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  #1  
Old 08-01-2002, 12:31 PM
MikeW MikeW is offline
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330Ci - 17" vs 18" Stock Sport Wheels

Now that I've seen the 18" wheels that are coming on the 330Ci, I'm kind of liking the idea, but not necessarily the OEM wheels. They're not the best looking 18" wheel I've seen, and must me an incredible PIA to clean.

Would I be better off just getting the stock 18"ers, or getting the SP 17"ers, selling them off, and buying my own 18" wheels and tires. This way I do get to pick both the wheels and tires (thinking SSR GT1s and S03s).

An important question is whether there are any changes to the car, outside of the actual wheels and tires, that BMW makes when you order the 18" wheels (ie suspension tuning, speedometer issues, etc)? If I did get my own wheels, should I get the same size wheels and tires BMW specs? They not quite +1 sized from the 17"ers.

Does anyone know?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 08-01-2002, 12:36 PM
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Re: 330Ci - 17" vs 18" Stock Sport Wheels

Quote:
Originally posted by MikeW
Now that I've seen the 18" wheels that are coming on the 330Ci, I'm kind of liking the idea, but not necessarily the OEM wheels. They're not the best looking 18" wheel I've seen, and must me an incredible PIA to clean.

Would I be better off just getting the stock 18"ers, or getting the SP 17"ers, selling them off, and buying my own 18" wheels and tires. This way I do get to pick both the wheels and tires (thinking SSR GT1s and S03s).

An important question is whether there are any changes to the car, outside of the actual wheels and tires, that BMW makes when you order the 18" wheels (ie suspension tuning, speedometer issues, etc)? If I did get my own wheels, should I get the same size wheels and tires BMW specs? They not quite +1 sized from the 17"ers.

Does anyone know?

Thanks,

Mike
I might be wrong, but I thought the stock comes with 17s 44s or 68s and you had to order 18s seperately. Regardless if you dont like the sp, I would buy the sp, sell the rims and then get a new set.. as long as the wheel diameter including tire doesnt change then speedometer wont be a problem, just get bigger rims, lower profile tires see what i mean? But here is the kicker... if you can afford the SP... get it, the seats alone are worth it.
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Old 08-01-2002, 12:53 PM
MikeW MikeW is offline
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I'm pretty sure you have to order the SP in order to order the 18"ers (ie, they're an add on to the SP). So I'd get the SP in either case. The question is do I order the 18s with the car, or buy them separately.
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Old 08-01-2002, 12:59 PM
CD-55 CD-55 is offline
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I see you are from NYC, if you really drive around there, you may want to think about 17inchers. 18s are more eaisly damaged in potholes.
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Old 08-01-2002, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CD-55
I see you are from NYC, if you really drive around there, you may want to think about 17inchers. 18s are more eaisly damaged in potholes.
good point, my 17" wheels almost got toasted on a pothole on the LIE
  #6  
Old 08-01-2002, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeW
I'm pretty sure you have to order the SP in order to order the 18"ers (ie, they're an add on to the SP). So I'd get the SP in either case. The question is do I order the 18s with the car, or buy them separately.
If the BMW18s are not your favorite 18s in the world, and you have the means to buy the ones you really want.. dont pay the extra for the 18s, just sell off the 17s.. because on ebay the 18s and 17s go for about the same price.
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Old 08-01-2002, 01:36 PM
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One problem you might have with buying aftermarket 18" wheels are the size of the wheels vs the tires.

I'm not sure of the size of the stock 18" wheels but I remember they were an odd size that were hard to duplicate. The problem is when you go to buy wheels, you are going to want to keep the stock size tires but depending on the wheel size this might be very hard to do.

I remember that the fronts were 225's which looked a little strange on aftermarket wheels because there was too much wheel and not enough tire. People have done it many times over but some would go with 235's in the front which throw off the speedometer reading slightly.

Anyway, go to E46fanantics.com and do a search and you'll get all the info you need.


As far as performance of the 17's M68's vs. the 18's. I just drove my exact car with 18's and the differences I found were:
1) 18" were a harsher ride
2) 18" were much noiser on the highway
3) very little if any difference in handling or grip
4) 18" are much harder to clean and not as good looking in my opinion.

Plus when you order the 18" wheel optnio, not only do you get to spend an additional $900 more but you don't get a full size spare

FYI: With the 17's you get a full size spare
  #8  
Old 08-01-2002, 02:18 PM
MikeW MikeW is offline
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Guys,

Your comments about 18" wheels in Manhattan are well taken. However, the pavement here isn't quite as bad as legend has it. The city has done a lot of paving in the past couple of years, and the streets don't bear much of a resemblence to their bomb-cratered past (which I do remember). Then again, in over 100 years of trying, the city DOT an/or Con-Ed have not figured out how to plant a level manhole cover. They tend to sit an average of 3" below grade.

