Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 16:57:57 -0500
From: Andrej Dolenc <adolenc_at_erols.com>
Subject: Re: [E36M3] Fikse Wheels for the M3
I haven't seen any replies to this yet, so I'll answer as one opinion. Sorry
if this turns out kinda lengthy..
I have a '97 M3, stock suspension, with Fikse's. I run the 17x8.5 Fikse
FM10's, offset 37.5mm. On each rim is a 245/40/17 Toyo Proxes T1-S. No
spacers needed, no rubbing on my setup. Previous to this I ran the Toyo Proxes
T1 plus, also with no rubbing or issues of any kind. With the 37.5mm offset,
the rear tire comes fairly close to the fender lip. With a wide tire, like an
R compound, or with a dropped suspension, you might have to roll the fender
lip. Another possible contact point is the front strut. With my old Proxes
(t1+), they came _really_ close to the strut. No rubbing, but I couldn't get
a finger between the tire & the strut. Again, with a wider tire you might run
into issues. I don't know whether you could fit a 255/40/17 tire up front
more below, replied per paragraph.
> I'm thinking about buying some Fikse rims for my '95 M3. I know that there
> are a number of folks on the list who already have some Fikse's or at least
> knowledge on wheel fitment on the E36 M3, so help me out here, please.
> I'd like to keep the wheels all the same width so I can rotate them like the
> stock 7.5" that are currently on my car. I also want to stick with 17"
> diameter to keep tire costs reasonable. I'd also like to stay away from
> spacers, if at all possible. What is the widest rim that I can run without
> getting into rubbing issues? I have Bilstein's and H&R sport springs. Will
> I have to roll the rear fenders? What is the widest tire I can run on these
> I was thinking 8.5" all the way around and 245/40 or 255/40 if they will
> fit. My main interest here is to get some wheels that look nicer and are
> stronger and lighter than my stock wheels (everyone says that the 95 rims
> are soft as butter). I want the widest tire possible for increased handling
> and higher cornering threshold. By my calculations, the 245's are 1.3%
> greater in overall diameter and the 255's are 2.6% greater than the stock
> 235/40's. How much is too much, when increasing overall diameter? I am
> suspecting that this will make my speedometer readings incorrect... is there
> anything else?
> Now lets talk about the wheels. I'm split between the FM5 and FM10... the
> FM10 looks more boss (IMHO) but won't be easy to clean... I might put up
> with that since they look so nice, but I'm not dead set on this. Fikse
> offers anodization on their wheels. I'm guessing that this is for race
> cars. What are your suggestions for a road car which might see a driver's
> school and a bunch of highly spirited romps down the Texas Hill Country
> roads? Do I need anodization? Will this make cleaning the wheels easier?
> Does it look ugly? I'm not into the chrome look at all, but considering the
> $$$ spent here, I'd like them to look sharp. I've seen some rims with the
> polished look, and I was impressed...
The FM10's do look great, especially when clean. They do get dirty quickly,
especially with stock brake pads (like on my car). There's a lot of nooks &
crannies for brake dust to accumulate on the FM10's, they are a bit more
difficult to clean. A brush attachment for a garden hose works reasonably
I had many of the same concerns as you, I wasn't too keen on the idea of a
chrome wheel either. Rest assured, the basic finish is not chrome, it is more
of a machined aluminum. It does look very sharp. See previous comment about
how they look when they're clean :) Check out this picture of Calvin Hare's
on Suzy Kraft's E36M3 site. Not quite chrome, but definitely not silver
paint. (Calvin was one of the guys who convinced me to go with the machined
FM10's, so I guess it's my turn now <G>)
I have seen FM10's with the silver anodized finish. They're not quite as
sharp as the machined finish (in my opinion), but cleaning these is apparently
very easy - one local CCA member told me he just simply hoses off the brake
dust, whereas I have to scrub it with either a hose, a rag, or both. Tough
call, when the machined ones are clean, they're spectacular looking. But
cleaning them takes some effort.
> Now finally, what are the best locking lugs available that match the finish
> of the Fikses? I saw an M3 at the BMP Fun Day last year with some nice
> FM10's and lugs that looked great. Even though they were large, they
> matched the finish well. Anyone know the brand and where to get them?
DON'T DO IT. Yes, I'm yelling on purpose. When I bought my Fikse's, I bought
locking lugs from them as well. They were the McGard style locks. For a
while everything was fine and dandy, no problems. Then earlier this spring I
went to rotate my wheels, and the key itself started digging into the locking
lug, and stripping at the same time. End result, I had to go to a tire shop
where they used a special locking lug removal socket. They hammer this socket
onto the lug & extract it off. Needless to say, at this point I don't run
locking lug nuts, nor do I ever plan to again. That's what insurance is for.
I will say another thing about the Fikse's. When I bought them, I didn't
really think much of the fact that they are a true 3 piece rim. The Fikse's
are very strong, but they're not indestructible. On a long road trip of the
US last fall, we bent one of the rims on the inside, bent it enough to where
it cracked just slightly. Not enough to let out air (lucked out!), but enough
to cause a noticeable vibration while driving. Since it is a true 3 piece
rim, my tire shop ordered a rim half from Fikse, and replaced the rim half.
It cost a bit more than straightening a bent stock rim ($200), but it resulted
in a rim that was as strong as a new rim.
I think the FM10's are great, and wouldn't hesitate to purchase them again.
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