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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to take the Boxster out today as no snow was predicted. temp was a chilly 18Fdeg.

The stock tires do not like it when it is cold! Car was all over the place til the rubber warmed up, then she was fine.:hilarious::hilarious:
 

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Do you have the Michelins? Even though it doesn't get bitterly cold down here I can feel the effects on the car when it gets down in the 20's or low 30's F. Glad to have heated seats!

Chuck
 

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Not meaning to be a wise a$$ or anything but that's actually mentioned in the owners manual. Something about recommending caution below 40°F. Prior experience says they resemble the tires used on model cars at 18°F.

If you want real fun try them with a little snow. Doesn't seem like they ever warm up. Turns look like something from the WRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not meaning to be a wise a$$ or anything but that's actually mentioned in the owners manual. Something about recommending caution below 40°F. Prior experience says they resemble the tires used on model cars at 18°F.

If you want real fun try them with a little snow. Doesn't seem like they ever warm up. Turns look like something from the WRC.
First i have hte Conti's on mine.

Second. Don't think you're a wise ***. I expected weird handling, just not as bad as it was. I won't take it out if I see snow anywhere in the forecast.
 

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Do you have the Michelins? Even though it doesn't get bitterly cold down here I can feel the effects on the car when it gets down in the 20's or low 30's F. Glad to have heated seats!

Chuck
Any summer tires will loose a lot of grip at below 30 F. Below 20 F, it's really noticable. That's why there are all-season and winter tires. I bought a set of Pirelli winters for my car and they're terrific. Limits are a little lower than summer tires in summer, but grip is much better below 40 F in dry and you can actually drive the thing over packed snow. Don't even try on a set of summer tires.

10 Dec 1994, I picked up my brand spanking new M3 from a suburb North of Chicago near the lake. The lake warms the air temps around there. It was a light rain. By the time we'd finished with the long delivery process, it was dinner time. We had a 50 mile drive home, so I treated my friend, who drove me to the dealer in his car, to dinner. After dinner, still light rain but with a few flakes of snow. We headed West toward home and within 5 miles it was snowing. By 10 miles, it was a white-out. 20 miles was the interstate and we got on. 6" or so of snow had fallen by then and I was getting adept at sliding around in my brand new car. Acceleration was a joke. The technique was to shift out of first as soon as the car was actually moving and just use minimum revs and minimum throttle for the gentlest possible acceleration. I actually passed a couple Camaros with extra fat tires on wide rims. You know the ones. We made it all the way to my little burg without incident by my traveling in other people's tire tracks and just planning my starts and stops very thoroughly but when I got to my own neighborhood, the little streets hadn't been used at all...virgin snow.

The tires, Michelin Pilot Sport MXX3, were so bad on this, that I was sliding sideways toward the curbings just from the camber of the road. Had to drive in the gravitational center of the road to keep from banging the curbs. I love this last part...It took 3 well-planned attenpts to get up my minimumly inclined driveway. The final successful attempt involved me taking the snow-packed curbing at a 45 degrees and running across my front lawn and drift turning into the garage. Car still less than 4 hours old.
 

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First i have hte Conti's on mine.

Second. Don't think you're a wise ***. I expected weird handling, just not as bad as it was. I won't take it out if I see snow anywhere in the forecast.
You must be the only one. Sometimes just can't help myself. Oddball sense of humor that most don't get.

Anyway the effect isn't limited to Michelin. I can vouch that Pirelli and Goodyear have the same issues. Matter of the rubber compounds used.

If you want to drive in the cold winter performance tires will do and get by in a bit of snow. For real snow tires optimized for that are the ticket though they give up more than a little dry grip.

I found that even true with Audi quattro's. Enough traction to go in about anything. Stopping or turning could still prove interesting, however.
 

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Picked up some winter tires and wheels for mine as well and they came in handy today as I had to drive to Boise and we had 2+ inches of snow last night.
 

