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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All ~

I not very long ago purchased a 2004 325Xi - which came with Dinan stage 3 suspension. All was fine until the day I decided to get some bigger wheels for the car (16" -> 18"). I was going to buy some OEM wheels - but after reading a lot of posts and some research I bought some M 135 replica wheels from O E Wheels (18X8" all around). I put Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 245/40/18's on them. I ran into a few problems when cornering, and was somehow able to switch to 225/40/18 tires (Michelin PS PS2's).

Lately I have been noticing the following
1. A lot of "loose play" in the steering wheel. What I mean by that is - earlier with my stock wheels+tires, I felt like the steering was a lil stiff. Now, when driving slowly at 5-10mph, I can swing the steering wheel almost 20-30 degrees and the car does not swerve. With my stock wheels, the car used to do this snake like maneuver.

2. The steering shakes a lot!!!!! at highway speeds. I had the tire guy balance and re-balance the tires numerous times. He says they are perfectly balanced. He checked and re-aligned the front alignment too. He had originally set the camber to -2.5, now it is back to -1.8. Did this mess anything up?

3. The car does not corner/handle like it used to with stock wheels (16"). I had the wheels checked by themselves. They are good. No bends or anything. I think it all comes down to the slack in the steering. I have to turn it a lot more to achieve the same turn (compared to my stock wheels) :cry::bawling::cry::bawling:

Honestly I am scared of driving my car. What should I do???? please help!!

Regards,
vG
 

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The King of Common Sense
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How about going back to stock or BMW optional wheels? After all, BMW spent a lot of money testing their products before they released them for public consumption, but you, without thinking, thought bigger is better?
 

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Advocate de diabolo
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Take it back to stock, and see if the problem occurs, I wouldn't go larger than 17s on an xi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:bow: To the King of Common Sense.

Like I did not think of that. After posting my thread, I went out to storage with my buddy and got my stocks outta there. Am headed to the dealer morrow morn to get em on.

But what I don't understand is - why did this happen? What went wrong? I did everything per recommendations.

After all, BMW spent a lot of money testing their products before they released them for public consumption, but you, without thinking, thought bigger is better?
I resent this comment. You can search my posts on this forum about all the factors/suggestions I had taken into consideration before I made this decission.

Thanks,
vG
 

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Ubergeek
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...to the dealer? I can swap all 4 wheels in under 10 mins. With the trunk jack, it'd probably do it in 15.

Jack high enough from the rear side jack point and both wheels on that side will come off the ground.

Sorry this is happening - sounds like the additional unsprung weight of the bigger wheels/tires just may be amplifying the failure of another component, tie rods, lower control arms/bushings, steering knuckle/rack, I don't know :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the reason I am taking it to the dealer - is to check the alignment and get it re-aligned if necessary. I tried to save a few bucks by going to this firestone place. I should have suspected something when he charged me 140 bucks to do mount,balance and align.

Sorry this is happening - sounds like the additional unsprung weight of the bigger wheels/tires just may be amplifying the failure of another component, tie rods, lower control arms/bushings, steering knuckle/rack, I don't know
I will also ask them to check for these components. I guess this will be a problem sometime down the line even with the stocks. The car is under warranty and only 30K miles. Anything else you might suggest that I get checked out?

Thanks,
vG
 

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Advocate de diabolo
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Like Kris said, there might have been an underlying issue that was magnified by the larger wheels. See what the dealer comes up with, and make sure you keep us posted on it, this is not a common issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sure.
I am so bummed about all this. It was all wonderful the first few days and slowly this problem creeped in.

Will post on what I find out morrow. I am hoping that is something that this firestone guy screwed up and the dealer can fix it and I can still run the 135 replicas - 'cos man they look sweeeeeeet.

My car is the same color as Kris' and with the recently added clears, it looks total rad!

Fingers crossed. I am going to down a couple of shots of JC and see what the day brings morrow.

Thx for the suggestion guys,
vG
 

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Ubergeek
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...I am going to down a couple of shots of JC and see what the day brings morrow.
JC? Jose Cuervo? I'd feel worse tomorrow after that. I've got some Don Fulano Anejo Imperial in the cabinet... now that's good stuff (that you sip, not shoot) :). Good luck, I don't know of anything else to check.
 

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Advocate de diabolo
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Sure.
I am so bummed about all this. It was all wonderful the first few days and slowly this problem creeped in.

Will post on what I find out morrow. I am hoping that is something that this firestone guy screwed up and the dealer can fix it and I can still run the 135 replicas - 'cos man they look sweeeeeeet.

My car is the same color as Kris' and with the recently added clears, it looks total rad!

Fingers crossed. I am going to down a couple of shots of JC and see what the day brings morrow.

