In this article, we will cover everything you need to know to equip your 2nd or 3rd gen Ford Ranger with bigger offroad tires and choose the correct lift kit. While slightly bigger tires will work even on trucks with stock suspension without any problems, common off-road tire sizes like 33s or 35s will definitely require a lift.
We combined all useful information on lifting a Ford Ranger made for the US domestic market, along with detailed info on the tire sizes, wheel offsets, and lift heights.
Benefits of installing 31″, 32″ or 33″ tires on a Ford Ranger
Installing larger tires is the ultimate way to improve the off-road capabilities of any truck or SUV, because they improve the ground clearance, approach/departure angles, and widen the tracks. Besides they provide a larger ground contact point which maximizes the grip and improves traction. They will also improve the visual appeal of your truck, giving it a wider stance and beefier appearance.
- Improved ground clearance
- Improved approach and departure angles
- Improved grip and traction
- Better stability
- Awesome looks
Nothing is perfect and so there are some disadvantages of running larger tires that you must be aware of. Bigger tires and a lift put more stress on the suspension components, which may require more frequent maintenance. They also raise the vehicle’s center of gravity, which slightly improves the body roll. Due to the improved overall wheel diameter, the speedometer readings will no longer be accurate.
- Potentially more frequent maintenance of the suspension components
- Improved body roll (with high lift)
- Inaccurate speedometer readings
- Gas mileage
Below is the list of factory equipped wheel sizes and comparison with bigger aftermarket tires
2004-2012 Ford Ranger Factory Tire sizes and their Equivalents in Inches
|Metric tire sizes||Sizes in inches*||Fitment|
2019-2021 Ford Ranger Factory Tire sizes and their Equivalents in Inches
|Metric tire sizes||Sizes in inches*||Fitment|
Other common 31″ tire sizes
|265/70/16||31x10.43R16||Modifications may be required|
Common 32 inch tires
|255/75/17||32x10.04R17||Will not rub|
|265/75/16||32x10.43R16||Will not rub|
Common 33 inch tires
Based on the Tire Size Comparison Visualizer at Tire-size.com
Common 34 inch tires
Common 35 inch tires
All-Terrain or Mud-Terrain tires?
A properly selected wheel and tire package will extensively improve the off-road capabilities of your Ford Ranger. If you chose a lift kit, then most definitely it’s supplier provided you with a maximum available tire size for your model. Just follow the recommendations and choose A/T or M/T tires that fit in your budget. If you aren’t sure which tires to choose, check our M/T and A/T tire comparison.
- Pros: All-Terrain is a universal type of off-road tire that performs perfectly in the sand, ok on gravel, ok in the snow, and bad in dirt and mud. Thanks to the less aggressive tire tread than M/Ts it behaves much better on concrete roads, providing a better gas mileage and quieter ride.
- Cons: Useless in deep mud.
- Pros: Mud Terrain is an advanced type of offroad tire, that works great on pretty much any terrain including mud, rocks, snow, and even sand.
- Cons: Due to the aggressive tread patterns it doesn’t do great in terms of handling on paved roads. It’s a lot noisier and wears out faster.
What lift should I choose to install 33, 34, or 35-inch tires on a Ford Ranger?
There is a wide choice of aftermarket suspension lift kits available for Ford Ranger, starting from simple 1″ and 2″ space, up to 4-6″ long-travel suspension kits. You can read more about the basics of lifting your truck in this article.
- Leveling kits & Spacers (no serious off-roading) 31-32″ tires
- Body lift (no serious off-roading) 31-32″ tires
- Full suspension Lift kits (good for serious off-roading) 33-35″ tires
- Long travel suspension kits (hardcore off-roading, off-road racing) 33-35″ tires
Lets sum it up
Will 31″ tires fit on my Ford Ranger?
– Yes, they will fit without rubbing on both 2nd and 3rd gen trucks.
While 31s are slightly bigger than stock tires on the 2nd gen, there’s still enough room to fit them. On the other hand 31″” is the factory wheel size for the last generation Ranger, so they will not cause any problems at all.
Will 32″ tires fit my truck without modifications?
– No, these tires will most definiteley interfere with the suspension components of your truck and therefore require a lift and/or some trimming (intrusion beams). Basic spacer lift kit will do the job for you without any problems, yet if you want some good off-road performance, it’s recommended to get a complete suspension lift kit that will extend the shocks and improve damping.
*Even 35″s fit with certain modifications to the suspension and this lifted Ford Ranger Wildtrack T9 is good example.
Recommended Lift Kits
1st & 2nd Gen Ranger
- Rough Country 4″ Lift Kit w/N3 Shocks for 1983-1997 Ford Ranger 2WD – Radius arm drop brackets allow for properly set caster.
- Rough Country 4″ Lift Kit w/N3 Shocks for 1983-1997 Ford Ranger 4WD – Maintains Factory Ride Quality
3rd gen Ranger
- RTZ 4″ Full Suspension Lift Kit for Ford Ranger 2WD 2001-2013 – With Front Lift Iron Spindles + Rear 3″ Steel Lift Block Kit + Set of Premium Doestch Tech DT9000 Nitro-Shocks
- TORCH 3″ Front 2″ Rear Leveling Lift Kit for 1998-2011 Ford Ranger – FITS: TORSION BAR SUSPENSIONS ONLY – 1998-2011 Ford Ranger 4X4 and 2WD Edge trim and 2WD Sport trim
4th Gen Ranger
- ReadyLift 69-2930 3.0″ SST Lift Kit for 2019 & Up Ford Ranger – 3″ front leveling kit and a 1″ OE style cast iron rear lift block with hardware
- SUPERLIFT | K1014 | 3″ Lift Kit for Fits 2019-2023 Ford Ranger 4WD – Complete 3″ Lift Kit with Strut Spacers & Front Upper Control Arms
*Since the suspension modifications and the installation of the oversized tires require advanced measurements and depend on many parameters, such as vehicle sub-model, trim level, state of the suspension components, aftermarket upgrades, etc., we highly recommend confirming fitment parameters for your particular vehicle with the sales representative of your lift and tire supplier before making a purchase. The recommendations in this article are presented for general informational purposes only, so we are not responsible for any problems with the wheel and tire fitment or any other damage that may occur to your vehicle.
Matt brings over a decade of automotive expertise to his role as staff writer and editor at Offroadium.com. With an enduring passion for the off-road vehicles and adventures, he is devoted to creating interesting content that equips 4x4 enthusiasts with the knowledge to improve their rigs.