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      05-07-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
eddesq
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Drives: 2008 SG E92 335xi 6M
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

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Many tire/wheel questions re: staggered vs. square setup on 335xi

Hi all,

I have a Space Grey '08 335xi 6MT with the sport package and its 18x8 and 18x8.5 style 189 wheels with OEM Bridgestone RFTs. I bought it 10-12 weeks ago as a CPO with just over 31K miles. At the time all the tires were in fine shape. Now, after 6K miles of moderately spirited highway/city driving (no street racing, no track time) the inside treads of both front tires are down to the wear bars. The rest of the tires look fine, as do the rears.

From reading several other threads, it seems like this has happened before with 335xi owners running a staggered setup. My first question is whether there is any merit to this suggestion, or whether the uneven tire wear is more likely due to improper alignment, versus the awful reputation of the OEM Bridgestone RFTs?

If the staggered setup is truly problematic, then I will probably upgrade my wheels to uniform at all 4 corners, but stay at 18" due to the fact that I do a lot of city driving on pothole-laden roads. Should I go with 18x8, or 18x8.5?Any suggestions on wheel style and finish? I really like the look and finish of the OEM style 189s, but I think that gunmetal and black look great against Space Grey, too. I'd like to stay at under $400 per wheel if I can help it.

Additionally, do I need to get anything different (e.g., spacers) in order to make the switch from staggered to a square setup?

Regardless of whether or not I upgrade my wheels, I am going to go with Michelin Pilot Super Sports as my summer tires. However, if I stick with the stock wheels and staggered setup, I'm curious if I can get away with replacing the worn-down front tires first, and replace the rears once the OEM Bridgestones are more worn. I'd hate to discard 2 tires in good shape, but I don't want to compromise my safety or the integrity of the AWD system by running a different brand, tread pattern, and non-RFT up front with the RFTs in the rear. I'm pretty sure the answer is "replace all 4 and invest in a spare," but just want to be absolutely certain.

Finally, if I do upgrade my summer wheels to square at 4 corners, can I use the style 189s as my winter wheels, or is it contraindicated to do so once one has gone to a square setup? I really like the look of the 189s and don't really want them just sitting around if I can make good use of them.

All of your advice and comments will be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read this lengthy post.

-Evan