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      02-11-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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Angry Do I really need a custom part just to drive in the winter?

I am utterly upset and maybe even angry, but I don't know at whom/what. Maybe you guys are smarter than the BMW and Tire shop technicians/managers.

Last time people complained my post was too detailed/long, so I'll try to keep it brief. You guys are my last hope.

All I'm essentially trying to do is drive in the winter. But at high speeds, I get vibrations in the steering wheel. It moves back and forth almost one inch very quickly.

The shop tried balancing 3 times. They told me take it to BMW. BMW forces me to pay $141 to RoadForce balance just the fronts (they wouldn't investigate without) and tells me the problem is no hub centric rings, go back to the tire shop and get them. The tire shop says no need for hub centric rings, that they install these rims on hundreds of BMWs including M3s. It's not a small retailer, they have multiple locations and a popular website (tirerack equivalent of Canada).

Wheels are 72.6mm. What kind of hub centric ring could it need? Isn't the hub bore 72.56mm? Which is usually considered equivalent to 72.6mm everywhere I check. And no one makes a 0.04mm ring, that would be razor sharp. I'm guessing it's an inexperienced tech. He also said that my rear wheels are "too large" and can interfere with ABS/TPMS/etc... uh, stock is 265/35, I have 275/35, he said I should get 275/30.. And just rear? My fronts are larger, too.

The only possible solution I heard that seems to make sense is to get a custom part machined to fix this problem. But seriously? I used to have a Civic Si, and I would get parts, and if they looked like they fit, I used them, and no problems. Here I go by the book, doing literally dozens of hours of research before buying all this, and it doesn't work.

I can't return the wheels, I want to keep the spacers. The wheels/tires were RoadForce balanced, they're fine. Two different sets of spacers, one confirmed working with a 2010 M3. The BMW tech says there is some play between the spacer and the wheel, it's just a little bit loose. Do I really need a custom part?

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      02-11-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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Here is some more info, I'm sure some of this will get asked:

BMW said because I have aftermarket wheels, it's essentially not their problem. I wanted to get BMW wheels, but they only had an ugly 18" winter package, so I went with aftermarket rims/wheels. What's the point of buying a nice car if you're going to make it look ugly 5 months of the year where it doesn't even snow? So I got the Riva MX7s, very similar to VMR, solid quality, but much cheaper because I think they're made here in Canada. Plus I would have to wait 6+ weeks for the VMR. Tires are Pirelli Winter 240 Sottozero Serie II (W rated).

19x8.5 +35mm w/ 255/35
19x10 +38mm w/ 275/35

The 13mm extra offset looked BAD. I actually tried changing my order to the VMRs, but they had no stock, and no word if they can get the rims, so they said, why don't you correct the offset with spacers? Great! If I get spacers, might as well do it all around and make the car look better, right? Going a bit aggressive:

15mm Macht Schnell spacers on Front (was 20mm H&M DRA spacers)
25mm H&M DRA spacers on Rear

Now the vibrations I get in the steering wheel happen above 100km/h (60mph), at 120km/h it's the worst and keeps vibrating faster with higher speeds. It doesn't happen all the time, but around 75% of the time, most usually on the highway. I tried everything obvious. The problem persisted after taking the spacers off, but now I'm doubting this and starting to think it was a false positive somehow. I tried changing from H&M to MS spacers. I wanted to make sure they weren't the problem, so I bought them from someone here with the same model M3.

Any advice on what I should do? There are 3 weeks left of winter, and I've been dealing with this issue since winter started. Should I try the OEM summer wheels with the spacers? Should I take the spacers off again? Should I sell the wheels and take a huge loss? Should I look into getting a custom part made?

I thought I would be BMW for life since I got this M3, but with all the problems I had with this brand new car and how difficult it is just to get winter tires to work, I am thinking of trying an Audi or Merc once the 4 years are up.
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      02-11-2014, 08:00 PM   #3
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      02-11-2014, 08:02 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are having. The M3 a very sensitive to wheels that are not perfectly balanced, poor hub diameter tolerances, and/or don't have good run-out specs. The issues you are having are in no way an "M3 problem" that would justify switching to Audi or Mercedes. The steering feel and sensitivity is something that makes the M3 special.

