Ford Transit All-Terrain Larger Tires Upgrade

Ford Transit All-Terrain Larger Tires Upgrade

Ford-Transit-Larger-Tires-KO2-All-Terrain
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Looking to upgrade your Ford Transit stock tires for larger diameter, all-terrain tires to improve ground clearance, traction, and look? We were too! Here is the data we gathered during our research and our long term review of the BFGoodrich KO2 AT tires.

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Portrait-FarOutRide-Van

1. Too Long Didn’t Read

(Straight To The Point)

Let’s get straight to the point. 

We are running BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E tires on both of our vans (2016 RWD Transit & 2021 AWD Transit) and we highly recommend them if you want to upgrade to all-terrain, snow-approved tires on your stock Ford Transit van (factory wheels, no body lift):

Why they’re our favorite All-Terrain tires out there:

  • The traction in mud and snow is outstanding.
  • It’s the largest tire size possible on the stock wheel and with no modification to the van body.
  • They increase ground clearance.
  • These tires make our van look badass, just like us!
BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E Tires
BFGoodrich KO2 tires

2. Understanding Tire Sizes


What do all these numbers mean?

LT255/70R16 120/117 E

  • LT: Light Truck metric size intended for vehicle capable of carrying heavy cargo or towing large trailers.
  • 255: The first 3 digits are the tire width in millimeters (255mm tire width).
  • 70: The second 2 digits are the tire aspect ratio in percentage (ratio of the sidewall height to its width; in this case, 70%).
  • R16: The is the diameter of the wheel the tire is intended to fit (16″ wheel diameter).
  • 120/117: Load index (this is critical, so please see next section for more info).
  • E: Load Range / Ply Rating. (D = 8 plies, E = 10 plies). Check this article for more info.

3. Tire Load Index


For your safety, it is critical to understand that all tire brands/models/sizes have a different load index. The load index is the maximum weight (per tire) that your tire can support safely:

Load IndexLoad (lbs)Load IndexLoad (lbs)Load IndexLoad (lbs)
7585210118191263748
7688210218741273858
7790810319291283968
7893710419841294079
7996310520391304189
8099210620941314289
81101910721491324409
82104710822051334541
83107410922711344674
84110211023371354806
85113511124031364938
86116811224691375071
87120111325351385203
88123511426011395357
89127911526791405512
90132311627561415677
91135611728331425842
92138911829101436008
93143311929981446173
94147712030861456393
95152112131971466614
96156512233071476779
97160912334171486844
98165312435271497165
99170912536381507385
1001764    
Tire Load Index Table

Remember that the weight each tire sees is subject to change with time; for example, as the payload changes (cargo) or when going up a steep incline, the rear tires support most of the weight. There are many variables to take in to account, so when in doubt, select new tires with a load index no lower than the factory tires. In fact, most tire shops will not agree to install tires with a lower load index, for liability reasons.

LT tires (light truck) have two load index numbers. The first load index is for single tires. The second load index is for dual tires. The reason the capacity for two tires is lower than a single tire is to make sure that the vehicle can continue to carry the load should one tire fail.


4. Tire Pressure


“What PSI do you run your tires at?”

Short answer:

Run your tires per the sticker located in the driver-side door jamb:

Long answer:

Generally speaking, the ideal pressure depends on the weight that the tire is carrying. More weight = more pressure required.

The pressure indicated on the door sticker is for the case of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR); that’s the total weight your van should NEVER exceed. By running your tires at the pressure indicated on the door sticker, you are always in the “safe zone”. Safety first! That being said, if your van is empty, it is acceptable to lower the rear tires pressure a bit to get a smoother ride. You can use this chart* as a guideline (you want to select the “LT-Metric” Chart): tirepressure.com/charts

*The weight indicated in the chart is the weight seen by a single tire. That’s not exactly easy to figure out, we’re in advanced territory here! In doubt, just run your tires per door sticker.

You might be interested in:


5. Ford Transit Factory Tires


Our 2016 and 2021 Ford Transit came equipped with Continental 235/65/R16 121C.

They are 28″ diameter.

