If you ever found yourself admiring a lifted Silverado sporting four huge 35-inch tires, you’re not alone. That majestic beast of a truck looks even more fantastic with tires that are way bigger than the factory ones.
So, if you’re thinking of giving your Silverado a makeover, you probably already know that 35-inch tires are huge and chunky and that they demand a lot of clearance under the wheel well. For that, you’ll need a significant amount of lift. You can read my guide about the best lift kit for silverado.
So, what size lift do you need for installing 35-inch tires on a Silverado?
Well, a 4-inch lift will do for some people, with certain setbacks. But if you carry a lot of loads or go off-roading a lot, then 6 inches is the minimum lift height for your Silverado so that the tires don’t scratch or grind at full lock or full turn.
Let me elaborate so that your journey toward that Silverado beast standing on 35-inch tires becomes as easy and effective as it possibly can be.
Can you fit 35 inch tires on a New Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Truck?
Is 4-inch Lift Kit Enough for 35-inch Tires on a Silverado
Before I begin, let me make it clear that all the things I’m going to talk about today will be applicable to most Silverado models. So, before you jump to any conclusions, make sure you double-check by contacting the manufacturer or a professional.
As I’ve said earlier, 35-inch tires can be put on a Silverado with just 4 inches of lift in some cases. But there’s a catch. The tires scratch the inner wall of the wheel well even at default or zero load.
If you can do some significant trimming and cutting around the fender wall, you can technically put 35-inch tires in, but the process is a total hassle, and the tires will still scratch the fender wall at fast or steep turns.
The thing is, the cost of a 4-inch lift may be lower than a 6-inch one, but the installation process of the 35-inch tires will take a lot of time and effort, plus the extra service cost for all the complex trimming and fitting that it requires.
And the outcome is still not a sure one. You will probably have to forget about carrying heavy loads or give up the hope of getting through rugged off-roads with speed.
Since the gap is more at the top of the wheel well and the tires tend to rub at the inner wall side, you can somewhat prevent tire scraping or grinding by installing the skinny 35-inch tires with a 4-inch lift, but they are not a sure solution.
Also, these narrower tires may not look as good to a lot of people as true 35-inch tires would with their wider and more aggressive stance as opposed to the geeky look of the skinny tires. And if you’re preferring 35-inch tires over 33-inch ones, you’re probably doing so for the look.
6-inch Lift Kit for 35-inch Tires on a Silverado
A 6-inch lift kit hits a fairly sweet spot for installing 35-inch tires without much compromise or hassle. Because there will be enough room in the wheel well, and you won’t need to worry about tearing away the fender wall.
The extra cost of the 4-inch lift kit will be compensation for the extra hassle saved by not needing to cut anything. The clearance around the tire will be enough for moderate and fairly rough off-roading.
You’ll still need to keep an eye out for difficult situations, though. For example, you’ll need to go slow around steep corners—much slower when there’s a load on the back because the tires may still grind at higher compression of the springs.
Also, you’ll need to keep the speed moderate on difficult terrain with any amount of load. To sum up, you’ll need to adapt and adjust your driving style according to the newly changed behavior of your truck.
6-inch lift kits may be the sure solution for people that are going for the badass look without having to go through any hassle, but they still cost a lot.
For example, the most affordable 6-inch lift kit option for Silverado on Amazon is the Rough Country 6″ Lift Kit for 2019–2023 Chevy Silverado 1500-21731, and it costs around $1200.
But you really don’t need to spend that much. Trust me, because I’m telling you from experience that you can get away with spending half that amount, if not way less than that.
You should go for a 3-inch suspension leveling kit like this one. By installing these leveling spacers on the front struts and combining them with a 3-inch body lift, there will be enough space so that 35-inch tires are manageable.
There will still be some moderate amount of trimming involved.
The key is to avoid expensive lift kits that already come with these components combined. By getting them separately, you will end up spending less in total, way less than a kit.
Here are the pros and cons of this method.
- Straightforward installation process.
- Low maintenance
- Unoptimized control arm and suspension angle
- Not too great for off-roading or load-carrying; less ground clearance as the rear spacer will only raise the body.
- Greater stress in ball joints and cv joints.
Here are some things you might need to know when deciding to put 35-inch tires on your Chevrolet Silverado.
35-inch tires need a drastic amount of lift, resulting in massive ground clearance under the truck. Adding to that, the huge tires will increase it further. So, you’ll find your Silverado rolling over deep snow, mud, or even thick logs really comfortably.
But let me make it clear; if you don’t plan on rolling over disastrously rugged terrain, 35-inch tires, plus 6 to 8 inches of lift kit will definitely be overkill. And, in most cases, it will result in more drawbacks than advantages.
For most real-life situations, 33-inch tires plus 2 to 4 inches of lift will be more than enough. You can find my guide to installing 33-inch tires on a Chevy Silverado here.
Bigger tires come with a bigger surface area. The wider tires stay in contact with the road more than the smaller ones do, resulting in more traction and improved handling. The bigger tires also provide improved stability on and off-road.
The bigger tires will also increase the ride height of your Silverado, giving you more visibility all around when driving among dense motorways.
You can also deflate them more than smaller tires for a wider footprint that can provide better control and traction on tracks that are slippery with mud, sand, or snow.
The bigger grooves on a 35-inch tire will result in louder tire noise when on asphalt. But the overall ride quality will be decent and however much you’re giving up on motorways will be compensated by the ride quality off-road.
The Silverado’s ability to accelerate will be affected by the heavier unsprung weight added by the larger tires. Unsprung weight is the weight that is under the suspension, which adds to the weight the engine has to rotate.
The truck will feel a bit sluggish when starting off, but the difference will almost fade away once the vehicle picks up momentum.
The brakes will also be affected. The braking distance will differ significantly from stock tires. On the other hand, you will find that braking and taking off are much faster on difficult terrain.
The torque of the truck will be reduced, and you’ll be able to feel that lack of torque when climbing steep inclines or bumping through rugged terrain.
But the difference is minimal, and the added ground clearance comes in handy on rough terrain, so there’s something to gain by giving something up.
The added height of a lifted Silverado will let more air pass through the bottom of the vehicle, affecting aerodynamics.
Furthermore, the engine will have to work harder to move the added unsprung weight of the bigger tires and wheels. This is especially the case when you start the vehicle from zero.
These things combined will increase the car’s fuel consumption and reduce efficiency quite a bit.