Looking for Alloy Wheels? Don't know what to choose? Or have some already? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Looking for Alloy Wheels or Tyres? Don't know what to choose? Or have some already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plague View Post
We should start a thread just on wheels with every body pooling their information and pictures on Alloy wheels and tyres.

First off, if you’ve got aftermarket alloys on your Vito/V-Class, then grab a camera, go outside and take a picture of them, then come here and upload it along with the specs for the benefit of others to see and know what is possible If you’re still deciding, then kick back and read on.

I, like a million others was pulling my hair out few months ago because I couldn't decide on what alloys to stick on my V230. More importantly even if I got anywhere near deciding, I don’t know whether those alloys will even fit my V-Class without chewing up the tyres or bodywork. Once over that hurdle I then hit another brick wall because being a light van I can’t put standard car alloys on with standard tyres (personal choice but you may decide to).

There’s a lot to take in and after hours of trawling through threads, I’ve collated all the important bits, and placed them here in the hope that next time, somebody will have the info they require in one thread.

Some useful posts by members that may or may not help you decide on what to choose:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz Bling View Post
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a Merc-Benz Vito a great choice!
Now lets get you sorted:

Wheels - I am running a set of 17" O.Z Super GT's on my Vito, with 215/50 W rated Yokohama C-Drive tyres. The sidewalls of the tyres are very strong so you will have no worries with weight issues. If I were you I wouldn't go for tyres with a profile less than 45 due to road noise and looks. With the Vito being such a large vehicle it can look a bit daft with rubber band tyres on it, unless you have it substantially lowered (which can be expensive). Also, the wheels are susceptible to possible kerbing with a small profile tyre.

There are quite a few alloy wheel companies who produce wheels suitable for a Vito such as, O.Z, Rimstock, Mille Miglia, AEZ and several others. I got my wheels sorted out at a place called Demon Tweeks (you have probably heard of them) they are in Wrexham (North Wales) and have really helpful and knowledgeable staff. Their fitting bay is excellent, but also offer a good mail order service. They deal in all the major brands, just tell them what you require and they will advise you. I dealt with a chap named Nick Smith (direct number 01978 663064).

Suspension - You have quite a few options here just like you have with alloys. I've got Koni 'special' shocks with H&R lowering springs on mine, the front has been dropped about 30mm & the back about 15mm, it doesn't sound a lot but it looks much better and the handling is truly unbelievable! Other companies like PI (not that good) & Eibach (brilliant) offer lowering springs but for dampers Koni is the best route to go.

Happy modifying, regards.

Duncan

Demon Tweeks Motorsport, Motorcycle, Modifying, Parts and Accessories
Van, Minibus & Motorhome Alloy Wheels from TYRESAVE - Alloy wheel retailer for van applications
cPanel®
ALCAR WHEELWRIGHT - wheel rim alloy steel tire AEZ DOTZ DEZENT ENZO LEAGE BSA
Alloy Wheels from Rimstock Plc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerpat View Post
I've got 19's on my van with a 35mm offset ,no problems with the sliding doors catching, only thing there’s a bit of rubbing of the rear arch when fully loaded, that’s also with a 40mm drop too. See if you can get narrower fronts. anything bigger than a 7" tends to tramline, which can be annoying on crappy roads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punjabi View Post
Wheel Offset is 45 to 50 for the V Class/Vito, however, try to keep to the 17" with 235/45/17 tyres which appears to be the best balance. Some recommend to keep the front tyres to 225 which gives better steering control. One thing I note with the wide front wheels is that the muck sprays on the body easily....especially if you have just polished and it rains....arches are not designed for the wide wheels....should have been slightly flared! Another thing to watch for is that don't buy cheap budget wheels, get the good quality decent wheels as the v class is quite heavy and the cheapo light aly wheels will be a problem!
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkside View Post
Don't get cheap ones unless you like your rim parting company from the spokes. It does happen and I doubt it's fun.

I went for OZ Racing as they can give a guaranteed axle load figure. Check out your curb and gross vehicle weights and decide what load you are going to carry and if you are comfortable with the alloys you are looking at.
But don't get too paranoid - the figures I found show that a Vito is only 300kg heavier than an A class! Imagine an A class with 5 big guys in and the gap closes a lot....

