2.8 with ///M Wheels

2.8 with ///M Wheels

Both Front and Rear ///M Wheels

Four Front ///M Wheels

AC Schnitzer 17″ Wheels

Pros: Look awesome, increased handling
Cons: Cost
Cost: $1400

After 20,000 miles the original rear tires on the Z3 were nearly bald. The front tires were still in fairly good shape. I started shopping for tires (which isn’t much fun) but then I got lucky. Around the same time someone posted a set of AC Schnitzer 17″ wheels and almost new 235/40/ZR17 tires for sale. I had always loved the looks of the Schnitzer type II wheels and just couldn’t pass up the price this guy was offering.

A couple weeks later, four wheels and tires showed up on my doorstep. I put them on the Z3 that evening, the following day during my lunch hour I drove over to a tire shop and had them rebalanced (just to be safe).

Now my Z3 has always handled great, but the extra meat on these 17″ tires gives the Z3 even more stick on the turns. I can’t really tell a difference in ride quality, but my CD player has skipped a few times going over railroad tracks. I drove over these same track nearly every day and I don’t ever remember the CD skipping with the 16″ wheels. I’m only bring this up because I can’t “feel” a difference in ride comfort, but obviously my CD player does.

Another benefit is that the Z3 seems a little more sure footed on high speed turns. There are some pretty good off-ramps here in Dallas. Occasionally the Z3 felt a little figity on high speed turns with the 16″ tires. It must be the wider footprint of the 17″ tires that made the difference.

All four of these wheels are 17″ by 8.5″, stock the 1.9 came with 16″ by 7.5″. The bigger and wider tires fit just fine in the Z3 wheel wells. I have not had any tire rub, and there is still enough extra clearance that I’m not worried about it at all. The wider front tires have made the steering wheel fell a little heavier, just enough to notice.

Locking Lugnuts

Pros: Cheap insurance policy
Cons: Plastic fake cap heads
Cost: $40

From the Bavarian Autosport Ad. “Our own wheel locks give you peace of mind without sacrificing your car’s looks, thanks to a 17mm cap that matches original lugs. Precision machined from high-tension strength steel. Bavarian Autosport exclusive. Sold in sets of 4.”

They appear to do their job very well. When I initially installed them I kind of expected one of the fake plastic cap heads to crack and fall off by now. Well, I’ve had them for over a year now and those plastic caps are doing just fine. I consider them a well spent $40 insurance policy.

Update: It took over three years, but one of the plastic caps finally disappeared. I contacted Bavarian Autosport and they sent me four new caps without asking any questions.