Would it be recommended to change to a lower gear (4.10) or not?

Second, opinions on upgrade path? Gears/Locker to start with, then tires/wheels/lift? OR Tires/wheels/lift to start?

If I confused anyone, I apologize, as I have confused myself plenty. Just seems to be an overload of info and options to deal with. Any opinions are gratiously welcomed!

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Old 02-06-2007
Roach2004's Avatar
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If it was me I would do tires/wheels/lift first
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Old 02-06-2007
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I am: Robert Rowland
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I just did bl, rims, and tires and I would do it again in a heartbeat, I say wait on the gears.
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Old 02-06-2007
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Gears are expensive and not able to be reversed. Once you put them in you can't just decide oh I want to take them out and put the old ones in. Unless your pockets are deep but I doubt thats the case otherwise you would do everything at once.

Get the tires and rims. This way if you don't enjoy your truck that way you can go back to stockers without spending too much money. Besides after getting the 32's you are going to start dreaming bigger. Get a BL and 32's. Then after you see some more trucks you will see that you really want 33's or 35's it is at this point you will try to determine whether maybe it would be best to get 4.56 gears since that is what you would need with 35's. It would suck to get 4.10's enjoy all that torque at the rear wheels then loose some when you go to 32's. Then even more with the 35's then you would just have to go to 4.56's.

Sorry for the confusion. Just how my brain works and is really everything I thought about when deterimining wheels and tires last year. After a time with the 33's and BL I am going to go with 4.56's.

Your 4.0 will turn those 32's fine. It will be a dog off the line and when you want to pass someone up hill on the highway other than that it will be fine. Offroad my truck performs great with 33's and 3.73's

Just my .02....well maybe it was more like .04

98 Xlt 4x4 auto 4.0L
PA Body lift, 33'' Super Swampers TSL's.
Chevy spring swap with torsion crank.
Explorer rear, 4wheel discs, 4.56, and a rear lunchbox locker.
K&N drop in fliter and cowl box snorkel.
Herculined bed and a topper.
Diamond plate skid plate.
Herculined interior floor.

My Current Project
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Old 02-06-2007
Rooks's Avatar
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I'd say go lift/tires/wheels first. I've got 3.73's with my OHV 4.0 running 33's and it's fine.

I'm not going to win any races that's for damn sure... but I wouldn't say it's a dog by any stretch of the imagination.

As far as Tires and stuff, it depends a lot on application. For instance, I have my Kumho MTs. They aren't bad but if I was going to do it over again, I'd probably look more towards a meaty AT. Just cause it's my DD and 90% of the time on driving on the road. And these Kumhos are pretty tough in the snow. But any MT is gonna be rough in the snow. If you gonna be wheeling it a lot, go with an MT... but if it's still a DD, look at a good AT.

1999 Ranger XLT -- "Project Unknown"
2010 Subaru Impreza -- "The Daily"
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Old 02-06-2007
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I am: Josh Yates
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Location: Farmington, NH
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i had 32's on 4:10's, i now have 285, which pretty much is a 33 give or take a millimeter....

Anyhow back to the subject. Personally I would so wheels & tires first....THEN a body lift, then the gears, my reason being, 32's will fit stock, so im thinking if you do 32's with a body lift theyll look to small to you and youll want to buy bigger tires, so if it was me ide so wheels and 32's.....later on do a body lift, bigger tires and a re gear, i think you can get away with not re gearing until you get past 33's. The 4.0 dont mind 33's, dosent piticularly like them but it dont mind em.

1999 Ford Rager XLT King Cab
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Stock Rims For winter -- 285/75-16'' Uniroyal Liberators
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Old 02-06-2007
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Originally Posted by Roach2004
If it was me I would do tires/wheels/lift first
i would rather have higher gears with larger tires than lower gears with smaller tires
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