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Old 08-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
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APEX | E46 non-M Fitment – Staggered and Aggressive

E46 non-M Fitment – Staggered and Aggressive

Front: 18X9” ET31 EC-7 Rear: 18×10” ET43 EC-7

This is a much-wider-than-stock but surprisingly easy fitment with a few suspension mods. No spacers are necessary with this fitment, and as long as you have a minimum of -1.5 degrees of camber* up front and a fender roll in the rear, there are no clearance issues. With a little work to create the additional front camber you can give your E46 a much more aggressive look and significantly increase its handling performance.



It’s not easy to see but our test car is a lot more than a lowered BMW E46 on coilovers. It has had an S54 conversion, custom exhaust, and some very significant suspension modifications. Suffice to say, we want it. But even with its extensive modifications the car does represent this fitment as it will be on any E46 non-M: wide, aggressive, easy, and spacerless.


Specifications:
  • Car/chassis: 2002 e46 330i.
  • Wheel model: EC-7, Race Silver, 18X9” ET31 Front and 18X10” ET43 Rear.
  • Tires: 255/35/18 Toyo R1R front, 265/35/18 Hankook R-S3 rear
    • We mixed different tire models in our photos for testing only
  • Suspension: KW Variant 2 Coilovers.
  • Camber: -3.1 degrees in the front and -2.0 degrees in the rear.
  • Ride Height: 25.25” front and 25” rear.
  • Spacers: None.
  • Fenders and body modifications: Front and rear fenders were already rolled**, although the front was not necessary
  • Brakes:
    • Front: Alcon/Stasis 6-piston 365mm BBK
    • Rear: Rim – Stock brakes
  • Clearance
    • Front: Rim – Strut; 10mm, Tire – Fender; 1mm w/o fender roll – 6mm w/ fender roll.
    • Rear: Rim – Strut; 34mm, Tire – Fender; 6.5mm w/o fender roll, 11.5mm w/ fender roll.

    * -1.5 degrees of front camber can be achieved through the use of camber plates or by punching out the Strut Locating Pin and sliding the top of the struts inward.
    ** Rolling fenders means to flatten the inner fender lip against the outer fender. Doing this creates, approximately, an additional 5mm of outer clearance.

Details: Tires, Suspension, Camber Plates, Spacer, Brakes
Wheels
The new 18×9" ET31 front wheel is similar to our previous 18×9" ET42 wheel which was commonly used with a 10-12mm spacer when meaty tires were used. This new offset accomplishes the same fitment without the need for spacers, and at the same time allowing for an increase in spoke concavity. The 31mm offset is only necessary to achieve the wheel to strut tube clearance required for extra meaty tires or for coilovers with long or cone shaped main springs. An alternate fitment that keeps the 9" wheel width, and in many cases even a 255/35/18 front tire, an 18×9" ET42 wheel can be used in combination with a 5mm spacer, allowing the effective offset to be 6mm more conservative.

The 18×10" ET43 wheel was created to allow for the fitment of a 10" wheel on the E46 non-m and some E36 applications. It is wider than our 18×9.5" ET43 wheel, but works for owners who are willing to roll their rear fender and/or add additional negative camber in the rear. The rear is definitely considered a flush fitment, and the 265 size on the 10" wheel allows for just enough stretch to allow this to fit. On cars with extra low suspension, or low cars with soft springs, marginal tire rub could still occur.


Tires
The 255/35/18 Toyo R1R in front and 265/35/18 Hankook R-S3 are much wider than stock. Both tires are true to size so you can feel comfortable choosing almost any street tire in these sizes, knowing they will fit easily.

The only tire size consideration is if a meaty tire such as an Toyo R888 will be used. This will run slightly wider than either of the tires used in our test and could cause inner and outer clearance issues.



Suspension
The E46 uses the KW V2 single adjustable coilovers. This fitment with the KW has more than enough clearance from the tire to the spring/spring perch in the front and over 30mm of clearance in the rear. Suffice to say, rubbing on the springs or struts is not a concern.



Camber and Camber Plates
Adding negative camber (camber angle) with camber plates is almost always recommended to customers looking to run a meaty tire in the front of a BMW. It creates more outer clearance without affecting clearance of the strut/spring in the front. “shimming” the strut is possible on some cars to add negative camber, although this method results in a reduction of wheel to strut tube clearance, and is not adjustable.

This E46 has quite a lot of camber in the front, -3.1, but we feel that this fitment would still be fine with -1.5. Coincidentally, you can get -1.5 degrees of camber on an E46 by knocking out the alignment pins on the strut hat. Even though they’re called alignment pins they only align the struts during production and have nothing to do with wheel alignment.


Spacers
Spacers are not needed for this fitment.

Brakes
The Alcon/Stasis 6-piston 365mm BBK on the front had 20mm of clearance to the barrel and the spokes. Needless to say, clearance for an OEM front brake isn’t a concern. As expected the rear brakes have no issues.


