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W202 230K Sport manual & a few non Merc's
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was wondering has anybody carried out a front brake upgrade while retaining 16'' wheels using bolt on Merc parts from a different model?
 

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W202 230K Sport manual & a few non Merc's
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I think I may be able to answer my own question....that's not usually a good sign! :)

After some research again. Looking at W210 & W208, specifically the E320/CLK320 as these were available with both 16 & 17'' wheels.

W210/W208 320 front discs have a 300 mm diameter/ 28 mm thickness. C230K @ 288/25. It looks like all use an 57mm ATE single piston caliper - no requirement to change to a larger master cylinder. This could be a very handy and worthwhile upgrade, giving 4% and 11% disc increase respectively plus 13% larger pads.

I've now ordered a cheap used E320 caliper which should be with me within the next week. If it mounts o.k. ( in theory it should do) I'll abandon fitting new seals and pistons to my stock calipers (one is slightly sticking) and order the parts needed to fit E/CLK 320 front brakes.

I'll update in due course.
 

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1995 C220
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Let me know how that works for you. I have considered doing an AMG caliper swap in the past, and even sourced a couple used front knee assemblies to do the job then backed out of it. One thing I know though for a fact is that the brakes are terrible on this car.
 

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W202 230K Sport manual & a few non Merc's
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Let me know how that works for you. I have considered doing an AMG caliper swap in the past, and even sourced a couple used front knee assemblies to do the job then backed out of it. One thing I know though for a fact is that the brakes are terrible on this car.

Will do. Should have the 'test' caliper here soon'ish, although the Covid situation has slowed down deliveries here in Europe due to massive increase of online buying.
 

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1996 C220 2007 ML320 CDI
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@georgebuhr I'm wondering why you think the brakes aren't good. They have plenty enough force to lock the tires up, so you wouldn't gain anything from putting in better brakes, other than bragging rights. We even got 2 piston solid calipers in the rear! Heck even M series BMWs don't have solid calipers in the rear anymore...
 

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My experience has been that it is not easy to lock up. Not that you want that, but I come from a racing background, and I dont think that the feel is there, if that makes sense. You have to stand on the pedal to get my car to lock up. Also I dont think that the front to rear balance is great. That may be due to the rear end being light on weight, but I do know in inclement weather, especially snow or ice, if I want to stop quicker, it is necessary for me to throw the car into neutral, otherwise the rear tires will overpower the front brakes and push the car to a longer stopping distance than I desire. I feel like I shouldnt have to do that and a better quality brake would make that unnecessary. I have gone to a wider rim/tire combo, and that may have some effect on how quick it is locking up, but it is definitely not as good as it could be.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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My experience has been that it is not easy to lock up. Not that you want that, but I come from a racing background, and I dont think that the feel is there, if that makes sense. You have to stand on the pedal to get my car to lock up. Also I dont think that the front to rear balance is great. That may be due to the rear end being light on weight, but I do know in inclement weather, especially snow or ice, if I want to stop quicker, it is necessary for me to throw the car into neutral, otherwise the rear tires will overpower the front brakes and push the car to a longer stopping distance than I desire. I feel like I shouldnt have to do that and a better quality brake would make that unnecessary. I have gone to a wider rim/tire combo, and that may have some effect on how quick it is locking up, but it is definitely not as good as it could be.
not to hyjack the OPs topic... but
hummm, George, that doesnt sound like it's doing it's job.
 

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Correct, which is why I said the brakes suck. And before you ask, yes, I have completely rebuilt the brake system, front and rear, and replaced the master cylinder. The car hasnt changed its braking performance in 20 years. It sucked when I bought it and it sucks now lol.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Correct, which is why I said the brakes suck. And before you ask, yes, I have completely rebuilt the brake system, front and rear, and replaced the master cylinder. The car hasnt changed its braking performance in 20 years. It sucked when I bought it and it sucks now lol.
lol- I wasnt setting you up on my Q.
I was going to ask though....(and you answered), if the MC was swapped. :)
I would presume then, upgrading the calipers only (with more real estate bite) will improve what you have.
 

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You'd have to put in a bigger MC anyway if you are going to put bigger calipers. I also went with a wider tire/rim combo, running 225/45R17s now. In my opinion the braking feel is fine, I don't feel like I have to stand on the pedal to get the wheels to lock up (or rather the ABS going), but it's obviously more than a light pressure. I might not have a good reference though, I don't have any racing experience worth mentioning (although I would love to try someday! I would love to compete at the 24H nurburgring, I'm still young, so there is time :D ), but compared to simulator racing any feel is already better :D

I will go on record and say I also wanted to put some bigger brakes / calipers on, but mainly for the bragging rights... Before I do that I need to replace the brake lines, the rear hard line looks rusted to shit, I'm worried it's going to explode one day. I'm going to replace them all with stainless, including the flex lines. I'll see if that gives me better feel. I already have the flaring tool (bubble and double flare) , I needed to replace the hard lines on my Jeep, because they snapped when I tried removing the hard line, and the pre-bent stainless lines I bought had the wrong fitting... so I needed to buy the tool anyway.
 

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Racing at the Nurburgring is a bucketlist item I will never achieve, but one can always dream, right? Hey, if you really want to try a hand at racing, come down to the states. There are plenty of tracks that have arrive and drive rentals you can do. Nearest track to me is in Hallet, Ok, and you can rent spec racer fords for the weekend much cheaper than you can own one.

If you do the stainless steel line, make sure you do your research on it. Double flaring stainless steel can be a little tricky, and it splits easy. Its do-able, just have to be careful.
 

