Feature Friday: 6 Oversized Tire Setups For 5th Gen 4Runner

ARB Old Man Emu (OME) Lift Kits for 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T 35X12.5R17 & 1.25 Wheel Spacers 

We Asked 6 4Runner Owners How They Fit Larger Off-Road Tires On Their 5th Gen 4Runner – Here’s What They Said!

This Week’s Topic: Fitting Larger Off-Road Tires

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! If you missed last week’s FF, we looked at portable fridge setups.

This week we will be taking a look at tires, but with a twist. We asked owners why they chose to run larger than the OEM-suggested tire size on their 5th Gen 4Runners. In addition, we asked them just how the heck they made these bigger tires work!? If you are looking to jump all the way to 35″ tires on your 4Runner, then definitely check out Brenan’s article on how to fit 35s on your 4Runner.

As always, feel free to DM the owners on IG to ask any additional questions about their setup if needed.

Enjoy!

Why Add Larger Than Stock-Sized Tires To Your 4Runner?

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T Tires & RRW Wheels On 5th Gen 4Runner

There are several reasons why you would run a larger-than-stock tire size (265/70/R17) on your 5th Gen 4Runner.  I’ll quickly touch on two reasons that really stand out to me.

Increased Ride Height

By running a larger diameter tire, you increase the ride height of your 4Runner. Larger-diameter tires usually go hand in hand with a lift kit. Together, they result in significantly increased approach and departure angles. That’s crucial out on the trails.

Increased Contact Patch

Most of the time, when you increase the diameter of your tires, you are also increasing their width too. This leads to increased surface contact for both on and off-road applications. Increased surface contact while aired down off-road will help significantly with traction in the trickiest of terrain.

We have quite a few articles here on Trail4R that cover fitting larger tires under your 4Runner, along with A/T and M/T tire guides. All of these articles are pretty awesome for super detailed info.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. That’s why I love these Feature Friday articles! Everyone has their own reason as to why they wanted larger tires for their rig and how they were able to make them fit.

You will notice below that most owners have lifted their 4Runners to fit larger tires as well. If you aren’t up for a full suspension swap yet, then you can check out our guide that goes over fitting larger tires on a 4Runner.

Note that we included the wheel offset that these owners are running, as that plays a HUGE role in potential tire rubbing.

1. Madison Price (@forest_runner18) – Maxxis

Custom Wrapped Tiffany Blue 5th Gen 4Runner w/ Maxxis RAZR MT tires

Tire Details

  • Model: RAZR MT
  • Size: 295/70R17
  • Price: $410/ea
  • Wheel Offset: -25mm

How Did You Fit Larger Tires? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I like the beefy look these larger tires give and the increased off-road ground clearance! To fit these tires, I did a body mount shop and some bumper shaving. The 295/70/17 tires are still a little big and rub on the corner of the body. I think I will go with a 285-width tire next time. My tip/advice is to never put big tires on your 4Runner before the lift.

2. Tony Vang (@tk_knightrider_t4r) – BFGoodrich

5th Gen 4Runner w/ 35x12.5R17 KM3 Tires

Tire Details

  • Model: KM3
  • Size: 35×12.5R17
  • Price: $420/ea
  • Wheel Offset: -38mm

How Did You Fit Larger Tires? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I chose bigger tires because I like the meaty look on my rig and for better handling off-roading. To fit them on my 4Runner, I added a 2.5 – 3 inch lift, trimmed the front bumper, cab mount chop, and upgraded to SPC upper control arms set to max caster. Tips for fitting bigger tires is to know what wheel offset and tire size you want first, so you don’t cut more than you need to.

3. Alexis Bersabe (@tigasrunnaahh) – Toyo

Lunar Rock 5th Gen 4Runner w/ 35" Toyo Open County M/T Tires

Tire Details

  • Model: Open Country M/T
  • Size: 35×12.5R17
  • Price: $500/ea
  • Wheel Offset: -38mm

How Did You Fit Larger Tires? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

Before getting these Toyos, I had 35s KO2s, which I had no problem running as they are great tires. I just wanted something more aggressive looking for my 4Runner, so that’s why I chose the Toyo Open Country M/Ts.

They are just mean-looking tires and perform well both on and off-road. I took the 4Runner to a local shop, Vex Motorsports, in San Jose, CA to help with my trimming needs.

To fit the 35s, we did a mild viper cut since I really wanted to keep the OEM look. We hammered the pinch welds and of course did the BMC. I also had to lift the truck up about 2.5in up front and 3in in the rear to help clear the 35s. The easiest tip for fitting them is just don’t be afraid of cutting up the 4Runner. Just full send it!

4. Austin Williams (@spicy.4r) – BFGoodrich

White 5th Gen 4Runner w/ 34" BFG MT Tires

Tire Details

  • Model: KM3
  • Size: 295/70R17
  • Price: $390/ea
  • Wheel Offset: -38mm

How Did You Fit Larger Tires? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

It Is no debate that bigger tires almost always look better on a 4Runner than stock. While the standard 265/70/17 is still quite large compared to other stock SUVs, it is not the ideal size when you need to climb over rocks and other obstacles the trails throw at you.

