Jeep Grand Cherokees are known for their off-road capabilities, but many owners wonder if they can increase those capabilities by putting bigger tires on their vehicles. The question is, can you put bigger tires on a Jeep Grand Cherokee without a lift?
You can put a bigger tire in a jeep grand Cherokee without a lift. It has been seen that tires with a diameter of 31.6 inches and a tread width of 9.5 inches can be successfully installed on a Grand Cherokee. These larger tires provide added stability, comfort, and increased ground clearance.
In this article, I will explore the possibilities and downsides of upgrading your tires without a lift. In addition, I will discuss the factors determining whether bigger tires are possible without a lift and the best options for those looking to improve their Jeep Grand Cherokee’s off-road capabilities. So, stay along with this!
Maximum Tire Size for Jeep Grand Cherokee (Updated 2023):
Default Tire Size
Maximum Tire Size without Lift
P275/40/20 front and P315/35/20 rears
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been in production since 1992. Over the years, it has been available in several different models, each with its tire size specifications.
- The original Grand Cherokee (1993-1998) came with tire sizes ranging from 235/50R19 to 225/75R15.
- The second generation (1999-2004) came with tire sizes ranging from P245/70R16 to P235/65R17.
- The third generation (2005-2010) came with tire sizes ranging from P245/65R17 to P245/65R17.
- The fourth generation (2011-2019) came with tire sizes ranging from P245/70R17 to 265/50R20.
- The fifth generation (2020-Current) came with tire sizes ranging from 255/55R20 to 295/45R20.
It is possible to use larger tires on a Jeep Grand Cherokee without lifting it by ensuring that the new tire size is compatible with the vehicle’s suspension and braking systems.
It is also essential to check the vehicle’s owner’s manual and ensure that the new tire size is within the manufacturer’s recommended range.
However, it's important to note that larger tires will impact the vehicle's performance and fuel economy and can cause issues with the vehicle's speedometer and odometer readings. So, it's recommended to consult with a professional mechanic before installing larger tires on a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
How to Install Big Tires in Jeep Grand Cherokee Without a Lift?
While some Jeep owners may opt to use a lift kit to ensure that the tires are installed safely and securely, it’s possible to fit bigger tires to your Jeep without a lift. With wheel spacers, you can achieve the same result as a lift kit without cost and hassle.
So, let’s look at installing big tires in a Jeep Grand Cherokee without a lift.
STEP 1: Get the Right Size Tires:
The first step in the process is to ensure that you get the right size tires. You’ll need to take into account the size of the wheel well, as well as the width of the tire you’ll be using.
This will ensure that the tires fit comfortably inside the wheel well and that they won’t rub against the fenders or body of your vehicle.
STEP 2: Get the Right Wheel Spacers:
Once you’ve chosen the right size tires, you’ll need to get the right wheel spacers to fit them. Wheel spacers are metal rings that fit between the wheel and the wheel well, allowing a larger tire to fit in the wheel well without any issues. Make sure to get the right size wheel spacers, as they come in various sizes.
STEP 3: Fit the Spacers:
Once you’ve got the wheel spacers, you’ll need to fit them to the wheels. This is done by unscrewing the wheel studs, placing the wheel spacer in the wheel well, and re-screwing the wheel studs.
Make sure you fit the wheel spacers tightly and securely to avoid any issues.
STEP 4: Fit the Tires:
Once the wheel spacers are in place, you can fit the tires to the wheels. Make sure you use the correct size lug nuts and torque wrenches to ensure that the tires are installed safely and securely.
STEP 5: Test Drive:
Now that the tires are installed on the wheel wells, it’s time to test them. First, take your Jeep for a spin and inspect the tires to ensure they’re fitted correctly. If you have any issues with the tires, they can be adjusted using wheel spacers.
And there you have it — that’s how to install big tires in a Jeep Grand Cherokee without a lift. With wheel spacers, you can achieve the same result as a lift kit without the cost and hassle. Ensure you get the right size tires, wheel spacers, and lug nuts, and you’ll be ready to go.
Rubbing Issue While Installing Bigger Tires in Jeep Grand Cherokee:
The Jeep Grand Cherokee models (Laredo, Limited, Overland, etc.) come with tires sizes R18 and R20.
Unfortunately, the bigger tires can cause instability due to the front tires tucking under a suspension linkage. This can lead to "scrubbing" or 'rubbing' when making sharp turns, potentially damaging suspension components or causing a blowout.
Instead of larger tires, Jeep suggests upgrading to the Quadra-Drive II package, which includes an adjustable air suspension and allows for increased ride height and the ability to ford up to 24 inches of water.
Check the video instruction below to avoid a potential mistake while installing a bigger tire on Jeep Grand Cherokee:
Reading the Tire Size of Jeep Grand Cherokee:
Here I will explain how to read the tire size of your Jeep Grand Cherokee, which would help you to adjust the big tires on your vehicle even without using a lift kit but up to some extent.
