A Nissan Frontier with oversized tires is an immediate head-turner. They should’ve been sold with larger tires in stock form, it just looks so aesthetically pleasing. The Frontier is quite a square-shaped, masculine brut of a Ute/pickup, so going with bigger tires actually suites the vehicle better. Taller wheels also improve break-over angles if you venturing off-road and allow you to clear obstacles better with improved ground clearance.
So, what is the biggest tire size is you can comfortably fit on a stock Nissan Frontier without any additional modifications? The largest size you can fit on a Nissan Frontier with a stock suspension is 265/75/16. This tire size does not cause any rubbing or requires the trimming of fender liners.
The above-mentioned size of 265/75/16 is the largest size you can fit, even with that 2.5″ spacer. It is also the largest tire that can fit on the stock wheels without any additional modifications needed. That size is just short of 32” and measures exactly 31.6 inches. If you fit an aftermarket rim with a more negative offset, you run the risk of the wheels scrubbing and hitting the fenders at full lock and full compression.
The 5 factors that need to be taken into account before fitting bigger tires to a stock truck/Ute are:
- Fender liner clearance
- Wheel offset
- Spare wheel Space
- Articulation (Flex)
When fitting a bigger tire to the stock Nissan Frontier rims you can get away with a 265/75/16 or a 265/70/17, Yes, it is a narrower tire than say, a 285 width, however, it offers improved ground clearance with the 65 and 70 profile which is taller, but the same width as the factory tire.
Let’s look closer at what is required, as well as the side effects of a bigger tire upgrade.
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Will the 265/75/16 Throw Out Your Speedo or Affect Your Ride Quality?
In many cases when you upgrade from a stock tire to a heavier bigger one, the ride quality suffers, as well as fuel consumption and torque on the wheels. However, in this instance only being a 3.6 percent increase in diameter and 3.6% increase in circumference, the ride quality does not suffer. Many owners report a comfortable more sure-footed feel with handling and grip also being improved.
Below are the physical differences between the stock tire and the upgraded 265/70/17
|Measurement||Stock Tire (265/60/18)||Upgrade (265/75/16)||Differences|
What Do Nissan Frontier Owners Say?
265/75/16 would be the biggest you could go on a stock frontier without rubbing. That size tire is just shy of 32 inches.https://www.reddit.com/r/nissanfrontier/comments/co9sjm/whats_the_biggest_size_tire_i_can_put_on_my_stock/
…265/75/16 work really well. The fronts mount outside of the fender well so no rub issues…https://www.reddit.com/r/nissanfrontier/comments/iphrhc/rig_is_getting_a_lot_of_miles_this_summer_keeps/
…With mud flaps removed, no. Every so often if I’m on trails and there’s a lot of suspension flex it may touch briefly but nothing bad…..
….I have camber and castor bolts so the wheels are pushed slightly more forward than stock, so that helps to it’s clearance. But it’s super close to touching, can’t go any bigger tires on those rims.
Anything larger than 265/75 will rub. Im running 285/70/17 and it required some mods to not rub.https://www.reddit.com/r/nissanfrontier/comments/a0wofe/max_tire_size_2018_frontier_pro4x/
Generally, the maximum tire size you can fit without rubbing and without trimming is 265/75/16 (equivalent of a 32″ tire). This is the factory tire size on the Pro-4X and Nismo models, and most brands will fit on a stock truck with no modificationshttps://www.clubfrontier.org/threads/fitting-285s.76566/page-3
How Will Your Speedometer Be Affected?
Then there’s your speedometer reading…
The below table will give you an indication of how the speedometer reading is affected. This is a comparison between the upgraded 265/75/16 and the stock tire which is a 265/60/18 or a 30.5” diameter on the 09-2020 models.
What About the 285/70/16 Tire – Will it Fit on Stock Suspension?
The 285 width does look a lot better in terms of width. Being a wider tire it also offers more surface area making contact with the ground and therefore more grip and improved traction off-road.
There are some modifications to be done since the 285 profile tire will scrub at full lock on the stock suspension. You’ll have to get the heat gun out and do the melt mod to keep the rub to a minimum. In most cases, anything larger than 265/75/16 will definitely rub. There are many Frontier owners who are running 285/70/17 that reported it required a bit of modification and molding to prevent the rubbing.
The rubbing occurs on the rear outer corners of the fender well, against the mud flaps. Rubbing also happens on the Front corner against the lower plastic valance.
How Will Fuel Economy Be Affected?
Increased unsprung weight is the quickest way to increase fuel consumption. The heavier tires directly affect the consumption since it’s below the suspension, which means, the engine, transmission, CV Joints, and other drivetrain components are required to work slightly harder to move and rotate the heavier wheels. This is especially obvious when pulling off.
So, before you do the big tire upgrade, make sure you understand your fuel economy WILL be negatively affected! Sure, your truck will look more aggressive, have better traction, and perform better off-road, however, it all comes at a price. Also, depending on how big you go, it might not even be more than 4kg heavier per wheel, however, this makes a big difference in torque applied on the wheels, and if you decide to go bigger than a 33” tire, then re-gearing is highly recommended.
Nissan Frontier 2” front leveling Kits (Amazon)
Nissan Frontier Rough Country 2.5” front leveling kits (Amazon)
Nissan Frontier 3” F and 2”R Full Lift kits (Amazon)
Nissan Frontier 6” Suspension Lift kit (Amazon)
Nissan Frontier 2” wheel spacer kits (Amazon)
There are many variables to consider before dropping a load on expensive oversized tires. You should first determine what the primary application for the upgrade is. Is it purely for aesthetics or will you need maximum practicality, off-road ability, while maintaining maximum articulation?
Will you be Overlanding regularly, which requires a tire with a higher load-carrying capacity? Are you planning on fitting other accessories at a later stage? Will you be hauling or towing? This will determine what kind of suspension package you should opt for, which will also allow the vehicle to accommodate larger tires.
If the bigger tires are simply to improve aesthetics, and you have no intention of venturing off-road, apart from the off dirt road, then your stock suspension is more than capable and a lift will be unnecessary.