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Old 06-10-2009, 03:31 PM   #1
brianbimmer
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325XI Owners - Rims - What will work?

Hi folks,

I've started looking around for winter rims & tires for my '05 325xi. It has the sport rims on it with my all seasons, 17 x7, according to my Bentley manual. My preference for winter rims is to also use 17" rims but I've come to realize that the 17 x7 rims are not common. According to the Bentley manual, and I quote, " On all wheel drive cars, standard wheel size is 17 x7.0 to ensure there is enough room for the front axles and brakes. Tire size is 205/50 R17."
Ok, so here's my problem. When I search for tires, for instance on the tirerack site there are only 2 winter tires that size! Both Pirelli!
So, what are you xi owners using for rims? Can I really not go to a 17 x8 rim?
I guess an option for me would be to drop down to the standard 16 x7 rim with 205/55 R16 tires. There seems to be lots of tire choice in that size.

thanks for any advice,
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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I have a 325xi. I run OEM #119 with 225x45x17 on them

the 205x50x17 will work too, but is better in snow (narrower tire = better in snow)
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #3
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BTW... For tires... Tirerack probably has lower or no stock now since its June... Also, find a local dealer that sells Nokians or Vredesteins. Those are the 2 best brands of snow tires IMO.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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I just purchased the 18" csl reps and some 235/40-18 Michelin Pilot A/S Sport Plus tires. I'll post pictures when I get them on.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
brianbimmer
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I've always thought that my rims were the 119's but according to http://decrass.ru/bmw/wheels/ , they didn't come in 17 x7.
Are your rims original? Again, according to bentley the optional rims on the 325xi are 17 x7.
Or is it that you put the wider tires on that rim? maybe they fit ok?
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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Hey OP,

Ill give this one a shot. Winter tires are my favorite mod and i have your car.

Our cars are able to use the same exact rims as the non-xi's. So any set of e46 wheels will work, as will e36 rims (16" and above).

I suggest you go for a set of 16" rims for the winter. The only downside to runnning a 16" wheel is that it won't fit on a 330, if you ever decide to go that route.

So any set of non-staggered 16" or 17" oem wheels will work. There are a TON of these on craigslist and you shouldn't have a problem finding them.

Now for tires . . .

If you really want to run 17" winter wheels the 205/50 or 225/45 are both fine. 205/50 will be slightly better in snow because its narrower. 16" snow tires are easier to find and cheaper.

IMO there are two kinds of snow tires . . . .Nokian Hakkapeliittas and everything else. You want the Nokians. They last a very long time if you take them off in the spring. Nothing comes close to my studded hakkas. Everybody will tell you blizzaks are good, because its probably the only snow tire they can name from memory. Blizzaks are good if you like them to wear out quick and enjoy that squirmy squishy feeling on the highway. You don't want snow tires, you want Nokian Hakkas. Mine are 205/55/16 on oem 16x7 on style 43 coupe wheels.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
brianbimmer
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Jrod, I'll look forward to seeing those photos! So, is the bentley manual wrong and there's no problem with front axle clearance with 8' rims?
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brianbimmer View Post
I've always thought that my rims were the 119's but according to http://decrass.ru/bmw/wheels/ , they didn't come in 17 x7.
Are your rims original? Again, according to bentley the optional rims on the 325xi are 17 x7.
Or is it that you put the wider tires on that rim? maybe they fit ok?
Yeah those are the 5 spokes right? Those are actually 17x8 and came with 225/45/17 goodyear tires I believe.

The 20-spoke xi wheel (style 73 i believe) are only 17x7 and came with 205/50/17 conti's.

You probably could put a 205/50/17 on a 17x8, but its not recommended.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:02 PM   #9
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Jrod, I'll look forward to seeing those photos! So, is the bentley manual wrong and there's no problem with front axle clearance with 8' rims?
Yeah i have 18x8.5 BBS wheels on my xi with 235/40/18 tires.