Let’s take an example of the tire with size 256/42ZR20 115Y:
The 256 in above example explains the width of tire measured in between the sidewalls. It is measured in millimeters and tells about the width of wheel of the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The 42 in above example explains the ratio of the sidewall height to the percentage of width of tire on Jeep Grand Cherokee. The sidewall is large in size if the aspect ratio is large.
The Z in the above example explains the performance tire of the vehicle.
The R in the above example means radial. There is also a letter D written along with R on some tires which is used to explain the diagonal layers of tire.
The number 20 in the above example explains the overall diameter of the wheel of Grand Cherokee.
The number 115 explains the load rating of tire and is measured in pounds.
The term Y in the above example explains the speed index of wheel. It is helpful and tells the maximum speed which tires can reach easily.
Figuring out the Overall Diameter of Tire:
The overall diameter of the tire is the distance between two opposite points on the tire on the outermost circumference.
If you want to measure the diameter, you can follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Mount the appropriate rim size of the tire.
- STEP 2: The next step is to inflate the tire. It is better to keep an eye on the specified air pressure given by the manufacturer.
- STEP 3: Ensure your tire does not bear any extra load while measuring the diameter. Exclude the weight of the vehicle in measuring diameter. During measurement, assemble the wheel and tire and make them rest on flat and level ground.
Tread Width and Aspect Ratio in Tires:
You can measure the tread width using the same conditions as mentioned for measuring the overall diameter.
Tire tread width is the distance from one sidewall of the tire to another. Make sure to set the measuring line perpendicular to both sidewalls' orientation in the tire.
A tire’s aspect ratio is the ratio of the tire’s sidewall height to its section width. It is expressed as a percentage, such as 65 or 70.
For example, if a tire has a section width of 215 millimeters and an aspect ratio of 65, the sidewall height would be 140 millimeters (215 x 0.65 = 140). This means that the distance from the edge of the tread to the wheel rim is 140mm.
In the case of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the aspect ratio of the tires can vary depending on the model and the trim level. For example, the Grand Cherokee Laredo comes with tires with an aspect ratio of 65, while the Grand Cherokee Summit comes with tires with an aspect ratio of 55. This means that the tire’s sidewall on the Laredo is taller than the sidewall on the Summit.
A lower aspect ratio (55-60) means the sidewall is shorter, which makes the tire stiffer, which is suitable for handling but not as good for comfort. A higher aspect ratio (65-70) means the sidewall is taller, which makes the tire more comfortable, but not as good for handling.
In general, lower-aspect ratio tires are better for high-performance driving, while higher-aspect ratio tires are better for comfort and ride quality.
However, it’s important to note that aspect ratio is not the only factor to consider when selecting a tire. Other factors such as tire width, tread pattern, and construction also play a role in a tire’s performance.
Check the following article for more details:
Bigger Tires and the Performance of Jeep Grand Cherokee:
Here I will discuss some benefits on the performance of Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles when bigger tires are installed on them:
1. Ground Clearance:
Big tires and their effect on the performance of the Jeep Grand Cherokee are often underestimated. Increasing tire size can significantly improve the vehicle’s performance, starting with ground clearance.
Going with bigger tires on a Jeep Grand Cherokee increases the vehicle’s ground clearance, even without changing the suspension system or rims. This added ground clearance allows for more approach and departure angles and increased break-over.
In addition to increased ground clearance, bigger tires also increase the fording depth and water-wading capabilities of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As a result, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can venture into deeper water and take on more challenging terrain.
Bigger tires also improve handling in inclement weather, as the more prominent tires can disperse water more effectively and provide a better grip on wet roads.
The wider tires give the Jeep Grand Cherokee superior traction and handling in any terrain. The wide tire contact with the terrain increases the vehicle’s grip on the ground, which can be vital in off-roading. In addition, a wider tire allows for better acceleration and braking on wet, slippery surfaces.
The larger tires also help the Jeep Grand Cherokee better handle the vehicle’s weight. This means that the vehicle can handle heavier loads, such as more passengers or cargo, with better traction without the risk of the tires slipping or tearing on the terrain.
Bigger tires provide more cushioning and absorb bumps better than smaller tires. This helps to make your ride a much more comfortable experience.
Can You Wheel Spacer to Install Bigger Tire on Jeep Grand Cherokee?
When it comes to wheel spacers, there are two different types, and it’s essential to understand the differences to make sure you’re making the safest choice.
1. Slip-On Wheel Spacer:
The first type of wheel spacer is the slip-on wheel spacer. As the name suggests, this wheel spacer slides over your factory wheel studs and forces the wheel further away from the axle.
While this type of wheel spacer is popular among off-roaders, it’s important to note that some argue that this type is unsafe. This is because slip-on wheel spacers can strain your vehicle’s suspension system too much.
