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Thread: ► APEX | E36 M3 Wide Wheel & Tire Fitment Guide

  1. #1
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    ► APEX | E36 M3 Wide Wheel & Tire Fitment Guide

    We all know there can be confusion when trying to understand what is needed to maximize the amount of wheel and tire width you can run on your car for track/auto-x/race purposes. This thread is for E36 owners who have accomplished wider than normal Wheel and tire setups and what they have done to achieve these fitments in the process. Please only post wheel and tire setups utilizing a 245 or wider street tire, or a wider than normal R-Compound tire. In the event you do not know all the specs, please fill in “not sure”

    APEX wanted to begin by showcasing some of the wider wheel and tire fitments for the E36 chassis. Please post your own cars with these guidelines and spread the knowledge you have learned from fitting these wider wheel and tire set ups!

    Guidelines

    Pictures:
    Wheels:
    (Diameter/Width/Offset)
    Tires:
    Suspension:
    - Spacers -
    - Coilovers -
    - Camber Plates -
    - other parts to aid in wheel/tire fitment -
    Alignment:
    Fender Modifications:
    - Rolled -
    - Pulled -
    Other Modifications:
    Advice:


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    GLOCH Photo

    Wheels: Apex ARC-8's in Satin Black
    (17"/9"/ET42)
    Tires: 245/40/17 Hoosier R6
    Suspension:
    - Spacers - 12mm wheel spacers are required in the front to clear the strut. No rear spacers
    - Coilovers - Yes, utilizing a 5-6" linear race spring
    - Camber Plates - Yes, required
    - other parts to aid in wheel/tire fitment - N/A
    Alignment: You will need at least -2.5 degrees of camber in the front and -2 degrees helps in the rear for fitment and tire wear on the track. These are just base settings and more or less may be preferred depending on your tire wear and specific wheel and tire fitment.
    Fender Modifications:
    - Rolled - Yes, in the rear
    - Pulled - NO
    Other Modifications:
    Advice: This is by far the most popular wheel set up for E36 M3 owners looking for a wide track/auto x fitment for their cars. 17" wheels and tires are generally much less expensive than 18" which is a huge factor because tires are a large consumable cost when tracking a car. The 17x9" ET42 wheel fits a 255/40/17 extreme performance tire very easily as well as 245 and 255 width R Compound tires. A 10mm wheel spacer is the thinnest spacer that can be used with a meaty tire. We prefer 12mm spacers as the center bore is cleared properly. The 12mm wheel spacer is required on cars equipped with stock style struts with aftermarket springs and adjustable camber plates as well as cars using a coilover suspension with a 5-6" main springs and no helper springs. Spring perch location with coilovers is very important. Make sure that the spring perch is above the wheel and tire so the perch is above the tire. Some coilovers utilize a cone shaped progressive spring or a helper spring which sets the perch and spring next to the tire. When that happens a significantly thicker spacer, sometimes up to 20mm in thickness will be required. If you encounter this clearance issue, you can either use a thick spacer wheel spacer, replace your spring with a shorter spring, remove any applicable helper springs, or raise your ride height if possible. The rear fenders do need to be rolled but not pulled for this size. The area of contact is the worst where the rear bumper meets the fender so focus on that area with your fender roller the most.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Wheels:Apex ARC-8's in Anthracite
    (17/9.5/ET35)
    Tires:245/40/17 Hoosier's
    Suspension:
    - Coilovers - Stock style struts or a coilover suspension utilizing a 5-6" linear race spring in the front
    - Camber Plates - Yes, required
    - other parts to aid in wheel/tire fitment - 5mm front wheel spacer required
    Alignment:You will need at least -3 degrees of camber in the front and -2.5 degrees helps in the rear for wheel fitment. These are just base settings and more or less may be preferred depending on your tire wear and specific wheel and tire fitment.
    Fender Modifications:
    - Rolled - Yes, in the front and rear.
    - Pulled - Yes, in the rear. The degree of fender pulling is dependent upon your ride height and specific tires.
    Other Modifications:
    Advice:
    This is the most aggressive 17" wheel set up available from Apex for your E36 M3. Because of the wheel's concavity it is most commonly used as a street fitment with undersized and stretched sidewall 245/40/17 street tires but, can also be adapted for track/auto x use with the right specifications and precautions taken from above. The wheel extends out 13mm more than the 17x9" ET42 set up in the rear. Those measurements give you an idea of how much more fender rolling and pulling is required when using this wheel set up over the 17x9" ET42. Strut side clearance in the front is extremely close. The 17x9.5" ET35 with a 5mm wheel spacer is 6mm closer to the strut than a 17x9" ET42 with a 12mm wheel spacer. Even with the 5mm wheel spacer spring perch location with coilovers is very important. Make sure that the spring perch is above the wheel and tire so the perch is above the tire. Some coilovers utilize a cone shaped progressive spring or a helper spring which sets the perch and spring next to the tire. When that happens a significantly thicker spacer, sometimes up to 20mm in thickness will be required. This in turn limits your tire size and requires an unfavorable amount of negative camber. So, if you coilovers that utilize a cone shaped progressive style spring than using this wheel in a square format is very difficult. A 5-6" linear race spring is preferred in the front.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wheels: Apex ARC-8's in Anthracite
    (18/9/ET42)
    Tires:245/40/18 Hankook Slick.
    Suspension:
    - Coilovers - Yes, utilizing a 5-6" linear race spring
    - Camber Plates - Yes, required
    - other parts to aid in wheel/tire fitment - N/A
    Alignment:You will need at least -2.5 degrees of camber in the front and -2 degrees helps in the rear for fitment and tire wear on the track. These are just base settings and more or less may be preferred depending on your tire wear and specific wheel and tire fitment.
    Fender Modifications:
    - Rolled - Yes, in the rear
    - Pulled - N/A
    Other Modifications:
    Advice:All of the fitment advice shown above for the 17x9" ET42 wheels also applies to this 18" set up. A 255/35/18 Hoosier R6 is also available and doable on these cars with more fender rolling in the rear and negative camber in the front. If using an extreme performance summer tire we like to see a 255/35/18 used. Some E36 M3 owners have also mounted a 265/35/18 extreme performance tire on their 18x9" ET42 wheels for auto x use. This is also another very doable set up but since this 265 tire is taller and heavier than the 255 there is a gearing hit and some consider this to not be worth the extra grip. The same precautions regarding spring perch location on your coilovers also apply to this wheel fitment.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



