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      06-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
Converted1
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Advice needed: Wheel and RFT tire durability

First off, let me say that the community here is excellent. I've learned a lot about the 1 series thank to all the contributions made by the members. I've tried to also chime in on discussions where I could add knowledge.

So on to my situation. I picked up my 09 135i Msport MT Cabrio in September and have been loving it. I've only put on about 4k miles on it, of which 1500 was a road trip it S Carolina. I can honestly say I love car. Coming from my 2002 GTI 337 edition, this was a nice next choice. There has been one issue that is getting me concerned. Since January, I've had to replace the front tires 3 times due to pot hole damage. Twice they blew out and once it was a bad sidewall bubble. To make matters worse, last Friday on a beach trip, I hit not one, but 2 potholes on the meadowbrook parkway less an a 1/4mi apart. They were both under overpasses, and it was very bright out. The contrast made it impossible to distinguish potholes from regular roadjoints. The first one didn't trash a tire, but CRACKED a front rim. A 4" section along the bead lip cracked and lifted. As I was startled and trying to get over to exit, I went under another overpass and hit another pothole blowing out my right tire.

Let me preface this by saying that I have been driving 40 series tires on 18" BBS RC rims for over 10 years and 155K mi. and NEVER had a blowout, bubbled tire or trashed rim. I consider myself a cautious driver who knows how to avoid hazards which will damage a car. Lastly, I do all my own maintenence and repairs, so I would like to think I am in tune with making good automotive choices. Was this just a rash of bad luck or is there something else going on here? I was shaken by the incident, especially since my kids were in the car. I've actually called into question whether I want to keep the car.

Would you guys mind sharing some experiences or thoughts? Right now, I am thinking that this is a combination of a hard winter, low town road repair funding, substandard rim alloy strength (at least compared to BBS standards), RFT issues like being rigid and somewhat brittle, and lastly, tire aspect ratio.

I am open to some suggestions and or solutions such as non RFTs (god I'd love a set of PSSs) and aftermarket rims.

On a positive note, I'd like to share how well the car performed in light of a cracked rim and blowout. The car was very composed and I was easily able to get the car off the highway to safety with my family in it(did i mention that i am freaked out?) In fact, i was even able to drive it home after my kids got picked up.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I thought the situation was worth discussing in detail.

Ps, I happend to have a spare RE050A which I bought from a local 1 owner but I still need a front 261 if anyone happens to have one.

Thx,


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      06-26-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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Your experience is similar to many folks who have had cars with the "earlier" RFTs - bubbling was rampant and due to defective tires, from what I've read. Also, your temperature extremes and the road conditions you mention would support your experience with the wheels - they're not particularly soft, but also a lot less expensive and durable than BBS, which are pretty much the "standard" for higher-end aftermarket wheels.

It may be possible to re-manufacture your wheels, but it would be up to you whether or not you want to do that. You could also check with your insurer, but very likely your deductible would cover one of the wheels, and you'd have a claim on your record. It'd be worth having them looked at, but you may want to invest in another set of aftermarket wheels. I put Alufelgens on my wife's 128i convertible, and I've had very good luck with them. We don't have rough roads down this way, though, and being a native of New England, I know what the roads are like up there, especially after a hard winter and frost heaves, etc. I'd say it's just bad luck compounded by your location. Folks in the other heavy-snow/cold winter areas have had similar problems with potholes "eating" wheels.
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      06-26-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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      06-26-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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That is a stroke of bad luck w/ the tires and rim but a stroke of good luck since you all are safe.

After my first (and last) RFT failure I ditched them and have never looked back.

I bought the PSS and they transform the car IMHO. However they have a much softer sidewall and might in your case be not a good thing if you are constantly plagued w/ potholes.

Aftermarket rims are probably a good idea.

