BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY - Installing Winter Wheels / Tires

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      12-13-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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DIY - Installing Winter Wheels / Tires

This DIY summarizes how one can install a set of winter wheels (winter tires pre-mounted onto their rims) using a low-profile trolley jack to lift the car at the four jack points located underneath the vehicle. This DIY provides additional photos and other information that accompanies the original Wheel Change DIY posted by MarkE90M3 at http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...74&postcount=2


1. View of one of the jack (lift) points underneath the vehicle. For additional information about the location of the E90 jack points, see the DIY posted by ENINTY at http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=309879 ("Lifting the E9x with a Floor Jack")

2. One of the jack points viewed from a different angle.

3. View of a jack point that has been damaged (caved in near the front side). As I had never lifted the vehicle myself until now, I presume this jack point was damaged during one of the times I brought my car into the dealership/repair shop for some work...

4. Low-profile aluminum trolley jack (3000 lb weight capacity; lift range is 3 3/8" to a maximum height of 14 3/4") with a rubber pad covering the circular saddle.

5. A hockey puck or something similar can be used to distribute the weight of the car during lifting so that the trolley jack's rubber pad doesn't get damaged (gouged in) by the edges of the vehicle's jack points. As an alternative to using a hockey puck, one can also use a custom aluminum jack adaptor such as the one described in http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...m+jack+adaptor. This type of custom jack adaptor ensures that the vehicle's jack points will not accidentally cave in and become damaged while lifting the car. If you do not use a hockey puck or other type of adaptor when lifting the car with a jack, you may damage the vehicle's jack points and/or the rubber pad covering the trolley jack's saddle. (I initially tried lifting the car without a puck or adaptor and found that the rubber pad on the trolley became gouged in pretty good; fortunately there was no damage to the vehicle's jack points.)

6. Equipment used: 1) A lug wrench (aka "breaker bar"; 1/2" drive) is required to loosen the wheel bolts. 2) A 17-mm socket (3" deep; 1/2" drive) that will fit over the wheel bolts. 3) To make the job a little easier, you can use an impact wrench to quickly remove the wheel bolts. (NOTE: If you decide to use an impact wrench, then the 17-mm socket (Item #2) should be an impact socket that is specifically designed to be used with an impact wrench. Do not use an ordinary chrome-plated type of socket, as it may become damaged and/or shatter when used with an impact wrench.)

7. Equipment used (cont.): 4) Micro-adjusting torque wrench (20-250 foot-pounds or 33.9-345.7 Nm; 1/2" drive). A torque wrench uses a special mechanism that releases the handle grip to let it travel a few degrees and produces a "click" noise when the preset torque value is reached.

8. Torque wrench was set to 90 ft-lb, which seems to be the most common torque setting posted on these forums for mounting OEM wheels on E90 vehicles.

9. For safety, do not attempt to jack up the car while it is parked on a sloped driveway surface...

10. ...Instead, park the car on a level surface such as the inside of a garage. Engage the emergency brake.

11. Optional: For added safety, you can prevent further vehicle movement by blocking the wheels with a pair of foldable wheel chocks.

12. Get the winter wheels you want to mount out of storage...

13. ...And make sure the treads are oriented in the correct direction before you start mounting any of the winter wheels!

14. Proceed to loosen each of the wheel bolts by using a lug wrench/breaker bar. DO NOT use a torque wrench to loosen the lug bolts, as this may damage the torque wrench and/or cause it to lose its calibration. To loosen the OEM locking lug bolt, use the wheel lock adaptor that was supplied with your vehicle.

15. Place the trolley jack under the car and position the jack's saddle directly underneath the desired vehicle jack point. (If the trolley jack does not fit underneath the car, then you might want to consider driving on top of a few pieces of wood to increase the clearance of the vehicle a couple of more inches above the ground.) Slowly lift the vehicle with the trolley jack until the wheel is about 1 inch off the floor.

16. View of the wheel after lifting the vehicle.

17. Remove all the wheel bolts using either a lug wrench or an impact wrench fitted with an impact socket (17 mm).

18. View of the passenger side rear rotor and hub after removing the wheel. (A 20-mm spacer is attached.) Wipe away any rust, dirt and other debris on the hub. If desired, you can also try to remove some of the rust that has built up on the hub by using commercial brake cleaning solutions as described by diesel007 in http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26398 ("***No More Rusty hubs DIY***")

19. View of the passenger side front rotor and hub after removing the wheel. (A 10-mm spacer is attached). Again, wipe away any rust, dirt and other debris on the hub.

