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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,

The following is a question I posed in the Wheels/Tires forum, but I would like to get the 211 forum's insight.

I recently purchased an 04 E500 wagon (4Matic, of course), that has staggered wheels from the P.O. I know that most 211 E500 4Matic owners use stock (245/45-17) on all fours, as recommended by MBZ, Luke and others. However, this vehicle came with staggered 18s: 245/40-18 up front, and 265/35-18 in the rear.

The diameters and rotational values (from TireRack data) are very close to stock (i.e., identical up front, and only 0.4" variance in the rear). The computer has thrown no codes. My question is, if diameters/rotational values are so close, is there still a likelihood of damage to the 4matic system or transmission? Your insights are most appreciated! Thank you.

Regards,
Bob
 

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The more you can keep them the same the better it will be. The trans will not be affected but the transfer case is what would have to take up the slack. The constant change from the different front and rear speeds would wear out the transfer case.
How much is too much. No one really knows but the factory does not stagger the 4Matic cars that I have seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
4Matic staggered wheels question

Thanks, Butcher. I know that the factory does not authorize this staggered setup for the 4matic, but given that the diameter and rotational values are so close, here a 1.5% variance, probably similar to worn tires on one end, does the transfer case really recognize a speed different enough to cause early wear? Didn't the engineers factor in slight variations between tire brand rotations and tire wear?

It is not that I am wed to the staggered setup, but I simply want to know if, and why, damage could occur. Thanks for your insight!

Regards,
Bob
 
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