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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
jeepo23
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Anyone run these on their XI? 225/50/17

Picked up a set of 225/50/17 Michelin X-ice for an unbelievable deal. My ride is an 02 330XI, which currently has 205/50/17 Summer tires on it. I know what the manual states, and what the door jam states - 205/50/17.

My question is, is there any issues if I ran these 225/50/17 in the winter? Anyone run this size on their XI? Any rubbing or anything?
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
shadow 2
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Should not be rubbing since I have ran 225 x 45 with no issues. Xi's are pretty immune to rubbing issues due to the added height.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
jeepo23
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Should not be rubbing since I have ran 225 x 45 with no issues. Xi's are pretty immune to rubbing issues due to the added height.
Thanks for the info. Yah I would hate to sell these and just try to find another set.

So no issues on a stock rim?
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:14 PM   #4
Kubica
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You will be fine. Slight increase in ground clearance, slight loss in acceleration.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:58 AM   #5
jeepo23
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Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
You will be fine. Slight increase in ground clearance, slight loss in acceleration.
Thanks for the info. Great the ground clearance I can always use in the CDN winter, acceleration is fine if its decreased during winter Less chance of me doing something stupid haha.

Thanks for the info guys.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #6
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Cool on the Tires

I've been running 225/50/17 for 3 years without any problems at all
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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You will have a slight loss in overall acceleration, slight MPH error as the tires are larger in overall diameter, both of these are minor. Your biggest problem is that you will have DECREASED traction in the snow and ice, exactly what you bought the tires for. You will not experience as much loss in traction with an XI as you would in a rear wheel drive only, but these tires also have a wider contact patch. A wider contact patch (where the tire tread meets the road surface) is great for summer driving, however, for driving in snow and ice, you really want a small contact patch, thus putting more of the vehicles weight on each contact patch and letting the tire get the best bite and traction that it can get. Actually, the 225/50/17 isn't even a listed PLUS 0 size for your car, the true Plus 0 size for the car is 225/45/17.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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Hey, 325xittt, where in Reading? I also live in the Reading area, Exeter Township. I see some (or maybe just one) silver 325 xit running around.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 325xittt View Post
I've been running 225/50/17 for 3 years without any problems at all
Thanks for the info. Now I need to find some steel rims to put these on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
You will have a slight loss in overall acceleration, slight MPH error as the tires are larger in overall diameter, both of these are minor. Your biggest problem is that you will have DECREASED traction in the snow and ice, exactly what you bought the tires for. You will not experience as much loss in traction with an XI as you would in a rear wheel drive only, but these tires also have a wider contact patch. A wider contact patch (where the tire tread meets the road surface) is great for summer driving, however, for driving in snow and ice, you really want a small contact patch, thus putting more of the vehicles weight on each contact patch and letting the tire get the best bite and traction that it can get. Actually, the 225/50/17 isn't even a listed PLUS 0 size for your car, the true Plus 0 size for the car is 225/45/17.
What is a true Plus 0 size? Thanks for the wealth of info. However should these factors really be something to have me worried and get rid of the tires and try and find another set?
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:32 AM   #10
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^you're fine dude. Try and find OE rims on craigslist- don't buy steel wheels.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:34 AM   #11
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^you're fine dude. Try and find OE rims on craigslist- don't buy steel wheels.
Well I mean OEM Steel/black rims? Having a hard time tho with the 5x120 bolt pattern. Nothing around me.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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What they used to call a PLUS 0 (now usually just referred to as optional size for stock wheels) is 225/45/17 for your car. Slightly lower sidewall and slightly wider tread. For new steel wheels, you can try the Tire Rack............www.tirerack.com. There you can also see all the correct sizes for your car in 17", 18", 20", etc. And as I said before, running those 225/50/17 winter tires will compromise the ice and snow traction because of their tread/contact patch width (though not nearly as bad as on a rear wheel drive 330). Me, I would sell the tires for what you paid for them and get some proper snow and ice tires.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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^disregard that post.

Will they be the best in the snow? No. Will your xi still kick serious ass in the snow? Yes.

