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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-03-2013, 05:10 AM
Lastspark Lastspark is offline
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Terrible in the rain?

So I have a 1993 318is, threw in a M3 engine for good measure, kept the body stock. Even bought new 318is badges after I painted it because I like the element of surprise. Anyway, I have 18" rims running 225/35's. I'm pretty sure that's what they are anyway. I'm not able to get to the car right now to verify but I'm nearly positive. It's raining right now and I'm dreading having to drive home in it because I can't go over 30mph if the roads are wet with even tiny puddles. Now is this a thing with the car or alignment or what? Because I have owned 4 sets of tires in the past 2 years because of this. I get tired of them, hear great things about another tire, I buy them, I can go from 29mph all the way up to 30 now! It's getting irritating. Currently my best rain vehicle is a 700hp Camaro. Yeah, intersections suck because I can't get the wheels to get traction, but once I get going, I can hit all the puddles I want and never hydroplane. Even on wet roads, I can feel the BMW slipping around inside of the grooves where everyone drives at. Camaro has 255/45/17's on a 9" rim in the front and 285/45/17's on a 9.5 inch rim in the back (yeah, they bulge out, looks cool and makes for slightly spongier steering but it's more of a drivable show car than anything).

So comparing the two wheels. What makes my Camaro so good in the rain versus the BMW's very poor performance in a slightly wet area? I'm sure the wide tires on narrower rims helps. But those tires have about 30% tread left, I need new ones. They still function great in the rain. They are Sumitomo's, a brand I have never even heard of until I bought the rims. Wheels came with them. BMW I have tried midrange Pirelli, the rain specific Kumho's, rain Toyo tires and right now I have Goodyears on.

I'm asking because I see everyone running around with super ultra low profile tires, hella flush people and the similar, cruising around in the rain with no issue at all.
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2013, 06:21 AM
SCJon SCJon is offline
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Not sure why your car is doing that? I have stock as a rock style 30 rims with Michelin Pilot Exaltos and my car is a rock star in the rain. It never gets off track. Maybe some of the guys with lower tires/bigger wheels can have some input? But I've never heard them mention it before.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2013, 07:31 AM
Lastspark Lastspark is offline
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I put on stock tires and it's still a little ify. I see so many people driving with low pros in the rain cruising just fine. Or maybe they aren't smart enough to know they have no traction. BMW enthusiasts always seem to be a smarter breed of people though lol.
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2013, 07:40 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Terrible in the rain?

My only guess would be that you are running racing slicks, but you are not so.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:04 AM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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Post up a picture of your tires. I suspect you have bald/worn tires that need replacing.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:22 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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When I had Kumho Ecsta ASTs on my 328iC, I had NO issues in the rain. They were on the stock wheels with normal parameters, though. 225/50/R16.

Without more information, there's not much I can say. Maybe there is some mechanical flaw you're overlooking.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:57 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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When I had Kumho Ecsta ASTs on my 328iC, I had NO issues in the rain. They were on the stock wheels with normal parameters, though. 225/50/R16.
Same tires/size I have on the 633. GREAT tires, wet or dry, even on that heavy boat. Very sure-footed.
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2013, 12:10 PM
maharaj1 maharaj1 is offline
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I'm currently running 16" Style 30's with Goodyear Eagle GTs with no problems in the rain. When I test fitted my DS1s with the old crappy Michelins that were on there when I bought them they were a little unsure in the wet but that was mainly because the tires were old and worn down. Post up some pictures of your tires and tire tread, uneven wear patterns can be a sign of some other issues.
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2013, 12:54 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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OP, what tire pressures are you running? Over inflation can seriously degrade wet traction performance.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:19 PM
Lastspark Lastspark is offline
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The tires have normal wear patterns. The tread is still 98% there since I just got the tires a month ago. Car drives straight as a arrow. All the alignment issues were sorted out back when I first bought the car. Had two different lower control arms, neither of which belonged to that car >.> sigh lazy people. Everything is all new. If the tires were bald, I would be obvious.

The tire pressure comment is what really interested me. I hadn't thought of the tire pressure. I never bothered to check for some reason after every time I had the tires mounted and balanced. I never let them use their retarded impacts on my car and mess up my hubs and cross thread, but for some reason I let them do my tire pressure? I should have thought of that so thanks a bunch! I will drop the pressure down in the tires tonight, and update on performance next time it rains. Which looks like that will be on Monday.
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:52 PM
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B_Rad_M3 B_Rad_M3 is offline
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Terrible in the rain?

