E46 Fanatics Forum banner

upgrading wheels and increasing wheel gap?

1305 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  IDLOOK2
it is my understanding that when we upgrade to 19s or so, the wheel gap actually increases, and therefore makes our car look like a 4 X 4. Is this not the case?

My friend and I are having a debate. He says when you upsize, it will fill the wheel well up, and you really don't have to lower. I ofcourse disagree, and just with pics of BMWs on 19s alone, they do look raised.

Can ne1 give a technical and good explanation of exactly WHY it gives the car a raised look? I can't quite seem to put my explanation into words.
1 - 3 of 10 Posts
Serbonze said:
So because of the lower profile tire, the gap is actually increased.

I could be totally wrong on this, so someone else please add to this or correct me if I'm wrong.
You're totally wrong. :tongue: Since the outside diameter of the tire is exactly the same as stock, the wheel gap is exactly the same. Unless you go with a tire that is the wrong size, it's a fact.

As for why it looks like a 4x4, the way I figure it, when you see a 18" or 19" wheel, you expect a sportier and lower car. It's jarring to see a car with big wheels at stock ride height. It's not a technical explanation, but it makes perfect sense to me.
My old E34 with stock suspension (which was very high in the front from the factory) looked like a 4x4 with 16" wheels and tires with the factory outside diameter, so it's not just bigger tires on the 19s that cause that look.

Because of how nearly all cars are designed, people expect to see a wheel gap that is the width of the tire or less. When you go with a lower profile tire, it generally looks like you have to lower the car just to make it look "normal".

BTW, nice wheels! Do you have a Dinan suspension? :pimpin:
James330I said:
no Dinan susp...too much $,not enough lowering. (

I decided to go with Eibach/Bilsten combo instead.
I figured it wasn't Dinan from the drop. Looks great.
1 - 3 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.