Don’t be fooled by the “Four Seasons” or “All Seasons” appellation. They’re simply not made for snow! For example, driving with these in Quebec (Canada) during winter is illegal! They are also useless in mud or on wet grass…

Note the “121” load index.

VancoFourSeasons

6. Ford Transit Compatible Tires


We can’t possibly go through all the different brands/models on the market, so we’ll stick to what we know for now:

Tire ModelTire Size, Load Index & Speed RatingRim Width Range (Min/Max)Section Width on Measuring Rim WidthOverall DiameterMax Load, Single (lb @ PSI)Tire WeightFit on Factory Wheels?Modification to Van Body Required?Fit in Spare Tire Carrier?Buy Link
KO2LT255/70R16/E 120 S6.5″ – 8″10.2″ on 7.5″30″3085@8047.7YesNoSee 3Tire Rack
KO2LT245/75R16/E 120 S6.5″ – 8″9.8″ on 7″30.4″3042@8048.9YesYes2See 3Tire Rack
Falken WildPeak A/T3WLT245/75R16/E 1206.5″ – 8″9.5″ on 7″30.5″3042@8046.0YesYes2See 3Tire Rack

Notes:

1 LT225/75R16/E 115 S: Take note of the “115” load index… this is much lower than the factory tires. We DID run these tires at first for a few years without issues, but because the load index is so low, we do NOT recommend them.

2 The pinch weld may have to be trimmed. Check out Morey’s in Transit instructions.

3 Fit in the spare tire carrier of the Ford Transit 148″ Extended-Length only. You can still fit it in the non-extended length by following Morey’s in Transit instructions.


7. Clearance


FRONT:

(Note that minimum clearance is achieved when wheels are fully turned. The clearance shown is for straight wheels)

REAR:


8. Durability


  • 1ST SET: We got 45k miles out of them, that’s including the spare in the rotation (so 5 tires). It’s not a lot, but keep in mind they’re made for traction not for wear life!
  • 2ND SET: We got 32K miles out of them, which is less than our previous tires. But this time, we did NOT include the spare tire in the rotation (so less mileage was expected). In addition, we could have kept them longer, but we wanted new tires for the start of our skiing season. Driving in snow/ice with worn out tires isn’t ideal for safety…

9. Good To Know


9.1. LARGER TIRES AFFECT SPEEDOMETER & Odometer


Larger tires will decrease the speedometer reading by about 3-4 mph (depending). 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!

It also impacts the odometer, so some things like the oil change warning might be off.

Ford dealers can’t fix that, and there’s no “unofficial” fix that we know of. Edit: there might be ways to do it: Speedometer calibration on FordTransitUSAforum.com

9.2. ALL-TERRAIN TIRES ARE MORE NOISY


Aggressive threads are more noisy. We don’t mind that at all, but some people are more sensitive to noise…

9.3. ALL-TERRAIN TIRES = Compromises


Road tires are optimized for the road and performs poorly off-road. Off-road tires are optimized for off-roads and are not great on highways. All-Terrain tires offer a compromise between road/off-road tires.

If going off-road is not in your plans, there’s probably no needs for all-terrain tires. But if, like us, you plan on using your van to travel (i.e. highways) and then to get to the trailhead (i.e. off-road), all-terrain tires will do great for that application 🙂


10. Snow Chains & Winter


Snow chains are sometimes mandatory. We don’t like missing a powder day, so we carry a pair with us at all times!

Be aware that Ford doesn’t allow the use of snow chains on the Transit. However, many people, including us, do it. Your call!

Thule/Konig XG-12 Pro Snow CHains
Thule-Konig-XG-12-PRO-Snow-Chains-Review-2
Size, installation, etc.
Winter VanLife Guide
Winter-Vanlife-How-To-Tips-FarOutRide-Induction
Traction & driving in snow, staying warm, condensation control, electrical/solar, water/showers, etc.

11. Aftermarket Wheel Upgrade


We didn’t mind the look of our factory wheels on our 2016 RWD Transit, but something was off on our 2021 AWD Transit… So we went ahead with paired our KO2 tires with Method MR703 wheels:


Want More?


WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.

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About us


NICE TO MEET YOU.

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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017, we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers, and moved into our self-built campervan. Every day is an opportunity for a new adventure... We’re chasing our dreams, and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

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Thanks to all of you, we managed to negociate group discount on these. Strength in numbers!

138 thoughts on “Ford Transit All-Terrain Larger Tires Upgrade”

  1. Hi there –

    Any comments on these tires for wet conditions? Any issues with increased stopping distances or breaking loose when they shouldn’t?

    Thx heaps!

    Reply
  2. I have a 2018 Transit 150, low roof, 130″WB. It has Continental 235/65 R16 C tires on it. Is there any reason you know of that would make it a bad idea to put the BF Goodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 120/117 E tires that you suggest on this version of the Transit? Thank you for your very helpful and specific information on camper van builds.

    Reply
    • c’mon Brayden let this master engineer focus on the real stuff. my ko2’s maybe cost like 1mpg but without them I would have a totalled or at least half totalled van by now 10x over. I am no fanboy or shill, all big companies suck…but the ko2s are a real upgrade from mid or low end tires especially a/t tires. ko3’s will be here in a year they should be better, until then just get ko2s and move on. the transit steering / suspension sucks imo and I’m on my second steering rack already at 40k. Ko2’s then an alignment (and free realignment within 30 days at most places) and you will be ok. side note my van is way better with sumo spring coil spring polyurethane things up front (get the knock offs for $100 instead of $200, same exact thing) but put those on before the alignments.

      Reply
  3. On your RWD did you have any rubbing issues with the KO2s? And did you have any modifications like suspension, lift, trimmed pinch welds, etc? I’m about to put these on factory wheels on my 2019 250 130WB and I’m a bit nervous.

    Reply
  4. Hey I’m here in southern Oregon and I keep getting told I need studded tires when I tell them I want the ATs. Do you feel the studded tires are necessary?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Winter tires will perform better in extreme conditions (cold, snow, etc.), yes. And studded tires will perform better on icy surface (how often do you drive on ice, it totally depends where you live?).
      Best case scenario would be to run winter tires in winter, and A/T tires in summer.
      But MANY of us just run A/T tires all year long, it works.
      Cheers,
      Antoine

      Reply
  5. I tried to check the comments and the article but didn’t find the answer yet.

    Do you know what is the maximum tire that will fit the stock rims in dual rear wheel transit without modifications?

    Or would you be able to point me where to find this info online

    Many thanks

    Reply
  6. Thanks you for sharing this information with transit enthusiasts : )
    I decided to go with the Method MR701 & on road terrain tires
    by Continental https://continentaltire.com/tires/terraincontact-at
    Size LT245 / 75 / R16 & they fit like a glove… without modifications for most people…
    I did need to trim a few inches of the inner plastic wheel well liner for the front wheel well & I also needed to trim a few inches of the tow hitch so that the spare tire fits correctly underneath… “I did need to hired a welder to for the tow hitch”
    A professional welder mechanic should be able to do this and not lose any structural integrity for the tow hitch…
    My spare new tire is on the original wheel that came with the transit…

    Ps: if your transit doesn’t have the inner liner for the front wheel well you shouldn’t need any modification… same with the no hitch…

    These tires and new wheels look amazing… I can notice the extra height & they ride on the road amazingly… very quiet on the highway… and light vibration… I got them from tires discount!

    Reply
  7. Hello,
    I have a 2020 350 AWD high roof, short body. Tire rack is saying they can’t sell me the BFG KO2 AT LT255 70 R16 based on the GAWR. Did you run into this issue at all?
    Thanks!

    Reply
      • Thanks for the reply. I will look into other options. You mention that the load rating on the 225s is less than the stock tires. This is true on the 255s as well (they are about 110 less than stock), but sounds like you haven’t had issues. For reference, the 2020 350 AWD non eco boost, high roof short body
        Front GAWR 4630lbs
        Rear GAWR 5750lbs
        Which looks the same as the long body in the specs.
        Thanks again for all the great info.

        Reply

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