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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:06 PM
fmb fmb is offline
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Better tire performance from 16-17

I'm currently running 16in wheels on my 328i and looking for a set of 17. I'm looking for a bit better performance.. How much better handling can I expect to get by such a small upgrade? Or am I wasting my time and money? Thanks in advance for the info
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:09 PM
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:19 PM
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What can I expect? Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:16 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmb View Post
What can I expect? Thanks for your help.
You can expect better handling. 18" better yet.

How much? Hard t'say w/o frame of reference.

Have no skid pad comparison, which would be by tire anyway.

Take our word for it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:41 PM
Pasa-d Pasa-d is offline
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Buy better tires not bigger wheels.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:34 PM
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The lower profile 17" tire will improve performance. Less sidewall to flex, more stability. I have to disagree with CALWATER, I don't think 18s will improve handling that much. Especially for the extra cash involved. Moving to 18s tends to be more for show than any big performance difference. Don't get me wrong, I do like the look of 18s and they were standard on my car, but if 17s had been standard I'm not sure I would spend extra to have 18s. 18" wheels are more expensive and 18" tires are definitely more expensive than 17s. On my first Bimmer, a 2000 328i, I went up from 16s to 17s.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 PM
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There is a point at which going to larger wheels with smaller sidewalls will hurt handling. I am not sure what that point is on an E9x but I suspect it is 18". A certain amount of sidewall flex will help improve handling (google "slip angle"). Going from 16 to 17 will probably improve handling but I have no data to back this up,

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Old 12-15-2012, 01:47 PM
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There's also the problem of unsprung weight. Bigger wheels mean more weight, which is generally a bad thing.

The real answer is that handling is subjective. It depends on what you want to do, where you do it, and the combining factors of dozens of car components.

16" might be perfectly fine if you can find a stiff tire for it. If you are gonna be street racing, it may be even be preferable due to its ruggedness against uneven pavement. Not that I condone street racing.

17" or 18" are both fine. Again, depends on the stiffness of tires you chose, stiffness of springs, what kind of handling you want. But both sizes are well-rounded for most uses.

19" is more cosmetic. In the real world, you don't want to push these wheels too hard because they are weak to potholes. There's just not enough sidewall to protect the wheel from impacts. They are also very heavy, causing sluggish turn in.

Most people are happy with 17" or 18" wheels. Since either can work, most people get 18" wheels since they look better.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:57 PM
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Car and Driver tested 15 through 19 inch and says the "sweet spot" is 17 or 18 because the performance was just about the same for both. So 18 if you like the look although more expensive and 17 if you want to be a little more conservative.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...d-tires-tested
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:06 PM
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Since you have 16" wheels, you most likely also have all season tires. You can really improve handling by going to a good summer performance tire such as the Conti DW or Michelin Pilot Super Sport. But you won't be able to use them in the winter.

Tom
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:22 PM
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Thinks for all the great advice guys,,I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:00 PM
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although a 17 to 18 will give negligible performance gains by the numbers, you will get more crisp turn in and sharper response at the limit. athough, as already mentioned, the unsprung weight can over shadow these benefits.
from a 16 to 17 there will be noticable gains all over. BUT, keep in mind, these results can be scewed in any direction by selection of tires.

your 16's with some snows and get some 17-18's with some nice high performance summers. that would be a very nice setup. personally, i would go with whatever the best deal comes along. i ended up with oem 19' style 230's. lol.

Last edited by avocet; 12-16-2012 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
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your 16's with some snows and get some 17-18's with some nice high performance summers. that would be a very nice setup.
Excellent suggestion.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:17 PM
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Excellent suggestion.
I agree. Dedicated winter tires are a very good idea in Chicago.

CA
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2012, 07:10 PM
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Aluminum (wheels) weigh less than rubber. Although the "plus one, two, three" tire wheel concept was initially driven by the replacement market, it has certainly "taken off" with car manufacturers who want to see their vehicle achieve "higher marks" in magazine tests.

The "plus" tire/wheel concept would have gone "no where" if there was no merit to it beyond cosmetics...yet we see the most high performance cars in the world now fitted with "extreme" "plus" tires and wheels...and the trend continues.

It goes beyond saying that the most advanced race cars (F1, etc.) are now driving on ultra-low profile tires. This may be enough for us to know about "plus tire/wheel" fitments as we go forward.

A tire's "high" sidewall does nothing for us except provide "cushioning," and we don't need that in extreme handling/racing situations where the track conditions are excellent.

Go for low profile! (but there may be a limit).
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  #16  
Old 12-18-2012, 12:48 AM
avocet avocet is offline
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F1 uses 55 series front and 45 rear on 13" rims.

Given equal contruction, a tire and wheel in sizes typical on a 3 series will be heavier as rim size goes up.

As profile gets lower, a tire tends to become less forgiving, as in less predictable with break away characteristics at the limit.

As tire and suspension tech evolves, lower profiles and bigger rims are becoming typical. I still remember the 255-50zr16 gatorbacks on the 4th gen corvette as being extreme in attainable sports cars.

As with everything, compromise rules the day. With an e90, the performance compromise seems to sit right between 17 and 18 inches.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
Aluminum (wheels) weigh less than rubber. Although the "plus one, two, three" tire wheel concept was initially driven by the replacement market, it has certainly "taken off" with car manufacturers who want to see their vehicle achieve "higher marks" in magazine tests.

The "plus" tire/wheel concept would have gone "no where" if there was no merit to it beyond cosmetics...yet we see the most high performance cars in the world now fitted with "extreme" "plus" tires and wheels...and the trend continues.

