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540i can't use 16 wheels?!

3778 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  AnotherGeezer
Hi guys. I bought a 98 540i. I got a good deal on some 16' bbs wheels and tires from a 528 owner, because the 17s, that came with the car were bent, and the tires were bad! I just wanted to use them until winter was over, and get 18's. The backs went on fine. The front would not go on because of the brakes. Disappointed!
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Correct. Rotors on front of 540 is bigger so no clearance.

Rear rotors are the same, that's why they fit.
The 540 auto came with 16 in wheels.
My 530 has the same rotors as a 540. i still have the 16" setup for winter. The front clears but barely - it's the brake calipers. You might need spacers for the front (10mm maybe). Maybe the wheels you have, have less than ET20. OEM wheels have the front @ ET20, rear @ ET24.
Then I guess it depends on the Style of the 16 and the offsets.
The 540 auto came with 16 in wheels.
I am almost 100% it's the offset. Unless the OP has different brake calipers (non-OEM, aka bigger)
My 01 540 sport uses 16" borbets in the winter

I'd be inclined to agree. 530s come stock with 16s and have the same brakes as 540s.
I am almost 100% it's the offset. Unless the OP has different brake calipers (non-OEM, aka bigger)
16" 540 base wheels, winter mode...
One of the wonders of the 540i's "underpowered" sibling, the 530i, is that we have the same sized brakes on an all-aluminum subframe.

There are no E39 cars that can outbrake a 530i.
Really, not even an M5? ;)

And, for the record, I also have 16" BMW wheels on my 540i6 sport in the winter. It should be no problem with OEM wheels.
There are no E39 cars that can outbrake a 530i.
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