2. Bolt-On Wheel Spacer:
The second type of wheel spacer is the bolt-on wheel spacer. This wheel spacer attaches directly to your axle’s factory wheel studs and features another set of wheel studs to which you can attach your wheel.
Many Grand Cherokee riders use bolt-on wheel spacers to install larger wheels and tires.
When it comes to wheel spacers, it’s essential to make sure you know the differences between the two types and the risks associated with each. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic or off-roading expert who can help you make the safest choice possible.
Pros and Cons of Putting Bigger Tires:
Higher ground clearance due to big tires.
Additional costs for adjustments due to big tires.
Better off-roading performance due to big tires:
Lower fuel economy due to big tires
An appealing and customized look due to big tires
Issues with handling
Trade-Offs of Having Big Tires:
Heavy steering of vehicle
It has been seen that the Jeeps with big tires are responsible for generating higher friction and creating big contact patches with the surface.
Low acceleration of vehicle
The big tires on Jeep Grand Cherokee are heavy, and sometimes they decrease the acceleration in the vehicle. In addition, bigger tires in Jeeps create more rolling friction that resists the engine's working and transmission.
Lower fuel efficiency in vehicle
The Jeeps are more prone to consume extra fuel after installing big tires. The reason behind this is that the engine has to work hard to overcome the high rolling resistance effect.
Inaccurate speed in vehicle
The speedometer and odometer in the Jeep Grand Cherokee are based on the stock tire diameter. Tires with big diameters can move far with each rotation, due to which the speedometer and odometer lead to register inaccurate readings. It leads to measuring incorrect speed in a vehicle.
Maintenance of tires
The installation of big tires on Jeep Grand Cherokee is an expensive process. It requires high maintenance to install the large tires on Jeep Grand Cherokee and is costly.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee can accommodate larger tires without a lift, provided that the correct tire size is chosen according to the manufacturer’s size chart.
These tires will give a better grip and overall performance in various terrains and increase the vehicle’s comfort and stability. As a result, it is possible to get the advantages of bigger tires on the Jeep Grand Cherokee without the added expense of a lift.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is it necessary to lift the Jeep to fix big tires on it?
There is no special requirement for a lift kit for fixing big tires on the Jeep. There are different ways of adding large tires on the Jeep without a complete suspension kit.
Which maximum size is allowed to put the large tires on the Jeep without lifting it?
The largest tire allowed to be placed on the Jeep is a 33-by-10 tire, also known as a pizza cutter. An example of such a Jeep tire is 255/80/17 BFG KM2. It has the same width as the JK tires and has a large diameter.
Can you put large tires on the Jeep Grand Cherokee?
Unfortunately, the tires’ large diameter cannot fit on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, changing the rim and tire ratio is possible as the entry-level Jeep Grand Cherokee tires are P245/70R17.
What difficulties can be faced after fitting big tires on Jeep?
First, big tires on the Jeep can affect the fuel economy and place unnecessary stress on the brakes and powertrain of the vehicle. In addition, large-sized tires can wear down the parts of the Jeep, like brake calipers and wheel, and can grind against each other.
Is it possible to place 35-inch tires on the Jeep without a lift?
It is possible to put 35-inch sized tires on the Jeep.
Does the wrong size of the tires damage the Jeep?
Wrong-sized tires on the Jeep can damage the vehicle. The user should take precautionary measures, as altering the tire size on the vehicle involves safety hazards too.
Are big-sized tires a better option for potholes?
If you purchase the wheel with a one-inch small size, it increases the amount of flexible rubber. It helps in absorbing the blow from the potholes.
Is the process of Jeep lifting considered a worthy process?
There are benefits of lifting the Jeep. A person can fit large tires on their vehicle, which helps ground clearance. It improves the vehicle’s performance as an off-roading Jeep and enhances the aesthetic look of the Jeep.
Is it possible to get big tires on stock rims?
It is safe to get big tires on stock rims, and you can get up to 20 millimeters wide tires than the original rim. The actual width of your fitted tire varies and depends on the width of the rim. The tire is expected to expand every 5 millimeters for a half-inch increase in the rim’s width.
Is it possible to drive fast with big tires?
Large and big tires have large wheel diameters that result in the composed handling of the vehicle. This can end up in slow acceleration capability. Big tires have some disadvantages, and the increased wheel or tire size can outweigh them.
Do the big tires on a Jeep affect their gas mileage?
The big tires on the vehicle can create a difference in gas mileage. About 20-30% of the fuel consumption in a vehicle and 24% of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle is related to tires. In addition, tires can affect fuel efficiency through the vehicle’s rolling resistance.
This is Surya. I am an experienced off-roader. I have been off-roading for many years across several terrains. I am passionate about 4×4 driving and want to share my knowledge and experience with others.
My goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive and unbiased information about off-roading.
I curated this article through my personal experience and expertise, and I hope it helps you with what you are looking for.