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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have 285/70r17 BFG KO2s that have performed very well. I've been planning a move to 35s. Based on a few factors, I was looking at Nitto Ridge Grapplers. They're on national back order. I don't really want to go with a KO2 35 because this transition is expensive (gears, tune, tires) and I want to get as close to that true 35 as possible for the cost (BFGs run a tad small - actual ~34.5").

Just for grins, I looked up the KO2s in a 37x12.5r17. Actual size is ~36.5", they're available in a D load, which I would prefer over E. They weigh essentially the same as the Ridge Grappler 35 (~76lbs).

I have the duramax, and I'm regearing to 4.56 and loading a tune - all of which would supply plenty of power for 37s (especially on the lighter side). I'm already trimming fenders (no highmark flares) and am confident I could fit 37s (36.5) underneath.


ALL that said, I'm sure there are good reasons for me to come back to reality and stick with a 35 (maybe just not the tire I wanted). Convince me!

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ALL that said, I'm sure there are good reasons for me to come back to reality and stick with a 35 (maybe just not the tire I wanted). Convince me!
sounds like you won't mind changing wheel bearings along with fuel filters

I've got 35" trail grapplers on my sierra with 4.56 gears, great performing combo but terrible on bearings.
 

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You’re right- 38 inch tires would be better!!
I’d probably stick with the 35’s so you can reliably stuff them without clearance issues as when stuffed rubbing SUCKS.
If however you can clear 37” tires just remember what Pete said is correct about additional wear and tear on all components of the drive train. Torque is more important than horsepower so I would possibly hold off on the tune (just to pocket the cash and see how it does with the gears) Because you are doing the correct step by re gearing you should have plenty of torque for off crawling.
you will gain 3/4-1” overall by going to a 37
 

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Its the law of diminishing returns for investment made, both in cost (tires, fuel) and wear and tear (regular maintenance increase and possible breakage).

Let's look at some of these tires in profile.
L to R: 285/70R17 Duratrac, 285/75R17 Cooper AT/X, 35x12.50 BFG M/T
IMG_8714 by M J, on Flickr

The BFG 35 is measuring out at 34 3/4" diameter
IMG_8718 by M J, on Flickr

The Cooper doesn't give up much (3/4") to the 35. (equating to 3/8" of clearance difference under the truck).
IMG_8716 by M J, on Flickr

The 285/70R17 Duratrac gives up 2" to the 35 BFG (While that sounds like a fair amount, we are talking a difference of 1" of ground clearance).
IMG_8717 by M J, on Flickr
 

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What are you doing that makes 35/37s worthy of consideration in the first place?
 

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We totally had a chat about this. Here's some motivation pics from my fender chop.

35x10.50's, stock wheel, stock caster (probably less since I knocked the alignment out several times, wheeling). Clearance for days. Didn't even touch the body mounts. Last pic is close to completely bottomed out.

IMG_20200510_125308.jpg

IMG_20200510_125346.jpg

IMG_20200628_073419.jpg
 

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ALL that said, I'm sure there are good reasons for me to come back to reality and stick with a 35 (maybe just not the tire I wanted). Convince me!
Depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are just camping and exploring you honestly don’t need anything over 33”. I know that’s not really “cool” but it’s practical.

I think 37” tires on any midsized ifs truck is detracting from overall reliability if used in a camping scenario. If you’re pure off-road then maybe the juice is worth the squeeze but that’s rare for most.

I’ve experienced nearly 100k miles of Appalachia camping and my 255/80r17 have proved to be enough time and time again. Just my 2 cents.

I want to say that I understand the desire for larger tires but it’s something I’d be very careful before jumping into. Issues like spare tire storage and replacement availability are just the start when considering tire sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. I'll admit I was fishing for a little snark with the post and title. To be clear though, the post is not about whether I should get bigger tires. It's about how big.

To answer the justification questions anyway: I do quite a bit of wheeling/overlanding/camping. I like to run hard trails. More and more, they're rutted out by Jeeps on 40s making line choices harder and harder. More clearance is always better. 33s have served me well, but there are definitely times 35s would make things easier. I'm also headed out to Moab in June and looking forward to tackling some tough, legendary trails.

