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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2008, 10:19 AM
supremeart supremeart is offline
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Z4 Snow tire/wheel advise

I have a 2007 Z4 3.0i roadster (not sport package equipped), and with winter just a few months away, I was beginning to start looking into getting a snow tire and wheel package from tire rack since I can't afford 2 cars right now. The dilemma I have now is just trying to determine which size to go with since tire rack indicates 4 suitable wheel and tire combinations on their site:

Minus Wheel Diameter: 16"
(Smaller wheel diameter than O.E.)
16" Recommended: 225/50-16
16" Alternate: 205/55-16

&

Original Equipment Wheel Diameter: 17"
17" Recommended: 225/45-17
17" Alternate: 205/50-17

The tires I have already decided on would be the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22 RFTs.

When speaking with someone at tire rack the other day, he recommended that I go with the 16" Alternate (205/55-16) since it will create a smaller footprint for plowing through snow and will also put more rubber between the rim and the road surface, which makes sense.

I was curious what sizes any owners of my make/model Z4 have gone with and what results you have had with them, both in snow driving, as well as how handling was affected on dry surfaces.

Lastly, the wheel I am going with, would be the Sport Edition CD (Bright Satin w/Machined Lip), so I would also be curious to see any pics posted of anyone's Z4 with those wheels on it, preferably in 16" just to see what the car looks like with the smaller wheel diameter and more meat on the tires. I also saw someone here with those wheels post pics, and they had the BMW center caps on them. Does anyone know if the center caps just pop out of these particular wheels so that the original BMW center caps can be installed? I prefer the more stock look of the BMW centers personally....

Any advise or pic postings would really be appreciated. Thanks......
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Last edited by supremeart; 09-21-2008 at 10:27 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2008, 11:08 AM
erdoran erdoran is offline
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Yeah, I'm interested in this discussion too, since I'm going to have to do the same--although since my car is a lease, I'll probably just buy the tires & have them mounted.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2008, 12:41 PM
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ebruder ebruder is offline
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Definitely minus size and go skinny. I have an MCoupe and I went down to 215/55x17, on 17x7.5 Borbet wheels. That was the skinniest Tire Rack had that would fit. For winter driving you want skinny and aggressive tires (I got Dunlop WinterSports, but there are other very good tires available).

EB
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2008, 04:04 PM
supremeart supremeart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erdoran View Post
Yeah, I'm interested in this discussion too, since I'm going to have to do the same--although since my car is a lease, I'll probably just buy the tires & have them mounted.
Mine too. Just that when I consider 3 winters and the mounting and remounting charges (2x each year, 1 on with winter, 1 off), buying the tires with wheels and mounting the wheels myself seems to work out best, and then I can likely sell the wheel tire package when I give the car back to make back a little of what I put into them...
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:05 PM
supremeart supremeart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebruder View Post
Definitely minus size and go skinny. I have an MCoupe and I went down to 215/55x17, on 17x7.5 Borbet wheels. That was the skinniest Tire Rack had that would fit. For winter driving you want skinny and aggressive tires (I got Dunlop WinterSports, but there are other very good tires available).

EB
So the slimmer 16's would likely be best you think?
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2008, 04:55 PM
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ebruder ebruder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeart View Post
So the slimmer 16's would likely be best you think?
That would be my recommendation. Others may have other opinions, but I have been driving high performance German cars 12 month/year since 1984, and my experience is to go as skinny as possible in the winter with a minus 1 wheel.

Scan the web to see if there are any pictures of the tires that Porsche uses for winter testing. The photos were in Porsche's Panorama magazine a few years back, and they looked almost like bicycle tires (OK, not quite that skinny).

I have had excellent success with skinny as possible in winter.

EB
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2008, 06:42 PM
Topshelf Topshelf is offline
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I didn't realize 16's would fit onto the Z. I picked up some used ASA rims with Wintersport M3 tires off the forum about 2 months ago in 225/45/17. Had I known about the 16's working out I think I would have taken that route and gone with 205/50/16. I used those last season on the C230 Coupe and they worked fabulously.

Oh, you know that you can preview the rims on your car on tirerack's site?
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  #8  
Old 09-21-2008, 06:55 PM
Reach Reach is offline
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Slimmer is what you want, but WIDTH is what is important. 16 / 17 won't make a difference, the width of the wheel will. Go down to 7" wide wheels. Any more and you're out of the realm of a true winter setup; sacrificing snow/icy grip for more good-terrain traction.

I use 17x7 +40 ASA wheels with Bridgeston Blizzak LM-22 225/45-17 for late October - early March. Same size on all 4 wheels, its actually the setup in my sig (never bothered to change it for the summer, lazy me.)
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2008, 06:21 AM
Z3Papa Z3Papa is offline
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Know your offsets and just buy a set of used wheels and tires on one of the boards. You can pick up a set of very good condition tires for less than $500. Winters tend to outwear the owner's need in that they are on for only a few months of the year.
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2008, 10:23 AM
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scottyD scottyD is offline
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Mein Auto: Z4 3.0si Coupe
I went with 17X7" Borbet Type CA rims, with the same tire size as stock, 225/45-17, Dunlop Winter Sport M3 RFT's

I've been able to drive very confidently with that setup in two winters so far, and expect to have at least 2 more with this set of tires, probably 3 or 4....

As the others have said, thinner is better, so get a thinner wheel, not necessarily a smaller diameter wheel. The smaller the diameter though, the width of the wheel normally decreases as well, thats just the way that goes.

I think just getting some winter tires on the car will get you decent winter performance...there's room for improvement with even thinner rims, smaller wheels, etc, but unless you live in alaska, it's probably not as necessary to go to the extreme

i guess the smaller rims and tires could save you money though - smaller wheels tend to be less expensive

Last edited by scottyD; 09-22-2008 at 10:27 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2008, 03:22 PM
wheelieh wheelieh is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW Z3 Coupe 2.8
I have a set of dunlop winter sports that were removed from a 07 Z4 coupe.

tires only............


I am going to sell the set of winter tires. I bought the set up for the rims only.


tires have 7k on them and have excellent tread.


located in Minneapolis
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2008, 06:56 PM
supremeart supremeart is offline
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Thanks for all the helpful information. I will take it under advisement when getting my snow tires/wheels. Definitely going to steer towards the thinner wheels for the snow in case it's needed this year (in NY, so you never know). May go with 16s, but a bit worried about how they might look.... Is there any direct benefit to the smaller diameter wheel (16s) over stock size (17) for winter driving?
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2010, 06:47 AM
rgweisz rgweisz is offline
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Hello, how much do you want for your tires and r you willing to ship them to MD?
Thanks
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2010, 06:58 AM
erdoran erdoran is offline
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Hey, can I hijack? I have two sets, one set of 17" (I will look up specs if you are interested) Goodyear Eagles F1 from my 2008 Z4 non-sport, and a second pair of RFTs 18" from my 2009 Z4 sport. I live near Philadelphia. The posting you are answering is very old!! PM and let me know if you are interested, or search for my ads on the classifieds wheel & tire. We might even be able to arrange a meet in the middle pickup - I work in Wilmington!
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