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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
Use this forum to discuss anything in relation to wheels to tires to offsets.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:36 AM   #21
BeMyWhip
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Why is a german guy asking questions about a german car from Americans?
Things that make you go hmmm.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #22
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I have style 119 rims and have been running them with 225/45/17 tires for almost 4 years with no problems because bmw recommends that size.

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:22 AM   #23
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OP, bmw is a stiff car to begin with... replacing suspension components will not soften anything but actually the opposite.

Unless you feel or hear or see worn parts, don't do any replacing, especially at your kms. I'd wait another 50,000km before doing the major parts.

Going from 17-18" is not too big of a difference but if you are lowered or plan to lower the car, stick to 17 to avoid rim damage and softer ride.

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:33 AM   #24
dknightd
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Your tire selection, and air pressure, will have the biggest effect. I like having the same wheels and tires all around. Car seems more balanced this way. And you can rotate front to rear. But I have not experimented much
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:02 AM   #25
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IDK, I disagree with some of you about 17s vs 18s.

I was in the same position. My car felt really rough with the 18" heavy 135s. I first changed the suspension with new koni struts/shocks on full soft. The ride did feel much better. Two days later, I put 17s on and the ride was WAYYYY better. The smaller wheels had more of an influence on ride quality than the suspension refresh... Both sets of tires were running proper tire pressure and the sidewalls were actually stiffer on the 17s (which were bridgestone tires versus the soft sidewalls of hankook tires on my 18 inch wheels).
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:52 PM   #26
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@BeMyWhip: I am not a german, I simply live here..I do not know many of the techical terms in german, so this is why I am posting here..

According to my question: I would probably move down from m135s to styling 119 for the summer, to see wheather it will be more comfortable. I think also that the car's performance will be better (power) with the 225 agaist the 255 in the rear
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:25 PM   #27
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going from m135s to the 119 should give better performance since they are probably lighter.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by zashata View Post
@BeMyWhip: I am not a german, I simply live here..I do not know many of the techical terms in german, so this is why I am posting here..

According to my question: I would probably move down from m135s to styling 119 for the summer, to see wheather it will be more comfortable. I think also that the car's performance will be better (power) with the 225 agaist the 255 in the rear
Just ignore BeMyWhip.

He's kind of......

Well, just read his threads.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:21 PM   #29
hitbyastick
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Square setup on 17s with some Michelins are the optimum config for the e46 platform. 18s are too big and heavy for the car. Think unsprung weight. Style 119s are among the lightest 17s around.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by bimmernate View Post
IDK, I disagree with some of you about 17s vs 18s.

I was in the same position. My car felt really rough with the 18" heavy 135s. I first changed the suspension with new koni struts/shocks on full soft. The ride did feel much better. Two days later, I put 17s on and the ride was WAYYYY better. The smaller wheels had more of an influence on ride quality than the suspension refresh... Both sets of tires were running proper tire pressure and the sidewalls were actually stiffer on the 17s (which were bridgestone tires versus the soft sidewalls of hankook tires on my 18 inch wheels).
If you want to part with your 135's I'm so interested in them


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Old 01-19-2014, 06:25 PM   #31
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I have 16" stock rims w/ soft mushy snow tires on for the winter, and have 18" rims & 'summer only' performance tires, for the same overall diameter as the 16" set, for summer; I do notice a difference in ride quality, slightly harsher / firmer, but the time I only really notice the difference is the day or two after swapping the tires. It really is not bad at all in my opinion.

One thing to note though, a larger rim size & stiff walled tires appears to bring out any issues in worn out suspension components in the front end... I've noticed this on my previous E36 M3 & my current E46 325i. Bought both cars with seemingly tight front ends w/ the stock rims; after about 500 or so miles on the 18" rims, I started having to replace suspension parts in the front end due to clunking over bumps. Could be due to the reduced 'give' of the larger rim set, which the suspension now needs to absorb, but I'm guess my driving style on the pot-holed roads in Michigan has a whole lot to do with things wearing out quickly...
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:08 PM   #32
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I have run quite a lot if different wheels, 17's to 19's, staggered/square, and ranging in weight from as little as 14.x pounds to 28.x pounds per wheel. Similarly, I have had quite a few different suspension setups, from stock to aftermarket strut/shock+spring combo and near a dozen or so different coilovers (and the list of the all the suspension components, ie bushings/bearings/mounts, F/R control arms, and so forth would be beyond the scope of this message). Also, while I prefer, and usually "stick" to Michelin Pilot Sport 2/Super Sports/Cups, I have used a fair amount of different tires (BFG KDW2 T/A, ContiSport Contact 2/3, Toyo Proxes4/RA1/888, Hankook V12, Bridgestone RE11/RE050/RE01A, and such; Oh, have Michelin Pilot A/S3's on the 325i currently, and I think they're the only "all season" in existence that's not a pile of poo).
That's across four cars, all E46's and all very different in modification level, usage, capabilities, engine, option packages, and so forth.
This is not including cars no longer in my possession.
I have found that there are very few E46's that have a fully working suspension after 60k miles, and by 90k the dampers are beyond dead, and the environmentally friendly rubber used to make the suspension bushings and drivetrain mounts has deteriorated.

The problem is that the suspension degrades slowly over time, so there's no one day it's good then the next it's shot, instead, it's impossible to perceive the change as its happening. The best way, even for people who are heavily focused on suspension perfection like myself, to tell if you have blown dampers is to simply get into the same model car that has BRAND NEW ones, and ideally drive it but at least ride in it. Also, Park the two next to each other, stand behind and between them, put a hand on the top corner closest you of each car's trunk/quarter panel (above the tail lights), and lean forward w all your body weight equally distributed between both arms, forcing the rear dampers to compress. Then remove your hands and watch. Do the same but push as hard and as quickly as possible, and watch.
You will see the old car is bouncy, and takes longer to return to a motionless state, while the new car is able to become motionless almost instantly. Now, imagine what happens when a few thousand pounds of force act on the vehicle, instead of the maybe 100 lbs you are able to impress upon it.

Stiff and harsh DOES NOT mean good handling, just FYI.

Also, tires are part of the suspension.

If you are going to switch to 17's, go with the M68's. They're excellent wheels, and one of the lightest wheels BMW has ever made in that size. You will remove 8 or 9 pounds per corner just from the wheels, I don't remember the exact weights but the 135's are extremely heavy 18's while the M68's are extremely light 17's. Assuming my numbers are right, that's 32-36lbs OR MORE of unsprung weight loss. The general equivalent to horsepower is 1lb = 0.85hp, or the equivalent to sprung weight (anything that is held up by the suspension, so 85-90 percent of the car) is 1lb unsprung = 9-10lb sprung.
However, reducing unsprung weight improves EVERY aspect of a cars performance, improving:
Ride quality
Forward Acceleration
Braking
Handling (lateral acceleration, responsiveness to input)
Traction
Component lifespan increased
Tire wear reduced

Anyway, that's what I have for ya... And remember, you cannot tell a suspension is bad from a visual inspection 98pct of the time, and unless you have a SIGNIFICANT amount of experience with many different models of BMW, you are very unlikely to notice anything wrong unless you are doing a direct comparison (riding in both on the same road back to back, for example).
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