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Any summer tires will loose a lot of grip at below 30 F. Below 20 F, it's really noticable. That's why there are all-season and winter tires. I bought a set of Pirelli winters for my car and they're terrific. Limits are a little lower than summer tires in summer, but grip is much better below 40 F in dry and you can actually drive the thing over packed snow. Don't even try on a set of summer tires.

10 Dec 1994, I picked up my brand spanking new M3 from a suburb North of Chicago near the lake. The lake warms the air temps around there. It was a light rain. By the time we'd finished with the long delivery process, it was dinner time. We had a 50 mile drive home, so I treated my friend, who drove me to the dealer in his car, to dinner. After dinner, still light rain but with a few flakes of snow. We headed West toward home and within 5 miles it was snowing. By 10 miles, it was a white-out. 20 miles was the interstate and we got on. 6" or so of snow had fallen by then and I was getting adept at sliding around in my brand new car. Acceleration was a joke. The technique was to shift out of first as soon as the car was actually moving and just use minimum revs and minimum throttle for the gentlest possible acceleration. I actually passed a couple Camaros with extra fat tires on wide rims. You know the ones. We made it all the way to my little burg without incident by my traveling in other people's tire tracks and just planning my starts and stops very thoroughly but when I got to my own neighborhood, the little streets hadn't been used at all...virgin snow.

The tires, Michelin Pilot Sport MXX3, were so bad on this, that I was sliding sideways toward the curbings just from the camber of the road. Had to drive in the gravitational center of the road to keep from banging the curbs. I love this last part...It took 3 well-planned attenpts to get up my minimumly inclined driveway. The final successful attempt involved me taking the snow-packed curbing at a 45 degrees and running across my front lawn and drift turning into the garage. Car still less than 4 hours old.
One of the very first E36's? I had a 98. That sounds like a white knuckle ride. :eek:
 

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I think I recall reading somewhere that you're not supposed to drive high performance summer tires below 35 degrees F because it changes the tire compound in some way so that they nearly loose most of their grip properties come spring time when you take them out again in warmer weather. Has anyone else heard of this? True? False?

I haven't driven under 35 degrees in fear of this especially considering the cost of these tires. I don't want to mess them up and not be able to really use them to their full potential when the weather warms up come spring/ summer.
 

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I think I recall reading somewhere that you're not supposed to drive high performance summer tires below 35 degrees F because it changes the tire compound in some way so that they nearly loose most of their grip properties come spring time when you take them out again in warmer weather. Has anyone else heard of this? True? False?
I have read that track tires, DOT, r-compounds, shouldn't be stored at sub-freezing temperatures, but have never heard anything about other tires.

Nitto Storage Recommendations Competition Tires

Toyo Cold Weather Tire Storage

Nitto and Toyo say < 15°F in the pdfs above, but I've read other recommendations with higher temperatures.

Cheers,
Chuck
 

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I have read that track tires, DOT, r-compounds, shouldn't be stored at sub-freezing temperatures, but have never heard anything about other tires.

Nitto Storage Recommendations Competition Tires

Toyo Cold Weather Tire Storage

Nitto and Toyo say < 15°F in the pdfs above, but I've read other recommendations with higher temperatures.

Cheers,
Chuck
Chuck:

This is very good stuff. I've never seen it before!

The warnings just say that you should not leave your car sitting on R tires on over the winter. I would think they might flat-spot irrepairably, which is why I'd never do it. I heat my garage to 45F and store my R tires horizontally in vertical stacks. It's OK to put them vertically on a tire rack or shelf, but not with weight on them. The warnings say you should get the tires up to room temp again before you set the weight of the car on them. This makes sense to me.

Obviously, running R tires in winter is a very bad idea. They're made for the high temps of track use and aren't at their best even at room temps.

I've never seen one crack like the illustrations though.
 

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I think I recall reading somewhere that you're not supposed to drive high performance summer tires below 35 degrees F because it changes the tire compound in some way so that they nearly loose most of their grip properties come spring time when you take them out again in warmer weather. Has anyone else heard of this? True? False?

