A Detailed How-To Guide For Fitting 37″ Tires On 3rd Gen (2022+) Tundra – Several Options To Achieve Good Clearance & Minimize Rubbing
If you’re wanting to put 37″ tires for your 3rd Gen Tundra, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to walk you through several options for making this move. But first, why do it?
I can think of two reasons for sizing up to 37″ tires.
I’m a designer/builder by trade, and when we lay brick, boards, or beams the idea is the same; keep everything proportionately balanced: size, color, texture, depth, etc. I look at my trucks the same way; many believe (myself included) that 37″ tires are more proportional on a full-size truck like the Tundra.
Similar to how 35″ tires make the Tacoma’s stance really pop, 37s really hit the sweet spot for the Tundra. This may seem like a cosmetic issue, but it goes much deeper. There’s something that seems right about proper proportions. No one likes to see a buff guy with skinny legs. It’s an offense. A big truck with small tires is more or less the same thing.
37″ Tires On 3rd Gen Tundra
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How 37″ Tires Affect Performance
Another big reason for going with 37″ tires involves performance – the practical stuff. With 37″ tires, your truck has really great ground clearance. Are you going off-roading or over-landing with your rig? You’ll need not only serious traction but also ample clearance for whatever comes up on the trail. This is especially true if you’re in mud or rocky terrain.
The extra sidewall of the larger tires also provides more cushion over rough terrain and more grip over rocks and obstacles. Finally, the 3rd Gen Tundras are geared well for these larger tires, so going bigger shouldn’t be an issue off-road.
So, here we have good reasons to go with bigger tires on our Tundras. Now, let’s look at options to fit 37″ tires on your 2022+ Tundra.
Fitting 37″ Tires – Lift, Align, Cut
Let’s talk suspension geometry. The full-size Tundra comes with a large wheel well space. Naturally, the truck can fit 35″ tires with no modification. On mid-size trucks, like the Tacoma, fitting 35s takes a lot of work (lift, lots of cutting, and so on).
For the Tundra, the same applies but for 37s.
When turned at full lock or at full stuff, these larger tires will bump against the front fender liner, air dam, and rear crash bracket or cab mount.
To clear 37″ tires, you’ll need to perform certain procedures in this order until you obtain proper results:
- Lift the vehicle frame above the widest part of the tires.
- Align the tires such that they don’t rub against anything.
- Cut those areas where the 37s still rub after the above two. Cutting should be your last option.
These modifications are the holy trinity to fitting larger tires. People are usually enthusiastic about lifting their trucks because it looks great. However, they’re hesitant about cutting something that they just paid $60k for. Lastly, they often completely forget that aligning the tires can be a means to clear rubbing issues.
This all might sound complicated, but we’ve got you covered. Below are some options that combine each of the three elements in various degrees in order to get the right fit. You can choose whichever best fits your application.
Lift Option #1 – No Lift + Aggressive Cutting
In the video above, Overland Outfitters was able to clear 37″ tires on stock suspension – that means no lift or suspension modifications!
This is a really inexpensive option, as aftermarket suspension packages quickly add up to thousands of dollars and may complicate your factory warranty. Yet, without a lift, there is no alignment spec that will relieve serious rubbing of the tires against the vehicle.
So, they did have to engage in the heavy and aggressive cutting of the fender liner, front air dam, crash bracing, and cab mount. If you’re trying to save money, want to keep your ride as factory as possible, and aren’t afraid of cutting and perhaps even welding on your fresh rig, then check out the video above.
Pin Back Felt Fender Liner
If you go this route, here are a few trimming tips: In the front wheel well, you’ll need to pin or tie back the felt fender liner. Use some zip-ties to secure that liner to the forward bracing. This opens up the front section for your large tires.
In the above photo, you can see the front fender liner bent forward a good deal, giving ample space for your tire to flex and turn.
In the rear of the front wheel well, you’ll need to address two items (shown above). One bracket removes with three easy bolts. The other requires cutting.
I recommend a hacksaw/sawzall with a carbide, metal cutting blade. I repeat: get a carbide, metal cutting blade. Do not skimp here. These blades are expensive but they get the job done properly, cleanly, and safely.
Pictured above is what a clean cut looks like. Try to cut in a straight line as shown.
You can see that I removed 2-3″ of space on both sides (4-6″ total) for larger tires.
Be sure to buff that rough edge with a sander or wire wheel, and then paint the raw metal with black spray paint in order to prevent rusting.
If you’d like to cover this opening, Westcott Designs makes a plate set just for it.
- Westcott Designs Bracket Plates: Check Price
Lift Option #2 – Collar Lift + Minimal Trimming
If aggressive cutting isn’t your forte, but maintaining factory ride is a priority, then your best option is Westcott Designs Collar Lift Kit. This is a really terrific company that is passionate about its high-quality products and is super friendly to all of its customers.
Their collar/spacer lift will push the vehicle away from the tires to where you’d then just need a good alignment to free up any rubbing.
- Westcott Designs Collar Lift Kit: Check Price
The key to fitting 37s with Westcott’s lift kit is to have your local alignment shop push the front tires as far forward as possible to clear away from the rear crash bracketry.
