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Tire size and ride comfort

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monarchd's picture
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My dealer advises that two of my alloy rims are bent thus I'm considering new wheels and tires. (C230K)

The car presently has 15X7 rims and Bridgestone 15-60 Turanza LS-H tires.

I understand that I can go to 16" rims. Will using 16-55's change the ride characteristics substantially, will the larger diameter and shorter tire depth improve handling, if so how much?

Best,

Davis

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Generally, a larger diameter wheel with a lower profile tire will result in a slightly stiffer ride and slightly better steering response. A lot depends on the tire you choose. For example, a 15", 60 section performance tire might actually ride stiffer and handle better than a 16", 55 section touring tire, which is the inverse of the rule, but is the nature of the tire itself. Make sure you maintain the same revs per mile (within 1%) with the new tires. The Tirerack website has the info (see specs for a given tire).

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Vince is right on; one other tip or thought will be the offset of the wheels. Be careful of which wheels you purchase, the incorrect offset will have the wheel/tire extend pass the fenders, do a search for info about wheel offsets.
If you take a straight edge and place it across the front fender wheel opening, you will notice the distance the wheel and tire sits inside the fender, and also notice the inside distance between the tire and you shock. You what to maintain that distance with in a few mm, check your factory offset in your owners manual as a guide.
A lot of people will sell you a wheel stating the offset will fit your MB, but the wheel will stick out pass much further than your factory wheel. I guarantee you will have rock chips all over your nice MB’s lower side, create more wind noise around your wheel well.
You may want to check with your local dealer or Tom Hanson, to see if Mercedes has a wheel that will fit your MB. Sometimes they will have new take-off wheels from another MB, that will fit your MB.
Tim

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Have you considered buying a pair of used factory rims from MB recycling places like Silver Star or Potomac German Auto -- may be considerably less expensive than 4 new wheels, and size/offset will be correct.

Anytime you change the size/profile of the wheel/tire, you change the ride characteristics. For example with the 126 S classes of the 1980's, the wheels were 15" x 6.5", then for a few years they went to 15" x 7", but people complained of harsh ride quality, so the factory went back to the 15" x 6.5". Generally speaking, tall narrow profiles are a more comfortable ride, whereas the wide low profile tires have the potential of better handling, but at the cost of being much more harsh.
Pete

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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter D. Quinn
Have you considered buying a pair of used factory rims from MB recycling places like Silver Star or Potomac German Auto -- may be considerably less expensive than 4 new wheels, and size/offset will be correct.

Anytime you change the size/profile of the wheel/tire, you change the ride characteristics. For example with the 126 S classes of the 1980's, the wheels were 15" x 6.5", then for a few years they went to 15" x 7", but people complained of harsh ride quality, so the factory went back to the 15" x 6.5". Generally speaking, tall narrow profiles are a more comfortable ride, whereas the wide low profile tires have the potential of better handling, but at the cost of being much more harsh.
Pete
I would be interested in some used factory rims, how do I get a hold of Silver Star or Potomac German Auto? thanks!:) :)

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Al:

I belive both are advertisers in the Star. I've never used Silver Star, but have used PGA many times. Phone number is:
888-236-9727

I've always asked for a guy named Brian, as he seems to really know his cars. Some of the rims they have are the "spare tire" rims --- never seen the light of day, essentially new. If you want ones that are in that condition let you know. He was always pretty accurate in telling me their condition.

Hope this helps,
pdq

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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter D. Quinn
Al:

I belive both are advertisers in the Star. I've never used Silver Star, but have used PGA many times. Phone number is:
888-236-9727

I've always asked for a guy named Brian, as he seems to really know his cars. Some of the rims they have are the "spare tire" rims --- never seen the light of day, essentially new. If you want ones that are in that condition let you know. He was always pretty accurate in telling me their condition.

Hope this helps,
pdq

PDQ - Yes it does, thanks for the information
:)

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Wheels & Tires for C Class

I have spent the summer looking for wheels for My '97 C class so that I could use them for autocrossing. A couple of Things that I learned:

Pick up from an MB Dealer a brouchure called "Mercedes Benz Wheels for the Road" printed in 2001 with a number on it Pm-01-WHLFLYER. It is very useful in seeing what wheels have been designed for what vehicle.

Look on E-bay as well for wheels - though you got to figure shipping charges in to the budget, or just buy locally. And also make sure that you know what you are buying wheel wise - and that it will fit you C230. I have ended up with a couple of things that have not worked from buying unknowingly on E-bay. But if you stick to the basic C class style you should have no problem. There are a lot of newer C class rims coming up on e-bay at prices from $100 to $600 for a set.

I ended up buying a 16" set off of e-bay that looked good and fit a newer C class, and also fit my mine. A few years ago I picked up an extra set of 15" rims from PGA for snow tires. PGA is great and they stand behind everything they sell.

PGA's website is a good research tool as well. pgauto.com Use it to see what they have in stock - and it also tells you what else is used on your vehicle.

Good hunting - there are plenty of rims out there, and prices are all over the place. Also you can have your wheels straightend and refinished from a couple of places - Like Wheel Workx in Millersville MD 410.969.7301 (GWS advertiser) and Ye Olde Wheel Shop in Elkridge MD 800.526.8260(seen in AutoWeek) Aluminum Wheel Repair in CT 800.fix.bend and Rima and Wheelworks in Ma 800.261.0495 - also out of AutoWeek.

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William West Hopper, MBCA Eastern Regional Director | Greater Washington Section Member
Chairperson, MBCA STAR & Technology Committee, MBCA StarTech Committee
2011 C300 4MATIC Sport W204
1998 ML320 W163

  

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