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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-19-2006, 08:55 PM
ProV1 ProV1 is offline
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Will I regret if I buy 18inch rims for my 325?

My OEM 17s weigh 44lb w/ tires. I've had bad experiences with plus sizing rims, when I put on 18" M Parallels with 265/35/18 tires on my 300 HP E39 540, the car slowed down so much that I hated every second I was driving.

But those were cheap replica wheels, and this time if I get 18" rims, it'll be OEM BMW only. Even then, will i regret getting them? the new set would have wider 255/35/18 tires on the back, and 225/40/18 tires up front, vs 225/45/17 tires all around now. I'm guessing even going w/ OEM BMW, the 18s will weigh ~48-50lb each.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2006, 11:34 PM
gmlav8r gmlav8r is offline
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Yes. Save your $$$$
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2006, 04:10 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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The only difference I noticed was a lot more tramlining. A couple on this board have argued with me that tramlining is mostly due to the tires and not the size of the wheels, but I'm not sure if I believe them. Everything else was almost exactly the same as before...namely ride quality and performance.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2006, 05:01 AM
ProV1 ProV1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH
The only difference I noticed was a lot more tramlining. A couple on this board have argued with me that tramlining is mostly due to the tires and not the size of the wheels, but I'm not sure if I believe them. Everything else was almost exactly the same as before...namely ride quality and performance.

thanks. so you don't notice differences in acceleration, braking, & fuel economy??
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2006, 06:30 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
thanks. so you don't notice differences in acceleration, braking, & fuel economy??
No, I feel zero difference in performance by the seat of the pants.

However, I bet my autocross times are down between 0.1 and 0.3 seconds, just because the slightly heavier 18s simply have to be slightly slower. I remember crunching the numbers before I bought anything and I figured the 18s would only cost me about a tenth of a second 0-60. If I was serious about winning in autocross I'd have a different setup anyway, I just go maybe once or twice a year to hang out and have fun.
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2006, 06:50 AM
D2-AUTOSPORT D2-AUTOSPORT is offline
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You might also want to consider going to a shorter rear end, to offset the slight gearing change of plus sizing (softer acceleration / theoretical higher top speed)
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2006, 06:55 AM
whiskey.org whiskey.org is offline
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Originally Posted by D2-AUTOSPORT
You might also want to consider going to a shorter rear end, to offset the slight gearing change of plus sizing (softer acceleration / theoretical higher top speed)

not necesary if he buys the right size tires though....
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2006, 07:22 AM
D2-AUTOSPORT D2-AUTOSPORT is offline
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Originally Posted by whiskey.org
not necesary if he buys the right size tires though....
Going from 17 to 18 probably not, however if going from 17 to 19 or (on a different car) 17 to 20 it helps out ALOT!
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2006, 11:01 AM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
My OEM 17s weigh 44lb w/ tires. I've had bad experiences with plus sizing rims, when I put on 18" M Parallels with 265/35/18 tires on my 300 HP E39 540, the car slowed down so much that I hated every second I was driving.

But those were cheap replica wheels, and this time if I get 18" rims, it'll be OEM BMW only. Even then, will i regret getting them? the new set would have wider 255/35/18 tires on the back, and 225/40/18 tires up front, vs 225/45/17 tires all around now. I'm guessing even going w/ OEM BMW, the 18s will weigh ~48-50lb each.
Most 18" BMW wheels weigh about 25-27 lb depending on whether they're front or rear. There are some which are lighter, but I don't think there are any heavier than this. tirerack.com quotes the weights of most tyres in most sizes and 18" tyres, with similar speed/load rating and width, are within 1 or 2 lb of one another.

The Style 44 alloys weigh about 23 lb so as you say, you will gain maybe 3-5 lb per wheel assembly. That's not more than 20 lb of static weight overall, but rotating mass has a bigger impact once it's, well, rotating.

I noticed a big difference going from an E46 320i with 205/55 R16 wheels to an identical car with Style 72 18"s. Naturally there are going to be differences between the cars which go beyond the wheels, but it came as no surprise that the car with bigger wheels seems a bit woollier in throttle response - such as when accelerating from 30-45 mph without changing down and hammering it) and with heavier steering.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2006, 12:12 PM
ProV1 ProV1 is offline
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thanks andy. I have OEM 119 17x8.0 wheels with OEM Bridgestone Turanza ER30 225/45/17 tires, non-staggered. They weigh 44 lb each, I weighed em myself.

The rims I am considering are OEM BMW Style 71, double spoke composite 2 piece alloys, 18x8f 18x8.5r with Michelin Pilot Sport 225/40/18 f & 255/35/18 rear.

