Going all out on your stock 4Runner includes upgrading the wheels, and bigger is usually better. Just imagine the type of terrain you can tackle. Putting 33s on your 4Runner can take your off-road adventures to a new level.
Can You Fit 33s on a Stock 4Runner?
The answer is yes, but it can be expensive. Remember, the tires have to fit onto the wheel well, and it may mean lifting the vehicle. Other modifications may also be necessary, depending on the vehicle’s body style and overall condition.
Fitting 33s on a stock 4Runner isn’t as easy as swapping out the tires. Modifications to the vehicle are often part of the process. If you are thinking about switching to 33s, the information you find here will help you get started.
How Do You Fit 33s on a Stock 4Runner?
The traction you get from 33s makes it worth the hassle and expense of fitting the tires on a 4Runner. Some drivers get lucky, but most end up needing vehicle modifications.
An easy way to tell if 33s will fit is to roll one over to the vehicle. Stand it up next to the wheel well and measure the height. If it fits, swap the tires out the same as you would with any set.
Most stock 4Runners are going to need some adjustments before 33s will fit. Even if the tires fit, you may still need to make some modifications. The tires may rub against the frame every time you turn a corner.
The rubbing is caused by the tire’s larger size. Letting the rubbing continue wears down the rubber and the tread. You end up replacing the tires more frequently, and it can get expensive. 33s are generally priced higher than smaller-sized tires.
Using a fender liner push back will help prevent rubbing, but your best option is using a leveling kit.
Fitting 33s on a Stock 4Runner
Chances are the 33s don’t fit your stock 4Runner. It doesn’t mean you are stuck with smaller tires. You only need to make a few modifications. You may be doing some cutting and metal trimming. Lifting the vehicle is another possibility.
You can take the 4Runner to a mechanic for the modifications or head to the auto parts store for a kit.
You want to grab either a lift or leveling kit. A fender liner pushback kit may also be necessary. Leveling kits come in three sizes, and it lets you know the lift height:
- One inch
Two or three-inch leveling kits work with 33s. Don’t go any smaller, a one-inch lift isn’t high enough to fit a 33. Even with a three-inch leveling kit, you still need to cut off some of the bumper and trim
Lift kits come in sizes similar to leveling kits. Look for a basic three-inch suspension lift kit. These fit most generation stock 4Runners.
A three-inch lift kit gives you clearance for the 33s, and you may not have to cut the fender or trim.
When to Use a Liner Pushback Kit
Tire rubbing is the most common problem 4Runner owners encounter with 33s. It’s an easy fix and barely makes a dent in the vehicle’s value. You are only making minor modifications, and most buyers won’t notice an inch or so missing from the fender liner or trim.
If you are using a liner pushback kit, you can make professional cuts no one will notice.
Step 1: Remove the Liner Bolts and Clip
The liner is held in place with two 10mm bolts and a plastic clip. Remove the bolts and clip but keep them close by. You need them to reattach the liner.
Step 2: Drill a New Hole
After removing the fender liner, push it back in. Make sure it’s far enough and not touching the tires. Most 4Runner owners end up pushing the liner back between one and two inches. Drill a hole and reattach the liner with one bolt.
A quick test drive will let you know if the 33s are still rubbing. If so, take the liner out and push it further into the bumper.
Step 3: Punch the Second Bolt Hole
Drill the second hole closer to the vehicle’s front and reattach the liner with the other bolt. Go ahead and take the 4Runner for an offroad test before finishing the modifications.
Step 4: Tape the Trim and Bumper
Grab some automotive or painter’s tape and lay a protective barrier on the trim and bumper. It will help prevent accidental scratches. The tape also gives you a clear line to follow.
Step 5: Get the Dremel Ready
A Dremel is an ideal tool to use for cutting trim and bumpers. It cuts easily through your 4Runner’s body, and its smaller size gives you plenty of control.
Don’t forget to wear safety glasses during cutting. You don’t want tiny slivers getting into your eyes. Safety gloves are also encouraged.
Cut along the tape to match the width of the fender liner. You should be cutting off the same amount as the liner.
Don’t forget to double-check the bolts before taking your 4Runner out for a drive.
Why Put 33s on a Stock 4Runner?
Why do you want to put 33s on a stock 4Runner, other than the appearance? The larger tires look great on a 4Runner, but it’s not the only reason you want them on the vehicle.
Larger tires give you plenty of traction, perfect for off-roading. The tires aren’t going to increase your speed, but you can cover more types of terrain.
The tires are great for off-road treks, but they do have a few downsides. You have to make a few vehicle modifications that include lifting and trimming. Not everyone wants to cut an inch or so off of their bumper.
If you have more questions about changing the tires on your 4Runner, check out the answers below.
Is a fender liner necessary?
Getting rid of the fender liner does make it easier to fit 33s on a 4Runner, but it’s a bad idea. The liner performs a crucial task. It helps shield the engine from moisture and dirt, reducing wear and tear.
What size tires should I put on my 4Runner?
Depending on the generation, 4Runners usually come with 17 or 20-inch tires. Stock 4Runners can easily go up to 31 or 32 inches, and you don’t need a lifting or leveling kit. If you don’t mind using a kit, you can also use 33s. You may not want to go any larger. You usually need to make some severe modifications to fit tires over 33 inches.
Do I need to regear from 4Runner with 33s on it?
Putting 33s on your stock 4Runner rarely requires regearing, even with all-wheel drive. If you feel like the vehicle is straining or losing fuel efficiency, you may want to consider regearing. It resets the drivetrain to produce the torque the larger wheels need during acceleration.
You can fit 33s on a stock 4Runner, and it’s not a complicated process. With the purchase of a couple of kits, you can tackle the automotive project in your garage.
With 33s on your 4Runner, you can tackle new terrain and experience a new level of off-roading.