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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all:

Just a quick note to let you know how much difference 9lbs per corner makes on the track. Previously I used a set of four OEM 18x9.5" rear wheels with 275/35/18 Toyo RA1 tires for track use. The combination was excellent - tons of grip, excellent handling.

But the factory wheels are heavy.

I decided to pick up a set of SSR Comps from TireRack in 18x9.5" (same size) and they had a special on Dunlop SP Sport Race tires in 265/35/18, so I bought them mounted and balanced along with 10mm spacers for the front (no spacers required in the rear) and longer lug bolts.

When I swapped them out, I weighed the old OEM+Toyo (half used tire, BTW) against SSR+Dunlop (brand new tire) and the difference was a staggering NINE POUNDS per wheel/tire. You could easily feel the weight difference, but I wanted to wait until I had a track report to give you my results.

This past weekend we took it to Virginia Int'l. Raceway for a BMW CCA driving school and while my wife drove it most of the weekend, I took it out for one session each day to see how it was.

In a nutshell, the difference is night and day. For those of you who run around with OEM rear wheels up front, you have no doubt noticed the new "heavier" feel of the wider wheel and tire, and the "resistance" you get when turning the wheel. With the new SSR+Dunlop, there is NO resistance to turning the wheel. You turn it, it just goes. It turns in more quickly than my Z06 with 305/30/18 Hoosier slicks up front.

I would equate the difference to going from 18x8 stock front wheels to 18x9.5 stock rear wheels but IN REVERSE - i.e. it's that much lighter on its feet.

It gets up to speed more quickly, braking is ultra silky smooth, and there is no heavy weighted feeling. I took an instructor with me for one of the rides and the guy weighs easily 280 or more, so with us both in the car, we were probably pushing 4400-4500lb. The car felt as light as the Z06, or dang close.

Before you start thinking that I spent too much on this setup, I have a wholesale account at TireRack and the discount on the wheels and tires was incredible. I can't tell you what I paid, but you would not believe me if I told you. I like the tires so much that I went and bought another 12 tires from TireRack before they sell out of this 265/35/18 size. They are on special but could be gone any time, so if you are on the fence, DO IT. My wife drove the car up to the track in the pouring rain and she said the Dunlops were super in the wet (and this was before the outer layer of mold compound was worn off - we had just bolted them on the night before).

[FOR SALE: Four OEM 18x9.5" rear wheels with 4/32" Toyo RA1 tires - ready to bolt on and use for the track!]

Without further adieu, here are some pictures (click any picture for a larger view; these pictures were taken with the front camber set to -2.2 degrees as I always have it set for track use - the rear camber stays at -1.8 degrees for street and track):

SSR Wheel and Dunlop SP Sport Super Race tire unmounted:



All three tires side by side - from left to right, Toyo RA1, Dunlop SP Sport Race, and Toyo T1-S (street tire). I measured the tread width on all three and it was identical - 10.5" on them all.



A side shot with them mounted on the car:



Front view:



Rear view:


If you have any questions, just ask!
 

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Very nice Brian. You coming back to London anytime soon? :byebye:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hey Ashok, maybe if you can do something about that exchange rate hiha

I think we are heading to the land Down Under next year, so we won't be in Europe for once (I know, its a surprise!).

I hope you and the family are doing well! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I used the spacers to clear the shocks. The SSR wheels are +27mm offset, so the 10mm spacers brought them back to +17mm.

I am using the same 265/35/18 all around. The Dunlop 265 is as wide and tall as the Toyo 275.
 

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I felt the same thing when I mounted the dinan wheels, big difference for what seems like not a lot of weight.
I also just tried out those tires, and was very pleased with their performance, especially for the price.
Mike
 

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Brian:

A guy with a new S4 had the Dunlops at Infineon this weekend and he just ate them up. Different car and different suspension settings but he corded them on the outer edge after just a couple of days. Your extra camber may prevent that but what he showed me would not have happened to an RA1 even on my car with only 1.5 negative up front.

Also, do not use the exit berms with the SSR's if there is any kind of depression at the end. The SSR's bend pretty easily.
 

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KKelly said:
Brian:

A guy with a new S4 had the Dunlops at Infineon this weekend and he just ate them up. Different car and different suspension settings but he corded them on the outer edge after just a couple of days. Your extra camber may prevent that but what he showed me would not have happened to an RA1 even on my car with only 1.5 negative up front.

