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It's rubbing

Tim D.

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I recently bought a 74' 2002tii. Never had one before, but my son loves his, so I jumped in with both feet. My current issue is tire rub. I have what I think are called alpine wheels. They appear to be ALU 13x5.5 inch wheels. The tires are 185/70 R13. I need new tires anyway. Can I get rid of the rubbing with the right tire size? I was thinking of a 165/80R13 or a 155/80R13. I kind of like the wheels.

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From your description I would guess that the wheels are not the correct offset.  This means how centered they are on the hub, laterally.  They can rub against the strut or the fender depending on the direction of the offset.  Sometimes this can be corrected with a spacer behind the wheel (stop rubbing on strut only).


Your existing tire size is ok, but 185/80 would be better suited to the car.  165/80 is good but skinny.


There is a wheel and tire guide somewhere on the FAQ.  Can someone direct Tim to it?  OR Tim could do a site search on "Wheels" "Tire" "Offset".


Good luck and welcome to the madness.

73 Inka Tii #2762958

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I would suspect that 5.5" Alpina-style rims are originally from an e21 car, which means they are ET18 rather than the ET29 of the 5x13 steel rims the factory installed on your car, or any non-turbo square taillight '02, for that matter.  This change from the factory configuration shifted the rims outboard by 11mm (ET29 to ET18), thereby creating half your issue.  Running 185/70-13 tires, rather than the original-equipment 165/80-13 tires, created the other half of your issue.  165/80-13 tires on 5.5" ET18 rims GENERALLY fit without rubbing.  The factory used 5.5x13, ET18, rims and 185/70-13 tires on one '02 sub-model, the factory turbo:  and they deemed full fender flares necessary to accommodate that combination without rubbing and with an adequate margin of safety. 


There are LOTS of threads on 165/80-13 tires (try "165HR13"), which discuss today's options in terms of these tires.






Edited by Conserv

1976 2002 Polaris, 2742541 (original owner)

1973 2002tii Inka, 2762757 (not-the-original owner)

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+1 on what others have said that you are running 13" E21 wheels which are not the correct offset for a 2002.  Recommend you read this thread on everything you want to know about 2002 tires/wheels.  http://www.bmw2002faq.com/topic/142446-tires-and-wheelrims-fitment-guide/

If you want to run different wheels, check out this thread. 


74 tii (many mods)
91 318i M42

07 4Runner

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I run those same wheels with those same tire specs. However, I use coilovers with camber plates and am running the maximum camber settings and my car is pretty low. Maybe you could just add a bit of camber with some fixed camber plates? Just a suggestion/option. 

Edited by p1k
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I don't love the wheels. I do like them a lot better than a steel wheel which is probably what I could afford if I sold these. If I could afford the stock alloy wheel, I would much rather have those.

I do have a friend who is willing to let me us his device that rolls up the lip on the fender, and I'm not apposed to going to smaller tires. I need new tires anyway.

Before I forget. I really appreciate all of the good information you all are giving me.

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