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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 > Wheel spacers - easiest way to improve the look?



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      09-09-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
jb84
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Question Wheel spacers - easiest way to improve the look?

In an effort to improve the look slightly, I'm thinking about putting some spacers in the rear to create a look that the rear wheels fill the arches a bit better, as currently in my opinion, they look a touch small.

I'm running on 225/40 R18's. I think the fronts look great, but the rears just look a little tucked away and I'm hoping that spacers will create a fuller and more planted look.

Are spacers the easiest way to create this look without buying brand new wheels?

If so, my questions are:

1. Are wheel spacers as simple as they sound? Is there anything in particular I should know?
2. What is the largest safe amount to put the wheels out by? 20mm is about the most I can find - will 20mm look significantly different?
3. Any types/manufacturers I should avoid?
4. Are there any common side effects of fitting wheels spacers?

Apologies for the bombardment of questions - would appreciate any pointers/thoughts/comments/advice etc. etc.

Cheers,
JB.
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      09-15-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
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Hate to bump, but any thoughts? Cheers.
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      09-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #3
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1. Are wheel spacers as simple as they sound? Is there anything in particular I should know?

Yes. They are as easy as they sound. I am running 18mm spacers and they look a ton better. In fact, my 70 year old neighbor came out the day after I put them on and wanted to know if I got new wheels because "they look great".

2. What is the largest safe amount to put the wheels out by? 20mm is about the most I can find - will 20mm look significantly different?

Pre LCI is fine with 20's. No rubbing. I wouldn't go much larger.

3. Any types/manufacturers I should avoid?

Make sure you get ones with a hub-centric design. This allows the BMW wheels to sit on the hub as designed. The BMW wheel bolts are not designed to bear all the weight of the vehicle by themselves. They need the hub.

Also MAKE SURE YOU GET EXTENDED WHEEL BOLTS! This is the only real safety concern. If you try to use the stock wheel bolts they wont be long enough. Some manufacturers offer wheel bolts with the spacers, some you have to buy seperately. I used the ones on burgertuning.com and am very happy.

4. Are there any common side effects of fitting wheels spacers?

If you go too large you can rub. I have the sports suspension and have no rubbing with 18's I have seen 20's with no rubbing.
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      09-15-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Many folks run them with no issues and look great...but for me, I couldn't handle the thought of a spacer between my wheel and hub. I installed 15mm rear and 12mm front on my 335is and swear the rears were rubbing a bit. Never heard anything but noticed a small groove on the edge of the tire after a few days of driving. Simple statics calcs will tell you the farther out the rims are, the more moment you'll get. Plus you have 2 shear planes to deal with. I'm sure they were well within the tolerances, but I couldn't shake the thought so I removed them and ordered new wheels. As far as brand, the BMS spacers were great and came with extended bolts to maintain the proper thread engagement.
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      09-16-2012, 05:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stupordave View Post
Many folks run them with no issues and look great...but for me, I couldn't handle the thought of a spacer between my wheel and hub. I installed 15mm rear and 12mm front on my 335is and swear the rears were rubbing a bit. Never heard anything but noticed a small groove on the edge of the tire after a few days of driving. Simple statics calcs will tell you the farther out the rims are, the more moment you'll get. Plus you have 2 shear planes to deal with. I'm sure they were well within the tolerances, but I couldn't shake the thought so I removed them and ordered new wheels. As far as brand, the BMS spacers were great and came with extended bolts to maintain the proper thread engagement.
You are right. You probably were rubbing. The LCI's have much less clearance. The OP and I have pre LCI cars.
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      09-16-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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I had problems w/ my BMS spacers. They make my steering wheel wobble after I put them on. Contacted BMS and they told me that all spacers were tested before shipping. Suckes that they didn't offer to trade for another set.
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      09-16-2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot for your replies guys, much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Schweaty View Post
1. Are wheel spacers as simple as they sound? Is there anything in particular I should know?

Yes. They are as easy as they sound. I am running 18mm spacers and they look a ton better. In fact, my 70 year old neighbor came out the day after I put them on and wanted to know if I got new wheels because "they look great".

2. What is the largest safe amount to put the wheels out by? 20mm is about the most I can find - will 20mm look significantly different?

Pre LCI is fine with 20's. No rubbing. I wouldn't go much larger.

3. Any types/manufacturers I should avoid?

Make sure you get ones with a hub-centric design. This allows the BMW wheels to sit on the hub as designed. The BMW wheel bolts are not designed to bear all the weight of the vehicle by themselves. They need the hub.

Also MAKE SURE YOU GET EXTENDED WHEEL BOLTS! This is the only real safety concern. If you try to use the stock wheel bolts they wont be long enough. Some manufacturers offer wheel bolts with the spacers, some you have to buy seperately. I used the ones on burgertuning.com and am very happy.

