different size tyres on front and rear?


New Member
I have 20 inch rims on my 2015 Colorado7. I've been trying to source a pair of 275/45R20 tyres to replace damaged tyres on the rear but have only been able to source 265/50R20. These would have a 16mm (1%) greater circumference than the 275/ This wouldnt matter in two wheel drive. But will it matter in 4wd? I'm only in 4wd occassionally when on rough or sandy ground.

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Rolling size actually increases 2.4% . . . https://tiresize.com/comparison/ . . . but still no problems there as long as you aren't on hard ground when in 4wd.
Be a pain having the one spare, but even then could likely get away with different sized rolling circumference on either side.


Active Member
+1 for the don't do it crowd, different rotation radius will cause strain on the driveline while in 4wd and it is just not worth it.
sell the 20s and get some meaty 16s like mine :p lol but seriously get the same profile all round and rotate them frequently and you will be good.


Well-Known Member
Have I ever heard of 60% rear to 40% front wheel drive? or am I just pickling gherkins again?

A dude once said to me, "Went out on the weekend, and I was in 4wd for over 100klm'' ... I walked away doing the Salt and Pepper action.
If your tyres are a poofteenth out, in soft stuff you going to spin that difference out, if on the hard stuff damn good luck being in 4wd in the first place.

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Have I ever heard of 60% rear to 40% front wheel drive?

on the hard stuff damn good luck being in 4wd in the first place.
Some modern 4WD systems use 60/40 torque split, think this would be full time 4WD ?
Even non off road vehicles.
Not sure, but I think this is where the centre diff does it's thing, and when you lock that on tracks it goes to 50/50 drive front and rear.

Early on in my 4wd ownership, I've accidentally forgotten I'm in 4wd coming off the long SE South Oz beach sections twice.
It only takes a hundred metres or so with a couple of light steers to start binding up the mechs.

Reading the OP, I wasn't sure just how long d3xx wanted to do this for, but agree long term why do it ?
If just doing it for a trip where you had to off road, gravel sand etc, no problems.


Active Member
Not only will the mechanical side of things suffer, the ABS system will pickup the difference in wheel speeds front to rear. This will cause all sorts of issues.

Deleted member 69390

If the subject vehicle is part time 4wd then there will be no issue with the tyre size difference as long as you do not drive on hard ground in 4wd. When off road in 4wd there is enough wheel slip to take out the difference in wheel size. ABS works across axle so will not impact this either.

If a constant AWD vehicle then all bets are off.

However as suggested the prudent action is to have the same size tyres on the vehicle.