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1981 300D
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I must say that the information I found in this forum gave me a leg up when looking for my car. Thanks to all. Now there aren't too many problems that will arise that will be a mystery.

I just purchased 1981 300D. It's a Southern California car with 107,000 on the odometer, but has a "new" 20,000 mile old factory engine and transmission (the previous owner's sister ran the original engine out of oil).

A quick question about wheels. As you can see in the picture, the last owner had 15" wheels put on from what looks like a later model SL. I'm not a big fan of the look, preferring the hubcaps usually found on the 240D. I don't mind the "turbine" alloys, but those hubcaps sure look great on any Mercedes. I would like to keep the 15" tires though (well, replace, but keep the same size just the same). Can I find 15" wheels and hubcaps? What about the alloys? Can they be found in a 15" version?

Also, the previous owner had a Maaco paint job done, so the yellow is a bit brighter than what turns up in the photo. The paint job was not a good one, and I'm not a fan of the color anyway. Any tips for someone wanting to change colors? I would like to go with a black (the car has palamino interior). I do realize that changing original color is not the most desiriable thing to do, but the paint job on it now is so bad, i'd rather re-paint with a color I like.

I'll have more questions for you all soon, and hopefully some advice as well. And thanks for the past, present and future help.

Mike
1981 300D
Los Angeles
 

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'81 300TD Turbo
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You would be wise to go to the original wheels, but if you're not a fan of those and want to swap out for other MB wheels, do some research first. The Mercedes-Benz Technical Companion (Bentley Publishing) has an excellent section on wheels and tires and discusses interchange between models.

If you are inclined to go aftermarket, make sure you get the same, or very close to the original offset. You should also try to get as near to the revolutions per mile as the original wheel/tire combination. Different tire manufacturers calculate this differently, so do your homework.

Also keep in mind that MB uses hub centering. Hub centered wheels are more expensive, but this is what you should use. The lug bolts do not center the wheel on an MB and if you use a lug centered wheel you are asking for trouble in the form of premature failure of the lug bolts.
 
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