20. Before installing the winter tires, wipe away any rust, dirt and other debris on the rear face of the rims. (This is easier if you pop off the plastic BMW hub caps.) If desired, apply a small amount of anti-seize lubricant to the hub surface to minimize the possibility of having the wheels become stuck to the hub because of corrosion. Again, see http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26398 ("***No More Rusty hubs DIY***") for more info.

21. Mount the winter wheel onto the hub and line up the lug bolt holes on the hub with the holes on the rims. Screw in one of the lug bolts by hand to hold the wheel in place, and then screw in a second lug bolt by hand on the opposite side of the wheel. Ensure that the wheel is sitting flush against the face of the hub. Screw in the remaining bolts in a criss-cross ('star') pattern (i.e., screw the bolts into lug bolt holes located on opposite sides of the wheel) by hand (or with a lug wrench/breaker bar) and make sure all the bolts are reasonably snug ("semi-tight"). (If you decide to use an impact wrench to screw in the lug bolts at this step, then you should ensure that you don't accidently over-torque and create undue stress on the lug bolts.)

22. Slowly lower the car to the ground and then fully tighten all the lug bolts in a criss-cross pattern using the torque wrench. For this DIY, I adjusted the torque wrench to a setting of 90 foot-pounds. You should confirm which torque setting is appropriate for your particular set of wheels.

23. Re-attach the BMW hub cap to the center of the wheel. Congratulations, you've changed a wheel! Now repeat the process for the remaining wheels.

24. After installing your winter wheels, check the tire inflation pressure. If necessary, inflate all the tires to the appropriate pressure. Once the appropriate inflation pressure has been reached, you should reset your vehicle's Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

25. Optional: Make a note of which position each summer wheel was mounted at, and label each tire so that you can put the wheels back on at the same position next season.

26. Optional: Re-check the torque setting of each wheel after you've driven the car around a bit.

Last edited by ssm12; 12-13-2009 at 09:34 PM.
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      11-03-2010, 11:17 PM   #2
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will surely help those of us who would normally go to a shop to do this, nice writeup
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      11-04-2010, 07:54 PM   #3
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Excellent write up and good pics. I would suggest chocking up one of the other three wheels instead of the one you're about to lift. Typically I chock the diagonal wheel since it's going to remain closest to the ground and get most of the weight.
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      11-04-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
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Just want to re-emphasize the importance of #20. Definitely apply anti-seize to the hubs otherwise its going to be difficult to get the rims off after months of salt and inevitable corrosion.
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      01-13-2012, 01:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Vasil View Post
Just want to re-emphasize the importance of #20. Definitely apply anti-seize to the hubs otherwise its going to be difficult to get the rims off after months of salt and inevitable corrosion.
Hate to bring an old thread back to life but I want to stress that the anti-seize may be the most important step. I have changed many flat tires and am not a lightweight but I had to wrestle with my front two seized wheels to get them off. I don't think anti-seize was used when they were last removed. On a scale of 10 (10 being the highest), I would say the degree of the seize was a 9.8. I was able to get them off but it took every ounce of energy I had to get them off.

In my experience, what made seized fronts so difficult was that the front wheels rotate freely and if you apply force unevenly to one side of the wheel, that wheel turns to the right / left and you can hear the opposite wheel turning with it as they're designed to. Also, I'm guessing that lightly tapping some area of the wheel with a a rubber mallet may have helped loosen it up.

In retrospect, I should have simply put the lug nuts back in and driven to a mechanic.
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      01-14-2012, 07:52 AM   #6

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It was mentioned before, but not forcefully as it should have been. The OP provided an incorrect procedure for "blocking" the wheel. He blocked (chocked) the wheel that he was lifting, which once the wheel is lifted off the ground and then removed, it provides no mechanical resistance to prevent the car from rolling.

When lifting a car from the jack point on the rocker panel (side sill) you ALWAYS chock the opposite wheel on the opposite side of the car (i.e. lifting the right rear means you chock the left front wheel).
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      05-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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Great DIY..thanks.
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