Are these heavy rims? How much acceleration loss & decrease in braking performance & fuel economy will I see? From what you write, there'll be a noticeable difference.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2006, 02:38 AM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
thanks andy. I have OEM 119 17x8.0 wheels with OEM Bridgestone Turanza ER30 225/45/17 tires, non-staggered. They weigh 44 lb each, I weighed em myself.

The rims I am considering are OEM BMW Style 71, double spoke composite 2 piece alloys, 18x8f 18x8.5r with Michelin Pilot Sport 225/40/18 f & 255/35/18 rear.

Are these heavy rims? How much acceleration loss & decrease in braking performance & fuel economy will I see? From what you write, there'll be a noticeable difference.
Well, the front tyres weigh 21 lbs and the rears, 25 lbs. Your Bridgestones weigh 22 lb. The ETK reckons that your choice of alloys are about 25 lbs. So that's around 46 at the front, 50 at the rear, for a total increase in static mass of 16 lb.

To be honest, in a lower powered car (by which I mean 316i/318i etc.) you'd probably notice the difference between these two. In a 330i, probably not at all. In a 325i? Perhaps the butt dyno might have some ideas but I reckon any performance hit would be negligible.

Of more concern is the large difference in width front to rear. Personally, from a dynamic standpoint, I think staggered wheels are a bit of a gimmick on anything with less than perhaps 150 bhp/ton. If I wanted a staggered set-up, I might choose Style 97 M 17" - 7.5" and 225/45 front, 8.5" and 245/40 rear. They weigh 19 lb front and 21 lb rear, are made by BBS, and look great.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2006, 02:50 PM
eelnoraa eelnoraa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
My OEM 17s weigh 44lb w/ tires. I've had bad experiences with plus sizing rims, when I put on 18" M Parallels with 265/35/18 tires on my 300 HP E39 540, the car slowed down so much that I hated every second I was driving.

But those were cheap replica wheels, and this time if I get 18" rims, it'll be OEM BMW only. Even then, will i regret getting them? the new set would have wider 255/35/18 tires on the back, and 225/40/18 tires up front, vs 225/45/17 tires all around now. I'm guessing even going w/ OEM BMW, the 18s will weigh ~48-50lb each.
The weight and diameter difference of the wheels does not have as much effect as the width of the tire. So going from 225 to 255 in the back will definitely make a difference.

For people with 330i SP, the change is from 245 to 245, so difference may be less significant.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2006, 03:52 PM
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norihaga norihaga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
thanks andy. I have OEM 119 17x8.0 wheels with OEM Bridgestone Turanza ER30 225/45/17 tires, non-staggered. They weigh 44 lb each, I weighed em myself.

The rims I am considering are OEM BMW Style 71, double spoke composite 2 piece alloys, 18x8f 18x8.5r with Michelin Pilot Sport 225/40/18 f & 255/35/18 rear.

Are these heavy rims? How much acceleration loss & decrease in braking performance & fuel economy will I see? From what you write, there'll be a noticeable difference.
The as-yet unasked question is, why would you want bigger rims? Putting on a big-brake kit?
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2006, 04:16 PM
eelnoraa eelnoraa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norihaga
The as-yet unasked question is, why would you want bigger rims? Putting on a big-brake kit?
I think most likely for the look. I must agree that Style 71 is a very good looking wheel. I would be willing to take a small hit in performance for the look.

eel
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2006, 06:58 PM
ProV1 ProV1 is offline
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wtf, you've never seen ppl plus-size rims for better looks?? is that such a novel idea to you?


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  #16  
Old 02-22-2006, 07:31 PM
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norihaga norihaga is offline
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No, not novel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
wtf, you've never seen ppl plus-size rims for better looks?? is that such a novel idea to you?


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  #17  
Old 02-23-2006, 08:15 AM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
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first of all if you are worried about weight then I wouldnt get OEM BMW rims, get some nice aftermarket ones by someone like BBS, OZ, etc, and they will be lighter. If you are super worried about weight you can also get a lighter tires. On my subaru I went from 16" rims with 205 tires to 17" rims with 225 tires and actually lost a bit of weight, rims are OZ superleggera 17x7" which weight 15.4 lbs and Toyo T1-s which is a light tire. Our wagon has stock BMW 17" rims.

secondly dont get staggered tires, just stick to even tires all around, maybe go 235 instead of 225 if you want a bit wider tires. Wider in the rear will only increase understeer and you lose the ability to rotate the tires. Lookswise I find it hard to notice the wider rear tires unless it is like a corvette or something with very wide tires.
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2006, 11:57 AM
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michelito michelito is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProV1
wtf, you've never seen ppl plus-size rims for better looks?? is that such a novel idea to you?


I've always loooooved those rims
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