Ford Transit Larger Tires Upgrade

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Looking to upgrade your Ford Transit stock tires for larger diameter to improve ground clearance and traction? We were too! Here is the data we gathered during our research.

 

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Let’s get straight to the point. Before we took possession of the van, we upgraded immediately to BF Goodrich KO2¬†LT225/75/R16E All-Terrain tires.

First Ride Avila

 

The KO2 are all-terrain, snow approved (there is the snowflake on it), badass tires.
BF Goodrich KO2 tire

BF Goodrich KO2 tire. Buy from Amazon.

 

How is the clearance?

Note that for the front tires, minimum clearance is achieved when wheels are fully turned. The clearance shown below is for straight wheels.

Front:

BF Goodrich KO2 on Ford Transit Clearance (2) BF Goodrich KO2 on Ford Transit Clearance (4)

 

Rear:

BF Goodrich KO2 on Ford Transit Clearance (3) BF Goodrich KO2 on Ford Transit Clearance (1)

 

First of all, what does all those number means?

LT225/75/R16E

  • 225: The first 3 digits are the tire width in millimeters (225mm tire diameter)
  • 75: The second 2 digits are the tire aspect ratio in percentage (ratio of the sidewall height to its width). (75%)
  • R16: The is the diameter of the wheel the tire is intended to fit. (16″ wheel diameter)
  • LT: Light Truck metric size intended for vehicule¬†capable of carrying heavy cargo or towing large trailers.
  • E: Load Range /¬†Ply Rating. (D = 8 plies, E = 10 plies). Check this article for more info.




 

What is the Ford Transit stock size tires?

Our 2016 Ford Transit was equipped with stock tires¬†Continental VancoFourSeasons¬†235/65/R16C. They are 28″ diameter.

VancoFourSeasons

 

What is the largest tire diameter that can be installed without rubbing?

(data gathered from FordTransitUsaForum)

  • Stock factory tires diameter: 28‚Ä≥ (235/65/R16C)
  • Best compromise and enough clearance for chains: 29.2‚Ä≥ (LT225/75/R16E)
  • Largest diameter without rubbing, probably no clearance for chains (to be confirmed): 30.4‚Ä≥ (LT245/75/R16E)
  • We’ve seen people installed¬†larger tires, but some has reported rubbing, some not…

 

Why did we choose larger, all-terrain, BF Goodrich KO2 A/T tires?
  • All Terrain tread to get us to the trailheads
  • Winter approved
  • To increase ground clearance
  • Great reviews on the Interwebs

 

Larger tires will affect speedometer reading

The larger tires will decrease the speedometer reading of about 3-4 mph. For example if the speedometer reads 55 mph, our true speed is 58-59 mph. We have to keep that in mind to avoid speeding tickets!




 

How are the KO2 in snow?

They are great, except when we are driving on a soft-packed layer of snow over a layer of ice; just like a pickup truck (no 4×4), the rear of the Transit is light and tires will spin easily even with the Limited Slip Differential. We see that happens in ski resort parking lots and such (not on paved road).

For this reason, we carry Thule (now Konig) XG12 PRO snow chains (http://amzn.to/2kUayQT). See our post on snow chains here:

Wait for it! 

Ford Transit in snow

Just a random picture in snow….

 

 

Many people opts for studded winter tires and swear by it. They truly are effective on ice. Lifeakimbo installed Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2; you can read about it here.

 

Popular premium all-terrain tire choices and specifications




BF Goodrich KO2

BF Goodrich KO2 tire

 

Cooper Discoverer AT3

Cooper Discoverer AT3

 

 

Popular winter studded tire choices and specifications

Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2 Studded Winter Tires

Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2 Winter Tire

 

 

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and we’re seeking for the ride of our life. We bought a Ford Transit van, converted it to a campervan, sold our house, quit our jobs and hit the road full-time to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!

 

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24 comments

  1. Comment by Josh

    Josh Reply February 23, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    When you put the larger tires on did those fit on the factory wheels?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply February 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Yes, we mounted the larger tires on the factory wheels!

  2. Comment by Chip

    Chip Reply March 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Can the speedo be recalibrated for the larger tires?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply March 9, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      We heard of many people who tried at their Ford dealer, but I don’t think anyone had a positive response. We learnt to live with it!

  3. Pingback: Ordered My New Van - Page 3 - Ford Transit USA Forum

  4. Comment by Justin

    Justin Reply July 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Did the BFG AT reduce your MPG?

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply July 7, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      We installed them from the very beginning, so we can’t tell. That being said, i’m sure badass AT tires reduce the MPG…
      With the conversion 95% finished, high-roof, extended-length, 4.10 Transmission ratio, 3.7 engine, our MPG is at about 15.

  5. Comment by Terry

    Terry Reply August 9, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Are the tire chains in your link (KONIG 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe SUV/Crossover Snow Chain, Size 245) the correct size (245s) for the BF Goodrich (LT245/75/R16E) that you purchased?

