Many, many Jeepers have lost countless nights of sleep due to that eternal question – what size tires should I run?
Here is some straightforward information to calm your nerves and reduce your drinking bills!
1. Look awesome
2. Increase your ground clearance
3. Increase the effective traction of the vehicle
4. Make the ride better off-road
1. Decreased mpg
2. Decreased performance on hills/passing
3. Increased wear and tear on steering and drive-train components
Mall crawlers get one thing right.
Yes, larger tires just look awesome. Like, really awesome! But besides look large tire size serves a real purpose off road.
As long as for you personally, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, go get some new shoes and don’t look back!
The ONLY way to increase your ground clearance is to increase your tire size. This is because your lowest point on your Wrangler will always be the bottom of your differentials and /or shock mounts.
The only way to raise the differential off the ground more is to increase tire size – but you only get half the increase in diameter in actual increase in height. For example, moving from 33s to 35s will increase your ground clearance by only 1 inch.
More rubber on the ground means more traction.
Also, more traction means more successful climbs, and descents that are in more control. Traction means safety too!
One last major advantage of larger tire size is the ride factor. Big tires just make the ride off road much better and smoother.
Larger tires roll over objects easier; a 29” tire falls into a 29” hole while a 37” tire rolls right over the 29” hole.
Moreover, larger tires deform around rocks easier and will therefore deflect the suspension less.
With all the great reasons above to move up in tire size, remember … everything comes with a cost and for Jeeps bigger tires also begin to change things.
The Jeep will feel sluggish getting up to speed and passing, especially when going uphill.
Larger tires will put more force on steering, suspension and drive-train components. Re-gearing will be necessary to return the Jeep to its original performance.
Go too big with tire size and you can damage components and begin a runaway process of chasing your weakest link. You can snap axles, and quickly degrade ball joints with large tires as well. The expenses can build quickly.