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 LT225/75/R16E All-Terrain tires.
The KO2 are all-terrain, snow approved (there is the snowflake on it) badass tires.
The LT225/75R16E max load (2680 pounds at 80PSI) is below the GVWR of the Transit. That means:
- Some dealers / tire installers will refuse to install them on your van.
- For heavy builds, you might exceed the tire max load and that’s a potential safety issue (a blowout could occur).
There are many people running these tires on the Transit without issues, but in the end it’s your decision to take the risk or not. You might want to look at the LT245/75R16E (max load 3042 pounds at 80 PSI) instead, but then you will have to trim the pinch weld in the front and the spare tire won’t fit in the spare tire compartment. Don’t carry a smaller tire as a spare if you have the LSD (limited slip differential), because running tires of different size will wear the clutch of the LSD prematurely.
We compared online merchants and we recommend TireRack.com as the price is right!
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.
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 was equipped with stock tires Continental VancoFourSeasons 235/65/R16C. They are 28″ diameter.
What is the largest tire diameter that can be installed without rubbing?
(data gathered from FordTransitUsaForum)
- Stock factory tires diameter: 28″ (235/65/R16C)
- Best compromise and enough clearance for chains: 29.2″ (LT225/75/R16E)
- Largest diameter
without rubbing(the pinch weld in the front has to be trimmed, see Morey’s in Transit How-To), probably no clearance for chains: 30.4″ (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. 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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