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.

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 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
LT225/75R16/E 115 S6″ – 7″8.8″ on 6″29.2″2680@80142.4YesNoYesamzn.to/2R6qeQq
LT255/70R16/E 120 S6.5″ – 8″10.2″ on 7.5″30″3085@8047.7YesNoSee 3amzn.to/2yvGLGG
LT245/75R16/E 120 S6.5″ – 8″9.8″ on 7″30.4″3042@8048.9YesYes2See 3amzn.to/2R9TZzK

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…

Conclusion

We're done, thanks for reading!

We think You might be interested in:

Ford TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM (TPMS)

Husky Floor Mat for Ford Transit - Review

WeatherTech Mud Flaps for Ford Transit - Review

MAXTRAX RECOVERY BOARDS - Review

STAY IN TOUCH!

Join 20,000+ followers via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Patreon or e-mail:

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.

75 thoughts on “Ford Transit Larger Tires Upgrade”

  1. I can also confirm! Just installed today at Town Fair Tire. BF Goodrich KO2 – LT255/70R16/E 120 S. Transit 250 LWB Medium Roof. I inspected as they were being installed. These tires just fit! They may slightly rub at full wheel turn on a bump. They are very close to the main strut but the transit stock tires are also. Spare tire barely fits in the tire carrier and hangs a little low and at an angle but should be fine. I love these tires! Makes the van look great!

  2. Hello! Thanks for the info. With the larger tires, are there any issues with the anti-lock brake system? Do you know if anything with the Ford warranty (e.g., transmission coverage) is voided with larger tires?

  3. Thanks for leading the way! I just had my buddy’s shop install a set of 215/85/16 snow tires I had left over from the Sprinter I used to have. I had them do the same clearancing detailed on Morey’s website and I have had no issues.

  4. Hello, I have a 2018 Transit 250 148″ WB. I just ordered, received, and tried to have my new 255/70/16 BFG KO2 tires installed after reading your conclusion of the fitment. Sadly the installer refused to fully install. They test fitted the front right tire and did a few turns in the parking lot and said it rubbed under body roll from braking and also was incredibly close to the main strut. I know you just installed in Dec. of ’18 but have you had any rubbing issues? Maybe at full lock turn, pulling into upward angled driveways, under braking, while suspension is compressed, etc? Thanks!

    • Just bought a transit 350 after Christmas. With a family of seven and possibly more on the way thought it would be more pleasant to make those trips looking for adventure. Living in Colorado at 9200 feet traction is an issue in my driveway. Hoping that getting different tires will make the difference and your article is encouraging. Think I’m going to try the kumho AT 51 in a 245/70/r16. Have them on my f150 and Kia Sedona minivan and they work great. They have a 55000 mile warranty and are rated great in the snow. I’ll let you know how they work on the transit!

  5. I am building out a 2018 Ford Transit 148″ with a medium roof as a rolling toyhauler. I use it to camp out of at all my dirtbike and bicycle races. The one issue I have with it is I keep getting stuck in the wet fields that they designate as race parking. I can’t afford the $1700 Foes 2″ lift, so I was wondering if my suspension stayed 100% stock and I don’t trim my van’s body at all will the 255/70r16 BFG All-Terrain KO tires fit and not rub when I turn? The guys at my local shops didn’t seem so confident, but you seem to be having success. I just wanted to double check before I make the investment. If they fit I will be getting them from the Discount Tire link on your page. Thanks guys

    • Hi! We don’t have lift of anything and the 255/70R16 KO2 fits on the stock wheels (someone told us they rub if you have bigger wheels), we confirm! No need to trim anything.

      You won’t get stuck with these 🙂

  6. Antoine! Great choice!
    We put the same tires on our van about 3 months ago-
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/157308015@N03/43970357600/

    Your next step it to ‘murder them out’ ha! We just did 6200 miles out west, several
    hundred miles off asphalt and the Plasti-dip is holding strong.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/157308015@N03/43970357520/

    Unlike you (we know your love of skiing puts you in the snow) we avoid snow and tire
    chains but good to know you like the Thule model. For emergency we added the Shark Snow Sock.

    At the time of changing the tires we also upped the rear shocks to Bilsteins. What a huge difference
    the shocks and the BF Goodrich’s made on the washboard/potholed roads.

  7. Do you have any information on how the BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain tires perform gas milage wise vs the stock tires? Mind me asking what kind of gas milage you’re getting in general? Your site rules by the way!

  8. Out of curiosity, did you consider the 245/70/16 when you were looking at getting new tires at all? Just curious because i’m torn between your old size and the 245/70 as they are just slightly bigger and wider, trying to figure out if i want skinnier or wider. Both fit the chains but of course different sized chains.

      • I can see you’d have to trim that with the 245/75 but not the 245/70, only .2” taller than your original KO2’s but much wider, did you go with skinny for snow traction vs the “float” effect with the wider 245//70. I agree completely though, I don’t want to trim anything that’s why I’m between the 225/75 and the 245/70

  9. I noticed you have the Quigley 4×4 lift on your van. Do you think the LT255/70R16 would fit on a van with stock suspension or does the lift factor into the tires that will fit? I currently have LT225/75R16 installed but it’s time to replace them. It seems I have about the same tire clearance as you do. Also thank you so much for your blog. I used it quite a bit during my build and highly recommended it to others!

    Thanks!

    Brandon Koch (Chattanooga, TN)

    • Hi Brandon,
      In fact we DON’T have the 4×4; we have the stock suspension and factory wheels 🙂 So we think the LT255/70R16 will fit! We’ll give them a shot in a few weeks when our LT225/75R16 are worn out.

