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Re: Okay guys...17"or18" wheels?? (archive)

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Posted by Gregg on February 20, 1999 at 09:09:52:

In Reply to: Re: Okay guys...17"or18" wheels?? posted by Gregg on February 19, 1999 at 21:28:35:

: : Which should I get?

: I can't stand it!! Is kjk the only sane one here! He's absolutely right about cost, etc., with the 18s and 255s are MUCH too wide on front and 10mm wider than even M3 on rear (so what's the point!). LISTEN UP ALL E46 OWNERS: Keep in mind that 18s on an E39 is an apples and oranges comparo vs E46! ,,,the E39 runs tire 2 step taller TO BEGIN WITH--and can (somewhat afford to run 17s and 18s...and since it is a bigger/heavier car can "handle" some extra width up front as well as rear (and the 540 has power to justify the extra width in the rear) non-M3 3 Series don't--thus the Sport Package's 225 width even with 17s. The 17s are the top (max) choice for 3s. They'll warm up faster than the 18s, protect your expensive rims better (but are still mighty short in the sidewall) and provide a better ride. Any advantage of 18s is strictly track and/or on paper or if you must have the "gangsta" rubber band-juvenile tire look..Keep in mind--repeat this mantra "3s are different from 5s, 3s are different from 5s!" Even the E39 with 18s is running significantly greater risk to damage sidewalls and rims--with questionable overall results versus a decent 17" set up (Yes, the E39 M5 will be running 18s...but considerable money and tech expertise was done on the suspension, etc., to optimize things)... On the E46, run 225-45-17 front and rear, OR 245-40-17 rear per the M3--AT MOST!! OR you MIGHT be able to run 235-45s all around per pre-96 M3s. 255s in front--you'll regret it, it'll drive like a damn truck and track about as well! Why would you do that?! Show some sophistication. Winter tire/wheel choice is a good one, however, so you're not entirely nuts!.

Corretion to my post: Early E36 M3s ran 235-40-17s all around, not 45 series...sorry! Hot 17" (max) set-up is still the 225s all around for 323s and at most 225 fronts, 245 rears for 328 (due to greater power and subsequent traction "need") per current M3. Also see later separate post where someone has discovered how much nicer 323 Sport is at speed in terms of ease of driving with its 225-5-16s versus the 328 Sports 225-45-17s...He makes good point. Going bigger and bigger wheels does not always yield better results. Since the 3 series tire IS NOT PARTICULARLY TALL to begin with--and even in 16" form doesn't have a super-tall sidewall-- it can only take so much "lower profiling" before you run out of an effective (handling and protective) sidewall. Some of the younger Honda and Acura types are finding this out, that their Civics and Integras on 40, 45 series 16s are a little (?) silly. It's why Acura has "only" 195-55-15s even on their "hot" GSR and R Types (Typical of the Japanese makes (and Swedes also who have always under-sized their tires), they run tires 2 steps SHORTER than even the 3 series on otherwise similarly sized vehicles).

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