Wheel size help needed! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2014
Vehicle: 1980 280CE
Location: Italy
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Wheel size help needed!

Hello everybody!
My 1983 280 CE (European spec) came with steel wheels but I would like to fit a set of Barock or "Mexican Hat" alloy wheels.
There is a confusing array of different size for sale on eBay, so I was wondering could somebody tell me what wheel size (inc. width) was fitted at the factory?
Also, what are the pro's and con's of changing to 15" wheels instead of 14"?

Many thanks in advance,
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 01:49 AM
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Vehicle: 1981 W123 300D non turbo, 1992 190E 1.8 <=> 2.0
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For most W123s the wheels were all 14 inch. There were, however, 15 inch wheels fitted to the longer chassis W123 and the vehicles designed for countries with very poor road surfaces.

Generally speaking it is harder to find the 15 inch wheels; and when you do they are likely to be a lot more expensive than the 14 inch equivalent.

The widths of the 14 inch wheels (fitted to the W123) were 5 and a half inches for the lower powdered vehicles (generally speaking 4 cylinder engines petrol - no EFI - and 4 cylinder diesel models). The more powerful vehicles more often than not came with 6 inch wide wheels.

A full listing of chassis type and width of wheel fitted is given in chapter 40-100 in the factory service manual (FSM)

The FSM can be viewed (legally and) for free at www.startekinfo.com Click on resources then CD/DVD then pick the W123 manual. This site only really works well for internet explorer (which is a shame because Microsoft products are rubbish!)

These days there is generally speaking a better selection of 15 inch tyres available. Not many cars are made with 14 inch wheels that need tyres with high sidewalls any more. You can still get quite a good choice of high side wall high load bearing light commercial vehicle tyres but the ride quality isn't so hot for a car (so I'm told).

People on the whole seem to like the bigger wheel with lower profile tyre look these days so in some respects 15 inch is slightly trendier. There's not that much of a difference in sidewall height if you keep close to the equivalent rolling diameter of a standard 14 inch wheel and tyre combination.

Do a search for user MBeige and his 15 inch ATS "Bundts" (Bundts is what the Americans call what the Dutch call Kroonkurks which is what Mercedes call cast alloy wheel!)
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1992 190E 1.8 <=>2.0 201.018 => Daily driver

1981 300D (non turbo) 123.130 => Project car - stripped to the bone

1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon => CIS recovery therapy!

Free and legal FSM download => Ask for help if you get stuck!

Don't leave that there I'll take it to bits

Last edited by Stretch; 09-21-2014 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Fixed link
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much Stretch, that's very helpful info.
I live in Italy where the roads are the worst I've ever come across- definitely sub-third world standard- so I think I'll start looking for 15" ones. Even if they are not easily found, I'm in no hurry.
I've tried the Stark site but can find no resource tab (tried with latest version of IE plus Firefox plus Chrome). The only tabs I can see are Research, About, Clients and Contact. Am I just being stupid?
Cheers
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobaccoblender View Post
Thank you very much Stretch, that's very helpful info.
I live in Italy where the roads are the worst I've ever come across- definitely sub-third world standard- so I think I'll start looking for 15" ones. Even if they are not easily found, I'm in no hurry.
I've tried the Stark site but can find no resource tab (tried with latest version of IE plus Firefox plus Chrome). The only tabs I can see are Research, About, Clients and Contact. Am I just being stupid?
Cheers
No you're not being stupid - I can't type in a good URL address!

I've fixed the link.

As for 15 inch wheels there are many options for more modern Mercedes vehicles from the W201 onwards - but in cast alloy wheel form they look a bit daft on a W123 (in my honest opinion)

1992 190E 1.8 <=>2.0 201.018 => Daily driver

1981 300D (non turbo) 123.130 => Project car - stripped to the bone

1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon => CIS recovery therapy!

Free and legal FSM download => Ask for help if you get stuck!

Don't leave that there I'll take it to bits
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2014
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I'm the same- anything but the mexican hats looks tasteless and boy-racer-ish to me, not all the look I want!
Boy, that Star Tek info site is a gem- thanks for that.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 10:37 AM
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 11:34 AM
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It's a pity that there is a 15" version of the Early CLK wheels. These wheels Have to be made by ATS, just like the ATS Cups from many years ago. Forged, and lightweight, they are an excellent wheel, but they are 16". I am not convinced that they are a good choice for my 83 300TD, as I think they will make the ride to harsh. As for not having the right look, I have always tended towards the 'Resto-Mod' look to cars.
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