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BMW Wheel Info & Tech

BMW Wheel Recommendations by Chassis

Below we have listed common BMW models and our recommended wheel sizes from easy fitments to ultra-aggressive track sizes. We broke down our recommendations into categories of use so that we can offer a wheel for almost anyone.

Stock wheel sizes are the most aggressive factory BMW option
Easy upgrade that fits within stock bodywork
Mild is more aggressive than Easy (or sometimes the same) but usually fit without serious modification
Bold sizes that approach or exceed the physical fitment on the vehicle
Track A is our preferred size and offset for track use
Track B offers an alternative to our Track A recommendation when options exist.

The Bold and Track recommendations will not be direct bolt-on fitments. Our goal is to fit as much tire as possible in these fitments so compromises should be expected. Some trimming of plastic fender liners, rolling inside fenders, extra negative camber, or wheel spacers are likely required on the Bold and Track sizes. While the proper offset is best, wheel spacers are often the solution to difficult fitments. Click here for more info on spacers.

BMW Wheel Fitments by Chassis:

E82 128i/135i: the E82 squeezed E9X suspension into a tighter and smaller exterior. This dictated narrower wheels with higher offsets. Wheels over 8.5" wide are very hard to fit to the E82.

E82 128i/135i Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 18x7.5 ET49 24.77" 18x8.0 ET45 18x8.5 ET45 18x8.5 ET40 18x8.5 ET45 18x9.0 ET45
R 18x8.5 ET52 24.75" 18x9.0 ET50 18x9.5 ET58 18x9.0 ET45 18x8.5 ET45 18x9.0 ET45

E82 1M: the 1M model of the E82 uses the suspension and brakes from the M3 but with wider fenders with more room. Just about any wheel from the E9X M3 will fit on the 1M as well.

E82 1M Coupe Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x9.0 ET31 25.75" 19x9.0 ET19 19x9.5 ET35 19x9.5 ET22 18x9.5 ET22 18x10 ET25
R 19x10.0 ET25 26.30" 19x10.0 ET15 19x10.5 ET27 19x10.5 ET24 18x9.5 ET22 18x10 ET25


F22 228i-M240i: The F22 came with disappointingly small tire sizes from the factory. Again, they took the playbook from the E82 and used the suspension from a larger car in a smaller body. F22 and E82 wheel sizes and offsets are very close but with slightly lower offsets in the front. The same lack of space carries over from the E82 to the F22. Note that to fit serious rubber on the M235i Racing car BMW had to use larger fender flares.

F22 228i/M235i Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x7.5 ET45 25.20" 19x8.0 ET38 19x8.5 ET45 19x8.5 ET40 18x8.5 ET45 18x9.0 ET50
R 19x8.0 ET52 24.79" 19x8.5 ET45 19x9.5 ET58 19x9.5 ET43 18x8.5 ET45 18x9.0 ET50


F87 M2: uses the same stock wheel sizes and offset as the M3/M4 but has much less room for wider wheels and tires. For the track a 9.5" wheel is a direct fit (but uses smaller rear wheel than stock). The common 10.0" size can also fit but given the limited fender space you must accept some rubbing from tire contact. We prefer the 18x10" with ET33 offset, using a spacer in the front to clear the spring perch.

F87 M2 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x9.0 ET29 25.75" 19x9.0 ET24 19x8.5 ET28 18x9.5 ET35 18x10.0 ET33
R 19x10.0 ET40 26.30" 19x10.0 ET35 19x10.5 ET40 18x9.5 ET35 18x10.0 ET33


E30 318i/325e/325i: the E30 was engineered in a time when 17" was a huge size. It was simply never designed for big wheels. Anything bigger than the Euro 15x7 must have the right combination of offset, tire size, and camber. And the M20 and M42 engines simply don't need much more than an 8.0" 225 tire anyway. The E30 was also the last model to use a 4-lug hub although 5-lug swaps are common.