I haven't driven under 35 degrees in fear of this especially considering the cost of these tires. I don't want to mess them up and not be able to really use them to their full potential when the weather warms up come spring/ summer.

GG:

I've driven a lot of summer tires in temps below 10F. It doesn't really hurt them, but they sure don't stick very well. They are wicked slippery on dry roads if you're not prepared. Drive very conservatively if you need to take your car out.

I've not seen them loose grip in the spring from driving them in winter but I never track my summer tires. I always use R tires on the track.

My old E30 M3 had a set of Yoko A008s and I took it out on a real cold dry day years ago. I was in a downtown area and just hurried the car a bit to make a left turn on a yellow light. The car went into a lurid slide and there were parallel parked cars on both sides of this main street with not much room. I nearly hit a couple parked cars. As luck would have it, a peace officer was travelling the opposite direction and nearly wet his pants. The lights went on and he pulled me over expecting an 18 year old idiot. When I showed him my license, he didn't quite know what to do. I told him I really wasn't going very fast (I wasn't) and this had never happened to me. I thought the dried salt on the road might have been slick. Didn't know about rubber compounds doing this back then. Said my tires were not sticking at all. He looked at the tires and thought they should stick very well since they were "autobahn tires". He was thinking about giving me a serious ticket for wreckless driving or too fast for conditions etc. when he got a call for an accident somewhere. He let me go and took off.

That was my first experience with summer tires on winter roads and I was pretty fortunate not to get in a lot more trouble. This was all on dry roads. I just wanted to give the car a little exercize as it had been sitting too long.
 

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One of the very first E36's? I had a 98. That sounds like a white knuckle ride. :eek:
A guy in BMW CCA, Dave Farnsworth, who now writes a column for the Roundel Magazine, had THE first E36 delivered in the US. I got a ride in his at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in spring of 1994 and put my order in shortly after that. In 1993, I did Automobile Magazine's Grand Tour II with Jean Lindamood and David E. Davis and 50 or so other guests. One of the highlights for me was a ride in the screaming yellow Euro M3 that BMW had provided him for a few weeks. He and his wife were running this trip on it and doing a tour of their own afterwards. Those cars have a hundred more HP than the US M3s and stiffer suspensions. I thought it was too stiff, but it sure was fast. David was thrilled with this car and we had arranged for this drive after I mentioned my interest in it at dinner one night. We stormed a 4-lane out of the Lake Como area on a Sunday morning, blasting through tunnels and uphill sweepers for about 10 miles before ducking onto a side road that turned out to be a dead end. We turned around and flew back to base camp. The whole thing took maybe 15 minutes. Great fun. I was driving a lowly 318i with skinny radials for this trip. I thought overall I had the better car for the conditions we were driving in most of the time. The M3's suspension was too stiff and the tires really pounded. Our car was a joy with a beautiful ride/handling balance. Limits were higher on the M3 but you couldn't use them very often and you suffered the rest of the time...too much of a good thing for most Euro roads. The 318i had less weight in front and a little more suspension travel in the beautifully designed chassis. It was a joy to drive in the Alps, especially on the smaller, twistier stuff.

In 1992, I went to Munich with the club and saw some of the first year E36 cars being produced in the Munich plant. That was the most amazing factory tour I've ever had. I've seen Morgans, Ferraris, Bugattis and Lamborghinis being built. The BMW plant made the others look like a local tire store by comparison. It's most amazing to see them put a white M3 wagon together with a blue 316i sedan following right behind it on the line...Different brakes, engine, body panels, lights, paint, seats etc but the correct components are waiting for the car when it rolls overhead and the undercarriage is raised up into the car by a couple guys running a robotic cart with a special lift and the subframes are mounted to the chassis in about 10 minutes. I had a lot of questions and they were all answered by the guide. He had to ask some techs in the shop about some things.

Q: Did I just see a fork lift driver stop and get a small glass of beer?

A. Yes. In Bavaria, the locals consider beer to be food. We sell it in the commisaries you see and they are allowed to drink during the day. It's never a problem here but we do not allow this in any other BMW plant, only Munich.

