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New wheels + wrong lugs/studs = no fun

9666 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bigwiki
I picked up some 06 16" e350 takeoffs on craigslist. I dropped off the wheels to be swapped out at my local tires plus. I returned to find the same wheels on my car. They said the lugnuts wouldn't tighten to hold the wheel on. I went out and looked and sure enough the lug was tight but the wheel had a wobble.

What lugs do I need to order? My car has the stock 15" and these replacements are 16"'s with the proper et (can't remember exactly but I made sure before I bought them).

My car is a 91 300e.


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I believe all newer lug bolts are 14mm wide and the older lugs are 12mm wide - thus the wobble - the lugs are loose in the holes. To verify, you need to go to the dealer and buy a lug for the model MB the new wheels came from and compare to your lugs. If I am right, you will need to buy or find lugs with the ball end 14mm and the correct length. If the lugs are too long, they will destroy your parking brake in your rear hubs. If too short, they will be unsafe. You have to research all the details - can't just swap wheels with the correct width/ET.

I don't know for sure, but one test you can do is the following:

1. Take one of your old wheels that you took off (if you still have them - or use the spare wheel - doubt you got rid of that one) and put one of your original lug bolts through the lug hole and use a ruler to measure how far the threaded shank sticks out from the back of the original wheel.

2. Put the same lug bolt in the new wheel and see how far the threaded shank sticks out the back of the new wheel. The amout of shank showing should be about the same (within 1-2 mm - no more or less).

3. If the old lug bolts show an adequate amount of threaded shank, then measure the old lug as a guide to order from Rad. If the threaded shank shows shorter than the original setup, you need a longer lug bolt from Rad. If the original lug shows too long, then you need a shorter lug bolt. Remember - the measurement is from the ball to the end of the bolt - not from the hex head to the end of the bolt.

It's important to have about the same amount of threads showing - too short and you have a serious safety issue, too long and you may damage the rear parking brake or not fully seat the wheel.

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