How To Make Room for Larger Tires
Larger tires? Why would you want them?
Many truck drivers want larger tires, and why wouldn’t they? Frankly they make a truck look really cool, and life wouldn't be boring without being able to upgrade your truck. Besides the physical aesthetics there are many benefits to upgrading your tires size. A larger tire will increase grip on the road which will lead to better handling in poor road conditions, they will also give you more clearance allowing you to navigate off road easier than before.
What size tires can you get?
There are many different tire sizes you can put on your truck. You can increase tire size by getting new tires that are only an inch or two larger, or you can get big over-sized tires like a monster truck. Some popular sizes are 32, 33, 34, 25 and 37. Going past 33” on a stock height truck may cause rubbing in the front tires since the front comes nose-down from the factory and the wheels need ample room to turn right to left. This will require some modification such as trimming or adding a lift kit or leveling kit to protect your truck and new tires.
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How can you make room for them?
The rear of the truck naturally sits higher and the wheels do not turn, as long as you are using a moderately sized tire you should have enough room in the back. An easy way to fix rubbing in the front would be to add a leveling kit. This will raise only the front of the truck allowing you to increase the size of all four tires. There are different types of leveling kits based on the type of front suspension you have. Leveling kit options include torsion keys used on torsion bar suspension, strut spacers for vehicles with front struts, coil spacers for coil sprung vehicles, and lifted springs or add-a-leafs for leaf sprung vehicles. The average lift you will get from a leveling kit is 2-2.5” and this will allow you to fit up to a 33” tire in most cases.
If you want your tires to be even larger, don’t worry you still have options. You can do a full kit like these Ready Lift Lift Kits ; this will lift both the front of the vehicle and the rear allowing more room for big wheels. You can get a lift kit that maintains the factory rake, or one that will both lift and level the vehicle. If you are looking for a cheaper option you can get a basic lift kit that contains lift blocks and add-a-leafs or spacers, these usually will come with drop brackets or extenders for the track bar and pitman arm to keep everything in line. The preferred option is usually to go with the complete suspension lift kit; this will cost more money but is necessary if going with a higher lift. These will come with replacements for everything that needs to be larger, and usually contain lifted springs rather than lift blocks or spacers.
If you don’t want to do a complete suspension lift you can opt for a body lift. This will only lift the body of the vehicle leaving the suspension in place. Having the body sit higher than stock will raise the wheel wells, still allowing you to fit larger tires.
Why is it important to make room?
Making room for larger tires will reduce wear and tear of the new tires caused by rubbing or bad alignment; this will also eliminate any potential dangers that may arise from having tires that do not fit. Larger tires will wear faster, so making sure they fit properly is essential. If you make room with a leveling kit or Rough Country Lift Kit rather than trimming the wheel wells it will be easier and save you from some potentially costly mistakes that can occur. If you choose a slightly smaller tire you can still get the look you want without getting a complete suspension lift. Just remember if you raise the vehicle over 2” you will need to get extended shock absorbers to avoid any over extension and most importantly drive safely!