According to Westcott, they are able to achieve this without needing to cut this bracket as I demonstrated above. You will still need to do a little trimming of the front air dam, but this is much easier than the bloody sawing you saw in the first option. It also will be less likely to jeopardize your factory warranty.
Lift Option #3 – Complete Suspension Lift, Great Alignment Adjustability
An Icon, King, or Dobinsons suspension package will give you approximately similar lift heights as the Westcott kit.
However, one big difference with these kits will be their ability to dial in the suspension geometry during the alignment process.
For instance, aftermarket Upper Control Arms (UCAs) that come with these packages will provide better caster angles which may affect clearance differently than the stock UCAs that remain in place with a collar or spacer lift.
Icon and Dobinsons both make adjustable UCAs that allow you (or your shop) to really dial in camber and caster angles. This is a superior method for fitting larger tires.
Overall, you will have greater articulation and adjustment of the front wheels to avoid cutting anything.
Personally, I installed the Icon Stage 7 suspension package. It came with front coilovers, UCAs, sway bar relocation mounts, and rear shocks. I also installed Dobinsons’ 2″ rear springs, and Dobinsons’ adjustable panhard/track bar.
Additionally, I installed Yotamafia’s extended brake lines to account for the extra suspension travel.
I chose this lift kit for the heavy-duty performance needs of my application and usage. Although my suspension and alignment were able to clear the tires, I still performed some aggressive cutting as shown in Option 1. With the hard off-roading that I plan to do (and possibly future upgrades to even larger tires) I wanted every advantage for suspension performance.
Lift Option $4 – 6″ Lift Kits, No Cutting?
Whereas Option 1 shows no lift with lots of cutting, Option 4 is no cutting (at least to fit the tires for street driving) but lots of lift! Getting back to geometry: the idea is to lift the vehicle such that the wider 37″ tire clears all issues inside the wheel well. Really, unless you go beyond 3″ of lift, your 37″ tires are likely to hit or rub up against something without a realignment.
With a 6″ lift, enough clearance is provided to move the vehicle and tire away from each other such that no interference occurs. The only catch is that you do still have to cut something, just not in the wheel well.
All of the 6″ lift kits require cutting the cross-member (a more serious part of the frame than the crash bracket!) that holds your front differential. I think the 6″ lift looks awesome. However, I didn’t want to make this aggressive of a cut to my frame in order to achieve that height. Don’t let my apprehensions deter you, though! There are several great 6″ lift kits for the 3rd Gen Tundras, and they’ll make fitting 37s a breeze. This lift height also looks really awesome!
Now that we’ve covered the options for fitting 37s, let’s talk about alignment. Tinkerer’s Adventure has a helpful video on the alignment that illustrates how only four simple “knobs” can save you a lot of headaches and money when trying to fit larger tires on your vehicle. Alignment is critical when fitting larger tires; Tinkerer claims it should be even your first go-to solution! Something to consider.
Although Tinkerer’s information deviates a bit from mine (I suggest lift first, then alignment; he suggests the opposite), one takeaway from this video is that a positive wheel offset helps fit larger tires. The more positive offset your wheels have, the less their turning radius/arc, and thus the better they will clear obstructions at full turn.
Vice versa, a smaller positive offset (or more negative offset) will stick further out and “poke” from your vehicle, creating a wider turning radius/arc. This causes the tires to swing further outward and rub into things inside the wheel wells. So, it makes sense to find the proper wheel with the correct offset for your tire size.
My SCS F5 wheels have a +12mm offset (shown above). The look is aggressive but may be more susceptible to rubbing depending on which lift you go with. For Tundras with 37s, a positive 18-25mm positive offset seems to be the ideal fitment.
Westcott’s video shown in Option 2 claimed 37s could be cleared on wheels with a +18mm offset without major cutting. They’ve done a lot of vehicles and seem to have good data here. Stick with an +18mm or more (positive) offset and you should be in the clear.
A second takeaway is that it is possible to push your tire forward so that its caster angle clears the rear wheel well housing and bracketry. It is best for an off-road or specialty auto shop to perform caster adjustment on your vehicle.
Option 3 showed how aftermarket suspension kits allowed for greater adjustment of the suspension in order to clear larger tires. In the image above, you can see that the Icon UCAs provide more caster than the stock UCAs. These make for a great method for fitting large tires.
Extended Bump Stops
The third “knob” mentioned in the video is an Extended Bump Stop. Suspension kits normally do not come with these items, even though technically they are required to stop the wheel from hitting the upper fender well when fully compressed.
The more likely you are to fully flex and compress your suspension (off-roading), the more you should consider a high-quality extended bump stop for front and rear tires.
In the end, you really have three angles of attack when fitting 37s on your Tundra: Lift, Align, and Cut. If you go with a moderate lift package, a decent positive offset of around +18mm, and get a good alignment to push the wheel forward, you should be able to clear 37″ tires with little-to-no cutting.
However, cutting is still sometimes needed depending on each configuration and application. Don’t be afraid to follow the tips I outlined above. Also, don’t discount the effects a good alignment can make in clearing 37″ tires!