You can even go 9 inch wheels without a problem if they are proper offset.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brianbimmer View Post
I've always thought that my rims were the 119's but according to http://decrass.ru/bmw/wheels/ , they didn't come in 17 x7.
Are your rims original? Again, according to bentley the optional rims on the 325xi are 17 x7.
Or is it that you put the wider tires on that rim? maybe they fit ok?
My car came with #73 as most Xis did... But I swapped them out for the 119s... EVERYTHING on my car is OEM... No rubbing issues at all. You can fit OEM 18s on w/o issues too...
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #11
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IMO there are two kinds of snow tires . . . .Nokian Hakkapeliittas and everything else. You want the Nokians. They last a very long time if you take them off in the spring. Nothing comes close to my studded hakkas. Everybody will tell you blizzaks are good, because its probably the only snow tire they can name from memory. Blizzaks are good if you like them to wear out quick and enjoy that squirmy squishy feeling on the highway. You don't want snow tires, you want Nokian Hakkas. Mine are 205/55/16 on oem 16x7 on style 43 coupe wheels.
Just to clarify... Studded tires are illegal in Mass... ha.. You dont work in Waltham do you? Saw a set of snows on a BMW last year with studded Nokians and laughed everytime I walk by them... Where do you even get studdewd tires in Ma...

I had those same Nokians in non-studded a few years back... While excellent in snow, I felt they were too soft normally and almost dangerous in rain. I decided to move to a V rated snow tire, and went with the Vredesteins. Been very happy with those results... Although the tiresd are a good $250 each, its well worth it IMO...
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
My car came with #73 as most Xis did... But I swapped them out for the 119s... EVERYTHING on my car is OEM... No rubbing issues at all. You can fit OEM 18s on w/o issues too...
My car was what they called the "Executive Edition", special for the last runs of the E46 in 2005. It's a combination of some of the sport model options and premium model options, for instance sport wheels but no sport seats or suspension (that I know of), heated seats, auto wipers, xenon headlights & washer.
My wheels are definatley the 119's. I'll have my back wheels off soon to do the rotors and pads, I believe the size is stamped on the inside and I'll check it. But, expect them to be 17 x7 since the tires are 205/50's.
I just had an offer to sell me a set of used, good condition, only a few light scratches, style #44, 17 x8, for $600. Seems a bit steep, what do you think? That would mean a bit wider tire, not what you want for snow.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:13 AM   #13
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Just to clarify... Studded tires are illegal in Mass... ha.. You dont work in Waltham do you? Saw a set of snows on a BMW last year with studded Nokians and laughed everytime I walk by them... Where do you even get studdewd tires in Ma...

I had those same Nokians in non-studded a few years back... While excellent in snow, I felt they were too soft normally and almost dangerous in rain. I decided to move to a V rated snow tire, and went with the Vredesteins. Been very happy with those results... Although the tiresd are a good $250 each, its well worth it IMO...
Well. You fail. Maybe do your own research instead of spewing word-of-mouth bs all over the forum.

http://www.mass.gov/rmv/faq/inspection.htm#26

Studded snows are legal for 6 months out of the year in Mass. (and the rest of new england, I believe).

No I don't work in Waltham.

And you got hosed paying 250 a tire for vredesteins. You can get them online for half that. Been going to Direct Tire? That place sux.

I've never tried the vredestein snows, but I'm in love with my ultrac sessantas.

How about we race up to northern Vermont in february and see what's what?
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:17 AM   #14
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ive got 16" stocks for the winter with GoodYear Eagle Ultra Grips (awesome in the snow) and 18" CSL's in 8.5" for the summer, square setup.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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Well. You fail. Maybe do your own research instead of spewing word-of-mouth bs all over the forum.

http://www.mass.gov/rmv/faq/inspection.htm#26

Studded snows are legal for 6 months out of the year in Mass. (and the rest of new england, I believe).

No I don't work in Waltham.

And you got hosed paying 250 a tire for vredesteins. You can get them online for half that. Been going to Direct Tire? That place sux.

I've never tried the vredestein snows, but I'm in love with my ultrac sessantas.

How about we race up to northern Vermont in february and see what's what?
I sense lots of anger... I thought this was a discussion, not an argument?

But thanks for the link on studded snows in Mass... I was told that by Direct Tire actually, ha!

I've used both Vredesteins and Nokians and prefer the Vredesteins. Its not a fact, its an opinion, that I based off research and my own experiences...

The reason I go with V rated snows now is because I don't go to Northern Vermont... Q rated snows (and especially studs) are overkill for Massachusetts IMO.


I'm interested in saving money though.. Please direct me to the site where I can Vredestein Wintrac Extremes in 225x45x17 for less than $250 a tire including road hazard, and I'll gladly buy them from there...
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:45 AM   #16
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I sense lots of anger... I thought this was a discussion, not an argument?

But thanks for the link on studded snows in Mass... I was told that by Direct Tire actually, ha!

