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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > Will bigger wheels improve handling?



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      10-23-2005, 09:30 PM   #1
skimo
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Will bigger wheels improve handling?

I love to take corners at a million miles per hour. I have the 325i 16's right now, wondering if upgrading to 19" with a wider wheel base will allow me to take corners at a million and one miles per hour?

Not planning to change from stock suspension yet.

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      10-23-2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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You needed the sport package dude...lower profile rubber and a tighter suspension make a world of difference.
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      10-23-2005, 09:43 PM   #3
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Thanks. But the wheels alone wont help?
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      10-23-2005, 09:46 PM   #4
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your ganna have to drop it guss it will look silly with 19 not droped
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      10-23-2005, 09:47 PM   #5
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Well it will help but it is b/c with bigger wheels you have to get lower profile rubber to keep the diameter the same or you'll be all f'ed up.
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      10-24-2005, 07:03 AM   #6
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Take a driving school first. Otherwise you might never know if the plus tire/wheel combination helped.
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      10-24-2005, 07:31 AM   #7
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If tire life is not an issue, you should be able to get race compound tires to fit the stock wheels. These should stick better than street compound tires on 19" wheels.
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      10-24-2005, 08:06 AM   #8
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Also if you get 19" wheels from the 16" you will NEED to get new brakes/rotors. That big of an increase will vastly change the rotational energy which means you need more stopping power.
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      10-24-2005, 08:27 AM   #9
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Do a search on Wheel + Unsprung weight.

The wheel, tires, air, breaks & the suspension from the shoks on down are part of unsprung weight. i.e. Weight that is not supported by the springs/shocks/struts. The heavier the unsprung weight, the worse a car will handle.

In general, a car's manufacturer will build their OEM wheel to the best balance of unsprung weight for optimum combination of comfort/handling etc. Buying a 19 inch rim means extra weight at the corners due to the weight of extra steel/alloy. If the alloy is light enough to offset the reduction in rubber/air and unsprung weight is reduced, you have a better control at the corners.

Tires and the lateral friction is what you are probably asking. In that case best bet is to replace the tires with track or semi track/road tires. However, these are not legal for the roads and if they are, if you drive on cold or wet days - you are completely screwed. A work colleague had an old turbocharged Porsch whaletale that he tracked regularly and had semi street/track tires. He could only drive the car when the temperature was over 55 and weather called for no rain.
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