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From digest.v7.n989 Wed Jan 21 02:50:24 1998
From: Duane Collie <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 23:15:54 -0500
Subject: E36 Wheel Fitments

>From: mahaRISHI <>
>Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 19:07:20 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: another e36 fitment question
>hi. i am upgrading my 16in. e36 sport pkg. wheels to some 17*8 mk
>motorsport wheels. i am having a little trouble figuring what size tire i
>should do. i really would like to do a 235/40/17 but the shop is saying
>that i will have a problem w/ rubbing. tire rack also seems to say that i
>will have to do a fender lip roll. from your experience, do you think i
>will be able to stuff a 235/40/17 in there? the shop is telling me to do
>a 225/45/17. seems like everywhere i call, someone has somehting
>different to say. btw, ahas anyone looked in the 1198 tsw fitment guide?
>they say that you can put a 245/40/17 in the back w/o a problem on a 17*8
>wheel, eta 38mm.


You're getting a lot of CRAP fed to ya, but then in all fairness to these 'tire experts', they don't focus on a specific model car and its hard to remember thousands of combinations among various brands. Me, on the udder hand, well....I focus ONLY on E36 cars <grin>. I'll be the first to admit it can be intimidating. One of the *key* things you have to look at is OFFSET. For example, a 17 x 8 with 44mm offset is an easy fit, but the same size wheel with a 25 mm offest ain't gonna fit.

A safe bet is 8" rims with 38 mm wheels (typical E36 BBS size).. These fit fine and I run my 235/45/17 track tires with this set up on RC rims. By running the same size of tires/wheels at all four corners you can rotate your tire wear evenly. And I'm a believer in rotating!

As you DECREASE the offset number, you are 'pushing' the wheel out towards the fender (and getting that nice deep dish look everyone likes). You can play with the combos to get the right size and look. If you screw up and go too wide then its roll the rear fender time and get spacers for the front wheels.

THE SAFE BET: Any 7.5", 8.0" wheel with offsets from 38mm to 44 mm. Works fine on lowered suspensions.

THE MAYBE BET: 8.0" with offsets smaller than 34mm, 8.5" wheel with offsets less than 39 mm.

ROLL, ROLL, ROLL YOUR FENDERS: The 9" wheels - any offset.

I'm buying 8.5" Fikse Wheels with 37.7 mm offsets from Will Turner. I'm planning on *lightly* rolling my fenders anyway in the rear and will run 235/40/17 or 245/40/17 tires on these. They may clear without the rolling but it will be close. By lightly rolling, I'm meaning the small 45 degree section inside the fender, not the main horizontal edge.

With the rolled rear fenders I'll be also be able to run 255/40/17 R1's on my 8" BBS RCs (my main reason for rolling).

Confusing eh?

All E36 cars can have the same clearances. Personally I think your 328 would be overtired at 245/40/17 size unless you are gonna hop up the engine. Remember that the more tire you lay in there, the more drag you create. Why put more tire in there and take the chance of rubbing with a weighted car (4 adults in the vehicle)? Stay with 235/40/17 as your max. size, an 8' rim _at_ 38 mm offset and you'll have ZERO fitment problems. You can run 225/40/17 too, no big deal.

Make sure you buy a quality wheel. That's important. Try to get a LIGHT wheel - makes a difference (unsprung weight). I prefer FORGED vs CAST even though they cost more. Ya get what ya pays fer, mostly. Cast wheels bend easy - ANYBODYS Cast wheels - even HOTT RODDs "Miracle" wheels! BTW, TSW does not have the best reputation as a strong wheel amongst the track junkies and they tend to be heavy. You'll see mostly BBS, Fikse and Forgeline as preferred aftermarket brands. $$$$$$$$$$$

Duane Collie
National Capital Chapter

P.S. For those interested, the E36 Fikse wheel deal is ending January 31st.....get 'em before the deal is gone.

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