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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2009, 07:08 PM
johnkjos johnkjos is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ
 
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Mein Auto: x3, 328i Wagon
Larger OD Tires for X3

Hi All,

I just joined the group. I have just inherited our X3 ('05 3.0l Sport w/ 18" staggered wheels). My wife has driven it carefully for 5 years now. She gets the new 328i.

I would like to install taller tires (now have 235/50x18 front and 255/45x18 rear) because the ride is too harsh for me and bcause I dislike the distance above the tires to the wheel well. I know that tall tires will throw off the speedo and don't care about that.

What is the tallst tire that anyone has used without rubbing problems up front? The stock tires are about 27" tall per Tire Rack. Mine are about 25.5" tall on the car and a couple of years old. I see that Michelin makes 255/55x18 tires that are 29" tall. Will they fit? Do you have other recommendations?

Thanks for your help (I hope),

John Kjos

Last edited by johnkjos; 10-27-2009 at 07:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2009, 09:30 AM
cubed cubed is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 X3, 2008 MT X3
Dont know about this. Dont forget that the "taller" tire is going to also be "longer" fron to back. So while it will fill the wheel well vertically, it may also get too big horizontally and that has implications for rubbing the weel well and the other bits in there at full lock. I think there is not a lot of room to grow the way you want it to. What you really want to do is lower the vehicle to get the look you desire. you can do this and not ruin the ride if done reasonably. Just sayin.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2009, 09:45 AM
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Mystic1 Mystic1 is offline
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Mein Auto: '11 328xi, '09 550i
We had 255 55R 18 winter tires from an X5 all around and the fronts rubbed on tight or bumpy turns. At full lock sitting in the driveway, I couldn't even get a finger between the tire and inner fender liner. If you can get a 235 55R 18, it might be OK since it will be a narrower tire (and the 55 ratio will be a tad shorter on a narrower tire), but I haven't seen or heard of anyone trying it.
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:29 PM
johnkjos johnkjos is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ
 
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Mein Auto: x3, 328i Wagon
Larger OD Tire Rsponse

Actually, I could use a 235/55 tire in front and a 255/50 tire in the rear. They aren't as tall as the 255/55 tire I described, but taller (probably an inch or so taller than factory tires) and should ride slightly softer. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2009, 04:56 PM
cubed cubed is offline
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and then there's the xdrive system thats not going to like the new rotational diameters. I think you are asking for too much. Still think you'd be better just lowering the car.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2009, 05:51 PM
mikelahti mikelahti is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 X3
Lowering the car will only make the ride worse. The shorter springs have a greater stiffness. Also, potential alignment issues to to limited adjustability in the suspension.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2009, 07:57 AM
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Mystic1 Mystic1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkjos View Post
Actually, I could use a 235/55 tire in front and a 255/50 tire in the rear. They aren't as tall as the 255/55 tire I described, but taller (probably an inch or so taller than factory tires) and should ride slightly softer. Thanks.
As long as both sets of tires are the same diameter or very close, that should work. Otherwise the X-drive will be damaged.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2009, 02:41 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 2009 AT
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkjos View Post
Hi All,

I just joined the group. I have just inherited our X3 ('05 3.0l Sport w/ 18" staggered wheels). My wife has driven it carefully for 5 years now. She gets the new 328i.

I would like to install taller tires (now have 235/50x18 front and 255/45x18 rear) because the ride is too harsh for me and bcause I dislike the distance above the tires to the wheel well. I know that tall tires will throw off the speedo and don't care about that.

What is the tallst tire that anyone has used without rubbing problems up front? The stock tires are about 27" tall per Tire Rack. Mine are about 25.5" tall on the car and a couple of years old. I see that Michelin makes 255/55x18 tires that are 29" tall. Will they fit? Do you have other recommendations?

Thanks for your help (I hope),

John Kjos
Others have suggested taller sidewalls to get a better ride, I hope that works for you. IMO the bumpy (not so much stiff but bouncy) comes from something in the suspension.

I saw this off of a long term review on Edmunds for a 2005 X3:

"An afternoon of cruising a bumpy desert road proved to be too much for the X3's rear suspension. Perhaps our test vehicle's street-focused sport package had something to do with it, but we're still left scratching our heads. In any case, both rear shocks were rendered useless, and several suspension parts needed replacement.

Though the bouncy ride back to the office was fun for a few miles, we ended up parking the X3 while we waited a week for the back-ordered parts to arrive. Santa Monica BMW handled the repairs with skill and efficiency, despite the delay on parts."

Is there something up with the suspension on some of the X3s? Just remembered that the salesman at the dealership said to NOT take the X3 off roading...ever.

Now it is starting to make sense.

Last edited by PPXYZ; 10-30-2009 at 01:35 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2009, 06:05 PM
NC_Creeker NC_Creeker is offline
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Mein Auto: X3 w/6 speed manual
I have 235/55 18's on all 4 corners. The ride is not too bad. Used a a dialy driver (60 miles each way)
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2009, 01:55 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Old forum posts FWIW:

"The reason for the hard ride is the low profile tires, and I can tell you the Acura was not much better. I would like to run 235 60 R16 on this car, but they don't make a wheel to fit over the brake system. I have gone the other way and I am running on 235 65 R17 rubber.
This throws of the mileage and mpg figures, but I can live with it. The ride is a lot smoother.
"


I'm with this guy though on the 'suspension feedback' but have no idea if different tires would make a significant difference if you have a different issue with the ride. This was for a 2004 so I can imagine what he would think of the softening in later years. At any rate, if you find better tires please post your findings. Thanks!

"My guess is that tires won't make much of a difference. There's already quite a bit of sidewall on the 235/55/17 Pirellis. Opposite from your concern, I've posted many times on this board looking for insight on how I can firm up the ride on the X3 - I think it is to soft.

That said, I know what you are talking about - The ride is "bumpy" right? Every imperfection in the road results in suspension feedback. Non-sport may actually provide more feedback than sport because the non-sport shocks have less damping. I think the springs (which are same sport and non-sport) are the root of the bumpiness. But it certainly doesn't seem "harsh" to me. No road imperfections result in bangs or clanks, right?

I've driven quite a few M3s in the last few weeks, most recently a '04 with the 19" wheel option. It actually felt more composed (less bumpy) on the street (cause it has tons of damping), but was more harsh(transmitted potholes and expansion joints with a "crash" instead of a soft ca-thunk like the X3). Not sure if my descriptions are making sense, but bottom line is that I would venture that tires won't change much."
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