Thx for the suggestion guys,
vG
JC? Jose Cuervo? I'd feel worse tomorrow after that. I've got some Don Fulano Anejo Imperial in the cabinet... now that's good stuff (that you sip, not shoot) :). Good luck, I don't know of anything else to check.
Can't do tequila since my 21st...(years ago, long story, haaaa ugh.)....but if y'all are in Boston, we'll down some grey goose pear.
 

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lurking
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How about going back to stock or BMW optional wheels? After all, BMW spent a lot of money testing their products before they released them for public consumption, but you, without thinking, thought bigger is better?
i agree that bmw/manufacturers do a lot of testing to before releasing it for public consumption. after owning the car for 8 years, my only wish is for it to run like stock/straight from the factory. only thing that i changed on my car were the wheels. but those were chosen based lots of research based on quality, weight and fitment (most important).
 

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First going to firestone has never turned out very good for anyone I know including myself.
I avoid them like the plague. So Id say it could easily be something they did.

As for the increase in tire/rim size, that in itself isnt likely to be the complete cause but it will change the way the car drives. Sounds to me like a piss poor alignment job.
 

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Find a place that'll do road force balance (look it up at hunter.com). Just because a wheel/tire combo shows up as balanced on a spin balancer doesn't mean they can't be out of round. You can get a square block to balance on a spin machine but that wouldn't go over so well for ride quality.

I'm gonna guess that you have an out of round or delaminating tire that is/was overinflated combined with some worn suspension/steering components (ball joints and CABs). The road force balance will identify the suspect wheel/tire(s) and close inspection will uncover any suspension problems.
 

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There's nothing wrong with buying Aftermarket Stuff for your Bimmer as long as it a reputable brand.

I have 18" CSL (Staggered Setup) with no issue but then again - my 330i came with 18" Staggered OEM Wheels.

Just don't buy the cheap - never heard of brand items. You get what you pay for but there's certainly nothing wrong with going aftermarket.

Sounds like to me like there's an issue with your car suspension and the 18" wheels just spotted them out quicker. Best of luck and 18" wheels FTW.
 

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The King of Common Sense
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I resent this comment. You can search my posts on this forum about all the factors/suggestions I had taken into consideration before I made this decission.

Thanks,
vG
Sorry I sounded harsh, but did those recommendations/suggestions came with test results, probably not. They shared their opinions that bigger is better. Yes, I have tequila story. Here is one...Long time ago I was pumping gas in my 911 with low profile wheels and tires. The Mex, on the other side of the island, looked at them and asked, "man, where did you get those wheels?" :rofl:
 

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E46 Fanatic!
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JC? Jose Cuervo? I'd feel worse tomorrow after that. I've got some Don Fulano Anejo Imperial in the cabinet... now that's good stuff (that you sip, not shoot) :). Good luck, I don't know of anything else to check.
Yes, EVERYONE has a Tequilla story....lol...Personally I am a huge fan of a bottle of Cabo Wabo after 8 Guiness drafts...now that is a way to spend a Friday night with friends :blah::drink::flush:
 

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When I went to larger wheels and tires on my old Acura Legend, the car became much less pleasant to drive. The car began to tramline in a fairly serious way. It seemed like there was an invisible hand tugging the steering wheel.

It also became almost impossible to drive in the snow. The tires were Kumho Ecsta Supra, 225-50 - VR 16s, on 6.5 inch stock rims. I have a feeling that wider rims would have made this work, but did not want to pour good money after bad.

The lesson for me was simple: Don't mess too much with the basic engineering of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh well - No one told me I would possibly have these problems if I go up on the wheel size. Moreover, its not any Toyota or Honda - for petes sake - a bmw should be able to handle mods like bigger wheels.

Anyways, just reporting on my talk with the service rep. I had him drive the car. Based on that he's checking a couple of things, Tire rods, steering assembly, alignment, control arms and bushings etc.,

He had roadforce test done on the wheels and they checked out OK. Waiting to hear back from him. Am driving a Z4 loaner - till I get my car back. Baby, this car rocks!

-vG
 

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lurking
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Oh well - No one told me I would possibly have these problems if I go up on the wheel size. Moreover, its not any Toyota or Honda - for petes sake - a bmw should be able to handle mods like bigger wheels.

Anyways, just reporting on my talk with the service rep. I had him drive the car. Based on that he's checking a couple of things, Tire rods, steering assembly, alignment, control arms and bushings etc.,

He had roadforce test done on the wheels and they checked out OK. Waiting to hear back from him. Am driving a Z4 loaner - till I get my car back. Baby, this car rocks!

-vG
245 for front is way wide. wide tires up front can mess up your power steering mechanics as it was designed for narrower tires. m3's come with 225 up front. max i've heard is 235 up front. check the offsets on your wheel. wrong offsets would mess up your a lot of things from tire wear to rubbing. you have a XI. don't XI's come stock with narrower tires than the other non XI's :dunno: there must be a reason why bmw did this.

as for roadforce, did he give you number? the aim is below 10lbs.
 
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