Your real problem is that you bought a fantastic 70k car and installed cheap replica wheels in horrible offsets on your car. I'm not at all against spacers (run them regularly) but I am against installing sup-par wheels. My suggestion would be to sell the wheels you have and buy some quality replacements. I think VMR's are OK but I would much rather have OEM BMW wheels. I would pick up some used OEM 18" M3 wheels off of someone here on the forum (usually trade for less than $1k) and install snows on them. Alternatively, you can pick up some OEM 19's and use your existing snows. You are concerned about a "huge loss" but it looks like the wheels you have sell for around $900. Sell them for $450 and move on....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinz View Post
What's the point of buying a nice car if you're going to make it look ugly 5 months of the year where it doesn't even snow?
What's the point of buying a nice car and removing your solid OEM wheels in order to downgrade to cheap replica wheels that won't balance... and if they do, will easily bend?
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      02-11-2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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Buy my AGs.
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      02-11-2014, 08:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicer View Post
I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are having. The M3 a very sensitive to wheels that are not perfectly balanced and/or don't have good run-out specs. The issues you are having are in no way an "M3 problem" that would justify switching to Audi or Mercedes. The steering feel and sensitivity is something that makes the M3 special.

Your real problem is that you bought a fantastic 70k car and installed cheap replica wheels in horrible offsets on your car. I'm not at all against spacers (run them regularly) but I am against installing sup-par wheels. My suggestion would be to sell the wheels you have and buy some quality replacements. I think VMR's are OK but I would much rather have OEM BMW wheels. I would pick up some used OEM 18" M3 wheels off of someone here on the forum (usually trade for less than $1k) and install snows on them. Alternatively, you can pick up some OEM 19's and use your existing snows. You are concerned about a "huge loss" but it looks like the wheels you have sell for around $900. Sell them for $450 and move on....




What's the point of buying a nice car and removing your solid OEM wheels in order to downgrade to cheap replica wheels that won't balance... and if they do, will easily bend?
Well said! Like always.

I bought a set of used OEM 19" and threw some used Blizzaks from my old E46. Car cuts through the snow and ice easily.

OP check the for sale section. There are always used sets on there.
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      02-11-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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Your wheel could be not centered. The wheel should be torqued down with the wheel in the air if you dont have hub centric rings. Then it will be lug centric and should be fine.

Most shops make the mistake of torquing wheel lugs down after the wheel is on the ground. That only works if the wheel is hubcentric.
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      02-11-2014, 08:37 PM   #8
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Slicer said it best. Running same size tires as you, the difference, the wheels. You are wearing $50 dollar shoes with a $3000 suit, just does not work on any level. Competition Package ZCP wheels with 255/35R19 and 275/35R19 Blizzack LM-60. Good looks even in winter.

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      02-11-2014, 08:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinz View Post
Last time people complained my post was too detailed/long, so I'll try to keep it brief.
I don't think it's working. Solving this problem by splitting it into 2 posts won't make you novel seem any shorter.

As stated, get rid of the knock-off ebay wheels and use OEM or properly machined aftermarket wheels with the correct hub dimension.
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      02-11-2014, 09:26 PM   #10
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Agree with the above posters. The M3 is incredibly sensitive to balance and you feel things through the wheel that you would not feel in a normal car. You need properly fitting, high quality aftermarket or OEM wheels (preferably) to avoid balance problems.
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      02-11-2014, 10:20 PM   #11
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i have the same problems too. i got some replica BMW wheels and had them balanced twice yet i still get vibrations at highway speeds. I just learned to live with it.
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      02-11-2014, 10:20 PM   #12
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AG wheels are junk
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      02-11-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuckaGDog View Post
AG wheels are junk
They are replicas just like the ones the OP is running.