Also, do not use the exit berms with the SSR's if there is any kind of depression at the end. The SSR's bend pretty easily.
That's what happens when you hang an engine out in front of the front axle!
I ran these dunlop sport race's at infineon a couple of weekends ago (11/7-8) with the bmw cca's school. I was instructing, but got 3 runs in on sat and 5 on sunday (although one was cut short due to someone going off track). I have about 1.6 degrees negative camber, but my front tires were worn pretty evenly, you can barely tell the fronts from the rears. I'm a relatively conservative driver on track, my peak was probably one run on sunday when i hit about 110 at the apex of turn 10, (mostly i'd avg around 100-105 thru there), just for reference. I was running the tires at their full 6/32 tread depth, and was pleased with their performance. Nice easy breakaway, no surprises. First time i've used R tires on the m5, but i had used them on previous cars.
Additionally, RA1's are different animals, with their asymetric sidewall design (outer sidewall softer than inner, to induce some negative camber).
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Kevin, my tires wore perfectly evenly. My wife is no slouch - she drives at the high "B"/low "A" level in BMW CCA, which is fast and hard. I drive at the high "A" and instructor level, and I definitely do not go easy on the tires. I would be happy to snap a picture of how they wore throughout the weekend if you want to see them. They still look like there is a LOT of tread left - it appears that they will last a long time.

I believe the "SSRs are soft" myth is an old wives tale. The early SSR Comp wheels were not as strong, but they have been revised and are much stronger now. These were driven to and from the track over very bumpy roads and they are just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
foxyboym5, I have StopTech 355mm up front. The car would be hard to track without them (at least at my preferred speeds).
 

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I can attest to Redshift's remarks. I chose the T-1s Toyo for my set up - . SSR comps can't be beat for the $$ (IMHO).
BTW, SSR comp's are fine off the track too - I use them as my daily drivers for all 3 of my cars and never had any problems dents, dings, etc.

I am biased though as a previous owner of them for my Turbo'd Miata 15" size and Suby WRX - 17" size)

Nice weight loss at each corner and nice on the wallet too!

and one last thing - these are 1000x easier to clean than the stock wheels!

Speedmonkee
 

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They won't bend if you don't really punish them but I know a guy with a 330i that bent 3 or 4. I have been known to drop a wheel now and again (exit of 15 at Thunderhill for example) and that depression will bend wheels.

Mike,

You hit 110mph at the apex of 10 in an M5? Wow, braver soul than I. I was 100mph+ once just as I glanced down approaching the track out berm and decided that was a bit too close to the edge. Safer to try to be faster somewhere else on that track where I am not surrounded by walls. I am not really that fast at Infineon but I just LOVE that track. My best time is a 2:02.9 (you can run laptimer at most events I go to) but I average 2:03 if not being held up. Of course, a well set up 325i will do a 1:57 so I don't have too much to be proud of. :)
 

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KKelly said:
You hit 110mph at the apex of 10 in an M5? Wow, braver soul than I. I was 100mph+ once just as I glanced down approaching the track out berm and decided that was a bit too close to the edge)
I'd seem to have dialed that corner in that day pretty consistantly with my entry etc. A little bit of throttle lift at the entry to help with rotation as i dial in my steering input then back on the throttle, hard, to plant the rear and go. There was plenty of track left, never closer than 4-5ft to the edge of the track. Really, the key to turn 10 is being on the throttle, wide open if you get your turn in right, before the apex. The weight on the rear tires makes it quite stable. (just don't lift!)
I'll admit that the M5 is not an ideal track car, but it is fun to dance with!
Mike :cheers:
 

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I'll admit that the M5 is not an ideal track car, but it is fun to dance with!
Mike,

Perfect! A few changes to the stock setup (suspension, BBK, and ideally a track wheel/tire setup) and the M5 will hold it's own, don't you think?

Also, do you run track pads in your Stoptechs when tracking?

Travis
 

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Brian,

Nice set-up! Are the wheels the SSR GT7-H from Tire rack's web site? The wheel looks a little different than what you posted.
thanks,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Travis is right, a little suspension work and brake work and you have a pretty darn competitive track car. It's not going to win any world cup challenge races, but you can keep up with many of the fastest guys out there in E30 and E36 cars without having to remove 1000lb of weight from it :)

Bill, as the subject says, these are SSR Comps not GT7 :) :cheers:
 

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Thanks Brian, I am confused as a search on Tirerack.com isn't showing the SSR Comps when I checked for the M5, just the GT2, GT3 and GT7.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bill, your confusion is my fault; I failed to mention that these wheels do not show up on the M5 wheel search. You have to search using M3, then look for the '18x9.5' SSR Comp option. They fit the M5 just fine with 10mm spacers up front.
 

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Redshift said:
Bill, your confusion is my fault; I failed to mention that these wheels do not show up on the M5 wheel search. You have to search using M3, then look for the '18x9.5' SSR Comp option. They fit the M5 just fine with 10mm spacers up front.
interesting, so M3 rims fit the M5 hub?
cheers
 
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