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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 12-19-2004, 06:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all,

This is the first time I have used this forum - I just pruchased a 200 BMW 323i yesterday. The car is SILVER, and although I think it looks great, it has only 15" rims on it. I want to upgrade to BIGGER rims.

1 - What is the recommended size that I can updrade to? 17"?? Possibly 18"??
2 - I have been seeing cheaper REPLICA rims on sale on Ebay.....What are the DANGERS of using Replica rims versus the OEM Rims?
3 - What some good (cheap) places to purchase BMW rims?
4 - What are the recommended tire sizes for the rims (17" rims or 18" rims).

I appreciate any and all help in this matter. I'll check back here in a few days.

Thanks,
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Old 12-20-2004, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A few quick responses for you ...

1 - You can really upgrade to 20s or so - if you can stand the ride. I actually got rid of the 19s on my ride because I found they were a bit to harsh (though I have a sport suspension as well). I happen to like M68 style rims, which are 17s and I use them the most right now...

2 - I have 1 set of OEM m68 Rims and 1 set of REPLICA m68 Rims. Visibly, they look almost identical, except that the OEM rims are staggered (rear rim is wider then the front), and the REPLICAs are the same size all the way around. I use the REPLICAs as winter rims - cost me about $600USD. You can probably find them a fair bit cheaper on eBay.

3 - Didn't check to see were you live, but I used "The Wheel Exchange" for my rims. If you happen to be in Canada, check out TireTrends.com - they have reasonable prices for 17" & 18" M3 Replica rims...

4 - Depends on the aspect of the rim... with my OEM's I use 225/45/17 on the fronts and 235/40/17 on the rear (as I recall), and the REPLICAs have 225/45/17 all around. If you use stock BMW sizes, just check your owner's manual - mine has listings for 16 & 17" rims (and maybe 18 - can't remember).

The only other thing you might want to look into is a set of spacers - these are just metal discs that fit between your rims and where they actually bolt to the car and serve to push the rims out a little bit - I find rear rims on most BMWs (except M3s) appear to be sitting in to close - almost look like they are tucked under the fender too much ....

cheers,

--GTC
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, and the dangers ... well, some say they aren't constructed as well as OEM and have a greater likelyhood of breaking or denting... Personally I've never had any problem with them, but I've never owner replica's larger then 17", so there is still some significant cushion of tire to protect against potholes, etc, etc...
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yeah i have heard that replicas break easier but i say BS to that... never have heard of a case of that. if you are going to break a replica rim you will break a oem rim too. aarims.com has some replicas etc. i have oem e46 m3 rims on my car and love them

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Old 12-20-2004, 08:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a set of M5 replica whells for the winter (17"). They cost me 200$CAN each and the dealer managed to get a BMW logo that fits on them. I am very happy withthe result.
Here is the link:
http://www.tiretrends.com/wheel_info.php3?detailID=1399
I don't recommend to go over than 17" for the winter otherwise 18" would be cool.

Michael
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 330xi_Captain@Dec 20 2004, 08:11 PM
I have a set of M5 replica whells for the winter (17"). They cost me 200$CAN each and the dealer managed to get a BMW logo that fits on them. I am very happy withthe result.
Here is the link:
http://www.tiretrends.com/wheel_info.php3?detailID=1399
I don't recommend to go over than 17" for the winter otherwise 18" would be cool.

Michael
[snapback]255132[/snapback]
We've got some very inexpensive replica wheels on our site (JleviSW.com) that tote strength and style. They are cast alloy, so while they aren't as light as, say, HRE's, they are VERY strong.
We also leave no customer hanging - if something goes wrong, we are on YOUR side when we submit complaints to the manufacturer

Personally, I think 18" is ideal for a road car - Not too much weight, enough tire to cushion your butt-dyno, but at the same time, very stylish. I have 18's on my own car, and I like them for every day use... although I might go with 19's for show purposes

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Old 12-22-2004, 12:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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differant manufactures often use differant alloy compounds. BMW OEM rims are particularly soft, most replicas are harder. This is not necisarily a bad thing - yes, it can make them more prone to fractures, but it also makes them less prone to buckling - i had the oem rims re-rolled so many times on my e30 that it just isn't funny... my bigger replicas never needed it, but then they did get less 'rough' use too
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by APS@Dec 22 2004, 12:50 AM
differant manufactures often use differant alloy compounds. BMW OEM rims are particularly soft, most replicas are harder. This is not necisarily a bad thing - yes, it can make them more prone to fractures, but it also makes them less prone to buckling - i had the oem rims re-rolled so many times on my e30 that it just isn't funny... my bigger replicas never needed it, but then they did get less 'rough' use too
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Great comment.
It's also noteworthy that sometimes the "better" wheels are not necessarily stronger - SSR's, for example, are some of the softest rims you'll ever encounter.
On the whole, though, BBS is probably the best and strongest rim money can buy, if you're going to go high end.
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