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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about upgrading the wheels on my 2002 330xi. Currently, the tire size all around are 205/50-17 inch and the rim style is the picture that is attached. (Do these wheels come in a larger size? – I have not seem it or know where to get them if they did – I like this style)

I like the wider tire and thinking of getting the 18-inch sport wheels, but get a good all season tire. Perhaps the 225-40R18 all around would look good.

I am new to upgrading tires and rims, and I think there is more to just replacing the current ones – like re-calibration etc…

Thoughts appreciated on options I might have for my XI and where to get them, and where to have the upgrade done if I decide to get it done..

Thanks

Mike
 

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fullcombat said:
I am thinking about upgrading the wheels on my 2002 330xi. Currently, the tire size all around are 205/50-17 inch and the rim style is the picture that is attached. (Do these wheels come in a larger size? - I have not seem it or know where to get them if they did - I like this style)

I like the wider tire and thinking of getting the 18-inch sport wheels, but get a good all season tire. Perhaps the 225-40R18 all around would look good.

I am new to upgrading tires and rims, and I think there is more to just replacing the current ones - like re-calibration etc…

Thoughts appreciated on options I might have for my XI and where to get them, and where to have the upgrade done if I decide to get it done..

Thanks

Mike
Your xi will accomodate any E46 BMW wheel (except the M3), so you have an incredible number of choices of OE or aftermarket wheels. Your present wheel, though, only comes in one size. You could fit a high-performance all-season tire in 225/45R-17 for a modest upgrade as an alternative to 18s.

One great place to explore the possibilities is at the Tire Rack web site, which allows you to visualize various wheels on your car -- very cool. And if you're doing wheels with tires, you can actually order a full set (4 tires mounted & balanced on 4 wheels plus hardware to mount the wheels to the car) from Tire Rack at competitive prices. I've done it a couple of times and been a very satisfied customer.

The only little problem for a beginner is that UPS or Fedex brings this stuff to your door and there you are with four big wheel/tire combos and everything you need except a torque wrench to mount 'em up yourself. If you have a place to jack the car up one corner at a time and a torque wrench, you can do it yourself!

Edit: Another approach would be to put a set of winter tires in 205/50R-17 or 225/45R-17 on your current wheels and buy a separate set of wheels with high performance (not-all-season) tires. This gives you best performance in both summer and winter, but requires storing four bulky wheels/tires -- difficult if you're an apartment dweller, for instance. If you do this, I would definitely get a torque wrench and learn to swap 'em yourself for the twice-annual ritual of changeover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the advice..

Just to clarify..I can put a 225/45R-17 on my current rims? Is this a wider tire? As you can see, I need to educate myself more on ties, but this might be a good option. I might get a good balance between performance and looks...

I need to spend a little more time on Tire Rack.
 

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fullcombat said:
Just to clarify..I can put a 225/45R-17 on my current rims? Is this a wider tire? As you can see, I need to educate myself more on ties, but this might be a good option. I might get a good balance between performance and looks..
You can.

Your current BMW double spoke style 79 rims are 7" wide -- narrower than a number of other 17-inch wheels, but that's because they were designed to accomodate a slightly narrower tire.

205/50R-17 (your present size) and 225/45R-17 tires have about the same diameter and thus your speedometer and odometer will still be correct. The 225 is about 20mm (0.8 inch) wider overall, which probably means about that much wider tread on the road. You need to know, of course, if a wider tire might rub on the inside (on the shock absorber, for instance) or the outside (on the fender.) In this case, since BMW offers 225/45R-17 on the car as an option in Europe, you can be assured that the tire will indeed fit without rubbing anywhere.

So then the question is whether your chosen 225/45R-17 performance all-season tire will fit onto a wheel that is 7 inches wide. You need to consult the tire manufacturer's specification info -- and providentially, Tire Rack has the specs for each tire. For instance, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tire specs in 225/45ZR-17 size say that it will fit rims from 7.0 to 8.5 inches wide, so you can be assured the tire will fit on that wheel.

