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      08-26-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
samael
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Tire/Wheel combos and seasonal changes

So I've followed at least some of the threads and sort of understand some of the choices, but I wanted to clarify some things.

The OEM tires and wheels for the 135i are 245/35R18 rear and 215/40R18 front, with 18x8.5 wheels rear and 18x7.5 front. My vehicle (used) came with 4 tires (Dunlop Winter Sport 3D) of the same size - 225/40R18. I take it this is no problem to mount these size tires on the different sized rims, especially considering that seems to be the setup I already have?

I assume the performance would be better in most non-snowy road conditions with some 245/35's in rear?

Anyway....I'm looking for the standard advice about summer/winter tires. My situation is that yes, I have another vehicle (4WD 4Runner) that can be used as a much better alternative in the worst weather, but I'd still like for the 135i to handle light to modest snow on the roads. I also care about having decent performance on dry roads.

In an ideal world I'd like something that I didn't have to swap twice a year (good all-season?) but I'm not totally opposed to swapping either. I've heard that having an extra set of wheels with the different tires mounted on each is easier than having the same set of rims and swapping just the tires. Is this true? If so is there a good source for not-too-expensive wheels? I like the OEM ones fine, except for their penchant for picking up brake dust very quickly.

Looks like from the installer page on TireRack that mounting and balancing tires would be a bit over $100 twice a year, if keeping the same rims. Hmmm. What would this be for just swapping the wheels with tires already there?

I'm also okay with getting chains to keep in the vehicle for winter for handling some of the worst situations that I'm otherwise trying to avoid. Any advice on these? I think the owner's manual says to use fine-link or something.

Thanks all.
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      08-26-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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If you're keeping the car long enough, it might be cheaper to buy winter wheels. You can get 18x8" wheels to fit your car from Tire Rack. Here's a thread on swapping the wheels yourself. http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=367142

If you don't want to swap the wheels yourself, or if you want to put the winter tires on your stock wheels, you can easily fit all four wheels or tires in your car if you fold the rear seat down.
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      08-26-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
samael
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Thanks. Yeah, I had the vehicle the 135i replaced for almost 13 years so I will probably have this for a while.

I already have the 225/40 winter tires, slightly used, but it seems it would make more sense to mount those on 4 identically sized 18x8 rims, which I don't have yet. So what I'd need is the summer tires 215/40 front and 245/35 rear to go on the OEM rims I already have.

TireRack's wheel selection looks great but it's only giving me one matched pair of tires (The Pirelli winter tires) when I asked for a matched pair. If I start over specifying the tire sizes looks like it gives me a bit more.

Now the TPMS which is noted with all the wheels, is that installed in the wheel only where you can switch/add tires later, or do you need a wheel/tire combo to install it?

Thanks....
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      08-26-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samael View Post
Thanks. Yeah, I had the vehicle the 135i replaced for almost 13 years so I will probably have this for a while.

I already have the 225/40 winter tires, slightly used, but it seems it would make more sense to mount those on 4 identically sized 18x8 rims, which I don't have yet. So what I'd need is the summer tires 215/40 front and 245/35 rear to go on the OEM rims I already have.

TireRack's wheel selection looks great but it's only giving me one matched pair of tires (The Pirelli winter tires) when I asked for a matched pair. If I start over specifying the tire sizes looks like it gives me a bit more.

Now the TPMS which is noted with all the wheels, is that installed in the wheel only where you can switch/add tires later, or do you need a wheel/tire combo to install it?

Thanks....
depending on what the recommended rim size is for the dunlops is on 18x8.5 and 18x7.5 you MIGHT be able to stretch them in the back to fit on your OEM rims. I did that with my old 3 series without any problem and it worked well because of the heavy OEM wheel weight too. I plan on using my OEM rims with a square set up again too.

I wouldn't stagger your tires for winter, square set will give you better results in the snow as more weight on less surface area will give you better traction in snow and wet (more surface area will give you better traction on dry).

let me look at what tire rack says for the dunlops and I'll confirm the stretching.
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      08-26-2010, 09:44 PM   #5
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ok tire rack says rim width range for the dunlop winter 3d's is 7.5-9" so you can fit those on the OEM staggered rims and it will work just fine. I would recommend this highly even if you don't plan on driving the car in deep snow because you'll get more of a neutral balance in steering and better light snow traction.
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      08-26-2010, 10:23 PM   #6
samael
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Actually the 225/40 Dunlops are already on my OEM rims, on the vehicle, which is the only tire/wheel combo I currently have in my possession. Even though I purchased the vehicle in July, it came shod with the winter tires. Looking more closely I can definitely see that the front sidewalls are more vertical than the rears, showing the difference in wheel width on identically sized tires.

Which is why I was thinking it would make more sense to move the Dunlops to a new set of 4 identical 18x8 rims and put a new set of staggered summer tires on the OEM rims. Which also means ordering the tires and rims separately (or at least not having the tires mounted on the new rims, considering they'll go on the existing OEM ones). It's a bit of swapping between tires and rims at the outset but that seems to make the most sense to me in the long run.

I'm not in a hurry to put summer tires back on at this point as we could very well see snow in a month here, but I'd like to at least have this situation ready to rectify come spring.

