Max Tire Size?

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    Brock Parsons

    Can anyone advise me on the maximum tire size I can run on an E-46 330xi on an 18 x 8.5 wheel (not staggered)? I know I can go to at least a 235/40 R18, but am wondering about a 245/40 or even a 255/35.

    Jeff Roberts

    Brock –
    Mostly depends on the offset of your wheels, do you know it? I know my car is not an XI, but on my coupe I run 18×8.5 +42mm offset and I can fit 255/35/18 tires with my super low suspension.

    Check out the tire/wheel/suspension database at Bimmerfest, see what other Xi owners are running.

    Tire Rack and other retailers will sell short the possibilities. Every time I order 245/40/17 tires for my K1’s they call me to tell me they won’t fit.

    Cliff Oates

    I am running 255/40R17 and 255/35R18 tires on 8.5″ wheels, each with a 40 offset. My car is lowered 0.25″ in front and 0.5″ in the rear compared to stock. My coupe could take a smaller offset (32-35) or wider wheel in the rear without rubbing, but I don’t think sedans are quite as roomy.

    FWIW Kris Linquist (krisl) had a post stickied on bimmerfest for a while which had a link to a much larger database than what is preserved in the bfest wiki. If you search for it you could probably turn it up. I don’t know if the database is still around.

    Brock Parsons

    Thanks to both of you for your feedback.

    The wheels in question are VMR V703s with what appears to be a 40 mm offset (based on my measurement at ~41 mm and the VMR standard offerings for that wheel). From the Bimmerfest database it looks like 255/35R18s can be run on an E-46, although I don’t know if the xi has any significant differences in geometry than might cause a problem.

    My inclination is to go with the 245/40R18s, which would seem to give me a little margin (and are currently running $43 less per tire at Tire Rack).

    Cliff Oates

    The concern with the 245/40R18 is the added diameter – they’re about 0.7 larger in diameter than the 255/35R18. If you’re worried about the added width from a 255 tire, a 245/35R18 tire would probably be a better size to choose.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 10 months ago by Cliff Oates.
    Brock Parsons

    Cliff, As you suggest, I am more concerned about width. I’m not so worried about diameter – the xi rides higher than the other E-46s, and 245/35R18 is not an available size in the Direzza ZII.

    John Kim

    255/35/18 on an 18×8.5″ (ET50) rim is the stock rear size on my E46, though probably not on any E46 xi models. The stock front is 18×8″ ET47.

    I have run both 255/35/18 (17×8.5 ET50) and 245/40/17 (17×8.5″ ET40 rim) tires on the front and back of my E46. Sometimes in front it rubs the inner fender (towards engine bay) at full steering lock so I put in a 5mm spacer and have been waiting for some 12mm spacers. On the backs if you use ET40 that’s sitting 10mm farther outward than stock (ET50) so on a lowered car it can run the fender liner or fender lip. With a non-lowered xi, I doubt that would ever be an issue.


    I run rear ZHP wheels all around (18×8.5 et50) with 255/35/18 Michelin Pilots Sports on my ZHP. No rubbing.

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