|10-10-2013, 03:02 PM||#1|
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Bay Area
► APEX | F30 3-Series Staggered Setup - Update for M Sport Suspension
F30 3-Series Staggered Setup Update
Mildly Aggressive for the BMW F30 w/M Sport Suspension
Front: 18X9” ET42 EC-7 Rear: 18X9.5” ET43 EC-7
Although we’ve tested this setup on a base model F30 328i with KW V3 suspension, a lot of you wanted to know if it would work on the factory M Sport suspension with and without the Dynamic Handling Package. You don’t always need to be heavily lowered to have an aggressive wheel & tire setup and this particular setup is the perfect middle ground of wide wheels and tires, concavity, and a snug fit without modifications. You can have phenomenal looking wheels without changing alignment, rolling fenders, or investing in a coilover system.
F30 335i M Sport w/ APEX EC-7’s
Specifications – F30 335i M Sport:
Details: Wheels, Tires, Suspension, Camber Plates, Spacer, Brakes
From the factory, the F30 335i M Sport comes equipped with 18×8.0” ET34 wheels in the front wrapped in 225/45/18 ContiSport Contact SSR tires, and 18×8.5” ET47 wheels with 255/45/18 tires in the rear. The M Sport’s Style 400 wheels weigh 25.9 lbs. for the fronts and 26.1 lbs. for the rears. Our APEX EC-7 setup for the F30 335i is 18×9” ET42 EC-7 wrapped in a 245/40/18 Toyo T1-Sport in front, and 18×9.5 ET43s with 255/40/18 tires in rear. These 1” wider wheels shave off a total combined 9.7lbs of unsprung weight while increasing tire with and grip.
Unsprung weight savings is significant because it reduces rotational mass, therefore lessening the force required to accelerate or decelerate the wheels. Other examples of unsprung weight savings include carbon fiber driveshafts or lightweight flywheels. This is not to be confused with sprung weight savings such as lightweight seats, a carbon fiber body panels, or removal of heavy cabin insulation. Reducing unsprung weight is equal to about of 5-8 times as much weight removed from sprung weight. This is makes a 10lbs. savings across all four wheels equivalent to 50-80lbs. of weight removed from the cars chassis, which can be costly and/or a compromise to a comfortable or quite stock ride.
A trend in new car design is to require high offset wheels. This gives us fewer options for concave wheel designs as high offset wheels are typically flat-faced. Since concave wheels are so popular we worked hard to balance and optimize clearance, maximum width, and concavity.
The front 18X9” ET42 wheels strike the perfect balance between clearing the fender and suspension while allowing for a 245/40/18 to fit. These fronts are from our profile 1 tooling which is the most concavity you can get a this high offset and narrow comparatively narrow width.
The rear 18X9.5 ET43 EC-7’s add additional width for increased sidewall support of 255 tires, and the potential to fit some 265 with tires. These Profile 2 wheels have more concavity than the fronts, which creates a balanced look in a staggered setup like this. They fit flush to the fender and maintain proper inner suspension and body clearance as well. Like the front wheels, the rears are also a spacerless fitment.
In comparison to the 225/45/18 and 255/45/18 stock tires, the 245/40/18 and 255/40/18 tires on this fitment are significantly wider. The Toyo T1 Sport isn’t a particularly meaty tire but it doesn’t run narrow either. You can feel comfortable choosing almost any all-season, winter, or touring tires. Extreme Performance Summer tires or Track & Competition tires tend to run very wide and can cause fitment difficulties. Some makes and models of the same dimensions could run wider and cause inner and outer clearance issues with their wider arc when turning or under compression.
BMW released the F30 3-series with 3 main suspension options: Base, M Sport, and M Performance. The M Sport suspension on the test car is 10mm lower than the base setup. The M Performance suspension is 20 mm than the base suspension.
The F30 M Sport comes with Passive and Adaptive suspension. The Adaptive is part of the Dynamic Handling Package (DHP) and has a feature called Electronic Damper Control (EDC). This allows the driver to electronically adjust the suspension to their driving desires or enable the car’s computer to control damper adjustments based on road and driving conditions. The Adaptive suspension has a small module and a couple of sensors that need to be considered when testing any fitment.
Luckily, our test M Sport was factory equipped with the Adaptive suspension. None of the sensors or modules attached to or surrounding the strut related to the EDC interfered with our fitment, but we had to make sure.
Camber and Camber Plates
BMWs don’t come with camber plates so the front clearance in this test is based on factory suspension and settings without camber plates.
Adding front, negative camber (camber angle) with camber plates is almost always recommended to customers looking to run wide tires in the front of a BMW. In testing this and other fitments on F30s we feel that a 255/35/18 on a 9” with proper offsets wheel would fit nicely if camber plates are installed. Although we would have to test it, it looks like -1.5 degrees of camber would be plenty to get the wider tire to clear.
This is a spacer-free and flush fitment. If the wheels/tires were pushed out any further some fender modification may be required to alleviate potential rubbing.
Just like the suspension options from BMW, there are three choices of brake setups: Base, M Sport, and finally M Performance brakes. We have tested the Base and M Sport brakes, both of which clear the EC-7 with room to spare. While we haven’t been able to get our hands on an M Performance brake setup, we are sure they will fit. Despite being larger in dimension than the M Sport brakes, they fit behind the same OEM Style 400 M Sport wheels, which have less clearance than an EC-7.
This fitment has also been tested with StopTech’s 345 ST40, 355 ST60, and the 380 ST60 BBKs for the 335.
Wrapping it Up
Much wider tires, better performance, concavity, and a better aesthetic, are all reasons why this EC-7 fitment is a great choice. The fact that you can fit these wheels without any sort of modification to your Adaptive or Passive M Sport or Sport suspension makes it a great setup for your any F30 3-series.
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