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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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Discussion Starter #1
While looking into some squeaking issues with my lower control arm, I decided to pull off the front wheel to see what I could see, which is a broken boot on my ball joint. The bigger issue I ran into is the junk lug bolts they used on these cars with the "decorative" cap on them. Who thought that was a good idea?
I got them off fine using an 11/16" deep socket, but ran into trouble while trying to torque them down when I was done. I think at least one of them started to spin on me and I want new, regular hex head lug bolts like they used to use. I'm sure someone has come up with a suitable replacement by now. I'd prefer silver colored, but they don't need to be chromed and I certainly don't want those silly flower head caps on them! I have the 19" 18 spoke staggered wheels, BTW.
 

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2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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Well I happen to love my silly lug bolts with the shiny caps on them, lol! :)

I have no experience with these aftermarket bolts and would measure what you have before buying them, but there appears to be a set of 10 on Amazon for $20. Not what I'd do, but trying to help you get where you want to go.


They do have a fitment chart to highlight the important details.

2607222
 

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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I don't want to insult anybody's lug bolts, but in my limited experience with them they have been less than ideal!
I would consider just replacing the offending ones but after a short conversation with my tire dealer, it appears they are unfamiliar with them too. So I suppose I would have to buy the special socket and hand it to them every time they do tire work?
 

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2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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Ha, no insult taken at all. ;) These $100k cars we're driving around have a few idiosyncrasies that are honestly a big part of the draw for me. If I weren't interested in mechanicing my own cars I'd likely drive a Toyota (Zzzz).

When searching for my S550 I learned about the flower head bolts and quickly went about finding the socket that fits them. They are actually much more common now than when they were first introduced on the Maybach in the early 2000s. I buy quality tools typically, so I ordered two Hazet sockets for these bolts and simply put one in the trunk with the spare and a ratchet wrench ... because who wants to use the typical wrench when you have a flat? Not me. The other is in my toolbox and is used most of the time.

I was then surprised when I took the car to Discount Tire a few months after buying it for new tires. I asked them if they were aware of the flower head bolts and the service writer went out to the shop and brought back the correct socket (looked like it had been used, twice.)

If you search Amazon for "flower head lug bolt socket" you get quite a few hits, all around $16.
 

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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I do most all of the work myself. Otherwise I could never afford to drive a $100K+ car!
I have looked into that socket, and I might even end up buying it. The lug bolts do look kinda cool, although I never really noticed them before. I didn't do them any favors in my ignorance, though. I just checked my tool kit (never used) and the lug wrench fits about half of the lug bolts on the car. The others have been distorted, either by me or the Mercedes dealership that did the tires in the past. I suppose one could hammer a 17mm socket onto them?
It's funny, I just talked to my Discount Tire store and the guy I have dealt with was completely unfamiliar with these bolts. Must not be a lot of newer Mercedes in my neighborhood!
 

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2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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I've heard that a 17mm will fit once onto these bolts, yes. I live just South of the university and the guys at Discount Tire are always very complimentary of my car, especially because they know I'm the warranty. No idea why they would have the right socket, but was glad when they did.
 

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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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Discussion Starter #7
I took it to a another local tire shop and they confirmed that about 6 of my lug bolts are toast. The also condemned my front tires (which I already knew). Now the decision is do I stay with Michelins or go to something like Continental or Dunlop, and I do I keep the other 14 lug bolts or change everything..... Meanwhile, it looks like I'll be doing at least two lower control arms. Or they will if I decide I'm too old and lazy.
 

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2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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When I bought my car I just went and bought a set of 20 new bolts and the right socket. As for tires ... cannot say enough how much I like the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ for this car. 40k miles on my first set and the second set is wearing well at 15k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lucky you! You must not have the staggered wheels like I do. I have all receipts for mine, and the original owner was getting about 25K from them. The rears have about 10K on them and are at 6/32", while the fronts are at 25K and are almost to the wear bars. That being said, I have yet to hear from anyone who dislikes them.
 

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2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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I have the staggered 19" set (255/40 & 275/40), so it is odd to me when I hear of folks having poor wear from them. Also, being in the desert I would think my tires would suffer more, but perhaps all the rubberized freeways around here are actually helping?!
 

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You will encounter problems with these bolts if you use an impact gun on them. If you hand tighten and torque them with the correct special socket you will have no problem.

I was in Canada a month ago with a slow leak and stopped by a tire repair place and it took them almost an hour to get the bolts off of the one wheel. Every one they took off with an impact gun they had trouble getting out of the special socket and luckily they didn't mangle them because they are actually a 17mm bolt with a cap on it.

About a week ago I needed to remove the same wheel to replace the brake pads and it took me less than 10 mins to take off the bolts from the same wheel and some of them were on so tight that I had to stand on the breaker bar to get them free. None of them really stuck to the socket but I usually loosen them then wiggle the socket while they are still in which makes it easy to free them. Don't use an impact gun on them and you will have no problem with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did buy the special socket and ordered 10 new lug bolts. I think about 6 or 7 are bad, so I hope to have a couple usable spares.
I also ordered a full set of tires and new TPMS sensors. Might as well start off knowing where I am in that department. Then it's on to new lower control arms and an ABC fluid flush. She is a high maintenance mistress!
 
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