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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Track tires on E90 330 - how wide on 17x8.5?



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      03-19-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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Track tires on E90 330 - how wide on 17x8.5?

I'm going to be buying a set of dedicated track tires for Autocross and DE events this year. I've already got 17"x8.5" Kosei wheels, but I'm looking for recommendations on tire sizes. I have two main questions:

1) I've heard mixed messaged on whether to keep the same tire width on all 4 tires, or to keep the rears wider. What's the conventional wisdom for track tires?

2) Assuming all 4 tires are the same width, does anyone know the widest tire that will not rub in the front wheel wells?

My current "safe" plan is a 235/45-17, but I'd like to a bit wider if possible.

Thanks!
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      03-20-2007, 04:40 PM   #2
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try this link Tirerack's Hoosier Tire specs page

Looks like 245 would be the maximum for a 8.5" rim
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      03-21-2007, 12:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWMICHAEL_52 View Post
try this link Tirerack's Hoosier Tire specs page

Looks like 245 would be the maximum for a 8.5" rim
Bmw puts 255 on 8.5" on 335. It's too wide for the wheel for track use though imho.
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      03-21-2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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It looks like 235s might be the best bet. Any thoughts on staggering for track use? 235s all around would work, but would there be any benefit to 245s or 255s for the rears?
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      03-22-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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For track use most eliminate the stagger for more neutral handling and ease of rotation.

http://www.tirerack.com/a.jsp?a=AH8&...ires/index.jsp
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      03-22-2007, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinci330i View Post
It looks like 235s might be the best bet. Any thoughts on staggering for track use? 235s all around would work, but would there be any benefit to 245s or 255s for the rears?
You really want the bigger rears so that the rear end has as much grip as possible. This is especially true since the E90/92 has no limited slip. In the E36 M3, I ran 245's on 7.5/8.5 stock wheels and in some cases 245f/255r depending on the actual width of particular tires.

In your case, if you can't go to at least 245 in the front, then you would ideally want to run 235f/245r or preferably 235f/255r. In other words, max out the tire size you can on both axles. If you can eliminate the stagger using that approach, so much the better, but the width is more important than the stagger particularly if it is minimized. Without camber plates, lowering, custom wheel offsets and fender rolling, I doubt you can get wider than a 235 in the front. You can always use other tuning tricks to help counteract the understeering traits from the staggered tire size. This is the approach that most people have had to take with the E46 M3 since it is impossible to get same size tires on stock wheels without making the rears too narrow-I preferred 245/275 on mine for example even after I ran 245/265 which was still pretty loose.

My concern is if you stay with 235s on the rear, the rear will be so loose you will be getting wheel spin very easily and the car will be over rotating on even simple gates and transitions making car control much more challenging-it will look cool, but you will be frustrated.

Good luck!
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      03-22-2007, 02:21 PM   #7
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OK, here's where my ignorance comes in... can someone explain "stagger" vs. "different width front and rear tires" ? I (mistakenly?) thought they were one in the same.

My stock tires are 225f, 255r on 18" rims, so I'm guessing I can put a 255 on my 17" rims for the rears. I'm not sure how to check if 245s would rub on the front... maybe I can try taking some measurements with the wheel turned to its stop.

Thanks!
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      04-01-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinci330i View Post
OK, here's where my ignorance comes in... can someone explain "stagger" vs. "different width front and rear tires" ? I (mistakenly?) thought they were one in the same.

My stock tires are 225f, 255r on 18" rims, so I'm guessing I can put a 255 on my 17" rims for the rears. I'm not sure how to check if 245s would rub on the front... maybe I can try taking some measurements with the wheel turned to its stop.

Thanks!
staggering just means different widths front and rear, thats all.

My strong suggestion is that you go with the same size front and rear. there is validity to the claim that since we have no LSD we should maximize grip in the rear, but at the limit you want some slip angle, not to be pushing through the cones of all the turns due to understeer. Also, like gary from the tirerack said, it will maximize the life of your tires due to ease of rotation. If you see one tire cording, you can rotate it and get a few more sessions out of it, but you cant do that if you stagger. 10 extra mm in the rear is definitely not worth giving up the ease of rotation.
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      04-01-2007, 12:33 PM   #9
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One thing to remember....R compound tires run WAY wider than conventional tires. I have seen some Hoosiers that were mega wide for the size show on the side of the tire. I had a set of R3S03s before...on my 325i race car...btw, they flat spot really easily.
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      04-01-2007, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4to335 View Post
One thing to remember....R compound tires run WAY wider than conventional tires. I have seen some Hoosiers that were mega wide for the size show on the side of the tire. I had a set of R3S03s before...on my 325i race car...btw, they flat spot really easily.
true, but i dont know if he said he was actually doing r-comps or not. with an r-comp, 235 on an 8.5in kosei should be PLENTY.
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      04-02-2007, 05:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adham View Post
staggering just means different widths front and rear, thats all.
Stagger refers to different circumference tires from SIDE TO SIDE, not front to rear. It used on oval tracks to help the car in the corners (right side of the car travels farther than the left). The tradeoff is that the rear tires (rear-wheel-drive car) slip in relation to each other on the straights.

Now, as to the original question... It is possible to mount a 285 section tire on an 8-inch rim, but it takes some skill. So a 295, maybe even a 305, might be possible on an 8.5-inch rim. That is not to say, however, that it will work on a particular car - the tire might rub.

I don't know the maximum width tire that will work on either end of the e90, but I sure would like to find out if someone knows.

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      04-11-2007, 01:18 PM   #12
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could I put my E39 M5 wheels and tires on my rear end of the 335i? They are as follows 91/2JX18 ET:22 with 275 40 18 Yokohama tires, I am just wanting to use them for a short run where I need max traction.
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