Looking for a lift for your Jeep? You might want to know if you can put 33-inch tires on your Jeep without modifying it. The higher ground clearance can certainly give Jeep an advantage, and that can be done with 33” Jeep tires. The question remains, can it actually be done on a Jeep?
Table of Contents
- Do I need to lift my Jeep to fit 33-inch tires?
- Which Jeeps can fit without needing a lift?
- Is it possible to have problems with 33” tires?
- What can I do to prevent tire rubbing?
- What would happen to my suspension?
- Is there a better option than lifting?
- Are there Jeep models that are good for 33” tires?
- Why would you want 33” tires?
- Are there risks to bigger tires?
Do I need to lift my Jeep to fit 33-inch tires?
33” tires will work on some models and not others, depending in part on your rim size. A JK Wrangler model might not work properly with larger rim sizes like 18”. The answer also depends on the presence of fender flares and their size.
What factors limit the use of a 33” tire on a Jeep? What are the benefits of using larger tires on your Jeep? Can you do modifications besides a lift to help your larger tires fit? We’ll break down the potential advantages and problems.
We have done some research in regards to what fits in the Jeep and what does not. We also know about how Jeeps are used, and why people want to get bigger tires.
Which Jeeps can fit without needing a lift?
Nearly all Jeeps can physically fit a 33” tire without a lift. The challenge is retaining the ride quality and overall safety of the tire and vehicle when using larger tires. 35” is also possible in some Jeeps, with a lift.
Is it possible to have problems with 33” tires?
Unfortunately, it’s not just possible, it’s actually pretty common for 33” tires to impact the way your Jeep drives.
One of the biggest problems with installing oversize tires on a Jeep is the tire width. While many people think about the height of the tire as a problem, they don’t quite clue into the issue of tires becoming wider as they become taller.
The stock tires on most Jeeps are either 9” wide or 10” wide in order to fit into the wheel well without touching anything, even under hard turns and off-road scenarios where the suspension might move them a bit.
Some 33” tires are more than 10” wide and can go out to 12” or more. Without any modifications, the tire can come in contact with the sway bar link, and other parts of the suspension, and can rub the inside of the wheel well.
Is tire rubbing bad?
Tire rubbing can cause premature wear of the tire, and vehicle parts, and cause degraded ride quality in your Jeep. When you do take your Jeep off-road, you’ll likely cause further damage and feel extra bumps simply because your tire can’t travel as far as it should.
What can I do to prevent tire rubbing?
Thankfully, there are a few minor things you can do to solve the problem of tire rubbing – though you are still modifying your vehicle a bit.
Cutting your fender
You could cut, or grind fenders where they potentially meet the tire. While it is possible to do so in your garage with a grinder, we would recommend looking up any special tools you need. Keep in mind you might be affecting the resale value of your vehicle by modifying it.
Tire spacers push your tire away from the inside of your wheel well just a bit. The result is that the wheels stick out more, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing compared to having them rub the inside of your vehicle’s suspension. These are relatively inexpensive and can be removed if you want to down the road.
Use small rims. While big rims are possible, adding height to the rim and won’t help if you are trying to pack a tire into a Jeep wheel well.
What would happen to my suspension?
The presence of larger tires wouldn’t necessarily impact your suspension, but it will make it less effective at providing the ride you are used to. Going off-road actually makes this worse because your suspension will respond by helping to cushion your movements – and it won’t be very successful.
Is there a better option than lifting?
For the purpose of having a properly operating Jeep that doesn’t require less desirable modifications, no. Let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages to lifting your Jeep.
- Let’s you use larger tires
- Can get better ground clearance, even with stock tires
- Has some visual impact and makes the Jeep look bigger
- Better ride than having too large of tires on
- Can be undone
- Not cheap
- Could impact resale value if not undone
- Potentially less comfortable ride
- For safety, should be professionally done
One of the biggest issues with lifting a Jeep is that it can be difficult to sell to another, especially if you do it yourself. A Jeep owner might overvalue their time and money spent on the modifications while a potential buyer doesn’t see the value.
Are there Jeep models that are good for 33” tires?
The Jeep JK, or Jeep Wrangler, is believed to be among the better options for 33” tires without a lift. The wheel well and exterior design have more space than other Jeeps, reducing the likelihood that you’ll have to trim your fenders or flares to keep the tires from touching the vehicle.
Why would you want 33” tires?
Ground clearance and ride height are important in the world of off-roading. Most vehicles offer 8 to 9 inches of room between the bottoms of the tires and the lowest part of the vehicle chassis. In some cases, 8 to 9 inches isn’t enough to get past off-road obstacles or uneven roads
A Jeep with a lift or larger tires can increase ground clearance and make the experience of driving over rocks, mud, or uneven terrain much less nervewracking. If the vehicle is too close to the ground, the driver risks damaging the undercarriage or getting stuck.
Note that some modern vehicles have cameras underneath – or can have them added so that you know when you are going to make contact with things on the ground.
Are there risks to bigger tires?
Some might say that a taller tire increases the risk of rollover. This is somewhat true, and could actually make your high-speed freeway drive a little less table feeling. In many cases, a taller tire is also made available wider, which increases the balance with a larger footprint.
A vehicle with larger tires can be a bit more prone to flipping if struck in a low spot, but the risk isn’t much higher than with any large vehicle.
People who are seriously into off-roading and buying gear and tires might say the biggest risk is to your wallet – as tires can be a bit addictive and equipment isn’t free.