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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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 - http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-4-1-d-i-y-modifications/206377-1999-4dr-4x4-major-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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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.

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.

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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Discussion Starter #11
Any progress updates?

This is the swap I always wanted in the RAV4, just couldn't find someone willing and able to install it. =(

What kind of issues did you have with the wheels?
Possibly the low offset with taller tire combo?

My summer wheels are 17x8 with a 38 offset, and tires are 225/60/17 and no clearance issues.
Tire Size.......Diameter.......Width
225-60-17......27.63"........8.86"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This was posted by IloveZenyatta

Smile After Market Tires Rims Pls help....
I have a 1997 Rav4 White 2dr
I want to add after market rims and tires
Can I go with 235-50-18 without any adjustments or whatever?
I want the wheel well to look full but a little wide...I'm not sure about this.
I need all the RAV4 experts and I know your reading this
Please send Pics if you have a Rav4 on 18s. Please advise if necessary...

The below was my reply.
That tire (may vary slightly by brand and tire type) specs are as follows:

TIRE SIZE.....TIRE WT.....RIM WIDTH.....RIM WIDTH.....SECT. WIDTH.....TREAD WIDTH.....OVERALL DIAM.....REVS PER MILE
235-50-18......30 lbs.........6.5-8.5".............7.5".................9.7"..................8.8".....................27.2"..................762
235-60-16......22 lbs.........6.5-8.5".............7.0".................9.4"..................8.0".....................27.0"..................769
215-70-16......28 lbs.........5.5-7.0".............6.5".................8.7"..................7.0".....................27.9"..................746

I think it would work without a problem depending on your rim offset.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm updating my tire charts to show a lot more information

TIRE...............TIRE.......RIM WIDTH.....SECTION.....TREAD.......OVERALL.......REVOLUTIONS.....REQUIRES
SIZE............WEIGHT.........RANGE.........WIDTH......WIDTH......DIAMETER.........PER MILE.............LIFT........COMMENTS
235-60-16......22 lbs.........6.5-8.5"..........9.4"...........8.0".........27.0"..................769..................No.........Optional from Toyota
215-70-16......28 lbs.........5.5-7.0"..........8.7"...........7.0".........27.9"..................746..................No.........Stock
235-50-18......30 lbs.........6.5-8.5"..........9.7"...........8.8".........27.2"..................762..................No.........Width could be a problem
235-65-16......28 lbs.........6.5-8.5"..........9.5"...........7.1".........28.0"..................742..................No.........A step up, no problems for stock RAV4s
225-70-16......27 lbs.........6.0-7.5"..........6.5"...........6.8".........28.4"..................733..................No.........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 may scrub the transmission unless spacers are used.
215-75-16......29 lbs.........5.5-7.0"..........8.5"...........6.2".........28.9"..................719..................Yes
235-70-16......31 lbs.........6.0-8.0"..........9.5"...........7.4".........29.0"..................719..................Yes
255-65-16......32 lbs.........7.0-9.0"........10.2"...........8.1".........29.1"..................717..................Yes........The width may require firewall mods
225-75-16......31 lbs.........6.0-7.5"..........8.8"...........7.2".........29.3"..................711..................Yes
245-70-16......32 lbs.........6.5-8.0"..........9.8"...........7.7".........29.5"..................705..................Yes
235-75-16......34 lbs.........6.0-7.5"..........9.3"...........7.4".........29.9"..................698..................Yes........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.

Obviously there are many more sizes out there, keep us posted, let us know what you are running and what challenges you had to get it to work, and I'll try to keep this chart updated.
 

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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.
The OME is made in Australia and and are still offered in their catalog, just not listed on their page for some reason. I have run into this problem in a few places lately, sometimes the web helps, and other time it is better to contact the company and ask them.
 

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On the Torsen question, contact Toyota with the vin number is the easiest way, or the fun way is to find a place where you can dangle one of the rear wheels, and then try to drive off.
If the hanging wheel steals all the power then you have an open-differential and not the Torsen, be sure to stop the spinning wheel before activating the center diff lock.

