Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
RE: DESPERATE PLZ HELP
I feel your pain. However, don't give up hope, there are C's running around on 19s, so there are lots of 17s that will fit.
There are four keys to fitment on MBZ wheels.
First is the bolt pattern, they must be 5x112.
Second is the offset, which varies by year and model. Easiest thing to do is pull one of yours and look at the back of it, the two digit number preceded by the letters "ET" is your offset. Any replacement wheel must have an offset within a couple numbers either side of that. For example if yours are ET33, you should be okay with 31-35 unless you also go with wider wheels, which may require a lower ET.
Third is that the wheels MUST be hub-centric.
Fourth is that the wheels must be the same lug bolt style as your current ones, or you may need custom lug bolts. For example, folks who want to put 14M lug wheels on a car designed for 12M lug bolts need a bolt that has the 14M ball seat, but the 12M thread shaft, and of course it also has to be the proper length.
As you can see MBZ cars are not chevys or fords for which you can just go buy wheels and toss them on. You either need to spend lots of time and energy doing your homework to determine what you need, or you just deal with a reputable company and buy wheels (and lug bolts if necessary) from them. Tire Rack is good, and they don't sell any junk, so you can feel safe about using one of their aftermarkets. You'll need tires as well, so you can just get a package from them. I would suggest you avoid the folks on Ebay, their quality may be suspect unless you're dealing with a brand you know and trust.
You might post up in the W203 forum (that's the specific one for your car) and in the Tire/Wheel forum. My understanding is that Luke (works for Tire Rack, he's also the mod for the T/W forum) extends some manner of discount to BW members, so that's a good option.
Final point: going to larger wheels will not hurt your brakes...again, so long as the offset is correct and you don't put in lug bolts that are too long. There are cases where folks have tried to go to smaller wheels, and those won't clear the calipers.
Take care and enjoy the ride,