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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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  #26  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:46 AM
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If they really were track cars, there may be another reason for their choice of 16" or 17". One is tire cost. 17" r-comp tires are a lot cheaper than 18". The other could be size availability. Race compound tires are not available in the full range of sizes that street tires are.

When I used them I was forced to select 235/40/17 instead of 245/40/17 because they are not made. The next size up, 255/40/17 was a little too big, but I gave them a go anyway.

I think 18's are perfect on the E46 non-M, but you already know that. :-) I'd run 255/35/18 all around, rotate often and enjoy the reduced understeer the 30mm wider front tire gives you. Some great tires in that size for reasonable money too.
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  #27  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
If they really were track cars, there may be another reason for their choice of 16" or 17". One is tire cost. 17" r-comp tires are a lot cheaper than 18". The other could be size availability. Race compound tires are not available in the full range of sizes that street tires are.

When I used them I was forced to select 235/40/17 instead of 245/40/17 because they are not made. The next size up, 255/40/17 was a little too big, but I gave them a go anyway.

I think 18's are perfect on the E46 non-M, but you already know that. :-) I'd run 255/35/18 all around, rotate often and enjoy the reduced understeer the 30mm wider front tire gives you. Some great tires in that size for reasonable money too.
HI Jeff,

Thanks for stopping by and muddying the waters, just when I was starting to move in a set direction.

I actually found an article where they compared sizes from 15" to 19" on a VW Jetta (I think). Their conclusion was that the 17 and 18 wheels were in the "sweet spot" for handling, looks and ride quality with very little difference noticed between the two. In their testing, the 18s were evenr 2lbs heavier than the 17s yet they didn't notice a difference. The 18s Ihave been looking at are the same weight as my OE 119s so maybe I wouldn't notice decreased acceleration either


So that brings it down to 1) increased tire cost (adds about $200 to a wheel/tire package) 2) increased risk of damage to tires and rims and 3) ride quality/noise

Come on guys...make up my mind
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  #28  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:28 PM
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I think 18s would be fine, nice compromise vs looks.
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  #29  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:38 PM
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Re: Experiences 17" vs 18"

So my question is can the m parallel 18x 9.5 fit the rear of an E36.with out rolling the rear fender or do 18x 8.5 all the way around

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  #30  
Old 04-29-2013, 03:52 PM
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So my question is can the m parallel 18x 9.5 fit the rear of an E36.with out rolling the rear fender or do 18x 8.5 all the way around

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E36 and E46 do not have the same clearances, even though both share similar wheel fitment requirements. Any time you try to push the envelope and go beyond 18 x 8.5 on either platform, you`re likely to encounter trouble.

And, if you`ve been paying attention, you`d know that the all-important offset is a critical factor in the equation....

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  #31  
Old 04-29-2013, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TannerT View Post
As far as handling goes tires are going to make the bigger difference on a street car. if you have a pretty low/ stiff suspension set up like some of us going with a bigger wheel will make going over the bumpeties a little more harsh.
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  #32  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:27 PM
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Found these test results from Car and Driver comparing wheel/tire combinations from 15" to 19". They used a VW Golf 2.5 with same rubber as my car came with and as the engine is the same displacement, this would appear to give a pretty good sampling of the effects that we would experience with our cars.

Imteresting results. To me, it would appear that if I go to 18X8 from 17X8 but keep the wheel/tire weight the same, there would be little to no negative performance factors. Road oise did not increase at all.

Thier tests show that even an 18" wheel/tire combo weighing 3 lbs more than the 17s only adds 1/10 of a second 0-60 and 1/2 second 0-100MPH.

Even more interesting was the 2 feet less required to stop using the 18s. Fuel economy was the biggest negative dropping 1 MPG.

if true, the only issues would appear to be increased risk of rim damage and ride feel.
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  #33  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:55 PM
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I went from 17 (winters) to 18 (summers) today. Its amazing how different the car feels. The difference in impact harshness didn't seem significant going from 18 to 17, but the other way around I really notice it. Of course, I'm also going to a wider wheel, so steering effort is up a little but feels more linear (but a lot of that blame is due to the deep tread of the Blizzaks). No chance to push it and enjoy the summer tires.
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  #34  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:20 PM
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I went from 17 (winters) to 18 (summers) today. Its amazing how different the car feels. The difference in impact harshness didn't seem significant going from 18 to 17, but the other way around I really notice it. Of course, I'm also going to a wider wheel, so steering effort is up a little but feels more linear (but a lot of that blame is due to the deep tread of the Blizzaks). No chance to push it and enjoy the summer tires.
I would be going from winter 17" to summer 18" as well.

