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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 > Staggered VS Square



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      05-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
triggz
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Staggered VS Square

Which is better? Staggered or square setup? Can you explain why?
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      05-27-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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Better for what? Looks? Grip? Cornering? Weight?

Gotta be more specific.
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      05-27-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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Staggered improves your driving setup. Narrower Front Tires help shorten your turning radius while Wide Rear Tires improve traction & get the power down.
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      05-27-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy89 View Post
Staggered improves your driving setup. Narrower Front Tires help shorten your turning radius while Wide Rear Tires improve traction & get the power down.
so your saying staggered is better than squared?
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      05-27-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTerryliu View Post
so your saying staggered is better than squared?
Yep
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      05-27-2012, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTerryliu View Post
so your saying staggered is better than squared?
depends...if you want to reduce understeer, go square
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      05-27-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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if you have an XI then square is better. if you have a lot of horsepower and a rear wheel drive car, generally staggered is better.
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      05-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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Ok cool. Thanks guys
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      05-28-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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Well sometimes you got to think and wonder why is it that all the top notch race cars or exotic cars ha e staggered set ups. Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, M3 M5 etc
Theirs a reaso.
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      05-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
depends...if you want to reduce understeer, go square
^^ Agreed. Emphasis on 'depends'.

Square benefits - Rotating your tires to prolong your tread life.
Staggered benefits - More power down in the rear.
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      05-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #11
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square handling is absolutely great..... get the largest front tire you can get, then go square.
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      05-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #12
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More tire width is Always better for handling. Staggered is cool for the 1/4 mile strip
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      05-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #13
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If you are also worried about rotating your tires and making your rubber last a little bit longer...square.
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      05-31-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
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Wider tyres are not always better for handling. Most people have some sort of vague idea of what "handling" is but the definition will vary according to who you ask. For all those preaching that "wider is better" ask yourself this: why do most of the world's top "handling" RWD cars (think Ferrari 458 and McLaren MP124C) have front tyres in the 225-235 range? Wider tyres are more susceptible to tramlining, corrupt steering feel and reduce turn-in sharpness.
If you were to begin building up a street-driven 3-series for ultimate "handling", I should think that it would be based on a square setup.

FWIW, my wife's 328 with standard suspension on square all-seasons is a more neutral handler than my sport pack car with staggered rubber. Both cars, like nearly every car on sale today, will understeer as you approach the limit but it is much more pronounced on the staggered setup.

Last edited by CombatNinja; 05-31-2012 at 05:13 PM. Reason: addition
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      05-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatNinja View Post
Wider tyres are not always better for handling. Most people have some sort of vague idea of what "handling" is but the definition will vary according to who you ask. For all those preaching that "wider is better" ask yourself this: why do most of the world's top "handling" RWD cars (think Ferrari 458 and McLaren MP124C) have front tyres in the 225-235 range? Wider tyres are more susceptible to tramlining, corrupt steering feel and reduce turn-in sharpness.
If you were to begin building up a street-driven 3-series for ultimate "handling", I should think that it would be based on a square setup.

FWIW, my wife's 328 with standard suspension on square all-seasons is a more neutral handler than my sport pack car with staggered rubber. Both cars, like nearly every car on sale today, will understeer as you approach the limit but it is much more pronounced on the staggered setup.
Those are rear engine cars and they have narrower rubber in the front for handling neutrality. If they had wide front tires they'd oversteer like drunken sailors.
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      05-31-2012, 06:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBoosted View Post
Those are rear engine cars and they have narrower rubber in the front for handling neutrality. If they had wide front tires they'd oversteer like drunken sailors.
Yes^

Mid/Rear engines are a whole different ball game than a nose heavy front engine car that needs grip up front because of the extensive corner point loads in turns. A large corner load can push the tire past it's operating range to where it will understeer.
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      05-31-2012, 07:05 PM   #17
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the regular differential of about 1" ~ 1.5" front to back is great for street driving for a rear wheel drive car like ours. however, on the track specific driving styles that involve braking, acceleration and steering angles all affect how a specific car behaves.

Generally, if the driver feels that the car is oversteering or understeer too much, certain specifics can be changed such as stiffness of the anti roll bars, tire inflation and of course, tire sizing. But from my experience, this is way too dependent of driver's taste to justify a cookie cutter remedy.

As a rule of thumb, more grip is introduced to the front to reduce understeer and this can be done by running a wider set up in the front. of course, introducing more grip in the front by just running wider tires will introduce some adverse effects if overdone, such as tramlining and reduced steering feel.
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      05-31-2012, 09:19 PM   #18
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A staggered set-up will get you laid more often than a square one. The fat rear tires just scream out "girth."
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      06-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #19
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The question is: "Why did BMW choose square setups on some cars and staggered on others?" A quick look at BMW's web site shows that all M cars have staggered setups and other cars with ZSP seem to have it. So it must be better for performance, but what kind of performance - street, track or both?

And why is it better for performance?
- Because it contributes to that wonderful handling our cars are known for?
- Because you need more rubber on the road to get all the power down?

I would GUESS that the answer is handling. But is it handling under normal conditions on the street, "at the limit" conditions at the track or both?

One more point....

BMW engineered the different components of our cars to work together. For example, ZSP equipped cars have a stiffer suspension, a lowered ride height, a staggered setup and probably different alignment settings. If you change from staggered to square, won't you mess up the balance?
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      06-04-2012, 06:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driverman View Post
The question is: "Why did BMW choose square setups on some cars and staggered on others?" A quick look at BMW's web site shows that all M cars have staggered setups and other cars with ZSP seem to have it. So it must be better for performance, but what kind of performance - street, track or both?

And why is it better for performance?
- Because it contributes to that wonderful handling our cars are known for?
Lets investigate the year M3s went staggered:
Exhibit A: '95 E36 M3 - had square setup (235-40/17s) that everyone loved for its neutral handling.
Exhibit B: '96+ E36 M3 - same car, same chassis, but came with staggered setup (225 fronts, 245 rears), inducing understeer.

No-one @BMW NA had a coherent explanation as to why they went staggered on '96+ cars, other than "our lawyers made us do it" and "more understeeer is safer for American drivers".

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverman View Post
- Because you need more rubber on the road to get all the power down?
That statement makes no sense (don't feel bad - it's a falacy that is often repeated).
The SIZE of the tire contact patch is a function of (primairily) the weight of the car, the # of tires that support that weight, the suspension geometry, and the tire pressure. Wider tires add 0 extra rubber on the road.
The SHAPE of the tire contact patch can, indeed, be altered by going with a wider tire (which in turn results in shorter length of the contact patch to maintain the same contact area, assuming other variables are held constant).

The SHAPE of the contact patch is very important for controlling tire deformation under lateral loads, and its slip angle. But so are tire's construction, tread, rubber, and a ton of other factors. More here:
http://insideracingtechnology.com/tirebkexerpt2.htm
http://www.physicsforums.com/archive.../t-330790.html


YMMV,
alex f
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      06-04-2012, 06:24 PM   #21
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I tried a square set up on my E90 and it feels more neutral handling (255-35-18 all around Advan AD08 tires) street driven DD, compared to my staggered 225 F/255 R. It will go down to what kind of tires/rims combo you will use.
Goodluck to the OP.
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      06-04-2012, 07:05 PM   #22
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You can rotate if you have square wheels.
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