4. Are there any common side effects of fitting wheels spacers?

If you go too large you can rub. I have the sports suspension and have no rubbing with 18's I have seen 20's with no rubbing.
Is LCI seriously just a fancy way of saying "facelift"??

So I'm thinking 20mm on the rears and 12mm on the fronts. What do people reckon?

Cheers.
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      09-16-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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Are you running MV3s? I am also deciding how wide I can go without rubbing.

I was thinking 15mm rear 12mm front just because Burgertuning only do their largest at 15mm and I have only heard good things about them.

I heard 20mm causes issues, but. Have not seen any pictures.
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      09-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #9
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Not on MV3's, but wondered if anyone might be able to indentify them actually? Photo attached.

Well there is plenty of room on the pre LCI's at the rear so would be surprised to hearing of rubbing. Pete says that pre LCI's with 20mm are fine.

The fronts certainly don't need to come out as far as the rears. So think I'll go 12/13 at the front and 20 at the rear.

Cheers.
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      09-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb84 View Post
Thanks a lot for your replies guys, much appreciated.



Is LCI seriously just a fancy way of saying "facelift"??

So I'm thinking 20mm on the rears and 12mm on the fronts. What do people reckon?

Cheers.
Yes. LCI=Facelift.
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      09-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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we would really need to know the et of the wheels to determine the correct spacers.
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      09-21-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
we would really need to know the et of the wheels to determine the correct spacers.
Will have a look tomorrow and find out. Cheers.
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      09-21-2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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I have 12mm spacers in the front and 20mm in the rear with stock 18" 189s and stock tires.

I'm dropped quite aggressively so there is minimal rubbing on big dips. Link to pics is in my sig.
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      09-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #14
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Best bet would to buy spacers with wheel bolts so you eliminate the possibility of getting bolts that are too long or too short.
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      09-24-2012, 01:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
we would really need to know the et of the wheels to determine the correct spacers.
There are a load of numbers all over the tyres, only one of which was consistent on all 4. E13, would that make sense? Other numbers were C35 (on one tyre; 44 on another), and 026 with a symbol next to it indicating a measurement of some sort. Any ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Game View Post
I have 12mm spacers in the front and 20mm in the rear with stock 18" 189s and stock tires.

I'm dropped quite aggressively so there is minimal rubbing on big dips. Link to pics is in my sig.
Loving that look mate! Did you find that the spacers by themselves improved the look significantly? I'm liking how much better your wheels fill your arches (inboard/outboard as opposed to vertically) than mine, it's a much sportier look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMRWheels View Post
Best bet would to buy spacers with wheel bolts so you eliminate the possibility of getting bolts that are too long or too short.
Thanks. Yes planning to get bolts with the spacers so they're the correct length. Don't want to put any additional undue stress on any of the parts. Can you reccomend a manufacturer? I'm thinking 20mm on the rear and 12/13mm on the front.

Cheers.
JB.
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      09-24-2012, 02:07 PM   #16
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From your picture they look to be style 269s (19x8 et37,19x9 et39) just painted or are they all the same (aka 225/35/19 square).
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      09-24-2012, 04:36 PM   #17
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Great, thanks for that. Glad someone's managed to identify them! Have been looking but to no avail.

They are 18's. 225/40/18. Fronts are 8J. Didn't notice on the rears. Are there standard offsets for rims of this size/profile or is it style dependant?
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      09-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb84 View Post
Great, thanks for that. Glad someone's managed to identify them! Have been looking but to no avail.

They are 18's. 225/40/18. Fronts are 8J. Didn't notice on the rears. Are there standard offsets for rims of this size/profile or is it style dependant?
http://felgenkatalog.auto-treff.com/

thats a handy link
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      09-25-2012, 01:05 PM   #19
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Cheers for that. I had seen that site before but not managed to find that style, oh well.

Interestingly for the Style 269's it only shows the 3 series E90 ones as being 19's. Mine are 18's. 225/40/18. So would it be safe to assume that the offset of all 4 of my wheels is ET47?

Any idea what the ff. means?

Thanks.
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      09-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #20
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Your wheels might be replicas, since it doesn't really look like they're ET47, that be very tucked.
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      09-25-2012, 03:03 PM   #21
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Im going to assume its 18x8 et 34 square (per pyspeed) for reps. You should be okay with 10mm spacers up front and 18-20mm for the back.
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      09-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Your wheels might be replicas, since it doesn't really look like they're ET47, that be very tucked.
So ET47 would be really tucked away? Seems strange that the greater the number the less the outside edge of the wheel extends from the car?! Would be more logical for it to be the other way around.

So essentially a lower offset will give me a wheel which extends further out from the arch (roughly the same effect as a spacer) and a higher offset will give for a more tucked away wheel?
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