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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
Brahms
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Skinny winter tires on a 330xi?

Maybe this isn't the best first post for a newbie, but here goes. Several "winter tire" threads say "Longer, skinnier contact patches are the ticket for winter," or words to that effect. Based on that, then putting my 205/70/15 Pirelli studs (ex-Honda Accord) on OEM BMW steelies doesn't sound like such a bad idea. The tire is a little under 26 inches tall, where the OEM 205/50/17s are something a little over 25. In Georgia, the problem is not snow, but ice. Studs seem to work better than chains in our situation.

No, I don't yet own the car - I'm going to look at it this weekend. No, I'm not going to bore you with "is this a good deal" or anything like that. I am looking for a small AWD car to complement the Excursion and the DRZ (I live on a muddy dirt/gravel road), and a 325xi/330xi is more appealing than a Subaru Legacy.

Observations from the experts?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:36 PM   #2
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VERY few 16" rims clear the front calipers. No way will your 15" tires be made to work without 86 mm spacers.
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Does anyone have a recommendation on which is the best high performance valve stems?
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
Brahms
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Thanks greatly - exactly the answer I needed, but it leads to a second question. There's a set of 15 inch steelies for a '99 323(?) on Atlanta craigslist. Did the later E46s (in particular the xi) ever come with steel wheels? Steelies are much easier to mount tires on. . .
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Steelies were only OE on older 323i models.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:23 AM   #5
Brahms
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Very good, and many thanks. I guess I'll be talking to you, Gary, if I end up with this 330xi. I knew there were some truly smart people on this forum!
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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Steelies were only OE on older 323i models.
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