E30 318i/325i Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll Dia. Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 15x7.0 ET24 23.88" 17x8.0 ET25
R 15x7.0 ET24 23.88" 17x8.0 ET25


E36 318i/325i/328i/M3: the E36 has somewhat narrow wheel openings that limit wheel width, especially in the front. An 8.5" is about as wide as you can go and that may still require more negative camber or trimming of plastic wheel well liners. The rear can take a 9.0-9.5" but you may have to limit tire size to avoid rubbing. If you're building a dedicated track toy then bolting on fender flares may be in your best interest.

E36 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 17x7.5 ET41 24.97 17x8.0 ET38 18x8.0 ET38 18x8.5 ET35 17x8.5 ET40 17x9.0 ET42
R 17x8.5 ET41 24.72 17x8.5 ET36 18x9.0 ET42 18x9.5 ET43 17x8.5 ET40 17x9.0 ET42


E46 323i/325i/328i/330i: the E46 has more room for wider wheels than the previous E36. For the Spec E46 series we use a 9.0" wheel on the front and rear and they clear without issues. A 9.0" wheel and 255-265 tire should be all you need for grip in this car. A 9.5 or 10.0 in the rear is also possible if you want to do a staggered set. As with any extreme fitment, additional camber, trimming of plastic wheel wells, inside fender rolling, spacers, and other tricks may be necessary for clearance.

E46 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 17x7.5 ET41 24.97" 17x8.0 ET38 18x8.5 ET38 18x9.0 ET42 17x8.5 ET38 17x9.0 ET42
R 17x8.5 ET50 24.72" 17x8.5 ET38 18x9.0 ET42 18x9.5 ET43 17x8.5 ET38 17x9.0 ET42


E46 M3: the front wheel clearance is enormous from the factory. The stock wheel can easily take a 20-25mm spacer, so wider wheels are not a problem. Clearance is tight in the rear but you don't need super-wide tires for this car.

E46 M3 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x8.0 ET47 26.08" 19x8.5 ET38 19x9.0 ET42 19x9.5 ET35 18x9.5 ET35 18x10.0 ET25
R 19x9.5 ET27 26.03" 19x9.5 ET22 19x10.0 ET25 19x10.5 ET24 18x9.5 ET35 18x10.0 ET25


E90/E91/E92/E93 325i/328i/330i: the E90/E92 body has a lot of room for wide wheels. Note that 2009-2011 LCI sedan models have narrower rear bodywork that may limit widths compared to 2006-2008 sedan models. We can do a 9.0 square set for track use with a 255-265 tire which should be more than enough for the N51/N52 engines. A 9.5-10.0 wheel can also fit in the rear with the right combination of offset, ride height, and camber. What hurts the E9X the most is the medium offset stock wheels. Most aftermarket wheels are either low or high offsets so spacers are common.

E9X Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x8.0 ET37 25.47" 19x8.5 ET38 19x8.5 ET35 19x9.0 ET31 18x9.0 ET31 18x9.5 ET35
R 19x9.0 ET39 25.25" 19x9.0 ET31 19x9.5 ET35 19x10.0 ET43 18x9.0 ET31 18x9.5 ET35


E90/E91/E92/E93 335i: the E90/E92 body has a lot of room for wide wheels. Note that 2009-2011 LCI sedan models have narrower rear bodywork that may limit widths compared to 2006-2008 sedan models. All E92 coupes have a lot of room. For a tuned N54/N55 we want to get as much rear rubber as possible, even if it means a staggered setup. To get a 275 tire on the back we need to run a 9.5" with an offset around ET35. The same wheel can be used in the front but will require a small spacer and a lot of negative camber. If rotating tires is not critical, a 255 on a 9.0" in the front will clear everything better. What hurts the E9X the most is the medium offset stock wheels. Most aftermarket wheels are either low or high offsets so spacers are common.

