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Should I keep my untouched 1991 300SE original or should I tinker with wheels and suspension?

  • Yes, Do it

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • No, Keep it original

    Votes: 4 66.7%

  • Total voters
    6
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm looking to install a new set of wheels (still shopping) but I want it to look right. Thinking about 17" or maybe 18" but have a feeling that 18" will take it too far. I would like to see some images/recommendations if you have done anything like this to yours. Personally, I am keen on the BBS Cross Spoke look.

Also want to give the car a stance - any recommendations on the set up and wheel combo?

Any advice is welcome.
 

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1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,653 Posts
Period wheels, 16" or 17"... Some cut stock coils.. others, like myself, have installed H&R springs.

The choices seem nearly endless.

Keep us posted and pictures of course!

:) MBL

Pic: H&Rs and period 17" AMG wheels.

500SEC.jpg
 

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1989 300SE 232k miles
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1,449 Posts
After looking at all the options, ultimately I decided the reason I have my 300SE is for hurricanes. So I stayed with the oem 15’s and suspension. Clearance and narrower tires won out.

That said, I’d be down for some 16’s and an inch lowered.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,394 Posts
16 or 17, HR springs,

find a wheel that is relatively period correct
 

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1990 300SEL, 2005 SL500
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197 Posts
Thinking about 17" or maybe 18" but have a feeling that 18" will take it too far.
Your feeling is absolutely correct about the 18”. Since we are talking about the 300SE the main objective should be the right quality. Personally I’ll stick with the 16” on my 300SEL. I remember experimenting on the W124 before and going two inches up made the ride harsh. Was this the 560SEC body or any other SEC for that matter than yes go up and add a little of that sporty look and feel.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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359 Posts
ride and looks are in the eye of the beholder's. the 35 year veteran tow truck driver who took my car yesterday (that's another story for later) just looked at it and said "what a great, classic look." I'm with isthenew and might go to 16" some day but for the moment am happy with 15" and the 15-hole rims. I am eventually going to lower the measurement for center wheel to center arch to 15". Take your time, look at pictures and see what grows on you.
 

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Anyone who says 18s don’t look or drive wonderfully has simply never driven a car with a
2640053
PROPER 18 inch setup , There are a lot of ways to have a poor tire and wheel choice when running 18s that will give you a bad impression but the right setup is a wonderful upgrade

here was mine with oem amg 18 inch rims from a e55, the ride was smooth and supple and the look Was perfect .

slow and rustys car likewise looks perfect with custom 18s
 

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85 500SEC (Euro), 87 560SEC (now sold)
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1,311 Posts
I never said they do not look good and Slownrusty's SEC is a legend. It's stunning.

But for me, the SEC's I test drove with 18's were very harsh. That is simply my own feeling. Even 17's are harsh for me. I prefer 16's and admit 15's feel MUCH nicer.
 

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1991 560SEC
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I never said they do not look good and Slownrusty's SEC is a legend. It's stunning.

But for me, the SEC's I test drove with 18's were very harsh. That is simply my own feeling. Even 17's are harsh for me. I prefer 16's and admit 15's feel MUCH nicer.
The suspension on these cars was not designed for 18" wheels and your assessment and feeling are correct. However, our suspension experts have a different opinion and that is fine too.

Regarding modifications made by some, it depends from what angle you look at them. Modifying a car is easy, but can all modifications be considered improvements and are they actually done correctly? Just like above, it depends who you ask ...
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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In addition to the above comments & contributions, here's a pic of my 560 w 16x7 inch rims and stock height.

That car & the red one w H&Rs & 17-inch rims head-on.

View attachment 2639876 View attachment 2639878
Excellent stance on the Burgundy Coupe but (and this is my opinion and how I ride :cool:) Cities lit but no fogs :oops: ??

I'm gonna post the only pic I have at the moment. On a new system here and all my pics are locked in the old one 😭 !6" Penta wannabees shod with 225/60/16s rear and 225/50/16s up front and H&R springs with B8s up front factory SLS out back recently refurbished
Das Coupe.jpg
 

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The suspension on these cars was not designed for 18" wheels and your assessment and feeling are correct. However, our suspension experts have a different opinion and that is fine too.

Regarding modifications made by some, it depends from what angle you look at them. Modifying a car is easy, but can all modifications be considered improvements and are they actually done correctly? Just like above, it depends who you ask ...
The 14 and 15 inch wheel and tire sizing and technology of the 1980s is not the best today , it is what was available at the time . Since the radical improvements in tire technology have come about .

when it comes to tires and wheels from 40 years ago , it is simply not correct to hold on to the “what the factory did was best “ mentality .

these cars were under-tired when new , which is why amg immediately put 16s (and later 17s ) on the w126. Had 18s been available in the late 1980s and early 1990s , we would see w126 amg cars with 18s.

A properly sorted amg car with larger wheels and tires does not ride harshly . They did not even require suspension modification except for lowered springs . Now there are all kinds of idiots putting on the wrong offset wheels with skinny sidewall 18s That will ride like garbage . But a -proper- 18 inch setup on a w126 is not harsh by any means .
 
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