Obvious solution would be to get better wheels.
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      02-11-2014, 10:35 PM   #14
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OP: remove the spacers and see if the vibrations go away. I'm betting it will. If you want to keep spacers, try getting them professionally installed. Otherwise you'd have to retry with a different set of spacers. I have 15mm spacers all around and I do have steering wheel vibrations above 60mph. My solution is to ignore it ;p
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      02-11-2014, 11:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinz View Post
Here is some more info, I'm sure some of this will get asked:

BMW said because I have aftermarket wheels, it's essentially not their problem. I wanted to get BMW wheels, but they only had an ugly 18" winter package, so I went with aftermarket rims/wheels. What's the point of buying a nice car if you're going to make it look ugly 5 months of the year where it doesn't even snow? So I got the Riva MX7s, very similar to VMR, solid quality, but much cheaper because I think they're made here in Canada. Plus I would have to wait 6+ weeks for the VMR. Tires are Pirelli Winter 240 Sottozero Serie II (W rated).

19x8.5 +35mm w/ 255/35
19x10 +38mm w/ 275/35

The 13mm extra offset looked BAD. I actually tried changing my order to the VMRs, but they had no stock, and no word if they can get the rims, so they said, why don't you correct the offset with spacers? Great! If I get spacers, might as well do it all around and make the car look better, right? Going a bit aggressive:

15mm Macht Schnell spacers on Front (was 20mm H&M DRA spacers)
25mm H&M DRA spacers on Rear

Now the vibrations I get in the steering wheel happen above 100km/h (60mph), at 120km/h it's the worst and keeps vibrating faster with higher speeds. It doesn't happen all the time, but around 75% of the time, most usually on the highway. I tried everything obvious. The problem persisted after taking the spacers off, but now I'm doubting this and starting to think it was a false positive somehow. I tried changing from H&M to MS spacers. I wanted to make sure they weren't the problem, so I bought them from someone here with the same model M3.

Any advice on what I should do? There are 3 weeks left of winter, and I've been dealing with this issue since winter started. Should I try the OEM summer wheels with the spacers? Should I take the spacers off again? Should I sell the wheels and take a huge loss? Should I look into getting a custom part made?

I thought I would be BMW for life since I got this M3, but with all the problems I had with this brand new car and how difficult it is just to get winter tires to work, I am thinking of trying an Audi or Merc once the 4 years are up.

What's the point of buying a nice car if you aren't going to fund out the money to put proper parts on it. Don't go with shitty rims, I would rather have the "ugly 18's" that ride properly rather than replicas
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      02-11-2014, 11:26 PM   #16
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It's been said multiple times before--you're a bit of a twit for thinking it would be wise to go the cheap wheels route. You made the point already, it's a bit of a costly car, you're short-cutting the proper options and will have to pay for it in the form of custom parts, thus negating your cost-savings. It's a set of winter wheels, accept the 18" wheel option, or buy 19" square 220M/359M wheels and be on with it.
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      02-11-2014, 11:33 PM   #17
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hub rings

I actually did manage to find aluminum hub rings for my cheap EBay wheels and yeah they are pretty razor thin. Almost pointless in a way. Anyway I do get vibrations like OP around 60 MPH. I don't drive freeway much though so at city speeds its fine. They are what they are, cheap made in China knock off of an older BMW M design. They look alright and serve as crappy winters for 4 months a year. I thought about having them rebalanced but even when I balanced them the first time the shop said they weren't great. I even bothered to get them road force balanced. I wonder how much worse they would be otherwise.
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      02-11-2014, 11:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinz View Post
But seriously? I used to have a Civic Si, and I would get parts, and if they looked like they fit, I used them, and no problems.
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      02-12-2014, 12:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinz View Post
What's the point of buying a nice car if you're going to make it look ugly 5 months of the year where it doesn't even snow?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver_M3 View Post
They are what they are, cheap made in China knock off of an older BMW M design. They look alright and serve as crappy winters for 4 months a year.
I don't see the logic behind these statements, putting aesthtics over safety/reliabilty.

Winter is the time of year where roads and potholes are worst, so wouldn't you want wheels that aren't prone to bending, cracking etc.

I'd much rather go for a used set of OEMs as my winters than questionable wheels that don't fit.
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      02-12-2014, 01:00 AM   #20
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Stop putting spacers on your car, and stop putting cheap junk wheels on your car.

