Max tire -'97 EB | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Max tire -'97 EB

Hi, I just found this board while trying to get an answer to this question: How big a tire can I put on my stock '97 Eddie Bauer? The current tires are 255 70 R16. I'd like to gain some altitude but don't want to have to do any cutting.

The kid at Les Schwab said the max I could go is 265 70 R16, which doesn't seem to me to get me very much.

I'd also appreciate tire recommendations. I live in the Seattle area, so the rig spends most of its time on wet pavement. It also gets a taste of snow now and then. Off road use has been limited to date (with this rig), but I anticipate more in the future.


John P, Esq.
1997 EB, V6 - Stock, so far.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Welcome to the site John, and in all honesty, it's the best on the net! To answer your question, the largest tire you can fit stock would be a 31" tire, for a 16" wheel, that would in fact be a 265/70R16 tire. If you wan to go larger, you would net to do what we call a Torsion Twist. It is pretty simple and a lot of people here do it. What your do is you twist your front torsion bars to force the front suspenion to sit higher. To give the rear more height, you can use either/both(for even more height) a Warrior Shackle (part WAR153) and/or an Explorer Pro Comp add-a-leaf (part 13120) or some other add-a-leaf for the Explorer. To get more info, I suggest using the search function on this site. Search. I hope this helps you. And again, welcome to the best site on the net, feel free to ask any questions you may have!

I don't know how much different your wheel moldings are from my '97 Sport with the premium sport package, but I was able to fit 265 75R16 (31.7") LTX A/Ts easily. Mine had the 255 70R16 (30.1") tires stock as well. They gave my entire Explorer a lift of about 3/4". I had to cut a small piece of plastic from the inside back corner of the front wheel wells. It's not noticeable. There was a thread regarding larger tires on a '97 on this board back in June or July that goes into great detail. You can't tell it was cut unless you know what you are looking at. Here is a picture of where I cut and what the tires look like.



OK, got the size settled,,, Now which Tire?

Thanks guys,

It looks like I'll end up with the 265 70R 16's, but it appears that that size is pretty rare.

As I mentioned in my original post, I spend a lot of time driving on wet pavbement, so rain handling is really important.

I've read some reviews of the BFG not being really great on the wet. Has that been your experience. I've seen some positive comments on the Pirelli Scorpion AT, but I think its only available in the 255, not a 265.

I also read some good reviews of a Michelin tire on the Usenet, but don't recall which one they were referring to.

Thanks in advance.

John P.

Black '97 Eddie Bauer 4 Dr, 4.0 SOHC - Stock (so far)
Plans include: New tires (265 70R 16... maybe bigger... ), Heated mirrors(IF I can find them), KKM or K&N air filter, computer chip (yet to be chosen), under-seat safe, driving lights, intigrated PCS/GPS security system, photon torpedos, . . .

John, if you'll try our search feature icon and search for "bfg at" or something like that you'll get a gazillion discussions concerning those tires. If you'll search for the tire and also my user name you'll pull up posts where I have joined in the discussions so you can find what I think about them. They come in a 265/75r16 though, not 265/70r16 .

We've already discussed in several of those threads you'll find with the search, but what you heard about the BFG AT ko's wet traction is totally bogus. I went all the way up to 285/75r16 and I cannot make mine hydroplane. I did not say they resist hydroplaning, I said I cannot get them to hydroplane.

They are the best tires I have ever owned and the best rain tires I've ever owned.

Welcome to the board.