      Have a good one,
      antoine

  10. Correct me if I am wrong, but that tire size (LT225/75R16 LRE) does not hold the same weight as the OEM tires…
    The Continental tires max load is 3195lbs @ 90psi, That is what the tire is capable of. A diesel ford transit requires 52PSI in the front and 71 PSI in the rear. 3195lbs/90psi = 35.5lbs per psi is what the Conti holds. If you Multiply the front and rear psi you will get what the transit holds out of the factory.
    Front @52psi will hold 1846lbs
    Rear @71psi will hold 2520.5lbs

    The BFG tires max load is 2680lbs @ 80psi = 33.5lbs per psi. So the new tire pressure should be Fronts 55psi, rears 75psi to hold the same weight out of the factory

    So it will hold what the factory holds, but you are limited to 2680lbs @ 80psi…

    • It’s true that they hold less than the factory tires.
      I don’t know about your calculations (xxlbs per psi), but you could have your van weighted fully loaded (front and rear axle) to determine exactly what’s the load on each tire; then you can be sure you’re not above the tire capacity. If that’s the case, you could look into the 245/75R16 as they have a higher load rating.

      Cheers!

  11. I kept getting stuck in the snow, so put these tires on my transit this winter. If you are in a state where you get any snow. They fit. I love them, have had them around 7 months. I put them on my Jeep also. Thanks for posting this. I know more about tires and load ratings than I want to. BF Goodrich KO2 are the best, and they look cool also.

  12. Re: the KO2 tires- did availability of tires factor into your decision (i.e. getting a flat when out and about and being able to replace it relatively easily) Also, are you in a situation where if you have to replace one tire, you have to replace all of them? (happened with my subaru even with relatively new tires).

    thank you for all the details, specs and links! your website is a trove of info nd guidance!

    • Hi!
      We didn’t factor availability, but the KO2 are popular and very easy to find. The KO2 can be installed on any wheel; so you can change only one tire.

      Good luck!
      Antoine

  13. Hi, I love your website. Very informative. I just bought a 2017 ford transit van and am very excited to take delivery of it but I am sooooooo overwhelmed. I do not have any experience with this type of work plus the van took a lot of my money. I want to raise the roof and, of course, build it out inside. I will be coming back to you site over and over again for help. The cheapest fiberglass roof I’ve found is about 2K. Any other suggestions?

  14. Thanks for all the great info. I love the idea of going with the BF Goodrich KO2 LT225/75/R16E All-Terrain tire. How well are they wearing? I find the stock tires struggle to get 50k miles.

    • We’re at 32k miles and I’m pretty sure the tires will make it to 50k. The reviews we read online were positive about the wearing. We will buy the KO2 again after ours wear out!

  15. Hi guys, we just ordered our van! Since you’ve been on the road for a while, if doing it again, would you buy the same tires? How is the road noise on them? We also want to get nice looking rims, but between Discount Tire and Les Schwab only 3 show up as options and I was wondering if there is some catch with this. Thanks for running this amazing website! We plan to use a bunch of your links once the build begins.

    • Hi and congratulation for the van!!
      We would buy the same tires. We don’t noticed road noise (especially since the van is insulated) and they do the job in summer/winter.
      We don’t know about the rims; we just use wheel covers on the factory wheels.

      Good luck and THANKS in advance for using our links 🙂
      Cheers!

  16. Any chance you know what you paid the dealer for the tires/installation. I just received a price from my dealer for $967.

  17. The one thing that I didn’t like about the Transit was the design of the rims so to hide them I ordered the silver hubcaps but plan on painting them all black with Plasti Dip to match the black van that I just ordered.

  18. You know Nokian makes a tire that meets the weight specs for the transit it’s call a Hakkapeliitta C3 (with studs) or CR3 (studless).

    • We did, it fits in the spare tire spot.
      We include the spare into tires rotation and we learned the spare doesn’t have a tire pressure sensor… the van computer is constantly showing a “Tire Pressure Sensor Error” and that’s annoying (we can’t see outside temp, MPEG, etc). Next time we change our tires, we will install a sensor in the spare!

      Cheers!

  19. Do you know of any problems or have any concerns about the larger tires affecting the shift points of the transmission due to the slight change in the speedometer?

    Thank you! Your website is great!

    • We have the 4.1 transmission ratio, but the Transit can also be ordered with the 3.73 ratio. With our larger tires we’re probably somewhere in between 4.1 and 3.73, so I doubt it’s a problem. Also, many people have installed larger tires with no issues.

      cheers!

  20. 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!

    • 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!

  21. 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.

    • 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 🙂
      Have a good one!

    • Hi dos Chicas, I have 245/75/16 installed and I really like them. I have a 4 bike rack on the back and it the added height allows the rack to fully extend to the ground so the rear doors can open. The larger tires also look more natural than the small skateboard wheels that come stock. I do recommend eventually changing your gears from 3.31 to 3.73. Once you do this there is no change to the speedometer since the gears make up for the change in tire diameter.

  22. 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!

    • 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!

  23. 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

    • Des pneus plus gros donne une meilleure traction et un plus grand dégagement avec le sol (pour le hors-route).
      En effet, nous avons observé que l’odomètre est environ 4% offset, mais ça ne nous dérange pas vraiment…
      Pour la suspension, j’en doute. Plusieurs personnes installent même des LT245 (et même 265). Évidemment le concessionnaire Ford ne vous conseillera pas autre chose que ce qui est “standard”.

      Voilà!
      Au plaisir, antoine

  24. 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

  25. 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.

    • 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

    • 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.

Leave a Comment

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