Problem solved.
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      02-12-2014, 09:47 PM   #21
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I knew this would happen, instead of giving constructive suggestions in how to solve the problem, considering I mentioned I don't want to deal with selling/buying new wheels, you guys blame the wheels (they are actually not the problem here). Second, they are not cheap, about 3x more than I would usually pay, the whole package cost me almost $4000. They are about $20-30 cheaper than VMRs (I see quite a few have those here), and do people have problems with them? If you are talking about "quality" rather than price, then it can be hard to quantify, but I compared the VMRs and mine and you could see the higher quality machining of mine. The details look better, the paint is slightly smoother around edges, and the rear of the wheel has been clearly machined with better precision. I am not an expert in this, but I did do machining in University. If only I could have access to the lab again... The reason they are cheaper is because they are made in Canada, and that's cheaper than importing if you don't know. I wish didn't use the word "cheap" in my first post, as this is what the discussion is now about.

If I could've bought new 19" OEM wheels in the colour that I wanted, I would have. But instead I went to the best wheel/tire shop I knew and asked them what they would recommend for an M3. It seemed like a better idea to get a package from the same source, knowing the tires work with the wheels, and the package is made/recommended for my car, and has worked with many such cars before. Just like I did for all previous cars, including Mercs and BMWs (although I wasn't the owner at the time). I didn't see any warnings anywhere that said: "Don't use aftermarket wheels!", not even here. In fact, I saw hundreds of pictures of M3s in aftermarket wheels here, many with spacers. That says its possible. Telling me I shouldn't do something that others have done is not helpful. I'm trying to find out how they got it working. I'm also surprised you guys don't care about aesthetics of the car, that you'd rather drive with crappy 18" wheels in a car that's not even your DD.

Lastly, maybe many of you have a lot of money such that you have more than one car for yourself (My DD is not even mine). Maybe buying an M3 is not such a big deal to you. But I have been saving for 7 years to buy this car. I had to sacrifice many things to get it because that's how much I love cars, and that's how much I wanted to have this car. Maybe some of you will say that is stupid, that I shouldn't be driving a car like this if I don't make a lot of money, but that is your opinion. That doesn't mean I'm cheaping out on parts, but I'm simply looking for the best deal that will work with the car. Telling me I should buy $5000 rims, something that I cannot afford, will not help me. That doesn't mean I'm buying bad quality parts. And if you're wondering, yes, I'm saving money for future maintenance.

There have been some helpful posts here, and I appreciate those who took the time to say something constructive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
Your wheel could be not centered. The wheel should be torqued down with the wheel in the air if you dont have hub centric rings. Then it will be lug centric and should be fine.
That's the problem, they are now lug centric, which is what's causing the vibrations - at least according to the BMW technician.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzyGray View Post
OP: remove the spacers and see if the vibrations go away. I'm betting it will. If you want to keep spacers, try getting them professionally installed. Otherwise you'd have to retry with a different set of spacers. I have 15mm spacers all around and I do have steering wheel vibrations above 60mph. My solution is to ignore it ;p
I agree with you here, the rims have the correct hub diameter and there is no problem with them according to the BMW technician. He said there is some slightly play when the wheels are on the spacers, but no play at all when they are on the hub. The problem is that I did get them professionally installed by the same shop that did the wheels/tires. If anyone knows any other shops that maybe specialize in this, maybe they could fix this little "gap"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros View Post
i have the same problems too. i got some replica BMW wheels and had them balanced twice yet i still get vibrations at highway speeds. I just learned to live with it.
Are you serious? So this problem is much more common than I thought. I thought I was the only one, because I can't live with vibrations on the highway. It makes driving long distances strenuous, and makes the car feel cheap. Even my '93 Civic was rolling smoothly on the highway, and the steering is more direct than most newer cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandye90m3 View Post
What's the point of buying a nice car if you aren't going to fund out the money to put proper parts on it. Don't go with shitty rims, I would rather have the "ugly 18's" that ride properly rather than replicas
Let me understand what you are saying, "shitty rims" is anything not made by BMW? Or just really expensive rims? If it's anything not made by BMW are you saying that all the owners on here with pictures in their aftermarket rims have "shitty rims"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterile stork View Post
It's been said multiple times before--you're a bit of a twit for thinking it would be wise to go the cheap wheels route. You made the point already, it's a bit of a costly car, you're short-cutting the proper options and will have to pay for it in the form of custom parts, thus negating your cost-savings. It's a set of winter wheels, accept the 18" wheel option, or buy 19" square 220M/359M wheels and be on with it.
Calling me a "twit" is completely out of line here. If aftermarket wheels are not allowed in an M3, how was I supposed to know that? There are no warnings about this anywhere. All my previous cars had aftermarket wheels with no problems. The BMW is so sensitive that only BMW is able to engineer wheels for it? And nowhere in my post did I say I was going the "cheap wheels route", unless by "cheap wheels" you mean "non-BMW wheels". I said I was going for wheels that were less expensive than the VMR because I had no choice. If I went with the 18" wheels from BMW it would've actually been cheaper, but you don't seem to understand that not everyone shares the same list of priorities as you. Looks is one of the reasons why I bought the car, and buying the wheel you mentioned would negate that. If I knew there would be such problems with aftermarket wheels especially made for BMWs, then maybe I would've given it greater consideration, but neither the dealer, the service department, the sales person, the dealership manager, the tire shop, the members on here (when I was asking about aftermarket wheels), nor my mechanic friends said anything about this. Now you telling me, "you should've known" is based on what, exactly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic311 View Post
I don't see the logic behind these statements, putting aesthtics over safety/reliabilty.

