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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

looking to upgrade wheels on my 300te 4 matic. The stock 15’s are tired after 30 years.
Tha said I’m looking for a set of amg wheels ideally near the same era.

5x112 pattern

Stock 15” rims- will it do any damage to transmission or 4matic system to increase rim size to 16”,17”, or 18”?

Staggered/ 4 matic- any insight as to if a staggered set would be bad for the transmission in this 4matic variant?

thank you all for your help.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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Upgrading wheels on a 4Matic is asking for trouble. Using wheels with the slightest dimensional difference(s) will wreak havoc on the 4Matic drivetrain parts.
 

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If all 4 wheels and tires are exactly the same it will be okay. 17” max imho
 

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The circumference on the new set must be identical to the circumference of the stock wheel and tires.

Being a 4Matic I wouldn't gamble on this and just pay to have the stock rims refinished.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both for your insight. Naturally the last thing I want is to ruin a well working 4matic system. My experience with all wheel drive is that as long as all 4 rims are same size with same tire tread, increasing rim size from stock would be alright. But the amg staggered component (7.5 front & 8.5 rear) had me questioning if that may cause trouble with 4 matic.
Sbaert, you make a good point not worth the gamble. Has anyone else here installed 16” or 17” wheels on their w124- 4matic with success/ no issue? Thank you all.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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Actually up in Canada they run even 18" on 4matics without any trouble. Last yr Paul posted a WIS piece that said the 4Matic system was very forgiving in tire size....as long as all four were the same.

You wouldn't think so.....but there it was and the Canadian owners of 4Matics have known this all along.

Kevin
 

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"As long as all four were the same."

Main point! I've had a lot of AWD cars... Subarus, Volvo Xcountry, Jeep, Land Rovers. The outer circumference must be the same on all 4 tires.
That really should be your only focus.

I definitely wouldn't go pass 16 or 17 on wheel size. Another words don't go crazy with 20's
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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Yeah, 18" if they don't rub. The majority of folks that do this stick with 17". Anyway, my point was that the 4Matic system isn't fussy about non-standard sizes.

Kevin
 

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This is what I used when I staggered the rims in my 01 S8. I made sure that the outer circumference (reference Sam Fuller) was the same. Less than 1/4" difference is acceptable. Sometimes depending on the width of the rim, getting a perfect match is impossible. I never had issues on my 01 S8 and I drove over 100K on staggered wheels

 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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This is what I used when I staggered the rims in my 01 S8. I made sure that the outer circumference (reference Sam Fuller) was the same. Less than 1/4" difference is acceptable. Sometimes depending on the width of the rim, getting a perfect match is impossible. I never had issues on my 01 S8 and I drove over 100K on staggered wheels

We're talking about what is applicable to the first gen 4Matic here in W124 cars.....

Kevin
 

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In addition to the sizing constraints that have already been discussed, I would also pay attention to the weight of the new tire/wheel combination. There is a lot more un-sprung weight in the front suspension of the 4-matic so you don't want to add to much more to it with a heavier tire/wheel combination. It would be harder on the ball joints and the spring design is a little funky to accommodate the front drive axles and I'm not sure if it is more prone to failure under bigger loads.
 

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Also the center diff (even at 1/4 inch) is always in a friction state.
That's not good for it.
Also drive shaft bind.
The closer to even is better.

I wouldn't even do a 1/4 inch.
That's the life of AWD!

4 worn down tires ( but still in spec) and then get a side wall puncture on one ...guess what? All 4 new tires are needed! You can't just buy one or two!
 

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The beauty of 4 matic is for inclement weather.
Fat rear tires will ruin the awesomeness of the car.

Skinny tires are better for the snow anyways. (They cut through the snow instead of floating on top) plus more pressure per square inch.
So if you're doing this just for looks it's for the wrong reasons.

Invest in a 2 wheel drive wagon.... Then stagger away! Just my 2 cents
 

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First thing I learned in the high wilds of CO in the 70's;giant, fat balloon type tires will float you right off a logging road/trail to your death. Tall, self-cleaning tires were always the ticket....except for mud boggin' competition.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #16
nice, thank you all for the dialogue.

AMG rims - if i do go this route, it would be 16" or 17", non-staggered variation.

stock rims - if i go this route, i'll work to get the stock 15" wheels refinished, and get fresh (stock size tires) 195/65/R15 tires.

AMG monoblock wheels would look great on this vehicle for aesthetic along with ahndling, though there is some allure to having the stock rims as well.

i'll report back once i move forward with an option, hoping to get this completed at some point in the next couple months.
 
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