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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:47 AM   #1
ZAP1
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Coast USA
Posts: 52
My Ride: 2002 E46 M3 Coupe
2002 M3 18" Tire Options

Dang it ..... After 18,500 miles and 8.5 years, I finally picked up small screw in my left front tread ..... straight in and dead center. But no air leaking out, so it may not have punched all the way through. However, the factory Michelin Pilot Sport Radial X 18" tires are 8.5 years old now, so this may be a smart time to consider replacing all fours.

Current original factory size: 225/45-18 Front and 255/40-18 Rear

With original stock suspension and height, can I safely move up to 245/40-18 Front and 275/35-18 Rear using the original stock 18" M3 factory rims without rubbing or other problems like fouling up my speedometer/odometer?

Next, I have to find a shop in Northern Oregon that can change the tires without damaging the wheels ..... they are unblemished and like-new and that's what worries me the most about getting new tires.


Last edited by ZAP1; 03-13-2010 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
ZAP1
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Coast USA
Posts: 52
My Ride: 2002 E46 M3 Coupe
UPDATE: March 14, 2010

UPDATE:

The small screw was only 1/2" long and only penetrated about 1/4" below the bottom valley of the center tread groove ..... it left a 1/8" hole when slowing backed out with a 1/4" socket head by hand. I can see the top of the upper steel belt through the hole but their is no air leakage with a soapy water bubble test and no pressure drop over 36 hours.

I think I should be okay, but I'm still going to order a new set of all fours due to the nearly 9 year-old age of the factory tires with only about 5/32" left and then use my other intact right front pilot sport for a full size spare in the trunk and mount it on a spare 18" OEM 8" Style 68 rim.

Two Additional Questions:

1. I assume a front 8" rim will work fine as an emergency spare in place of a staggered 9" wide 18" OEM rear wheel for 500 to 1000 miles if on a long trip?

2. Will a 1/4" to 1/2" difference in tire diameter (due to tread wear on my future spare) foul up my rear differential (6-Spd tranny) over 500-1000 miles of driving if I ever need to use it as an emergency rear spare while in the middle of nowhere?

Thanks.

Last edited by ZAP1; 03-14-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #3
cdm3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: CT
Posts: 70
My Ride: 2005 m3 Vert
What size tires are you going to get?
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:19 PM   #4
ZAP1
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Coast USA
Posts: 52
My Ride: 2002 E46 M3 Coupe
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdm3 View Post
What size tires are you going to get?
Using my factory 18" staggard OEM Style 67 rims, I was thinking of going:

From: 225/45-18 Fronts and 255/40-18 Rears (original OEM sizes)

To: 245/40-18 Fronts and 275/35-18 Rears

I'll still use the original stock 18" M3 factory staggered 8"/9" rims and my original stock suspension and height.

The new sizes I'm considering end up as 3/4" wider tread with 1/2" smaller diameters. I'm wondering if the smaller diameters of the new sizes will foul up my speedo/odo and hurt the function of the anti-lock braking system?

Alternatively, should I consider 255/40-18 Fronts and 285 or 295/35-18 Rears to get back to OEM tire diameters of 26"?

Will 255/40-18 fit on the 8" wide 18" OEM rims or will I have to move to a square setup with 9" OEM 18" rims at all fours in this case?

Or, in the end, should I just stick with the original factory OEM sizes?

BTW, will an extra OEM front sized tire mounted on an extra OEM 18" x 8" wide rim work as an emergency trunk spare on the rear axles that has 9" wide rims on non-CSL M3s?

Thanks.

Last edited by ZAP1; 03-17-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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