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W202 230K Sport manual & a few non Merc's
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Correct, which is why I said the brakes suck. And before you ask, yes, I have completely rebuilt the brake system, front and rear, and replaced the master cylinder. The car hasnt changed its braking performance in 20 years. It sucked when I bought it and it sucks now lol.
Yep, I'd agree with you. Well, my car's brakes suck on initial feel and the travel is too long. May be that's just down to personal preference, still it's a good enough reason for me try and improve the situation. No complaints about the overall braking force they generate, I'm happy there. I'm still waiting on the 'test' caliper.

I see there's comments posted in this thread that have nothing to do with brake setup I'm going to fit. Below is clarification for anybody considering fitting 300 mm discs to their W202.

* It's not a bigger brake kit in the normal sense, that would be near impossible while retaining the 16'' wheels - 16'' wheels after all is a prerequisite as per the thread title (as is stock Merc parts).

* The aggregate overall size increase is c.10%, so no bragging rights. It's doubtful if it will be noticeable behind the wheels.

* Master cylinder change is not required. The C230K/CLK 320/E320 use the same M/C. The clue there is they all use a 57mm piston. Also, it's unlikely such a modest increase in the disc & pads will cause any brake imbalance to effect the car's stability under braking.

* And finally, as for no gains. The expected gains are a more progressive pedal feel, less pedal travel/effort and there's no reason to suspect that it won't do either. Obviously, the larger discs & pads should offer more fade resistance too. So, there's several potential gains (hopefully).
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
In anticipation of fitting larger calipers and since they will come from a breakers yard I'll need to clean and paint them prior to fitting. I had a fairly rusty spare stock caliper so, I decided that would be ideal to experiment on as I was going to use the old citric acid method to remove the rust.
After a 48hrs soaking in a water & citric acid solution and then a quick going over with a wire wheel it turned out great. The citric acid really does all the hard work. I will apply a coat of rust killer and then a couple of coats of VHT paint on the larger calipers to finish them off when the time comes.

Here's the results.

Before.
2662317


After.
2662318
 

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Racing at the Nurburgring is a bucketlist item I will never achieve, but one can always dream, right? Hey, if you really want to try a hand at racing, come down to the states. There are plenty of tracks that have arrive and drive rentals you can do. Nearest track to me is in Hallet, Ok, and you can rent spec racer fords for the weekend much cheaper than you can own one.

If you do the stainless steel line, make sure you do your research on it. Double flaring stainless steel can be a little tricky, and it splits easy. Its do-able, just have to be careful.
I did actually go to see the nurburgring once, unfortunately I did not race there (I was 17 years old at the time, not old enough to rent a car then :D ) I did however enjoy the tourist laps, old stripped out BMW 3 series seem to be the goto cars. I did see some nice exotics too! Hiked up along the track from Pflanzgarten to Hohe Acht in the forest. It's a stunningly beautiful location, I need to go back there one day. And lunch at the Berhotel Hohe Acht was the best food I ever ate, that little place was amazing and the host was wonderful.

Anyway, I did already pick up a few tips working with SS on my Jeep, specifically with regards to cracking. SS work hardens (much like copper), so you don't want to cut it using tube cutters, rather you should cut it with a hacksaw. That prevents the hardening which leads to cracking when you are flaring. I got perfect bubble flares on my first attempt! I was still surprised how much more torque you need to get SS lines to seal (mind you, you're still using rather small flare wrenches, so the final torque figure probably isn't that high anyway), but one I got everything buttoned up, nothing leaked, I even did like 20 super hard stops to make sure.

I don't drive the Mercedes in winter, but if I'm going to replace the brake lines, might as well let it be with something that will last forever.
 

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1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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There's a thread over on the W211 forum on big brake conversion. tjts 1 stated 330mm rotor will fit with 16" rims.

I'm going to install 2004 W203 330mm rotors and 4 pots caliper on my 1999 E320. Got everything except the new brake lines which is on order. I have 17" Monoblocks, so clearance is not a problem.

 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
There's a thread over on the W211 forum on big brake conversion. tjts 1 stated 330mm rotor will fit with 16" rims.

I'm going to install 2004 W203 330mm rotors and 4 pots caliper on my 1999 E320. Got everything except the new brake lines which is on order. I have 17" Monoblocks, so clearance is not a problem.

Now, 330 mm that's a proper brake upgrade !

I don't think the calipers would be a straight bolt on job to the front axle - unsure but it could be a handy & relatively cheap big brake kit for a W202 if it fits.
 

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Now, 330 mm that's a proper brake upgrade !

I don't think the calipers would be a straight bolt on job to the front axle - unsure but it could be a handy & relatively cheap big brake kit for a W202 if it fits.
If you're planning on using W210 E320 calipers, then the brakes from a W203 (sport package 949) should bolt straight on. I have a thread here:

Just curious, what is the size and et of your rim?

On my W203 it is 7.5" x 17 with et 37, it just barely clear the caliper. I will try putting a stock W210 7.5" x 16" et 41 wheel on my W203 later on today to see if they will clear.

Got a pair of these from a wreaker for $20 with a $20 off coupon I had! I could of gotten them for free........Tabijan generously offer me a set! I got them from Pick & Pull instead because I had the coupon and one of the caliper off already and in my hand.
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Discussion Starter #18
Those calipers really look the business and a bargain too. I've got 7x16 ET 37 rims on the front.
 

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So are you saying the caliper in that picture is a direct bolt on?
Yes........ W203 calipers is a direct bolt on to a W210 :). You might have to bend back the dust shield slightly with your fingers to clear the wider rotors though.

I tried mounting my W210 E320 temporary spare alloy wheel (7.5" x 16" et 37) onto my W203 (with the 949 brakes) and it will NOT clear the barrel. 17" is needed. I'm currently running 7.5" x 17" et 37 on two of my W210s.
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