Have you ever been able to compare summer 17s to summer 18s? I think that is the comparison that car and driver used. I don't recall the 17" summers feeling much rougher than my 17" winters but it's been awhile.

Are your 18" heavier than your 17s? THat would increase the suspension factor when going over bumps.
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  #35  
Old 05-03-2013, 06:57 AM
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Summer to summer will not make a big difference unless your 18's are wider.

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  #36  
Old 05-03-2013, 10:26 AM
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Summer to summer will not make a big difference unless your 18's are wider.

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Nope. Planning on sticking with 8".

Do you get noticeably more tramlining or deflection with your summers?

Also, what kind of tire pressure do yo run? I've been sticking with the OE recommendations with my winters which are way beloe the tire maximum. That will certainly give it a softer feel as well.

I'm planning on running Conti DWs 225/40/18 if I go the plus1" from stock sport.
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  #37  
Old 05-03-2013, 03:32 PM
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No not really nothing too noticeable, then again I have a race suspension setup with some aggressive camber so I may not feel what you would in that respect. With 17s I run full OEM psi until it gets to 90+ outside then I let 10-15% out. With my 19s I ran them at 80% OEM WELL BELOW their rated 65psi. To reduce harshness but would fill them back up for hard driving to around oe numbers.

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  #38  
Old 05-05-2013, 03:57 AM
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Just put my summer tires back on, and the steering is noticeably heavier. I wonder if it's the lower weight, about 9 lbs per wheel? They are 225s, winters are 215s.

It feels like there's a strong self centering effect, maybe it's some weird tire wear.
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  #39  
Old 05-05-2013, 10:22 AM
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Just put my summer tires back on, and the steering is noticeably heavier. I wonder if it's the lower weight, about 9 lbs per wheel? They are 225s, winters are 215s.

It feels like there's a strong self centering effect, maybe it's some weird tire wear.
I certainly noticed a diference using 235 rubber versus stock 225 but I also had higher sidewalls on the 235 tires.

Could be a combination of wider tires and stickier rubber
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  #40  
Old 05-05-2013, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
I certainly noticed a diference using 235 rubber versus stock 225 but I also had higher sidewalls on the 235 tires.

Could be a combination of wider tires and stickier rubber
Virtually everything comes into play when it comes to discerning a tire`s "feel"....sidewall height, flexibility, the direction the cords/belts are laid in the carcass, the rubber compound(s) being used (some tires now use two different rubber compounds in the same tire), as well as the shape & placement of tread blocks (some designs tend to "nibble" more aggressively at surface irregularities).

It`s actually a very complex chain of events for something that looks (at least on the surface) to be so simple.

One more thing to consider:

Put the palm of your hand flat on the table, and press down. What you have there is the approximate contact patch of one tire. Four of these are your ONLY connection to the earth, so you want them to be as effective as possible....
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  #41  
Old 05-05-2013, 11:00 AM
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Re: Experiences 17" vs 18"

Couldn't have said it better myself

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  #42  
Old 05-05-2013, 11:22 AM
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Virtually everything comes into play when it comes to discerning a tire`s "feel"....sidewall height, flexibility, the direction the cords/belts are laid in the carcass, the rubber compound(s) being used (some tires now use two different rubber compounds in the same tire), as well as the shape & placement of tread blocks (some designs tend to "nibble" more aggressively at surface irregularities).

It`s actually a very complex chain of events for something that looks (at least on the surface) to be so simple.

One more thing to consider:

Put the palm of your hand flat on the table, and press down. What you have there is the approximate contact patch of one tire. Four of these are your ONLY connection to the earth, so you want them to be as effective as possible....
Stupid question - our car's hub is listed at 72.56mm. Lots of wheel manufacturers claim hubcentric wheels but post the hub at 72.6mm. Does the .4mm (.2mm per side of hub) make any difference or is this just rounding the size up? Niche says that is hubcentric.

Attaching of a couple of pics of wheels I'm looking seriously. LOve teh VMR V713 but not available in 18"

Niche Targa - 18x8, ET 40, Hub centric, 23lbs.

VMR 701 - 18x8.5, ET 45, Hubcentric, 23 lbs. If I'm calculating right, this wheel should equate to the same stance as a 17x8 wqheel with 38 ET and should fit.

