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  #1  
Old 08-13-2009, 12:28 AM
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Staggered wheels on AWD recommended?

I know this topic is quite common, I just wanted your thoughts, whether staggered wheels (same diameter, different width) are recommended for an AWD car like X5?

I am currently looking to buy new set of wheels and all the retailers whom I have spoken to, unanimously advise me not to buy staggered wheels for my X5. They say that staggered wheels ruin the transmission and the drive train. But this is contradictory to the stock 21" wheels that BMW provides, since they themselves are staggered.

Does BMW programs a staggered stock wheels equipped car in such a way that the car 'knows' it is running on staggered wheels and thus the transmission handles the drive/shifts accordingly?

Anyone using staggered wheels on their X5? What do you think it improves and degrades in terms of performance/durability/handling/cornering/etc? Any insights as to why or why not staggered wheels should be installed in an AWD car?
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:54 AM
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Using the word staggered in the search field this is what I found.
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...staggered.html
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:54 AM
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Wow. Who are these retailers? (are they reliable sources that are knowledgeable about new car technology or BMW's)? Why would it hurt anyways?

BMW's xDrive is pretty impressive though. It has the ability to sense if a wheel doesn't have traction and adjust the power to the other wheels so you don't lose control. (Hehe.. BMW propaganda from one of their X5 Ultimate Drive events from years ago).

BMW uses the staggered configuration for the 20" 214's too.

That would really suck if what those retailers says is true about ruining the transmission and drive train.

I mean I wouldn't put it pass a car manufacturer to do so if the harmful effects don't show up until after the warranty period expires.
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shashankmittal View Post
Anyone using staggered wheels on their X5? What do you think it improves and degrades in terms of performance/durability/handling/cornering/etc? Any insights as to why or why not staggered wheels should be installed in an AWD car?
Simply put, staggered setup induces understeer -- thus making the steering heavier than the non-staggered setup. If helps when you're fast conering -- a typical driver tends to oversteer in a emergency situation, trying to correct the car too much. Most high performance car purposed induce understeer to allow the steering to correct itself without as much assistance. Your car would tend to go into a straightline in a staggard setup.

It wouldn't necessary incrase the performance perse, big tires in the back with a negative camber obviously helps the cars stance when cornering -- since the rear outer wheel tends to lose traction -- this give the outer tire more inner grip and provide maximum surface contact with the road.

Speed wise, probably no differnece or slower in a straight line, added unsprung weight with bigger wheels and tires = added weight.

with that being said, how many of us have staggered setup becasue it looks cool? we probably don't reap the benefit of a staggered setup unless we drive aggressively 100% of the time.

The benefit of the non staggered set up is that you can rotate your tires front to back to have even wear on them if they are not unidirectional tires you can go even left to right.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:15 AM
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Simple. If youre going for the aggressive sporty look. You cant possibly achieve that without a staggered setup. If you dont care about that kind of stuff and you tend to order your BMW's without sport pkg, then dont go staggered and give yourself the ability to rotate the tires like zoich said. Its mostly personal preference. And your wheel dealers are idiots. BMW, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini ALL offer staggerred setups from the factory on ALL of their offerings with AWD. Dont go back to those retailers as they're obviously ignorant
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoich View Post
Simply put, staggered setup induces understeer -- thus making the steering heavier than the non-staggered setup. If helps when you're fast conering -- a typical driver tends to oversteer in a emergency situation, trying to correct the car too much. Most high performance car purposed induce understeer to allow the steering to correct itself without as much assistance. Your car would tend to go into a straightline in a staggard setup.

It wouldn't necessary incrase the performance perse, big tires in the back with a negative camber obviously helps the cars stance when cornering -- since the rear outer wheel tends to lose traction -- this give the outer tire more inner grip and provide maximum surface contact with the road.

Speed wise, probably no differnece or slower in a straight line, added unsprung weight with bigger wheels and tires = added weight.

with that being said, how many of us have staggered setup becasue it looks cool? we probably don't reap the benefit of a staggered setup unless we drive aggressively 100% of the time.

The benefit of the non staggered set up is that you can rotate your tires front to back to have even wear on them if they are not unidirectional tires you can go even left to right.
Tire width will not affect the trans or drive train at all. What you do not want to do is have different overall diameter tires on the front and back because that can have adverse affects. Your retailers didn't give you accurate info, IMO.

Remember that on staggered set ups, the sidewall height will be different front and rear. In other words my 4.4 with 19 inch wheels utilizes 255/50/19 tires in the front and 285/45/19 tires in the rear. The middle number is the sidewall height. It would appear that the rear tire is lower profile because of its lower number, but due to the rear tire being wider, it has a similar overall diameter.

If you are buying OEM wheels, just use the recommended tire sizes. If you are going aftermarket you need to be sure the retailers know what they are doing. You can always check tirerack.com for sizes as well.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shashankmittal View Post
I am currently looking to buy new set of wheels and all the retailers whom I have spoken to, unanimously advise me not to buy staggered wheels for my X5. They say that staggered wheels ruin the transmission and the drive train. But this is contradictory to the stock 21" wheels that BMW provides, since they themselves are staggered.
Your retailers are right - but only if the diameter difference between the front and rear tires is large. But if you've ever done the math or run BMW's staggered tire sizes on tire size calculators, you'll find out that the overall diameters of the front and rear tires are damn near the same, if not the same. This will be true of any vehicle running staggered setup on an AWD system in order to make it work.
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSETH View Post
Remember that on staggered set ups, the sidewall height will be different front and rear. In other words my 4.4 with 19 inch wheels utilizes 255/50/19 tires in the front and 285/45/19 tires in the rear. The middle number is the sidewall height. It would appear that the rear tire is lower profile because of its lower number, but due to the rear tire being wider, it has a similar overall diameter.
Not really...if the sidewall heights are different, that would also make the overall circumference to be different as well. The sidewall height of the 255/50-19 tires in the front and 285/45-19 in the rear are the same, it's their sidewall to tire width ratio that's different.
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:46 PM
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Thanks a lot for the responses guys!!
Does anyone know if the following staggered sizes will work with X5:

1st option:
Front wheel 22x9.5 : 275/45/22
Rear wheel 22x10.5 : 305/40/22

2nd option:
Front wheel 22x10.5 : 285/30/22
Rear wheel 22x12 : 335/25/22
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:13 PM
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My business partner has 295/30/22 and 335/25/22 on his 2009 4.8..no problems at all.
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