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Will 285/75R16 Fit Silverado 2500?

Although the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 provides impressive towing and hauling capabilities, some owners feel unsatisfied with the stock wheel-and-tire setup. To solve this, some owners choose to upgrade their tires using only stock rims and factory suspension.  So will 285/75/R16 tires fit a Silverado 2500?  Here's what our research has found.

For Chevrolet Silverado 2500 models released from 2001 to 2014, you can fit 285/75/R16 tires. However, you will need to do some fender trimming and torsion bar adjustments to prevent rubbing during driving.

Eventually, for 2015 to present Silverado 2500 models, Chevrolet enlarged the wheel well significantly such that this tire size will fit without any modifications.

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Would you like to know more about the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and its maximum tire size through its different generations? Do read on, because we've also included some information about the benefits and drawbacks of tire upsizing.

Biggest Tires On Stock 2500HD Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 is the 3/4-ton representative in the pickup truck segment. As part of the American automaker's "HD" truck line, the Silverado 2500 offers the engine power and body construction to take on towing and hauling activities that go beyond the capacity of the Chevy 1500 model.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2500 pickup display. The Chevy Silverado and 2500HD are among the best selling trucks.

What the Silverado 2500 doesn't offer, however, is a set of wheels and tires that will please many truck enthusiasts. Based on several online Silverado owner groups and forums, the factory tires are often too small to complement the 2500's rugged DNA, prompting the owners to look for larger tire replacement sizes.

One tire specification that seems to be popular among Silverado 2500 owners - especially for older models -  is the 285/75/R16 tire size. This tire is 32.8 inches in diameter (basically a "small" 33-inch tire), 11.2 inches wide, and has an 8.4-inch sidewall height.  So will this fit in the wheel well of a stock Chevy 2500?

Based on the testimonies of 2001 to 2014 Silverado 2500 owners, you can fit 285/75/R16 tires with some minor trimming and/or a few twists of the torsion bar. Alternatively, you can also get a leveling kit or a lift kit to add more wheel well clearance, especially for the front tires.

On the other hand, owners of 2015 up to current Silverado 2500 trucks have fitted much larger tires on their trucks without any modifications needed. Thus, 285/75/R16 tires should fit in these newer 2500 models without any problem.

In the following sections, we'll discuss the biggest tire sizes for each generation of the Silverado 2500 from 2001 to present.

Biggest Tire On Stock 2004 Silverado 2500HD

hevrolet Silverado 2500HD display at a dealership. The Chevy Silverado 2500HD is available with gas or diesel engines.

The first-generation Silverado 2500HD (GMT800, released 2001 - 2006) came with only one wheel and tire combination. The truck sported 245/75/R16 tires, which were 30.5 inches in diameter, 9.6 inches wide, and had a 7.2-inch sidewall height. 

These tires came in rims that were 16 inches in diameter and 6.5 inches in width, and the stock or factory wheel offset ranged from positive 26 to 30 mm. 

Following the widely-accepted 20-mm limit on upsizing stock tire width, we know that the first-generation Silverado 2500 can safely upgrade to 265/75/R16 tires. This tire size is 31.6 inches in diameter, 10.4 inches wide, and had a 7.8-inch sidewall height.

The 265/75/R16 size is approximately 3.6% larger in diameter and 8.3% wider than the stock tires. However, many first-gen Chevy 2500HD owners saw that the wheel wells could accommodate  up to 33-inch tires.  The main problem was at the front, where the tires may rub against the fenders when the wheels turn left or right.

Check out this video showing how the owner of a completely stock 2002 Chevy 2500 HD replaced his stock front tire with a 285/75/R16 tire. Please note that although the owner says that these are 31-inch tires, we know that they are closer to 33 inches in diameter.

The 285/75/R16 tire will definitely fit with no rubbing issues.  However, some owners have reported some minor rubbing during full wheel turns while driving.

Will 285/70/R17 Fit Silverado 2500?

To solve the rubbing problem and accommodate 33-inch tires better, some Chevy 2500 owners decided to use leveling kits or lift kits, sometimes in combination with torsion bar adjustments and some fender and bumper trimming.

Check out this first-generation 2004 Silverado 2500 HD with a 2-inch front leveling kit sitting on 285/70/R17 tires. At 32.7 inches in diameter and 11.2 inches in width, this tire is almost exactly the same size as the 285/75/R16 option.  

Biggest Tires On Stock 2013 Chevy 2500HD

The second-generation Silverado 2500 (GMT900, released from 2007 to 2014) came with the following stock wheel and tire options.

  • 245/75/R16 - 30.5 inches overall diameter, 9.6 inches width, 7.2 inches sidewall height, 6.5" x 16" wheels on 26-30 mm offset
  • 265/70/R17 - 31.6 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 7.3 inches sidewall height, 7.5" x 17" wheels on 26-30 mm offset
  • 245/75/R17 - 31.5 inches overall diameter, 9.6 inches width, 7.2 inches sidewall height, 7.5" x 17" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 265/70/R18 - 32.6 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 7.3 inches sidewall height, 8" x 18" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 265/60/R20 - 32.5 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 6.3 inches sidewall height, 8.5" x 20" wheels on 42-46 mm offset

Like the first-generation 2500 HDs, early models of the GMT900 Silverados can fit 33-inch tires with no rubbing issues - until you actually drive them. However, after the suspension upgrades starting on the 2011 model, the Silverado 2500 models were able to fit 33-inch tires without a problem.

