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E46 Non-M Wheel & Tire Fitment Guide

apex BMW e46 arc8 ec7 fl5 sm10 wheels fitmentARC-8 // Front & Rear: 18x9.5" ET35 with 255/35-18 (mods required)

View all E46 Non-M images

Vehicle Covered in this Guide
1999-2006 E46 sedan, coupe, convertible, and touring. Fitment is identical between all models.

Chassis Introduction
The E46 is a favorite among many for its performance potential and traditional BMW looks. The E46 has relatively high offsets from the factory, and we've produced a variety of fitments which can be used for nearly any purpose.

Bolt Pattern: 5x120 Thread Pitch: M12x1.5mm Center Bore: 72.56mm

 

OEM+ Fitments

apex BMW e46 arc8 ec7 fl5 sm10 wheels fitmentARC-8 // Front & Rear: 18x9" ET42 with 255/35-18 (mods required)

These fitments prioritize (in order):
1. Ease of fitment
2. Aesthetics
3. Performance

Ideal for the driver who wants a no-nonsense direct bolt-on fitment. These fitments are a small step up from stock wheels and tires, and offer a small but noticeable performance improvement.

Square Setups
Recommended for most types of street and performance driving. Allows proper front-to-rear tire rotation to extend tire life & improve handling balance.

  • Front & Rear: 17x8.5” ET40 with 235/40-17 tires
    • Direct fit.
    • 245/40-17 tires are often a direct fit, but may require a small front spacer depending on tire brand and suspension setup.

  • Front & Rear: 18x8.5" ET35 or ET38 with 235/40-18 tires
    • Direct fit.
    • Popular fitment.
    • 245/35-18 tires may also be used, but may require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.

Staggered Setups
Maintains stock-like handling characteristics, tires can only be rotated left to right. Maximizes both front and rear tire width.

  • Front: 17x8.5" ET40 with 235/40-17 tires
    Rear: 17x9" ET42 with 255/40-17 tires
    • Direct fit.
    • Available in ARC-8 design only.
    • xDrive models must use 225/45-17 front and 255/40-17 rear.

  • Front: 18x8.5" ET35 or ET38 with 225/40-18 tires
    Rear: 18x9" ET42 with 245/35-18 tires
    • Direct fit.
    • Popular fitment.
    • Available in ARC-8 and EC-7 designs only.
    • 235/40-18 front and 255/35-18 rear tires can also be used as a direct fit.
    • xDrive models must use 225/40-18 front and 255/35-18 rear.

 

Aggressive Street Fitments

apex BMW e46 arc8 ec7 fl5 sm10 wheels fitmentARC-8 // Front & Rear: 17x9" ET30 with 245/40-17 (mods required)

These fitments prioritize (in order):
1. Aesthetics
2. Performance
3. Ease of fitment

Ideal for the driver who wants to fill out the wheel wells with the widest possible rubber and perfectly flush offsets. The fitment below is very aggressive and can require extensive modification to make it work without rubbing. Be prepared to trim or cut areas of interference.

Square Setups
Recommended for most types of street and performance driving. Allows proper front-to-rear tire rotation to extend tire life & improve handling balance.

  • Front & Rear: 17x9” ET30 with 245/40-17 tires
    • Requires at least 2 degrees of front negative camber.
    • May require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
    • May require front bumper trimming to prevent rubbing.
    • Requires rolled rear fenders to prevent rubbing.

  • Front & Rear 18x9" ET30 or ET31 with 245/35-18 tires
    • Requires at least 2 degrees of front negative camber.
    • May require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
    • May require front bumper trimming to prevent rubbing.
    • Requires rolled rear fenders to prevent rubbing.

Staggered Setups
Maintains stock-like handling characteristics, tires can only be rotated left to right. Maximizes both front and rear tire width.

  • Front: 18x8.5" ET35 with 235/40-18 tires
    Rear: 18x9.5" ET43 with 265/35-18 tires

    • Requires rear fender roll.

 

Performance Street/Track or Race Fitments

apex BMW e46 arc8 ec7 fl5 sm10 wheels fitmentARC-8 // Front & Rear: 17x9" ET42 with 255/40-17

These fitments prioritize (in order):
1. Performance
2. Ease of fitment
3. Aesthetics

These fitments are effective for both performance oriented street cars and weekend track warriors. The suspension type, alignment settings, and tire brand/size can be changed accordingly to work for either scenario.

Square Setups
Recommended for most types of street and performance driving. Allows proper front-to-rear tire rotation to extend tire life & improve handling balance.

  • Front & Rear: 17x9" ET42 with 245/40-17 tires
    • Direct fit.
    • Popular fitment.
    • Available in ARC-8 design only.
    • May require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
    • 255/40-17 tires can be used, but will require front negative camber.

  • Front & Rear: 17x9.5" ET35 with 255/40-17 tires
    • Requires at least -3 degrees of front negative camber.
    • May require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
    • Front fender roll recommended.
    • Requires rear fender roll.
  • Front & Rear: 18x9" ET42 with 245/35-18 tires
    • Direct fit.
    • Available in ARC-8 and EC-7 designs only.
    • May require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
    • 255/35-18 tires can be used, but will require front negative camber.

  • Front & Rear: 18x9.5" ET35 with 255/35-18 tires
    • Requires at least -3 degrees of front negative camber.
    • May require front spacers with certain aftermarket suspensions, see below.
    • Front fender roll recommended.
    • Requires rear fender roll.

winter-fitments.jpg

Our wheels are popular for winter use because of their unmatched caliper clearance. We recommend a square fitment in order to allow front-to-rear tire rotation, although staggered fitments can also be used.

Square setups

  • Front & Rear: 18x8.5" ET35 or ET38 with 225/40-18 winter tires
    • Direct fit.

 

Additional Fitment Information

Concavity & Face Profiles
Each of our wheel designs is available in two or three different levels of concavity, which we call Profiles. The Profile is dictated by the width and offset, meaning wide lower-offset wheels will have more concavity, while narrow higher-offset wheels will have less concavity.

Available Face Profiles

ARC-8 EC-7 FL-5 SM-10
output_1-2-3-2.gif

To determine the face profile of a specific wheel visit the "Specifications" tab on the product page for that wheel. For example:

specifications_tab.png  face_profile.png

 

Identifying Suspension Types
If you’re using coilovers, see the image below to identify which type of coilover spring you have, as it may effect your wheel fitment.
coiloverclearance.jpg

Aftermarket E46 Suspensions Known To Reduce Inner Clearance
(includes but not limited to):

  • Bilstein PSS9 & PSS10
  • KW Height-Adjustable Spring (HAS) kit
  • KW Variants
  • KW Clubsports
  • Öhlins Road & Track

About Camber Plates 

apex BMW e46 arc8 ec7 fl5 sm10 wheels fitment

Adjustable camber plates do more than just aid in wide wheel and tire fitment. They provide increased grip and reduced tire wear by spreading the load evenly during cornering. Learn more in our blog article, The Positives of Negative Camber, then see our E46 camber plate pages here.

Big Brake Kit Clearances
brake-clearance.jpg

We have tested many big brake kits with most of the wheels listed in this guide. Please email us with any questions related to brake clearance, we’ll be happy to help.

Still have questions?
Fill out our Fitment Recommendation form
Call us: 925-245-0773
Email us: support@apexraceparts.com

 

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