The Various Upsides of Upsizing Your 4WD Vehicle's Wheels (and Tyres)

Posted on: 27 February 2017

4WDs are the vehicles of choice for off-road driving because they generally offer improved traction, better fuel economy and greater towing capacities. And the benefits do not end there. The suspension of 4WDs can be lifted using specialised lift kits to allow for the use of larger wheels. Naturally, you will have to use bigger tyres when you upsize your wheels. 

So what are the advantages of lifting a 4WD's suspension so as to ride on upsized wheels and bigger tyres?

Distinctive look

There's no denying that the larger wheel/tyre combo will make your 4WD vehicle stand out from other cars with standard size wheels and tyres. Your upsized wheels and tyres will be the centre of attention every time you take your machine for a spin. Other drivers will envy you for stealing the show. 

Better handling

When you opt to upsize your wheel diameter and tyre size, you will end up with a lower-profile tyre in most cases. This means the tyre's sidewall height will be reduced. You see that part of your tyre between where the tyre touches the ground and where the tyre comes in contact with the internal diameter of the wheel? That's the sidewall! 

Tyres with lower-profiles generally tend to deliver a rougher ride when you're passing over potholes, expansion joints and other road defects. The reduced sidewall also means there's a higher risk of damaging your rims on kerbs. But on the plus side, there will be less sidewall lean and roll, meaning your vehicle will be able to corner better even when you are travelling at relatively high speeds.

To achieve better handling, you should strike a balance between riding comfort and car performance. 

Greater contact area

Your tyres are the only part of your vehicle that touch the ground at any time. Upsizing essentially means putting broader tyres on the ground, thus increasing the contact area. This improves the stability of the vehicle. Because there will be greater contact, your 4WD vehicle have a better grip of the road it is travelling on. This improves traction, which allows you better control of the vehicle while on the roads.

Upsizing your wheels and tyres can be rather expensive, so make sure it is done correctly the first time. An expert mechanic can help you choose the right size of wheels and tyres for your upgrade. You can talk with them about other options related to 4WD lift kits as well.