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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:26 PM   #1
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Used rims: is it ever a good idea

My e46 is a glorious car, but it doesn't currently drive like the pinnacle of automotive engineering that I know it to be. There is a shimmy in the front end that is present at most speeds that I am working to correct. Worry not though, this is not a "please fix my shaky steering" thread.

I'm pretty sure that the rims I'm currently on are bent, badly, and I am in the process of replacing them. Reasons for my suspicion are 1) the wheels are curbed almost beyond recognition. The PO really did a number on them, and sometimes I'm surprised they hold air. 2) at some speeds, it feels as though my car is riding over small rumble strips. Not dissimilar to the "wake up" bars on the side of the freeway, but of course much less pronounced. (Also, who wants to drive around with nasty looking rashed up rims? Aesthetics are another compelling reason to look for new wheels.)

I have narrowed down my choice for next wheels to two candidates. The first is a set of stock style 73s. I like the design and it will be nice to upgrade to 17" from my stock 16" setup. The other possibility is these:


I like the look and price of the MSW's, they get me on 17's, and they are fairly well reviewed.

To the question then: is it ever a good idea to by rims second hand? I have found a set of very nice LOOKING style 73's on craigslist that I could pick up for 250. This gets me a set of rims that I am very happy with and saves me some dough over the new ones.

Am I making a mistake? If part of the reason that I am seeking a wheel change up is to correct ride vibration, should I only be looking at new rims? Am I inherently setting myself up for the same shimmy problem if I buy used BMW rims from the same era as my car?

Any and all feedback welcome



'01 E46 xiT

Last edited by gcvpi09; 02-01-2013 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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Second hand wheels are not a bad idea in my book if they were well maintained and are true, if they are bent and or cracked and look bad then I wouldn't get them. If they are in a good overall condition like no cracks or bent then I would get them.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Just make sure you buy from a trusted member of this forum that has a solid reputation. As long as they are true and you know the cosmetic condition going in, you can save a ton buying second hand.

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:59 PM   #4
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True, make sure the person you are dealing with is trustworthy, which is probably hard to figure out through the forums but you can sort of be intuitive about it.

I bought two sets of style 68s last year, first were from some random person from craiglist and the other set was from the forums... craiglist ended up having 1 bent, 1 cracked and the other set I'm still rolling around on.. so be careful!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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This is my concern. I would almost rather dump the extra 150 to know that that I have straight rims. They are just so integral to driving quality, I'd hate to have them be bent. Is there anyway to test for bent rims (other than looking at them) while rims are off of car? presumably you could take a tape measure and check that the diameter is the same at all points around the wheel, but this seems a bit crude. Any other suggestions?

Appreciate all the feedback, it looks like I'm not the only one bored at work on a Friday afternoon.


'01 E46 xiT
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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an extra 150 for safety and comfort and less headache isn't a bad trade off if you think about it!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:10 PM   #7
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I was looking for used rims, had a tough time finding any set that was clean enough for my tastes. I ended buying new and couldn't be happier
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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I was lucky enough to purchase four rims (style 68's) from a fellow Fanatic at a great price in a local deal.

Seeing focused, up-close photos, or seeing the rims in person, and asking the right questions (how long did you drive on the rims, how old are they, ever been bent/cracked to their knowledge?) can all help ease any anxiety you have when shopping used.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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There are tons of people that buy used wheels without any issues, however you have to know exactly what you're buying before you hand someone your money. Making sure the wheels aren't bent or damaged in any structural way is pretty crucial. Aside from that though I don't think you'll have too much to worry about. Just be careful about what you buy and use good judgment.
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