    I have studded ice tires on my Fiesta ST for winter fun – virtually like on rails – I couldn’t be happier!!! The BF G T/A’s are certainly top choice for my van. Another blogger said he lost about 1 mpg with the T/A”s from his stock tires on his van.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply August 9, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      We installed the KO2 right from the beginning, so we haven’t measured the actual MPG loss; 1 mpg sounds about right.

      Here is the link for the Konig fitting chart:
      https://konigchain.com/fitguide-consumer/

      (hint: click on “I can’t find my car” to go by tire size). Using this guide, i got K√∂nig XG-12 PRO 255 for the 245/75R16 tires.

      Cheers!

  6. Comment by Alex Evangelista

    Alex Evangelista Reply September 16, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Awesome! I want this for our transit van that we just got at the beginning of the year. We got this van because we are a family of 7! 5kids! This van is awesome!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply September 16, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      5 kids! Wow, keep it up!

  7. Comment by James

    James Reply September 17, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    We JUST got our van on Friday and I asked about bigger tires but we were so excited, my wife and I both forgot to follow up before driving off…
    Did Ford do the tire swap or did you have to do it elsewhere? Were you able to exchange or did you have to sell the tires?
    Thanks for a great blog.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply September 18, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Ford did it before we took possession of the van, but didn’t exchange them (we had to pay for tire install). We then sold the old tires on Craiglist (as new tires since they have no mileage on them).
      Good day!

  8. Comment by Dan

    Dan Reply October 2, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Hi do you have any troubles with rubbing on any part of the vehicle, with the tyres. And did you have to have any modifications to fit them

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply October 2, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      No rubbing, no modification. The tires are mounted on the stock rims. Some folks installed bigger tires (245) without rubbing.

      Cheers!

  9. Comment by Dan

    Dan Reply October 3, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Great thank you

  10. Comment by Yann

    Yann Reply October 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Bonjour,
    Pourquoi avez-vous choisi LT225/75/R16E?
    Ford me dit que le Transit 250 est offset de 4% avec ctte taille et peut endommager les suspensions.

    Ils recommendent LT215/70/R16C

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply October 28, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Des pneus plus gros donne une meilleure traction et un plus grand dégagement avec le sol (pour le hors-route).
      En effet, nous avons observ√© que l’odom√®tre est environ 4% offset, mais √ßa ne nous d√©range pas vraiment…
      Pour la suspension, j’en doute. Plusieurs personnes installent m√™me des LT245 (et m√™me 265). √Čvidemment le concessionnaire Ford ne vous conseillera pas autre chose que ce qui est “standard”.

      Voilà!
      Au plaisir, antoine

  11. Comment by Max Feldman

    Max Feldman Reply November 5, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Hey there!,

    First off your website is the bomb.com! Second off and the point of this reply to your post is I’m nearly finished with my van build and winter is a comin! Sooo I need new tires (rear wheel drive is fun until you have to drive in a straight line) for ski season. I live in the front range of Colorado and plan to drive about 15k miles this winter with a big trip up to Banff/Revelstoke for several weeks, a Montana trip, Wyoming, Utah, okay you get the picture LOTS OF STOKE CHASING, gas burning, coffee drinking road trips are in my near future. *Insert snow dance here*

    So, originally I was planning to go with your idea and buy K02’s with chains for when I have to hit the ‘oh sh*t’ button. Annddd then I read the post from Lifeakimbo that you have a link to in this page.. So in your opinion should I stick with the K02 idea with chains or go with studs and no chains?

    Your opinion is much appreciated!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply November 5, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      Hi!

      We got the KO2 because we’re travelling full time and we didn’t want having to swap the tires for winter/summer during our trip. If we were weekend warriors (with a house as a home base), we would probably install studded winter tires during winter, then swap for A/T tire during summer. It’s probably the best thing to do!

      Hope that helps!

  12. Comment by Two Travelin Chicas

    Two Travelin Chicas Reply November 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Guys,
    Just got our used 2015 Transit T250 HT 148. Very excited and you should be getting a huge kick back from all my purchases. I really want to put the 245s on but am a bit nervous with the rubbing possibility. Planning to hit the road for good in March. West Coast up to Alaska then next fall and from then on Central and South Americas. Do you know of anyone who did install the 245s? Thanks in advance.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply November 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Wow, sounds like a plan!! Solid itinerary! How long are you planning for?

      I don’t know someone personally, but I’ve read on the discussion forum (here) that it can be done and there should be no rubbing.

      THANKS for using our links ūüôā
      Have a good one!

  13. Comment by Two Travelin Chicas

    Two Travelin Chicas Reply December 8, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    We are planning on being gone for as long as… as long as we can hike, walk and drive!

    One other question for you. When building… in what order did you do insulation and wiring? What wiring did you use? It looks flat…

    Perhaps we will meet up some day!
    Cheers!

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply December 8, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      We did insulation first, then wiring. This way the wiring is more accessible for modification later (if needed…).
      It looks flat because it comes with the positive wire (red) and negative wire (black) into a white protective sleeve; it’s called duplex. For example duplex AWG 14 is referred as 14/2: http://amzn.to/2B48Qau .

      Hope that helps!

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