Summarize
This is an incredible fitment on an incredible car. Although it seems closer to a fitment for an M3 it isn’t. This is definitely for the E46 non-M. The minor modifications required allow you to run 255 and 265 tires without spacers. The increased tire width will increase handling but with that extra negative camber your handling performance will be more balanced and even better.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:44 PM   #2
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Nice wheels and nice car. That's Cyberkaa's isn't it.

A note about the camber. You say that -1.5 degrees front camber is require for this wheel to fit in the front and that knocking out the front alignment pins will give you this. On a stock suspension, I've seen camber around -.3 to -.5. Since the alignment pins, according to BMW TIS, gives you .5 degree maximum adjustment, this might be shy of the required -1.5 degrees you state dependent on the particular car and condition of its suspenison. With a lowered suspension and knocked out pins, you likely will either be at -1.5 or slightly more negative which would give the required clearance again depending on the car. Close call. most people will probably not run aftermarket wheels on a stock suspension but it happens.

I am interested in the wheels. What are their weights front and rear, and what material and type of construction? price?
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:20 PM   #3
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Nice wheels and nice car. That's Cyberkaa's isn't it.

A note about the camber. You say that -1.5 degrees front camber is require for this wheel to fit in the front and that knocking out the front alignment pins will give you this. On a stock suspension, I've seen camber around -.3 to -.5. Since the alignment pins, according to BMW TIS, gives you .5 degree maximum adjustment, this might be shy of the required -1.5 degrees you state dependent on the particular car and condition of its suspenison. With a lowered suspension and knocked out pins, you likely will either be at -1.5 or slightly more negative which would give the required clearance again depending on the car. Close call. most people will probably not run aftermarket wheels on a stock suspension but it happens.

I am interested in the wheels. What are their weights front and rear, and what material and type of construction? price?
That surely is cyberkaa's beautiful e46, you have a very keen eye! We appreciate your input, we will take this into consideration. Our post was based off of the information we have gathered in the past from customers, so it can very well be that the customers that we have gathered data from were lowered on springs. We will be more conservative with our recommendations in the future.

The 18x9.0" ET31 EC-7 weighs 21.25 lbs, and the 18x10" ET43 EC-7 weighs 22.50 lbs. The wheels are flow formed aluminum, and you may find that many other vendor's refer to this method as rotary forged. I'll send you a PM with a quote for the exact same specifications.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for the clarification and added info. That info on the weights is pretty impressive given the size of the wheel. Might help to include that in the original post as I'm sure it will be the deciding factor. I am interested in these wheels.

Maybe it's on the website, but I guess they come in different colors? Silver looks good. I wonder if Bilstein struts would rub
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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Nice write-up and presentation, David. I've got the Apex ARC-8s on my 2002 325i sedan (18x9, ET42) with 245/35-18 tires, stock alignment and they don't rub at all. I'm pretty sure I could go 255/35-18 with no issues. As you know, my wheels are only 18.7 lb. apiece, so I've kept the unsprung weight really close to what the stocker has with 16x7 alloys.

I'm totally happy with them, and wanted to pass the fitment info on to others.

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Old 08-21-2013, 10:32 PM   #6
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also keep in mind this car has M3 kingpins in front IIRC so maybe that's why the fronts need to be rolled? I would like to not roll my front and rear fenders =( Maybe i can buy four fronts and space the back? I'd love to see these fit on a STOCK non-M to get an idea.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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Square would be better :/
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:11 PM   #8
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Cyberkaa? that guy is such a goober

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Old 08-22-2013, 12:15 AM   #9
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That's a beautiful sedan and some great looking wheels.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
Thanks for the clarification and added info. That info on the weights is pretty impressive given the size of the wheel. Might help to include that in the original post as I'm sure it will be the deciding factor. I am interested in these wheels.

Maybe it's on the website, but I guess they come in different colors? Silver looks good. I wonder if Bilstein struts would rub
We do have three finishes available: Race Silver, Anthracite, and Satin Black. We do not believe that the Bilstein struts would cause any issues as long as they are the OEM replacements.

Here are the finishes:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
also keep in mind this car has M3 kingpins in front IIRC so maybe that's why the fronts need to be rolled? I would like to not roll my front and rear fenders =( Maybe i can buy four fronts and space the back? I'd love to see these fit on a STOCK non-M to get an idea.
The front fenders were already rolled due to the owner's wheel set up, but it was not required as noted in the article for the front wheels and tires to fit with the negative camber. The rear fenders did need the extra clearance to fit a 10" wide wheel with a meaty 265/35/18 Hankook RS3 which is a very wide wheel and tire combination for the rear of an e46. We would love to test these on a stock non-M and hope to have a donor car to test in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bee-em-dougle-u View Post
Nice write-up and presentation, David. I've got the Apex ARC-8s on my 2002 325i sedan (18x9, ET42) with 245/35-18 tires, stock alignment and they don't rub at all. I'm pretty sure I could go 255/35-18 with no issues. As you know, my wheels are only 18.7 lb. apiece, so I've kept the unsprung weight really close to what the stocker has with 16x7 alloys.

I'm totally happy with them, and wanted to pass the fitment info on to others.

--Doug
Doug, thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated. I'm glad that you are happy with your new wheels!

