2006 330xi - I don't want the run-flat tires. Can do?

The new '06 330xi comes with 225/45R 17" run flats. I don't want them.
That tire by the way, is a 25" outside diameter tire.
I would rather go with something more conventional for the rough NE Ohio
winters - wider sidewall aspect to absorb the rougher roads is a good start, and even the Bimmer website mentions this warning:
"Due to low-profile tires, please note: wheels, tires and suspension parts are more susceptible to road hazard and consequential damage. Performance tires are not recommended for driving in snow and ice."
So, where does that leave us who live in wintry climates half the year?
Thinking along the lines of (don't laugh - I have my reasons :-) ), the Goodyear Asssurance Triple Tread, which the closest size fitment is the 225/50, but on a 16" rim (they don't make the 225/45 17" in that particular tire). A 225/50R 16 tire has a 24.9" outside diameter (identical outside diameter as you get with the 205/55R 16 on the 325xi). So, the difference in tire dia to the 25" dia with the 225/45R 17" on the 330xi is of no appreciable consequence.
However....
Question #1 is whether or not a 16" rim will even fit a 330xi (you get 16" on the 325xi). The difference is in brake rotor diameter between the 325ix (11.8"), and the 330xi (13.0" front /13.2" rear), so I don't know if I can even put a 16" on that 330xi.
But still, if the 330xi WILL take a 16" rim, that puts me closer to where I want to be, and leads to my next...
...Question #2: What to do about the spare for four conventional tires? Went to BMW and looked at that plastic tub bolted into the bottom of the trunk on the 330xi. Obviously that won't hold a tire (not even a space saver), so I am curious if one were to REMOVE that tub, if I'd be looking at the original tire well. It appears from looking at it, that this tub occupies a nominally large space underneath, but whether enough to fit a spare, I don't know. I didn't think to look from underneath the car - that would have revealed more.
It would seem to me there would be people who might get tired of paying all that dough for runflats over the years (not to mention their questionably tougher ride), and want to switch over to conventional tires. Or go with regular tires to start with. BTW Goodyear does have a runflat (called RMT's) in the proper 225/45 R17 size, however it is not meant for the snow at all (shows a 2 out of 10 in snow performance). Might as well be driving on grease.
Question #3 goes hand in hand with the spare tire - does the 330xi come with a jack? I did not see one, but I didn't poke around a whole lot either.
I will understand if my tire question leads to raised eyebrows, but like I say, I do have my reasons (NE Ohio winters being one of them). The second reason is that I work for Goodyear and can get the very nice switch-to-Goodyear tires for free with a new vehicle. And to switch, I'd much rather switch to something more appropriate to the climate than the no-sno runflats GY already has, or that come with the vehicle (Conti? Bridgestone?).
Another option is to go for 225/45 R17 winter tires on steel rims, and swap them each season (GY has them). Still, there is no runflat winter tire, so I'm still back to my spare tire & jack issue in that scenario.
Oddly, all the reviews I've read (dozens) do not mention this apparent quirk in tire offerings. I see it as a bit of a shortcoming for those who just don't want the runflats. BMW SHOULD have offered them as a "delete option", or made them an extra option, like the dreaded iDrive w/nav system.
Thanks in advance for any advice and guidance.
Mike
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IMO - I have an '01 330xi - this is the only option worth thinking about. Although the xi is acceptable with all-seasons on them, the difference between all-seasons and full-on snow tires is *at least* as much as the difference between summer (performance) tires and all-seasons.
My car came with 205/50R17 (non-run-flats) Continentals. I currently have a set of 225/45R17 Michelin Pilot MXM tires (on the 325i 17x7.5" rims), with a set of Goodyear F1 GS-D3 sitting in the garage waiting for them to wear out. I have Michelin Pilot Alpine in the 205/50R17 size for winter. Unfortunately for you, Goodyear does not make as good snow tires as Nokkia, Michelin, Continental, Pirelli. You would be wise to buy one of them rather than the UltraGrip.
Buy a pump and goop/sealant.
BTW, the 205/50R17 size is much less susceptible to damage than the 225/45, much less susceptible to tramlining, and should fit the 2006 very well.
FloydR
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Thanks to all who responded.
I did hear back from the BMW dealer, and they say that even if you remove the plastic tub bolted to the bottom of the new 3 series trunk, there is still no room for a spare tire. DOH!
Can anyone confirm this (without tearing out your plastic tub)?
If I really want to ditch the runflats, I will still need a spare regardless of whether I go with summers, all-seasons, or winters. Maybe I just plop the spare in the trunk. Yeah, 30 extra pounds of rubber and rim, but, I get peace of mind.
Bimmer should really have given the buyer a choice. Ah well.
Mike
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I'd do it.
Maybe you need a continental tire kit :-)
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ROTFL!
wrote:

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Mike Mayer wrote:

Agree, it a shame. Your best bet is to get do like the M cars and get yourself an M Mobility System Kit. I think its basically a can of tire sealant, but at least you'll have that should the runflat tires die on you in the middle of nowhere, USA.
Hopefully, runflats won't be the TRX tires of the 21st Century!
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Too bad, you are going to get them, and they will be a lot better than you think. We are in the late 2nd or early 3ed generation of run flat technology, and they are way way better than before. Much better ride quality anyway. Get a second set of wheels and put snow tires on them, and feel free to ditch the runflats and get some real performance rubber for the summer. All season tires do nothing well. Not very good in the wet, snow, or rain...
As with my M3, (has it been 11 years since I bought it???) there are some 16" wheels that will fit. (not that the M has ever been driven in the snow. That's why I have an Audi A6 wagon) I have real snow tires on the stock Audi rims, and I got another set of wheels (17") for mounting Hi performance summer tires.

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The "AirMan" air pump, available at motorcycle dealers, is small and inexpensive - ditto the plug kit made by "Dynaplug". They both reside in the trunk of my Z4 since the replacement of the OEM run-flats with Goodyear F1 GS-D3 tires.
Do you really get that many flats that it is a big issue?
Tom K.
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It leaves you owning two sets of tires, one for summer and one for winter.

Given the numbers you just used, 16" rims will not fit.

Since the bodies of the two cars come off of the same stamping machines, I'd guess that the tire well in the trunk is the same on both cars.
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Hopefully with 2 sets of wheels to make the changeover easier. Using dedicated winter tires has the added benefit of extending the life of your summer performance tires.
Tom K.
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You're making this much more complicated than it needs to be.
I use blizzaks or hakka's in the winter which are utterly superb and baby we get some kinds snow up here.
I use Michelens in the winter.
As for wheels, I have two sets so it's only a half hour to swap them all by hand.
14, 15, 16, 17 - if it's the correct fitment for the car (ET) it'll fit, period.
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On Mon, 10 Jul 2006 18:19:19 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@news.vrx.net (Richard Sexton) wrote:

[...]
Yes, that certainly simplifies things...
ahahahahahahahhaha ;-)
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Summer. Summer dammit. Oopsie.

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