Anyone running 255/85R16 tires?

dad's wagon

Bigger Hammer
Nov 16, 2018
105
port henry
First Name
dale
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1953
I think the word is either Prussian or German and it means; "hummm" or "I wonder" or "what if"...or something like that.?!

I have found over the years that with all the wheel sizes, axle changes it is very dificult to guess what fits. I found out that with a given size of 15" or 16" wheels that there are different back spacings...a 33x12.50x15" will be different than a 33x12.50x16" the 15" didn't rub but the 16" did! I had no idea! I think you have to install the chosen wheel/tire combo to see if it does fit.

On my "53 wagon I will be using 70's wagoneer front springs and F150 (1350lb.) rear springs with air bags and frame mounts/shackles to adjust ride heigth. I did this on the 2A and with extra holes and shackles and am quite pleased.

On my CJ2A I started with 255x85x16 Kelly Springfield tires, they rubbed to much, I used spacers to get the off set I needed. These tires are 33.3" tall. I have since switched to 34x12.50 15" tires...I still went with spacers but went from 1.25" to 1" with no rubbing on the fronts, 1.25" on the rears with no issues. I haven't put that many miles on it but have done a good mix of on/off road driving (wth some rock stuff in the mix). This spring I will go over the set up when I do tire rotation.

Dale
 

Lookout Ranch

Well Oiled
All-Star
May 9, 2015
5,518
Sierra Foothills
First Name
Kurt
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Just happened to see this tire -- one I hadn't come across before, size 7.5x16 -- a mud and snow radial, US-made. Overall diameter of 31.8"

Might be a good option for those running original 16" truck rims. This is made for rims 5.5" - 7" wide and the tread width is 6.7", so fairly narrow.


It's similar to the 215/85R-16 but with a higher profile and larger diameter.


Edit: This is very similar in size to the 235/85R-16 tire, just a tiny bit narrower.
 
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Juniors

Sharpest Tool
Jun 24, 2016
367
MA
First Name
Juniors
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Just happened to see this tire -- one I hadn't come across before, size 7.5x16 -- a mud and snow radial, US-made. Overall diameter of 31.8"

Might be a good option for those running original 16" truck rims. This is made for rims 5.5" - 7" wide and the tread width is 6.7", so fairly narrow.


It's similar to the 215/85R-16 but with a higher profile and larger diameter.

These are what I am running. I like them very much and the they fit the 16x5 rim nicely too.
 

Stakebed

Well Oiled
All-Star
Mar 4, 2020
4,226
Northern California
First Name
Joe
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
I'm curious. @cwdtmmrs mentioned the Tornado steering linkage offers more tire clearance. Is it possible to retrofit that linkage onto an earlier Willys?
 

Andy FitzGibbon

Sharpest Tool
May 22, 2018
487
West Virginia
First Name
Andrew
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1956
I'm curious. @cwdtmmrs mentioned the Tornado steering linkage offers more tire clearance. Is it possible to retrofit that linkage onto an earlier Willys?

Anything is possible, but there would be lots of hurdles... the first being that the Tornado linkage requires a reverse rotation steering box. It would be lots of work for very marginal gain.
 

Tralehead

Precision Fit
Aug 29, 2018
966
Silverado, CA
First Name
Bob
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
My 3 cents:
Consider what engine/drivetrain you are running. My 1960 stock 226 had a hard time getting the 235/85-R16's going, at 32+" tall they sucked the life out of the did ratio.
Ended up taking a loss and switching to 235/70's for a better get up and go.
Tall tires are great if you're running rest o mod.
I personally have had poor experience with BFG KO2' s. Noisy, hard to balance and sketchy tread wear on my van.
And unfortunately I've seen similar reviews on the KM3's. But guessing they're going to be Ok if you don't go over 60 mph or 2000 miles of driving
 

Lookout Ranch

Well Oiled
All-Star
May 9, 2015
5,518
Sierra Foothills
First Name
Kurt
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
My 3 cents:
Consider what engine/drivetrain you are running. My 1960 stock 226 had a hard time getting the 235/85-R16's going, at 32+" tall they sucked the life out of the did ratio.
Ended up taking a loss and switching to 235/70's for a better get up and go.
Tall tires are great if you're running rest o mod.
I personally have had poor experience with BFG KO2' s. Noisy, hard to balance and sketchy tread wear on my van.
And unfortunately I've seen similar reviews on the KM3's. But guessing they're going to be Ok if you don't go over 60 mph or 2000 miles of driving

I'm sorry to hear this. I hadn't really thought of the impact of the larger diameter on the performance of the engine, but it makes sense. My 7.00x15 Yokos are about 29.5" in diameter, I think, and they have been fine, or maybe I'm just used to them. I ended up taking off the weights and using beads to balance them. I bought a quart bottle of biodegradable pellet gun pellets, broke down the rims and put in an amount equal to the weight of the lead that I removed. I probably could have used less, since this weight is rotating at a greater distance from the axis, but this has worked fine. Bead balancing is the cat's meow, at least for skinny tires.
 
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Tralehead

Precision Fit
Aug 29, 2018
966
Silverado, CA
First Name
Bob
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Yeah, the smaller tires made a remarkable improvement in take-off and might even make the clutch last longer.
Gotta research that bead balance technique
 

cactuspete2u

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Nov 4, 2010
367
colo
First Name
scott
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
We used balancing beads in our Harleys and the worked very well.
 

david0225

Sharpest Tool
Aug 4, 2013
476
Pittsburgh, PA
First Name
David
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
My 3 cents:
Consider what engine/drivetrain you are running. My 1960 stock 226 had a hard time getting the 235/85-R16's going, at 32+" tall they sucked the life out of the did ratio.
Ended up taking a loss and switching to 235/70's for a better get up and go.
Tall tires are great if you're running rest o mod.
I personally have had poor experience with BFG KO2' s. Noisy, hard to balance and sketchy tread wear on my van.
And unfortunately I've seen similar reviews on the KM3's. But guessing they're going to be Ok if you don't go over 60 mph or 2000 miles of driving
Bob,
What gear ratio in your axles, 4.27 or 4.88?
Thanks,
David
 

david0225

Sharpest Tool
Aug 4, 2013
476
Pittsburgh, PA
First Name
David
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
Thanks. I’d switched to the 4.27s, hoping to run a teller tire and get a higher top speed. With the 4.88 and a 235/15 tire, 45 was the highest comfortable speed. Was hoping for 50-55, and I really do not want to spend the money on an overdrive. Bought 16” wheels to go with a taller tire. Guess I’m stuck with a 235, but you saved me a ton of money buying the wrong tire size!
David
 

cwdtmmrs

Well Oiled
Jul 19, 2012
2,992
First Name
Tim
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1952
Just happened to see this tire -- one I hadn't come across before, size 7.5x16 -- a mud and snow radial, US-made. Overall diameter of 31.8"

Might be a good option for those running original 16" truck rims. This is made for rims 5.5" - 7" wide and the tread width is 6.7", so fairly narrow.


It's similar to the 215/85R-16 but with a higher profile and larger diameter.


Edit: This is very similar in size to the 235/85R-16 tire, just a tiny bit narrower.

Hi Carter, I've been running these for 1 1/2 years now. Great tire. There is a whole tread about them.
 

cwdtmmrs

Well Oiled
Jul 19, 2012
2,992
First Name
Tim
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1952
Anything is possible, but there would be lots of hurdles... the first being that the Tornado linkage requires a reverse rotation steering box. It would be lots of work for very marginal gain.
I think the the 230 bell-crank steering was significantly better when all of the components are tight. But, there are easier steering swaps that would be much better.
 
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