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Thread: How to build your BBS RM and RS

  1. #1
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    How to build your BBS RM and RS

    This thread will help get you started on building your BBS RM and BBS RS wheels, the two most popular wheels to build.

    BBS RM:
    These are two piece wheels with the centers built into the barrel and the lips can be taken off, all RMs are the same as opposed to the RS’s. These wheels are as follows: 15x6.5 et33, with the lips being .5”.


    BBS RM on the left, BBS RS on the right.

    BBS RS:
    These are three piece wheels, barrel, center, and the lip. These wheels are more complicated then the RMs as there are many different styles that were produced, here is a list of RS’s that will work for an E21(please note that there might be other out there, just make sure to get the right center bore and offset):

    NOTE: If you wish to change the lips, please keep that in mind as you might run into fitment issues if you get the wrong wheel.
    RS001 15x7 et25
    RS002 15x8 et12
    RS016 15x6.5 et32
    RS033 15x6.5 et34
    RS070 15x7 et16
    RS071 15x8 et18
    RS099 15x8 et12

    RS003 16x7 et25
    RS004 16x8 et12
    RS073 16x8 et 13

    All center bores are 57.1mm the E21 is 57.1mm so they will fit.

    On the BBS RMs you will need to use a spacer, a minimum of 8mm, this is because the tie rod will hit the wheel since the back spacing is higher. On BBS RS wheels, I found that you will need to run a minimum of a 10mm spacer to be safe of clearing the tie rod fully. For 16” RSs, you will not need a spacer as the tie rob will go inside of the wheel. Spacers can also be used to get the proper stance of the vehicle.

    Here are the measurements with various size lips. For every .5” you go up on the lips, the ET drops by 6.35mm. Let’s take a BBS RS wheel that is 15x6.5 et 34 to use as an example:

    1.0” = 15x7 et 27.65
    1.5” = 15x7.5 et 21.3
    2.0” = 15x8 et14.95
    2.5” = 15x8.5 et 8.6
    3.0” =15x9 et2.25

    Torque Spec:
    BBS RM bolt torque is 12-15 lb/ft
    BBS RS bolt torque is 12-15 lb/ft

    Put together the wheels by tighening them by hand using wrenchs (front of the bolt is an 8mm and the nut is a 10mm), then do a cris-cross pattern torquing them down.
    NOTE: No sealant should applied until after the wheels are torqued.

    To seal the rim, get any type of all purpose 100% silicone sealant. Start by running a thick bead where the lip meets the center, for RM's its at the front of the "center" and for the RS's its at the front and the back of the center. Once you have your thick bead all the way around, use your finger to smooth it out applying light pressure. Make sure its smooth all the way around and there are no holes. Let it sit for 24hrs. If you are satisfied with your work, your done, but if you want to make sure there are no leaks, you can apply another coat of sealant, but this should be very thin and should be done by putting the sealant on your finger and gently going over the existing sealant.

    If you want to know what the ET will be when using a spacer, just take the ET of the built wheel and subtract the width of the spacer and that’s your ET. For example if you are using a 10mm spacer on a wheel that is ET10, your new ET will be 0 or equivalent.

    Lips can be found at the following sites:
    Tunershop
    Black Forest Industries
    Kodiak

    Spacers can be found here along with wheels bolts (stock bolts are 12x1.5x30mm):
    ECS Tuning
    Purems

    Prices and places to kind these wheels:
    The best place to find these wheels are on VWvortex <-- this link takes you to the right section.
    E-bay also has them.

    Prices can vary a lot and it really depends on what kind of set you get, how you want to build them and if they need to be restored, but expect to pay anywhere from $1,000.00 - $3,000.00.

    Hope this helps and if I missed something, please let me know and I will add it.
    Last edited by BoostedE21; 08-26-2009 at 04:40 PM.

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  2. #2
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    Awesome, i'm bookmarking this, I've been looking for this kind of info on RM's & RS's. Very useful and nice write up, thanks!

