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Discussion Starter #1
Okay...no sales/marketing replies on this one just the real deal. If I were so bold as to buy two stock size wheels and two good stock size snow tires for my E46 ZHP and drive to and from work observing the speed limits (being conservative in my driving habits) during the winter what problems will I encounter? I find it very difficult to believe I would have handling difficulties going 65 MPH on the Interstate or 35 MPH to the market with this set up. I would agree that racing around would be stupid, but come on...I'd rather spend $700.00 for this combo than $1400.00 for all four wheels and tires. Tell me your experiences if you've gone this route with just the rears for snow and didn't race when set up as such. I live in Northern Indiana and the streets have snow on them only a few weeks a year.
 

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Sure, going in a straight line is easy, but how can you anticipate that you will not have to make a sudden emergency avoidance maneuver, especially in winter time. In the dry the rear snow tires have much less grip than the front...much easier to spin out. In the snow, you'll get moving just fine due to the snow tires gripping in the rear, but stopping and steering is significantly less since you have left the front tires will very little traction in snow. Even on our BMW's the majority of the braking, (and of course ALL of the steering) is done with the front two tires.


EDIT : here is the test results we found when mixing http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/2vs4_01.jsp note that we were not 'racing', just performing the equivalent of chaning lanes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How in the world did we keep all our cars from flying off the roads back in the RWD days? I don't recall there being a "lock down" on vehicles with only rear snow tires on their RWD cars back then. Of course people ran without $200.00 running shoes back then also.
 

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Winter tires weren't nearly as good in those days, they are dramatically different now. Nor were most vehicles as well balanced and sensitive to differences in tire types as modern performance oriented cars like the E46.
 

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Slow in, slower out
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You will die!

I spent 3 days on Blizzaks in the back and summer tires in the front of my E30 and it scared the crap out of me.


Ed

EDIT: If you are hard up for winter wheel/tire cash, get a set of the factory 330 steel 17x7 wheels. With the proper steel wheel lugs and center caps, they will only set you back about $350 for a set of 4. Mount some 205/50/17 Dunlop M3s and you will have a full set for about $900 including shipping, mounting, and balancing.
 

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exactly what ed and gary said. going straight is easy. Try taking an off ramp in snow with summer tires at the front. I don't care how slow you're going, the car WILL NOT turn. It will just keep going straight until it's off the road and in a ditch.

Put it this way, do you really want to have to find out for yourself how bad summer tires are in the snow?
 

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I never even tried the combo in the snow. 3 days of dry weather driving was frightening enough. The car handled 10 times better in the dry with 4 snows than it did with 2.

Ed
 
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