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1998 E320 (W210) Silver 3.2 L V6
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I just got my tires replaced/upgraded today on my 1998 W210 sedan. From Kumho Ecstas to Bridgestone RE960s.

While doing the job, my tech noted that one of my rims was slightly bent. It passed balance and alignment, but he said it was enough of a bend that it showed on his equipment, but not enough to fail the alignment. Chances are it's been that way since I purchased the vehicle in mid-2011. He says I shouldn't obsess over it.

But, I guess I am!

Anyways, I've been scouting around options for rims. I've seen plenty of options, from OEM rims which appeal to me aesthetically (more on that in a second), to the prototypical "rice" rims which I really don't want. My goal with this vehicle is to make it a sleeper.

Anyways, the OEM rims do appeal to me for the following reasons:

- They don't look unusual on the car.

- According to a friend, OEM is the way to go since that is "what the car is built with", i.e. he feels aftermarket rims mess up the suspension system.

However, the OEM rims are silver. I'm not opposed to silver but my current OEM rims have 15 years of brake dust on them. I'm going for a sleeper but I do want it to be clean. I don't want to get silver rims and have to fight a running battle with brake dust.

So, I was thinking, why not aftermarket black rims? I went to Tirerack and they have that handy "what does it look like on my car" viewer. Certain black rims don't look bad at all.

The appeal is:

- The ones I like look good, but not obnoxious.

- Easier to keep clean. Sure the brake dust will be there but it will be way less visible.

The negatives I've seen/felt with the aftermarket black rims:

- They're all made in China. I'm not comfortable putting a non Euro-part on my vehicle. I don't know wheel/rim brands at all so maybe I'm overreacting.

- The aforementioned issue of them not being specifically built for my car.

Other options I've heard but not investigated are getting the OEM rims, and then having a local shop paint them black for me, or have a local shop paint and buff them silver every so often. Also I'd be willing to consider rim restoration (my spare probably isn't bent, I could just swap it in) if it's doable on my old ones.

I'm a novice to wheels/rims, so any advice is welcome. I'll post photos of the current ones if it helps you guys.

In a nutshell I'm looking for understated rims that I can easily maintain. My tire size is 215/55R16.

Thanks all!
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
If you were to change the brake pads, you could have any color wheel you want. So if the blackout look is because of the brake dust, you don't have to go there.

Wheels are an intensely personal decision, and just because some like a certain look doesn't mean it's your taste. So shop based on what suits you.

There are lots of good aftermarket wheels out there, and lots of junk, too. If you are leaning that way at all, then work with a trusted vendor to be sure you are happy with the result. That's the best way to make sure you are satisfied. No, it won't be as cheap as e-bay, but you'll get a quality product and will have a relationship with a good shop.

And if you like the look, you can always go to 17s. You will improve handling a little and the ride won't suffer, plus they look better...in my opinion. ;)

Good luck and happy shopping!
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,731 Posts
I don't like the OEM 10 spokes for practical reasons and bought 5-spokes from E420 for our sedan. Now the new purchase come with 10-spokes. :banghead:
Good news the OEM wheels sell pretty cheap and I have seen whole sets with good tires for $200.
Sure you can spend big money on aftermarket, but pimping MB is not catching.
I drove our sedan on 17" AMG wheels for couple of seasons and ride quality did suffer.
But CA freeways are worse than those in Africa
 

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98 320
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440 Posts
I would stick with OEMs. They are cheap to find on craigslist and there is a whole lot less guess work in terms of what will fit.

If you want black rims spray them with a coat of plastidip and see if you like it. If not peel it off and you will have only wasted a few dollars.
 

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96 s320 and 97 e320
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35 Posts
Definitely go with different brake pads! No matter what wheel you put on, you're gonna get brake dust. I put ceramic pads on several vehicles and no more dust, at all. There are several manufacturers out there with good pads that are not ceramic that don't dust like the oem pads....
 

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Registered
1998 E320 (W210) Silver 3.2 L V6
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wow I just saw all these, thanks! I think the notifier was buggy this past week.

But anyways, I'm leaning towards OEM myself, due to price and guarantee of fitment. And yes, next brake pads will be ceramic. I'm also guessing the rims I have now are original from the date of manufacture so I can't complain about the dirt too much since they are 15 years old.
 
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