  3. #3
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    RS 070 is a two piece wheel.
    Ex cars: 318i -85, 325ix -89, 325i -87, 316i touring -88, 320i -87, 316i -88, 323i touring -96, Alpina B6 -92, 325i coupe -92, 320i -91, 520i touring -92, 315 -83, 320 -81, 728i -86, 323i -81, 320d -99 and 528ia touring. Now 323i -82, 730ia -91 and 1502 -74.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajamisen iloa View Post
    RS 070 is a two piece wheel.
    All RS wheels are 3 piece, the difference between all of them are the: center bore, the size lips it comes with stock and of course the offset and lug pattern.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostedE21 View Post
    All RS wheels are 3 piece, the difference between all of them are the: center bore, the size lips it comes with stock and of course the offset and lug pattern.
    My BBS RS 070
    Ex cars: 318i -85, 325ix -89, 325i -87, 316i touring -88, 320i -87, 316i -88, 323i touring -96, Alpina B6 -92, 325i coupe -92, 320i -91, 520i touring -92, 315 -83, 320 -81, 728i -86, 323i -81, 320d -99 and 528ia touring. Now 323i -82, 730ia -91 and 1502 -74.

  6. #6
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    Wow, i stand corrected. Will make a note of it, thank you.

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  7. #7
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    Those seem like a hybrid between RS and RMs....where did you get those?
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




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  8. #8
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    RS070 are 3 piece. The center mounts inside the barrell for that model number. Your centers were probably really stuck (or worse, welded) when you refurbed them. that's how the offset gets closer to zero for 070s. They are 3 piece though.


  9. #9
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    Lets see a picture of where the centers meet the barrel. The other side of the picture that you have posted.

    To get them apart if they are not welded would be to gently hit the centers with a rubber mallet.
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




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  10. #10
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    I blasted them on winter with glass and that was 4th time i put them a part. If those are welded someone did very nice job. we have been wondering this thing many times with my friends, who knows about these old school bbs wheels. Well, now they are 2 piece bbs rs . marks on the wheel says rs070.
    Last edited by ajamisen iloa; 08-02-2009 at 06:56 PM.
    Ex cars: 318i -85, 325ix -89, 325i -87, 316i touring -88, 320i -87, 316i -88, 323i touring -96, Alpina B6 -92, 325i coupe -92, 320i -91, 520i touring -92, 315 -83, 320 -81, 728i -86, 323i -81, 320d -99 and 528ia touring. Now 323i -82, 730ia -91 and 1502 -74.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajamisen iloa View Post
    I blasted them on winter with glass and that was 4th time i put them a part. If those are welded someone did very nice job. we have been wondering this thing many times with my friends, who knows about these old school bbs wheels. Well, now they are 2 piece bbs rs . marks on the wheel says rs070.
    I cannot argue that because I have never taken mine apart. Howevever, hmm... I dunno, cause the original gold paint color looks perfect on the inner center, vs. the silver color inner tire rim.

    Please pardon my terminology, Robert


    If you're trying to make me feel better about this scenario, give it up....

  12. #12
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    wow this is fantastic!

    i have rs on both my e24 and e21. the gold on the e21 needs to refurbished and the lip on my 6 is. well. yeah i need a new one haha

    but this is great stuff. will bookmark this and hop on right away.

    thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by JRanmann View Post
    My signifiant other IS an e24!


  13. #13
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    I will be polishing up my RMs and putting them together. Will post pics....
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/579694/1


  14. #14
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    Not all RM are 15x6 et33 as well. RM001 have a machined face, originally with black paint on the inside of the mesh, and black bolts, 15x7, but still have the 1/2" inverted lip.

    I'll have to check mine, but I know I've seen a few different RM numbers, but I know most of them are 15x6.5 et33 like you said.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer03 View Post
    Not all RM are 15x6 et33 as well. RM001 have a machined face, originally with black paint on the inside of the mesh, and black bolts, 15x7, but still have the 1/2" inverted lip.

    I'll have to check mine, but I know I've seen a few different RM numbers, but I know most of them are 15x6.5 et33 like you said.
    Post pics of yours...

    RM001 are rarer than the RM 0012. I have the RM 0012 et 33 mm, going to get them powdercoated and polished. Cant wait.....

