Looking to upgrade your Ford Transit stock tires for larger diameter, all-terrain tires to improve ground clearance, traction, and look? We were too! Here is the data we gathered during our research and our long term review of the BFGoodrich KO2 AT tires.
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1. Too Long Didn’t Read
(Straight To The Point)
Let’s get straight to the point.
We are running BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E tires on both of our vans (2016 RWD Transit & 2021 AWD Transit) and we highly recommend them if you want to upgrade to all-terrain, snow-approved tires on your stock Ford Transit van (factory wheels, no body lift):
Why they’re our favorite All-Terrain tires out there:
- 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.
- These tires make our van look badass, just like us!
BFGoodrich KO2 LT255/70R16 E Tires
2. Understanding Tire Sizes
What do all these numbers mean?
LT255/70R16 120/117 E
- LT: Light Truck metric size intended for vehicle capable of carrying heavy cargo or towing large trailers.
- 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; in this case, 70%).
- R16: The is the diameter of the wheel the tire is intended to fit (16″ wheel diameter).
- 121/117: Load index (this is critical, so please see next section for more info).
- E: Load Range / Ply Rating. (D = 8 plies, E = 10 plies). Check this article for more info.
3. Tire Load Index
For your safety, it is critical to understand that all tire brands/models/sizes have a different load index. The load index is the maximum weight (per tire) that your tire can support safely:
|Load Index||Load (lbs)||Load Index||Load (lbs)||Load Index||Load (lbs)|
Remember that the weight each tire sees is subject to change with time; for example, as the payload changes (cargo) or when going up a steep incline, the rear tires support most of the weight. There are many variables to take in to account, so when in doubt select, new tires with a load index no lower than the factory tires. In fact, most tire shops will not agree to install tires with a lower load index, for liability reasons.
LT tires (light truck) have two load index numbers. The first load index is for single tires. The second load index is for dual tires. The reason the capacity for two tires is lower than a single tire is to make sure that the vehicle can continue to carry the load should one tire fail.
4. Ford Transit Factory Tires
Our 2016 and 2021 Ford Transit came equipped with Continental 235/65/R16 121C.
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…
Note the “121” load index.
5. Ford Transit/KO2 Compatible Tire Sizes
We can’t possibly go through all the different brands/models on the market, so we’ll stick to what we know for now:
|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||Tire Rack|
|LT255/70R16/E 120 S||6.5″ – 8″||10.2″ on 7.5″||30″||3085@80||47.7||Yes||No||See 3||Tire Rack|
|LT245/75R16/E 120 S||6.5″ – 8″||9.8″ on 7″||30.4″||3042@80||48.9||Yes||Yes2||See 3||Tire Rack|
1 LT225/75R16/E 115 S: Take note of the “115” load index… this is much lower than the factory tires. We DID run these tires at first for a few years without issues, but because the load index is so low, we wouldn’t recommend 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.
(Note that minimum clearance is achieved when wheels are fully turned. The clearance shown is for straight wheels)
- 1ST SET: We got 45k miles out of them, that’s 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!
- 2ND SET: We got 32K miles out of them, which is less than our previous tires. But this time, we did NOT include the spare tire in the rotation (so less mileage was expected). In addition, we could have kept them longer, but we wanted new tires for the start of our skiing season. Driving in snow/ice with worn out tires isn’t ideal for safety…
8. Good To Know
8.1. LARGER TIRES AFFECT SPEEDOMETER & Odometer
Larger tires will decrease the speedometer reading by 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!
It also impacts the odometer, so some things like the oil change warning might be off.
Ford dealers can’t fix that, and there’s no “unofficial” fix that we know of. Edit: there might be ways to do it: Speedometer calibration on FordTransitUSAforum.com
8.2. ALL-TERRAIN TIRES ARE MORE NOISY
Aggressive threads are more noisy. We don’t mind that at all, but some people are more sensitive to noise…
8.3. ALL-TERRAIN TIRES = Compromises
Road tires are optimized for the road and performs poorly off-road. Off-road tires are optimized for off-roads and are not great on highways. All-Terrain tires offer a compromise between road/off-road tires.
If going off-road is not in your plans, there’s probably no needs for all-terrain tires. But if, like us, you plan on using your van to travel (i.e. highways) and then to get to the trailhead (i.e. off-road), all-terrain tires will do great for that application 🙂
9. Snow Chains & Winter
Snow chains are sometimes mandatory. We don’t like missing a powder day, so we carry a pair with us at all times!
Be aware that Ford doesn’t allow the use of snow chains on the Transit. However, many people, including us, do it. Your call!
Thule/Konig XG-12 Pro Snow CHains
Winter VanLife Guide
10. Aftermarket Wheel Upgrade
We didn’t mind the look of our factory wheels on our 2016 RWD Transit, but something was off on our 2021 AWD Transit… So we went ahead with paired our KO2 tires with Method MR703 wheels:
112 thoughts on “Ford Transit All-Terrain Larger Tires Upgrade”
Have you had any transmission issues pushing the larger 255 KO2s? Do you have the ecoboost engine and a 3.23 gear ratio? Would love to know, thanks for all your work!