E9X 335i Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x8.0 ET37 25.47" 19x8.5 ET38 19x8.5 ET35 19x9.0 ET31 18x9.0 ET31 18x9.5 ET35
R 19x9.0 ET39 25.25" 19x9.0 ET31 19x9.5 ET35 19x10.0 ET43 18x9.0 ET31 18x9.5 ET35


E90/E92/E93 M3: BMW finally got aggressive on the wheel sizes for the E9X M3. They use a 10.0" rear wheel and you don't need much more rubber for great handling. A 10.0" can also fit in the front which makes the E9X M3 the easiest recent BMW model to run a square setup. There's no shortage of wheel combinations that can be run and a lot of wheels look great on this car.

E9X M3 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x9.0 ET31 25.75" 19x9.5 ET35 19x9.5 ET22 19x10.0 ET25 18x9.5 ET22 18x10.0 ET25
R 19x10.0 ET25 26.30" 19x10.5 ET27 19x10.5 ET24 19x11.0 ET25 18x9.5 ET22 18x10.0 ET25


F30/F31/F36 320i-340i: the F3X has some unusual stock offsets - medium in the front and high in the rear. However, there is a lot of room to run a wider wheel. Even with the high offset, the stock rear wheel can take a wide spacer. This translates to decent room for a wider wheel. These models make decent power but don't need a ton of rubber for grip. Our F30 race cars run a 9.0" wheel, which clears the front and rear without issues. An 8.5" square set is also good if you don't want/need the extra weight of a 9.0 and wider tire.

F30 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 20x8.0 ET36 26.20" 19x8.0 ET20 19x8.5 ET38 19x8.5 ET35 18x8.5 ET38 18x9.0 ET42
R 20x8.5 ET47 26.02" 19x8.5 ET35 19x9.0 ET42 19x9.5 ET43 18x8.5 ET38 18x9.0 ET42


F32/F33/F34 428i-440i: the F3X has some unusual stock offsets - medium in the front and high in the rear. However, there is a lot of room to run a wider wheel. Even with the high offset, the stock rear wheel can take a wide spacer. This translates to decent room for a wider wheel. These models make decent power but don't need a ton of rubber for grip. Our F30 race cars run a 9.0" wheel, which clears the front and rear without issues. An 8.5" square set is also good if you don't want/need the extra weight of a 9.0 and wider tire.

F32 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll
Dia.
Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 20x8.0 ET36 26.20" 19x8.0 ET20 19x8.5 ET38 19x8.5 ET35 18x8.5 ET38 18x9.0 ET42
R 20x8.5 ET47 26.02" 19x8.5 ET35 19x9.0 ET42 19x9.5 ET43 18x8.5 ET38 18x9.0 ET42


F80 M3, F82 M4: a new sizing configuration from BMW with a low offset front wheel and high offset rear wheel. This has upset the traditional wheel recommendations. The 18x10.0" is still the standard size for square track wheels with some brave owners opting for an 11.0" rear. And the truly brave trying out 11.0" in the front as well. The +25 offset is common track sets and it works great in the front but is too aggressive for our tastes in the rear. The lower offset pushes the wheel past the fender so the tire will contact the fender, especially when lowered, unless really aggressive camber is used. We prefer the +33 offset wheels in the front and rear. This is a better fitment on the rear with no rubbing. The front wheels will need a spacer to clear the spring perch. We use spacers on street and race cars (so does BMW Motorsport!) so there is no danger or downside to their use and it solves the problem with +25 wheel clearance.

Note that the M4 GT4 race car has 11.0" wheels in the front and rear but with suspension pieces, alignment, and bodywork that is different than the standard production car. GT4 wheels are not a direct fit to the standard M3/M4.