You're car is too fast for the rain!

Or you need some decent all weather tires!

Summer tires suck in the rain!

Check your toe and camber too
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:11 PM
imp.the.dimp imp.the.dimp is offline
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Re: Terrible in the rain?

sounds like you need some more weight in the back. Time to look into subwoofers

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  #13  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:36 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Weird. It has to be a matter of perception if you've tried all those tires and still don't feel safe in the rain. My car was getting pretty scary in the rain when my previous tires (225/50-16) had worn down. 60mph became a white knuckle affair in the rain, and then I had a big scare and decided enough was enough. I upgraded my wheels & tires at the same time, and have been sailing through the rainy seasons in Seattle quite easily ever since. Current tires are max performance summer tires, Hankook Ventus V12 Evo in 245/40ZR17. I have to imagine that all those rain specific tires you've tried are better than my summer tiers in the rain.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:51 AM
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jbomz3 jbomz3 is offline
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Here in the UK we get our fair share of rain , on my m roadster I tried various brands and models of tyres but nothing was any good in the wet imho until I had Uniroyal RainSport 2 ! Now I go for them everytime .
Cheers JJ .
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:03 AM
3star 3star is offline
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I need more information about the suspension mods on the car.

But assuming wheel and tires are the only things modified.

You have too much of a good thing. 35 profile tires provide excellent steering response at the expense of making the car more twitch and sensative to tire pressure, changes.

You can try letting some of the air pressure out on wet days that will give you a little more compliance and more traction. Although on a 35 tire that's not gonna be much. Those sidewalls are pretty stiff. (That's the point of them) try letting 5 PS I out and see if that improves handling. You can also mess with the balance between the front and rear, the lower the pressure the more traction you'll get on that axle. Just don't run them so low that u risk damaging them. Also lower pressure makes your tires heat up and wear quicker.

Another better option is to buy some adjustable shocks and play with the dampening balance between front and rear.

I've found that about two clicks softer in the front yields good result but this will of course vary with brands.

Many people don't realise that the thickness of your sidewalls affect traction as much as the width of the tires. And you really shouldn't do wheel and tires without addressing the suspension

Last edited by 3star; 05-04-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-04-2013, 09:15 AM
3star 3star is offline
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When I first got my ae86 it was an untammed beast in the rain. I was TERRIFIED to drive over 30. I swapped to tokico adjustable and played with the balance that really calmed it down.

My old rear shocks were blown, so in a corner it would cause weird weight transfer that would cause it to break traction, especially when the LSD kicked in.

You can also run a little more toe in, that will make it feel more stable.

Speaking of witch, what exactly is the car doing in the rain. Does it just feel float and pull to one side when u hit a puddle or is it breaking traction during a turn.

If its the later where do you lose traction? Is it at the corner entry or in the middle of the corner? How does it break do the fronts slide or rear break traction first.

What condition are your shocks, does your car feel bouncy when driving normally, does it feel like the car is wobbly when you go around a corner
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:24 AM
3star 3star is offline
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Also sumitomo tires are some of the most bad ass tires u can buy. And those hella flush people do have issues in the rain, they also have a very rough ride and poor handling in the dry. They are just took young and care free to know better.

But yeah if tires are the only thing modded and everything else is good they are just "too" responsive for the rain due to the stiffness of the sidewall caused by the lower profile.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:45 PM
Lastspark Lastspark is offline
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Thanks for all the replies. I will reply to them without quoting as I'm heading to bed. It rained all freaking day today. I didn't modify the tires without addressing suspension. I bought the car for 800 bucks as a project car, rims came with. I have just been getting M3 parts as I replace things, right now the suspension is full M3 and tomorrow even the diff will be a M3 diff as I had the "clink" in the back starting Friday, so I took out the diff today, M3 replacement will be here tomorrow. Turns out the clink was the usual front diff bolt clink, visual on the ring gear made me just want a new differential. But before I tore it all apart, I drove it in the freaking rain.

I lowered the PSI by 8 on the front wheels and 5 on the back and it made a huge difference. It's way better, however it still gets squirly above 55. But that's faster than 30.

