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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
pyrocrickett
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Yet Another Square ZHP Thread 8" or 8.5"?

I've done a good bit of reading up on the understeer-inducing tendency of my stock ZHP's staggered wheels. With my car needing four new summer tires, now seems to be the perfect opportunity to try out something other than the OEM staggered Pilot Sport setup!

Now, while I haven't taken my ZHP to the autoX track YET I do enjoy navigating on/off ramps, roundabouts, & general corners in a spirited (not reckless!) manner & would like to emphasize the E46's inherent 50/50 handling characteristics as best I can. That said, the general consensus seems to be that if you want your ZHP to be more neutral in corners, go square. With an additional interest in being frugal with my ZHP's tires, going with a square setup also seems to be beneficial by allowing four-corner rotation & less-expensive tire options (assuming I don't buy four 255s!).

That advice seems to leave me with three options:
- 1. Buy a square set of tires for my stock (staggered) wheels.
- 2. Get a pair of 8.5" 135Ms to replace the 8" fronts.
- 3. Get a pair of 8" 135Ms to replace the 8.5" rears.

I have corresponding concerns for each of the above options:
- 1. What single size of tire will not look goofy/weird/wrong/stretched on both an 8" & 8.5" wheel? The stock 255 looks perfect (IMHO) on the 8.5" & the 225 looks a little small for the 8". (Is there a consensus on what size looks best on an 8" 135M?) Will a 255 be too big for the 8"?
- 2. I've seen a couple pictures of this setup & it seems like a 255-wrapped 8.5" is a bit too big, if at least visually; what about rubbing on the wheel well at full turn? (I have a fully stock suspension.) Anyone have clear pictures of a stock ZHP 8.5" on the front?
- 3. The option I'm most leaning to, with one major concern: does an 8" wheel/tire look too thin at the tail of a ZHP? Is the offset such that it looks noticeably "tucked in"? Anyone have clear pictures of this setup?

In general, I'd like the community's opinion on which of these three options is "The Best"(TM). And if anyone is also in my situation & would want to swap an 8" pair for an 8.5" pair or vice versa, let me know!
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:47 PM   #2
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Don't try to run 4x Style 135M wheels if you have a choice. They are very heavy at 29 lbs. and it would be beneficial to you to just find a lighter weight wheel (under 20lbs.) and call it a day.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
Don't try to run 4x Style 135M wheels if you have a choice. They are very heavy at 29 lbs. and it would be beneficial to you to just find a lighter weight wheel (under 20lbs.) and call it a day.
Exactly what I was going to suggest.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
Don't try to run 4x Style 135M wheels if you have a choice. They are very heavy at 29 lbs. and it would be beneficial to you to just find a lighter weight wheel (under 20lbs.) and call it a day.
Off the top of anyone's head, are there any 17-18" factory BMW wheels that fit that description? I love the OEM look . . .

Either way, I suppose my original question still applies: is it better to go with four 8" or four 8.5" (assuming staying with the same overall wheel/tire diameter)?
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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Be careful what you ask for. You may think you want more neutral handling but understeer is easier to control vrs oversteer. You are not driving laps on a closed course. On the street, understeer is good for safety purposes.

But, I would go with 8.5" square. Most OEM wheels are about 25 lbs ea unless you get the expensive BMW performance wheels which are apparently a little lighter.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:53 AM   #6
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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Be careful what you ask for. You may think you want more neutral handling but understeer is easier to control vrs oversteer. You are not driving laps on a closed course. On the street, understeer is good for safety purposes.
I'm well aware of the differences in handling over- vs understeer, as well as car manufacturer's preference to set up their cars from the factory with a lowest-common-denominator-serving "safe" suspension tune. I can handle a bit more oversteer (at least the little bit a square setup will provide).

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But, I would go with 8.5" square.
Why would you go with 8.5"? I'm just curious to hear pros/cons for either setup.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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8.5" is the best size IMO because you can fit a 255 wide tire on it on all four corners.

If you want a lightweight (19lbs for an 18x8.5") aftermarket wheel that has an OEM look then check out the D-Force EmPOWER (sold by Turner, Vorshlag, and Bimmerworld). Here they are on my car:
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrocrickett View Post
Why would you go with 8.5"? I'm just curious to hear pros/cons for either setup.
Many are running a 255 square setup on non-Ms. 8.5" wide wheel works great. An 8" is a little too slim. I don't see a good reason to go with less rubber in the rear.

A 9" wide wheel would probably be the widest wheel that you can easily fit up front.

I don't know of any wheels with 9.5" front fitments that aren't $1k/wheel.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
8.5" is the best size IMO because you can fit a 255 wide tire on it on all four corners.

If you want a lightweight (19lbs for an 18x8.5") aftermarket wheel that has an OEM look then check out the D-Force EmPOWER (sold by Turner, Vorshlag, and Bimmerworld). Here they are on my car:
What tire are you running ?

Stock suspension setup ?
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:09 PM   #11
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Do you not have any issues with rubbing on 255's in the front? I am looking at getting a set of wheels and might go with a square setup as long as i can run bigger wheels and not sacrifice rubber in the rear. PS all you need to fix alot of the understeer in the ZHP is a LS in the back. I have mine and love it!
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:05 AM   #12
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A limited slip differential in no way fixes factory understeer. Some limited slip differentials like a Torsen/Quaife will actually increase understeer.

You are mistaking over/under/neutral steer with power oversteer which is a different an unrelated aspect when talking about neutrality of handling.

And no, I don't rub at all with my Direzza Z1* 255's on all 4 corners with those wheels (even on the track)
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
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And no, I don't rub at all with my Direzza Z1* 255's on all 4 corners with those wheels (even on the track)
Are you on 17's or 18's?
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:08 AM   #14
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18's on my Z1* street wheels and then 17's on my NT01 track wheels
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:47 AM   #15
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i have a set of SSR GT2's that are perfect for non-M square setup
18x9 et45. you could even run 265/35 all around with a 3mm spacer up front
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Many are running a 255 square setup on non-Ms. 8.5" wide wheel works great. An 8" is a little too slim. I don't see a good reason to go with less rubber in the rear.

A 9" wide wheel would probably be the widest wheel that you can easily fit up front.

I don't know of any wheels with 9.5" front fitments that aren't $1k/wheel.
We have had some customers run our 9.5" +33 wheels up front with 255 tires without a problem. Only some slight camber adjustments will need to be made.

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:58 PM   #17
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See the other thread on this very subject:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=743373

255/35's on 8.5's have no front clearance problems.

My car handles neutrally because I tuned it with swaybars.

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Old 03-03-2010, 06:01 PM   #18
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So SpeedDemon you're running 255/35/18 on your street setup,right?I have those D-forcer empower wheels,i was thinking about a pair of 265/35 in the rear.Do you think they'll fit in there w/o rubbing since i have a sedan?What about a square like yours or 245/35/18 all around?
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:00 AM   #19
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So SpeedDemon you're running 255/35/18 on your street setup,right?I have those D-forcer empower wheels,i was thinking about a pair of 265/35 in the rear.Do you think they'll fit in there w/o rubbing since i have a sedan?What about a square like yours or 245/35/18 all around?
Don't bother... just run 255/35-18 all around
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:07 PM   #20
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Off the top of anyone's head, are there any 17-18" factory BMW wheels that fit that description? I love the OEM look . . .

Either way, I suppose my original question still applies: is it better to go with four 8" or four 8.5" (assuming staying with the same overall wheel/tire diameter)?
M68's. Light as hell.
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