I also admit that my attraction to the 18" wheels is basically cosmetic. I've seen a couple of 330Cis lately. (I just missed driving one at the Koman Drive @ BMW of Manhattan). Even with a style of wheel I don't like, the proportion of the 18" wheel is just so good with the car. But, yes, the 17"s make much more sense. Then again, a BMW in Manhattan doen't make too much sense either, does it?
  #9  
Old 08-01-2002, 02:49 PM
Rufus330Ci Rufus330Ci is offline
 
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I still find my SP 17's M68's a main in the a$$ to clean....... I clean them every 2 days of driving roughly 100 miles. I can't seem to keep the brake dust off them. It takes around 20 minutes to clean them completely inside and out. What a pain.....
  #10  
Old 08-01-2002, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeW
I also admit that my attraction to the 18" wheels is basically cosmetic.
I admire your honesty
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Old 08-01-2002, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by [email protected]

I admire your honesty
Isn't that one of the main reasons why we pick one thing over another anyway.

If I thought the 18" wheels were hotter, I'd justify getting them also . . .

One thing that I like better about the 18's are that they are very uncommon
  #12  
Old 08-01-2002, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeW
Guys,

Your comments about 18" wheels in Manhattan are well taken. However, the pavement here isn't quite as bad as legend has it. The city has done a lot of paving in the past couple of years, and the streets don't bear much of a resemblence to their bomb-cratered past (which I do remember). Then again, in over 100 years of trying, the city DOT an/or Con-Ed have not figured out how to plant a level manhole cover. They tend to sit an average of 3" below grade.

I also admit that my attraction to the 18" wheels is basically cosmetic. I've seen a couple of 330Cis lately. (I just missed driving one at the Koman Drive @ BMW of Manhattan). Even with a style of wheel I don't like, the proportion of the 18" wheel is just so good with the car. But, yes, the 17"s make much more sense. Then again, a BMW in Manhattan doen't make too much sense either, does it?
Have you considered Rallye Motors in Roslyn. I got my car from them and the only thing better then their sales department is their service
  #13  
Old 08-01-2002, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F


Isn't that one of the main reasons why we pick one thing over another anyway.

If I thought the 18" wheels were hotter, I'd justify getting them also . . .

One thing that I like better about the 18's are that they are very uncommon
I've gone on at length here more than once describing what I think of 18" wheels. I just like to see people being honest about it instead of trying to rationalize that a larger and heavier wheel is going to somehow offer a performace advantage.

18s are more common than 325xiTs
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:00 PM
ObD ObD is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F

One thing that I like better about the 18's are that they are very uncommon
I was considering these too, just to be different. When I went to the dealer they had a Black Sapphire 330 on the lot with them. The rims at off angles I didn't like, but I did like tires and the thickness of the rubber at the rear. However they stuck out beyond the fenders a tad, and IMO looked like one of those low rider Japanese imports. They didn't seem to fit the image of the car. The only other SP equiped car on the lot was TiAg. In the end, I liked the M68's better after comparing the two. That TiAg I now own.
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD


I was considering these too, just to be different. When I went to the dealer they had a Black Sapphire 330 on the lot with them. The rims at off angles I didn't like, but I did like tires and the thickness of the rubber at the rear. However they stuck out beyond the fenders a tad, and IMO looked like one of those low rider Japanese imports. They didn't seem to fit the image of the car. The only other SP equiped car on the lot was TiAg. In the end, I liked the M68's better after comparing the two. That TiAg I now own.
You were able to get a manual transmission E46 off the lot ?
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Old 08-01-2002, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F


You were able to get a manual transmission E46 off the lot ?
Nah, mine has the 3rd pedal missing. I was all set to order a manual, wanted a manual, but I got a decent deal so the rest is history. Yes, with some $$$ I can be influenced.

The Sapphire with 18's was a manual. My previous car was black and the Sapphire had a black PP interior. I thought too much black, the black interior with the wood on black just seemed too dark IMHO, didn't like the 18's, and I wanted a different color.

There were several manuals on the lot, it's the Sport Package that was and still is the tough option to find in my neck of the woods. The SP was a MUST HAVE for me. These were the only two SP equiped on the lot. My salesman said most people think it's too harsh, don't want to have a seperate set of wheels for the winter, and would rather have the Premium Package ... go figure.
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Old 08-01-2002, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD


Nah, mine has the 3rd pedal missing. I was all set to order a manual, wanted a manual, but I got a decent deal so the rest is history. Yes, with some $$$ I can be influenced.

The Sapphire with 18's was a manual. My previous car was black and the Sapphire had a black PP interior. I thought too much black, the black interior with the wood on black just seemed too dark IMHO, didn't like the 18's, and I wanted a different color.

