Jeep Wrangler Wheels and Tires

The Jeep Wrangler is a timeless vehicle. Whether it's a 1970's CJ, a 2015 JK or anything in between, they're the most customized vehicles on the market. If you've ever owned one, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Typically after purchasing their Wrangler, many owners begin shopping for new wheels and tires and/or a lift kit. I like to call this "the itch." It starts with wheels and tires, then suspension, then bumpers and it truly never ends.

My experience is mainly with the 1997 TJ I had in college and the 2014 JK Rubicon I currently own. Also, I have helped friends work on several CJs and YJs. When it comes to my vehicles, I was running 31x10.5R15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires on stock wheels, and was having a problem with rubbing when I turned. To address the issue, I put on 8" wide wheels with 4.5" backspacing. I also ended up installing a 2" spring spacer lift and upgrading to a 33x12.5R15 size tire (same BFGoodrich model) mounted on 15x9" wheels with, yet again, a 4.5" backspacing. Both set-ups worked out great for me both on-road and off. You will notice a trend in wheel backspacing here, and 4.5" seems to be the magic number. 

For the new JKs, Jeep made a lot more room in the fender wells and started supplying many trim levels with a 255/75R17 tire, which stands 32.1" tall. Several customers use a Tire & Wheel Package with 285/70R17 tires and 9" wide aftermarket wheels with 4.5" backspacing without any suspension or fender modifications, and they worked out great (as you can see below).

When it comes to lifting a JK, the most popular tire sizes are those that stand around 35" tall and about 12.5" wide. To get these sizes, you ideally need a 2" lift at the minimum with 4.5" backspaced aftermarket rims. I have taken my JK from stock to 3" lifted suspension with 315/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs on MAMBA M13 wheels in 17x9" ET-12. I also cut the fenders to play around with suspension travel to see how far I can cycle those tires up into the fender wells. Below you can see the difference after the modifications were made.

Create the look you've always wanted for your vehicle by designing a Tire & Wheel Package.

 

Comments

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by Dee

What is the largest tire/wheel I can put on a 2003 jeep wrangler sport without using lift kit? Thsnks
Thursday, November 20, 2014 by Tire Rack Team

Great post!
Thursday, November 20, 2014 by Turk Turkleton

I had good luck with my old TJ on 31x10.5R15 tires on a 15x8" wheel with 4.5" backspacing. On your stock wheels, the biggest tire you can put on it without lifting it are 30x9.5R15.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 by Tiffany Moore

I have a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport with a 3" lift. Right now I have Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ 33x12 50R17 on my jeep, but I drive it more on the highway than off road. Any suggestions for tires?
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 by Turk Turkleton

Hi Tiffany,

Do you want to keep the tire size at 33" or did you want to go bigger this time? I have a 3" lift on mine and I fit 35" tires without problems if it helps! I recommend the BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 for on- and off-road use. They have great treadwear and they aren't as loud as other A/T tires, so they provide a great balance of road manners, traction, and rugged look.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 by Andrew S.

Hey Turk, starting to get the itch lol ... I want to buy a new set of wheels and tires in the spring time.

I'm looking at 17x9 wheels, with 4.5 backspace. -12 offset.

I'm stuck on what tire size to buy.... I don't want to lift my jeep right now.

I have an unlimited sahara which came with 18 inch wheels, i believe the tires are ~32'. Will a 285/70R17 tire be equal size to my current tires (255/70R18)

Could I go to a 295/70R17 to add a little more width to the tire, or will i have problems with rubbing?

thanks!
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 by Andrew S.

Forgot to add this to my last post.

I was looking at a jeep with Aftermarket wheels and tire at my dealership,

the tires were LT305/65R17

Aside from the 285/70R17, would that size be a good size to go with 17x9 wheels with 4.53 backspace and -12 offset.

I was also looking at 33x12.50R17.

I would like the tire to be bit wider than the rim, but still don't want to use spacers, and possibly not rub.

I also saw at the dealer a jeep with 33x12.50R17 tires. It was a brand new jeep with a wheel and tire package, so I guess there wouldn't be any issues ?

Thanks again !

Andrew
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 by Turk Turkleton

Hi Andrew,

285/70-17 will definitely fit on a 17x9 ET-12 without suspension or fender modifications. The 305/65-17 might fit, but with that width, I can't be sure whether or not it will rub on the frame or sway bar on an unlifted JK, and the same goes for the 33x12.50-17 or the 295/70-17, although the 295 is most likely to be safe. They will fit fine on flat ground and when driving straight, but they could rub at full lock-to-lock turning and they will definitely rub something if you start flexing out the suspension off road.

For the size comparison you asked for, the 255/70-18 is about 32.1" x 10.2" and the 285/70-17 is 33"x11.5"

If you do end up going bigger, let me know how it fits!
Sunday, December 13, 2015 by Andrew S.

Hey Turk,

Thanks so much for all that info, it was exactly what I was looking for !

I would rather play it safe and go with something that would fit without any issues at all period, I was starting to think that the 33x12.5 would be a bit over kill, and you've cleared that up for me 100%.

I would be happy with the 285/70-17 because it still gives me approx. a 1" larger tire, and probably won't cause issues while turning.