If 225/45R-17 sounds about right for you, go the Tire Rack web site and click on "tires" and then click on "search by size." Input the 225/45-17 size and then specify "high performance all-season" or whatever and a list of tire choice will come up which you can then browse through, look at specs, etc. Obviously other factors will then come into play: price, any brand preferences or prejudices you may have, etc.

If it were me, I'd look at that Michelin Pilot Sport A/S -- but they are some expensive puppies and the price may cause you to keep looking.

Some other good stuff on the Tire Rack web site are the surveys and tests, as well as any number of articles explaining some of the basics of wheels & tires ("tire tech" and the like.)

Happy hunting! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent.. :thumbup:

Very informative post - this helps clarify some things. I will vist Tire Rack later this evening and do more research.

Thanks for the tips and explanation!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just checked out Tire Rack..

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S sure are nice and yes pricey. I found a couple others that were also rated Superior to excellent on all categories similar to that of the Michelin Pilot but at a lower cost. ECSTA ASX (ASX for All-Season Xtreme) ($90) & Bridgestone Potenza G009 ($122).

Never head of the ECSTA ASX but had some good reviews...

Mike
 

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fullcombat said:
Just checked out Tire Rack..

The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S sure are nice and yes pricey. I found a couple others that were also rated Superior to excellent on all categories similar to that of the Michelin Pilot but at a lower cost. ECSTA ASX (ASX for All-Season Xtreme) ($90) & Bridgestone Potenza G009 ($122).

Never head of the ECSTA ASX but had some good reviews...

Mike
One more thing, Mike -

The Tire Rack web site is great with lots of info to help you make an informed choice. And I always think it's a no-brainer to buy a full wheel & tire set from them. But of course if it's tires only, you will have to deal with installation issues and disposal of old tires. Somewhere there on the Tire Rack site is a "recommended installer" area where you can see if a shop near you will do installs. If there is not such a shop, you can at least use the Tire Rack pricing for price comparison or bargaining leverage with local tire stores. Figure $10 to 20 per tire for mounting and balancing, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I saw the link to the installers - thanks. I will do a little more research and decide on a tire.

Thanks Again!

Mike
 

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same story here

Hi Mike,

I just picked up a like new set of the same rims you have and am going to put the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S 225/45/17 on my car. You should cehck these tires out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Eric,

Thanks...those are nice tires and I somehow missed those. In my price range and good reviews and stats. I will defiantly look at these.

Mike :thumbup:
 

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fullcombat said:
Thanks for the advice..

Just to clarify..I can put a 225/45R-17 on my current rims? Is this a wider tire? As you can see, I need to educate myself more on ties, but this might be a good option. I might get a good balance between performance and looks...

I need to spend a little more time on Tire Rack.
I have the same rims you do and recently put Pirelli PZero Nero M&S (225/45R-17) tires on them. I love the tires and like the wider look as well. They fill out the wheelwell a bit better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks...

Anyone live up in the Northeast or an area that gets a lot of snow - how does the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S hold up? Feedback, reviews, and ratings on tirerack seem to be very good for these tires.

In addition to the Pirelli's; Bridgestone Potenza G009, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S, & ECSTA ASX are in my list for consideration and also get good reviews.

Will narrow down my search soon and make the purchase..

Thanks again..
 

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fullcombat said:
Thanks...

Anyone live up in the Northeast or an area that gets a lot of snow - how does the Pirelli PZero Nero M&S hold up? Feedback, reviews, and ratings on tirerack seem to be very good for these tires.

In addition to the Pirelli's; Bridgestone Potenza G009, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S, & ECSTA ASX are in my list for consideration and also get good reviews.

Will narrow down my search soon and make the purchase..

Thanks again..
I'm not sure the Tire Rack surveys are 100% "correct", given that they are composed of inputs from a broad range of people who may or may not know what they're talking about (like us :p ) but I don't think there's anything better out there at capturing a broad sweep of data. So, despite my reservations, I pay a lot of attention to them.
 
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