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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so i bought these rims with tires on ebay (got a great deal) the seller on ebay said they need balancing and then can be driven..

My question is... they look a little big. They came off an M3. Are e46 m3 wheel wells bigger than e46 3 series wheel wells?? I mounted one and did comparisons on one side with the new tires and the other side with the stock 17 inch wheel.

Can you tell me if this is going to be ok? Granted i have the rest of the tires and rims inside the car that make it lower, but if i ever want to carry passengers, it will ride just as low or lower. I've taken it to the dealer twice and asked why it looks low (i hit a pothole 2 years ago that flattened both of the right side tires) and they said it checks out fine. Any help is appreciated, krisL, i'm lookin in your direction buddy:)

PS I have full pics, but cant seem to get past the 1200 x 1200 limitations of the upload thingy, how do i allow the full size pic to be posted? (1st pic old tire, 2nd pic new tire)
 

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Ubergeek
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Unfortunately yes, the rear wheels of the M3 will not fit a non-M3! The wheels have a much lower offset, which means they stick out more and will rub on a non-M3.

I'll make sure to add this to the wiki, this question comes up once every few weeks... you can search and find more info...

To post a full-size pic, you can either resize the picture to under 1200x1200 (if you're running XP, you can download the Microsoft Image Resizer powertoy (google for it) which will allow you so simply right-click on an image to resize it). Alternatively you can upload it to any other web host (that allows hotlinking) and just link to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
ok, so what can i do now that i already bought these rims? Can i get smaller tires (only needed for the rear?) Or do i have to buy m3 fenders? Whats the cheapest alternative?

What happens if i decide to mount these as is? Am i sol?
 

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Ubergeek
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ok, so what can i do now that i already bought these rims? Can i get smaller tires? Or do i have to buy m3 fenders? Whats the cheapest alternative? Am I screwed?
The cheapest alternative would be to find two more front wheels of the same type/design and put them on the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If i mount them as they are? what will happen?
 

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ok, so what can i do now that i already bought these rims? Can i get smaller tires (only needed for the rear?) Or do i have to buy m3 fenders? Whats the cheapest alternative?

What happens if i decide to mount these as is? Am i sol?
First, for the front you need smaller tires. Stock M3 front tires are 225-45, whereas non-M E46 runs a shorter 225-40. For the rear, the offset of the M rim is totally wrong. Instead, go for another set of front rims and run non staggered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
heh, newbie comment here..... but what does staggered mean? Are u saying i need 4 new tires or just the rear? The rims are useable right?
 

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heh, newbie comment here..... but what does staggered mean? Are u saying i need 4 new tires or just the rear? The rims are useable right?
Staggered means different width front to rear.

non-M e46 with stock 18's - 225-40 front, 255-35 rear.

M e46 with stock 18's - 225-45 front, 255-40 rear.

In both cases, the M3 tires are taller than the non-M tires. So you need four new tires. However, you also need new rims for the rear because the offset (distance, when viewed from the rear of the car, from the center of the rim to the surface the mounts against the disc brake) is different on the rear wheels too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
eh? you and kris have conflicting info, he says all i need is two new tires for the rear. Your saying i need 4 new tires and 2 new rear rims? bugga!
 

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Ubergeek
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eh? you and kris have conflicting info, he says all i need is two new tires for the rear. Your saying i need 4 new tires and 2 new rear rims? bugga!
You don't need four new tires. The front 225/45/18, while taller than the non-M fitament, will still fit fine. If you get two more rears with the same 225/45/18 size, your speedometer will be a few % slow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
here are the specs of the tires i bought...

FRONT TIRES 245/40VR18

REAR 255/40VR18

WHEELS ARE 18x8.5 FRONT AND REAR

Are they useable?
 

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Ubergeek
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here are the specs of the tires i bought...

FRONT TIRES 245/40VR18

REAR 255/40VR18

WHEELS ARE 18x8.5 FRONT AND REAR

Are they useable?
The rears won't because the offset is wrong...

Honestly dude, I'd just try to sell them as-is rather than trying to get two more fronts for the rear....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They're so gorgeous, and the curb rash on the rims now as well as the condition of all four of my existing tires demanded a new set of rims, I so want these mounted on my car, thanks for all your help...


Btw, i love how my michelin pilot sport 1's rode. Will these dunlop SP winter sport m3's be rougher if i decide to go with em? Should i just go and buy all new michelin pilots for all 4? Where can i get a good deal on those? I know you've had the michelin pilot sport talk before and you love em, but I'm not sure if you mentioned how much you get them for..
 

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here are the specs of the tires i bought...