F8X M3/M4 Wheel Recommendations
F/R Stock Roll Dia. Easy Mild Bold Track A Track B
F 19x9.0 ET29 26.02" 19x9.5 ET29 19x9.5 ET29 19x10.0 ET25 18x10.0 ET33 18x10.0 ET25
R 19x10.0 ET40 26.58" 19x10.0 ET40 19x10.5 ET36 19x11.0 ET40 18x10.0 ET33 18x11.0 ET44


Tires

Note that tire sizes are not listed above. There is too much variance in tire sizing and sidewall shape for us to recommend a specific tire or size. And tire models and brands change too often. In our tables tire clearance is only an issue with the Aggressive and Track recommendations. The Stock, Easy, and Mild sizes should not have any tire clearance issues. We do provide you with the rolling diameter of the stock wheels and tires (tire sidewall height in millimeters x 2, divided by 25.4, then added to inches of wheel diameter). If you stay within 3% of this number you can avoid issues with speedometer accuracy, as well as AWD and DSC errors.





BMW Bolt Patterns & Center Bore:

The bolt pattern refers to the number of bolt holes and the diameter of a circle drawn from one hole to the next. It's also known as the PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter). Nearly all BMWs have 5 lug bolts in a 120mm bolt circle. Beginning with the G01 7-series chassis in 2009, all G-chassis use a 5x112 bolt pattern - the same number of lug bolts but in a 8mm tighter circle. This is also the spec used by Audi, VW, and Mercedes. Our wheel experts tell us this is a new standardization among wheel and hub manufacturers to have common bolt patterns for German brands.

The Center Bore is the large hole in the center of the wheel. When the wheel is fitted to the car, this hole will fit tightly with a lip protruding from the hub and brake rotor. BMW wheels are designed to fit on this lip tightly and is known as a hub-centric fitment. If the wheel does not fit tight with this lip it will wobble and vibrate and potentially cause catastrophic failure.

BMW Chassis and Bolt Patterns:

BMW ModelBolt PatternCenter Bore
4-lug (2002
E21, E30 non-M)
4x100 (3.93")57.1mm (2.24")
5-lug E-Chassis
(except E39)
5x120 (4.72")72.56mm (2.86")
E39 5-series
1997-2003
5x120 (4.72")74.1mm (2.92")
G-Chassis
(G01, G30, etc)
5x112 (4.41")66.56mm (2.62")
note: for more info on BMW chassis numbers and codes, click here.







BMW Wheel Glossary & Terminology


Below you will find wheel diagrams based on our forged TA16 wheel that visually represent the terminology and components that make up an alloy wheel.

Click on each image and then use your arrow keys or tap to scroll through each diagram.






Wheel Manufacturing


How wheels are manufactured is a fascinating and amazing process. There are three ways to produce an aluminum wheel: cast, flow-formed, and forged.
Cast wheel process Flow-formed wheel process Forged wheel process
Cast Wheels
Cast wheels use liquified molten aluminum that is poured into a steel mold. Cast wheels are one piece from that mold. But because it is a liquid first there is a greater number of air pockets or voids in the final product. This makes the wheel weaker overall, and more likely to bend or crack. To ensure the wheels have additional strength, they add thickness, which makes the wheel heavier. All major manufacturers submit their wheels for safety testing so cast wheels are generally strong enough for road use.
Flow-Formed Wheels
Flow-forming is a relatively new process and results in a wheel that is stronger than cast but a little more expensive. The wheel is made just like a cast wheel with molten aluminum. The mold is special and the wheel comes out as a narrow but dense size. It's then placed on a machine, heated, and spun. Mandrels then apply pressure to the barrel and shape the casting into the familiar wheel barrel shape while compressing the material at the same time. This makes it similar to the forging process and is also where the term "spun forged" came from. While the face of the wheel is cast, the barrel has greater strength thanks to the denser material and fewer imperfections. Because it's stronger, the flow-formed wheel does not need extra thickness so it's lighter than a cast wheel also. Because of the high performance demands, most wheels we sell are flow-formed.
Forged Wheels
Forged wheels start as a single block of solid billet aluminum cylinder. Billet aluminum blocks are made from a casting as well. But here is where forged products get their strength. The block is compressed using an hydraulic machine press. In the case of our BimmerWorld TA16 wheels, a 10,000 ton per square inch press is used. The previous high standard for wheels was 8,000 tons. The huge pressure eliminates any voids or air pockets and makes the aluminum extremely dense and strong. The billet block is pressed into roughly the shape of a wheel. Then the machining process can begin. CNC milling machines cut the billet into the final wheel shape. As you can imagine, it takes a long time for a single cutting bit to shape an 18" wheel. And in the case of high performance or racing wheels a lot of machining is done to make the wheel as light as possible.


