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Motorsports & Track Forum
From Auto-X to Trackday to Racing and Professional Motorsports this is the place to discuss making BMWs fast

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Old 10-05-2009, 04:41 PM   #1
Defjam
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17x9 or 18x9 for track?

Hi all,

I'm starting to setup my old BMW for not only daily use but track use 6-8 times / year. I'm starting out by replacing the suspension with AST 4100 and new tires / wheels.

I've been looking at D-Force either in 17x9 or the 18x9 sizes. Any advice / experiences with these? What tires would you recommend for good track performance and decent real world use?

-Def
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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Whatever is cheaper. Also if you dont plan on using a HUGE BBK then the 17's will do just fine.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
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I'd stick with 17X9. There are plenty of used Hoosier tires out there that work great on a 17X9. They are 225/45/17. I sell my used ones for $100/set and they last most BMW club racers for a few weekends. I know of at least one Koni team that has those tires stacked to the ceiling.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
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why would you put 225's on an E46? Way under-tired.

Go 17x9 and 255/17's. Unless you're competing, the extra cost of 18x9's to fit 265's isn't worth it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:56 PM   #5
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why would you put 225's on an E46? Way under-tired.

Go 17x9 and 255/17's. Unless you're competing, the extra cost of 18x9's to fit 265's isn't worth it.
Just currious, what qualifies you to disagree with Mr.Shelley's recommendations?

Please take that as just a question.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:31 PM   #6
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Actually, my question was stupid because I know the answer, they run 225's because they're rules-limited.

The E46 is heavy, and needs more tire than that, especially if not stripped. 245's at a minimum. I'd run 285's on the track if I could fit them. I run 265's for autocross because that's the largest I'm allowed by rules. (which is good, because fitting much more would be a stretch)

I used a set of 255 star specs for a track weekend earlier this year and they were brilliant. When I let my instructor drive, he said they felt like his R-Comps. 255's will fit all around even without careful spacing or lots of camber.

Also 225's won't take full advantage of a 9" wheel. 245-255 will fit perfectly, 265 being a hair wide for 9". I know some of the track guys like to put a skinny tire on a huge wheel, but that's usually (AFAIK) because they're limited by rules on tire width, and a wider wheel will still help for a skinnier tire.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:26 PM   #7
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Those are the same people who install 19 inch wheel thinking they're gonna gain performance.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:42 PM   #8
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+1 for 17x9 with 255/40-17 tires if it is a dedicated set of track wheels. Go with 18x9 with 255/35-18 though if they are going to be used mixed street/track since you'll probably want a slightly larger wheel for aesthetic reasons. 17" is perfect for performance though.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #9
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Im going to try my 255's on the front, no spacer, 1.2 neg camber. See what happens.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:24 PM   #10
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Im going to try my 255's on the front, no spacer, 1.2 neg camber. See what happens.
-1.2 camber... why not more?
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #11
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-1.2 camber... why not more?
1.2 is for Daily use. Track use is above 2.5. Currently im working on getting more neg camber.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:41 AM   #12
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1.2 is for Daily use. Track use is above 2.5. Currently im working on getting more neg camber.
All you have to do is sacrifice caster
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:25 PM   #13
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All you have to do is sacrifice caster

yup and maybe the mason bar
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:51 PM   #14
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Im going to try my 255's on the front, no spacer, 1.2 neg camber. See what happens.
It's going to work no problem. You and I talked about this already
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:52 PM   #15
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For DE use go with 17x9s because they're cheaper initially and 17" tires are cheaper.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:48 PM   #16
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Both sizes are good. It just depends on your budget, or if you had breaks you needed to clear. 17x9" with a square 255/40/17 setup would work great. You wouldn't have to roll fenders, and spacers wouldn't even be needed up front unless you ran r-compounds.

Here's a 255/40/17 on 17x9's all the way around on a lowered car with no other mods for reference (no camber plates or anything else done to it besides springs). If you wanted to be a little more conservative you could go with 245's all the way around. that is an ultra easy setup, and would probably make for a lightly more convenient daily driver tire size. Although I don't think I could really defend that arguement if the 255's fit without issue.




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Old 10-06-2009, 01:57 PM   #17
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I'm running 255s up front with no spacer, no problem.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:30 PM   #18
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I'm running 255s up front with no spacer, no problem.

Well you have coupe, its a little harder on a sedan
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:13 PM   #19
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I would like to apologize to everyone here. I thought that the original poster was looking for a set of wheels to mount a set of cost effective tires on them to do some track days. I thought that a set of decent 17X9's and tires that cost $25/ea would make for a great setup for someone to go out an hone their skills and become a better driver without breaking the bank on a consumable.

On the other hand, I spent $900/wheel and that does seem a bit crazy (especially when I own 16 of them per car).
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:25 AM   #20
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Our cars need all the tire we can afford. I seen a 330i with 305's Hoosiers square. I typically run 245/40/17 on a 17x8.5". I would like to get 255's on a 17x9" for next year. 265's tires are rare for 17" wheels.

I would get 265/35/18 on a 18x9" if you can afford it.
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