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Thread: How old are "too old" wheels?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Casablanca, Morocco
    Posts
    493
    My Cars
    2001 e46 323i

    How old are "too old" wheels?

    Recently I got one of my wheels cracked (f****** pothole) and when I brought it to get fixed, I asked the guy, who also sells used wheels, if he had any M wheels for sale (reducing rolling masses and all...), to which he replied that he did, but that they were at his warehouse and not available on display.

    Based on his description and a google search, it turns out they are E36 M3 wheels. In other words, wheels that are at least 20 year old...
    He also had 5 spokes E92 wheels on display, and when I lifted them up I was shocked to notice that the things felt about half as heavy as my wheels...

    Based on looks only I'd be inclined towards the M3 wheels (heck if only looks were implied I'd just keep mine...) , but then again, are they too old as far as alloy's rigidity/integrity is concerned? Would I be better off going for the E92 wheels? I couldn't compare them to the M3 wheels since they were not on display, but I figure even if they are lighter they can't be that much lighter, because the E92's really don' t weigh much!

    Attached are pics of the M3 wheel and the E92 one, fitted on my car.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Breeze1; 05-19-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    NW suburban Chicago
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    12,873
    My Cars
    hiss by my window
    Age alone isn't an issue. Corrosion or damage are. Given the business this fellow is in it's reasonable to assume his goods may have suffered some previous damage. Look for signs of big repairs.
    They can be checked for cracks.

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    boonies, western NC
    Posts
    21,562
    My Cars
    E39M5, E500 4WD, Subie
    Tires are too old, when they pass six years...maybe seven. less if in the sun, more if they've never been out of the trunk.

    Wheels do not age, at least within the parameters of our lives, and if they have been dry and not subjected to road hazards. If they're bent or cracked, well, that's best avoided.

    Chris Powell
    Racer and Instructor since, well. decades, ok?
    Master Auto Tech, at an independent, formerly @ dealer
    BMWCCA 274412 SCCA 334928

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    columbia sc
    Posts
    64
    My Cars
    2002 CSM M3, 1997 m3
    Magnesium wheels have a shelf life. Aluminum, not so much. Sure metals experience fatigue, but if a wheel hasnít been smashed against something, experienced extreme heat and improperly cooled, or something like that, it wonít fail from age as a tire would.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Casablanca, Morocco
    Posts
    493
    My Cars
    2001 e46 323i
    Thanks for your replies, that's good to hear about those M3 wheels!

    @ross1: your assumption makes sense and they will be thoroughly checked before purchase for sure, although he claims to refuse to sell cracked/damaged wheels and wouldn't exchange his for mine + cash, eventhough it was repaired in his own shop, for that reason.
    "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters." Alan K. Simpson.
    5spd E46 "3XX": 328i engine, 330i Intake and exhaust, CAI, 323i diff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Casablanca, Morocco
    Posts
    493
    My Cars
    2001 e46 323i
    I'm bumping this up after a few researches. Unfortunately the M wheels ended up not having the "Bmw Motorsports" engraving on them, so I did not purchase them. I'm usually not a fan of putting M stuff on a non M car (or at least not visible stuff), but in this case I think it hurts the overall design of the wheel badly.

    Which brings me back to the other option : the E90 320i's wheels shown on my car. which design I don't really fancy as compared to mines. I found out that they are 3.5kgs lighter than my wheels (8.5kgs vs 12kgs). In my book, and because of the importance of unsprung masses, 14kgs additional unsprung mass sounds like a huge number! But I know I can be a bit of a maniac when it comes to cars so I thought I'd have a "sanity check" about how necessary replacing them really is. Especially the pros and racers among you guys would be more able to assess how much of a benefit I'd have by replacing them. I don't track my car but I do like spirited driving. I'd definitely like it to feel lighter in tight corners, but then again the whole car is pretty heavy when compared to other more lightweight, Japanese alternatives for e.g.. I don't feel that the handling is bad though, and while I'm always ok with increasing the power to weight ratio, it doesn't feel underpowered at all... I wouldn't be paying much at all for them (about $300 for a whole set) but I don't like throwing money out on unnecessary stuff either...

    Edit: something I forgot to mention that might be important: we have ok roads here but nasty potholes do come with them. In my mind heavier doesn't necessarily means stronger, but I might be wrong.
    Last edited by Breeze1; 06-13-2019 at 11:42 AM.
    "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters." Alan K. Simpson.
    5spd E46 "3XX": 328i engine, 330i Intake and exhaust, CAI, 323i diff.

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