FRONT TIRES 245/40VR18

REAR 255/40VR18

WHEELS ARE 18x8.5 FRONT AND REAR

Are they useable?
The offset of the rear wheels is what's wrong for a non-M E46, if they are E46 M3 wheels. You can run the 18x8.5 with proper offset, I have 42mm offset 18x8.5 on my car. The tire sizes you have will "fit" on a non-M, I run 255/35-18 on all four corners on mine. The wheel offset is very important because it positions the tire within the wheel well and near the strut assembly up front. Too small an offset, rubs on the shock tower. Too large an offset, rubs on the fender.

You have the wrong mix of front/rear sizes there for a proper stagger. The goal is, same overall diameter for front/rear tire. So, with a non-M car like a ZHP equipped E46, the front tire is 225/40-18, rear is 255/35-18. Those two sizes are nearly identical in diameter and circumference - front is 25.1", rear is 25.0".

What you have is 25.7" front, 26.0 rear. Is it a big deal? Not really. As KrisL stated, your speedo will be off. In this case (if sensor is on the front wheel) your speedo will read 2.5% slow cuz the front tire is taller than the proper size by .6"

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalcold.html

What you should probably do is get two more front wheels and two more 245/40-18 tires for them to match what you have.
 

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Ubergeek
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They're so gorgeous, and the curb rash on the rims now as well as the condition of all four of my existing tires demanded a new set of rims, I so want these mounted on my car, thanks for all your help...

Btw, i love how my michelin pilot sport 1's rode. Will these dunlop SP winter sport m3's be rougher if i decide to go with em? Should i just go and buy all new michelin pilots for all 4? Where can i get a good deal on those? I know you've had the michelin pilot sport talk before and you love em, but I'm not sure if you mentioned how much you get them for..
Dude. I'm sorry you spent your hard-earned money on something that DOESN'T FIT but the fact is the rears DO NOT FIT and you will destroy the tires on them.

You should sell the wheels/tires as a full set to get most of your money back and then buy a set that fits.

Dunlop winter sport tires will suck compared to pilot sports.
 

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GODSPD
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Dude. I'm sorry you spent your hard-earned money on something that DOESN'T FIT but the fact is the rears DO NOT FIT and you will destroy the tires on them.

You should sell the wheels/tires as a full set to get most of your money back and then buy a set that fits.

Dunlop winter sport tires will suck compared to pilot sports.
Actually, if he's already mounted them and driven around (while having it scrape like all Hell), he might want to take some touch-up paint to the inside lip of the fender well. Offset-based scraping takes the paint right off, and that'll just force it to rust faster.
 

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He shared the eBay ad with me, it appears they are four fronts, regardless of tire size mounted. If he verifies they are all the same +43mm offset, then he just needs new rubber and is good to go.

If the OP doesn't know what offset is, on the sticker it says "Offset +43mm" on the one I can make out. The other pic is blurry and I can't read it.

TireRack's explanation of offset should clear it up too...
http://www.tirerack.com/wheels/tech/techpage.jsp?techid=101

If they are truly all 18x8.5, which from the pics it appears they are, I'm 95% sure you're good to go if you get new rubber.

Then you need to decide, stagger or not on the tire sizes. I'd go non-staggered, either 225/40-18 or 255/35-18 IF you verify the 255's you have already don't rub on the front. If you want to stagger, 225's up front, 255's out back, Bob's your Uncle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
ok, so the specs on three of the rims are in the following pic.. the 4th one however says "type L". The type L rim is a front, then the other front is type D, and the two backs are type D as well. So whats with that black sheep rim? They are indeed all 43 offset stating (lo+43, PCD 120/5) whatever those terms mean... now i know what to look for and have three other friends with bimmers I can warn before they buy

i called tirerack and becuase these rims are discontinued-they have just two of these design in stock. When i go to balance them, will that verify if their bent or something like that? Visually they seem fine. I hope I dont have to buy the remaining two from tirerack.. $$$

I know the tradeoffs of staggered (cant balance) vs having the same all around, what are some other tradeoffs?
 

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Ubergeek
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ok, so the specs on three of the rims are in the following pic.. the 4th one however says "type L". The type L rim is a front, then the other front is type D, and the two backs are type D as well. So whats with that black sheep rim? They are indeed all 43 offset stating (lo+43, PCD 120/5) whatever those terms mean... now i know what to look for and have three other friends with bimmers I can warn before they buy

i called tirerack and becuase these rims are discontinued-they have just two of these design in stock. When i go to balance them, will that verify if their bent or something like that? Visually they seem fine. I hope I dont have to buy the remaining two from tirerack.. $$$

I know the tradeoffs of staggered (cant balance) vs having the same all around, what are some other tradeoffs?
5/120 is the bolt pattern (5x120).

Yes, when wheels are balanced, the shop will be able to tell you if they're bent or not.

There's absolutely no reason to buy staggered tires for non-staggared wheels. If they're already on there, fine...

Staggering induces understeer. The car is more balanced with four wheels & tires of the same size.
 
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