It's when you put 1000kg in the back of the Vito you need to worry (or 8 passengers in a V class) about your wheel strength. If you only carry a couple of hundred kilo then any quality branded, preferably forged instead of cast, rim should do the trick.

I'm on 17" by 7.5 with 225/55/17 tyres. Also check the tyre load rating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz Bling View Post
An English company named Rimstock produce a wheel that is specifically for commercial vehicle use, it's called Rimfire HD (Heavy Duty) Designed for Commercial use and those application where van or pickups carry heavy loads. Approved to 1150kgs it's one of the strongest alloy wheels around. Coming in High Power Silver finish and 15x6.0 & 16x6.5 sizes.

Loading up to 1150kgs

Rimstock Plc Light Alloy Wheels. The Worlds most desirable wheels.

AEZ offer you 2 options in a 16" fittment the AEZ Quadro and AEZ Vantage. They have a wheel Configurator on their website so you are able to enter you vehicle details i.e. body style, engine size etc and see what is available for that vehicle. You can download safety certificates too to prove that the wheels are a suitable fittment for your vehicle.

AEZ Leichtmetallräder - Felgen alloy wheels Alufelgen Leichtmetallfelgen Aluräder tuning rims

RIAL produce a 16" fittment suitable for a Vito, again they have a wheel configurator on their website.
RIAL Leichtmetallfelgen GmbH

Autec have several wheels listed as being suitable for a Vito.
.:: AUTEC - Individual Power ::.

Rial, Autec and AEZ are all German companies, and you often find the German wheel manufacturers produce alloys for the Vito. There is also an Italian company called Stilauto that has a couple of options. I have included their link to but I have also included a link to an English company called Vanstyle who sell Stilauto wheels as they specialise in accessories for vans.

Produzione di cerchi in lega - Stilauto

Van Accessories at Van Style. All your Van needs, at the prices you like!

I hope this helps you. If you need anymore help or advice just give me a shout.

Regards,
Benz Bling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BFG View Post
Sorry to be boring.
95% of the wheels aimed at the car market do not have an adequate strength rating for the Vito. This includes wheels offered by retailers as being a fitment for the Vito, they make this assessment purely on physical dimensions. I spent hours looking into this as part of an insurance assessment and spoke to many experts and manufacturers.

No-one ever wants to hear about this, but it's true. Wheels should match the axle rating of the vehicle. The Vito is 1550Kg, or 775Kg per wheel.

Everything you see in Halfords tops out at 400 - 600Kg per wheel.

That's a difference of 375Kg per corner, or put another way, 4 adults extra per corner. Weaker wheels won't bend or show their weaknesses so they could be fine for thousands of miles. Aluminium Alloy doesn't work that way - what happens is that stress fractures appear over time, and one day you hit a pot hole and the wheel ribs could fracture and rip the rim off the hub.
My point is - don't trust the retailer or the manufacturer - even their catalogues. Commonly heard question from wheel retailers and even manufacturers "Will you be loading the van fully? If not these wheels will be OK".

Rondell and even OZ asked this question. This however is complete bollocks as insurance companies will never buy this.

If the wheel isn't stamped with its weight rating it ain't rated. EVEN if it says TUV approved.

Same applies to tyres.
No matter what your tyre fitter says, speed rating has little to do with weight capability. Simply put, the speed rating denotes the tyre's ability to retain its integrity when faced with centrifugal forces acting outward as the tyre spins. Choosing a tyre capable of travel at 170mph for a vehicle with a top speed of 120mph does not automatically mean it is extra safe for a Vito. That is only one part of the story.

The load index is the one to be interested in. This denotes the tyre's capability to withstand downward force.

Many low profile tyres such as the Toyos and Fuldas have a load rating of 96Y.

This means they are suitable for 186mph. Wow! But, the "96" part means they have a load index of just 710Kg, 90Kg short of the Vito's needs. That's down by a whole extra full grown man on each tyre! 4 adult passengers is a hell of a lot to be out by.

The stock tyre has a load index of 101, or 825Kg. We have chosen 100 rated tyres for our vehicle, or 800Kg. Which still gives a greater than 10% safety margin over the 775kg plate weight.

