Which tire width to consider - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Enumclaw, WA
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Which tire width to consider

Hi everyone. I expect to be lifting my TH later this year and putting on some new tires. But after reading hundreds of posts on the different lifts, tire sizes etc., one thing that I've not been able find out is what are the benefits of a wider or a skinnier tire? I'm up in Washington state where most of our trails are dirt/rock and mud, but we also have plenty of sand on our beaches.

I understand about a wider foot print/deflation for sand, but what about mud? Rock? I know folks often deflate them for crawling, so would a wider tire also help?

I've not been able to find any explanation or how-to's that explain this and I'm a new Jeep owner and have no experience going off-road.

I'm mostly talking about 265's vs 255's vs 245's. I do understand greater width could cause some rubbing (if the tire is to tall), but from a off-roading aspect, why wider tires or why skinner ones. Does it even make a difference?

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Last edited by fryguy; 02-16-2017 at 06:38 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 07:07 PM
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Hi there @fryguy ;

Interesting question and I have a feeling we'll be reading many different opinions on the subject.

I don't have a TH and I don't off-road, but I have an opinion so here we go :

- Mud : it depends. If you have really deep mud to drive through, the wider the tire the better. If you drive in a mud pit and know it has a solid bottom within a reacheable depth, then a narrower knobby tire will allow you to sink to the solid surface and get traction down there.

- Sand : you want floatation, so wider is better (and softer). Careful with extra knobby tires as they can make you sink in soft sand ; all seasons / road tires are better here.

- Rocks : I guess wider is better (and softer), for ultimate traction. A solid tire construction is a great feature here, to prevent cutting.

- Snow : narrower is better, similar to the mud pit thing : the goal is to sink to the hard surface for traction. Wide tires are mandatory if you drive on snow that has no reacheable base, like they get on polar expeditions.

Fuel mileage and noise : narrower is of course better here.

Let the games begin !
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 01:23 AM
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My new KO2's I stayed with the original width 245 as I have been off road and found that air pressure for the terrain was more important than getting wider tires. With that said i did need to get a set of tires with better side walls. I chewed up the original Firestone Destinations side walls while off road though never annually punctured them. They also did not protect the rims very well have a case of rim rash. Mud is the one thing that I have not run into much so far. Air pressure can give the additional flotation for the times you need it. A wider tire starts with a bigger ground patch. The down fall on the Cherokee is rubbing with the slightest change in size, and you will see an increase in MPG and can be noisier as well as a bit more roll as a wider tire can be a bit softer on the same rim. The subject of tires and sizes can keep you busy for an endless time. So the best answer is what are you going to use them for and how often. There will always be compromises when you look at how the rubber meets the ground.
Good Luck
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 07:40 PM
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I'm leaning towards a 245 70, if it helps you out. The extra clearance and an aggressive tire is my goal. I don't think the extra half inch or whatever of width would make the impact of other factors, as mentioned, like airing down.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 06:52 PM
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I would concur with pondhopper's description. I considered wider tires, but ended up staying with 245's when I purchased new BFG KO2's. I wished to avoid any issues with rubbing, and have not experienced any. I find any added tire HEIGHT to be more important than width. Only a minute difference gained either way: width verses height and height wins out for me.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 08:46 PM
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I went with 265. I wanted a bigger tire. Glad I chose the size I did
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone. I've never purchased tires that were non-oem before (never had a reason to), but now that I have my TH, will the tire shops mount a tire (or just the two front tires) and let you turn the wheels while on the ground to see if any rubbing occurs? Does the car ride well with the taller sidewalls i.e. 75's vs 65's? I've heard that if you go too tall on the sidewalls, there are some driving issues.

Personally, I'd like to go with the 265/65R17's but would like to check for clearances before committing to buying a full set. Can someone tell me at what condition the rubbing first starts? Is it at full turn? Is it when the suspension is fully compressed? When turned and compressed? I do plan on taking my TH off road and want to be sure there is NO rubbing at all in all situations.

Also, what do folks think about the Nitto Grapplers? Cost is a major concern for me and the KO2s are a bit out of my price range.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:53 AM
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I know you can not really can go that much wider then stock tire size on a TH , mine is almost 3/4 wider and it rubs if i turn the tires all the way .
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 01:21 PM
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I don't know why some of the trailhawks have rubbing issues and others don't, I have a 2016 trailhawk with the hazzard lift, just installed 265/65 General Grabber AT2s P rated on mine and I have very slight back of the wheel well rub at 3/4 turn, wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference in size between tire brands, but maybe there is.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 07:00 PM
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The 275/60-17 Yokohama Geolandar fits without rubbing. It looked noticeably wider than the 265/65-17 KO2 or 245/70-17 Duratrac.

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