Will 35 Inch Tires Fit on Stock Jeep Rims?
We all want bigger, right? Usually, yes.
And when it comes to tires for our off-roading escapades, definitely.
But with bigger tires come some potential issues, so we can’t just buy the biggest ones we can find, slap them on, and hope for the best.
Will 35 Inch Tires Fit on Stock Jeep Rims?
You can install 35-inch tires on your stock Jeep rims, but you’ll need to make some adjustments if you want things to run smoothly and avoid the dreaded tire rub. The 35-inch tires will fit, but without changes to the suspension, you won’t get much in the way of improved performance.
Let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with and the kinds of changes you’ll need to make so that you get all you want out of those bigger tires.
Stock Tire Size
When you buy your Jeep from the dealership, the stock tires you’ll get will be—at most—33-inch tires, and more likely, they’ll be 32 inches.
Now, you may think that a measly few inches can’t be that big of a deal, but you’d be wrong.
Bigger tires will stand taller, but they’re also wider, which is why you often see tires sticking out past the body of a Jeep with oversized tires on it.
So the bigger the wheel, the more room it will need around it for it to spin unimpeded and also for it to be able to turn left and right with the steering wheel.
Jeeps from 2007-2018 have really large wheel wells, so larger tires will work somewhat better with the space available, but you’ll still be better off lifting the vehicle at least a little.
It also bears mentioning that the 2022 Jeep Rubicon comes with optional 35-inch tires installed as part of the Xtreme Recon package, but that model features larger fender flares to accommodate the bigger tires.
The Issue With Larger Tires
Picture the wheel on your Jeep. Since you’re not driving a Lego car, the wheels have metal, rubber, and plastic sitting above them in the vehicle’s body.
Since Jeep designed your vehicle to fit tires smaller than the 35-inch monsters you want, it stands to reason that they won’t fit perfectly in a wheel well area intended for a smaller tire.
At worst, your larger tires will rub against the wheel well, and if you’ve got knobby tires, those hard rubber cleats will chew up the fender flares.
Since those flares aren’t usually metal, they’ll quickly get torn up by the spinning tires.
At best, the tires may spin without rubbing, but when you turn your Jeep, the tires will rub against the body and may prevent you from turning as tightly as you want to.
You’ll definitely have a larger turning radius in this case than you would with smaller stock tires.
In either case, tires coming into contact with parts of the Jeep they were never intended to bump into can spell trouble.
Here’s where the lift kit comes into play. If you raise the Jeep, you create space for the bigger tires and eliminate the possibility of wheel well rub.
A suspension lift kit will give you the height you want and do so with rugged parts that will withstand the punishment of off-road operation.
Tire Rub Can Be Annoying or Disastrous
If you plan to drive your Jeep to the grocery store, work, and your kid’s soccer games, you might be able to live with the tire rub that will likely result from putting 35-inch tires on your Jeep and making no other modifications.
However, most of us got Jeeps to do more adventurous things than those everyday outings. So how bad can tire rub be?
When you rub your rubber tires against the metal of your vehicle, the resulting friction will cause rapid wear as the rubber gets whittled away by the metal.
Chip away enough rubber, and you spring a leak in the tire. A flat on the street is no fun.
A flat tire out in the mud can mean you’re stuck for good.
Worse than a flat tire is a blowout. If you damage your tire just enough that it survives until you’re back on the highway, a flat tire at high speeds can be dangerous if not deadly—blowout-related accidents kill 400 drivers annually.
Rubbing against the fenders will make some noise.
Driving to church with a bit of rub won’t ruin your Jeep, but you will hear the droning groan of the rub.
But the bouncing, sometimes violent jarring that comes with off-roading can not only damage the tires, but it can inflict severe damage to the body of the Jeep, as well.
Enough damage to your fenders can also end up getting you a citation.
Most states require fender flares for all four tires, and they need to be wide enough to cover the tire.
This is mainly to prevent mud, water, and rocks from spraying on vehicles behind you and does qualify as a safety issue.
If your larger tires damage your fenders enough that they don’t function properly, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
Adjustments Needed for 35-Inch Tires
Probably the first thing you’ll need to do is install a lift kit.
Since most Jeep owners looking to put larger tires on their vehicles hope for some off-road adventuring, a lift kit might already be part of the plan.
If it isn’t, it will certainly enhance your time in the rough.
For 35-inch tires on a Jeep, look for a lift kit that adds at least 2 ½”, but you probably don’t need to go higher than 3 ½”.
Going much higher than that, especially if you’re off-roading where you’ll find yourself on unlevel ground with some frequency, you put yourself at risk for rollovers.
Remember that when you raise your Jeep, you’re raising the center of gravity, and messing with that can get dangerous.
You’ll want to choose between a body lift kit or a suspension lift kit, and each has its pros and cons. Either type will give you the needed elevation so your larger tires can function correctly.
You can widen the wheelbase of your Jeep with a wheel spacer kit, as well.
Spacers give your tires a little more lateral room so you can turn them without having them come into contact with the body of your Jeep.
With a lift kit and a spacer kit, your 35-inch tires should spin and turn unencumbered, and you’ll be free to enjoy off-roading without worrying about whether bigger tires were a bad idea.
We do what we need to do so our Jeeps look, feel, and perform the way we want.
But some changes necessitate other changes, and 35-inch tires fall into that category.
To enjoy top-tier performance from your larger tires, and to operate the vehicle safely, you’ll need to install a lift kit and perhaps a wheel spacer kit.
Your 35-inch tires will last longer and operate more safely, especially in off-road situations.
Without these aftermarket adjustments, you open yourself up to repair bills stemming from body damage, tire replacement costs, and the genuine possibility of physical danger resulting from accidents.
Get your big tires, but be careful about it and make the necessary adjustments.