Also....
Tyre retailers will often describe a tyre's strength in terms of the number of plies in the sidewall. But, it's important to note that no matter how strong the tyre actually is, unless it is stamped with the correct weight rating, it is illegal in many countries, and will invalidate insurance. Number of plies is not a reliable indication. If the tyre is stamped, this is a statement that comes direct from the manufacturer - who is afraid of being sued, and should be considered as far more reliable safety information than the opinion of a retailer.

Tyre diameter is the final thing. When changing alloy diameters, it's matching the outside diameter of the tyre that's important, and manufacturers don't quote these figure in catalogues or on the sidewalls. Most people know that the speedo will be affected if the result is wrong but with modern vehicles there's a more serious concern - the ABS computer will also be affected as it is programmed with the OD of the stock tyres.

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news. Hope it's useful.

These guys have rated alloys:
Mercedes Vito Van 03 Wheels Tyres
Ok enough of the quotes.....

Important links to check out before purchasing:
(some of the info may be repeated in different links)

Car Bibles : The Wheel and Tyre Bible Page 1 of 2
Car Bibles : The Wheel and Tyre Bible Page 2 of 2 <-- Wheel and Tyre Calculators on this page
Tyre Sidewall Explained

To cross reference existing Mercedes/AMG/Brabus/Carlsson alloys, this link is priceless:
Mercedes AMG BMW new used & refurbished alloy wheels & tyres, UK wheel alloys

Good places to help you decide what style of alloys you want:
(UK Site but do shop around once you know what you want)

Love Alloy Wheels? Buy alloy wheel packages direct - POTN

Performance Alloys.com - Alloy Wheels & Tyres From The Experts ! Car Alloy Wheels, Replica Wheels, Cheap Alloy Wheels

Mercedes Vito Class W108 19" Alloy Wheels Search - Alloy Wheels - Specialist supplier of alloy wheels and tyres packages

Wheels and Tyres for Sale <--- Good place for some cheap deals on used wheels

Wheel Whores ~ View Forum - UK <--- looking for something more to specfic? then this would be a good start

CONCLUSION:

General idea is if the Vito/V-Class is carrying load then stay around the 17 to 18 inch rim size with Extra Load tyres at 45 to 50 profile and a 30-40mm drop.

Width of the tyre is best suited at around 225 to 235 tops (7.5” wide) for the front and 245 tops (8.5”) for the rear, unless your name is gixxerpat, in which case you can go 9.5” wide all round…or more

For insurance and legal purposes, you want to make sure your alloys and tyres can handle the load that is required. Alloys need to be Load Rated at about 750kg each which means tyres with a load index of 97 or above. That way if you decide to start moving steel scrap, you're alloys won't turn to putty so easily and your insurance will still be valid

For sheer good looks and improved handling you can go as big as 20” in size and 9.5" wide (even as wide as 11" according to some) and have expensive elastic bands for tyres at the expense of high overall running costs and an uncomfortable ride. Handling can of course be improved by just having some 17's or 18's, lowering a touch and upgrading those OEM shocks. Found this thread which is full of some good info about 19" alloys on gixxerpats vito which kinda gives a good idea about 20's.

As above, everyone that has after market alloys on your van’s, could you post here with the alloy size (width and diameter) and tyre size (i.e 225/55/16) followed by a short note on how the drive is with that setup. If people can does this, this will become a goldmine for anyone upgrading their alloys. Oh and if you could attach a picture it would be awesome for everyone to get an idea of whats best.

If there’s anything I’ve missed or you feel needs to be corrected, then please let me know and I’ll be happy to add/edit.

Hope this has helped all you guys looking for alloys.

Thnx and all the best!
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Last edited by HotPanties; 02-01-2008 at 04:40 AM. Reason: various updates
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post #2 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 12:36 PM
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Wow, you've done some serious work pulling it all together! Respect for compiling that and reposting - I did most of this research before getting my rims, but just ended up mopping it up in my head and going stir crazy!