No issue so far! We have the 3.7 gas engine with 4.10 ratio.
Looking at getting the 255/70 R16s you suggested as winter tires for a 2020 350 passenger transit. What tire pressure do you run with yours? If you run softer than the high factory pressure does it drive the tpms crazy? Thanks!
And, no it’s not an AWD 2020 unfortunately, just the stock RWD. If only, right?
Please not that the KO2 are good all-around tires (mud, snow, etc), but if you’re looking for winter tire specifically and not use them in summer, I’d look for true winter tires (not All-Terrain tires). That being said we use our KO2 in winter and they work.
We run them per door sticker pressure (55 front, 71 rear I believe). Not softer because we’re almost up max weight.
I am purchasing a 2017 Ford Transit Extended this week! They are driving it on the Coquihalla up to me from Vancouver, so they need to put on some winter tires. I am going to order these thx to your recommendation! Do you drive on these tires year round or do you swap out for regular tires after winter?
Thanks so much. Your site is amazing! I will be ordering as much as I can with your affiliate links. 🙂
Dedicated winter tires perform better in cold weather, so that option is preferable if you can. Because we live in our van and we don’t have storage, we run the KO2 all year.
Have you been able to keep using snow chains with the LT255/70R16/E 120 S tires? I’m getting the K02’s installed next week and wondering if snow chains will still fit. I’m currently in Vermont, with the possibility of real snow, but back home in CA there are many places that require chains (most Californians don’t have snow tires or 4x4s). Thanks! Your site is really the best info I’ve found!
Yeah we used snow chains with these tires once; it worked! 🙂
That was near Alaska, first picture in this article: https://faroutride.com/thule-snow-chains-review/
So you bought different size chains for the 255/70’s? The chain review photos show the 225/75’s. Just wondering the same thing as Marisa- can I use the 255/70r16 with the 255 chains? Thanks
Different size are needed. We had the 245 Konig chains with the 225/75, and the 255 Konig chains with the 255/70.
Thanks for all your tips and reviews! You merit any and all commissions from affiliate purchases.
I followed your advise on the BFGs and they worked perfectly on my 2016 350 XLT. Had the same question about clearance on the chains. On a related note, what tire pressures are you running both on and off (daily) the snow?
My rig is more family oriented (4 growing kids) with 2nd and 5th row seats removed so it is a bit lighter on local outings but pretty loaded when road tripping with large coolers and gear.
I also added an all aluminum Alurack and matching rear door ladder. Super light, strong and minimal to no effect on MPG (unlike the BFGs which took a 3-4 mile hit [did you experience same?]). Rack mounts to factory holes in roof and ladder is no drill mounts on door (for easy removal when needed). Built and installed my self in a day. Paid extra $400 for charcoal grey power coating (did not care foe anodized aluminum color/look). Have a Thule Atlantis 2100 cargo box right of center with space for 4 Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks left of center which would have otherwise taken precious cargo space inside.
Looking at LoLo Racks vertical six bike hitch carrier next once I can confirm clearance to open rear doors.
Please keep the tips/reviews coming and safe travels!
I’m converting my Transit 150 and tried putting Falken Wildpeaks on. I chose the 255/70/R16 to avoid the pinch weld issue. However the tire depot I watched as the technician couldn’t get the fronts to fit as the sidewalls touched the struts.
I brought it home with two new rear tires and the old fronts… I tried again at home, they DO FIT, however note that the clearance goes from around 1.5cm with 235/65/R16 to around 0.5cm with 255/70/R16.
I changing them for 245/75/R16, this isn’t enough clearance for my liking.
Thanks to FAROUTRIDE for all the info!
Thanks for all of the great info. I’m maybe 50% finished with my Transit 350 conversion but never stop learning from others. My latest charge is finding out all I can about correcting “van roll”. The wind pushes me around and I’m considering spacers in addition to the K02s that I ordered today. Any thoughts on your tires’ effect on ‘van roll’ or (the technical term is lateral squirreliness)? Thanks again!
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.
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!
We have the 2wd on stock rims, no lift. All good!
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!
255 is tire width in millimeters not a diameter
Does your 255 70r 16 ko2 spare tire still fit under the van as the oem one did without modifying??
Yes it does, because we have the 148″ extended-length. On smaller vans, I believe you have to take some air out so it fits…
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!
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.
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.
Hi Tom, yep they are the same. Im from the UK but live in the US, was looking into Transits in the UK before moving here. The van shares the same chassis, wheels are the same too.
I just put these on my van and have a lil “body rolling” what is the magic number for front and back PSI?? Thanks
Same! What did you figure out?
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!!!
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?
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
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,
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?
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!
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.
We get 16.5 L / 100KM on average. 3.7 gas engine, high-roof, extended-length, 8900 lbs.