Jeep Liberty/Tires & Rims
The Jeep Liberty has an Independent Front Suspension (IFS) which prevents installing a suspension lift greater than 2.5" without major and costly modifications. Without a major overhaul a lift of over 2.5" will cause your CV axles and ball joints to possibly fail. With the currently available lifts, the Jeep Liberty can be fitted with up to 265/75R16 (32"x10.5") tires. Tires larger than 265/75R16 will require extensive modification of the vehicle and cause major rubbing which will detract from offroadability. The Liberty comes from the factory without locking lug nuts on the wheels, so many owners replace one lug on each wheel with a Mopar locking lug. 245/75R16 (30"x9.7") is the most popular size used with a 2 1/2" lift; this size requires minimal trimming. 265/75R16 is the largest possible tire size; this size requires trimming the plastic wheel well insert and flattening the pinch weld on the 1st Gen libertys.
Stock Liberty Wheel Specs
Bolt Pattern: 5x4.5"
Bolt Pattern: 5x4.5"
16" vs. 17" Wheels
With a 17" wheel there is a limited selection of all-terrain tires available. A popular upgrade for the lifted Liberty is stock 16x8" Jeep Wrangler Rubicion wheels (Moab Wheels) with 5" of backspacing and 245/75R16 Goodyear MTR Tires. The Liberty's stock 16x7" wheel can fit a 10.5" wide tire with no problems. Only a few 15" wheels can fit on the Liberty without interfering with the brake caliper. Some other choices are the Rock Crawler Xtreme Steel Wheels with a backspacing of 4.5" or 3.75" or Cragar Wheels with 4-4.5" of backspacing. A backspacing of under 4" will work, but is not recommended because rubbing on suspension components may occur.
Backspacing and Wheel Spacers
Backspacing is a measurement of the distance from the mounting point on the wheel to the back of the rim. The larger the backspacing the closer the wheel to the Jeep and the more likely the wheel will rub on suspension components. The smaller the backspacing the more the wheel sticks out from the wheel well and the more likely the tires will throw mud up the side of the Jeep. A good rule of thumb is to keep the tires within the fender flares but far enough from the suspension components that they don't rub. Putting larger tires on the Liberty will often require decreasing the backspacing in order to eliminate tire rub on the sway bar. This is where spacers come in. A smaller backspacing can be made by installing a wheel spacer to push the wheel out and away from the suspension components. Spidertrax is a reputable cast aluminum spacer manufacturer/dealer whose spacers are safe to install on the Liberty. Just remember that in some states wheel spacers are illegal.
|Tire Diameter||Tire Width||Tire Size||Rubbing with No Lift|
|28.7"||8.7"||215/75R16*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29"||9.3"||235/65R17*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29.3"||8.9"||225/75R16*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29"||9.3"||235/70R16*||No Rubbing w/o Lift|
|30.3"||8.8"||225/75R17||Minor Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29.5"||9.7"||245/70R16||Minor Rubbing w/o Lift|
|29.9"||9.3"||235/75R16||Minor Rubbing w/o Lift|
|30.1"||10.2"||255/70R16||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|30.5"||9.7"||245/75R16||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|30.5"||10.5"||31x10.5x15||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|30.6"||10.7"||265/70R16||Minor Rubbing w/ Lift|
|31.2"||11.0"||275/70R16||Moderate Rubbing w/ Lift|
|31.8"||9.3"||235/85R16||Moderate Rubbing w/ Lift|
|31.6"||10.5"||265/75R16||Moderate Rubbing w/ Lift|
*Note: These tire sizes come standard or optional from the factory.
Tire Load Ranges
Every letter increase indicates two additional plys.
- P - Passenger tire with little sidewall protection. The stock Goodyears that come on the Liberty from the factory fall into this load range. These tires are definitely not recommended for off road as they are street tires with no sidewall protection.
- LT (C) - 6 ply Light Truck tire with a good balance of sidewall protection and flex. These tires are recommended for off roading the Liberty because they are both moderately well armored and fit the ground better.
- LT (D) - 8 ply Light Truck tire that's in between C and E. Many tires such as the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revos don't have this load range as an option
- LT (E) - 10 ply Light Truck tire with maximum sidewall protection and minimum flex. These tires are very heavy and don't flex very much, as a result they will decrease your gas mileage and are less suited for off road use. The extra sidewall plys that cause the increase in stiffness also will increase the sidewall puncture resistance. Because of this higher resistance to puncture you may want to consider these tires if you spend a lot of time in rocky areas.
Common Tire Choices
- BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO
- Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
- Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo
- Firestone Destination M/T
- General Grabber AT2
- Kumho Road Venture MT KL71
- Fuel Off-Road Tires
- On/Off-Road All-Terrain A/T Tire Comparison chart
- Off-Road Maximum Traction M/T Tire Comparison Chart
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- Jeepin in Indiana forum for all Jeep related discussions