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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to upgrade my wheels/tires.
Given that it provides more controllability, can anyone tell me how uncomfortable is 18 inch wheels compared to 17 inch?
My bimmer is 2004 325i without sports package.

Many thanks,
 

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Originally posted by postrio@Sep 10 2004, 05:12 PM
controllability
I Think you mean handling and If you want to increase your handling get your bmw lowered with h&r adjustable sport suspension. Bigger tires and rims=slower acceleration speed
 

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Bigger tires and rims=slower acceleration speed
You must be smoking some good stuff:
1. Bigger rims means that people will use lower profile tires, thus keeping Over all diameter of the wheel same. Yea, if somebody will put same profile tires on larger rims it equates to lower acceleration and speedometer and odometer descrepancy.
2. Lower profile tires can take more side load on walls: car is more stable in aggressive cornering.
3. Because in larger-rim/low-profile-tires combination alluminum takes place of rubber, combined weight of the weel is less, as a result more engine power goes to propell car forward, rather then pushing wheel to go faster. Same is true for stopping: larger portion of breaking efforts goes for stopping car, then to slowing wheel down.
4. In theory ride should be smoother because wheel assembly weighs less, but that gets cancelled by the fact, that low profile tires are more rigid. I am selecting lowest weight rims and price within a reach option.
 

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Bigger rims means more wieght, and more rolling inertia requiring moore breaking power, so your brakes would wear faster. Unless you're willing to spend serious money for ligter wheel probably made from magnesium alloy or something. Your acceleration will be slower but your top end speed increases.
 

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Yeah man, unless you are willing to throw some chedda at it, an 18 will be heavier and thusly more rotational mass which will slow you down to a minimal degree. A more agressive tire (lower profile or shorter sidewall) will provide less of a surface area with which to roll onto though, and this will aid during aggressive cornering.

More importantly, this will undoubtedly contribute to a harsher ride. There is also less travel with same suspension meaning potential rubbing unless one adds stiffer springs or rolls the fenders.

Looks great, but not ideal. I recomend 17's, and a good set of springs to drop it just a tad. This will be the best combo IMO, giving you good looks and noticeable gains in handling.
 

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Get a strut bar and also a sway bar kit, that will get you gains in handling also. Eibach spring and performance shocks + strut bar(bmp racing) + sway bars + installation = $1500.00

but a serious handling improvement.
 

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OK, lets do it by the numbers:
BMW stock rim:
LIGHT ALLOY RIM BMW p/n 36 11 1 094 498
7JX16 ET47 Styling 71 per BMW data, weighs 8.601kg = 18.962lb

www.tirerack.com:

Kosei K1 Racing 17x8.5 $199 16.8lb

O.Z. Superleggera 17x8 $249 17.6lb

SSR Competition 17x8.5 $369 15.3lb
SSR Competition 17x8 $359 15.lb

Yes, 18 incher's will be heavier, unless you go to really expencive stuff, like two piece wheels
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys for input.
Actually, I've tried 18 inch M3 wheels (but had to return them 'cause the scumbag who sold them to me lied that a little bent in one of the rim was just cosmetic but it wasn't actually).
During short test riding, I felt that handling was superior and the ride was more stable. But after reading all those advise you guys gave, I decided to go for 17 inch.
I saw one listing on e-bay for replica wheels for BMW 3 series (looked awesome) with great price. But the question is that are replica reliable?
Pls let me know what you experts think. Here's the link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...me=STRK:MEWA:IT
 

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General consensus is that replicas usually weigh more than their models, and that they bend more often (usually depending on quality.) But, since you are going with 17" inch wheels, this will be minimized a bit.

Id also do research into the proper tire width you want, most e36 m3's had 17x8.5" in the rear, 17x7.5" front (called a "staggered" setup). I think i am going to try to squeeze in 8.5" all around.

Lastly, if you have an e36, those e46 wheels might look a little funky on it, look around for some pictures.

Less weight and proper size should be a priority if your performance minded.

I think the SSR competitions would be a good choice, but i dont care for the looks too much on the e36.

My favorites (looks wise) are the:

AC Schnitzer / Type III


BMW / M Parallels


Breyton / Inspiration


yes i know, the're all 5 spokes :wink
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all inputs.
By the way, what's the pros and cons of a staggered configuration?
I was looking at 18 x 8 (front) and 18 x 9 (rear). Are these fine with 3 series sedan?
 

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I can give you a little first hand experience since I have 2 sets of wheels for my car and i've had experience with both now.

My winter set up are the all season Double spoke 98 style wheel, 17x7 all around the car. My summer wheels are the same staggered size as the e36 M3, 17x7.5 FR, 17x8.5 Rear(M-double spoke 68 styling), with Goodyear eagle RS-As 205 50 zr17s and Continental Sportcontact 225 45 zr17s up front and 245 40 zr17s in back, respectively.

The summer tires, which are heavier since they are wider, have unbeliavable grip. They are also high performance, not all all season so it makes a big dif there too. This wheel/tire combo reaches down and grabs the freakin road and won't let go.

The winter tires, however, are lighter and I can definately feel that the car seems ever so slighty more agile, which is good, although the wider summer tires make the steering a little more weighty which is another point for the wider tires. I am not sure, could be my imagination, but I could swear the car is a little quicker with the lighter winter tires.

I haven't changed wheel diameter, just width, but I hope this helps you.
 

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There are some reasonablly priced wheels that are light. ASA makes wheels under the BBS licence. I replaced the stock 16X205X55 wheels on my 323i with 17X225X45 for the exact same weight.
Pat
 
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