I have 225 Hakka R's and 205 studded hakkas. Both are unbelievable in snow.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:49 PM   #14
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Not to threadjack, but I also have a 2002 xi that needs tires. But I was thinking of going with 225/45/17s. They're nearly the same circumference as the stock 205/50/17s. My question: will the stock wheels that currently have the stock 205/50/17 tires on be wide enough to accommodate the wider 225/45/17 tires? Anyone want to take a guess? I don't even know the stock wheel width. Is it 7 inches?
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
You will have a slight loss in overall acceleration, slight MPH error as the tires are larger in overall diameter, both of these are minor. Your biggest problem is that you will have DECREASED traction in the snow and ice, exactly what you bought the tires for. You will not experience as much loss in traction with an XI as you would in a rear wheel drive only, but these tires also have a wider contact patch. A wider contact patch (where the tire tread meets the road surface) is great for summer driving, however, for driving in snow and ice, you really want a small contact patch, thus putting more of the vehicles weight on each contact patch and letting the tire get the best bite and traction that it can get. Actually, the 225/50/17 isn't even a listed PLUS 0 size for your car, the true Plus 0 size for the car is 225/45/17.
Not true.

You will have decreased traction relative to a thinner tire, not relative to your all seasons or even summers. Either way, it's not substantial enough to not get a steal. I run 225/45/17 all winter long and the Xi dominates snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepo23 View Post
Thanks for the info. Now I need to find some steel rims to put these on.

What is a true Plus 0 size? Thanks for the wealth of info. However should these factors really be something to have me worried and get rid of the tires and try and find another set?
Don't do steel rims, car isn't designed for those. My BMW Performance Rotors even came with a document from BMW specifically stating "DO NOT USE STEEL WHEELS". OEM wheels, especially the common ones, are cheap. You can usually grab a set of style 44s for ~$200.

Plus 0 sizes are wider tires without increasing the overall outer diameter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
You will be fine. Slight increase in ground clearance, slight loss in acceleration.
^This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xi-xi View Post
Not to threadjack, but I also have a 2002 xi that needs tires. But I was thinking of going with 225/45/17s. They're nearly the same circumference as the stock 205/50/17s. My question: will the stock wheels that currently have the stock 205/50/17 tires on be wide enough to accommodate the wider 225/45/17 tires? Anyone want to take a guess? I don't even know the stock wheel width. Is it 7 inches?
You'll be fine. I run 225/45/17 snow tires on my 17x7 rims. Your stock rims, if they came with 205 width tires, are 7 inches in width. Is this for snow tires or all seasons?
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #16
Kubica
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Originally Posted by xi-xi View Post
Not to threadjack, but I also have a 2002 xi that needs tires. But I was thinking of going with 225/45/17s. They're nearly the same circumference as the stock 205/50/17s. My question: will the stock wheels that currently have the stock 205/50/17 tires on be wide enough to accommodate the wider 225/45/17 tires? Anyone want to take a guess? I don't even know the stock wheel width. Is it 7 inches?
Yes, definitely buy 225/45. They will fit and it's a huge performance upgrade.

Are you buying all-season or summer tires?
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #17
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xi-xi, the 225/45/17 is the optional size to the 205/50/17s and will fit the stock rim with no problem. A great summer tire upgrade, a trade-off upgrade if using All-Season Tires (personally I don't believe in the All-Season tires as they are a total compromise), but a poor choice for winter/snow/ice tires (see above), though not as much a poor choice on an xi as on a rear wheel drive only BMW. If you want a good All-Season tire though, go for the Continental Extreme Contact All Season tires, one of the best choices out there for All-Season tires I think.
SamDoe1, didn't say anything about decreased tractive compared to summer or all season tires, DECREASED traction with the 225/50/17 snow tires in relation to even 205/50/17 snow tires, the wider the tread on snow tires, the decreased traction because of the increase size of the contact patch and less of the vehicle weight on the contact patch of a wider tire than a narrower tire. You are using 225/45/17s, that is a correct size (the true Plus 0 size) for your car (would I use them for dedicated snows, no, but that's your choice), and those are a bit different that OP's 225/50/17s that he got a good deal on. Like I said before, it isn't as big a lose of traction and control in snow and ice with the wider tires on an xi as opposed to a rear wheel drive BMW, but there still WILL BE a decrease. For the winter, get more slush and ice where I live than deep snow, I want the best traction I can get, so the proper narrower tread snows with slightly higher sidewall go on. Gives a bit more clearance for build up underneath, more weight and therefore more traction on the narrower contact patches.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:00 PM   #18
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Thanks for the responses! It's not really practical for me to have a separate set-up for the winter, so I'm going with All Season tires. I don't plan on any plowing through deep snow, but there is always a chance of inadvertently getting caught in a coating of some white stuff going to or from work. I understand the disadvantage of a wider tire in snow--yes it'll float-- but I don't think that's going to be a major problem. I anticipate snow driving to be minimal. I have a dedicated vehicle for bad snow. I also heard many good things about the Continental Extreme Contact--$125 apiece at Tire Rack. I know they're a compromise, but I think they'll be an upgrade from what's on the car now in decent weather.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #19
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This info from a australian tech site:
Tyres, Grip and All That...


