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      12-03-2010, 04:51 PM   #265
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Just ordered 4 pirelli winter 245/40/18 for my winter setup. Thanks guys. Feel free to just randomly throw in 4 free tpms if you want!!!
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      12-05-2010, 12:19 PM   #266
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Question 18" setup rides low

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
BMW Recommended winter setup is 235/40R18 with 18x8 wheels all around…

...If you want a staggered setup, use 255/40R18 for the Rear. The only snow tire in 265/40 is a Pirelli that will not be here until late October/early November. A little narrower will help in snow anyway. Front can be 245 or 235/40R18.
I have the 235/40R18 and 255/40R18 on my E92 (Dunlop Wintersport 3Ds), and it is riding what seems like an inch or more lower, and my speedometer, pretty close on the ZCP wheels & Conti tires, is now 4mph off at 65mph.

If one were to believe that actually lowering the car for winter is probably non-ideal, how would one adjust this package to get back to decent clearance for winter?
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      12-05-2010, 12:42 PM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
I have the 235/40R18 and 255/40R18 on my E92 (Dunlop Wintersport 3Ds), and it is riding what seems like an inch or more lower, and my speedometer, pretty close on the ZCP wheels & Conti tires, is now 4mph off at 65mph.

If one were to believe that actually lowering the car for winter is probably non-ideal, how would one adjust this package to get back to decent clearance for winter?
If all you changed were the width of the tires, the car should only sit 0.3" lower. A 245/40-18 tire (stock for the M3) is only 0.3" taller than the 235/40-18. If the car is riding 1" lower, something else is going on. Also, the speedo should only be out 0.7 mph at 60.

See this link for the calculation... http://www.rimsntires.com/rt_specs.jsp

I think going 235 front and 255 rear will only have a nominal difference on ride height and on the speedo. I went 245/40 all around, myself. This kept the front at stock height and the rear slightly off. Seems fine so far.
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      12-05-2010, 12:52 PM   #268
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The ZCP wheels are 19". Tires are 245? & 265. So to summarize:

Front: 19" 245 -> 18" 235
Rear: 19" 265 -> 18" 255
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Last edited by llis; 12-05-2010 at 12:53 PM. Reason: clarity
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      12-05-2010, 12:56 PM   #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
The ZCP wheels are 19". Tires are 245? & 265.
True but 245/40-18 tires and 245/35-19 tires are the exact same height. That's why the 18" option on M3s is 245/40 and 265/40 and the 19" option is 245/35 and 265/35. Whether yoiu go 18" or 19", the height of the rims/tires is the same.

Either way, if you are running 235 front (18" or 19") and 255 rear (18" or 19") you should only be off around 0.3" to 0.4" in height over stock. If yours dropped more than that, I would get the car checked out.
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      12-05-2010, 03:04 PM   #270
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235/255 is the Tire Rack recommendation for snows. This is the big frustration. The *only* reason I went with 18s was because of the perception that 19s won't be able to handle road hazards as well. But I suspect this 18" setup has no more protection. Are there no higher profile tires without going so wide they're essentially worthless on snow?
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      12-05-2010, 06:31 PM   #271
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The 18" setup does have more sidewall and so should indeed offer a bit more cushioning from bumps, ice chunks, potholes, etc.

I didn't understand the question at the end of your paragraph. Are you asking whether or not there are 18" snow tires with more sidewall? If so - then yes, there are, and probably in whatever width you want. But I agree with what gthal has said above. The tires you have are only slightly small in diameter than the 19" OEM summer setup you have. Certainly the difference is not enough to cause a noticeable decrease in ride height. Remember, the second dimension in the tire size - the "35" or "40 in this case - is an aspect ratio. It's not a measurement itself, but is instead a percentage of the width of the tire. When you do the math you'll see the your winter tires are just the right size.