I've used both Vredesteins and Nokians and prefer the Vredesteins. Its not a fact, its an opinion, that I based off research and my own experiences...

The reason I go with V rated snows now is because I don't go to Northern Vermont... Q rated snows (and especially studs) are overkill for Massachusetts IMO.


I'm interested in saving money though.. Please direct me to the site where I can Vredestein Wintrac Extremes in 225x45x17 for less than $250 a tire including road hazard, and I'll gladly buy them from there...
I just searched for the online place with cheap vredestien snows, and i can't find it anymore. It's definitely in texas, because I almost bought a used set of rims with 2 worn out vredestein snows off the cca classified section last winter, and I called a few places and the guy quoted me 2 16" shipped to Boston for less than $200! It's definitely in Texas though, so I guess call all the vredestein dealers in texas. There can't be more than a few . . .

I HATE DIRECT TIRE. Their markup on tires is unreal. They quoted me $1250 for my 18" vredestein sessantas installed. I ended up buying them online for $600 shipped and got them installed for an additional $61. Yeah, ok, no road hazard insurance, but they were about half the price of direct tire. I also tried to get my car aligned at the Direct Tire in watertown and they tried to screw me saying i needed a tie rod because they wouldnt heat it up to loosen it. They also said my CABs were worn out, when they were only 9 months old. It was all BS. My mech, who works at turner, hooked up a $39 alignment at Town Fair, after he got the tie rod loose in 30 seconds. I left Direct Tire that day with an $1100 estimate and no alignment and I tell everybody that will listen about it.

I grew up in PA, but I must say the tire shops in massachusetts have to be the worst in the country. Direct Tire know they are the only shop that hires only half-retarded crooks, so they charge what they want.

I put a set of of the new Nokian Hakka RSI's on my gf's Accord and they felt like all-season tires. I never drove it in the snow, so I'm not sure how they stack up to my studs, but I bet you would be happy with the RSI's. I actually picked up a one year old set off a Mini for free on Craigslist a few weeks ago. I'm going to find a set of wheels to mount them on and give them to my dad for his accord next christmas.

Seriously though DIRECT TIRE IS THE WORST. I'm still looking for a decent tire shop around Boston.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:07 AM   #17
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I have M3 rims on my 330xi and my setup is 245/40/18 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 in the front and 255/40/18 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW 2 in the back. I have been running them for a long time now and have absolutely no problems. I ran my 17in all seasons rims for part of the winter then switched back to my 18s and even though they are high performance summers they did great in the snow.
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:42 PM   #18
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I just searched for the online place with cheap vredestien snows, and i can't find it anymore. It's definitely in texas, because I almost bought a used set of rims with 2 worn out vredestein snows off the cca classified section last winter, and I called a few places and the guy quoted me 2 16" shipped to Boston for less than $200! It's definitely in Texas though, so I guess call all the vredestein dealers in texas. There can't be more than a few . . .

I HATE DIRECT TIRE. Their markup on tires is unreal. They quoted me $1250 for my 18" vredestein sessantas installed. I ended up buying them online for $600 shipped and got them installed for an additional $61. Yeah, ok, no road hazard insurance, but they were about half the price of direct tire. I also tried to get my car aligned at the Direct Tire in watertown and they tried to screw me saying i needed a tie rod because they wouldnt heat it up to loosen it. They also said my CABs were worn out, when they were only 9 months old. It was all BS. My mech, who works at turner, hooked up a $39 alignment at Town Fair, after he got the tie rod loose in 30 seconds. I left Direct Tire that day with an $1100 estimate and no alignment and I tell everybody that will listen about it.

I grew up in PA, but I must say the tire shops in massachusetts have to be the worst in the country. Direct Tire know they are the only shop that hires only half-retarded crooks, so they charge what they want.

I put a set of of the new Nokian Hakka RSI's on my gf's Accord and they felt like all-season tires. I never drove it in the snow, so I'm not sure how they stack up to my studs, but I bet you would be happy with the RSI's. I actually picked up a one year old set off a Mini for free on Craigslist a few weeks ago. I'm going to find a set of wheels to mount them on and give them to my dad for his accord next christmas.

Seriously though DIRECT TIRE IS THE WORST. I'm still looking for a decent tire shop around Boston.

I'll have to start looking online this fall before its time to buy new snows... But agreed-Direct Tire is overpriced and they dont have much competition... NTB and Town Fair Tire and Sears are the other big suppliers in Mass. Town Fair and Direct Tire will price match, but they are all essentially charging list price...
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