I want to restore some of the power the truck lost from stock by regearing. My current tires are worn (though they'd definitely last a while longer). I'm not afraid to cut the truck and I figure if I'm going to spend the money to regear, I might as well step up.

Someone mentioned mpg. First, that is definitely not my priority with this truck. Second, I still get 26-28 hwy with the diesel at just shy of 6000# loaded for a trip. (~19-20 mixed with city - lifetime with current setup is 21.5). That's with 33s, stock gears and no tune. I'm not saying I'll keep that, but I'll betcha I'm still solidly in the 20s hwy after these mods. Again, not the goal, but I'm totally fine with the fuel economy of the truck. I will definitely get some torque and punch back making the fun factor even higher.

Anyway, all these decisions are already made.

The question now is if 37s might be more detrimental than helpful.

Thanks @hoooogan for the inspiration. We definitely did talk about the chop. I'm still going that route with edge trim instead of flares. I love the clean look and it looks to me like even larger than 35s would clear fine.

The main reason I'm even half considering this is the BFG KO2 37 is the same weight as the Nitto 35 (which I can't buy right now anyway). I could go with BFG KO2 35s (also in stock), but something about that lost quarter inch from their downsizing bugs me. It becomes a benefit for me if going up a size.

I'll probably stick to a 35 when all is said and done, but love getting everyone's opinions and feedback!

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are just camping and exploring you honestly don’t need anything over 33”. I know that’s not really “cool” but it’s practical.

I think 37” tires on any midsized ifs truck is detracting from overall reliability if used in a camping scenario. If you’re pure off-road then maybe the juice is worth the squeeze but that’s rare for most.

I’ve experienced nearly 100k miles of Appalachia camping and my 255/80r17 have proved to be enough time and time again. Just my 2 cents.

I want to say that I understand the desire for larger tires but it’s something I’d be very careful before jumping into. Issues like spare tire storage and replacement availability are just the start when considering tire sizes.
I will definitely take this to heart. We're in the same neck of the woods and I agree 33s will get me there most of the time (they have so far). I'm interested in tearing up some of the tougher runs at Uwharrie and Windrock as well, but it's true my primary use case is camping. It's the fun romps to and from camp that I'm prioritizing with this choice.

37s absolutely seemed like too much to me for our trucks (and still do really), but glad to have the discussion with all of you.

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Something to consider:
Choice of tire is more important than size of tire imho.

In my part of Appalachia a 33” KM3 would out perform a 35” KO2 in most scenarios. I personally wouldn’t worry about the size of tire but look honestly about which tire I needed.

Your scenario may be different than mine I will admit. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

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Another thing to consider...

If you ever want to do the shock relocation, you'd most definitely NEED wheel spacers or a Zero offset wheel. My skinny 10.50's could squeak by with maybe a tiny rub at most, but I run them since I have them. That would be A LOT of tire hanging out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Something to consider:
Choice of tire is more important than size of tire imho.

In my part of Appalachia a 33” KM3 would out perform a 35” KO2 in most scenarios. I personally wouldn’t worry about the size of tire but look honestly about which tire I needed.

Your scenario may be different than mine I will admit.
I was split between Nitto Ridge Grapplers and KM3s. Both are on national backorder with no ETA :(

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Another thing to consider...

If you ever want to do the shock relocation, you'd most definitely NEED wheel spacers or a Zero offset wheel. My skinny 10.50's could squeak by with maybe a tiny rub at most, but I run them since I have them. That would be A LOT of tire hanging out.
I wanted to do the shock relocation at the same time, but @589FAB is sold out. I do have 0 offset wheels.

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I wanted to do the shock relocation at the same time, but @589FAB is sold out. I do have 0 offset wheels.

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Well then, you're set! I had to wait for mine too. I think I was part of the first batch. Too bad I'm tearing it all out in the coming months. They aren't exactly reusable either.

Having known what I know now, I would have just made my own for cheaper. Lower tabs are super easy and cheap to come by and the upper mount is simple enough. I would have plated the frame too, if I did it myself. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Second times a charm, I guess.
 

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My only concern with a 35-37" tire is can the front diff and CV's handle it? 52lb 33"+ tires appear to be reliable long term. Everytime I talk about 37's with a friend he'll say just buy a Jeep and 42's. He has a point.
 
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