Videos:

Here are the best videos we have found that demonstrate the different wheel manufacturing processes.

Cast



Flow-form

What this video doesn't show is the casting process before the mandrels are applied to the barrel. It's the same process as above.



Forged:

This quick video from Titan7 wheels shows the 10,000 ton press being used to squash the alloy block and some of the machining done on the forging.




Wheel Design & Testing

Wheels are designed on computers using finite element analysis (FEA). This poweful software can "test" a wheel's strength by simulating real-world forces. This validates the engineer's design. Computer software can also simulate the fitment of the wheel with big brake kits so that spoke and barrel designs will clear the calipers.

The validation of great wheel design comes from government and consumer certifications. Sometimes, such as in Japan, aftermarket wheels cannot be sold without a safety certification. Germany also has high standards for wheel design, testing, and safety. Our BimmerWorld TA16 wheels are are certified by the German TUV as well as the Japanese JWL/VIA. This testing ensures the wheels meet a minimum standard for strength.





To Spacer or Not To Spacer?


The BimmerWorld View: the best wheel set for a BMW model is one that does not need spacers. The proper offset and size should always be used. However, that is not always practical or financially sensible. And that's where wheel spacers are vital and necessary. Consider them a "necessary evil supplement".

Wheel spacers allow you to run wheels you might not be able to use. A good example is 18x10" wheels on the F87 M2 Coupe. The ideal offsets are different for front and rear with a compromise of ET30. But ET30 does not exist unless you have custom forged wheels made (big $$$). But ET33 wheels are readily available and a small spacer gives us the proper clearance in the front. We saved a couple thousand dollars in wheel cost and can run a proper 275 tire instead of a smaller 18x9.0" or 18x9.5" wheel. A spacer is also typically lighter than using a wider wheel. As unsprung weight, a lighter wheel has many advantages.

Are wheel spacers safe? Any part used for motorsport has its limitations. When properly engineered to fit correctly there is no danger to them. The only time we have heard of wheel, hub, or hardware failures is when customary installation procedures were not followed. There is the theoretical argument that the spacer puts more strain on wheel bearings. In twenty years we have never seen actual proof of this. And we typically have a lighter wheel & tire combination that makes this argument a wash. Heat from the brakes and track temps are more likely to burn up wheel bearing grease faster anyway. Our M4 GT4 racecars come from BMW Motorsport with massive 32mm front wheel spacers so even factory engineers have adopted them.





BMW Wheel Spacer Fitments


Below are some diagrams showing how various BMW wheel spacer sizes fit on a typical hub.

From left to right, the components are: brake rotor disc, brake hat (backside), wheel hub face, wheel stud, brake hat (the thickness of the hat sits over the front of the hub), wheel spacer (except in tile #1 which is no spacer) (highlighted in blue), wheel hubcentric lip (highlighted in orange), and a wheel rim profile. Most of the components are to scale to one another.

Pay attention to the relationship of the hubcentric lip (highlighted in orange) and the fitment of the spacer. Most spacers from 10mm and above include a new hubcentric lip for the wheel to rest on. But 5mm uses the leftover existing lip. Also note how the available length on the stud gets shorter as the spacer gets thicker.

Click on each image and then use your arrow keys or tap to scroll through each diagram.






Have further questions or want to talk this over with a human? Contact us by phone, 877-639-9648, or by email, [email protected].

BMW Wheels, Wheel Sets, Spacers, Studs & Bolts, and Accessories


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