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Mercedes 300E 1991
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126 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there everyone! I just changed my standard w140 16inch alloys to genuine mercedes alloys with a tyre size 255/45/17. The wheels are brand new with brand new continental tyres. Now the car does not drive straight anymore. It is not a matter of wheel alignment as I had this fully adjusted after they were fitted. The steering wheel doesnt just go in one direction it goes a bit to the left then a bit to the right then a bit to the left and so on. It feels as if there is a bit of play in the steering and this exists at lower speeds like 30mph at higher speeds it is also there. It is very weird as I put the original wheels back on and there are no problems. This is the second time I try to put new alloys on the car and a similar thing happened before. Sometimes when Im braking the steering does the same thing as well. It feels like the wheel pulls to one side and I have to apply more force to keep it straight. I was told that it is possible that the front brake discs are warped as I previously hit a kerb hard to avoid a collision.
I noticed that after I hit the kerb and still now, there is a whistling noise from the front wheels that comes and goes every second or so. It is not that loud but is like I am gently tapping the brakes as I drive.
This is very long and I really dont expect many to offer solutions but I am very grateful for your time. A point to note is that the new alloys are heavier than the original 8 hole w140 ones. My car is 1995 model with only 58,000 miles done so I doubt the steering box is gone. Thank you very much. Sam
 

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94 s420 98 s420
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537 Posts
Iam just replying with my input and what I know about tires it may or may not help you. I know that your new tires are more responsive to the road and will cause some of your symptoms. They will go with the direction of the road alot easier then your 16" wheels. Check your tire pressure, and maybe rebalance the wheels once more to see if this problem gets resolved. Its definetly an issue with your new tires since you dont get this with the old ones. I would also try putting the rear tires in the front and see if maybe one of the front wheels are throwing things off, I hope this helps.
 

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SEC 600 V12 2dr COUPE (RHD) One of the chosen few.
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2,233 Posts
Did you look at the steering damper? jack front of car up so both wheels are off ground.. and try to move from Lock 2 lock..Then with steering lock engaged and wheel to 3/4 left try to see if you have play. then do reverse.. If not that check your runout on the rims .the other thing is exactly what Conti tyres have you got fitted what loal ratting...at what pressure.. and what is the offset, that will be E number on inside of the rim.. not yet convinced that your discs could be warped.. however i think it help to start here..
 

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w140 s300turbodiesel
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238 Posts
Dear sam what you are experiencing is called tramlining and is especially to be appreciated whilst braking. Your tyre size is simply wrong. Your fronts are too wide. 245 would've been a better size on 17"s. And your profile is all wrong as well. On 17" you should've gone for a 255/50/17 if you must have 255. But if you REALLY wanted 255/45 then this would call for 18". 245/45/18" is what I have on mine and it doesn't tramline that bad at all. If you wanted to improve things even more then 235/55/17 front and 255/50/17 rear is the way to go. This would give you slightly narrower tyres up front where it matters for steering response and precision and wider tyres at the back for better grip and transfer of power to the tarmac.
 

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Mercedes 300E 1991
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126 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Guys thank you kindly for all your responses and the time you took to offer them! Some interesting points to note. I would probably think the tramlining idea by Posix is the heading in the right direction as to why this is happening. I say this because I had a 260E W124 not too long ago and as soon as I put the latest model CLK320 alloys with the same CLK tyres on, I had the very same problem. I ended up changing the front discs and pads and the same problem was never removed. Thosa CLK tyres were actually wider too and so in what I have experienced, Posix appears to have a strong point.
The tyres on my rims now are the original ones off the SL500 and I didn't change them. I do agree the profile is wrong as, from a cosmetic stand-point, the gap between the arch and tyre is approxiamtely 80mm. I think with the original 16" 235/60/16 the gap was probably 65mm or 60mm? Its something I will have to live with for now as the car looks fantasic with these alloys. Its brilliant silver with a darker shade on the lower part of the car. The alloys go perfectly with the car. Will this same tramlining be evident (to any effect at all) if I put the AMG alloys with 255/45/18 all round?
I wander if lowering the car by between 15mm and 20mm would remove the physical problems of the profile? Ive been looking to add AMG shocks and springs that will have this effect.
Surely there is a way to upgrade alloys on this car without having problems like this? Im really interested to know what you have found! Cheers all, SAMM
 
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