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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Honda Pilot EX-L Navi 2017.
I think I bought a wrong car because I use my car for both on-road and off-road driving.
Honda pilot has a very low ground clearance and I got stuck on snow for several times and I had to call for towing truck.
I need to know if there is any way to increase the ground clearance and what is the biggest tire which I can use on my car?
 

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2019 Pilot EX-L AWD, 265-60-18 Defender LTX M/S
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Did you just buy this as a used vehicle or have you had it since 2017? How deep was the snow? Do you have actual winter tires? Were you actually stuck (high sided) because the wheels were no longer touching the ground (like beach sand when people spin and digs down and makes holes)? What kind of off roading do you do (light trails, hunting cabin, Rock Crawling, large obstacle, mud bogs) and what was prior vehicle that worked well?

Many other options for Off Road Capable vehicles, everything is trade off of price, performance, reliability, actual needs. Many "Off Road" vehicles actually are not great in snow due to the tires. I've done many trips in snow in my front wheel drive Sonata with winter tires that other SUV's got stuck in.

The 16+ Pilot has 7.3 inches of clearance pending what add on's like running boards, aftermarket hitch or factory and some other bumpers. A Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and almost all the Subaru's have 8.7 inches. There is Traxda and Jsport that make lifts for these (up to 2") and you can get skid plates etc.

That said the AWD system in the Pilot works well IF you use it in correct mode for what you are doing AND you have the correct tires. Look at College Hills Honda Website and they have some Ridgelines and Pilot with a lift and different tire. Some drop to 17" rims as it gives more options in taller tire. You can upsize to a bit taller as is (about 1" total diameter, 1/2" more clearance) but that's about it without more modification to wheel wells etc.

SUV's Clearance

Lifted Passport Read/watch his other stuff with Subaru's off road and the group he does things with. You just need to equip properly.

You can read some of my posts regarding the winter/snow tires as well as the posts about the different tranny modes and how they work.
 

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Is your issue ground clearance or traction? The Pilot AWD system is very capable at "soft roading" and getting power to a wheel with traction, but if you are hung up because of a lack of ground clearance or don't get enough grip from the tires you aren't gonna make it very far.

Maybe the Pilot could do what you want it to do with some mods, without more info from you I can't say for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you just buy this as a used vehicle or have you had it since 2017? How deep was the snow? Do you have actual winter tires? Were you actually stuck (high sided) because the wheels were no longer touching the ground (like beach sand when people spin and digs down and makes holes)? What kind of off roading do you do (light trails, hunting cabin, Rock Crawling, large obstacle, mud bogs) and what was prior vehicle that worked well?

Many other options for Off Road Capable vehicles, everything is trade off of price, performance, reliability, actual needs. Many "Off Road" vehicles actually are not great in snow due to the tires. I've done many trips in snow in my front wheel drive Sonata with winter tires that other SUV's got stuck in.

The 16+ Pilot has 7.3 inches of clearance pending what add on's like running boards, aftermarket hitch or factory and some other bumpers. A Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and almost all the Subaru's have 8.7 inches. There is Traxda and Jsport that make lifts for these (up to 2") and you can get skid plates etc.

That said the AWD system in the Pilot works well IF you use it in correct mode for what you are doing AND you have the correct tires. Look at College Hills Honda Website and they have some Ridgelines and Pilot with a lift and different tire. Some drop to 17" rims as it gives more options in taller tire. You can upsize to a bit taller as is (about 1" total diameter, 1/2" more clearance) but that's about it without more modification to wheel wells etc.

SUV's Clearance

Lifted Passport Read/watch his other stuff with Subaru's off road and the group he does things with. You just need to equip properly.

You can read some of my posts regarding the winter/snow tires as well as the posts about the different tranny modes and how they work.
I have it since 2017. Pilot is good on trails but not on deep snow (wheels were no longer touching the ground). Any idea about possible larger winter tire size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is your issue ground clearance or traction? The Pilot AWD system is very capable at "soft roading" and getting power to a wheel with traction, but if you are hung up because of a lack of ground clearance or don't get enough grip from the tires you aren't gonna make it very far.

Maybe the Pilot could do what you want it to do with some mods, without more info from you I can't say for sure.
It is good on trails but not on deep snow (wheels were no longer touching the ground). Any idea about possible larger winter tire size?
 

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It is good on trails but not on deep snow (wheels were no longer touching the ground). Any idea about possible larger winter tire size?
There are some threads about oversized tires on the 3rd gens... You might be better off looking at Passport or Ridgeline forums for tire sizes with the J Sport lift, sounds like that's the direction you need to go.
 

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I installed 17 inch wheels with 245-70R17 tires. Tires are 1 inch bigger than stock in diameter, so I picked up 0.5 inch in ground clearance. Mind you, this is actual clearance between the ground and the lowest part of the suspension, the clearance that actually matters. I don't think lifting the car using a leveling kit increases this clearance, it only raises the body which improves your approach/departure angles. Your suspension will still remain the lowest point. You could probably easily go to 255/70R17 which at 31.1 will get you another 0.5 in diameter/ 0.25 in clearance, but keep in mind that the wider tires don't perform as well in the snow. 265/70R17 are 31.7 and will likely cause rubbing. You will need to trim the plastic and most likely some metal inside the wheel well. I would not go past 255/70R17 - this options will give you 7.6+.75=8.35 inches of clearance. if you need more than that, you need a different type of a vehicle.

