What size tires and what issues have you had? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question What size tires and what issues have you had?

I'm trying to get the definitive information on tire sizes and issues for everyone. This is a common question that I've seen here.

The list below is some tried and true experiments from folks who have put larger tires on their RAV4.1s stock and lifted. It also matters if you have a manual or automatic transmission because the automatic tranny sticks out into the wheel well further so keep that in mind. The chart I made up gives you the diameter of a given size in the size ranges from original equipment up to a way oversized tire that will not work without firewall modification.

Tire Size.....Diameter
235-60-16....27.1".............original equipment, optional
215-70-16....27.9".............original equipment
235-65-16....28.0".............a step up, no problems for stock RAV4s
225-70-16....28.4".............this is the largest that a stock RAV4 can handle with minor scrubbing on full lockup and removing the "bump". On automatic RAV4's it will scrub the transmission unless spacers are used.
215-75-16....28.7..............Must have a lift kit
235-70-16....29.0".............Must have a lift kit
255-65-16....29.1".............Must have a lift kit
225-75-16....29.3".............Must have a lift kit, people say they have run these tires but there was no follow up concerning any scrub issues
245-70-16....29.5".............Must have a lift kit, spacers, and it will probably require modification of the firewall, I have seen no one claiming to have tried this size tire
235-75-16....29.9".............Too big even with a lift without serious firewall modifications, this is what I currently have, others claim to have installed this size of tire but no information as to any problems that had to be resolved.
Any larger sizes will require more than a lift and spacers to work without scrubbing.

Note: The area on the other side of the firewall if you heavily modified the firewall will not interfere with pedal travel on left hand drive RAV4's on right hand drives I'm pretty sure it would affect at least the throttle pedal and probably the brake pedal.

Unfortunately, most people talk about tire sizes and never follow it up to let us know what if any issues they had. So everyone post your experiences here, include tire size, brand, and model. Also tell us if you are stock, lowered, or lifted and the method used. Tell us in detail about any firewall mods needed. Pictures are welcome.

Currently, I have 235-75-16....29.9" Firestone Destination A/T tires on my RAV4.1 with an OME lift kit plus a 1" additional lift on the front. I also have 1" spacers on each wheel but I still have scrubbing on turns. I have removed the "bump" and judiciously used an implement of destruction (large hammer) on the front wheel wells, in the lower rear area and they still rub. I am going to have to cut the firewall out to gain enough room to use these tires or I will downsize.

It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

RAV4.1, 1999 RAV4, 3S-FE engine, E250F transaxle 5sp AWD, 5 door, LHD, Redneck Edition (RNE), Mossy Oak Obsession wrap, heavily modded, TOAD
'96 Newmar Mountain Aire, 40' diesel pusher motorhome, the mothership

Last edited by eodgator; 03-12-2017 at 04:07 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:47 PM
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Absolutely you're right. It's about creating a kind of "database"

Especially important is the used method: lift kit (springs, shock absorber), spacers, front, rear, what height and so on, and so on...

It is worth mentioning your own feelings, affects traction, safety, braking distances.

Last edited by Andrew N; 03-12-2017 at 04:51 PM. Reason: supplement
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post #3 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Absolutely you're right. It's about creating a kind of "database"

Especially important is the used method: lift kit (springs, shock absorber), spacers, front, rear, what height and so on, and so on...

It is worth mentioning your own feelings, affects traction, safety, braking distances.
Yes anything you would like to include. Even stock sized tires and you want to post how they handle, how well they do on/off road, snow, ice, rain, etc. I use the tirerack.com ratings for a good source of information, but it sure wouldn't hurt to have people's ideas on the vehicle we actually use. Particularly informative when it comes to oversized or special applications. So many times on this forum I've looked at what people are using using or planning to use but rarely followup on how things actually worked out, what they would do differently next time.

It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

RAV4.1, 1999 RAV4, 3S-FE engine, E250F transaxle 5sp AWD, 5 door, LHD, Redneck Edition (RNE), Mossy Oak Obsession wrap, heavily modded, TOAD
'96 Newmar Mountain Aire, 40' diesel pusher motorhome, the mothership
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post #4 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 05:18 PM
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I'll start from 40mm spacers rear and front with stock springs.