Thoughts on looks and fitment, issues etc appreciated.
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  #43  
Old 05-05-2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
Stupid question - our car's hub is listed at 72.56mm. Lots of wheel manufacturers claim hubcentric wheels but post the hub at 72.6mm. Does the .4mm (.2mm per side of hub) make any difference or is this just rounding the size up? Niche says that is hubcentric.

Attaching of a couple of pics of wheels I'm looking seriously. LOve teh VMR V713 but not available in 18"

Niche Targa - 18x8, ET 40, Hub centric, 23lbs.

VMR 701 - 18x8.5, ET 45, Hubcentric, 23 lbs. If I'm calculating right, this wheel should equate to the same stance as a 17x8 wqheel with 38 ET and should fit.

Thoughts on looks and fitment, issues etc appreciated.
You have nothing to worry about with either of these wheels....they`re both pretty bad-ass, cosmetically, and I would be happy to have either on my car.

Fit-wise, they`re a toss-up as well....the stance will be hair-splitting close with either.

The "hubcentric" stats are really a non-issue, you`re talking about the thickness of 2 sheets of copy paper, so don`t be concerned about that.

For you, there is no "wrong choice"....
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  #44  
Old 05-05-2013, 12:33 PM
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You have nothing to worry about with either of these wheels....they`re both pretty bad-ass, cosmetically, and I would be happy to have either on my car.

Fit-wise, they`re a toss-up as well....the stance will be hair-splitting close with either.

The "hubcentric" stats are really a non-issue, you`re talking about the thickness of 2 sheets of copy paper, so don`t be concerned about that.

For you, there is no "wrong choice"....
Alrighty then!!

Now just to make up my mind which one. Need ot get off my butt before I burn off my winters

Thanks Bob and all.
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  #45  
Old 05-05-2013, 09:13 PM
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Experiences 17" vs 18"

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Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
Alrighty then!!

Now just to make up my mind which one. Need ot get off my butt before I burn off my winters

Thanks Bob and all.
Hey Dj!

In regards to your decision between the Niche and VMRs (v701)... I'd take the 701's any day. They look absolutely amazing on e46 sedans. I was literally just down at modbargains.com at a BMW CCA event a few weeks ago then again the following weekend picking up some parts i ordered and saw them in person.

At 23 lbs, they contend weight-wise with stock wheels so at the very least you wouldn't necessarily be losing any "performance" potential.

As far as the stance goes, it seems your objective is foremost cosmetic and you want the wheel/tire to fill out the fender well. Performance it seems would be helpful but as with any of us, Advan RS wheels at sub 20 lbs are out of Reach at 1500 per wheel!

For the proper "fender-fill," offset will be the primary factor here. In the 701 case, I'd honestly go with the 35mm offset (as opposed to 45mm) with a 235 series tire. It'll totally fit on your suspension setup.

Edit: I'm obviously referring to the 8.5" width wheel here

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  #46  
Old 05-05-2013, 09:27 PM
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Hey Dj!

In regards to your decision between the Niche and VMRs (v701)... I'd take the 701's any day. They look absolutely amazing on e46 sedans. I was literally just down at modbargains.com at a BMW CCA event a few weeks ago then again the following weekend picking up some parts i ordered and saw them in person.

At 23 lbs, they contend weight-wise with stock wheels so at the very least you wouldn't necessarily be losing any "performance" potential.

As far as the stance goes, it seems your objective is foremost cosmetic and you want the wheel/tire to fill out the fender well. Performance it seems would be helpful but as with any of us, Advan RS wheels at sub 20 lbs are out of Reach at 1500 per wheel!

For the proper "fender-fill," offset will be the primary factor here. In the 701 case, I'd honestly go with the 35mm offset (as opposed to 45mm) with a 235 series tire. It'll totally fit on your suspension setup.

Edit: I'm obviously referring to the 8.5" width wheel here

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WEll...I'm still undecided. The Targas look pretty hot too and I believe I can get them sheaper. They're 40mmEt not 35 though and an 8" wheel.

I was concerned the 35mm on the 701s along with the extra 1/4 inch of wheel width would be pushing it a bit and lead to some rubbing issues. It looks to me like I have room in the fenders to go wider but I would hate to get a rig that sticks out too far or causes problems. A nice flush look will do and I don't need to increae performance but would hate to reduce it.
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2004 325i - Sport package - 5MT- clears - CDV mod - M3 gauge faces w/silver gauge rings & red needles - SS exhaust tips - strut tower brace - Hotchkis anti-sway bars -50% tint - shadow grills - roof spoiler - silver CF trim
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  #47  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by whinojosa View Post
Hey Dj!