    Wheels:Apex EC-7's in Race Silver
    (18/9/ET31)(18/9.5/ET43)
    Tires:225/40/18 and 255/35/18 Yokohama S-Drive's pictured but the ability to use up to a 255/35/18 front and 265/35/18 rear tire
    Suspension:
    - Coilovers - Yes, JRZ RS's with a 6" front Hyperco spring
    - Camber Plates - Yes, Ground Controls
    - other parts to aid in wheel/tire fitment - N/A
    Alignment:You will need at least -2.5 degrees of camber in the front and -2.3 degrees helps in the rear for fitment and tire wear on the track. These are just base settings and more or less may be preferred depending on your tire wear and specific wheel and tire fitment. Slightly more negative camber in the rear than previously suggested because of a 5mm more aggressive rear wheel fitment.
    Fender Modifications:
    - Rolled - Yes, in the rear.
    - Pulled - Depending on the kind of the tire and the size of the tire used a pull may be needed. A 255/35/18 street tire will not need fender pulling but a 255/35/18 R-Compound and 265/35/18 street tire will need it in the rear.
    Other Modifications:
    Advice:
    I know I am slightly breaking my own rules here by posting up a 225/40/18 tire on this E36 M3 but this set up has the potential to fit much wider rubber in the front and rear. The 18x9" ET31 can easily support a 255/35/18 in the front without the use of wheel spacers unlike all of our other wheel set ups that need at least a 12mm wheel spacer. This is because the wheel has a low enough offset to clear the strut and spring perch. The rear wheel is 9.5" wide but has a high enough offset to still stay far enough inside the fender while not having inner clearance rubbing issues. If you are willing to roll and pull your rear fenders this rear wheel can support a 265/35/18 rear tire. Also, the 18x9.5” ET43 can be used in the front in combination with the rear as a super aggressive square fitment. This would require camber plates, at least a 15mm front wheel spacer, attention paid to spring perch location making sure it is above the tire, and either a 255/35/18 or 265/35/18 front tire.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Last edited by paintpro21; 01-21-2013 at 08:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great post and explanation Eddy! Thanks

    Tristan- 97 M3 #154 STU

    2012 SCCA SOLO STU National Champion
    2012 SCCA SOLO Rookie of the Year

  3. #3
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    I will post my setup in a little bit. Reserve spot.

  4. #4
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    Can I add this to the link in my sig?

