When it comes to wheel sizes on 4WDs, there is a world of options, and size comes down to personal preference and what your desired application is with the vehicle. Fitting 35-inch tires will offer improved ground clearance as a result of the taller sidewalls as well as a more aesthetically pleasing truck.
In this instance, size matters! Generally speaking, a 35-inch tire offers taller sidewalls and a wider footprint which is advantageous off-road. The taller sidewall offers an elongated footprint when deflated and thus improved traction when going off-road.
Let’s look at a few more 35-inch options for the Jeep Wranglers and see how 35s on 17” compares to 18” wheels.
Check out this cool tire comparison calculator to see how the various sizes differ and how it affects your speedometer accuracy.
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Can I Put 35-inch Tires on 17” or 18” Rims
When fitting larger tires, your truck looks a lot more aggressive and purposeful. Of course, the tradeoff is increased fuel consumption which you can read more about here.
There is, however, another caveat when fitting larger tires with taller sidewalls, and on-road dynamics.
- Taller tires that can be fitted to a 17” have the tendency to make your Jeep feel more “spongy” or “floaty”, especially when cornering or while traveling at higher speeds on a winding highway.
- A 35-inch tire fitted to an 18″ wheels with stiffer and lower sidewalls offers a somewhat better-quality highway driving experience and improved driving characteristics.
- The flip side is you have less sidewall to deflate while wheeling and thus a shorter footprint. If your intention is never to venture off-road then 18s will be the better option here.
Option #1 – 35×12.50 Tires on the Stock 18” Wheels
As mentioned previously, to successfully fit 35-inch tires to your Wrangler stock rims, you’ll need to fit some wheel spacers, such as Rough Country 1.5″ Wheel spacers to push the wheels out slightly for better clearance when turning or when the wheel needs to flex/articulate uneven terrain.
- Even with wheel spacers, you can expect a slight bit of rub on the front plastic skid at full lock.
- The best would be to remove the front plastic trim piece completely
- Alternatively, modify it by cutting/trimming it slightly where contact is made.
For this job, you will need a decent heat gun and Dremel Cutting tool. If you don’t already own one then I would recommend you check out this Top-Selling Infrared Thermo gun on Amazon with almost 17000 good ratings. Also, for trimming fender liners I recommend investing in this Dremel Variable Speed Cutting Tool (Amazon) It will give you better control than an aggressive grinder leaving your trimming looking a lot more professional and neat.
Option #2 – 35×12.50 Tires on the Stock 17” Wheels
This option is the best of the 3 options if you plan on doing mild off-roading. The flip side is that it requires a bit more modifications to get it working 100% and doesn’t allow for serious off-road applications.
- The stock rims are rather narrow for a 35-inch tire and will result in a bit of tire bulge and clearance is minimal inside the wheel wells, so not much room to flex.
- Front mudguards need to be removed to avoid scrubbing at full lock.
- The 17” option is ideal for off-road applications but comes highly recommended to fit a 2.5” to 3” lift kit or leveling kit to accommodate the taller, wider tires, for improved clearance and articulation.
Get your Wrangler JK 07-18 Rough Country 2.5″ lift kit (Amazon) Don’t forget to upgrade your bump stops to prevent contact with fenders at full flex.
Option #3 – 35×12.50 Tires on Aftermarket Wheels
If your budget allows you the option of aftermarket rims when fitting 35s, you’re in a better position. The aftermarket wheel offset will determine how much backspace you have which means you have more options and fewer complications regarding UCA clearance etc.
- The aftermarket rims can be a wider 9 or 10 wide rims which means you eliminate that crowning effect on the tires which results in less bulging.
- A more negative offset rim will offer more clearance from fenders, and eliminate the need to remove the front plastic trim plate.
- 17” rims with 35s would also result in a more comfortable ride off-road when compared to larger rimmed 18s or 20s.
Many people think the ride would be rough or bumpy, however, quite the opposite is true with the ride being a lot more comfortable as a result of more rubber between the rim and the road to absorb more imperfections in the road surface.
Option #4 – 35×12.50 tires on Aftermarket Wheels and a Lift/leveling Kit
This is the ultimate setup and eliminates a host of complications straight off the bat. Of course, the con is it is the most expensive option of the 4 since full suspension upgrades of most reputable brands don’t come cheap.
The upsides or pros are numerous and will offer but are not limited to the following:
- Improved ride quality both laden and unladen
- Less additional modifications necessary for 35-inch tires
- Better articulation (flex)
- Improved off-road ability
- Improved load-carrying capabilities (GVM Upgrade)
- Increased ride height and ground clearance from the body
- Improved stability both on and off-road.
- Improved towing stability
What Is The Biggest Tire You Can Put On An 18-Inch Rim?
When considering a big tire upgrade, always make sure you select the right tire and size for your application. When you building a truck for off-road applications, opt for a taller side wall with an aggressive tread pattern.
- Larger or taller sidewall tires offer more floatation and allow you to air down the tire more for a longer or elongated footprint.
- Always search for tires that are around the size of 35X12.5R18.
So, if you want to purchase the biggest tires possible for 18-inch rims, choose 325/65R18 for passenger tires or 35X12.5R18 tires depending on if it’s a 4WD or a Passenger SUV.
What Users Say Regarding 35s On 18s
Let’s read some feedback from real owners who’ve tried to fit 35s
User experience/Feedback #1
I think 285/75-18 look great on factory 18″ rims and are taller than typical 35’s altho narrower.https://www.wranglerforum.com/threads/would-35s-look-dumb-on-factory-18-inch-wheels.2324125/
User Experience/Feedback #2
Got 275/70/R18 nitto grapplers on the sport altitude and it rides like stock.https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/35-tires-on-stock-sahara-with-18-rims.72712/
User Experience/Feedback #3
I did 17″ Fuel Vapors with 35s. Some people told me the ride would be rough with E rated, but at 31 psi, it’s very smooth. Barely feel any bumps and my wife that is 8.5 months pregnant rather ride in the Jeep over the BMW X6m, because the bimmer is too “bumpy”.https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/35%E2%80%9D-tires-17-or-18%E2%80%9D-wheels.14485/
Fitting 35s on a Jeep simply looks awesome and if you’re doing it simply as an aesthetics upgrade or for improved off-road abilities, you’re fortunate to have a few options available. Remember, bigger isn’t always better and if you plan on going off-road then opt for a complete 2.5” to 3” lift kit combined with 9J or 10J aftermarket rims for a safe and comfortable off-road experience.
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