Regards,

.
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      06-26-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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I know you'll say that I'm an old fart for demanding the tires I have on my 128i convertible. I wouldn't have taken the car if it didn't have the standard 16" wheels and 205/55-16 tires. I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time for their preferences but I've always thought the huge 18 or 19" (or larger tires and wheels) don't look cool or modern or sporty. I think they just look ill proportioned on a car as small as the 1 series. Like a small good looking woman with 44 DDD breasts. 99% percent of the time if the 16" tires don't provide the absolute maximum grip, so what. I never worry about ruining a tire or rim, the combination of ride and handling is great and I think they're perfectly balanced for the sort of driving I do. I find it hard to sympathize with the problems that come with 35 or 40 series tires being chosen given the lousy conditions of so many roads all around the country.
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      06-26-2013, 11:34 PM   #6
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Most of the time why cars have 18" rims or larger are because of the size brake calipers. 17" rims won't clear the necessary space needed to clear those big ass calipers. Now granted the 1 series doesn't have that big of calipers for the brakes the stock 18" rims that come with it are overkill but that is how cars are these days. I personally wouldn't go any bigger than a 18" rim UNLESS it's required because the car has some monster front brake calipers......I like the stock 18" rims on the 1 series as it does look clean to me. 17" rims are ok too if the stockers came in that size.

Now back to the OP. The RFTs are garbage, especially the one's that came on the 1er. There are numerous threads on here about members replacing tire after tire because of hitting a pothole or bad road conditions. I changed mine out as soon as I had a chance, which was something around 2k or 3k miles after I bought my 135i. I've had 35 series tires on the 1er and 1 other with no issue's on rough roads. It's all about your driving habits and trying not to hit those rough spots in the roads. Sometimes it's not avoidable, which has happened to me quite a bit, but it's just the nature of the beast.

Ditch the stock RFTs and get some good non-RFTs and you'll be a happy camper.
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      06-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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The current issue of Road & Track (July 2013) has a very interesting short article titled "Point(s) of Contact" on page 103. It's all about tire and wheel size and contact patch. Well worth reading and I suspect it will be a surprise to many enthusiasts.

When I was younger and more foolish (well, younger anyway) I fiddled around and wasted a lot of money on larger tires and different wheel combinations on a bunch of cars. Never, I mean never, did the larger or wider tires give a better combination or handling or ride. They tended to screw up the steering feel, tramline on many roads, were awful in snow or wet. The standard tire sizes were always better. I know it's hard to believe but the engineers who designed and tested the car actually knew what they were doing.

I tried my best to convince myself that I hadn't wasted a lot of money for no real improvement but when I was honest with myself that wasn't true.

The very best tires I ever had were on a new 1968 BMW 2002, Michelin XaS. They were 165-13's.
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      06-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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The engineers may know what they're doing, but, unless the purpose of the car from day 1 is maximum performance, the engineers idea about the best wheel is not what determines what goes on the car. No BMW engineer is going to tell you that runcraps are the best tire, but that's what BMW sticks on the 135i and 128i. By the same token, why does the 1M have larger wheels and non-runcraps?
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      06-27-2013, 01:39 PM   #9
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I don't think any M car has had run flats. That says a lot about what BMW thinks about performance.

My car handles and rides noticably better on Michelin PSS. We have few potholes here in SC but I wore my run flats out and then put the Michelins on the stock wheels.

I have that Road and Track (I bought it for the article on the kit car). I need to look at it closer but I don't think it is factual. They argue that a larger tire gives you more contact area but not a wider tire. That doesn't seem right to me but I haven't finished thinking about it.

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      06-27-2013, 02:18 PM   #10
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I love driving this car in NYC..it’s a sexy car for a sexy city….with shit roads.
Do you know how they fix pot holes in nyc? They lay down a 2in slab of steel on it and call it a day.
Which is great if you are say a war zone…not so good for a city. Anyhow the first spring I had this car while driving to meet friends my 135i and it’s 18’s and runshits met one of these slabs…ever hear the song double rainbow? Well it was double bubble…which sucks! Though not as bad as your cracked rim.
So I hit the local NYC tire shop and the guy gave me two options. Runshits for $300 each….OUCH or Hankook K110 Ventus V12 evo’s $300 for both.
It was a no brainer!
Let me tell you before those tires went on my little 135i I was within hours of selling her or trading her in for a VW GTI. After I got those put on the fronts not only was the car more responsive but I felt more in control. Best explanation I gave my service tech was this “Driving around on runflats was like running the 100m dash in business shoes….it can be done…but you won’t like it.”
Now my rears are going due to miles and guess what I’m getting for the back two?
I’ll give you a hint…not funflats.

