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1987 325i Cabriolet to run 7X15:ET24 inch BBS OEM wheels & 205/55/R15 tires

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by KBurton, Oct 20, 2014.

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    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    I'm new here so please excuse me if this has previously been covered but I'm in the process of restoring my 87 325i Convertible and for as long as i can remember i've loved the BMW BBS cross spoke wheels on an E30. That said while in the process of the restoration i decided to make one minor change but now am second guessing my decision because i'm not sure they're going to fit. The car came stock and the door sticker says 195/65 R14 on 6 X 14:ET35 wheels however i bought a set of 7 X15:ET24 inch original BBS cross spokes and would like to run 205/60 R15 tires if they will fit. This is mainly to keep some sidewall and to correct the speedo however I'm more than willing to go with 205/55 R15 tires recomended for the wheels if necessary. The question is twofold actually since i'd LIKE to run 60s yet i'm not even sure i CAN run 55s without rubbing, has anyone run the 60s on a pre facelift 325i C without having to modify anything and has anyone run the 55s without modifying anything or have i made an expensive mistake in buying the 7 inch wheels altogether? any insight would be most helpfull as i'd rather not blow another grand on tires if i'm not going to be able to fit them. BTW i mounted a wheel this weekend and everything clears the suspension due to the offset however they do hang out there a bit.
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    dmmai

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    I think you'll like the look of the slightly larger wheels and the offset. If your car retains the stock suspension height, 205/60-15 fitment should be do-able. My coupe has a 1.5"+ suspension drop and I stepped up to 16x8 ET20 wheels with 205/55-16 (also to correct speedo error). These still clear the struts (barely) with 2 degrees negative camber but, required rolling the fenders. I also have a set of 15x7 ET20 running 205/50-15 that clear easily. A couple of friends run similar setups without issue.
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    MGarrison

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    I think the wheels should be no problem. Spec E30 wheels are 15x7, 25mm offset. I run 225/50 or 225/45 on 15x7 rims, 2.7° neg. camber, lowered w/ Eibach sport springs, the track tires are on ET27 Kosei's, fender lips had to be rolled for clearance, and really, the only place they caught was the top center of the fender, which got pulled/pushed down a bit before they were rolled.

    Nifty comparison tool here:

    http://www.rimsntires.com/specspro.jsp

    The 205/55's are very close to the stock overall diameter (o.d), according to the above tool, only 1.5mm less sidewall height (3mm less o.d.), which is basically an insignificant difference in sidewall height. As far as rim & blowout protection attributed to sidewall height, 205/55's are essentially the same as stock. 205/60's would have 8.5mm more sidewall height over the stock size (17mm greater o.d.)

    I think E30 speedo's run on the optimistic side by as much as 5 mph. (ie, indicated speed is higher than actual speed) when running a stock dia. wheel/tire combo. 205/55's would have it showing a smidge slower than the already lower-than-actual speed, but not by much. Not much of a downside there, except you have a small window knowing that whatever speed shown, you're actually under, which might make for a bit less anxiety when getting clocked by a speed cop. The larger-than-o.d. tires would have the speedo showing closer to actual speed, at least theoretically.

    The 205/60's would visually fill the wheel well more.

    I'd guess fender lip clearance might be the only issue, since you don't have any additional neg. camber that might help w/ clearing the fender lip - 205's should be better w/ the fender clearance than my 225's were.
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    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    yes the real issue here is that while i'd ideally like to run the 205/60 tires i can't seem to find anyone that's run them on a stock 325i CONVERTIBLE suspension, & id prefer to not do any non-reversible mods since this has been a restoration from the onset. The 205/55 on the 7x15 rims are actually from my original owners manual spec page for the iX (4WD) and NOT for the i Convertible i just didn't know when i bought the rims that the convertible had different fenders and i might not be able to fit them. After buying 5 of the rims i'm actually more willing to go with inducing yet more error in the speedo verses having to damage the fenders to fit bigger tires. At this point the only other thing i'd consider in all of this is to change course entirely from a restoration to an all out custom ride and get the "M" fenders front & back (the fronts are still available and bolt on) installed as well as the euro bumpers and then i'd have the 325i wide-body vert with the BBS cross spokes in euro trim... I personally think that'd be the next best thing to a baur but then again i'm a little crazy.
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    MGarrison

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    It sounds like from this thread that perhaps the main difference is at the bottom edges & how trim attaches, which might mean there's not much, if any, difference as far as fender-lip clearance goes for plus-size wheel/tire fitment.

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=50420

    Here's one ebay auction for a used 205/60r15, $12.95 opening bid, $16.95 buy-it-now, prefers pickup but appears to be willing to ship.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bridgestone...0|Rim Diameter:15&hash=item2343009c2a&vxp=mtr

    Here's the first one w/ free shipping, $49.99, but taking offers. If the first seller was willing to ship for less than $33.04 to $37.04, maybe you could get a disposable tire you could mount on a rim for front/rear test fitment for even less than $50, and counting mounting up & dismounting, could get a reasonably good test fit for less than $100. Or, maybe the 2nd seller might actually accept a lower offer.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GOODRIDGE-R...s_Car_Truck_Tires&hash=item4d256124bc&vxp=mtr

    Might be worth searching local craigslist just for the heck of it. If perhaps whatever tires you're considering are already close to $50, maybe just buy one for a test fit. Worst case, you're out for the one tire instead of a set - cheapest in that size on Tire Rack is $52, but there will be shipping, and maybe even tax, depending on where you are.

    I searched 205/60r15 on Ebay. Asking local tire shops if they happened to have any used ones in that size might be an option, although not sure how common that size might be these days. You might have local used tire shops worth checking. Converting to E30 M3 fenders would be cool, but, way expensive.

    Make sure you have a good installer - Tire Rack has a list of recommended installers - would be a shame to have the installer damage a expensive nice new rim! Without being able to find anyone who's tried what you have in mind, a test fit might be the only way to check anything; barring that, then perhaps the easiest is just going w/ the 55 aspect-ratio fitment.
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    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    I spoke to a reputable dealer in atlanta who agreed to mount a comparable (to the michelins) 205/60 R15 on one of my rims and set it down to check for clearance both front and back. This may actually be my best hope of not tearing up tires, metal or both. There's no charge for the test & i don't have to buy the tire and i get a better price for 5 if i decide to go with it, How great is that? Anyway thanks for all the great advice, barring anyone actually running the 7X15 ET:24 with the 205/60 R15s specifically on an unmolested 87 325i Convertible with NEW OEM springs & pads and back up to factory fender height, I guess i'm just going to have to make a day trip out of it and run to Atlanta. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
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    KBurton Resto-Rod

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    Ok so Thanks to everyone that responded, even the BMW Geniuses couldn't answer my question and i'd expect they'd have had access to the original drawings. I ended up taking the risk & buying the 205/60 R15 tires and installing them. The rears are perfect and look as though they've always been there while the front will take a bit of getting used to. The fronts do hang out there a bit but do not extend beyond the top of the flare. All in all I'm impressed with the ride improvement, the speedo is now within 1 MPH (Per GPS) and the best part is that they do fit with no rub anywhere, front or back. Thanks to everyone who burned brain cells on this one.
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    MGarrison

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    Glad it worked out!

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