To 3star, the car just wiggles around in the grooves where people drive all the time, like the middle of the road is higher and the edges are higher, where people drive all the time are the low spots, it just wiggles around in that all the time. Back end is going everywhere but only sliding by a inch or two. The front hydroplanes at the slightest puddle. When I hit the sealer they put down on the edge of patches, it slips off of those. It's like driving on ice when I'm on them so I find myself driving on the middle line of the road so my other wheels are in the middle of my lane, less puddles and less patches there.

I understand the stiffer sidewall thing, I wish I had some 17" rims, preferably some BMW branded rim. Then I could run 40's instead of my 35's and keep roughly the same overall diameter. Not lose much on steering but gain on ride quality (which I don't care about) but also wet traction. I am looking into forking out the money for some new Sumitomo's for my Camaro soon. When I first got the rims off of craigslist I was going to junk the tires. I tried them out anyway and they have me sold. I might buy a set for my BMW too even though I have nearly new tires. (tax refund just came in, heeellll yyeah! I'm hood rich right now). My BMW is my reliable car so I'm not really looking into doing heavy modifications to it in the suspension department, stock is good. I found a M3 junk car a while back that had a destroyed engine and transmission and the windows leaked and interior was junk / partially missing. So this is where I got all the suspension from, just bought new shocks and bushings when I put it all in. Sandblasted and powder coated the arms and linkages and whatnot. It drove a lot better after I did that versus the **** the car had when I bought it off of some 17 year old kid that thought it was cool to have stupid camber and fart can exhaust.

I kind of had forgotten about doing all the suspension swap. What the car had when I bought it wasn't even for a 318is anyway. Most of it wasn't. Looked like junk yard parts that "were close". Had the car a few years and I did all that in the first couple weeks of owning it. I'm guessing it doesn't make a huge difference in driving considering it all matches, I don't have mixed and matched parts. (318is front bumper yo! Gotta keep it looking slow)
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:09 AM
Mpower1028 Mpower1028 is offline
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Terrible in the rain?

I had the same issue. But not anymore. I put full PSI in front tires and also 5-7 below on the rear. I have a 328is with m3 motor and also lowered.


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  #20  
Old 05-07-2013, 07:41 AM
3star 3star is offline
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Check your toe as well.

That will make it squirlly
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  #21  
Old 05-07-2013, 11:17 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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^This^ Slight toe out is OK for a track/autocross car because it gives very quick response to steering. It can also make the car "twitchy" during normal driving. Worn/bad rear trailing arm bushings can also contribute. If the front of the trailing arm can move laterally it changes the toe angle of the rear wheels.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:11 PM
Lastspark Lastspark is offline
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Hmm, alright, I will check the bushings. I know that they are only a few years old but that doesn't mean anything. I have purchased stuff before that was just a bad batch. I got my differential in the car today. Drove it around and it sounds like I'm dragging a chain, I think it's coming from my wheel though, like the brake shield or something. God I hope it's not the diff. But thanks for all the input. I will check the toe as well. I might just toe it in a smiget and see if that helps, and yeah, I do mean a smidget, I know it doesn't take much.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:57 PM
3star 3star is offline
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Did u tighten the drain plug.

If it wasn't making the noise and now it is more than likely its the diff.

U can pull the case off the pumpkin to see what it looks like inside at least visually inspect the ring gears for abnormal wear.
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  #24  
Old 05-07-2013, 08:00 PM
hnaz hnaz is online now
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Wow that's weird that you have issues driving in the rain. I know in my M3, I have the Toyo RA1 and driving in the rain is controlled and fun. I even have stiffer bushings and suspension (polyurethane all around, Bilstein Sports, and H&R Sport springs). But then again, I am a track junky and enjoy going on the slick pad any time I can get. :P
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  #25  
Old 05-08-2013, 07:40 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
Wow that's weird that you have issues driving in the rain. I know in my M3, I have the Toyo RA1 and driving in the rain is controlled and fun. I even have stiffer bushings and suspension (polyurethane all around, Bilstein Sports, and H&R Sport springs). But then again, I am a track junky and enjoy going on the slick pad any time I can get. :P
Ditto. Just try not to slide into anyone...
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Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
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Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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