Ford Transit Larger Tires Upgrade

BFGoodrich KO2 tires

Ford Transit Larger Tires Upgrade

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

Too Long; Didn't Read

Let’s get straight to the point. 

We are running BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E tires right now and this is what we recommend if you want to upgrade to all-terrain, snow-approved tires on your stock Ford Transit van (factory wheels, no body lift).

BFGoodrich KO2 Tires on Ford Transit van

Why we swear by them:

  • 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.
  • They clear the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of the Ford Transit.
  • These tires make our van look mean, just like us.
BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E Tires

1- Understanding Tire Sizes

What does all these numbers mean?

LT255/70R16 E

  • 255: The first 3 digits are the tire width in millimeters (255mm tire diameter)
  • 70: The second 2 digits are the tire aspect ratio in percentage (ratio of the sidewall height to its width). (70%)
  • 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.

2- Ford Transit Factory Tires

Our 2016 Ford Transit came equipped with stock tires Continental VancoFourSeasons 235/65/R16C.

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…

VancoFourSeasons

3- Ford Transit Compatible larger tires

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 Fit on Factory Wheels? Modification to Van Body Required? Fit in Spare Tire Carrier? Buy Link
LT225/75R16/E 115 S 6″ – 7″ 8.8″ on 6″ 29.2″ 2680@801 42.4 Yes No Yes Amazon
LT255/70R16/E 120 S 6.5″ – 8″ 10.2″ on 7.5″ 30″ 3085@80 47.7 Yes No See 3 Amazon
LT245/75R16/E 120 S 6.5″ – 8″ 9.8″ on 7″ 30.4″ 3042@80 48.9 Yes Yes2 See 3 Amazon

Notes:

1 LT225/75R16/E 115 S don’t clear 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.

2 The pinch weld has 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.

4- What sizes did we actually try?

4.1- LT225/75R16/E 115 S

Wear Out

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!

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)

4.2- 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!

Hint: select “my store” on top of their web page, shop by size (not by vehicle) and select an installation appointment date/time at checkout:

Wear Out

We installed them in december 2018, we’re still running them!

Clearance

Same as for the 225 above, minus half an inch!

5- Good To Know

5.1- Larger tires affect speedometer reading

Larger tires will decrease the speedometer reading of 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!

Ford dealers can’t fix that and there’s no “unofficial” fix that we know of. So suck it up and drive a bit slower 🙂

5.2- All-Terrain tires are more noisy

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

6- SNOW CHAINS

Snow chains are sometimes mandatory; we don’t want to miss a powder day so we’re carrying a pair with us at all time!

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

Here are the snow chains you need according to your tire size:

Or check out our review; there’s a sizing guide in there.

THULE/KONIG XG-12 PRO SNOW CHAINS – REVIEW

An empty RWD vehicle don’t do too well in snow. However, with the added weight from the van conversion, the Transit is doing just fine. We can go pretty much wherever we want! Here is the full debrief of our first winter living full time in the van; we talk of the LSD differential, driving in snow, 4×4 (or the lack of), etc…

- That's it folks, hope that helps! -

STAY IN TOUCH!

Join 25,000+ followers via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, e-mail or Patreon:

about us

Nice To Meet You.

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!

DISCLOSURE:

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a product link and buy anything from the merchant, we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.

Buying through our product links is the best way to say thanks if we were of any help for your conversion! Thanks for supporting us and for keeping this website alive 🙂

Alternatively, you can visit our Say Thanks! page.

117 thoughts on “Ford Transit Larger Tires Upgrade”

  1. Hey guys did you need to get new rims when you got the new tires put on or were you able to get the new tires on the factory rims? Just want to make sure I don’t have to order them before I make my tire appt.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Reply
  2. Have you guys tried driving with chains on the 255/70? I bought 225/75 KO2s last time after your review, I would like to go bigger on the next set as long as there is clearance for chains. I saw you mentioned the Thule chains, but curious if you’ve had a chance to use them to make sure there are no clearance issues even at full steering lock (parking lot maneuvers) or normal driving ~30mph?

    I also need to see how easy it is to have a shop swap my axle ratio. I started with the 3.31 on an ecoboost. Worried that I’ll be pushing it with 255/70 tires as that’s effectively 3.09 raio. Granted, I’m at 3.17 now and it seems OK. ~7500lb total weight for my build.

    Thanks!
    Chris

    Reply
    • We did use the Thule snow chains on the 255/70 KO2: https://youtu.be/esVtZZVH9QM

      It worked fine! That being said, expect the chains to rub against the plastic trim (of the wheel well) at moderate speed (above like 10-15mph?). It’s annoying but not a real issue; wouldn’t want to drive with this on for an hour though (because of the noise)!

