Have you ever wondered which would be the largest tire you could install on your vechicle? Today's blog entry covers that specifically for G-Wagens with a 2-inch lift such as the ones we sell here in our online store (OME Full Suspension Kit and the Hofele Suspension Kit), but there's something in here for non G-Wagen owners too. We describe a test that you can do on just about any truck to more definitively determine the fitment limits of newly-installed tires.
Installing large tires can be a little tricky; there are a lot of variables that affect whether or not a tire will fit without rubbing. Generally a 33”-34” overall tire diameter can fit the trucks with a modest lift of 2”. This is assuming ET 20-30 on an a wheel 8" deep. Whether tires will fit without rubbing is determined by multiple variables such as: tire width, how aggressive the treads are, tire manufacturer, wheel width, wheel offset, vehicle weight, driving habits and terrain.
Anytime you try to install the largest tire, the risk of rubbing goes up, and its impossible to say definitively whether or not rubbing will occur. We suggest you try this test to determine the limits of your tires and whether they will rub. This test will likely work with just about any normal vehicle, but please keep in mind that we are primarily assuring you that this test will work with G-Wagens. Articulate your suspension by placing the left front tire on a hump or object like a rock. This will compress the suspension as far as it can go. Then, turn the wheel in either direction until the steering wheel is locked. Finally, put your G-Wagen in reverse and back up. If there is no rub, then likely there will not be issues while driving. However, this action plus driving fast will compress the suspension even more and push the suspension into its bushings further.
As an example, the black 2003 G-wagen truck below is on a 2” OME suspension with 305/65R17 (~32.6” diameter) Falken Wildpeak AT’s, with THOR Motorworks G10 Raceline Beadlockc Wheels that have a non-standard 25mm (1/2-inch) ET or offset. This pushes the wheel rim outward 18mm or almost 3/4” over stock wheels. Although it has a winch, it’s not loaded with gear so it’s at its heaviest and does not rub in this case.
The white truck below is on more aggressive mud tires, which tend to be larger, but are the same 305/65R17 BFGoodrich KM2 (~33” diameter) with the same wheels and non-standard 25mm ET. This truck is on a 50mm lift, and no rubbing occurs during normal driving.
If you're looking to have a more "streetable" G-Wagen truck, then see the image below of our same 2003 G-Wagen that you saw above. The picture below shows our G-Wagen before we changed the tires to the larger size you see above. Pictured below, it has 275/70R18 tires on a 2-inch lift (50mm). There is no rubbing at all.
Many of the later model G-Class trucks will experience the ESP (stability control) and ABS (Antilock Brake) systems trying to take control of the vehicle, typically coasting downhill, while on these larger tires. If this happens to you, tap the brake or accelerator pedal to let the computer know you are in control. Under 40mph the ESP can be turned off, but will reset over 40mph or upon restart. This can be annoying and cannot be turned off, to our knowledge. Mercedes certainly will not change this.
Sample Fitment Guide for G-Wagen Tire Sizes in Relation to Suspension
295/70R16 + 30mm spring spacers, stock 43mm ET - generally no rubbing
305/65R17 + 50mm OME springs, stock 43mm ET - generally no rubbing
275/70R18 + 30mm spring spacers, stock 43mm ET - generally no rubbing
If you would like to share your tire/wheel specs and suspension setup, we would greatly appreciate it. Even just that information alone will enable us to share your info for the benefit of the worldwide G-Wagen community, and we would greatly appreciate it. If you can further send us images of that set up, we will also update this blog post with your image for all to benefit and we will credit you accordingly. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!