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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 07-27-2006, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Wheels TOO Big?

I am drving a 1996 328i. I purchased the car about 9 months ago, and at the dealership, the sales-person offered to swap the wheels and tires that were on the car i was interested in, with upgraded chromes from a similar BMW. The tires I am running are currently 235/45 R 17. So here are my questions... I have had a tire blow out, and also just today, a thin strip of rubber was peeled off of the of the circumference of the edge of the rear tire tread. My dad seems to think the 17 inch wheels are too large... they are rubbing just slightly on the edge of the fender very rarely, and the rear tires sit especially deep in the wheel-well. I also get a large amount of tire noise, and even a bit of unwanted vibration... So anyway, what are my options? Should I buy smaller wheels and tires? Should I buy lower profile wheels? Are 17' too big for what I am driving? Is there any chance the car may have been lowered? (A mechanic said he didnt think so) What is the most affordable solution, I saw new 15" rims and tires from tirerack.com for about 700 w/ shipping. Any suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i had that problem when i purchased my 18" rims. and too think, i'm lowered on bilstein springs (2 inch drop), it still didn't look like it was going to rub since there was a significant amount of space between the rubber and fenders. but i was wrong when i started to drive it whenever bumps came along. at first i thought it was my suspension that gave way with the noise it produced. but further observation proved it to be rubber and fender contact at the rear

how did i solve it? i had the fenders "rolled." the lip of the rear fenders are the ones in contact with your rubber when bumps come along. best thing to do is to roll them or shave them off as to allow more space for the wheels to freely move up and down without touching the fenders. if you notice the rear fenders, the wheel arc has some sort of a lip about half an inch thick. try to reduce that amount by doing what said and that should solve the problem. some tire galleries and shops offer that service over here in manila. they call it rolling the fenders.

as for lowering, you can still do so. i had 15s on before even when i was lowered on 2 inches. i had no problems. just make sure you have the right offset of 35 if im not mistaken. at least that goes for 18 inch rims



notice the pic, looks like your rims seat deeper inside the wheel arc compared to mine. can't seem to anwer the logic behind it, but if the rubbing is what you need to solve, my suggestion should work

Last edited by mdc; 07-27-2006 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not Lowered

I dont want to lower it, I just wasnt sure if the previous owner lowered it. I really dont think it has been lowered. Currently they are 225/45 17, but I was wondering if buying a 205/40 17 would answer my problems. Perhaps my rear shocks need replacing? Roughly what kinda price is it to roll 2 fenders? 4 fenders?
thanks again
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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17's are not too big, but the offset for your wheels might not be right. Stock offset is 46-47mm
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Offset?

How do i determine the offset of the setup I am currently running? Is it part of the numbers, as in the 45 w/ 225/45 17? When buying new tires, how do i specify offset?
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Old 07-27-2006, 06:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The offset is associated with the wheels, not the tires. The offset is usually stamped somewhere on the inside of the wheel.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Do what mdc said. Get your rear fenders rolled. Find a local aftermarket shop and thye might rollt hemf or you or they should recommend a shop for you. Normally a shop does this for $25 per wheel. There's no visible change. Basically they will roll that little lip on the inside of the fender in an upwards direction away form the tire. I had to do this aswell.

$50 fix. Done deal.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks lowered to me....

Honestly it looks like its been lowered about 2"? I put 225/45-17 on my kids car and the fender is higher above the tire tread than in your photo. Maybe its just an optical delusion or something I don't know. What kind of shocks are on the rear? Can you see a part number?


Here's a stock '97 with 225/45-17s on it.... notice the difference in clearance.













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Old 07-27-2006, 11:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have 235/40 R17... No issues.
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i used 235/40/18 and 2 inch Bilstein drop . . . and i had fender rubbing. but rolling solved the problem goodluck
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Rolling diameter of 235/45/17 is much larger than the recomended. Check some of the tire websites and and will recommend either 225/45/17 or 235/40/17 which has a rolling diameter of around 25 inches. Based on the pix the offset doesnt look bad but double check it anyway. Good luck
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah there is no way it should rub with those rims and tires unless:
The car is lowered via springs
The car is 'sitting' lower due to broken springs or work shocks
The wheel offset is waay off.
The wheel is waay bent.
Misaligned rear suspension.

From the pic you posted the car does not look lowered. A full body pic taken from the trim level would help identify better. Are both rear tires rubbing? Did you do the shock 'bounce' test? (push down hard on a corner of the car - it should stabilize in under 2 bounces. 1 bounce is better and normal for E36).

Rolling the fenders may solve your tire cutting problem, but there may be other potentially dangerous issues with the suspension.
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Old 08-05-2006, 04:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Exclamation

HERE IS THE DEAL WITH 328i I have a 97 and had the same problem!!! 17"s are not to large! AND the correct offset if 40mm dont listen to anybody who tells you different. I have 245/40/17 and have the car lowered 1.5" and NO RUBBING AT ALL. My last set of rims from another BMW were the wrong offset and they rubbed. I had 2 flats in 6 months from the rubbing. I changer rims and no problem. As for Road noise that to has nothing to do with how low your car is but more to do with either the tire or missing trunk sound deadning material. Rember that the rim's can be as large as you want them to be as long as you have the correct tire size with it. I could go on for a week but if you want more info email me directly and i'll explain more about my 2 years of running tires on my 97 328i. The rims are the wrong offset which is why they rub.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SOLO5977
HERE IS THE DEAL WITH 328i I have a 97 and had the same problem!!! 17"s are not to large! AND the correct offset if 40mm dont listen to anybody who tells you different.
You can go here to look up OEM wheels and their offsets based on vehicle year and model: http://www.carpartswholesale.com/cpw/wheels.html

Guess what? The OEM offset for 3-series E36s is 47mm. Don't listen to anybody who tells you different.
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Old 08-06-2006, 06:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yeah i've heard its 46-47mm b4.
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