But that said…gosh darn it these front tires do need more side wall……they are just way too thin for American roads.
Has anyone tired going to a thicker tire? On their stock 18’s?
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      06-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
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What about F1 guys? Didn't they up the front tire size and started going faster around the track? Hmmm.....interesting.....

But there is a point when wider tires are excessive. Its always a battle trying to find that perfect combination of tires for the right amount of grip and traction without making the car under/oversteer or break loose in the rear.

I haven't seen any threads with people going bigger than a 40 or 45 tire.
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      06-27-2013, 04:12 PM   #12
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I know I'm in the minority but I love runflats on the 1er, the car just handles better and the steering is sharper than with non-runflats.
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      06-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #13
Converted1
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Everyone, thank for chiming in. Lots of great input. Having 3 sets of of pilot sports on my 337, I can attest to their awesome reputation. I think it's telling that I also never bubbled one of them.

Ok, I should probably switch to the PSSs. I'm just bummed that it will put a damper on using this car for family road trips with luggage. I wouldn't go without a spare, and cant fit luggage with one in the trunk. The mobility kit doesn't really suffice, and yes I know that's all the M cars come with.

Did I mention that the 1400mi trip to Myrtle Beach was AWESOME in this car? Great grand touring car (with the exception of the 300mi range).
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      06-28-2013, 03:28 PM   #14
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I'm still biased on the whole, I don't like having a spare or RFT or something to fix the tire incase I get a flat thing. I've done mutiple trips from WA to GA/NC and GA to WA. Once with a 02 WS6, 10 Camry (me, the wife, 2 dogs and luggage in the back) and once with a 06 GTO that was pulling my 07 R1 on a trailer. The other 3 or so times were with a loaded Uhaul truck that had a car trailer pulling a vehicle. I never had a flat nor would I be afraid of doing so since there are so many tire places nowadays. Heck, even Les Schwab comes to you to fix your tire!

I don't know but I could care less if I had RFTs, a spare or a mobility kit when I can make a phone call to get tow or tire plugged.

Now that I posted this.....I'll start getting flats.
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      07-12-2013, 04:53 PM   #15
Converted1
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Still no luck finding a used 261m wheel. Might order a new one. Has anyone ordered one from any of the rim remanufacturing shop and been happy?
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      10-30-2013, 04:04 PM   #16
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I thought based on the amount of views this thread got that I should post a follow up.

It took a long time to make a decision, but suddenly I had a moment of clarity with it all. I do not love the harsh ride and tendency to bubble\blow out on impact. However the car is safest (it's a Cabrio and I regularly have 2 kids and a wife in it) with the RFTs on it.

I've done a TON of reading about this issue. Seems like there are a few factors at play:

-Roads are in dismal shape from a rough winter and low budgets
-the factory M wheels are a brittle weak casting
-the runflats are harsh and brittle as well
-the front rim width and 215 tire size is narrow making it susceptible to damage

I thought for sure I was going to a CSL rep and PSS set up, however I changed my mind. The primary reason the RTFs are put on the car is predictability in the event of a blowout. Even with a cracked rim and blown tire, the car behaved flawlessly. I'm not convinced that non-RTFs in the factory size will fare any better dealing with potholes. I feel more comfortable knowing that I have a better chance getting the car off the road safely with the RTFs. If I wasn't using the car the way I am, I might have gone with the pilots sports for driveabilith alone. I had them on my 337 and loved them.

If I had a coupe, I would have definitely gone with the CSL/PSS combo in stock size.

I hope this thread is helpful to someone else thinking the same things.
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