Winter is the time of year where roads and potholes are worst, so wouldn't you want wheels that aren't prone to bending, cracking etc.

I'd much rather go for a used set of OEMs as my winters than questionable wheels that don't fit.
Aftermarket wheels compromising safety/reliability? Can you explain that? Am I more likely to get into an accident with an aftermarket wheel? If you're thinking about potholes and things like that, maybe I should explain that in my area we don't get snow, and the roads/potholes are the worst in spring (after I put my summers back on). Don't ask me why, but I guess because some of them form in Dec/Jan/Feb and stay there until they're fixed in the summer.

I should also mention that it's not my daily driver. I don't drive it when it's raining, or on long trips where the roads might not be so good. If it was my DD, I'd probably get the 18" package by BMW or some used rims. But because I bring out the M3 only to enjoy it, aesthetics is quite important to me. Does that make sense? Also, thank you for being polite and asking why I made the choice I did instead of calling me stupid.

But about your comment, "questionable wheels that don't fit", where did you get that? I tried to explain that the wheels are not the problem, they're not questionable as they have been used by dozens of M3s and they "supposedly" (according to the BMW technician - I still need to verify this myself) fit perfectly. The problem is when they are on the spacers that they "don't fit", so if you want to blame something, blame the spacers. I will try the OEM wheels on the spacers and see if they do the same. If the OEM wheels are fine with the spacers, then you may blame the wheels for not being perfect.

But as it stands, let's stop with all these "cheap wheel" comments. I explained that they are not cheap, and no I didn't get ripped off, they have a hub bore diameter of 72.56mm. They are cast the same way as VMR wheels, which many use on here. If you want to say that those are crap, too, or that all aftermarket wheels are crap, then you may keep that opinion. But unless you have something else to add that will actually help me, please refrain from posting as it's not doing anyone good except maybe giving you some satisfaction. The "cheap wheels" thing has been said here more than enough times, so enough of that please.
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      02-12-2014, 09:57 PM   #22
Vic311
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Drives: 2011 e92 M3
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NY

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinz View Post
Aftermarket wheels compromising safety/reliability? Can you explain that? Am I more likely to get into an accident with an aftermarket wheel? If you're thinking about potholes and things like that, maybe I should explain that in my area we don't get snow, and the roads/potholes are the worst in spring (after I put my summers back on). Don't ask me why, but I guess because some of them form in Dec/Jan/Feb and stay there until they're fixed in the summer..
Yes I meant potholes, but also general manufacturing and wheel construction. There have been horror stories where these replica wheels experienced major defects form routine use, and that is because their manufacturing is of inferior quality than reputable forged brands and OEM wheels. I am speaking from experience. Just because you overpaid for your replica wheels does not mean they are good quality. You have experienced for yourself how they don't even fit correctly.

I struggle to understand your obstinance in accepting everyone's assessment of your situation. Since you don't seem to want to accept people's advice here, all I can say is Go with God and best of luck.
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high speed stability, spacers, steering wheel vibration, vibration, wheels

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