2006 330xi (E90) rim width question.

The stock wheels (style 159) that come with the '06 330xi are 17"x8", 34mm offset. That's for the tire size the car comes with, 225/45 17. Car won't
be delivered for another month or so, thus I don't really have a car to try wheels on for size.
Got a good price on Borbet TS rims from TireRack for same vehicle, which I'll use for snow tires, same size as summer tires (225/45 17). The rims they sold me are 17"x8.5", 40mm offset, so the sizing is different - but they say they were fitted specifically for the car. Live in NE Ohio that's the reason for the snow's eventually.
TireRack says check for fit before mounting tires. So I took 1 of my Borbet's to BMW and they kindly put a new 330xi up on the rack.
Keeping in mind the suspension is fully lowered, the stock BMW wheel had about 3/4" clearance between the edge of the stock wheel rim and the shock/strut.
When he mounted the wheel to the hub (no tire, just the wheel), the clearance was only 1/4", maybe less.
To me, that's too close for comfort. I called TireRack with the intention of returning the 8.5 width Borbet's to exchange for one's not so wide. The person at TireRack said it will fit fine, as long as there's clearance, and to not worry about it (plus they have a fit guarantee, even after tires are mounted and on the car - return at their expense).
I got to thinking later that he was probably correct - since at BMW I did not have a tire on the wheel thus we couldn't see how the clearance would change once the suspension is back to a normal resting position with full weight of car on it (couldn't lower it, no tire).
I'm thinking that as the strut compresses, and the geometry of the control arms/hub/strut changes as the car settles onto the ground, that the gap will actually grow and not be a problem. The "wheel size calculator" on E90.com showed I'd be LOSING 12mm of clearance at the strut, but that the outer edge of the wheel would be same. That's going from 17"x8", 34mm offset to 17"x8.5", 40mm offset.
It's just that the gap seemed to close.
Anyone else know if that clearance widens as the car goes back on the ground?
Thanks, Mike
--
Mike
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I put a lot of faith in TireRack. These guys know what they're talking about and I imagine that it's a pretty easy science. As long as they know the size of the wheel and tire and they know offset range that the car will handle, it either fits or not. Find another 06 330xi and check out the tire specs on the inside of the driver's door....it gives you a lot of information.
And with their guarantee to take everything back, what do you have to lose.
Slap some tires on those wheels, take possession of your new car, and sit back and wait for it to snow.
Enjoy your xi.
Tom
Mike Mayer wrote:

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"I put a lot of faith in TireRack."
I do too. They know what they are doing and I doubt they would want to ruin their reputation by selling someone a wheel that is wrong for the car.
Mike: Just out of curiosity - why didn't you get the winter tires from TireRack at the time you bought the wheels? Their prices are good and they mount and balance them for free.

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In answer to Joe's question....

I work for Goodyear (Corporate in Akron), so I get the employee discount thru any local Goodyear store for those snow tires. If I didn't work for Goodyear, then yep I would have gone with a tire/wheel combo from TireRack. I've talked to folks who say they do a good job on that too.
Thanks to all for your responses.
Mike
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