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.
Let’s get straight to the point. Before we took possession of the van, we upgraded immediately to BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain tires.
The KO2 are all-terrain, snow approved (there is the snowflake on it) badass tires.
First of all, what does all those number means?
- 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 came equipped with stock tires Continental VancoFourSeasons 235/65/R16C. They are 28″ diameter.
What KO2 tires can be installed on factory wheels?
|Tire Size, Load Index & Speed Rating||Rim Width Range (Min/Max)||Section Width on Measuring Rim Width||Overall Diameter||Max Load, Single (lb @ PSI)||Tire Weight||Buy Link|
|LT255/70R16/E 120 S||6.5″ – 8″||10.2″ on 7.5″||30″||3085@80||47.7||amzn.to/2yvGLGG|
|LT225/75R16/E 115 S||6″ – 7″||8.8″ on 6″||29.2″||2680@80||42.4||amzn.to/2R6qeQq|
|*LT245/75R16/E 120 S||6.5″ – 8″||9.8″ on 7″||30.4″||3042@80||48.9||amzn.to/2R9TZzK|
- The LT225/75R16/E 115 S don’t need modification and is a good size if you intend to use snow chains (we tested it), but the weight rating is lower than the Ford Transit GVWR. Some installers will refuse to install them because of that. If you still decide to go with the LT225/75R16/E 115 S, it is your responsibility to ensure you don’t overload them. This size fits in the Ford Transit spare tire carrier.
- The LT255/70R16/E 120 S don’t need modification and the weight rating is within range. We haven’t try them with snow chains yet, we will report back after 2018/2019 winter!
- * The LT245/75R16/E 120 S can be installed on factory wheels and the weight rating is within range, but some modifications are required to the van; see Morey’s in Transit How-To. This size fits in the Ford Transit spare tire carrier of the 148WB extended-length body only (or check out how the Morey’s made it work with their 148WB regular length body).
What size did we actually try?
1- LT225/75R16/E 115 S
We got 45k miles out of them, 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!
How is the clearance with the LT225/75R16/E 115 S?
Note that for the front tires, minimum clearance is achieved when wheels are fully turned. The clearance shown below is for straight wheels.
How about snow chains with LT225/75R16/E 115 S?
We used THULE/KONIG XG-12 PRO SIZE 245 (amzn.to/2SkfbVh) snow chains with them. Here is our full review:
2- LT255/70R16/E 120 S
We loved our first set of BFGoodrich KO2 so we stick with them for our second set (installed December 2018). This time, we are trying the LT255/70R16/E 120 S because the weight rating is higher, the diameter is slightly larger and no modification to the van is required. We confirm that they fit on the factory wheels without modifications to the van.
Because we’re on the road full time, we ordered the tires online from Discount Tire and had them ship and install to one of their store (they have stores literally everywhere in the US). It took 2-3 days for the tires to show up and the installation took less than 45 minutes; sweeeet!
How about snow chains with LT255/70R16/E 120 S?
We use THULE/KONIG XG-12 PRO SIZE 255 (amzn.to/2qcMLQ6) snow chains with them. The clearance between the chains and the van is really small (about 1/2″), but it works.
Note that above a certain speed (around 15 MPH), the chains start rubbing at the low clearance area (because they expand with the centrifugal force): the rubbing slightly damages the plastic trim (we don’t mind) and scratches some metal too (that could initiate rust, so we’ll treat that area with paint at spring and maybe add some kind of shield on top of metal?)
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. In fact, we spent last winter snow chasing all over the place: Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Montana & British Columbia (see our Fifth and Sixth month report). We went to ski resorts but also to remote places for backcountry skiing. We drove on all kinds of conditions: dry pavement, black ice, hard pack snow, fresh fluffy snow, you name it. We could go everywhere we wanted (keeping in mind we’re not a snowmobile) and we didn’t have to use the snow chains (except once where it was mandatory) or the Maxtrax. We made it!
Here is more info about living in the van during winter (4×4, snow chains, LSD, maxtrax, etc):
The BFGoodrich KO2 have superior traction in sand or in snow, they look great on the van and the rolling noise is very acceptable for all terrain tires. We highly recommend them!
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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. We’ve been on the road since then and 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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