I'll trawl around for a pic of mine or grab one when it's light (and dry!).
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post #3 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 01:13 PM
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kudos to hotpanties for this thread
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post #4 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 02:55 PM
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I've got 17" x 8.5" ML 5 spoke wheels with 245 tyres fitted. Plenty of clearance on the inside of the tyre, however the tyres are level with the wheel arches, so lowering maybe a problem. I've posted some pictures in the Pimping (i hate that word, makes me think of patronising white middle class tossers trying to be "street") section.

Ugly
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post #5 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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thnx guys. Everything just seemed to be everywhere and i had over a page of search results to sift through but even then didn't quite get what i was after.

I think this will be good for everyone to use as a point of reference and a discussion thread...feel free to add more links or stuff related to alloys that you've found usefull in the past.

ugly thnx for that. what's the ET on those alloys? and is that also 245's on the front with complete clearance from the inside?

I have standard v230 alloys which are 225's all round. on the front the inside tyre wall is almost touching the suspension leg according to what i've read the standard alloys have an ET of 45...so how am i ment to go wider than the 225 without chewing up the inner wall of the wheels?

this is why we need people to post there setups
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post #6 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 02:11 AM
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Just go for a smaller et.........your 225's must be on 7.5 or 8" rims already...get something around 8-8.5 with an et of 35
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post #7 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotPanties View Post
ugly thnx for that. what's the ET on those alloys? and is that also 245's on the front with complete clearance from the inside?

I have standard v230 alloys which are 225's all round. on the front the inside tyre wall is almost touching the suspension leg according to what i've read the standard alloys have an ET of 45...so how am i ment to go wider than the 225 without chewing up the inner wall of the wheels?

this is why we need people to post there setups
The inside clearance stayed the same as the 16" ML wheels i had fitted with 225 width tyres, the wheel & tyre now come out (flush) to the wheel arch. The ET of the wheel is 52. I'm debating about refitting the 16" wheels so i can lower the van as well. The van drives well, the only time i had a problem was when i had reinforced tyres fitted, the van was horrible on anything less than smooth roads. Changed the tyres to ones without reinforced tyrewalls & the problem went away.

Ugly
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post #8 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugly View Post
The inside clearance stayed the same as the 16" ML wheels i had fitted with 225 width tyres, the wheel & tyre now come out (flush) to the wheel arch. The ET of the wheel is 52. I'm debating about refitting the 16" wheels so i can lower the van as well. The van drives well, the only time i had a problem was when i had reinforced tyres fitted, the van was horrible on anything less than smooth roads. Changed the tyres to ones without reinforced tyrewalls & the problem went away.
that gives a good indication to the feel of the drive so i personally might opt for normal tyres. thanx ugly

regards changing back to 16's...do you carry a lot of load in the van? just curious why 17's will cause problems when lowering.
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post #9 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-05-2008, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotPanties View Post
that gives a good indication to the feel of the drive so i personally might opt for normal tyres. thanx ugly

regards changing back to 16's...do you carry a lot of load in the van? just curious why 17's will cause problems when lowering.
I've usually got a couple of crossers in the back, this gives me 3 - 4" clearance between the arch & the tyre, lowering 40mm will be putting me close to having the tyre rub on the arch. The 16" wheels would sit inside the arch & shouldn't rub. Function over fashion LOL
I didn't realise at the time but the 17" rims come with two width options, i brought the 8.5" rims the others are narrower & would also fit inside the arch with thinner tyres.
The 245 tyres on my wheels are just wide enough to fit on the rims. I chose the tyres (width & profile) to give the same rolling radius as my Std wheels, so the speedo reads Ok. A mate with a transporter van has 19" Audi wheels on it, he said the speedo reading has only changed a little with the bigger wheels, so maybe i erred on the side of caution.
Find a set of wheels you like & go with 'em, i chose the ML wheels because they're a Merc fitment, look chunky, suit the van & because, when i brought them, people didn't know they would fit a Vito, inexpensive. &#163;75 for the 16"s & &#163;101 for the 17"s. I love ebay! LOL The only downside (if you're vain) is the wheels have become a popular fitment.

Ugly

Last edited by ugly; 01-05-2008 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Shocking grammer!
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post #10 of 97 (permalink) Old 01-06-2008, 11:24 AM
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How much does the size of wheels effect the reading of the speedo mate.
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