Q: How the heck do they get the right parts on the right cars at the right times?

A: When the white metal chassis finishes it's chemical baths, we fasten an electroinic transmitter to the front. (white box about 4"X6"X2"). This has all the build-codes for the car stored in it. At various stages, sensors pick up the signal from the box and trigger orders to vendors located inside and outside the plant...In some cases outside of Germany. The supply chain arranges the components in the order they will be required by the cars each day. The sensors let the internal and external suppliers know the exact moment the component set will be needed for assembly.

So a 4 cylinder car with little bitty brakes and 15" wheels can follow an M car in a different color with a 300HP 6 cylinder with huge brakes, 19" alloys and leather interior etc.

Q. (At paint booth) OK. I understand about the different components being staged by the radio thingie, but now these primered chassis are going into these automated paint booths on robotic carts. I just saw one go in the first booth and come out red then the very next car came out white. How dey do dat?

Answer: I'll ask.... Ah yes, good question. The tech says they have a special sprayer. It has supply hoses with all the colors. When a different color is needed....

Q: Yes, but how does it not spray red paint onto the white car?

A: OK, just a second... Aha! He says there is also a supply of paint thinner liquid in one of the lines. When the booth is changing cars, the nozzle is moved to a safe area and the thinner is run through the nozzle, cleaning it before the next color is introduced. Colors are, of course, determined by the radio-box on the front of the chassis.

Wow, nuthin' to it! Who knew car assembly could be so efforless!
---

So, after all three of these E36 experiences and several E36 rental cars in Europe and an E36 Nurburgring experience and after all the US BMW club participation in campaigning BMW AG to make a US version of the M3, I just had to buy one. Mine turned out to be produced in a very good period; after the initial teething problems and before the newer OBDII engine. Mine could be easily chipped and modified and had a bit more torque than the later 3 liter OBDII cars. :burnout:

The 3.2's that came later, with proper mods,(intake and an early version of a Flash) they could pull away from me slightly on the straights, but eventually, I got my suspension and tires set just right and could run down anyone on a short track like Blackhawk or Putnam. That car benefited greatly from an X-brace, a stock part made to stiffen up the chassis on the convertible models, and a TC Kline roll bar, which bolted through the back seat floor and to the wheel wells and stiffened up the chassis even more. There was also a strut brace, but it didn't have much effect unless you were really turning hard on R-tires. It would help maintain wheel camber a little bit better in those conditions, but that part of the car was already very strong.

The chassis was then stiff enough that I could use the front jacking point to raise both the front and rear tires off the ground with a small floor jack...change two tires with one elevation by floor-jack. Before the mods, I couldn't do that. It made a better platform for the lowered and stiffened suspension pieces and the R tires. (zoom-zoom!) :)
 

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I'm glad I saw this, I thought I was imagining all that tire spin :D
 

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The real problem with driving on summer tires in sub-freezing temperatures is not in driving slow. It's what happens if you have to make a panic stop or an emergency maneuver. Your traction will be seriously compromised in those situations. It's a safety issue. Think about it.
 

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I noticed reduced grip with my PS2s at temps in the 50s. Needed a little warmup, then they were close to "normal."

It's sunny here in Phoenix today, with a predicted high near 70F - I think I'll risk a drive on the PS2s!
 

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I noticed reduced grip with my PS2s at temps in the 50s. Needed a little warmup, then they were close to "normal."
This is what I've found also. Unless it is really cold, most tires will warm up fine after a short while.

On the other hand I recall a DE a couple of years ago at Road Atlanta where the high for the whole weekend was about 14°F, unusual in the South, driving in a parka, heat full blast, and still freezing. Dry track, but the guys on slicks (light cars, big tires) couldn't get any heat built up, it was like they were driving on ice. The cars with DOT tires, including mine, didn't fare much better. The quickest laps of the weekend were probably done on street tires.

It all boils down to situational awareness, SA, never ask more of your tires than they can give.

Chuck
 
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