I will be getting into some off road fun next year, i'll keep it fairly beginner like until I know what i'm comfortable with, and with that, I can see how the tires do with the stock fenders, if there is any evidence of rubbing, i'll buy flat fenders in hopes that would solve fender rub.

Could you please answer this for me, just a couple of questions.

With a 17x9 wheel and 285/70-17 tires, will there be a bit of wheel poking out the sides of the fenders? I love when I see a jeep like that ! I know this might be a funny question to ask, sine i'm already 1.5 inches wider than the stock wheel, I just wanted to make sure :)

My other question is, could you please let me know what the sizing is of a 295/70-17 tire please ? (In inches)

thanks again!
Monday, December 14, 2015 by Andrew S.

Hey Turk,

Thank you for the helpful info,

I think I'll play it safe and go with the 285/70-17. The size is what i'm looking for, i wanted to go with about an inch larger tire, but i don't want to overkill it.

By any chance can you let me know what the dimensions are in inches for the 295/70-17, i'm just curious if i can risk it and go to a 295 tire.

You're help was greatly appreciated, i needed this info because i've been racking my brain trying to figure out a good tire solution with 17x9 wheels.

I just had one more question if you don't mind.

I know with a 17x9 tire, the width is already 1.5 inches wider than my oem 7.5 wheel width, with the 285/70-r17 tire on the 9 inch wide wheels, will i have some tire and wheel sticking out of the fenders a little ?

This is what i'm aiming for, the jeep oem wheels aren't all that wide, and i love the look of a jeep when you can see how wide the tires and wheels are when they stick outside of the fenders ... not by much but a little is great !

Can you let me know this please, as well, how much of a drastic different is the 295 tire compared to the 285 when it comes to the wheels sticking out past the fender?

thanks again!

Andrew
Saturday, February 13, 2016 by Stormin'

Turk-
I just bought the Dick Cepek GM7 rims 17x8.5" w/ 5.5 BS
For a 2011 Jeep Unlimited Sahara no lift/no spacer/no mods
what size BFG KO2 can I run?
is a 275/70 or 265/70 ok? or will they rub. I don't want to push up to the 285/70's as I'm worried they may rub
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 by Turk Turkleton

Stormin'-

If you're just using it on the street, I personally think you would be fine with the 275/70-17 but if you want to still have full suspension articulation off-road without rubbing on your suspension, you may be better off staying with that 265/70-17.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 by Turk Turkleton

Andrew S.-

I apologize that I missed your follow up question, and I know it may be a little late, but here goes nothing! The 17x9 wheel with 4.5" backspacing and a 285/70-17 will stick out past the fenders a little, probably around 2 inches if memory serves. The 295 size would just make about a quarter inch further out. That 295 may work, but I've not tested it myself so I can't be sure.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 by Chris H.

I have a set of 275/70-17s currently on my stock wheels that are 17X7.5 and have been wanting some aftermarket wheels. What is the largest size aftermarket wheel I can go with? The tire manufacturer's website shows that the tire can be mounted on a 7 up to an 8.5 inch rim, so I'm assuming a 9 inch rim is out of the question. Thanks!
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 by Turk Turkleton

Chris H,

You are correct that the 9 inch wide wheels are out of the question for your current tires. I would recommend something in 17x8 with somewhere between 0mm and 12mm offset if you have stock suspension and intend on keeping that size tire on the Jeep. If you have it lifted and/or intend on going with bigger tires later, I would look at a 17x8.5 with somewhere around a (-6)mm offset. That will fit what you have and also give you the room necessary to fit bigger tires later on if you choose to do so.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Roberto Suarez

Can I run my 2016 Rubicon with 285/65/17 on the 7.5" wide factory wheels instead the 255/75/17
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 by Turk Turkleton

Hello Roberto,

No, unfortunately the 285/65-17 tires need at least an 8" wide wheel to fit onto. That, and the tires would likely rub when you turn, so an aftermarket wheel with less backspacing would probably be necessary for that size.
Sunday, March 19, 2017 by Adam

I have a 2008 Sahara unlimited looking to put all terrain with 18 inch rim and tires. Want them to stick out and higher. What size tire and rim ? Will I need spacers or lift kit? Thank you
Sunday, May 21, 2017 by Sidewinder

Turk:
Just purchased a 2017 Rubicon Recon Edition 4dr. I would like to run 285/70-17. Would these work without modification? Unit comes stock with small lift of 1/2-1" from factory. What are the largest tire I can run and stay stock on and off road?
Monday, May 22, 2017 by Turk Turkleton

Sidewinder,

Congrats on the new JKU!
285/70-17 might fit on the stock wheels without modification, but I would recommend going with a wheel that is 17x9 with a -12 offset.
Thursday, September 14, 2017 by Liz

I have a 2015 Willys - stock. I need new tires, but don't want to change rims. I like the originals. Can I put 305/65/17s on my rims? The original tires are 255/75/17. Thank you!
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 by Randy

Hi My 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport is with 31x10.50r15 Stock and I would like to put a 32x11.50r15. Do you think I would need to make any changes not suspended?

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