Curious about the lift required for 33-inch tires on a stock Chev Silverado? This guide has your answers and more. Upgrading to 33” tires on a Silverado enhances its appearance while accentuating the truck’s robust, boxy features. So, what is the minimum lift required to fit 33-inch tires on a Chev Silverado?
The factory-stock Silverado has tires ranging from 31 to 32 inches, which seem relatively small for its size. A 33-inch tire could offer a better aesthetic match for this truck. However, the stock rims are 8 inches wide with a 24mm wheel offset, and the square wheel arches could pose clearance limitations for a larger 33-inch tire.
Different trim levels come with varying tire sizes, from 255/70/17 up to 285/45/22. There’s approximately a 1-inch difference between the largest and smallest tire sizes. Let’s explore what’s required for a seamless upgrade to accommodate a 33-inch tire.
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Lift Required To Fit 33-inch Tires On A Chev Silverado 3500
33-inch tire upgrades for Silverado and Sierras require minimal modifications. It’s a cost-effective way to enhance appearance and on/off-road performance. Off-road enthusiasts prefer it for muddy tracks. Aftermarket wheels with less positive offset improve backspacing and UCA clearance. Fitting 33” on a stock 3500 causes rubbing, however, a 2-inch suspension upgrade or front leveling kit can resolve this. Check out this Rough Country 2″ leveling kit (Amazon)
Alternatively, a stock Silverado comfortably fits a slim 33” or “pizza cutter,” providing improved clearance but lacking the true 33” appearance. Sizes like 255/85 R16 or 255/80 R17, roughly 32.7”, fit on the stock suspension with minimal rubbing, which is ideal without negative offset rims or wide wheel spacers.
Fitting The 33-Inch Tires To Your Chevy Silverado?
33-inch tire upgrades are popular on Silverado and Sierras due to better performance than stock 31s with fewer mods. Often chosen for off-road driving, fitting aftermarket wheels with a negative offset helps. However, on a stock 3500, a 2-inch suspension kit and front-end leveling are needed for 33” tires without rubbing. Check out this Rough Country 2″ leveling kit (Amazon)
If you’re running stock rims with 33” tires you can opt for a small wheel spacer to improve the clearance from the UCA.
Running 35” On A 3-4” Lift Kit
35-inch tires can be tricky to fit on these trucks since they have IFS suspensions and square wheel arches, similar to the Tacoma’s. They also require a bit of modification to make a 35” work and to get them to perform flawlessly – no doubt.
With 35” on a 3-4” lift kit, there will be rubbing on the lower valence under the front bumper as well as the wheel well. You’ll need to shave away some of the inner wheel well plastic trim to create more clearance. 35” tires will touch at full lock with some resistance on the steering. This is especially true with a very nobly aggressive MT tire. Check out this 3″ front-end Leveling Kit (Amazon)
35-inch tires will offer better ground clearance off-road allowing you to attempt bigger obstacles, however, the tight clearance at full lock will be an issue. In most cases, with a bigger lift such as a 6-inch, you’ll have a fantastic off-road capable truck that looks the part too. The downside is the cost and practicality of a daily driver. Not everyone likes such a high truck for daily use. Entry and exit can become tiresome over time.
How Do 33” Tires Affect Ride Quality on the Silverado
Since the wider 33s have more surface area making contact with the road, the handling and traction will be improved both on-road and off-road. The bigger tires absorb road imperfections better and the increased tire walls offer an increased ride height and make for better visibility all around. A higher tire wall also allows you to deflate the tires more which offers a longer and slightly wider footprint. This is very helpful when driving in sand, mud, and snow.
How Do 33” Tires Affect Fuel Economy on the Silverado
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 and drivetrain are required to work harder to move the heavier wheels along. This is especially true when pulling off.
How Do 33” Tires Affect Performance on the Silverado
Heavier tires affect initial acceleration and braking distance slightly, which is more noticeable on lower torque trucks. Reduced torque is felt during extreme off-roading or climbing steep inclines, requiring the engine to work harder. However, the impact is less than with 35-inch tires, offering 2 inches of added ground clearance for off-road scenarios.
Which Offset Works On A Silverado
The -6 offset works perfectly with the 33-inch tire size since there is some minor poke. It also offers improved backspacing and interior wheel arch clearance at full lock. There is no touching of control arms or leaf springs or any other clearance issues. No rubbing at full lock either. 33” with a -6 offset is the most hassle-free tire and rim combo option.
For a 35” tire you’ll need at least a 6” lift and possibly a small front leveling kit to make the tire sit and function perfectly at full lock and full articulation off-road. You will do well to fit a slightly more negative offset aftermarket wheel to improve the backspacing and the distance from the UCA and inner wheel well.
33” tires are a lot less of an issue with a small 2” lift they will fit nicely and no further mods to the wheel linings are needed.
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