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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 187
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
2002 330Ci Winter Wheel and Tire question

Hi guys, my first post here...I've recently become the proud owner of a 2002 330Ci with only 38 k miles. I uploaded some pics too... Even though we just had a hurricane blow through, I'm happy to say I've had a blast so far driving this car and can't wait to find some debris-free roads to really cut loose on.

Anyway, I've done a ton of searching before making this post, so please don't flame me for asking this question (which I couldn't find the right answer for in my searches here).

If possible, I'd like to keep the staggered rim setup for winter on the original OEM style 68 wheels which are:

17 x 7 1/2 J, et: 41 up front
17 x 8 1/2 J, et: 50 in the rear

I've read different opinions on whether it is best to have a staggered setup in winter and it seems a few posters have no issues in snow with good tires and the same size rims as my style 68s.

I won't be doing a bunch of deep snow driving, but want some good winter capability and as a result I am looking at a performance sport tire for winter so I don't sacrifice too much dry performance (which are really most days - dry clear roads - even in Long Island winters).

My question is this:
Can I use size 225/45/17 winter tires, (which is what the fronts use now, but they're summers), on the larger rear rims as well (the 17 x 8 1/2 J rims)?

I've read that 1 size tire can fit on a range of rim sizes, but I cannot seem to pin this information down regarding this precise fitment.

Currently, I have 245/50/17 summer tires on the rears. What I want to explore is having a 'square' tire, not rim setup for winter, using 225/45/17's all around on the existing staggered rims.

In conclusion, I'm trying to avoid purchasing extra rims, (I just love the look of these) and use the style 68s year round, and just worry about switching out the summer for winter rubber each year. One concern is that I need to get the style 68's refinished and made true..two have notable warping - seen when the car was on the lift, hard to detect it too much yet when driving - and two are just slightly warped. Found a reputable local company that refinishes, straightens remounts and aligns them for $125 per, which sounds reasonable to me so I was probably going to do that...if I hit less potholes and curbs than the previous owner, (which I should since he lived in an urban environment and I don't), I think I'll be able to make the rims last through winters and keep them looking good for years.

Any and all input is welcome, but Gary@Tire Rack, if you're out there, I would really love to hear from you in particular and I'll likely get my tires through you guys too

Thanks in advance!

PS: What does the 'J' in the style 68 rim measurements mean?
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Last edited by Teraxx; 11-04-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: rudy@tirerack.com
Posts: 6,611
My Ride: 1-800-428-8355 X4664
Yes, 225/45R17 can indeed be used on the rear 17X8.5 wheels with no problem. This is actually very common to do for winter use and results in better snow traction.

Winter http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=BN4&...nter/index.jsp
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 187
My Ride: 2002 330Ci
Thank you, Gary. Much appreciated!!!

Last edited by Teraxx; 11-05-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Simsbury, Ct
Posts: 3
My Ride: 2002 330 CI
Lots of questions on winter wheel/tire combos

I've been looking at tirerack for good winter tire/wheel combinations and am getting a little confused. I have just purchased a 2004 330CI convertible with the M sport wheels. In looking at the tire rack site it says I could use 205/55/16 tires on the car. Is this right and what size wheel would I use to make sure they dont hit the calipers?
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