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3-Series Wheel Interchangability

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by 373214, Sep 24, 2008.

    373214 guest

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    Will 2002 325i 16" wheels fit a 2002 330xi? The xi has the sport package and 17" wheels, but I'm shopping for 16" wheels for winter tires. Thanks!

    373214 guest

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    Dang! I've answered my own question. My dealer and several other "experts" said that they were interchangeable, so I proceeded. Big mistake! The center (spindle) holes on the 325i wheels are smaller and will not fit the 330xi. I hope this helps someone else.

    If anyone is interested in 4 brand new Michelin X-Ice 205/55R16 tires mounted and balanced on 2002 325i wheels (excellent condition), please let me know.

    If you have any ideas on how to replace these wheels inexpensively or machine them into fitting, please let me know also.

    If you are inclined to insult my intelligence, get in line behind my wife. Dang! :)

    373214 guest

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    The Rest of the Story

    Yet another wheel expert told me that the hub bore could not be the problem; the 3-series all have the same measurement. So I jacked the car up and tried the 16" 325i wheels myself. It's not the hub bore like the tire store told me. The smaller wheel won't clear the brake caliper.

    Maybe this'll help someone or maybe someone has an idea why Tire Rack recommended I switch from 17s to 16s on this model.
    • Member


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    Sorry about all your troubles on this! That is really frustrating. I just bought a set of steel wheels for my e30 for snow tires. Turns out there are for an e30 325ix!!! Lucky for me my brother has an ix and needs wheels for snow tires! :D

    I just checked www.realoem.com for your car and they do not list any 16 inch wheels for your car. Even the steel wheels listed are 17 inchs. Tire Rack should have know this, I am surprised that they recommended 16s, unless they have a 16 inch wheel that would fit.

    Here is the listing of wheels for your car.


    • Member


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    The Tire Rack site (doing a simple search for a 2002 330xi w/out run-flats - you might want to try it w/ any car-specific options you have) shows a snow tire package w/ the tire size you have and a 16" wheel.

    Tire Rack is usually pretty thorough on their fitment recommendations - However, doing a wheel search only for the same vehicle doesn't show any 16" options - but, that could be because their computer defaults to standard and plus sizing only for a normal wheel search, even though a minus-size fitment is possible.

    The set of wheels they showed was just under $400, a bit less than $100/wheel. Bavauto shows a BMW steel wheel for your car in 17" for $100 each. Unless Bavauto tells you they have 16" wheels that will fit your car (however it is optioned) for less than $100/whl, then I'd guess your best bet would be the Tire Rack winter alloys, if TR says they'll fit. Check on the return policy - since you wouldn't be getting tires, seeing if a wheel fits when you get it would be easy, and you should be able to check it w/out damaging the brand new wheel in any way if you're careful. Maybe not a good idea to to try and force it on a badly rusted hub, though, if that were the case.

    That might be more than you ideally wanted to spend on the wheels, but you may not have any other easily found options. Ebay showed 3 types of 16" oem alloys w/ the claim that they'll fit an E46 330xi, but all were priced over $400/set. I didn't check Craig's List or other sources - but once you get into individuals selling wheels, the knowledge level about hub diameter, offset, and bolt spacing might get kinda sketchy. Never hurts to look though, sometimes you might luck out.

    Then, you could try Ebay-ing the wrong size wheels you have, or Roundel classifieds, to get them sold and recoup some of the price difference.

    Otherwise, it looks like it's a 17" package - on the TR site, the least expensive 17" wheels start @ $105/whl (all 3 out of stock until Nov. 14, 18, or 28, approx.). And, as mentioned, apparently you could get steel wheels from Bavauto for $100/whl. Bavauto sells a snow package w/ the steelies and a Hakka tire.

    I suppose you could consider donating the 16" setup to your _local_ chapter and we could raffle them off at the annual Cincy/Dayton holiday party... of course, the problem w/ that is.... you just might win them back! ;)

    marvinstockman guest

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    What are you asking for the package. My son and the car are in Cleveland, and maybe you could meet 1/2 way. Please respond to me at: marvinstockman@gmail.com.

    Thanks and regards,

    Marvin Stockman

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