If you try this with the automatic, it would be best to have some friends with you.
 

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If the hanging wheel steals all the power then you have an open-differential and not the Torsen.

Torsen are not like viscous or clutch-packs limited slip differentials. If a torsen have one wheel that does not touch the ground, it acts exactly like an open diff. To act as a lsd, a torsen needs to have resistance on both wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here is some info about wheel sizing:

The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. The offset can be one of three types, (measured in millimeters). ref tirerack.com
Zero Offset - The hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.
Positive - The hub mounting surface is located in the front half of the wheel closer to the wheel face.
Negative - The hub mounting surface is located in the back half of the wheel closer to the back lip flange.

For more detailed information see - https://www.tirerack.com/wheels/tech...jsp?techid=101

And see "The Right Fit is More Than Just Diameter" - https://www.tirerack.com/wheels/tech...jsp?techid=103

And one other thing to know is "How We Know What Fits" - https://www.tirerack.com/wheels/tech....jsp?techid=95

My wheels are 16X7.5 5114 ET40 AR RAZOR
- 16 is the wheel diameter
- 7.5 is the width
- 5114 is the bolt pattern - It would actually be 5 x 4.50 or in metric 5 x 114.3
- ET40 is the offset - The term ET originates from the German word 'Einpresstiefe' which translates as 'insertion depth'. So my rims are positive 40mm offset
- AR Razor is the make and model of my rim
- Centerbore - 60.1mm - Is one other crucial measurement that is not listed here which would be the diameter of the hole in the center of the wheel. The centerbore may be larger but centering rings should be used.
.................................................................
So from the above, if your wheel offset is wrong it could cause the wheel to contact the brake rotor or other suspension components. It can also cause the wheel to stick way out of the wheel wells. The wrong offset will also cause more stress on suspension components and wheel bearings, spacer can cause the same issues.

If the centerbore is too small the wheel won't fit, if too large (not a real problem) then you should use centering rings.

If the bolt pattern is wrong it won't fit.

The wheel must be the proper diameter and width for the tires being used.
 

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Torsen are not like viscous or clutch-packs limited slip differentials. If a torsen have one wheel that does not touch the ground, it acts exactly like an open diff. To act as a lsd, a torsen needs to have resistance on both wheels.
If you just jack up the rear-end and turn the tires, it does act just like an open-diff.
But when the power comes from the drive-shaft the Torsen handles it differently. And un-like the locker types, the torsen does not lose differential action when it transfers the the power to the wheel that has traction.

I will be in eastern Canada later this summer if you want to watch my little Rav4 drive off after hanging a rear wheel. Now one time when I got a front wheel airborne, without locking the center-diff, it was a different story.
 

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225/75R16 Hankook Dynapro ATm in the summer and Hankook I-Pikes in the winter. Both do great in ice, snow, dirt, gravel and the wet. They seem to be slightly weak in the dry stopping power, but add any type of moister and they really hold.

No rubbing before or after the OME lift, I think the front still has enough clearance that I could get a low-profile set or chains or cables on if I needed too. But since I have never needed to chain up the rear tires in the past 5 winters and I can't get my Rav4 to spin the tires in snow for fun even, so I think it will remain just idle speculation on my part.
 

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1- If you just jack up the rear-end and turn the tires, it does act just like an open-diff.


2- But when the power comes from the drive-shaft the Torsen handles it differently.

1- Yes
2- No


I had a couple cars with torsen differentials (Celica GTFour, Lexus IS300, Matrix XRS, Supra 2.5R, Scion FRS) .... and my RAV4 is also equipped with a torsen. So I know the downside of a torsen... and experiment it every time I'm going off road and have a rear wheel airborne. I then need to pull the handbrake 2 clicks to make resistance on both rear wheels! If you don't believe it, just make a quick research on how a torsen works, you won't have to read very much. ;)

Take it positive: maybe your torsen is defect in a good way! :)
 
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