Sorting fact from fiction in tyre physics


By Dennis Jensen



So many tyres; so many factors to consider! Do you go wider? Do you go
for a lower profile? Do you increase your wheel diameter? What pressures
do you run? The whole area is quite complicated, and the result is that
there is a hell of a lot of misconceptions out there. What is needed is
a primer to give some fairly solid grounding in the basics, so that
informed decisions can be made.

So, let's go through two of the misconceptions, and see if we can get an
understanding of what actually contributes to grip - and what does not.


Myth 1: Wider tyres have a larger contact patch than narrow tyres

What actually influences the size of the tyre's contact patch? Is it the
width of the tyre, or the profile? The simple answer that it is neither
of these; the size of the tyre's contact patch is related to:

* the weight on the wheel
* the tyre pressure.

For example, say that the weight on the tyre was 900lb, and the tyre
pressure was 10 psi. That internal pressure means that each square inch
of area can support 10lb, so, in this case, the contact patch will be 90
square inches. If the tyre pressure was 30 psi, the contact area would
be 30 square inches, and if the pressure was 90 psi, the contact area
would be 10 square inches. This has been found to be almost exactly
correct for most tyres (the exceptions being so-called run-flat tyres,
or tyres with extremely stiff sidewalls). For most other tyres, carcass
structure will have an effect, but by far the major factor is tyre pressure.

So, as you can see, the size of the contact patch of a tyre is *not*
related to the width of the tyre - it is, in fact, proportional to the
tyre pressure. What *will* change with the fitting of a wider tyre is
the shape of the contact patch - it will get wider, but shorter longways.


Myth 2: A larger contact patch = more grip

Okay, most people will come to the conclusion that if you have "more
rubber on the road" you will have increased grip. Sorry to say this
folks, but to very close to 100% accuracy, the size of the contact patch
is irrelevant.

The actual grip that a tyre can generate is dictated by the coefficient
of friction of the rubber compound used in the tyre. The higher the
coefficient, the more grip which can be generated. The relation that is
used is called Amonton's Law, and the equation is:

F=uN,

where F is the force generated, u is the coefficient of friction, and N
is the weight on the surface considered (in our case, the weight on the
tyre).

So, if you increase the weight on the tyre, then the frictional force
will increase as well, in proportion to the increase in weight on the
tyre - but the coefficient of friction will remain the same. The level
of grip of the tyre (forgetting about suspension niceties - we are only
discussing tyres here) is totally dictated by the coefficient of grip of
the tyre and the weight acting on it - not the area of the contact
between the tyre and the road.


Why Not Narrow Tyres, Then?

So, I hear you argue, why bother with wide, low profile tyres at all?
Why not simply have narrow, high profile tyres? The simple reply to that
is heat (remember, we are simply talking grip here, not the niceties of
handling finesse). The point is that, to get a contact patch of a
certain size on the road, you need a certain portion of the tyre to be
flat. Taking the contact patch to be basically rectangular (though it is
actually partially oval in shape), then the area of that patch will be
its length times its width. Now, for a narrow tyre, the contact patch
will be quite long compared with a wide tyre.

This introduces two problems for the tyre.

First, to get that long flat section to give the required contact patch,
the sidewall of the tyre needs to deform quite a lot. This deformation
actually causes the bending and unbending the rubber of the sidewall as
it flattens and then the tread curves again. This bending and unbending
process results in a lot of heat being generated. (Think about bending
and unbending a piece of wire rapidly, and how hot it gets as you do so.
If you bend it less, but at the same frequency, less heat will be
generated). Obviously, the more it needs to bend, the greater the amount
of heat generated.

The second relates to the length itself. There will be a greater
percentage of the tyre tread in contact with the road than if the
contact patch length were shorter; this reduces the amount that the
tread can cool. Also, there is a greater percentage of sidewall at any
given time that is actually under bending stresses, again resulting in
less opportunity to cool.

So, how much extra bending do you really get, and how much is potential
tread cooling reduced? Let's take a theoretical example, and take a
155-width tyre compared with a 225 tyre of the same circumference.
Agreed, this is an extreme example, but it will suit our point very
well. Assume that the wheel/tyre-unloaded circumference is 60cm. Assume
the tyre pressure is 30 psi, and that the weight on the wheel is 600lb,
giving an area of 20 square inches (or 129 square cm). Assuming that the
contact patch is rectangular, with the wider (225) tyre, the patch will
be 5.73cm long, and with the 155 tyre, the patch will be 8.32cm long.
Now, the circumference of the wheel-tyre combination is 188cm, so the
225 is heating for 3% of its cycle, and cooling 97%, whereas the 155 is
heating for 4.5% of the cycle and cooling for 95.5%. So, you can see
that the narrower tyre is generating heat 50% longer than the 225, and
is not spending so much of its cycle cooling.

