Largest Tires on a Stock Jeep Wrangler (JL/JK/Rubicon)

If you are looking to understand the maximum tire size and rim combo for your stock Jeep without a lift then this is the article for you. Let’s face it larger tires simply looks amazing and adds an element of ruggedness to almost any 4WD. However, you are somewhat restricted with a stock suspension on your Jeep especially if your intention is to take it off-road. So let’s see what the largest tire size is for a stock Jeep Wrangler.

What are the biggest tires you can fit on a stock Jeep Wrangler? The biggest diameter tire you can fit on a Jeep Wrangler with a stock suspension is 33 inches. The common 33-inch tire sizes are any of the following:

  1. 285/75/16
  2. 285/70/17
  3. 275/70/18.

Determining the largest tire size for your Jeep Wrangler is also governed by what you intend on doing with your Jeep. For off-road applications the 33 inch tire will be too big for maximum articulation (flex) without any body scrub. However, for highway, mall-crawling and the occasional gravel roads, 33 inch tires will suffice.

There are other factors to take into consideration when deciding on tire sizes. These include but are not limited to:

  • Year model of your Jeep
  • Body shape
  • Suspension setup
  • Backspacing
  • Centre of gravity
  • Intended application

Let’s take a deeper look into the pros and cons of fitting bigger wheels to your Jeep and what you need to take into consideration before you proceed with the tire upgrade.

If you are interested in finding the best leveling kits for your Jeep Wrangler, click here

Year Model of your Jeep

So being a Jeep owner, you are probably aware that not all Jeeps are created equal. This is a major consideration when determining a big tire upgrade on your Jeep. The tire that will easily fit on a stock Jeep Rubicon might not necessarily fit as snug on a TJ or JL model.

Why is this the case?

Well, every Jeep, like most car models, is built for a specific application and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. So what might be a relatively straight forward fit for one model will require some minor or even major modifications to another.

For example:

The Wrangler JK is produced stock with various tire sizes depending on the model Wrangler you buy; Rubicon, Sahara, Sport, etc. The stock tire sizes are: 255/75R17 (32″x10″), 225/75R16 (29″x9″) and 255/70R18 (32″x10″). Now the Rubicon, which was built for heavy-duty off-road applications even in stock form will easily be able to accommodate a bigger tire without modification since the body and suspension are primed for off-road use and serious articulation.

Suspension Setup

If your intention is to run heavy off-road trails which will require maximum suspension articulation, then the 33” tire on a stock suspension will not work the best. You will be wise to upgrade your suspension first to accommodate the bigger wheels and allow for maximum flex through and over obstacles.

Also bear in mind, when venturing off-road you are advised to be well prepared. This involves carrying all the necessary safety and recovery equipment. You might even go so far to start fitting protection to your Jeep in the form of steel off-road bumpers, roof racks to carry accessories and recovery gear. Communication equipment and other essentials all add weight and before you know it the stock suspension load-carrying ability will be maxed out.

Hence, an upgraded suspension will allow you to not only increase your load carrying capabilities but also stiffen up the ride for more off-road stability.

Watch them fit 35’s on a JL:

Backspacing

What is this backspacing all about?

The backspacing measurement is an important consideration in the fitment of a bigger wheel and tire to the vehicle.

Backspacing is described as the distance from the hub mounting surface to the inside lip of the wheel (measured in inches). Increased backspacing puts the tire closer to the center of the truck. Hence a rim with a closer to 0 or negative offset will sit further out and allow you to fit wider tires.

Centre of Gravity

When you add bigger tires you are essentially increasing the centre of gravity. What does that mean?

Well we’ve all heard the saying, “what goes up, must come down” meaning the force of gravity pulls everything downwards. Gravity acts in complex ways and what that means for your 4WD is that a high centre of gravity can make things turn and topple over, especially if they are high up and unbalanced.

SO, with that being said, adding more height to your 4WD makes it more prone to toppling over, if you do not compensate with a wider tire and wheel with a more negative offset to decrease the backspacing to create more stability.

Adding wider rims and tires will make it handle a lot better off-road and look sexier too!!

Intended Application

Yes, as mentioned in the introduction, a 33 inch tire will do just fine if it’s purely for aesthetics and you never intend doing hard rocky trails. Yes, the 33inch will do just fine in that case where maximum articulation is not an issue. 

Largest Tires on a Stock Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

So the Rubicon comes out stock with a 33-inch tire. This means you should be able to safely upgrade to a bigger tire without any dramas and still be well within the manufactures specs. Your speedo should still be reading accurately and no strain on drivetrain components or transmission.

There are several Jeep Rubicon owners who fitted 315/70R17 tires and went “wheeling” disconnected with no rubbing or body scrub. Some have fitted 35/12.5R17 and rubbed off-road without disconnecting.

For those interested, here is a link where they fit 37 inch tires with minimum modifications ,see below.

Biggest tires on a stock Jeep Wrangler JK

So as mentioned previously, its not only the wheel diameter that needs to be considered but also the wheel width, which is also affected by the offset of the rim. The backspacing comes into play again. The backspacing on stock JK wheels is 6.25″. That means that the mounting surface of the wheel is 6.25” from the rear lip of the wheel

So you could, and many have fitted 33 inch tyres on a stock JK, again depending on what the intended use was for, but there could be scrubbing against the fenders and inner wheel arch. And disconnecting front sway bars, most definitely results in body scrub.

SO if you want to fit a larger but not wider tyre on the stock suspension and still have no issues off-road and achieve full flex without scrubbing you are pretty much limited to 255/80/17. This is basically the same width as the stock JK tire but with a higher sidewall. This will also give you increased ground clearance since your Jeep will be sitting higher off the ground and improved clearance on the diffs and lower hanging components.

Bottom line here, if you fit tyres much wider than the 11” tire on stock wheels, your chances of making contact with your rear sway bar end link is high. Here fitting wheel spacers will rectify this issue.

Biggest tires on a stock Jeep Wrangler TJ

The biggest tires you can fit on a stock Jeep Wrangler TJ is a 31×10.50. That is on a stock suspension and stock wheels and no other modifications. With this size, you can run comfortably off-road without causing any damage even during full articulation.

In the event there is some body scrub at full lock, simply adding a few washers on the steering stops can rectify this.

If aesthetics is what you are after and have no intention going off-road then you could squeeze up to 33 inch on the stock JK. However you will not be able to venture off-road without a lift.

Resources

Rubicon Express 2.5″ Suspension Lift Kit – RE7141

TeraFlex Body Lift Kit – 4152100

General Tire 33×10.50R15LT Tire, Grabber X3 – 4506840000

Rugged Ridge Wheel Spacers – 15201.12

Fit 37’s with the least modifications

Conclusion

We know Jeeps are very versatile vehicles and the extent of your modifications runs as deep as your pocket allows. So basically you can get away with a lot with Wranglers since they are the perfect platform for modification and upgrades. It’s just how they were built

Also, before carrying out any tire upgrade to your Jeep, ask yourself what your intended purpose is with the vehicle since this answer will allow you to either fit larger tires or limit you without any additional suspension mods first. If you follow the guidelines above and you should be safe.

Jade C.

4-Wheel drives and off-road driving techniques has been my passion for over 20 years. Here we strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, information about the functionality, common faults and latest technology built into most 4 Wheel Drives.

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