So, what is the ‘ideal’ size? Well, in my opinion, 295/70/17 is a very good contender. That is why I chose this size tire for my 4Runner. They are just about the largest tire you can fit on a 3” lift without significant cutting of the fenders and fender flares.

This tire size has allowed me to feel confident in my clearance when crawling over obstacles and doing general “overlanding”. I would not recommend this tire size to an avid rock crawler. However, it is perfect for anyone looking to fly down forest roads or get their feet wet on some more difficult trails.

I chose the BFGoodrich KM3s after running multiple sets of BFGoodrich K02s (A/T) on my rigs. I was very impressed with the K02s and have also not had many complaints with the KM3s, other than their snow performance. However, I got them knowing that a Mud-Terrain would never perform as well as an All-Terrain in snow.

After roughly 25k miles, they have held up well. With thousands of miles of thread left, I am sure these will be with me for a while. They have fared very well out in the elements and I’ve never had a flat or issue with them on the trails or streets.

For a mud terrain, they are relatively quiet on the streets. You’re still able to comfortably hold a conversation, but they’re loud enough to know they are there. Their off-road performance has been excellent in all types of conditions: dirt, sand, mud, rock, you name it. The only condition where these are not ideal is snow. In light snow, they have turned into ice skates for me and can be terrifying if left in 2Hi at higher speeds.

Living in Northern Utah, I do quite a bit of snow driving in the winter months. I am able to make it around just fine as I am comfortable with snow driving. However, I would not recommend them if you are uncomfortable with driving in the snow.

Here is how I fit these tires on my truck. Due to the aggressive -38mm offset wheels, more work is required to fit them. First and foremost, I have a 3” Toytec lift to give me extra clearance in the wheel wells. Next, I have a C4 Fabrication Lo Pro front bumper with High Clearance additions to give extra room in front of the wheels to prevent rubbing. In the rear of the front wheel wells, I had to get a body mount chop, trim the fender liner, and trim the rocker cap. No modifications were necessary for the rear with a 2.5” lift.

With these modifications, I have been able to achieve zero rubbing both on and off-road. If I were to go any larger, it is obvious that more cutting would be necessary to fit them.

5. Josh Bratcher (@feralpigrig) – Toyo

White 4Runner w/ 35" Toyo Tires & Gold Method Race Wheels

Tire Details

  • Open Country M/T
  • Size: 35×12.5R17
  • Price: $500/ea
  • Wheel Offset: -12mm w/ 1.25″ Spidertrax Spacers

How Did You Fit Larger Tires? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

In my opinion, 35” tires just look the best on a 4Runner. With some modifications, it’s worth the tradeoff and the work to fit them.

My rig has about a 4” lift which is a must to fit these tires. We also started with a high clearance cut to help with clearance, and I have since switched to a CBI Baja full bumper. Beyond that, we hammered the pinch welds down, cut some fender lining, and did a body mount chop. I also would recommend planning to regear to at least 4.88 to help with performance.

6. Bryant Panyarachun (@afk_t4r) – Nitto

MGM 5th Gen 4Runner w/ 34.5" Nitto Ridge Grappler Tires

Tire Details

  • Model: Ridge Grappler
  • Size: 305/70R17
  • Price: $355/ea
  • Wheel Offset: -10mm

How Did You Fit Larger Tires? What Do You Like About Your Setup?

Bigger tires are another way of getting additional ride height and clearance in addition to the usual suspension lift. Larger tires also give the added benefit of an increased contact patch and traction with the surface of the road or object that you’re driving over. Or, in some cases, added “floatability” on softer surfaces such as sand and snow.

Getting the tires to fit while retaining maximum suspension up-travel and clearance inside the wheel wheels required a number of modifications including:

  • Body mount chop to reduce rubbing on the front cab mount
  • Cutting and flattening of pinch welds within the fender to maximize up-travel and prevent damage to the tire from the welds making contact
  • 2″ Wider fiberglass fenders by McQueen Prototype Design
  • Cutting, adjusting, or removing altogether the front portion of the fender liner to prevent tire rub
  • Upgraded bump stops to soften the blow at full suspension compression and prevent the tire from making contact with the top of the front and rear fender wells

When upgrading to bigger tires, one should always take these factors into account. Upsizing your tires may lead to additional modifications to accommodate the larger size. Another factor to keep in mind is the added weight of larger tires, which will affect the performance and driveability of your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Tiffany Blue 5th Gen 4Runner w/ RRW wheels & Maxxis tires

I recently added larger tires to my 4Runner as well, 285/70/R17 Nitto Recon Grapplers, and I set them on the stock TRD Pro wheels. I added a Westcott Designs lift to my 4Runner to help clear the tires, and I still rub ever so slightly while in reverse, at full lock. Luckily, all I will have to do is a super, super mild viper cut and I’ll be set. If I went any larger, then we’d be talking about a lot more trimming for sure!

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. Next week we will be showcasing ditch light brackets to help inspire your future tire upgrades. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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RayC
RayC
9 days ago

What is a viper cut?

Bill
Bill
25 days ago

Great article and one that will be booked marked for reference. Lots of good knowledge being shared here, Thank you so much Jon!! There was so much helpful content here and nice to see it here.

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