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Re: best wheel and tyre combo for fast road use (archive)

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Posted by Adrian on December 19, 2000 at 06:43:10:

In Reply to: best wheel and tyre combo for fast road use posted by T on December 18, 2000 at 19:02:17:

Hello! I've just bought an E30 M3 and am considering various enhancements for the car. I'm planning a Brembo brake conversion and as a result have been informed that I will need to fit 17" wheels. This has led me to investigate the option of offsets, wheel and tyre sizes that can fit the car for optimum road and occasional track use. (Bearing in mind that the car will also be lowered on Bilstein dampers with Eibach shocks, no wheel arch mods will be carried out and the lousy British weather). I've noticed that there seem to be two schools of thought relating to this matter. On the one hand some specialist say that the car's handling is at it's purest with same tyre and wheel sizes front and back (such as an 8.5x17 wheel with a 225/40/17 tyre). Others say that the car can be enhanced with wider rear wheels (Front- 8x17 wheel with 215/40/17 tyre. Rear- 9x17 with 245/35/17 tyre). My investigations have lead me to believe that both combinations will fit with lowered suspension (With slight rubbing on full lock with the prior set up). I just want to know what the optimum path would be with an aggresive driving style for mostly fast road use. (Hopefully you can clarify this for me as the other option would prove rather expensive, time consuming and potentially wasteful, ie trying both set ups myself!!).

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

I have driven M3's on 15, 16's and 17's and I to be honest had the most fun on 15's with AO32R's. I am running 16's with 225/45 Dunlop fotmula R's and they are very grippy.......

My advice if you need 17's is to buy a set that are not too wide so you can lower the car properly and the right offset. I would run 8x17's with 225/40's 235/40's will be a little big in my opinion. Buy a light and strong wheel. Aftremarket 17" alloys weigh 11-12kgs each, the stock 16" are good and light at 7.8kgs (I think!).
Most race guys look on the unsprung weight saving ass a factor of 10 times as important as sprung....

Get weights for the tyres as well, my Dunlop Formula R's weigh 9kgs each. I learned a long time ago that fitting 'cheap' good looking rubbish is a very bad investment. If you can afford to get mags - Do it !

For reference a 10x18 inch Magnesium Dymag weighs les than 8kgs...... A touring oz race 8 x 18" wheel is something like 7.5kg. An F1 front (OK so it's small being only 13 inch is 3.6kg....)

Regarding offset, you should be able to work out your desired offset. I have written up how to lots of times !

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