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Wheel size technical info

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by bswihart, Nov 13, 2010.

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    I am looking to install 2007 328i wheels on a 1989 E34 (535i). Bolt pattern and the tire sizes are not a problem but want to make sure of the offset.

    Is there a resource I can review to ensure the wheel/tire combo will work? I can not find any data on the 328 wheel, other than dia, bolt pattern
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    You didn't mention the wheel size, but you may run into another issue.

    Back in 1989, BMW didn't officially support wheel sizes larger than 17 inches on the E32 and E34. According to TireRack.com, the 2007 328i wheel sizes started at 18 inches. 18 inch wheels are literally the bleeding edge of what will fit inside those 80's style wheelwells.

    You're also going to have to go with a Plus One or Plus Two wheel sizing formula to keep from having a way off speedometer. On an 18 inch wheel, that's going to mean getting down to a 30 or 35 profile tires to have the same overall diameter as the original wheels on the E34. Those ultra-low profile tires are going to have extremely short sidewalls, and a rockhard ride as a result.

    Although you can purchase hubcentric spacers to widen the track between the right and left wheels, that may not going to prevent the top edge of the tires from potentially hitting suspension components, or interfering with front end components on the E34.

    Also, an 18 inch wheel is going to weigh a lot more than anything originally produced for the E34, since the E34 wasn't originally designed to handle such a large wheel. Shocks and brakes may wear more rapidly as a result of such a large wheel.

    Back in 1989, the only vehicles wearing wheels larger than 17 inches were Formula 1 race cars, four wheel drive vehicles, and buses. An E34 is none of those.

    Do what you want, but those 18 inch wheels may wind up costing you a lot more than just the tires on that E34.

    Just my $.02
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    Thanks for the feedback. I also checked TR and saw the 17/18 inch suggestions. The BMW wheel site I checked shows the model 156 at 16 inches so this may not be too big a problem. I agree that if I needed to go to anything below a series 45, I would not do it. I have seen larger wheels on E34s but have not talked to anyone who has this set up. Perhaps I will check the E34 forum too.
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    You'll be better off logging in over at www.MyE28.com where many of the members also have E34s with bigger wheels & tires. Since an 18" wheel will generally fit under an E28 (not that it's a good idea, but that's another issue), it will more easily fit under an E34. The 3.5 is probably enough engine to handle it - barely. While I consider a 17" wheel too big for an E28, I don't necessarily think an 18" is categorically too large for an E34.
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    Just for reference, they started at 16" in US spec.
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    Did you look on ebay to see if someone's selling the wheels your interested in and have detailed pics? You might find a detailed enough picture of the backside of the wheel showing the offset stamping, &/or bolt-spacing &/or size. Does Bavauto show any detailed wheel specs?

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