A good idea is to go to friendly used tires workshop and check out few sizes, ride on rough roads with a full load
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post #5 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 06:52 PM
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Thank you so much for this list. You saved me a bunch of research today.
What are you using for the "additional 1 inch" of lift? I am wanting to go to 234/70/16's, myself.
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post #6 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for this list. You saved me a bunch of research today.
What are you using for the "additional 1 inch" of lift? I am wanting to go to 234/70/16's, myself.
Thanks, I did a Old Man Emu (OME) lift front and rear, and a daystar 1" spacer which isn't for the RAV4 but it worked (see my thread - https://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-4...ajor-mods.html). I will change it later for theese - Front strut spacers for Toyota Avensis, Caldina, Carina, Rav4 30mm | eBay. This would give me a little over 2" effective lift, I wouldn't want to push it any higher or I could have problems with the CV joints. I have plenty of vertical clearance, what I don't have is horizontal clearance. So I don't think a higher lift, unless I went really hgh would help me much. I either need smaller tires or I have to mod the firewall.

I think for you to go to a 29" tire, you would need a lift on all 4 axles. An advantage of the OME kit is that you replace those old tired springs with new ones that are heavier duty and actually improves handling, less roll. I think the OME is a much better option than just lift spacers. That being said, the OME left my RAV4 nose down abit and the 1" spacer leveled her out. You can get 40mm coil spacers for all four axles from the same folks I referenced in my link from ebay, I just don't think this is your best way to go.

And I assume you meant 235/70/16 rather than 234/70/16.

It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

RAV4.1, 1999 RAV4, 3S-FE engine, E250F transaxle 5sp AWD, 5 door, LHD, Redneck Edition (RNE), Mossy Oak Obsession wrap, heavily modded, TOAD
'96 Newmar Mountain Aire, 40' diesel pusher motorhome, the mothership
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post #7 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:13 PM
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235, yes!

I have been checking out the OME lift kit, thanks greatly for the info about the "nose-down" effect. I hadn't heard about that anywhere. My baby has 238,xxx+ miles, so new springs is definitely on the list. I did check out your mods list and it's pretty impressive. Thanks again for the info.
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post #8 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:24 PM
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I have 235/70r16s without a lift and without issue thus far. Will install a Tough Dog lift Thursday (OME is no longer for sale here in Aus) but don't need to for the tyres.

I'll attatch a pic, but don't expect pretty. This is a broke phd researcher's outback research machine to get out to remote indigenous country.
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post #9 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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I have 235/70r16s without a lift and without issue thus far. Will install a Tough Dog lift Thursday (OME is no longer for sale here in Aus) but don't need to for the tyres.

I'll attatch a pic, but don't expect pretty. This is a broke phd researcher's outback research machine to get out to remote indigenous country.
I just took a look at the Tough Dog site, are you looking at the 25mm or 40mm lift?

Is your RAV4 an automatic? Does it have the 3SFE engine and E250 (fwd) or E250F (4wd) if standard?

Maybe the 2 door versions sit higher (after all they would be quite a bit lighter) than the 4doors, I hadn't considered that.

It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

RAV4.1, 1999 RAV4, 3S-FE engine, E250F transaxle 5sp AWD, 5 door, LHD, Redneck Edition (RNE), Mossy Oak Obsession wrap, heavily modded, TOAD
'96 Newmar Mountain Aire, 40' diesel pusher motorhome, the mothership
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post #10 of 92 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by eodgator View Post
I just took a look at the Tough Dog site, are you looking at the 25mm or 40mm lift?
There's a 30mm on the market here for the convertibles. Not sure if it's the 25mm lift adjusted for weight or if it's an entirely different kit.

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Originally Posted by eodgator View Post
Is your RAV4 an automatic? Does it have the 3SFE engine and E250 (fwd) or E250F (4wd) if standard?
5sp manual with a locking centre differential 4wd setup. Not sure if it has a Torsen in it because I haven't ripped the differential cover off to check.

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Maybe the 2 door versions sit higher (after all they would be quite a bit lighter) than the 4doors, I hadn't considered that.
Have not measured ground clearance, mate, and it's pissing down rain here today so I won't get to measure before I install that lift.

Hope that helps.
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