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Old 05-03-2007, 11:33 PM   #1
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Optimum tire width for E36?

I just bought a '92 325i and I need to buy new wheels and tires for it (came with winter tires on the OEM wheels so I'll leave that as is for winter and get summer wheels and tires).

My question is this, based on your experiences, what is the optimum tire width for the E36 for a 17 inch wheel (I decided to go with 17s)?

Options are:

- 225/45R17
- 235/40R17 (rarer size so less tires available)
- 245/40R17

All three are within the acceptable 2% margin of error so I'm just wondering if there's a sweet spot for the E36 (e.g. maybe wider isn't better for the car's handling dynamics or maybe it is).

P.S. I also decided to stay non-staggered (i.e. same size all around).

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-04-2007, 09:43 AM   #2
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I'd go for 225/45/17, they're generally more available like you said, and usually cheaper. Although, as you said, all the tire sizes you picked would work, 245/40/17 could rub up front if you're really low.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:47 AM   #3
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OEM size is usually best, no?
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by europrince
OEM size is usually best, no?
OEM ratio is best.

Different width and tirewall combinations might closely match the OEM diameter, which is what the OP is asking for. What kind of combos he can run.
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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I have no personal experience, but have repeatedly seen experienced E36 drivers who have tried multiple setups say 235/40/17 is the perfect balance between lateral grip and tramlining. Plus it's slightly shorter, which shortens gearing (even if only fractionally).
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:07 PM   #6
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235/40/17's is a VERY common size for high performance summers, so don't base your decision on non-existent rarity.

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Old 05-04-2007, 12:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys.

I was leaning towards 235s. The rarity aspect doesn't bother so much. It's just that I'll have less tire options to choose from as opposed to 225 and 245. I'm not lowered at all and don't envision lowering anytime soon which is why the 245 is still an option re. the rubbing at the front. As I just bought the car, I think I'm going to drive it around for a while prior to making any considerable changes both for financial reasons and to get a better idea of what I feel needs changing. Then again, since it is an old car, those decisions might be made for me in the future (i.e. if the shocks or springs end up needing replacing down the line, I might make the upgrade then). We'll see...

Right, now, I'm looking at wheels and tires and probably the Conforti chip.

But first I need to get it completely looked over to see if anything needs replacing, then I need to run a benchmark dyno in stock form, then the chip, then another dyno to document the changes and then we'll see where I'm at
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Old 05-04-2007, 04:11 PM   #8
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I like your style. No homo.

But, take a good hard look at MarkD chips (search this forum for a plethora of info). He's local, and many prefer his products to JimC. It's also a lot cheaper.
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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235/40/17 is a great size for the e36 chassis and is a stock size as well (check your door jamb sticker). They're no where near rare.
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