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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
isthenew
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Date registered: Jan 2014
Vehicle: 1989 300SE 232k miles
Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Rims / lug bolts / W126 vs R129 q's

Hello All,

This regards my new to me 1989 300SE with 231k miles. In the course of restoration I discovered a snafu with the tires. I thought I had 4 like-new tires on the car. However, I have 3. One of the 4 tires mounted is bald. I went into the trunk and found the 4th like-new tire was there as the spare; only it has a huge, 6-inch gash in the sidewall.

And while there are those that will say, "My god! How did he buy a car without knowing this?" I paid a few hundred dollars for the car. So I didn't look to hard at every little thing. ...Actually, I didn't even start the car until I paid for it and was getting ready to drive it to the warehouse.

In any case, I came across a great deal on a set of used tires and chrome rims from a 1990 300SL. Having owned SL320's I didn't expect any real problems. I researched the tire and rim sizes between the cars. Everything seems to match up. But there were 2 potential problems: 1) Needing spacers on the front rims, and/or 2) Needing longer lug bolts.

Upon install, I found I literally couldn't install the rims. The lug bolts from my W126 are too short. They do not reach the backside of the rim; let alone screw into the wheel hub.

If I measured correctly, the W126 lug bolt has ~40mm shaft. I believe I need ~60mm.

I've had R129's with aluminum rims and with chrome rims (like these). The aluminum rims on my friend's R129 had the same, long, "flush mount" style as the W126 lug bolt. My chrome rims used lug bolts that were shorter, non-flush mount. My chrome R129 rims used the same shorter, non-flush mount lug bolts as my aluminum rims. In fact, my chrome rims were so similar to these, and it seemed everything was so interchangeable on the R129, I'm surprised by this problem.

Though I've read they're longer, I never noticed anything special about the R129 lug bolt. In my mind, I don't remember anything different from the W126's. In my research, I can't find a specific example or measurement for the R129 lug bolt.

So, is the R129 lug bolt longer? With a shaft of ~60mm? In which case those are a great solution. Because I have a source to buy those.

Thanks,
Bill
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