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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: X5world
Posts: 54
Xoutpost has disabled reputation
Buyers Guide for Replica BMW Wheels

Contributed by: JMDXX5

When buying replica wheels, I make the following suggestions:

1. Take digi-pics of the condition of the boxes right where they are.

2. Take digi-pics of wheels immediately after taking them out of the boxes.
Do this right where you have them,...FedEx facility/home,...it doesn't

matter. Recommend digi-cam be set to record date/time.

3. Don't worry about a "test fit", if you have '02 and up X5, but kill the
cat if you're curious. I'll add that my seller included a "warning note to do a
test fit first and that if you mount tires on 'em - you bought 'em".

ME!! Am I LOUD enough? You will thank yourself later. You may want to take a
video-cam with you. Note any defects right away. I used NTB's tire chalk to mark
the damaged area.

5. Find an installer that you trust, as you do not want a rookie working on
this job. I had a 15-year veteran at NTB mount and balance mine. Make sure you
ask the installer if they have machines that can mount tires w/o touching wheel.
If they don't, I suggest you walk.

6. Try to get tires mounted where you can see the installers or if they will
let you in the shop as they go about mounting your tires. Note that most shops
will not allow you in the shop area, but as we all know, some will. Word to the
wise, you're only in the shop as a courtesy, so don't be telling the installer
how to go about his work,...remember this is someone you trust, Right! - ;-)

Added value: I have Goodyear HP Plus tires (bought from Tirerack), size:
295/40X20, wheels: 4.6is Reps: 9.5F/10.5R, tire pressure: 33F/35R. I used the
stock OEM lug nuts and OEM X5 wheel locks. Before you ask, Yes! There is
definitely a staggered look even though the tires are the same size all-around.

With that said, if all is ok, mount tires and enjoy your X's new character.


Weight Differences:

is quite a difference in wheel weight between OEM 20 inch rims and replicas.

Here is the comparison (weights in kilograms)

Front OEM : 12.5 kg

Front Replica : 15 kg - a difference of 2.5kg, or 5.5 pounds more

Rear OEM : 14.4 kg

Rear Replica : 16 kg - a difference of 1.6kg, or 3.5 pounds more

My big 20

Posted by:
Driver8 on 2003-11-06 at


...4.6is replica wheels are now
mounted and installed!

First things first: I followed JMDXX5's recommendations about buying replica
wheels to a "T". For more info, see his post (link below). (Note: this post
was so good and so useful it should be on X5World.net...thanks, JMD! You da

I purchased my tires from the Tire Rack. I went with Goodyear Eagle RS-A M+S-rated
295/40R-20s all the way around. These tires should be ideal for my driving
style and the weather here in northcentral WV. We shall see. (Road test
below.) Recommendations regarding Tire Rack are not needed...their reputation
for service and quality is excellent.

I went with wheels from O. E. Wheel Distributors (see eBay). The wheels JMD
(and others) went with were from Highline Wheels, also dba on eBay. I believe
they are very similar, but perhaps sourced from different manufacturers.
Highline's shipping cost was $195 vs. $80 for OEWD. I could not justify the
difference. I am pleased with the product. Are they 100% OEM quality? Quite
honestly, ummmm... in a word, no. But they appear to be 90-95%. Here's why:

Three of them had minor surface glitches that would have been unforgivable
with OEM wheels or high-quality aftermarket wheels. However, for the <$900
cost (shipped), I can easily overlook the imperfections. Two wheels had minor
scuffs in the paint on the edge of the rim that are now covered up by the
tire. One wheel had a very small (<1/8") gouge on the outer rim that, too, is
no longer visible now that the tires are mounted on them. I am a
perfectionist, but I am also realistic about the fact that 90% of the time,
perception is reality. If you can't see it, it doesn't exist.

(On a related note, I bought replica AMG 5-spoke wheels for my '99 M-B ML430
from Discount Tire a few years ago and they were easily OEM quality, missing
only the "AMG" stamping on the spoke to be the real deal.)

My wheels were shipped in heavy cardboard boxes and were protected top and
bottom with extra cardboard. They also had plastic rings and an elastic cover
protecting the rim and wheel face. The boxes were a little beat up, but not
too bad, and the wheels sustained no damage from shipping. Delivery time was
11 days from order date to driveway. I took pics of everything, boxes and
blemishes, as per JMD's recommendations. I opened each box and visually
inspected and photographed the three flaws with a digital camera.

I took everything Monday evening, tires and wheels, to my most excellent tire
guru, Jack, who should be NTB's Tireman of the Year. I asked him to pre-spin
each unmounted wheel before mounting and make note of anything that seemed
irregular. He called me early yesterday morning to tell me about the scuffs
and to tell me they spun great. He held off on mounting them until he told me
about the scuffs (great tire guy, like I was saying earlier). I told him I had
pix and to go ahead and mount them all up.

I went up last evening to get them installed. Jack had everything ready to go
and told me everything spun smooth and true with only one wheel requiring any
real weight. As my wife and I walked back to NTB and they had it sitting right
in front, looking sooooo BAD!

(Warning - Sexist opinionated remark ahead

IMHO, adding 20" 4.6is style wheels to your X5 is like your wife/GF/SO going
from a B-cup to a nice round D-cup...it enhances the look in just the right
way and makes everything else look even better!

I slipped Jack a twenty for treating us right and taking his time with the
job. As I got ready to go inside to pay, he stopped me, thanked me for the
tip, and then told me that there was no charge for the work! He told me that
he and the manager spoke earlier and that they appreciated our regular
business and the fact we send all our friends to him as well, so this one was
on the house. Who says building business relationships is a thing of the past?

Road test time. Initial observations: Nice ride, albeit somewhat softer (?)
even with 38psi F/R. Odd...I expected to pay for the 20' look and performance
by giving up some ride quality. This is most assuredly NOT the case. The
Michelins seem to have a stiffer sidewall construction than the Goodyears, or
perhaps a softer rubber compound since they are M+S rated. Handling is very
similar to the 19" Michies. In standing water the Goodyears do not hydroplane
at all, which was a concern for me going to the larger size all the way
around. Very confident wet-weather composure, indeed. Another thing: I'm very
sensitive to imbalanced wheels, and I gotta say that Jack hit this one on the
money, too (he did the 19s a few months ago and they were perfect as well).
They were baby-bottom smooth all the way up to "go directly to jail" speeds.

Sorry for the length, but I know there is a certain amount of fear and
loathing on this board when it comes to aftermarket replica wheels, especially
the 4.6is knock-offs. I guess the point I wanted to make is that my experience
has been (disclaimer: up to this point) a positive one and one I would do

I had to work with a budget that precluded going with OEM wheels, but I wasn't
ready to accept the fact that what I wanted couldn't be done for what I was
willing to pay. Okay, I admit it, I am picky and value-conscious, but I'm not
willing to compromise on what I really want. I think that what I got was worth
what I paid, which I think is the definition of value.

Hope this is of some use to others! Sorry for the length :-)


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