Fitment guide

BMW E39 5 Series Wheel & Tire Fitment Guide

Originally published | 10/27/2022
Updated | 06/27/2024

Looking for the ideal wheel and tire fitment to let you run bolt-on square wheels and tires for your 1995-2004 BMW E39 5 series? Our E39 5 Series fitment guide lets you run wide and rotatable tires with the correct centerbore. The unique bore of these classic BMW models means direct-fit wheels are not commonly available on the aftermarket. Our ARC-8s are made specifically these cars and can work on all 5 series models including 523i, 525i,  528i, 530i, 540i,  in a direct-fit square wheel option perfect for anyone looking to upgrade or add a second set to keep their beast on the road. If you’re looking to see which colors are in stock, head over to our E39 5 series wheel configurator.

E39 Centerbore Notes:

All E39 5 series hubs from the factory come with a larger wheel centerbore of 74.1mm. The vast majority of 5x120 BMW wheels have a 72.56mm centerbore. The E39 5 series requires wheels with the larger diameter centerbore and our standard BMW 5x120 wheels will not bolt on to an E39 5 series with factory or OE spec hubs.

To provide a solution for the E39 community that does not involve adapters or hub conversions, APEX will offer a limited-production E39-Specific ARC-8 wheel fitment with the correct factory E39 centerbore. These wheels will bolt onto the E39 hubs and be compatible with factory wheel bolts.

APEX does not offer spacers in a compatible centerbore for E39 applications. Quality spacers in a 74.1mm bore can be purchased from ECS Tuning or Turner Motorsport. 10mm spacers are not recommended.

Available Wheel Designs

Flow Formed Designs

Bolt Pattern

5x120mm

Center Bore

74.1mm

Lug Seat

60° Conical

Lug Thread Pitch

M12x1.5mm

Performance Street and Track Wheel Fitment

Wider fitments for enhanced performance

  • Silver BMW 5 Series - ARC-8 in Anthracite
  • Silver BMW 5 Series - ARC-8 in Anthracite

Whether you enjoy spirited street driving or you are a weekend track warrior chasing lap times, this wheel & tire configuration is ideal for enthusiasts looking for a dramatic improvement in performance. 

The suspension type, alignment settings, and tire brand/size can be changed accordingly to set the car up for either environment. See fitment notes under each tire configuration below to see if modifications are required.

Wheels

  • Front Wheel Size: 18x9.5" ET22
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18x9.5" ET22
    • Available in: ARC-8 E39-Specific wheel only.
    • Front spacers will be required with certain aftermarket suspensions that reduce inner clearance or wider tires. See suspension clearance section at the bottom of the guide.

Tires

  • APEX Staff Pick:
    • Front Tire Size: 265/35-18 
    • Rear Tire Size: 265/35-18 
    • Tires that run wide may require a 3mm front spacer.
    • All Season: Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06+ (560 TW), Michelin Pilot AS4 (540 TW)
    • Max Performance Summer: Continental ExtremeContact Sport (340TW), Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (300TW), Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 (320TW) 
    • Extreme Performance Summer: Hankook Ventus RS4 (200TW), Dunlop Direzza ZIII (200TW), Falken Azenis RT660 (200TW), Falken Azenis RT615k+ (200TW), Yokohama A052 (200TW), Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS (200TW)
    • R-Compound: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R (100TW), Toyo R888R (100TW)

  • Wider Alternative:
    • Front Tire Size: 275/35-18 
    • Rear Tire Size: 275/35-18 
    • A small increase in negative camber may be required if the car is lowered and/or the tire model used runs wide.
    • 3mm spacers required.
    • 5mm spacers required with tires that run wide. Thicker spacers required with suspension that limits inner clearance.
    • Front rubbing may occur at full steering lock with wider tire models.
    • All Season: Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06+ (560 TW), Michelin Pilot AS4 (540 TW)
    • Max Performance Summer: Continental ExtremeContact Sport (340TW), Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (300TW), Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 (320TW) 
    • Extreme Performance Summer: Hankook Ventus RS4 (200TW), Dunlop Direzza ZIII (200TW), Falken Azenis RT660 (200TW), Falken Azenis RT615k+ (200TW), Yokohama A052 (200TW), Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS (200TW)
    • R-Compound: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R (100TW), Toyo R888R (100TW)

Additional Resources

Identifying Suspension Types

If you’re using coilovers, see the image below to identify which type of coilover spring you have, as it may effect your wheel fitment.

Aftermarket Suspensions known to reduce inner clearance (includes but not limited to):

  • Bilstein PSS9 & PSS10
  • KW Height-Adjustable Spring (HAS) kit
  • KW Variants
  • KW Clubsports
  • Öhlins Road & Track

Should I Dial in Negative Camber, and How Much is Right for me?

Whether you are a casual weekend track warrior that still enjoys your car on the street, or a hard core racer competing for a spot on the podium, negative camber is a vital part of chassis setup that has many benefits. Not only will adding negative camber create more room for wider wheel and tire configurations, it more importantly improves handling, turn-in and tire longevity. Learn more in our blog article, The Positives of Negative Camber.

Still have questions?

Fill out our Fitment Recommendation form Call us: 925-245-0773 Email us: support@apexraceparts.com