If you are reading this, you’re probably interested to know if it’s possible and more importantly, advisable to fit 35-inch tires to 17” stock Rubicon rims. There are a few important factors to consider before you proceed, i.e. how it affects your performance, aftermarket offset recommendations, airing down for off-road, and more. The question is, can it be done?
So, now that you know you can let’s now look at a few key factors to consider, and later see what existing Jeep Rubicon owners have reported regarding the performance of 35s on 17” rims.
Table of Contents
Can I Put 35 Tires on 17 Rims – Fitment Guide
The next few sections of this article will cover the various options available when fitting 35s to your vehicle. We start with 35s on stock Rubicon rims, then look at what to look out for when opting to go with aftermarket rims, as well as lift kits, and lastly how 35s affect your vehicle’s power delivery.
Let’s start with 35s on stock 17” rims
Option #1 – 315/70/17 on Stock Rims
When fitting 35s in the form of 315s to stock Rubicon rims there are no hassles in terms of rub once the sway bars are disconnected during off-road applications. Tire choice here is key and something like Nitto RG’s, Toyo, or Mickey Thompson AZTs will work just fine.
You will, however, need a small lift to make things work better in terms of clearance on the UCA (Upper Control Arms). Here we recommend a minimum of 1.5” spacer kit like a 1.5” TeraFlex spacer lift or a Mopar lift kit if your budget allows. Without a lift kit, it’s a rather tight fit and you can expect a little rubbing at full wheel lock. If you decide to opt for a 2.5” lift, in most cases you won’t need spacers either. You should have zero rubbing at full flex/lock. The good news is your spare tire fits without rubbing too which is a bonus.
What about airing down on stock wheels?
315/70/17 BFGs on stock rims allow you to air down to 18 psi with ease. This is key for sand and dune driving where a longer footprint is necessary. The slightly narrower stock 8.5j rims secure the wider tires very well and almost act like a bead lock rim in the sense that it becomes a lot harder for the tire to de-bead compared to a wider rim once deflated. Some call it the poor man’s bead lockers. So airing down your 35s on the stock rims is no problem at all.
Option #2 – Aftermarket 17” Rims/Wheels
When shopping around for an aftermarket rim to fit your 35s on, it is recommended to opt for a wheel with better backspacing and a slightly less positive or 00 offset option. 17X9 is a pretty standard aftermarket wheel that will work very well with 35 x 12.5 or 315/70-17s. There is also a host of aftermarket wheel options in 17s to choose from which makes them also a lot cheaper when compared to say 18” or 20” rims. Unless you have a specific need for 18s or want to do a bigger brake upgrade in the future, it recommends staying with 17s.
Option #3 – 2.5” to 3” Lift Kit
Lift kits are highly recommended when fitting 35s and there is a huge selection and options to go for all depending on your budget and of course personal preference.
As mentioned previously a minimum of 1.5” lift should do the trick and you can go higher like 2.5” or even a Mopar kit. The Mopar lift looks really good if you are running 37s however some feel with 35s the lift kit makes the 35s look a bit small. That’s a personal preference.
Option #4 – Power Loss
So how does running heavy 3-ply 35-inch off-road tires like KO2s affect your power? Well as with any upgrade, there is almost always a tradeoff. In this case, heavier bigger tires come with many advantages except you will lose a bit of torque on the wheels. Acceleration and braking are also affected since the tires are heavier and have a larger rolling circumference. Expect fuel consumption to increase as well.
Most Jeep owners report no major loss in power or performance and it’s hard to tell since the v6 is quite a torquey engine. So performance loss is minimal, if at all. You can expect no major loss in acceleration and braking and your Jeep should still feel fast enough with the 8-speed.
I initially had a Sahara with manual and stepped up to 33s and it was fine but any bigger would have felt a bit slow
What Users Say Regarding 35s On 17s
Let’s read some feedback from real owners who’ve tried to fit 35s
User Experience/Feedback #1
User Experience/Feedback #2
User Experience/Feedback #3
Can I Put 35 Tires on 18 Rims – JEEP FITMENT GUIDE
Yes, you can fit 35×12.50 tires on the stock 18” wheels with some minor modifications. To avoid rubbing it is recommended to fit a 2.5” to 3” lift/leveling kit with wheel spacers on stock rims to increase backspace clearance.
In this instance, size matters! Generally speaking, a 35” 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.
Click here to investigate a few more 35” options for the Jeep Wranglers and see how 35s on 17” compares to 18” wheels.
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