ford bronco big tires

How Big Of Tires Can You Put On A Stock Ford Bronco?

How Big of Tires Can You Put on a Stock Ford Bronco? One of the first upgrades many new Ford Bronco owners consider is swapping out the stock tires for something bigger and bolder. It’s not just about aesthetics, larger tires can enhance off-road capability, improve traction, and help tackle tougher terrain. However, choosing the right size without modifying other components is crucial to maintain the vehicle’s performance and avoid potential damage. So, how big can you go with the tires on a stock Ford Bronco? Let’s dive in.

For a stock Ford Bronco, the maximum tire size typically ranges from 30 to 33 inches in diameter, depending on the model year and specific trim. While early Broncos (1966-1977) may accommodate tires up to 31 inches, full-size Broncos (1978-1996) can generally handle tires up to 33 inches in diameter. The Bronco II (1984-1990) usually fits tires up to around 30 inches in diameter.

Understanding Stock Ford Bronco Specifications

Before deciding on tire size, it’s important to understand the specifications of the stock Ford Bronco. The 2021 and newer models of the Ford Bronco come in several different trims, including Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak, and the Raptor. Each of these models may come with different stock tire sizes.

  • Base. Generally equipped with 255/70R16 tires.
  • Big Bend. Typically comes with 255/75R17 tires.
  • Black Diamond and Outer Banks. These trims often have 255/70R18 tires.
  • Badlands. Usually fitted with larger 285/70R17 tires.
  • Wildtrak. Comes with 315/70R17 tires right off the dealership floor.
  • Raptor. Equipped with even larger 315/70R17 tires, designed for hardcore off-road capabilities.

These stock tire sizes give you a starting point, but the critical factor to consider is the clearance for tire diameter and width without requiring modifications to the suspension or body.

big ford bronco tires
Maximum Tire Size on a Stock Suspension

For those looking to upgrade their tires without making any modifications to the suspension or body, the maximum size you can safely go differs slightly between the models due to differences in suspension setup and wheel well space.

  • Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond and Outer Banks. When considering tire upgrades for these models, it’s important to note that you can typically accommodate up to a 33-inch tire comfortably without the necessity of making modifications. This translates to popular tire sizes such as 285/75R16 or 275/70R17. With these sizes, you can expect a proper fit without experiencing rubbing against the wheel wells or the need for adjustments to the gearing or speedometer calibration. This ensures a seamless integration of larger tires, enhancing both the aesthetics and performance of your vehicle while maintaining optimal functionality.
  • Badlands and Wildtrak. These models have been engineered with slightly more robust stock suspension setups and additional clearance, allowing them to accommodate tires of up to 35 inches in size, such as the 315/70R17, providing greater versatility and capability for various off-road or on-road applications.
  • Raptor. Considering the vehicle’s existing 35-inch tires, opting for larger tires necessitates adjustments to accommodate increased clearance. These modifications could include installing a Lift Kit or making alterations to the fender and wheel wells for a seamless fit.

Considerations Beyond Size

When choosing larger tires, there are several additional factors to consider.


The weight of larger tires is generally higher compared to smaller ones, which can have multifaceted implications on various aspects of vehicle performance. Specifically, this increased weight can influence factors such as fuel efficiency, acceleration, and braking effectiveness. Understanding these effects is crucial for making informed decisions when selecting tires, as they can significantly impact both the driving experience and long-term maintenance costs of a vehicle.

Gear Ratio

When considering larger tires for a vehicle, it’s crucial to take into account their impact on the gear ratio. The stock gearing, optimized for standard tire sizes, may not be well-suited for significantly larger tires. This mismatch can have notable consequences, such as compromised acceleration and engine performance. Essentially, the larger diameter of the tires alters the effective gear ratio, leading to a reduction in torque at the wheels. Consequently, the vehicle may struggle to accelerate as efficiently, and the engine might experience increased strain due to the altered mechanical advantage. Therefore, it’s advisable to recalibrate or even upgrade the gearing system to ensure optimal performance when switching to larger tires.

big tires ford bronco
Speedometer Calibration

When you opt for larger tires on your vehicle, it introduces the possibility of interfering with the readings displayed on both your speedometer and odometer. This alteration can result in discrepancies within your driving data, potentially impacting the accuracy of your speed and distance measurements. In instances where such discrepancies occur, recalibration becomes imperative. By recalibrating your vehicle’s systems, you can effectively preserve precision, guaranteeing that your speed and distance calculations maintain their reliability and accuracy over time.

Handling and Ride Quality

When upgrading to larger tires for your Bronco, expect significant changes in its on-road performance. The larger tire size may lead to a firmer ride quality, which can potentially affect the vehicle’s handling characteristics and overall driving experience, necessitating adjustments to driving habits and potential modifications to suspension systems.

Warranty Coverage

if you modify your Bronco, particularly in ways that could affect other components, there’s a risk that the warranty on those components could be voided. For instance, if larger tires lead to premature wear on the suspension or brakes, Ford might argue that the modifications caused the issue and thus may not cover the repairs under warranty. It’s always a good idea to consult with professionals before making significant changes like upsizing tires.  When upgrading your tires, it’s important to consider all of the factors involved. Especially your Ford factory warranty or your Ford Factory Extended Warranty, you wouldn’t want to make any decisions that could potentially void your warranty.

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