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I installed 17 inch wheels with 245-70R17 tires. Tires are 1 inch bigger than stock in diameter, so I picked up 0.5 inch in ground clearance. Mind you, this is actual clearance between the ground and the lowest part of the suspension, the clearance that actually matters. I don't think lifting the car using a leveling kit increases this clearance, it only raises the body which improves your approach/departure angles. Your suspension will still remain the lowest point. You could probably easily go to 255/70R17 which at 31.1 will get you another 0.5 in diameter/ 0.25 in clearance, but keep in mind that the wider tires don't perform as well in the snow. 265/70R17 are 31.7 and will likely cause rubbing. You will need to trim the plastic and most likely some metal inside the wheel well. I would not go past 255/70R17 - this options will give you 7.6+.75=8.35 inches of clearance. if you need more than that, you need a different type of a vehicle.

View attachment 133680
Now THAT'S a good looking 3rd gen!
 
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I have a Honda Pilot EX-L Navi 2017.
I think I bought a wrong car because I use my car for both on-road and off-road driving.
Honda pilot has a very low ground clearance and I got stuck on snow for several times and I had to call for towing truck.
I need to know if there is any way to increase the ground clearance and what is the biggest tire which I can use on my car?
Change to an all-terrain tire that has the 3-peak mountain snowflake (winter) symbol on the sidewall.
https://www.falkentire.com/tires/light-truck-suv-cuv-tires/wildpeak/t-trail-tire

 

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I installed 17 inch wheels with 245-70R17 tires. Tires are 1 inch bigger than stock in diameter, so I picked up 0.5 inch in ground clearance. Mind you, this is actual clearance between the ground and the lowest part of the suspension, the clearance that actually matters. I don't think lifting the car using a leveling kit increases this clearance, it only raises the body which improves your approach/departure angles. Your suspension will still remain the lowest point. You could probably easily go to 255/70R17 which at 31.1 will get you another 0.5 in diameter/ 0.25 in clearance, but keep in mind that the wider tires don't perform as well in the snow. 265/70R17 are 31.7 and will likely cause rubbing. You will need to trim the plastic and most likely some metal inside the wheel well. I would not go past 255/70R17 - this options will give you 7.6+.75=8.35 inches of clearance. if you need more than that, you need a different type of a vehicle.

View attachment 133680

I have a Honda Pilot 2020 Ex-L AWD, this one comes with 18" wheels.
If I install your recommended tires and wheels 17 inch wheels with 245-70R17, Will I have to make any modifications to my vehicle(cutting plastic, metal), Will I get some rubbing at any point, Will my honda sensing system go off?

Thank you for your help!
 

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I have a Honda Pilot 2020 Ex-L AWD, this one comes with 18" wheels.
If I install your recommended tires and wheels 17 inch wheels with 245-70R17, Will I have to make any modifications to my vehicle(cutting plastic, metal), Will I get some rubbing at any point, Will my honda sensing system go off?

Thank you for your help!
I think the answer here is it depends. The pic above shows Blizzak tires and no lift. The rub was barely noticable at full lock and mostly when backing up. You will get different results with a different tire. Also, if you overinflate your tires, you might get different results. I usually keep my tires at 32-34 psi. I hope this helps.
 

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I appreciate it very much, I would like to get the biggest tire with no modification and no rubbing in order to get more ground clearance. The video below says the 255/65R18 31.1 will fit without modification.
I love the Honda Pilot, I am just upset that it has a very low ground clearance. If I am not able to get some more ground clearance without modification, I am thinking on trading it for a Subaru Ascent.
Do you have any other suggestion ?


 

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NOPE....30.5" tire is the biggest to go without needing to cut the wheel well.
Im running 265/65-17s TOYO open country AT3s, and I get slight rub in reverse at full lock. Any bigger and I'd need to modify.
still, with an all purpose tire, you'll get less rub with the 30.5" as the shoulder is rounded (vs the hard shoulder of an AT tire)
raise it 2" with a strut spacer kit and youre about the max, but still, rub is an issue depending on the tire you choose.

151938
 

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NOPE....30.5" tire is the biggest to go without needing to cut the wheel well.
Im running 265/65-17s TOYO open country AT3s, and I get slight rub in reverse at full lock. Any bigger and I'd need to modify.
still, with an all purpose tire, you'll get less rub with the 30.5" as the shoulder is rounded (vs the hard shoulder of an AT tire)
raise it 2" with a strut spacer kit and youre about the max, but still, rub is an issue depending on the tire you choose.

View attachment 151938
Thank you for your reply.
How much clearance did you gain?
When a modification is done in a under warranty car. Is the warranty affected?

i
 

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When a modification is done in a under warranty car. Is the warranty affected?
Typical cause + effect scenario. Generally if the failing part can be linked due to the modification the warranty is voided. I had one Honda dealer tell me they can't work on my Pilot because it was no longer a Honda...LOL
 

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2008 Piot SE FWD, 2015 Pilot LX 4WD. 2005 GSX-R1000
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Just stopping by. I'm leaving my Pilots with OEM wheels and tire sizes.
Anyways- I liked how the OP stated 'I think I bought the wrong car....' LOL
At least he didn't call it a truck o_O
 
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