Off-roaders just can’t get enough of the Jeep Wrangler. It doesn’t just look like a car built for the wild forest and mountain trail, but acts like one, too.
Those who take their Wrangler into the wilderness often look to enhance traction and control by employing larger tires. It provides them the essential edge they need on difficult terrain.
The problem is that in order to get into the truly large categories of tires, they are faced with the possibility of modifying their Jeep.
Though it’s already built for off-roading, those wanting a more extreme specification can perform mods like lifting to give greater ground clearance and thus room for an even bigger tire.
But what if you don’t have time, money, or inclination for that? The question remains, then: what are the biggest tires for a stock Jeep Wrangler?
Understanding the Tire Sizing System
Most of us speak about wheels and tires in terms of inches, with many new cars these days offering models with 16- or 17-inch alloys as standard.
That number, however, refers more to your car’s wheel rim than the tire itself. Having said that, the size of the wheel rim of course impacts that of the tire, too.
Full tire size is actually written as a series of 3 numbers with a letter thrown in the middle. Here’s an example [285/70R18 ] that demonstrates the format. The first number, 285, refers to the width of the tire in millimeters. The second, 70, is the sidewall height and width.
The “R” stands for radial, and you might see a ‘B’ (bias ply) if we’re dealing with truck tires. The final number, 18, refers to the wheel diameter in inches (that’s the one many of us know).
If mixing metric and inches is confusing, then there’s an alternative measure that’s entirely in inches. Here’s an example [33×12.50R15 ]to show the format.
The ‘33’ refers to the full diameter of the tire, the ’12.50’ is the tire width, and the ‘R’ and ‘15’ as I describe in the previous paragraph.
What Tire Sizes are Available on Stock Jeep Wrangler?
Which tires come with your Jeep Wrangler will depend on which specific model you choose, but the following tire sizes are typically the norm:
- 225/75R16 – (29”x9”)
- 255/75R17 – (32”x10”)
- 255/70R18 – (32”x 10”)
Many Wranglers will have one of these sizes fitted as standard, but these do not represent the highest that you can go. Without performing any kind of suspension lift, you can safely fit tires of up to 33 inches. They’d be numbered as follows:
I should point out, however, that there is a notable exception within this field, and that is the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. This model of Wrangler comes with a 33-inch wheel as standard but can go a bit larger even up to 35” (35×12.50R17) because its suspension is built for more extreme off-road applications.
Other Wranglers are built with a more mixed approach in mind; on- and off-road application. If you are keeping your Wrangler (not a Rubicon) within its stock specification, however, it might not be the best idea to go all the way up to 33 inches.
Are 33” Wrangler Tires Good for Off-Roading?
You can go all the way up to 33” tires without making other alterations, but the compromise for off-road enthusiasts is that they will be too large to allow maximum flexibility.
The only model that can handle this and a little beyond is the Rubicon. If that’s your Wrangler, then dial it up. If you’re using any other Wrangler, then stick with the stock tires, or modify the suspension and create some more lift before you go exploring the realm of larger tires.
Conclusion on jeep wrangler bigger tires
The fact remains that when you are using a car in its stock factory specification, then there will be some definite limitations as to how far you can push that vehicle.
The Wrangler is no different. When you opt for the Rubicon, the car is more ‘ready-made’ and leaves a bit more room for tire expansion. On other models, you max out a 33” and that’s the price of staying stock. If you want to expand your Wrangler’s off-roading ability, you’ll need to modify it.