If your car feels different, its probably just because the of the differences in the winter setup. I have an OEM-sized 18" setup on mine, and I run OEM 18" in the summer as well. Even though the tires are identical in size, and in fact they are from the exact same manufacture (Michelin PS2 and Michelin PA2), the car still feels very different with the different setups installed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llis View Post
235/255 is the Tire Rack recommendation for snows. This is the big frustration. The *only* reason I went with 18s was because of the perception that 19s won't be able to handle road hazards as well. But I suspect this 18" setup has no more protection. Are there no higher profile tires without going so wide they're essentially worthless on snow?
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      12-05-2010, 07:50 PM   #272
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I don't know how much lower it is now, but I do have to be careful on driveways, whereas before while never reckless I didn't really give it a thought.
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      12-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra_Ra View Post
So what if I just switched tires each season on the OEM 19s? Seems uncommon so what are the pitfalls? I know the tires are bigger, wider etc and I'm aware of the general tradeoffs. I'm going with performance snow tires rather than the full deal.

Most my driving is inside the city of Chicago. Limited distances and well-maintained roads, but its cold and snows frequently. Parallel parking is a necessity and snow accumulates in parking spaces despite plowing.

What should I expect for the maintenance costs of mount/dismount each season? Advantages seem that I avoid purchasing winter wheels & get good looking (19") forged wheels year round. I'd probably buy non-forged, 18" vmr v710s otherwise.

What you propose is certainly possible. You asked about the possible pitfalls, so there they are:

1) Fatigue/damage of tire sidewalls. The tires have to be mounted/dismounted twice per year. This can weaken the beads and sidewalls. It also gives more chances to have some type if damage, for example a nick in the bead.

2) Your nice wheels see all the general nastiness of winter. They're forged, they're high-quality, but winter salt/slush/ice/potholes etc will take their toll eventually.

3) You need professional assistance to change over. The ability to do my own switch saved my bacon at least once. Expect to pay somewhere between $60 and $120 depending on where you take them for the swap.

4) Fewer snow tire choices in 19".


So there are downsides, but for someone who does not plan to own the car long enough for the cost of wheels to be offset by the savings on labor it is an option.
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      12-10-2010, 03:29 PM   #274
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just installed the Dunlop 3d on my car, can't drive hard on corner now......
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      12-12-2010, 02:40 PM   #275
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Let them break in. The mold release agents are still coating the rubber. I don't have any issues with my 3Ds, even at speeds that would get you arrested and your car crushed in the U.S.
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      12-16-2010, 04:40 PM   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
Another good question from a PM:

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 996
Ben,

What size Blizzak LM 25's would I use on the stock 19 inch wheels?
255/35R19 and 265/35R19 are the best sizes for the LM25 on stock 19's. Current prices as of 10/3 are $272 and $277. The 255's do fit all four wheels, although staggered wheels with same-size tires always look a little funny.
How about 255/40R19 and 265/40R19 for better floor clearance???
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      12-17-2010, 12:31 PM   #277
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I'd like to get some winter tires for my E90 ZCP 19" wheels (not looking for a wheel package at this point).

Given that constraint, it seems that Blizzak LM-60 [235/35 + 265/35] and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D [235/35 + 255/35] are my two choices due to sizes available.

Also, seems that neither have the exact size of the OEM wheels, but the Dunlop's have to be stretched more to fit (in the rear).

Anyone have any thoughts on which is a better option in this situation? Generally it seems people prefer the Dunlop's in more mild winter areas (also mostly being talked about by people using 18's), but those have to be stretched more in my situation. So not sure if that changes things.

Last edited by bkc6j; 12-17-2010 at 12:55 PM.
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      12-17-2010, 12:53 PM   #278
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i have the dunlop on 18s, and it was fine yesturday thru the snow in VA.
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      12-22-2010, 09:45 AM   #279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvai View Post
How about 255/40R19 and 265/40R19 for better floor clearance???
If you can do it without rubbing that would be OK. You're going from 25.7" original height with a 245/35R19, to 27" diameter with the 255/40R19. I'd be concerned it might rub, as the M3 seems to be more sensitive to height than width when it comes to rubbing in front.
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      12-22-2010, 09:48 AM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkc6j View Post
I'd like to get some winter tires for my E90 ZCP 19" wheels (not looking for a wheel package at this point).

Given that constraint, it seems that Blizzak LM-60 [235/35 + 265/35] and Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D [235/35 + 255/35] are my two choices due to sizes available.

Also, seems that neither have the exact size of the OEM wheels, but the Dunlop's have to be stretched more to fit (in the rear).