Now, as far as heating of the tyre is concerned, simple geometry shows
us that the 155 tyre bends by 0.29cm, and the 225 bends by 0.14cm. Now,
assuming that the heating of the tyre is roughly proportional to the
deformation, let's find out the results of all of this. We will multiply
the deformation by the percentage of time the tyre sidewall is under
stress, and divide this number by the percentage of time that the tyre
is being cooled. Multiplying the resulting numbers by 100, we get a
figure of 1.37 for the 155 tyre, and 0.43 for the 225. Dividing the 155
tyre's number by that of the 225, we find that the heat generation of
the 155 is */3.2 times that of the 225!/* This is quite an amazing
result, given that the 225 is only 45% wider than the 155.

As a result on this increased generation of heat, and the reduced
capacity for self cooling, the tyres need to be made of a harder rubber
compound that is more able to resist heat. This harder compound will, of
necessity, have a reduced coefficient of friction, particularly when
cold. The tyres that are wider can have a softer compound with better
frictional properties. Due to the reduced bending stresses, and greater
cooling opportunities, the tyre will tend to stay within a narrow
temperature range quite consistently, giving greater cold grip, while
managing to have a reduced propensity for overheating. Obviously, this
makes for a better performance tyre.

On the issue of wheel size (the diameter, not the width), it is
therefore clear that increasing the wheel/tyre diameter combination is
beneficial. The reason for this is that the tyre will not have to deform
so much to get the required contact patch length, and the percentage of
the tyre tread in contact with the road will be less than for a smaller
diameter combination.

So, what about tyre pressure? Obviously, tyre pressure plays a very
important part, but there are clearly limits on both sides of the tyre
pressure equation. At the higher end, there is the maximum tyre pressure
that can be sustained before there is damage to the carcass. At the low
end, you don't want the sidewall almost collapsing, generating massive
heat, and have the tyre slipping on the rim. So, you can play around
with tyre pressures to optimise your set-up, but there are limitations.

A simple way to find out approximately what pressure is optimal for your
combination is to draw a chalkline across the width of the tyre, drive
for a bit, and look at the wear pattern of the chalkmark. Wearing more
quickly in the centre indicates pressure that is too high, and wear on
the edges indicates too low a pressure.

One issue to consider is that, for wet weather driving, despite what you
may have heard, it is better to increase your tyre pressure, not reduce
it. The reason is that there is a relationship between tyre pressure and
the speed at which there is the onset of aquaplaning. In the Imperial
system, the equation is 9 times the square root of the tyre pressure.
So, if your tyres are at 25 psi, if you drive into a puddle that is
deeper than your tread depth, you will aquaplane at 45 mph (72 km/h),
whereas if your tyre pressure was 36psi, you would aquaplane at 54 mph
(87 km/h). The advantages are obvious.

As far as tyre profile is concerned, the main benefit is one of handling
- the lower sidewalls give reduced sidewall deformation under lateral
loading, which results in improved steering response and a more stable
contact patch.


Conclusion

Summarizing, what factors are important in terms of tyre grip? Tyre
width has no direct relation to the amount of grip generated; it is a
secondary factor, and the width basically relates to cooling potential
and so the tyre compound that can be used. The size of the contact patch
has no bearing on the amount of grip generated at all, apart from the
extreme of where the compound is getting so hot that it no longer acts
as a solid (and therefore doesn't follow Amonton's Law). The tyre
pressure has no direct bearing on the level of grip (apart from
aquaplaning), but it does have a bearing on the heating and cooling
characteristics of the tyre. Having a lower tyre profile gives improved
handling through reduced sidewall stress and improved contact patch
shape stability.

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Old 08-21-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
jeepo23
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Not true.

You will have decreased traction relative to a thinner tire, not relative to your all seasons or even summers. Either way, it's not substantial enough to not get a steal. I run 225/45/17 all winter long and the Xi dominates snow.



Don't do steel rims, car isn't designed for those. My BMW Performance Rotors even came with a document from BMW specifically stating "DO NOT USE STEEL WHEELS". OEM wheels, especially the common ones, are cheap.
Can you explain why? I see a ton of BMW's with black/steel winter rims on during winter, newer e92 as well as e46.

The rims even have BMW lettering right on them so it's OEM equipment.

If not to use steel rims, from what other vehicles will a rim fit the bimmer? I can't seem to locate any el-cheapo rims around me that are in $hit shape in order to be worth running for winter.
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