There were several manuals on the lot, it's the Sport Package that was and still is the tough option to find in my neck of the woods. The SP was a MUST HAVE for me. These were the only two SP equiped on the lot. My salesman said most people think it's too harsh, don't want to have a seperate set of wheels for the winter, and would rather have the Premium Package ... go figure.
If it makes you feel better, mine is a steptronic too . . . I ordered it that way . . .
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Old 08-01-2002, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD
The SP was a MUST HAVE for me.
Yeah, without it you might not have noticed that 1-2 lb psi difference in your front tires that one time. Good for you.

Cheers!
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Old 08-01-2002, 09:41 PM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
 
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I personally think that the Type 72 18"ers look better than the Type 68s on a Topaz; obviously a personal and biased opionion. I chose them for cosmetic reasons and I know that I cannot get high-quality wheel+tire package for $700. As for selling the Type 68s and then buying somethign else is not me, I am not good at selling something.

Any ways, the 18"ers come with 18x8" front and 18x8.5" rears, and are very common sizes. You can certainly buy similar sizes aftermarket; however, probably going with 265x35s on the rears might be a better choice as well as 235x40 in the fronts.

Cleaning... Yes, it is not easy, especially if you do not do it for over a week. Better clean wheels every 4-5 days. If they are clean, they look awesome; if dirty with brake dust, they look awful.

After 7500 mi. I can confidently say that the ride is not harsh for me . I started to actually think that I should lower the car 20mm on the rears and 40mm on the front and get coil over and suspension kit that is a little more stiffer. But, that's just me.

Last edited by FSelekler; 08-01-2002 at 09:44 PM.
  #20  
Old 08-02-2002, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FlyingToaster
I

Any ways, the 18"ers come with 18x8" front and 18x8.5" rears, and are very common sizes. You can certainly buy similar sizes aftermarket; however, probably going with 265x35s on the rears might be a better choice as well as 235x40 in the fronts.
.
While the overall size is common, the problem comes into play when you need to find a wheel that comes in both 18x8 and 18x8.5

Most either come in one size or the other but not both so you can't get that exact fit of the OEM

Also, I remember when I was going to get wheels, the Hamann HM2's which I love, only came in 18x8.5 which meant the front tire being a 225 would look a little small for that rim.
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Old 08-02-2002, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F


Have you considered Rallye Motors in Roslyn. I got my car from them and the only thing better then their sales department is their service
My folks live out on the Island, and my niece lives up on 25A, so I'm around there all the time. I go in there and browse pretty often. However, my niece's husband has dealt with Rallye, and wasn't too pleased (I forgot the specifics). Also, most of their cars are spec'ed for luxury, not performance (I do know that I can order what I want).

Of the LI dealers, I think I like Habberstad out in Huntington the best. They seem to have a real performance orientation (they are also a Dinan dealer). I also get the feeling that they would be more inclined to negotiate a bit more than Rallye.
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Old 08-02-2002, 11:29 AM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
 
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That might be true Alan, I did not look at the issue from that angle.
  #23  
Old 08-02-2002, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeW


My folks live out on the Island, and my niece lives up on 25A, so I'm around there all the time. I go in there and browse pretty often. However, my niece's husband has dealt with Rallye, and wasn't too pleased (I forgot the specifics). Also, most of their cars are spec'ed for luxury, not performance (I do know that I can order what I want).

Of the LI dealers, I think I like Habberstad out in Huntington the best. They seem to have a real performance orientation (they are also a Dinan dealer). I also get the feeling that they would be more inclined to negotiate a bit more than Rallye.

Habberstad is a good dealer as well and you are right, they are more performance oriented.

When I was buying my 330, it was back when they weren't out yet and the 328 was around. Every dealer wanted MSRP except for Rallye which offered me $500 off. I couldn't beleive it

My salesman was an older gentleman who was a nice person to deal with and seemed to have been around Rallye for a while.

Also, another surprise from Rallye was I've seen in stock some E46's with sport package . . . actually one of my loaner cars was a 330i topaz blue with the sport and premium package. I saw them advertise it in the newspaper a week or two ago.

Anyway good luck with your purchase, I am sure either dealer will fit your needs
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Old 08-02-2002, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FlyingToaster
That might be true Alan, I did not look at the issue from that angle.
  #25  
Old 08-02-2002, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rufus330Ci
I still find my SP 17's M68's a main in the a$$ to clean....... I clean them every 2 days of driving roughly 100 miles. I can't seem to keep the brake dust off them. It takes around 20 minutes to clean them completely inside and out. What a pain.....
I wash mine all the time too.....I can't stand brake dust!!!!!!
 

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