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      10-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #1
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► Getting Technical - Winter Wheel & Tire Fitments



There are many misconceptions when it comes to winter wheels and tires. Many winter wheels on the market will not clear aftermarket brakes, and because the M3 is a performance car, enthusiasts often think that wide tires are a necessity. This article was written to address those misconceptions.

TL;DR - APEX Recommended Winter Fitments

Square 18 setup:

Front & Rear: 18x9 ET30 or ET31 with 245/40-18 tires
  • Available in ARC-8, EC-7, SM-10 & FL-5 designs
  • Direct fit with no spacers or modifications required.

*Read on to discover why we recommend this fitment.*

Why Winter Wheels & Tires?

The main reason why many enthusiasts opt for a dedicated winter wheel and tire setup is to maximize traction and ensure passenger safety while driving in inclement weather. There are different levels of winter tires depending on the conditions you face.

Summer wheels are often wider, and paired with a more dry performance oriented tire that will struggle in slippery conditions. A dedicated winter setup will reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle, with tires specifically designed for inclement weather. Additionally, many individuals also want to protect their summer wheels from the abuse of driving during the winter months and purchase a more cost-effective set of robust wheels and tires to take that abuse. However, many winter wheels do not offer proper brake clearances, and some enthusiasts are stuck with wheels that do not fit. It is crucial that enthusiasts with newer BMW chassis or those running a big brake kit ensure that the wheels purchased will clear their brakes.

Owning a dedicated set of winter wheels will allow you the flexibility to swap between your summer setup and your winter setup at your convenience. You will no longer need to schedule time-consuming service appointments to have tires swapped and risk damaging your beautiful summer setup because of a lazy or inexperienced tire installer.

APEX Wheel Fitment

For E9X M3 owners, our 18 wheels are the perfect candidate when outfitting your car for the upcoming winter. This wheel is constructed with a focus on durability and brake clearance, allowing it to go places most 18 wheels on the market simply cannot. For your E9X M3, we suggest the 18x9 ET31 on all four corners, which provides enthusiasts with a proven square fitment with adequate inner and outer clearance for cars at OEM ride height, and for those who have lowered the car on aftermarket suspension. By running these wheels in a square footprint, we have maximized efficiency with the ability to rotate wheels and tires on all four corners.

Tires Designed For Inclement Weather

The BMW community is diverse in its needs. A studless ice and snow tire is our recommendation for enthusiasts tackling more severe weather conditions, as the slimmer tire widths are proven to be more effective in those environments. Enthusiast driving in mild winter conditions may opt for performance winter tires.

Winter tires are made from a softer rubber compound that remains flexible as temperatures drop. This compound allows the tire to conform better to road conditions, giving you better traction. Another feature unique to winter tires is tread patterns with wider grooves which enhance traction on snow and ice. These treads provide channels to drain water and expel snow much quicker than your typical all-season tire. Typically, they also feature small slits in the tread that cut through water and slush. These slits help to avoid hydroplaning and offer improved grip in tricky conditions. Winter tires can offer a traction increase of over 50 percent when compared to an all-season tire. This traction increase can very well be the deciding factor during that emergency stop to avoid an accident in slippery conditions.

When shopping for winter wheels and tires, a different approach must be taken concerning tire width. Wider winter wheels and tires are not better. Winter wheels are much more effective when they can cut through snow and ice. A wider tread will distribute the weight of your car across the surface of the road. While this is beneficial to stability and handling on a dry road, it can have serious consequences when the road surface is covered in layers of snow and ice. Winter tire traction all stems from how well it can cut through the slush and reach the road surface below. A narrow tire is the key to that equation.

When you are driving your pride and joy during the middle of a snowstorm, would you feel comfortable with average performance or would you prefer something that was designed with the harshest conditions in mind?

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      10-24-2018, 09:18 AM   #2
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Which BBK kits will the ET31 fitments clear?
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      10-29-2018, 07:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drrust View Post
Which BBK kits will the ET31 fitments clear?
Thanks for the post! We've tested and confirmed clearance on the following kits:

Brembo 6-piston 380mm - Needs 5mm spacers
StopTech 6-piston 380mm - Clears without spacers
Sparta Triton 380mm - Clears without spacers

There may be others as well that we have not tested. In general, the 18" EC-7 will clear most kits up to 380mm, but certain offsets may require small spacers.

--Dylan
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      10-30-2018, 06:10 PM   #4
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Thanks, when my current set of tires are done. I will have to consider a set of EC7s
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      10-14-2019, 08:03 PM   #5
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It’s that time of year again!

With temperatures beginning to drop, we have had many enthusiasts reaching out to us with questions regarding winter wheels and tires. While we are always happy to answer individual questions and inquiries, we figured this would be a perfect opportunity to address the topic in greater detail to help inform the BMW community overall.

One of the more commonly asked questions we see is in regards to what winter tire is the best fit for a certain application. For enthusiasts who don’t live in an area that completely freezes over every year, the studless winter tire segment will likely be the most ideal fit. However, diving into the plethora of studless winter tires currently available can be quite intimidating if you don’t know what to look for.

For the sake of simplicity, we will go ahead and break it down into two main categories: studless ice and snow tires, and performance winter tires.

Studless ice and snow tires
Studless ice and snow tires are going to be the best fit for people who live in an area that sees regular snowfall and below freezing temperatures. These tires excel in deeper snow, freezing rain, and are typically the next best thing behind studded tires for icy road conditions as well. However, from a performance standpoint these tires can be lacking in grip on dry roads, or when temperatures start to rise above freezing. If you live in an area that has snow on the roads regularly throughout the season, studless ice and snow tires will be the ideal choice to get you safely through the winter months.

Performance winter tires
Performance winter tires are going to be best suited for people who live in an area where inclement winter weather conditions are less common, but still occur from time to time. These tires offer significantly more traction on snow covered roads when compared to an equivalent all-season tire. While not as proficient as studless ice and snow tires on icy or deep snow covered roads, performance winter tires are able to offer far better performance in dry road conditions, even when temperatures are well below freezing. For those of you who face the winter months in a high performance RWD car, these tires will offer the best fit in providing ample traction when road conditions are not as severe, allowing for safe and fun spirited drives throughout the winter months.

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