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Hi everyone. Just joined this site today! I'm not a car person, so I'm hoping to get some much needed help here. I have a 2004 325Ci Conv. 16inch stock wheels. Just found out I need new tires, so I figured may be a good time to upgrade to 17inch wheels. My questions are...whats the deal with the staggering? I've seen a few sets on eBay, but dont understand why they are different sizes in the front then back. What does offset mean?

I've been looking online for some used 17 inch OEM wheels, but dont want to buy the wrong ones. I also need to get tires, hopefully will find a good set of wheels w/tires. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!
 

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GODSPD
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TireRack.com has some excellent resources for explaining all sorts of wheel/tire details and specs.

Staggering is exactly what you described above: different wheel/tire widths in the front and rear. Generally speaking, it looks amazing but promotes understeer (as if you didn't already have enough of that).

Offset is the distance between the horizontal (width-wise) centerline of the wheel to the hub mounting surface. Positive offset moves the wheel closer to the center of the vehicle. Negative (or smaller positive) offset moves the wheel towards the fender-edge of the vehicle. "Deep-dish" wheels often have very small positive or even negative offset.]

The key to selecting wheels/tires for your car lies primarily with offset. For your car, generally 35mm to 50mm offset is recommended. Any less than 35mm and you could run the risk of interference/scrub.
 

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GODSPD
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THanks so much CT. Is it ok to not buy factory OEM wheels?
It's not a bad idea, but can be pretty costly. BMW likes to charge a pretty penny for their OEM wheels, but they're more or less guaranteed to fit perfectly if their original intent was for the same series vehicle.

You can check RealOEM.com for ball-park pricing as well as sizing availability.
 

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ROLL TIDE!
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THanks so much CT. Is it ok to not buy factory OEM wheels?
It is fine to buy non-OEM wheels. You'll save a ton. Ebay is a good source. You could always call junkyards to see if they have a wrecked 330 sport with the factory 17" wheels. They look nice. I'd say go with 18"s though. Better selection IMO. The ZHP wheels (style 135) are 18's and a good set of replica wheels are available on ebay for less than $600. You can run a 225-40-18 or 235-45-18 all the way around and love it! :thumbup:

Here's a link....http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/18-x-8-Z4-Style-Alloy-Wheel-Set-Fits-3-series-BMW-NEW_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ43958QQihZ009QQitemZ190224812569QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
 

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please get CSL reps so I can live through you. If you're buying new wheels dont bother with 17s - you will eventually want something bigger. 18s look great and ride quality is not too different than 17s.
 

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Michellef,

Before running out and buying a set of 18" rims dble check on tire prices....they could be more than the wheels...that is if you are budget concsious. I just purchased a used OEM set of 17" style 44 (found on sport packages) and I love the look of them. Good luck on your decision process......and post some before/after pics.
 

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1.888.JLEVISW
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I completely agree, if you are going to upgrade the wheels, at least go with a set of 18s. The CSLs are a great option as well, they give the car a nice sporty look without making it looking too aftermarket.

18" CSL Style Wheels



These are available in staggered and non staggered setups so if you wish to rotate your wheels, you can do the 18x8.5 all around.
 

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ROLL TIDE!
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Before running out and buying a set of 18" rims dble check on tire prices..
Are you kidding? 18's have a wider selection and are are just as affordable as 17's. In some cases cheaper just based on quantity. Ever priced a 225-40-18? They are all over for $100 an up per tire.
 

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Are you kidding? 18's have a wider selection and are are just as affordable as 17's. In some cases cheaper just based on quantity. Ever priced a 225-40-18? They are all over for $100 an up per tire.
all I can say is they were more when I looked a year ago...or so. And to answer you, " No I am not kidding".
 

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Keeping it surreal
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all I can say is they were more when I looked a year ago...or so. And to answer you, " No I am not kidding".
TireRack is closing out Pirelli P Zeros in ZHP sizing at ridiculously low prices (subject to availability by now, I would think)....that`s the deal of the year....

Regards,
Bob
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
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Based on what you said about yourself not being a car person, I disagree with the recommendations that you get 18" wheels. 17" wheels will most likely suit you just fine and look very good on your car and 17" tires will be significantly less expensive than 18 inchers.

For a previous bimmer I ordered a set of 17" wheels from OE Wheel Distributors on Ebay that I was quite pleased with.

If you'd like to find used OEM wheels, Craigslist is a good place to start looking locally, because if you're buying used it's better to be able to see the wheels in person before you buy. You want to make sure there are no bends and that they're perfectly round and have no other kind of damage.
 

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i just checked tirerack. the cheapest 225/45/17 tire is $65. cheapest 225/40/18 is $85. it's not much of a difference... replica 18s are not expensive either and you get brand new ones...
 
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