    I have to ante up for 1/2 center caps, and chrome bolts...soon.
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/579694/1


  16. #16
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    Mine are the normal RM012 15x6.5 et33, with bent lips (bought that way cheap) waiting for me to find a deal on some 2 or 2.5" lips and black or gold bolts.

    RM001 are very rare, I didn't know there was anything else until a guy put some on his 2002 and posted them up. Some folks call them the "white edition" or something weird... They're the flat face RM's.

  17. #17
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    5th time...With "alpinweiss"





    I dont like the color. So maybe next time...
    Ex cars: 318i -85, 325ix -89, 325i -87, 316i touring -88, 320i -87, 316i -88, 323i touring -96, Alpina B6 -92, 325i coupe -92, 320i -91, 520i touring -92, 315 -83, 320 -81, 728i -86, 323i -81, 320d -99 and 528ia touring. Now 323i -82, 730ia -91 and 1502 -74.

  18. #18
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    Nice, I like the dish. I am going either, Gloss black with gold bolts, Matte black or polished with silver bolts.... I cant decide since I am seeing Tiger Woods hotties in my mind rather than my BBS RMs finished....
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/579694/1


  19. #19
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    I just got out the old tape measure....and seems like I botched this up.
    I wanted 7.5 front and 8.0 rears. I calculated the stock rim to be 6.5 so I removed the .5 factory lips on the RMs and just did a quick mock up.

    With the 1.5 fronts and 2.0 rears that I ordered from the turner shop, Measuring from outside lip to outside lip I now have 8.5 fronts and 9s rears. I guess I am .5 bigger that what I thought.....What the heck, I quess I am going to have to see how they fit on the car. I rolled the fender lips, but after christmas when I put these together...its going to get interesting....

    thinking about gloss black with spiked/ regular gold bolts, or polished centers with powdercoated silver insides or just silver flake centers or matte black...so many choices so little time....not sure what best matches the orange of my 323i...



    Last edited by jjgbmw323; 12-13-2009 at 10:42 PM.
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




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  20. #20
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    Joe, the stock RM's are 6.5 with a .5 lip, take off the stock lip and you have a 6" rim. Now add the 1.5 in and 2in lips and you have 7.5 and 8in rims. Your fine.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostedE21 View Post
    Joe, the stock RM's are 6.5 with a .5 lip, take off the stock lip and you have a 6" rim. Now add the 1.5 in and 2in lips and you have 7.5 and 8in rims. Your fine.

    Yes Attila you are right, thats what I have if you measure the inside lip to inside lip. When you measure outside lip to outside lip you end up with 8.5 front and 9 rears. I am going to threw them on my car, and see what happens....
    "..Horsepower is a measure of work done over time, or the rate at which work is done."




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  22. #22
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    Man those rims look wicked !!!! awesome .....

  23. #23
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    When restoring the shine on the lips and bolts, what is the most efficient way of restoring the shine? Is there a particular polishing compond that works best?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by undastan View Post
    When restoring the shine on the lips and bolts, what is the most efficient way of restoring the shine? Is there a particular polishing compond that works best?
    Hopefully somebody will chime in with a more complete answer than mine;

    Mine have original finish from the '80s (or maybe the early '90s - I'm unsure), one is tarnished a little on the outer rim, and the others look perty good to me. I've only scrubbed them a few times in the last 10 years. I have used a plastic scrub brush with soap, and a few other times - used a wash cloth with pine oil to get brake dust off.

    The original BBS bolts have a really good finish on them, I would use more elbow grease, than "harsh" chemicals for cleaning them. When rebuilding the wheels - some folks replace all the bolts, and some folks soak the bolts in chemicals to change the color of the bolts.

    Last edited by epmedia; 02-12-2010 at 03:04 AM.


    If you're trying to make me feel better about this scenario, give it up....

  25. #25
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    Depending on how back the tarnish is, try using any type of polish say from mothers, Meguiers, etc etc. if that does not get that shine you like, you can use a light rubbing compound to try and get the blemishes out.

    OR you can take it to a shop and have them doing it if its really bad.

    Hope that helps, its hard to really tell unless we know/see how bad it is.

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