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:

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 width)
  • 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.

Wear Out

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

Clearance

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

BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E Tires

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 30,000+ 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.

147 thoughts on “Ford Transit Larger Tires Upgrade”

  1. I was a little sceptical at 1st, but I am now a total believer. I installed a set of 255/70/16 Kuhmo AT51’s on my 2015 Transit 250. The tire installer said they wouldn’t fit. I told him I had good intel that said they would…and they did! Thank’s from Texas y’all! Now to move onto swivel seats.

    Reply
  2. Hey guys!

    Do you all have a 2WD Transit or the 4×4 conversion? I read that Morey’s van is 4×4 and has a 2in lift. I have a 2020 Transit 148 HR EXT and would like to change tires! If yours is also a 2WD than I am following this guide ASAP!

    Thanks for your blog! It helps a ton!

    Reply
  3. Just bought these tires from Discount Tires for our 2018 High Roof Extended, thanks to your post. Really grateful for you sharing all the details with us!

    Reply
  4. I just tried ordering the same tires you have recommended: BFG LT255/70/R16 E. The tire shop said that when they tried mounting these tires on to a Transit this week that it was touching the front strut. Any thoughts? Anyone else have issue ordering these tires for a stock van with stock rims? Should I go to another shop?

    As always, thanks for your input!

    Reply
    • 1 week follow-up : I was able to find and mount the recommended BF Goodrich LT255/70/R16E tires on to my Ford Transit 2020 van (High roof, 148 wheelbase, extended length). The tires look great! I’ve noticed approximately 1L/100km gas mileage increase.

      Cheers!

      Reply
  5. Hi,

    I’m in the UK and was just wondering what size original steels did you have on your Transit? I have 6.5xJx16x60 and just want to make sure they have the same standard wheels here.

    Thanks
    Tom

    Reply
  6. I just put these on my van and have a lil “body rolling” what is the magic number for front and back PSI?? Thanks

    Reply
  7. Thanks for giving the chart of tire sizes that work without modifications.

    I went with a Cooper 245 70 16 (based off you’ll using a 255 70 ratio) on a aftermarket 16×7 moto metal wheel. They get installed Tuesday I’m super stoked!!

    Thanks for all your guides!!!

    Reply
  8. Thanks so much for all the information! Quick question, does the new tire you guys are using fit under the car? Or did you have to mount it to the back for your door?

    Reply
  9. Hello, I currently have 235 65 16 . I would like to know what size can I put on my 2017 Ford transit-350 with keeping my same wheels and no modifications.

    I want to get the ko2s because I’ve been stuck multiple times on grass backing up my trailer that’s empty. The basic tires are horrible Thank you

    Reply
  10. Antoine,

    Another question. I just called Costco to see if they could do this upgrade. We have the same van that you do except ours is 2015. Anyway they said that they would not do more than a 3% upgrade. If the 235 becomes 255 then the second number needs to go down not up to 70. Other blogs have said to be really careful in upgrading the tire size. How are you making it happen without getting stuck with tires that may not fit? I welcome any thoughts you have. Thanks,

    Kim

    Reply
    • I don’t think there’s a universal math formula here… So we relied on people that did it before us, on online discussion groups. What’s your van model?

      Reply
  11. Hi Antoine!

    Thank you so much for the research and sharing it. My wife and I are van women and are in need of new tires. You’re so right. We got into a mess of a jam getting caught up in grass and mud the other day. We’re ready for the KO2s. So happy for you and you and Isabelle. Continue to Have wonderful journeys!

    Reply
  12. What MPG are you getting loaded with the KO2s?

    Love your site, btw. I was dead set on a Promaster, but you are swaying me over to the transit.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Bonjour!

    Selon votre tableau, il n’y aurait pas de modification à faire pour des BFK02 255/70r16 sur des roues de 6″ à 8″.

    Les roues d’origines que vous avez sont de 6,5″.

    Comment avez-vous calculer que des roues de 7.5 (plus large) avec des K02 de 255/70r16 ne froteraient pas dans les ailes???

    Merci

    Reply
  14. Have you noticed anything with a change in the reported odometer? I know that the larger size changes the speedometer but does it also impact the odometer reading correctly?

    Reply
  15. Probably dumb questions. How necessary is it to buy a matching spare tire and not use the one that came with the vehicle? Critical?

    Thanks,Terence

    Reply
    • Running tires with different diameter on the driving shaft (rear) might wear the differential prematurely. So if you don’t match, it’s OK but you’ll have to find a garage ASAP (I wouldn’t drive at highway speed if the tires don’t match). You’ll have to repair or buy a matching tire.
      If you match your spare tire, you can just keep going wherever you are. It’s just more convenient.

      Reply
  16. Hi Antoine.
    I just found your page and I love it!As I am planning to change tyres I will follow your great tips, just one more question!
    For unknown’s reason Ford seems to have great design for body lines vehicle as well as engines,no doubts about it,but when it comes on wheels they go slop!?
    I am looking for some wheels to install on my 2005 biofuel Transit to make it looks cooler, what would you recommend to buy?I don’t want to deal with insurance so I don’t want to modify hubs, just looking for some wheels straightforward to install.

    Thank you

    Reply
  17. Hi Antoine.
    I just found your page and I love it!As I am planning to change tyres I will follow your great tips, just one more question!
    For unknown’s reason Ford seems to have great design for body lines vehicle as well as engines,no doubts about it,but when it comes on wheels they go slop!?
    I am looking for some wheels to install on my 2005 biofuel Transit to make it looks cooler, what would you recommend to buy?I don’t want to deal with insurance so I don’t want to modify hubs, just looking for some wheels straightforward to install.
    Thank you

    Reply

Leave a Comment

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