Make: BMW
Models: All E30, E36, E46

BMW E30/E36/E46 Rear Tire Clearance

One common upgrade for 3-series and M3 cars is to increase the width of the rear tires.  The problem exists that increasing the rear tire width typically means interference with fenders, especially with cars with modified (lowered) suspension.

An easy way of gaining back the clearance without fender bending is raising the rear suspension slightly to allow for the increased width.  BMW has multiple thickness spring pads available which do the trick nicely.

Thickness Part Number
5mm # 33 53 1 136 385
7.5mm # 33 53 1 136 386
9mm # 33 53 1 127 224
10mm # 33 53 1 136 387

Most cars are equipped with the 7.5mm pads from the factory.  We're actually going to double-up the spring pads to gain an 10mm increase in height (no just 2.5mm).  Here's how you do it:

  1. Remove stock 7.5mm spring pad (see chart below)
  2. Cut center nipple out of 7.5mm spring pad creating a donut-shaped ring.
  3. Place newly cut 7.5mm ring on top of each 10mm spring pad, creating a 17.5mm thick pad.
  4. Reinstall.

Whereas the spring pad part numbers are the same, the location of the rear pads are not.  See chart below for the appropriate location:

Car Spring Pad Location
All E30 Under Rear Spring
E36 318ti Under Rear Spring
All E36 Z3 Roadsters Under Rear Spring
All E36 Z3 Coupes Under Rear Spring
All E36 Coupes/Sedans Above Rear Spring
All E46 Coupes/Sedans Above Rear Spring


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