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wheels for my e30

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by ricco39, Jan 4, 2009.

    ricco39 guest

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    i am planning on taking the front and rear axle from a 318ti and putting them on my e30 but if this doesnt work out will stay stock. i am looking for websites besides tire rack that has a good selection of 16 17 and 18 inch wheels. any info will be greatly appreciated by this newbie
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    az3579

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    Methinks 17 and 18" are way too big for an E30, but that's my take on it. ;)

    I haven't really found any sites that offers wheels worth buying, unless you're into chrome and really weird designs. I looked on eBay and found some neat Alpina-style wheels, though not actual Alpinas, in 16's for about 499 for 4 of them. This was a while back, and checking now, aren't available anymore.

    But, if you're looking for 5-lug, there are some pretty cool OEM wheels available. Are you looking for OEM wheels or aftermarket?
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    mooseheadm5

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    17s and 18s are way too big for an E30. In fact, most racers don't use 17s due to the weight.
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    MGarrison

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    There's lots of sources for wheels, but the perennial question is, how good are they? This is not to suggest the Tire Rack as the only or best source by any means, but the Tire Rack is very thorough in their evaluation of wheels and what they're willing to sell. Plus being very thorough in determining proper fitment. You can be reasonably confident that whatever Tire Rack offers will offer a problem-free fit if installed as recommended. The other big mail order place I think is Discount Tire Direct, which I think advertises in the Roundel, as well as most car magazines. I'd think you'd find a lot of sources by googling 'BMW Wheels', or something like that.

    It seems that you are considering swapping out suspensions for no other reason than hoping to have a wider selection of larger diameter wheels available. Before going to that great deal of expense and hassle, you might make sure you know what wheels you want, to know if it's worth the swap.

    Unless you're making a show-only car, or installing a large-brakes kit, there's little practical reason to try and stuff large wheels on an E30. Larger wheels are heavier, placing a toll on suspension performance. You'll lose off-the-line performance, as larger dia. wheels have the same effect as going to a numerically higher differential gear ratio, plus the additional weight. You might get a tweensy improvement in mpg., but I wouldn't expect it to be all that much. If you drive over lots of high speed bumps or driveway approaches, perhaps having the car sit higher could be an advantage, but that's about it. Larger dia. wheels raise the car's center of gravity, which won't help handling performance. Chrome wheels don't do anything for performance, they just increase unsprung weight with no performance benefit. You can only fit so wide a tire on an E30 (without having to start cutting & welding stuff); if you're thinking you'll get more lateral g's out of 17" or 18" wheels, you won't, as you'll have to use a lesser width tire than you could for 15" or 16" wheels.

    Point being - make sure you know all the pluses & minuses of what you want & why you want it, before starting to commit money into the project.
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    mooseheadm5

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    I covered all the suspension swap stuff pretty thoroughly in this thread:
    http://bmwcca.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4070
    which is where this discussion should have continued.
    Anyhow, larger diameter wheels only change gearing and ride height if you don't use the correct tire size. I have 15s on my E30 which are great, and 16s are about as large I would run on any street (or track, even Z31maniac's personal preferences notwithstanding.)
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    MGarrison

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    Ya, true - I forget that some people might actually care about maintaining speedometer accuracy vs. stuffing on the widest, lowest profile tires that will fit without regard to the speedo reading. :D

    As for myself, I never find the difference to be big enough to worry about.

    z31maniac guest

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    Everything you have said is true.

    But like I mentioned in another thread, with the exception of R-comps, there aren't really any sticky tires wider than 225 available until you get to a 17" wheel.

    Since I will be in STX or DSP street tire class you can put up to a 245/40/17 on an E30 without cutting/welding.

    17 x 8 ET 25 (may need a 3mm spacer depending on individual tire) with a fender roll will fit 245/40/17 on an E30.
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    mooseheadm5

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    But Z31maniac has an actually good reason to do it, and is well aware of the downsides.

    ecvchamp guest

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    I run 17" wheels with 205 45r 17. and I drive 80 miles round trip a day for work. the overall diameter is the same as stock so no chang on my speedo. I bought them from a place called eurostop in Northridge, CA
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    MGarrison

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    Sure, but I was responding to Ricco39, self-proclaimed BMW newbie who said he would greatly appreciate any info, and has not, in his 4 initial posts thus far, mentioned any additional reasons for wanting to make a 5-lug conversion beyond just having a wider selection of wheels available to him.

    It appears that Z31maniac has already reasoned through his wheel & tire size choices to fulfill a very specific criteria.

    ricco39 guest

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    e30 wheels

    wow thanks for all the info on wheels for my e30. yes i was looking for the 5 lug to have more options on wheels but the bigger tires i assume would give me more grip for street racing and give a great look but maybe going with 16 might give me a better ride. i have a friend who's got 16's on his his 87 e30 and tells me they do they job so maybe i will slow down and take all info in and make a decision but am still leaning to 17's maybe not 18's. thanks all please continue to emlighten me. i appreciate it
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    az3579

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    Do you have to spend any money on the 318ti axles? If you have to start buying stuff from scratch just for the 5-lug, I would say save your money. You can get 16 and 17" wheels in 4-lug easy. There aren't too many to choose from, but there's a decent selection.


    If you already have the axles and are willing to do the work yourself, then I don't see what's stopping you. :)

    I would get 5-lug if it wasn't so expensive, but it is and I'm not at the point where I need bigger brakes, so it just isn't cost effective.
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    mooseheadm5

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    As I covered in the other post, it is not cheap to do the 5 lug conversion, and rarely worth it. You need more than just the 318ti stuff.

    z31maniac guest

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    If you wanted to run 18s, which is TOO BIG for an E30 (it's looks ridiculous, but I guess some think that about 17s), the only way to get away with it is for super rubber band tires.

    18 x 7.5 or 8 with a 225/35/18.

    Oh and most here would probably strongly suggest against "street racing." Take it to the track.

    ricco39 guest

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    e30 wheels

    thanks for info all i have heard and will listen being new to the bmw world. will put up some pics when i can. and street racing is out. thanks all

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