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View Poll Results: Ideal E9x track tire/wheel setup: square vs staggered?
Square (same size tires front and back) 9 25.00%
Staggered (wider tires at the rear) like stock 21 58.33%
don't know / don't care / you tell me 6 16.67%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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      12-08-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
masmole
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Those who have tracked or plan to track their M3...

Based on how the car has behaved for you at the track or based on how you feel the car behaves in general despite your current track experience (or lack thereof), what are your thoughts on optimal tire setup? Square or Staggered?

A lot of E46 M3ers favored the square setup for driving near the limit on track but since the E9x is even more balanced in stock form, is a square setup really the way to go?

I understand that the Turner motorsports E90 M3 runs a square setup with 275s all around but after watching the in-car videos of that car getting a good flogging, it seemed to me that it had a stronger tendency for oversteer based on all the frequent opposite lock that had to be dialed -in by the driver in the corners. Granted, the driver was very highly skilled and was driving the wheels off that car, but that was my impression.

I ask because I'm torn between going square vs staggered when deciding on what wheels to order for a track set up, and although I will be using R-compound tires with a high-torque brake pad compound, I have no plans to use camber plates since this is a daily driver first foremost. I would consider myself an intermediate to advanced driver with about 30+ track events in my resume over the past 8 years (about 4-5 weekend events a year). There's only so much I can learn from driving the car on public roads without having driven it on track, and I would appreciate comments especially from those who already had track time with the E9x M3.

All feedback welcome and to make it interesting, how about we make this a poll....
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Last edited by masmole; 12-08-2008 at 04:48 PM.
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      12-08-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
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i have track time in both dry and wet track...

staggered setup is Definably needed.. i was on stock 18s with stock tires..

the car had great balance in high speed corners.. and slight power OS in low speed...

a square setup would be a drift fest = losses of time..
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      12-08-2008, 08:42 PM   #3
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Disagree, while power-on oversteer is a factor in slow speed (2nd gear) corners, it is easily controllable. Oversteer is not a factor in 3rd gear or above. The advantage of being able to swap track tires front to back will greatly increase their longevity. The balance issue very minor and insignificant.

If you're concerned about oversteer, run with MDM on for a few sessions, and you'll most notice there won't be any oversteer problems. Then you can turn it off if you so desire.
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      12-09-2008, 02:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierman64 View Post
Disagree, while power-on oversteer is a factor in slow speed (2nd gear) corners, it is easily controllable. Oversteer is not a factor in 3rd gear or above. The advantage of being able to swap track tires front to back will greatly increase their longevity. The balance issue very minor and insignificant.
exactly..... running a staggered with a perfect balance will cause tires to wear evenly.... therefor you want have to swap!!

staggered is the way to go....
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      12-09-2008, 05:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGLEH View Post
exactly..... running a staggered with a perfect balance will cause tires to wear evenly.... therefor you want have to swap!!

staggered is the way to go....
I don't think you quite understand, it depends on how turn intensive the track you're at is as well. For example a track with 8 right turns and 3 left turn corners your tires will definitely wear differently side to side
With a square setup with proper corner balance etc, you can swap the tires front back side to side so they all wear evenly
Staggered will definitely wear unevenly and be affected more than normal. YOur expensive R comps will thank you
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      12-09-2008, 07:09 AM   #6
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I've tracked my M3 and the ones before as well. My current E90 has the 19"wheels and I think the 'square' system should do the job because there is 'a lot' of initial understeer in my current setup(235front 19-265rear 19) so íd go for the AC Schnitzer ACS3 wheel/tyre setup: 265/19 in the front and in the rear, The ACS 3 with that setup (265 front and rear)AND different suspension/brakes was almost 2(!!!) seconds FASTER on HOCKENHEIM Kurz(sportauto test lot of slow bends)than the Pilot Cup equipped 19" stock E92 M3(235 front/265 rear) which had already a phenomenal 1:14.6. The ASC3 did a lap in 1:12.7.

So I'd go for the square setup to get rid of the bloody understeer

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      12-09-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGLEH View Post
exactly..... running a staggered with a perfect balance will cause tires to wear evenly.... therefor you want have to swap!!

staggered is the way to go....
A staggered setup will almost always wear the rear tires at a faster rate than the front. The tires will not wear evenly, you'll probably go through rear tires at about twice the rate of fronts. 414hp is not friendly to rear tires.
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      12-09-2008, 07:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierman64 View Post
A staggered setup will almost always wear the rear tires at a faster rate than the front. The tires will not wear evenly, you'll probably go through rear tires at about twice the rate of fronts. 414hp is not friendly to rear tires.
I second that LOL, with about 4000miles run and one trackday my reartyres are ready to be changed already

The fronttyres are still 75%...
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      12-09-2008, 09:30 AM   #9
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I personaly will go with a staggered setup but I will move up in sizing from what I previously run.I ran 1 dry trackday on 18's with 255 & 265 Toyo R888's on 8.5 & 9.5's and I found the car to be quite loose on power even in 3rd & 4th gear corners.I found the front end turned in quite well even with stock alignment specs but the tires had heavy wear on the outside due to the lack of negative camber.I never run with any of the traction control systems on as I find they impede the speed & control too much for my liking in the dry or wet.
The other day was in the wet on the stock 19" setup with the PS 2's and car was better balanced in the wet than it was in the dry on my track setup and I am still amazed at how much grip the Michelins provided.The car still slid but stayed very close to neutral with big time oversteer being proved at will with the throttle(but that is fun!).It was very easy to drive fast compared to the other reasonably hi powered rear wheel drive cars that I driven in the wet.
The big disadvantage with a non staggered setup is that you are limited in being able to rotate the tires to maximize the wear,but flipping the tires on the front rims will help maximize the tire life.
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      12-09-2008, 05:39 PM   #10
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yea.. i was def being sarcastic.. obviously a square setup will help with tire ware....

but a well balanced staggered will be faster.... you cant argue that... theres just simply more tire... more grip....
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      12-09-2008, 06:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KINGLEH View Post
yea.. i was def being sarcastic.. obviously a square setup will help with tire ware....

but a well balanced staggered will be faster.... you cant argue that... theres just simply more tire... more grip....
Yes but my intent is to go to a square setup only by getting more tire up front, not taking anything away from the rear.

I have a hard time believing that a staggered setup (255 front / 275 rear) has ultimately more mechanical grip than a square setup (275 front / 275 rear) simply because it has marginally better balance.

Also, unless you go beyond what the stock suspension affords via camber plates, I don't think going from a 255 to 275 up front is going to introduce that much more oversteer to make a lot of difference. I do believe that going from a 255 to 275 up front affords better braking assuming you have the right brake pad compound and race tires, which will more than negate what ever balance compromises a square setup might introduce (if any at all) over the course of a lap.

Turner motorsports seems to favor the square setup on their E90 M3. I almost want to trust them, although I always keep an open mind, which is why I started this thread.

Keep 'em coming folks.... I'd love to hear more opinions on this.
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