In regards to your decision between the Niche and VMRs (v701)... I'd take the 701's any day. They look absolutely amazing on e46 sedans. I was literally just down at modbargains.com at a BMW CCA event a few weeks ago then again the following weekend picking up some parts i ordered and saw them in person.

At 23 lbs, they contend weight-wise with stock wheels so at the very least you wouldn't necessarily be losing any "performance" potential.

As far as the stance goes, it seems your objective is foremost cosmetic and you want the wheel/tire to fill out the fender well. Performance it seems would be helpful but as with any of us, Advan RS wheels at sub 20 lbs are out of Reach at 1500 per wheel!

For the proper "fender-fill," offset will be the primary factor here. In the 701 case, I'd honestly go with the 35mm offset (as opposed to 45mm) with a 235 series tire. It'll totally fit on your suspension setup.

Edit: I'm obviously referring to the 8.5" width wheel here

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According to the guys at VMR, you are correct. THey claim that 18x8.5 in a 35mm offset is a perfect fit with no issues on our non- M cars.

ANyone else care to chime in on this?
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  #48  
Old 05-06-2013, 05:01 PM
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
According to the guys at VMR, you are correct. THey claim that 18x8.5 in a 35mm offset is a perfect fit with no issues on our non- M cars.

ANyone else care to chime in on this?
Just remember that virtually ALL manufacturer`s recommendations are based on the "If it was a Perfect World" concept....take everything with a grain of salt.

That particular combo ( 8.5 w/35 offset) is pushing the limits, depending on what tires are chosen (remember, "all sizes are not created equal"). ZHP rears (Style 135) are 8.5" wide on a 50 offset, and clearances are pretty friggin` tight with 255/35 tires.

And, the way a wheel/tire fits at static ride height (i.e., parked) will typically be a bit different at full compression/rebound/turning during everyday driving.

Spring sag and other suspension issues may also come into play. You can be sure that these will not correct themselves or "get better with age", so erring slightly on the conservative side is not a bad thing....at the end of the day, it`s your money, so have fun
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  #49  
Old 05-06-2013, 06:35 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 325i ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Just remember that virtually ALL manufacturer`s recommendations are based on the "If it was a Perfect World" concept....take everything with a grain of salt.

That particular combo ( 8.5 w/35 offset) is pushing the limits, depending on what tires are chosen (remember, "all sizes are not created equal"). ZHP rears (Style 135) are 8.5" wide on a 50 offset, and clearances are pretty friggin` tight with 255/35 tires.

And, the way a wheel/tire fits at static ride height (i.e., parked) will typically be a bit different at full compression/rebound/turning during everyday driving.

Spring sag and other suspension issues may also come into play. You can be sure that these will not correct themselves or "get better with age", so erring slightly on the conservative side is not a bad thing....at the end of the day, it`s your money, so have fun
I hear ya Bob and I have been paying attention. I would very muc like to fill out the wheel well more and am even willing to have the fenders rolled if necessary but would rather not.

I plan on running 225 rubber so that would help a little.

The problem is, the Niche are 18x8 with a 40 offset and the VMR are 18x8.5 with a 45 or 35 offset. Ideally, I woud have a 8.5 wide wheel with a 40 offset.

I could go with the NIceh and add 5mm spacers but we've had that discussion before.

SO frustrating!!
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  #50  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:12 PM
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whinojosa whinojosa is offline
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Experiences 17" vs 18"

Bob is absolutely right that the recommended offset of 35mm is in the ideal world, with ideal vehicle conditions. However, I do think having known all that, I'd still recommend the 35mm offset. In comparing versus my 8" wide wheel and 225 rubber, coupled with a 34mm offset, I could probably go another 5mm all around. I'm speaking ONLY in regards to the wheel/tire's relationship to the outer fender lip - and NOT in relation to the clearance to the struts.

When comparing my setup (225/45 on 8" @ 34mm) to the 8.5" wheel with 35mm offset, SOME of that size delta is going on the "inside" of the wheel, in other words the side that would be closest to the strut housing. Mathematically this would result in NOT exactly 0.5" of "poke" into the outer fender well than my setup. I'm comparing my setup because I know it doesn't rub one bit under any load! I'm also lowered in H&R touring springs.

Your trouble may be finding an ideal 225 tire that would work well on 8.5" as some have pretty stiff sidewalls that won't work too well.

Not sure if this link will work - let me know if it doesn't. Also attaching the image but the link will have the detailed measurements.

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http://www.willtheyfit.com/wheelimag....95&aspect2=35


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