Since a Freelander is a 4×4 vehicle, the type of wheels and tires you use are very important to ensure you don’t damage your drivetrain.
Recommended tire sizes
The recommended tire sizes for a Freelander 1 (1998 – 2006) are:
- 15-inch wheels: 195/80 R15
- 16-inch wheels: 215/65 R16
- 17-inch wheels: 235/55 R17
- 18-inch wheels: 235/50 R18
- 19-inch wheels: 245/45 R19
- 20-inch wheels: 245/40 R20
- 22-inch wheels: 295/30 R22
Although we don’t come across many Freelanders with 22-inch wheels!
For him Freelander 2 (2006 onwards) Recommended tire sizes are:
- 16-inch wheels: 215/75 R16
- 17-inch wheels: 235/65 R17
- 18-inch wheels: 235/60 R18
- 19-inch wheels: 235/55 R19
- 20-inch wheels: 275/40 R20
- 22-inch wheels: 265/35 R22
What do the tire size numbers mean?
Although many of us are quite used to ordering tires by their numbers and we know that they are important, not all of us understand what they mean.
If we take the 16 inch wheels for a Freelander 1 the wheels should be:
The first number, 215, is the width of the tire in mm from sidewall to sidewall when unstressed and looking at it from above. The technical name is section width.
The second number, 65, is the ratio of the tire’s sidewall height expressed as a percentage of the width. The technical name is aspect ratio or section height. In this case, 65% of 215mm is 139.75mm.
The R means that the tire has a radial construction, this just means that the cord plies are arranged at 90 degrees to the direction of travel, or radially (from the center of the tire).
The next number, 16, is the diameter in inches of the rim of the wheel that the tire is designed on. So in this case it’s a tire for a 16-inch wheel.
It’s a bit weird that tire sizes mix inches with mm, but that’s how it’s done!
When you look at the size printed on the tire, this number, for example 215/65 R16, will be followed by two numbers and a letter. The two numbers are the load rating and the letter is the speed rating. The load index indicates how much weight the tire can support (for a Freelander you need a minimum load index of 84 or 85, depending on the exact model of Freelander you have) and the speed index refers to how fast you can travel for 10 minutes continuously without the tire breaking into pieces.
The speed ratings are:
- Speed Symbol Maximum Speed Capability
- MPH Km/h
- W120 75
- M 130 81
- No. 140 87
- D150 95
- Q 160 100
- $170 105
- S180 113
- T190 118
- U200 125
- H210 130
- V 240 150
- W270 168
- AND 300 186
- Z 240+ 150+
Can you use a different size tire than the one recommended on your Freelander?
As long as the total circumference of the wheel with the tire installed is within plus or minus 2.5% of what is recommended, you should have no problem fitting different sizes of tires to your Freelander (although the speedometer will show a slightly inaccurate reading). ). The total circumference is calculated from the total diameter.
If the overall circumference is more than plus or minus 2.5%, then you risk damaging your drivetrain.
Taking the most common Freelander tire sizes, here are some alternative sizes you could use:
The 195/80 R15 alternatives are:
- 205/75 R15 (-0.87% circumference difference)
- 215/70 R15 (-1.70% difference in circumference)
- 215/75 R15 (+1.47% circumference difference)
- 225/70 R15 (+0.32% circumference difference)
- 235/70 R15 (+2.34% circumference difference)
The 215/65 R16 alternatives are:
- 225/65 R16 (+1.76% circumference difference)
- 225/60 R16 (-1.44% circumference difference)
- 235/60 R16 (+0.28% circumference difference)
- 255/55 R16 (0% circumference difference)
The 215/75 R16 alternatives are:
- 225/70 R16 (-0.83% circumference difference)
- 225/75 R16 (+2.19% circumference difference)
- 235/65 R16 (-2.19% circumference difference)
- 235/70 R16 (+1.09% circumference difference)
- 255/65 R16 (+1.36% circumference difference)
The 235/65 R17 alternatives are:
- 245/65 R17 (+1.64% circumference difference)
- 255/60 R17 (0% circumference difference)
- 265/60 R17 (+1.64% circumference difference)
- 275/55 R17 (-1.52% circumference difference)
Remember that if there is a difference in circumference, your speedometer reading will be slightly off.
You can check if it’s safe to replace your current tires with any other size using one of the available tire size calculators, so if you want to check for yourself, try this tire calculator.
How many tires should you replace on your Freelander?
It is always recommended to replace all four tires at the same time on your Freelander, with the same make, model and type, to avoid damaging the drive train.
The Freelander 1’s 4×4 system is very sensitive to differences in tire rolling radius, and if these differ by more than 5mm you risk damaging the transmission, especially the rear differential.
To check that your tires aren’t rolling, your Viscous Coupling Unit (VCU), the bulbous piece in the center of the driveshaft that runs from the front to the rear of your Freelander 1, which it is the hub that sends drive to the rear wheels. , then drive your Freelander for approximately 5 to 10 miles, then get out and check the VCU temperature. BE CAREFUL, the VCU can get very hot! If the VCU is too hot to hold comfortably in your hand, then you have a problem with the tires and should consider replacing them IMMEDIATELY; otherwise you will have a very high bill for drive train items.
If you’re only replacing two tires on your Freelander 1, make sure the new tires are on the rear (same make, model, and type as the front) AND check the VCU temperature, as noted above, to make sure be fine without heating. Never replace a single tire on a Freelander.
A little more technical details about Freelander tires and wheels
For those of you who like a little more technical detail about the tires and wheels on your Freelander, here’s a little more information.
For Freelander 1:
- PCD 5×114
- Compensation 35 to 45
- Boron 64.1
- Fittings N 12 x 1.5
For Freelander 2:
- PCD 5×108
- Compensation 35 to 50
- Boron 63.4
- Fittings N 14 x 1.5
If you don’t understand what they mean, here’s a brief explanation.
PCD is the pitch circle diameter. This is the diameter, in mm, of a circle drawn through the wheel bolt holes. It also indicates the number of studs or studs the wheel will have. So the Freelander 1 has 5 bolts and the diameter of a circle drawn through the bolt holes is 114mm. The Freelander 2 has 5 bolts and a diameter of 108mm.
Offset is where the wheel will sit in relation to the vehicle’s body line. Offset is usually stamped on the wheel and is measured in millimeters of et (et is short for the German word ‘Einpresstiefe’ which literally translates to insert depth). The numbers are essentially the distance between the center of the wheel and the hub.
The center hole of a wheel is the center that fits over the hub. The hole measurement is the diameter in mm of the central hole.
Accessories are the necessary wheel nuts and bolts.