Check out this video about the fitment of 34-inch tires on a stock 2012 GMC Sierra 2500 HD truck (almost exactly the same platform as the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD). These 275/65/R20 tires are 34.1 inches in overall diameter, 10.8 inches wide, and have 7-inch sidewalls.

The tires will clear the wheel well even at full wheel turns, but they will definitely rub the fender lining during real-world driving, hauling, and towing situations.

Biggest Tires On Stock 2019 Silverado 2500HD

The third-generation Silverado 2500 HD (GMTK2XX, released from 2015 to 2019) came with the same stock wheel and tire sizes as the later second-generation models.  

  • 265/70/R17 - 31.6 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 7.3 inches sidewall height, 7.5" x 17" wheels on 26-30 mm offset
  • 245/75/R17 - 31.5 inches overall diameter, 9.6 inches width, 7.2 inches sidewall height, 7.5" x 17" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 265/70/R18 - 32.6 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 7.3 inches sidewall height, 8" x 18" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 265/60/R20 - 32.5 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 6.3 inches sidewall height, 8.5" x 20" wheels  on 42-46 mm offset

Also, like the 2nd-generation model, the 2015 to 2019 Silverado 2500 HDs can accommodate up to 34-inch tires. However, they may also rub the rear part of the front fender during full wheel turns on uneven terrain.  

2020 Chevy 2500HD Max Tire Size

Lastly, the fourth-generation Silverado 2500 HD (GMTT1XX, released from 2020 to present) came with the following stock wheel and tire options.

  • 265/70/R17 - 31.6 inches overall diameter, 10.4 inches width, 7.3 inches sidewall height, 7.5" x 17" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 245/75/R17 - 31.5 inches overall diameter, 9.6 inches width, 7.2 inches sidewall height, 7.5" x 17" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 275/70/R18 - 33.2 inches overall diameter, 10.8 inches width, 7.6 inches sidewall height, 8" x 18" wheels on 42-46 mm offset
  • 275/65/R20 - 34.1 inches overall diameter, 10.8 inches width, 7 inches sidewall height, 8.5" x 20" wheels on 45-49 mm offset

The current-generation Silverado 2500 HD has more wheel well space to accommodate stock 34-inch tires. In fact, some owners have successfully fitted 35-inch tires without any rubbing issues.  Check out this video below.

Based on this video, we know that the 2022 Silverado 2500 HD can fit 35" x 12.5" x R17 tires using stock rims and stock suspension without any rubbing problems. This fitment is possible with or without the Z71 off-road package, as this add-on does not include any suspension lift.

How Do You Adjust Torsion Bar Height?

We've been mentioning torsion bar adjustments earlier in this article, so some of our readers may be wondering what this process means. We've got your back.

Big car tire. Tire for offroad in the countryside

A torsion bar is a semi-flexible metal bar that supports the front suspension, often in modern 4x4 SUVs and pickup trucks. Unlike coil springs that compress, torsion bars twist to dampen road impact and vibrations. 

Keeping everything else constant, increasing or decreasing the tension of the torsion bars will increase or decrease your ride height, respectively. In other words, tightening the torsion bar increases the clearance between your tires and the wheel well, allowing you to fit bigger tires even without an aftermarket lift kit.

As a reminder, however, torsion bar lifting has some disadvantages, like stiffer ride quality or the possibility of your suspension "bottoming out" on your bump stops even on moderate trails. Some experts recommend adding only one or two inches of lift using this technique.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Larger Tires?

Tire upsizing is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance and handling aspects of a vehicle. Even without any trimming, tweaking, or leveling kit installation, most vehicles can handle tires that are between 3% to 5% larger than stock ones.

Before you decide to upsize your tires, however, know that it has its pros and cons.

Benefits Of Bigger Tires

Big car wheel is standing on the rocks on mountain backdrop. - Will 285/75R16 Fit Silverado 2500?

First, taller tires increase your vehicle's ground clearance. Consequently, your vehicle will also get improvements in some characteristics that are important for trail or off-road activities.

  • increased approach angle
  • increased departure angles
  • better water fording/wading capacity
  • greater ramp break-over angle

Second, wider tires have larger contact patches that produce better traction compared to narrower ones. 

Better traction leads to better vehicle handling and control when driving through wet, sandy, muddy, or generally low-traction terrain.  Moreover, wider tires also increase your vehicle's stability at cruising speeds or during fast cornering maneuvers.

Are Bigger Tires Better Or Worse?

Bigger tires also have their disadvantages, including the following.

  • Higher tire replacement cost
  • Reduced acceleration 
  • Heavier steering, especially during dry steering situations
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Inaccurate speedometer reading

Wrapping Up

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD display at a dealership. The Chevy Silverado 2500HD is available with gas or diesel engines.

A set of 285/75/R16 tires can only fit 2001 to 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 models with some trimming, torsion bar tweaks, or a lift kit. However, for 2015 and newer Silverado 2500 models, you can use this tire size and even up to 35-inch tires without any modifications.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to give you a better idea regarding the tire upsizing options for the Chevrolet Silverado 2500.

For more interesting reads about tires and other automotive topics, you may also check out these great articles below.

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