The largest tires for a stock Jeep Wrangler is one of the most searched questions about tires for a Jeep Wrangler and we are here to answer it for you. Larger tires simply make the Wrangler perform better on trails while also making it look more rugged. Most people would agree that bigger is better in this category but there is a limit to what a stock Wrangler can handle. Go too big and you could have issues unless you do a lift and increase your budget.
This article will has researched this very common question and will discuss the largest tire your stock Jeep Wrangler can handle and provide some other helpful tips!
Understanding Tire Sizes
If you have never sized up or changed a tire, then you will be wondering what this weird-looking formula is. Fear not it is relatively simple but be ready to jump into the metric system!
The first number is the tire width of the tire tread in millimeters.
The second number is the percentage of the tire or tread width that is used to get the sidewall height of the tire.
The third number with the R next to it is the wheel diameter your tire fits around.
To get your tire diameter you use the following steps:
245 mm X .75 = 183.75 mm.
Convert to inches: 183.75 mm x (1 inch/25.4mm) = 7.23 inch
7.23 inches x 2 sidewalls = 14.46 inch
14.46 inch + R17 inch = 31.46 inch
Stock Jeep Wrangler Tire Sizes
For the new generations, the smallest size the Wranglers come with is 31.5” or 245/75/R17 found on the sport. The largest is 32.7” or 285/70R/17 which is found on the Rubicon.
As you go back in years, they can get even smaller. 27.1 inches or 205/75/R15
If you are buying a used Jeep Wrangler it is always best to understand what year and model you have. It’s also good to know what stock items were on the vehicle and if there were any modifications made to it.
The Largest Tire For A Stock Jeep Wrangler
Typically, the largest tire a stock wrangler JL can receive is a 33” tire. This is because the tire size increase reduces the amount of space inside your wheel well. While this may be okay for cruising the streets imagine taking on a big obstacle on the trail. With the reduced space the tire will start rubbing and knocking as the articulation needed to maneuver on the trail will be required. Add disconnecting your sway bars and your chances of rubbing and causing damage increase.
If you do want the larger size tires for looks and have no plans to offroad, verify that you are not changing the width of the tire. The largest stock width is 285 mm or 11.22 inches. As with increasing the height, the width will take up more space and that means more potential for rubbing.
If you do go with 33” and would still like to offroad then it is advisable to install a lift to help raise your vehicle up comparatively to the size of your tire. Anything over 33-inch then definitely install a lift even if you are only street cruising.
It is always good to confirm the generation and model Wrangler you are driving as the dimensions have changed per year.
Here are the largest sizes for each generation of Jeep Wrangler.
- Jeep Wrangler JK: 33 inches
- Jeep Wrangler TJ: 31 inches
- Jeep Wrangler YJ: 30 inches
Below is some quick information on other things to look out for when sizing up. There is a lot to cover so it will be brief.
Other Considerations When You Increase the Tire Size
Depending on the lift size you may need lower control arms, larger shocks, and required to lengthen the front and rear brake lines. If you go really large you will need to install longer upper control arms, replace the emergency brake lines, and install a new track bar. Sounding expensive?
If all this is confusing, they do sell kits that put everything together for you. But if you have no experience it is probably best to take it into a specialized shop because it can turn into a long project and you don’t want your Wrangler sitting up on blocks while everyone else is hitting the trail.
Axle Gear Ratio
Larger tires also mean you will have to understand the gear ratio of your vehicle. Gear ratio is in basic terms how hard your engine is working compared to how hard your transmission is working. The manufacturer has set your gear ratio to work with your entire vehicle at the stock level. When larger tires are added, the gear ratio will need updating because the specs of the vehicle have changed. Larger tires add greater rolling resistance and weight that the vehicle didn’t have to contend with originally. With regearing your vehicle, you increase the force to the axle and this avoids the additional strain the larger tires put on the engine. A complete regear can cost an estimated $2K or more!
Adding A Lift
Lifting the height of your vehicle to accommodate the tire sizes raises up the center of gravity which means it is more susceptible to flipping over on turns, makes the handling more difficult on the highway, and could cause the vehicle to flip over easier on the trail. This is more of an issue with larger lifts, but it still should be considered. I have known people that have made so many mods that they couldn’t use it as their daily driver anymore and ended up selling it and definitely not for what they put into it!
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Tires
Now the Rubicon is a different story. This comes out of the box a different beast and has different specs than your Wrangler Sport. Many people have installed 35-inch tires on the stock wheels and have been fine. But if you start to go larger the same considerations above will apply.
The stock Jeep Wrangler can typically take a 33-inch tire but it is recommended not to 4-wheel it. While to the novice this seems like an easy step to make, it can definitely be costly or time-consuming if you are doing it yourself. It is recommended to get a lift if you do increase the tire size and make sure you do your due diligence and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a friend or a mechanic! Also, remember that there are many variables that could cause rubbing on one model and no rubbing on another model.
With all that doom and gloom increasing the tire size for your Jeep Wrangler is definitely the next step and sometimes one of the first steps in the evolution of your 4×4. The larger tire size will make you more comfortable on the trail and definitely make your rig stand out! The last thing we want to see is your Wrangler up on blocks and not out on the Trail! Happy Trails!
If you need a tire calculator this is a great one to reference: Tiresize.com.
Here is a great resource for all of the Wrangler Tire sizes: Tiresize.com.