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Changing gear ratio's


June 19, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
Rochester, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Limited
Hello all,

I have been looking through the forums about changing the gear ratio's of the diffs to match new larger tire sizes. A member pointed me to this chart:

which i think i have picked out either 4.88 or 5.13 as my choice. I am going with 35x12.5x15's on the truck and wanted to know what people thought about the two choices between the 4.88 and 5.13.

I understand that at 5.13 i am looking at waaaaay low MPG, but the rig won't exactly be a daily driver so no worries there, haha. I guess once i get out there, how are the two going to effect 'performance'?

Also on a side note, where is a good place to get the parts i need, and has any one written up a how-to on doing it? I am under the impression that it is not terribly difficult to get the parts out then the new parts in, but it is the alignment that will get you in the end.

Thanks all!,

-Tim Duffy

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I don't believe they make the 4.88 for the front of our gen trucks, if you're 4wd. I have 36s now, (had 35s) and would like 5.13s. Like yours, mine isn't a daily driver. You'll lose top speed with 5.13s but it's not that bad. Bkennedy has 5.13s with 35s.

Also search this site, as there are a few write-ups on swapping gears yourself.

They do make 4:88's for the Dana35 and 8.8(I have them in mine). For the 35's they are great. 5:13's will give you a better crawl ratio. Randys Ring&Pinion set me up with everything I needed(I also went with lockers at the same time and needed a open carrier). I have had great luck with Randys(I have bought multiple R&Ps from them and their tech support is fantastic). The only problem I have ever ran into is with the Lock-Rights and the roll pin in the cross pin(its an odd size and you can't seem to find one anywhere. I just took a larger one and ground it down a little and loctighted it in place)

Thanks a lot for the insight gents! I bought the book today and it should be here in no time! One thing i am still kind of wondering about is order of things.

I want to do a body lift 3", a suspension lift 4", 35" tires, and new gear ratio.

What order should i do them in if i need to continue driving my truck until i get my little beater honda to use as a daily driver. can i get away with the new gear ratio on stock tires and lift?


-Tim Duffy

Your top speed will probably be roughly 45-50 MPH if you did gears before the tires (without racing the engine all to hell anyway). It'll be real easy to peel out though lol.

You could do tires before the gears... but this tends to strain the transmission (or clutch, if it's a stick). Your MPG will really go into the crapper as well (this is all especially true if you have the crappy 3.27 gears stock).

I'd probably do the BL and susp. first, then as funds become available, do the tires & gears together later. It'll just look a bit odd for awhile.

thanks guys!

I'll keep ya updated on whats going on with the mods.. kind of temped to do the gears first (hehehe, used to be a bit of a speed demon). but either way i'll be sure to post my updates.

thanks again!

-Tim Duffy

...We are anxiously awaiting to see the progress of your project...:D

Do the 4" Suspension lift first. Find you some cheap 32's to run on it. Then do your 3" BL and then do the 35's(you will need to do some slight trimming on the rear of the front fender). As long as you don't run forever before doing your gears, your tranny should hold up until doing the gears. This is the order I did mine in......
4" suspension and 32's......

3"BL and 32's......

3"BL, 35's and 4:88's......

I wouldn't run it a super long time without the gears(especially if you have the auto), but if you watch the temps it should be O.K. for a bit......

Here's my truck with a 3" body lift and 32's.


No rub and a nice tight fit. When i get around to putting my 4" suspension lift on i will swap on my 35's. In my opinion a 4" suspension lift looks silly with 32" tires, some trucks can pull it off but 33's look better on the 4" suspension lift.

thanks guys! all your trucks look great, and i am just now seeing the amount of work that goes into each one, haha.

BLOODBANE, where did you buy your light bar? I have been looking to do something very close to that.

Also, i think what i have come to the conclusion of is doing the front and rear gears first, then in the next weekend doing the body lift, then in the weekend after that doing the suspension lift with the 35" tires. I know it will look mighty goofy for a week, but what ya gonna do right, we all gots to work, lol.

Thanks again gents!


Just purchased the light bar!!! amazing price of like 153 after shipping!!! thanks a ton, it's like everyday my baby comes closer and closer to being all she can be, haha.

Thanks again for the insights and pics gents!!

So i have lights on her now, but the bar is custom made.. and lets just say the first attempt at such things i failed at, haha. I have the wires running under the door seal with some appoxy on there.. any other suggestions on this? i get some leakage when it rains real hard :-(


-Tim Duffy