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1565280
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  5. #5
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    Wheels:SSR Comp
    (18"/9"/ET45)
    Tires:255/35/18 Dunlop Star Spec
    Suspension:
    - Spacers - Yes, 17.5mm front and 3mm rear
    - Coilovers - Yes, AST 4100's
    - Camber Plates - Yes, Vorshlag
    - other parts to aid in wheel/tire fitment - SPC rear camber arms for further rear camber adjustability
    Alignment:
    - Front -2.5 degrees 0 toe (track is -3.5 degrees)
    - Rear - -2.2 degrees 1/4 total toe in
    Fender Modifications:
    - Rolled - Yes, front is not required but the rear is.
    - Pulled - N/A
    Advice: Fender rolling in the rear is not only focused on the back corner where it meets the bumper but also 3-4 inches above the center of the fender on the inside. The 17.5mm front wheel spacers are actually larger than needed and you could get away with a 15mm but the front ride height is currently set so that the spring perch is in close proximity to the wheel and tire. The 3mm wheel spacer is required in the rear otherwise I get rubbing on the inside front corner of the fender. I did actually take a good size hammer and bang the metal in a few inches to prevent and further rubbing. Fender rolling in the front is not required with these wheels and tires as long as you have enough negative camber, easily done with adjustable camber plates. Plans for the future are definitely Apex EC-7 18x9.5" ET43's with 265/35 Extreme performance tires. More rear fender rolling and pulling will ensue.

    Hi, my name is Joe

  6. #6
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    hi , im looking for wheels to preferably some 18 concave wheels. mods i currently have are coil overs , 4 piston brakes from e31 on the front . fenders are rolled. what spec wheels can i get to fit over my brakes . would like an option with wheel spacer and one without spacer.

    im currently using ac schnitzer wheels 17 x8.5 et 13 all around have to use 15mm spacer on the front to clear the brakes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolx7 View Post
    hi , im looking for wheels to preferably some 18 concave wheels. mods i currently have are coil overs , 4 piston brakes from e31 on the front . fenders are rolled. what spec wheels can i get to fit over my brakes . would like an option with wheel spacer and one without spacer.

    im currently using ac schnitzer wheels 17 x8.5 et 13 all around have to use 15mm spacer on the front to clear the brakes.
    Thanks for the post! Sounds like an awesome brake setup. We haven't tested our wheels in-house with that setup, but it sounds like you'd need a pretty low offset to make them work. Would you mind sharing some photos so we can see what you're working with? Feel free to reply here or via PM if you'd like.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Looks like all the 9" wide setups require rolled rear fenders. If I don't want to roll fenders, what is the setup for the widest ARC-8?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyotee View Post
    Looks like all the 9" wide setups require rolled rear fenders. If I don't want to roll fenders, what is the setup for the widest ARC-8?
    Are you talking about 17 or 18 inch wheels? I run 17x9 ARC-8's with wide 245's (RS4's) on them with no issues (just 12mm spacers in front). Haven't touched the fenders, and there's clearance in back with under 2 degrees of camber. My car is slightly lowered too. I could run 255's on those wheels but I'd need to slightly roll the rear fenders. I decided I didn't want the hassle, and I didn't want the taller tire messing things up.

    With 18's you still should have clearance but you'll need to adjust your ride height a bit.

    I'm also talking about street legal tires here. The r compound slicks tend to run wider and will require more clearance for the same printed size.
    Last edited by TostitoBandito; 12-08-2017 at 11:51 PM.
    1999 M3/2/5 - Titanium Silver
    Ground Control Street/Track Suspension 440#/550# --- 3.46 3 clutch LSD --- Apex ARC-8 17x9 wheels --- Borla Exhaust --- PFC V3 Floating Rotors --- AFE Intake --- Shark/Conforti Software --- MM Underpanel --- TMS Pulleys

  10. #10
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    Thanks for this thread. I've been thinking about ditching the staggard setup and going 18x9s all around. Hopefully everything fits. The toughtest thing for me is the front coilover strut clearance.

    I already have -3 camber. I just need to use a spacer to get a total offset of ET30 and remove my tender springs to raise the spring perches. Hopefully its that simple...
    Last edited by hc1001; 12-09-2017 at 01:07 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TostitoBandito View Post
    Are you talking about 17 or 18 inch wheels?
    Sorry, yeah 17" wheels. Thanks for the input, sound like 17x9 is do-able but might still be on the limit without rolling the rear fenders.

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