Originally Posted by Jeepster910
Basically two points here:
#1. Your snow tires need to be the same size as your existing tires. That is if you have 17" tires you need to get 17" snow or AT type tires. Its the total tire with rim that's say 17". Also its all 4 wheels which can get expensive.
Also you need to consider any total size change of tires will require the dealer to recalibrate your speedometer. 2 changes a year would require 2 recalibrations at the dealer.
Since you have AD2 why not consider running AT tires on your chrome rims year round and not worry about changing them out for the winter.
That Latitude will look great wearing those AT's. I had them on all my prior Jeeps except this Limited.
The Continentals on my Limited do great in the snow when in 4WD. The AT's would do better especially up in Canada with the longer winters and more snow.
First, thanks for the detailed response. I have read that downsizing the tire size for winter is more helpful (somewhat paradoxically), as the more narrow the tread, the easier time the tire has pushing snow out of the way to get to the actual road surface. The calipers on the Cherokee design apparently make that impossible without wheel spacers, and I'm not so enamored of the idea to go to all that trouble, and probably additional stress on components. AT tires were part of my consideration, but the vast majority of them seem to come in a size other then 225/65/R17, so unless I invest in new wheels I'm not likely to get those.
Since posting this originally, I've done research on some of the more modern "all-weather" tires that would be almost as good as dedicated winters that actually fit my rim size. Specifically the Nokian WRG3 and Toyo Celsius, along with a few others. Depending on just how my stock Destination LE2s handle this winter, I'll have them on my shortlist.
Originally Posted by Jeepster910
#2 The appeal of larger wheels in my opinion has to do with the simple fact of physics.
The larger diameter the less RPMs have to be used. That produces longer engine life. Less RPMs produce a bit more MPG. That is coupled to the understanding that the engine requires a bit more power to drive those bigger tires/wheels. But at highway speed they shine.
Try riding a 2 bikes, each with different size tires, with you peddling.
Also as was mentioned it does allow for larger brakes, especially larger rotors with a larger cooling area. Maybe that will help with warping rotors on this Cherokee.
For off roading I would imagine that larger tires would roll over obstacles etc. a bit better.
Also a larger tire would give you a bit more road clearance which would be beneficial in almost all driving especially off road. An extra inch can at times make a huge difference in bottoming out especially in heavy snow.
I would include your dealer in your calculations as the dealer can give you a lot of insight related to your Cherokee. I am sure he can give you a competitive quote.
I agree that a larger tire would help with clearance a bit. I know the Trailhawk trim gets a bit of an extra lift from the stock tires over my own setup. As far as offroad use goes, personally I think any advantage you would get by rolling over obstacles would be mitigated by the extra fragility of the tire sidewalls, at least once you get past 18 inches. As far as fuel economy goes, I would think the extra weight would more then offset the RPM difference of only a few inches or so, but that's just my own feelings, I don't exactly have an experimental setup handy, so I concede it could go either way.
I'm planning on getting the skid plates retrofitted sometime next spring, so I'll have to get the dealer's opinion on tires while I'm there. 4 plates, 3 of them are pretty much directly bolt-on, but the 4th disassembles most of the front fascia and undercarriage, so I'd rather have them handle it if possible.