      I have no idea about swapping your axle… I feel like the ecoboost has plenty of torque to handle it, but it’s just a guess.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Hello. Ordered tires through your site. Having a little trouble getting installed locally. Walmart and Sherwood will not install. Did you go through a Ford Dealer to have tires installed or a tire shop? Please advise. Love your page and will be getting more as the budget allows. Keep up the great work. Thanks.

    Reply
    • We personally didn’t have any issue, but we had many reports like yours. Shop are hesitant to install different tire size than factory. We had ours install at Discount Tires; they hesitated but we mentioned to them that the KO2 we chose have the same weight rating than the original tires. Maybe try at smaller shops? I’m sure you’ll find someone at some point.

      Good luck.

      Reply
      • Update: Third time is a charm. This time I went to Plymouth Tire & Service Center and before anything I showed the gentlemen at the counter who was the manager too, my phone with your TOO LONG; DIDN’T READ part with picture of van We are running Blah Blah.;) So then I said can you put these on my van. He replied , Absolutely why not? I replied there not “sticker” size, The other stores would not help me. He laughed and said as long as they meet weight -they do- and it doesn’t rub -it don’t but you knew that- he has no problem installing and collecting my money. 45 mins later my van is done with the new awesome shoes. No codes, No rubs, No problems! Super happy and really appreciate your help. Keep up the dream! You guys are Rock Stars.

        Reply
  4. Hello.
    So I ordered the tires from your page. Awesome page by the way. Sadly walmart or Sherwood tire in Plymouth Indiana would not install. Also the lady at Sherwood insists it will rub, not turn properly and trip warning sensors before it left there garage. I tried to show them your website but they wanted know part of it. I have a 2015 ford transit 350 12 passenger 3 door. Looks like I will have to take tires off myself, Jack stand it then take the wheels to Walmart. Switch tire have balanced $22 a tire then put back on myself. Not sure everyone will be okey with this process. Did a dealer put your tires on? Or a momma papa store no receipt type deal? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Shops are reluctant to install larger tires; you’ll have to try different shops but you’ll find one. Most people run into this issue but manage to find a place… Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Just installed the BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E on my Transit 350XLT yesterday and really like the look and feel with the extra 2” higher ride. Thanks for your information, it saved a ton of time. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  6. Hello,

    Did tire chance affect stability? I changed same tires and it feels than it does not drive nearly as well on highways. Just asking if you had the same or if they messed up with aglinement…

    Thanks! Awesome page! Keep doing it!

    Axel

    Reply
    • The KO2 are All-Terrain tires, so you get more off-road traction at the expense of smooth (and silent) highway driving. That being said, the KO2 still do OK on highways; it might depends on your expectation (or maybe they did really mess up the alignement).

      Good luck,
      antoine

      Reply
  7. Hi,
    You wrote you drove 45K with these tyres. But have you been only driving off road?
    I mean how fast do they last if driving on tarmac / regular roads?

    Reply
  8. Hi Antoine,
    Help! I have a 2018 Ford Transit 250 and yesterday had the snow tires installed. Since then the ABS and TCS lights have been going off and the speedometer quits working. Have you had any similar experiences post snow-tire installation? Please help, if you can! Thank you!

    Reply
    • We didn’t experience this. I really don’t know what’s going on, sorry. You definitely should take it to the dealer; if the installer did a mistake, he should probably pay for the repair…

      Good luck!

      Reply
  9. So, long-time follower first-time commenter.
    Love what you two are doing and the energy is fantastic.
    As a fellow detail orientated researcher, experimenter, why-can’t-I-er I wondered if you gathered any referencable data or opinion on the presumably depreciated fuel consumption when you bumped the tires up? Acceleration would, of course, go down a little, and the brakes would have to do more work to slow the van down but…just curious.

    Good luck and congratulations on LIVING YOUR DAMNED DREAM. It’s inspiring.

    Reply
  10. I have a 2019 transit F350 148WB with dual rear wheels.
    Will the same tire increase size you recommend fit on my Dual rear tires?

    Reply
  11. Interested like previous comment what size aftermarket wheels fit. I have a Quigley 4×4 Discount Tire is worried about the offset on aftermarket wheels but I would think with 2” lift moving tires further out wouldn’t be an issue

    Reply
  12. Also, the 255 fit in my spare tire holder according to Discount Tire. It is there and I have looked at it with no mod and at full pressure. 2018, MR, 148″ (not extended).

    Reply
  13. I have loved reading your web site and use it all the time. Just got my new 2018 Transit MR, 148″ and replaced the new factory tires with the BF 255s you recommended. But the front mud flaps that you recommend barely clear the tire. I bought the weather tech that you recommended. Did you keep the front mud flaps on when you upgraded and upsized your tires? Seems risky at this point. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.