Anyone have any thoughts on which is a better option in this situation? Generally it seems people prefer the Dunlop's in more mild winter areas (also mostly being talked about by people using 18's), but those have to be stretched more in my situation. So not sure if that changes things.
Either would work, the Dunlop will look a bit more stretched, but technically they do fit a 10" wheel per the manufacturer's guidelines. The Dunlops look like they're sold out for the season, at least from our stock. Dunlop will be a little better handling on clear roads, Blizzak a little better in severe weather.
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      12-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #281
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Just received my winter set of Michelin Alpine + A7s wheels (with BMW center caps)... and wanted to than Ben and Damon for their help!

By the way, The Tire Rack ships amazingly fast... I would have received the tires in 3 days if I would not hav e missed the first UPS delivery attempt. Great job!!

Now, I am looking forward to installing them and testing them out!
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      12-29-2010, 07:13 PM   #282
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For those wondering about Blizzak tires

I have seen a lot on here about the Blizzaks being "marshmellowy". I put a set of them on my Son's M3 because of the Chicago weather and for the fact that I didn't have to worry about him getting caught on the Interstate in a snow storm. I installed a set of the LM22 Blizzaks on his E46 M3.
Those tires were absolutely AWESOME. Best holding tire I have ever seen on a rear wheel drive car. I never noticed any "Marshmellowy" feel to the car at all, and I am a very spirited driver.
I just today tried to buy another set of Blizzaks for his E90 but it has Run-flat tires and I could not find the correct size in the run-flat option. I wound up buying a set of the Michelin Pilot A/S Plus ZP 245/40-18 Run-Flats. It appears that snow tires with the run-flat option are practically non-existent. You can forget about it with the 19s.
Another thing is about using the "square" set-up. What Ben says is true... the narrower tire will tend to hold better because it typically digs to the bottom whereas the wider tire will "balloon" and sit on top of the snow. The only problem with doing that is if you have the staggered set up, it tends to "stretch" the rear tire and makes it resemble a rice-burner. That is also why the "Model T" Ford had no problem even using a street tire, it was very narrow and would dig right into the most rigid part of the surface. The difference between the 18" and the 19" wheel is basically because it is easier to find a snow tire for the 18. There is some difference in the ride, but for the most part, you won't notice the difference in traction if both wheels have the same tire.
One MAJOR difference is the factory BMW wheels are forged and most of the after markets are not. Out of two sets of the after market wheels (8 wheels in all) I had to buy 7 extra wheels to replace the bent ones. Only one time do I remember hitting anything. It was a pot hole that should not have bent the wheel, but it did. When your wheels feel like they need to be balanced or cause the steering wheel to shake or wobble, check to see if the wheels are bent. If you install a set of after-market wheels, try to get a set of forged wheels that won't bend. You don't save anything by buying a cheap wheel. My .02 cents worth.

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      01-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #283
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Hi Ben,

I am planning to pick up some Apex Arc-8's for winter duty, with the following specs, and I would like confirmation about the tire sizes:

Wheels:
front: 18x8.5" et38
rear: 18x9.5" et22

(I am keeping my 15mm F and 12mm R spacers on year round, hence the offsets)

So, for tires, would you recommend 245/40 in front and 255/40 rear?

Thanks!
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      02-23-2011, 07:42 PM   #284
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Just a "thank you" note to Ben at Tire Rack who helped me with a winter tire/wheel package today for an E90 ZCP supposed to be delivered in the next 2 weeks. The weather in Kansas City is threatening more snow into early March, so I wanted to be prepared. Ben helped me to get the Sport Edition A7's w/ Blizzak LM-60's, TPMS, and BMW centercaps all delivered for a very reasonable price. I currently have Michelin PA3's on my E90 335xi w/ Sports Package wheels that I am turning in at lease end for the M3. I have been fairly happy w/ the PA3's, but am hoping for a little better true snow traction w/ the Blizzaks. I'll keep you posted...
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      03-01-2011, 07:32 PM   #285
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Here are some photos in relation to my post above. Hope that helps your winter setup decision making.
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      03-28-2011, 07:46 AM   #286
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Just picked up my 6MT Convertible. Will be looking for snows for next NJ winter. Staggered or not?
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