Last edited by samael; 08-26-2010 at 10:25 PM. Reason: clarification
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      08-26-2010, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samael View Post
Actually the 225/40 Dunlops are already on my OEM rims, on the vehicle, which is the only tire/wheel combo I currently have in my possession. Even though I purchased the vehicle in July, it came shod with the winter tires. Looking more closely I can definitely see that the front sidewalls are more vertical than the rears, showing the difference in wheel width on identically sized tires.

Which is why I was thinking it would make more sense to move the Dunlops to a new set of 4 identical 18x8 rims and put a new set of staggered summer tires on the OEM rims. Which also means ordering the tires and rims separately (or at least not having the tires mounted on the new rims, considering they'll go on the existing OEM ones). It's a bit of swapping between tires and rims at the outset but that seems to make the most sense to me in the long run.

I'm not in a hurry to put summer tires back on at this point as we could very well see snow in a month here, but I'd like to at least have this situation ready to rectify come spring.
I don't think you need to change anything and if you want 2 sets, you can consider a dedicated summer setup if you want one. By all means, it you like your OEM's as summer rims then go for that and get the squared 18x7.5 or 18x8 rims for winter like you said but if you wanted new summer rims the OEM's are more than capable of working for your winter setup. If you want new tires too then go for it but I'd stick with that sizing set up as it has worked well for most of us in the past for winters. The staggering will do more to hurt you than help when it comes to winter driving so just keep that in mind.

I would also probably say don't overestimate the weather. I am the same way, I always feel like it's gonna snow in October, yet year after year it is more like mid December. I've gone 3 years in a row ending up changing my tires in October yet not ACTUALLY needing them till about Thanksgiving weekend or Dec 1st. Right now, you're basically wearing out your winters 3x as fast riding on them in these temps so you the smart thing would be get some summers or A/S's on there pronto and then change them back to winters around in a few months (unless it gets super cold sooner).
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      08-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #8
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I don't know why people spend money on cheap winter wheels that look like hell instead of using the OEMs for winter and spending a bit more to get nice, wider, lighter summer wheels that make the car look better and perform better. Of course, if you do both and keep the OEMs as spares, there's nothing wrong with that.
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      08-27-2010, 04:33 PM   #9
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Samael,

Give me a call. I'd be happy to walk you through all of your options.
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      08-27-2010, 06:18 PM   #10
samael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxnix View Post
You might be in a hurry to get new winter tires this fall as running a winter tire 50 mph in 70 F pretty much vulcanizes it and destroys its winter rubber properties. Be careful and do some research!
One problem I have here is that I don't know how much these existing winter tires were run, and in what conditions, before I got the vehicle.

Besides, it's been in the 90's around here lately.
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      08-27-2010, 06:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ptack View Post
I don't know why people spend money on cheap winter wheels that look like hell instead of using the OEMs for winter and spending a bit more to get nice, wider, lighter summer wheels that make the car look better and perform better. Of course, if you do both and keep the OEMs as spares, there's nothing wrong with that.
What's a good weight for the wheels? Any idea what the OEM's weigh?

Perusing through what's available, I like the simple, machined or chrome 5 spoke designs. Not looking for something flashy or that stands out more than the OEM's do. A lot of those 5 spokes aren't that expensive. But, some of them seem to be on the heavier side. A couple of ones I like show weights of 23 and 26 lbs.
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      08-27-2010, 09:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samael View Post
One problem I have here is that I don't know how much these existing winter tires were run, and in what conditions, before I got the vehicle.

Besides, it's been in the 90's around here lately.
check your tread depth on them, that will tell you all you need to know. you dont wanna go any lower than 3/32nds on a tire cuz then you'll need to replace um. I'd say as long as u have 5-6/32nds left you'll be good for at least 1 more winter season.
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      09-01-2010, 05:30 PM   #13
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OEM BMW wheels are notoriously heavy. Some are in the 23-29 lb range. Add run flat tires that weigh 26lbs and you are at over 50lbs a corner of unsprung weight.

The lightest wheels you can afford that are still strong enough to use with the car are going to be best. My Elise rims weigh about 14lbs each, I had MINI wheels that were only 12lbs each. I think Breyton and OZ make some lightweight rims in the 16lb range. BBS has beautiful forged rims under 20lbs as well, some are only about 12-14lbs.

The less weight you have at each corner, the faster the car will accelerate and the nicer the steering will feel. It makes a huge difference! My MINI with 12lb rims was a dream compared to the stock 26lb multi piece wheels it came with. Steering was like night and day.

Keep in mind, you have a car that weighs over 3000 lbs, so you need to factor that when selecting lightweight wheels. Also consider where you will drive, are the roads generally smooth or very rough and full of potholes? Here in DC, it is easy to trash wheels just driving, which is why most BMWs come with very heavy duty rims.

Good luck whatever you decide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samael View Post
What's a good weight for the wheels? Any idea what the OEM's weigh?

Perusing through what's available, I like the simple, machined or chrome 5 spoke designs. Not looking for something flashy or that stands out more than the OEM's do. A lot of those 5 spokes aren't that expensive. But, some of them seem to be on the heavier side. A couple of ones I like show weights of 23 and 26 lbs.
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