Curt Ingraham wrote the following on the BMW Digest:

Here are some tire sizes that might be used on a BMW 2002, listed in order of outside diameter:
(2) Diff.
(1) from Diameter stock

BMW 2002 Tire Size Index

Tire size index for Classic BMW Model 2002
SizeInches%Comments
195/55-1422.4-1.33, 4, 5
175/70-1322.6-0.4
165R-1322.70.0Stock'02 size (except 2002 Turbo)
205/60-1322.70.07
185/60-1422.70.0
195/50-1522.70.0
205/55-1422.9+0.77 ?
205/50-1523.1+1.87 ?
195/60-1423.2+2.2Stock size for some E30 (3,8)
185/70-1323.2+2.2Stock size for 2002 Turbo
175/80-1324.0+5.7Rubbing likely
195/65-1424.0+5.7Stock size for some E30 (3, 4, 5, 6, 8 )

Notes:

  1. Diameter is approximate. It varies with tire manufacturer and model. It also decreases about 1.1 % from new tread (10/32 inch) to no tread (2/32 inch).
  2. Differential ratio is effectively reduced by this amount, e.g. with 195/65-14 tires the stock 3.64:1 ratio becomes 3.44:1. Speedometer reading is reduced by this amount, e.g. with 195/65-14 tires the speedo
    reads 61.5 at 65 MPH. Speedo reading increases as tires wear (1). Speedo reading varies with normal manufacturing tolerances, typically -2/+5 % IMO.
  3. Slight, occasional rubbing on front inner fender walls at full lock is common with these sizes.
  4. Slight, occasional rubbing on tie rod boots possible on tii.
  5. Slight, occasional rubbing on front fender lips is common.
  6. Slight, occasional rubbing on front apron is possible.
  7. Rolling, trimming, or stretching of fender lips is required for clearance.
  8. E30 (’84-’91 3-series) 14-inch alloy wheels fit ’02s well and are a common upgrade. If tires are included, try for 195/60 rather than 195/65. Replace steel wheel nuts with alloy wheel nuts.
  9. E21 320i wheels fit ’02s poorly because of their different offset.

Comments and corrections are encouraged.

Author: Curt Ingraham

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