It goes beyond saying that the most advanced race cars (F1, etc.) are now driving on ultra-low profile tires. This may be enough for us to know about "plus tire/wheel" fitments as we go forward.

A tire's "high" sidewall does nothing for us except provide "cushioning," and we don't need that in extreme handling/racing situations where the track conditions are excellent.

Go for low profile! (but there may be a limit).
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  #17  
Old 12-18-2012, 02:12 AM
fmb fmb is offline
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So I have thought about getting 17in rims with all season tires. Will this improve my handling? I'm looking for that go cart type of feel with quicker response from the wheel. I also installed a front end strut bar that I already feel a difference from but I'm looking for more of a knee jerk reaction from the wheel. I was told to put in a K3 suspension system as well but the $2400 price and the lowering of the car by at least one inch did not sound like it would look good on my car. Thanks for all the reply's and info..I really do appreciate it.
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  #18  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:35 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmb View Post
So I have thought about getting 17in rims with all season tires. Will this improve my handling? I'm looking for that go cart type of feel with quicker response from the wheel. I also installed a front end strut bar that I already feel a difference from but I'm looking for more of a knee jerk reaction from the wheel. I was told to put in a K3 suspension system as well but the $2400 price and the lowering of the car by at least one inch did not sound like it would look good on my car. Thanks for all the reply's and info..I really do appreciate it.
It's not likely that you will improve the handling unless you opt for Summer Performance tires. Put those on your 17" wheels and get some good winter tires for your 16"s.

But if you really want all-seasons, then the 17" wheels will be a waste of money. You would be better off keeping your 16"s and mounting a good A/S such as the DWS or Potenza 960 RFTs.

Tom
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:16 PM
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Hello Everyone -

What are your thoughts on a BMW rear spoiler for a 2010 328xi sedan ? Pix would be great.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avocet View Post
F1 uses 55 series front and 45 rear on 13" rims.

Given equal contruction, a tire and wheel in sizes typical on a 3 series will be heavier as rim size goes up.

As profile gets lower, a tire tends to become less forgiving, as in less predictable with break away characteristics at the limit.

As tire and suspension tech evolves, lower profiles and bigger rims are becoming typical. I still remember the 255-50zr16 gatorbacks on the 4th gen corvette as being extreme in attainable sports cars.

As with everything, compromise rules the day. With an e90, the performance compromise seems to sit right between 17 and 18 inches.
Generally true that a lower profile tire's "break-away" characteristics are less predictable to a novice driver depending on the tire's compounding strategy, nevertheless, today we have so-called "non performance" tires in ultra low profile sizes.

It's getting ridiculous. Don't compare a 45-series "street racing" tire to a 'T' rated 45 series tire (or even lower aspect ratio). I could probably find a 35-series 'T' speed rated tire today! Tire choices are all over the board with a "low speed rating" cosmetic niche tires with some makers (just price 'leaders'. Not a good idea if they are applied to exotic cars with high speed capabilities!!

This is a dangerous trend as people with high performance cars tend to disregard the required speed rating for their car and just look for the "cool looking" low aspect ratio that will fit...not to mention that the replacement tire's LOAD CAPACITY may be completely insufficient compared to the OE tires. The replacement tire has to carry the load of the original tires!
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:52 PM
avocet avocet is offline
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Ummmm....

Are yo talking to me?



Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
Generally true that a lower profile tire's "break-away" characteristics are less predictable to a novice driver depending on the tire's compounding strategy, nevertheless, today we have so-called "non performance" tires in ultra low profile sizes.

It's getting ridiculous. Don't compare a 45-series "street racing" tire to a 'T' rated 45 series tire (or even lower aspect ratio). I could probably find a 35-series 'T' speed rated tire today! Tire choices are all over the board with a "low speed rating" cosmetic niche tires with some makers (just price 'leaders'. Not a good idea if they are applied to exotic cars with high speed capabilities!!

This is a dangerous trend as people with high performance cars tend to disregard the required speed rating for their car and just look for the "cool looking" low aspect ratio that will fit...not to mention that the replacement tire's LOAD CAPACITY may be completely insufficient compared to the OE tires. The replacement tire has to carry the load of the original tires!
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:27 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
Generally true that a lower profile tire's "break-away" characteristics are less predictable to a novice driver depending on the tire's compounding strategy, nevertheless, today we have so-called "non performance" tires in ultra low profile sizes.

It's getting ridiculous. Don't compare a 45-series "street racing" tire to a 'T' rated 45 series tire (or even lower aspect ratio). I could probably find a 35-series 'T' speed rated tire today! Tire choices are all over the board with a "low speed rating" cosmetic niche tires with some makers (just price 'leaders'. Not a good idea if they are applied to exotic cars with high speed capabilities!!

This is a dangerous trend as people with high performance cars tend to disregard the required speed rating for their car and just look for the "cool looking" low aspect ratio that will fit...not to mention that the replacement tire's LOAD CAPACITY may be completely insufficient compared to the OE tires. The replacement tire has to carry the load of the original tires!
It is not just predictable breakaway. If a tire has too low or a profile and the sidewall is too stiff there will be less grip in the corners as a tire has to have a certain amount of slip angle to generate maximum cornering force. I have posted this info before but you can google "slip angle" and find a lot of information.


http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/group2...slip_angle.htm



F1 cars do not run ultra low profile tires,

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Last edited by captainaudio; 12-19-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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