Quote:
Originally Posted by asubimmer View Post
Square would be better :/
It certain cases, a squared setup may be indeed better, especially for track or autocross use where one would experience major understeer and would like to neutralize the car. In this case, we wanted to portray a street friendly setup that looks very aggressive while still retaining functionality.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:11 AM   #11
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I'm sorry if this was already said, but I am new to some of the suspension terms. Can this setup be ran on stock struts and shocks with lowering springs? Great looking car and I love this setup. Really want to do this to my 04 sedan but with 19's..
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #12
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I'm sorry if this was already said, but I am new to some of the suspension terms. Can this setup be ran on stock struts and shocks with lowering springs? Great looking car and I love this setup. Really want to do this to my 04 sedan but with 19's..
Unfortunately this setup would not be compatible with your car with OEM suspension with just lowering springs. You would need to add camber plates in order to achieve the required negative camber for the wheels and tires to properly clear your front fenders. Some people have been able to achieve the required camber by knocking out the alignment pins on the strut hat but it is a very close call as there would be many variables that comes into play. The rears would require for you to roll your fenders and add negative camber as most lowering springs are usually softer when it comes to spring rates, which may cause marginal tire rubbing.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:55 PM   #13
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Unfortunately this setup would not be compatible with your car with OEM suspension with just lowering springs. You would need to add camber plates in order to achieve the required negative camber for the wheels and tires to properly clear your front fenders. Some people have been able to achieve the required camber by knocking out the alignment pins on the strut hat but it is a very close call as there would be many variables that comes into play. The rears would require for you to roll your fenders and add negative camber as most lowering springs are usually softer when it comes to spring rates, which may cause marginal tire rubbing.
I thought the camber in the rear wasnt really needed as much as it was just a precautionary( much like rolling the fronts) and I dont have a problem with rolling the rear fenders, and also, if I just removed the pins, and rolled the fronts would that be enough room for this setup? And I am going to look for a close to stock spring rate with the lowering kit. I just really wanted to stay away from the camber plates if possible.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:07 PM   #14
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I thought the camber in the rear wasnt really needed as much as it was just a precautionary( much like rolling the fronts) and I dont have a problem with rolling the rear fenders, and also, if I just removed the pins, and rolled the fronts would that be enough room for this setup? And I am going to look for a close to stock spring rate with the lowering kit. I just really wanted to stay away from the camber plates if possible.
With the aggressive rear wheel that this car ran, the EC-7's in 18x10" ET43 with a 265/35/18 Hankook RS3, which is a very meaty tire, the rolled fenders itself is not enough for the rear tires to clear, so the addition of negative camber was needed so that there would not be tire rubbing. The fronts would be very close, so it can come down to the tire choice and how much your lowering springs yields in terms of negative camber in addition to maxing out the negative camber by pulling the pins. We prefer to use camber plates so that there would be the adjustability when needed.
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:30 AM   #15
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We do have three finishes available: Race Silver, Anthracite, and Satin Black. We do not believe that the Bilstein struts would cause any issues as long as they are the OEM replacements.

Here are the finishes:





The front fenders were already rolled due to the owner's wheel set up, but it was not required as noted in the article for the front wheels and tires to fit with the negative camber. The rear fenders did need the extra clearance to fit a 10" wide wheel with a meaty 265/35/18 Hankook RS3 which is a very wide wheel and tire combination for the rear of an e46. We would love to test these on a stock non-M and hope to have a donor car to test in the near future.



Doug, thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated. I'm glad that you are happy with your new wheels!



It certain cases, a squared setup may be indeed better, especially for track or autocross use where one would experience major understeer and would like to neutralize the car. In this case, we wanted to portray a street friendly setup that looks very aggressive while still retaining functionality.

Did you ever do any more test fitting with these rims on a different non-M. I am going to need new tires soon and I want this set up, preferably without rolling the fenders. I have a feeling that is going to have to happen with this aggressive wheel/tire combo. I currently have BC coil-over's with adjustable camber sitting in the garage. Waiting to match up the wheels and tires before I move forward with installing these, new LCA, bushings and end-links. Thanks.

Brian
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:02 PM   #16
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Did you ever do any more test fitting with these rims on a different non-M. I am going to need new tires soon and I want this set up, preferably without rolling the fenders. I have a feeling that is going to have to happen with this aggressive wheel/tire combo. I currently have BC coil-over's with adjustable camber sitting in the garage. Waiting to match up the wheels and tires before I move forward with installing these, new LCA, bushings and end-links. Thanks.

Brian
Brian, we have not had the chance to get another e46 non-M into our facility for additional test fitment. The standard fitment for the e46 non-M in OEM form is usually the 18x8.5" ET35 and the 18x9.5" ET43 though if you are not looking to go too aggressive and have to worry about additional negative camber or rolling fenders.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:34 PM   #17
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Is there a uk distributor?
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:43 PM   #18
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Is there a uk distributor?
We do indeed have a UK dealer: CA Technologies. We can also ship internationally.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:26 AM   #19
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Great thank you
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