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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a '95 S320 a month or so ago. Great car, but I need to put new tires on. I was all set to get some Continental ExtremeContacts, because I like them and they're great on my wife's '04 E320 wagon. However, they don't seem to exist for a 16" rim with a 60 profile, they're all 55's. All I can seem to find for the stock wheel size are grand touring tires on Tire Rack and elsewhere. Am I stuck with minivan tires unless I find AMG rims?
 

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1999 S500; W140.051
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Michelin Premier A/S is the successor to the MXV line that almost been entirely discontinued by Michelin. In the size for the 'stock' 16in W140 rim it is an 'H' rated tire, but the last MXV in that size was also.
If you look up reviews for the Premier A/S vs the MXV, it's actually got better reviews for consistent traction even as the tire is more worn (old) that are better than the MXV.

This is the tire that MB dealer would put on if you went to them to have it done.

For W140 it is very advisable to have "road force balancing" done. It cost about another $20.

I recently had this all done on my '99 S500 with 4-wheel alignment and the car is driving superbly. All the lower control arm bushings have also been replaced along with all kinds of other little 'things'. The W140 is a car that is very idiosyncratic (sensitive) for suspension components being "right" and is very sensitive to tires.

The aforementioned Mich Premier A/S tires are great so far and I was going from the MXV's.
 

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'99 S420 116K
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Anything but Michelin Premier is gonna probably be "just OK". I have them on my 99 S420, and I have ZERO complaints under any conditions. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's good to know. I usually shy away from anything with "touring" in it, because of soft sidewalls, but they seem to get pretty good reviews.
 

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'99 S420 116K
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Another thing or two I should mention, I run 35-37 PSI in these tires, have them perfectly balanced, and my 4 wheel alignment is spot on. If they get below 34 PSI, the ride is softly luxurious, but I prefer a rock hard feel in my handling, and I don't want to prematurely wear the outside edges on the front tires. They are the quietest tires I've ever experienced, as well. My driving style is modest around town, left lane quick to 100 mph, cruise at 60-75 for comfort, 5K miles/yr.o_O
 

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1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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Michelin Premier is the way to go. Runner up is Goodyear Comfortred.

LogicalPosition -- Be careful with that PSI, the car wasn't designed for it and you could be overstressing your tires, as well as degrading your handling. When I had my wheels refinished, the shop re-inflated my tires (Michelin Primacy at the time) to 38 PSI and I had a blowout within 24 hours.

And the higher PSI also reduces the tire contact patch and makes the tire bounce too easily. Regardless of how much you enjoy the feel of stiffer tires, the Mercedes engineers recommended a certain tire pressure for good reason.
 

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'99 S420 116K
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Michelin Premier is the way to go. Runner up is Goodyear Comfortred.

LogicalPosition -- Be careful with that PSI, the car wasn't designed for it and you could be overstressing your tires, as well as degrading your handling. When I had my wheels refinished, the shop re-inflated my tires (Michelin Primacy at the time) to 38 PSI and I had a blowout within 24 hours.

And the higher PSI also reduces the tire contact patch and makes the tire bounce too easily. Regardless of how much you enjoy the feel of stiffer tires, the Mercedes engineers recommended a certain tire pressure for good reason.

When I run the recommended 32 PSI I get a squishy feel in the front end from excessive sidewall flex, less "response". The bound/rebound is managed thru the suspension and I have relatively new Bilstein "normal" shocks on the front.

I dislike the rounded edges you get on front tires when they are under inflated, and frankly EVERY car manufacturer seems to recommend the 32 psi. I really do monitor tire wear and pay close attention to my tire pressures unlike 50-90% of drivers.

I would run 40-42 psi when I was driving autocross in a Datsun Z on Goodyear Wingfoot's, and that REALLY keeps the tread open and gripping concrete. When campaigning a Formula Ford, we ran 20-22 psi on 13" low profile slicks and used a tire pyrometer to try and keep 100% of the tire on the asphalt. I had a bud that drove demo derby and they ran 90 PSI to eliminate flats from debris.:oops:

Every flat I had was due to screws or some metal object, I never experienced a blowout due to over inflation or faulty tire manufacturing. Under inflation causes heat build up, poor traction and excessive wear, and IMHO 32 psi is under inflation. Thanks for the concern and heads up on your experience, Thom.:cool:

I chatted with a fella in the local MB club here in Sarasota at a recent car show. When he arrived at the show he ran right up to me and explained that he knew a lot about the W140 and knew exactly what it was (few ppl do). He worked at MB during the development of the W140 as an assistant to the engineers that were testing the tires/suspension. He said he illegally filmed the testing with a hidden camera in a briefcase. When they caught him, they wanted to see his footage, admitting that they were having issues with handling, specifically sidewall flex at 150mph thru the sweeper turns, hands off the steering wheel, on the Nurburgring track.(I'm like wow, they did that?) The 3 engineers were totally baffled about this issue and were prepared to redesign the suspension thinking there was something "wrong" until they viewed the film, exclaiming "it's not the suspension, it's the tires!" He said the best tire they tested was the cheapest Uniroyal of the day. What a back story. When I see him again I'll discuss tire pressure with him, maybe learn something. (y)
 

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1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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That story is crazy but it makes sense -- I've looked at old W140 press photos and the car is wearing Uniroyals in many of them. I always wondered about that, because I can't ever remember Mercedes recommending Uniroyal tires or delivering a car with them. Now it adds up.
 

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2004 S500 4Matic, 2018 Ford Expedition Max, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S, 2016 BMW 750i
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Some early w126 were fitted with Uniroyals. My uncle had a 1982 300SD with these tires from the factory.

John


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1992 W140
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The idea that Mercedes' engineers couldn't recommend the right PSI... SMH... The correct inflation, which has a large range due to temperature, weight and speed increases tread contact and handling, irrespective of the superficial feel. The resistance of tyres to heat is also not a realistic concern within recommended inflations.
 

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I bought a '95 S320 a month or so ago. Great car, but I need to put new tires on.
Three weeks ago, I put 4 new Michelin Sports AS 3+ tires (245/45-18) and they 'thumped' and caused a steering wheel wiggle (SWW) that I had with my previous (early) Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Two weeks ago, I replaced them Michelin Primacy MXM4. Details: here

These tires are available in all sizes and are a comfortable to-drive road tire. No "thumps" or SWW.
 

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M120, M119, W126*2 + Silver Avantgarde wagon
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Three weeks ago, I put 4 new Michelin Sports AS 3+ tires (245/45-18) and they 'thumped' and caused a steering wheel wiggle (SWW) that I had with my previous (early) Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Two weeks ago, I replaced them Michelin Primacy MXM4. Details: here

These tires are available in all sizes and are a comfortable to-drive road tire. No "thumps" or SWW.
Just to support this, I have MXM4 on my E320 Wagon and they are very, very quiet. In my experience they are a bit firmer than the old MXV4...

Very good tire.
 

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2004 S500 4Matic, 2018 Ford Expedition Max, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S, 2016 BMW 750i
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I am very happy with Michelin Defender tires on my ‘97 S500 and ‘98 S320. They give a comfortable ride and good handling. The Primacys are also a good tire, but from anecdotal data I’ve heard I’m not sure they’re better.

John


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I am very happy with Michelin Defender tires on my ‘97 S500 and ‘98 S320. They give a comfortable ride and good handling.
Never heard of the "Defender" series so looked them up on the Michelin tire page. Rated for 80K miles so that's obviously great. The Primacy is rated for 50K miles. However, they don't make that tire in a "245/45R18" size . . BION!

When you search for that size tire, the Defender series is not shown. Check it out here

So you must be using a different size and maybe 'stock' tires?? As I've written before, NOTHING beats the stock size tire for a great ride!!
 

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Jim,

My cars have 16 inch rims. If the Defender isn’t available in 18, then I’d certainly go for the Primacy. There’s not that much difference in cost between the two, FWIW.

John


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The Defender is available in 18" sizes but the sizes are selective; no "245/45R18" but there are other sizes.

Looking at price/wear, the Defender has a better price (apx $8 cheaper/tire) and it has a much better tread warranty - 80K vs 60K. Looks like the Defender is the best value?
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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my car had AMG 18" wheels on it when I got it. someone had put 225/50 Firestones on it.
they had a ton of tread left on them, but were all dry cracked on the sidewalls from the car sitting 6 years outside.
I had to scrap them, too risky to run them.
the factory size tire for the AMG wheels is 255/45/zr18 but those are a bit pricey
the local garage had 4 used Hankook 225/55 tires, they gave them to me for free,
someone got new tires and left them there. there's about 10k-12k miles of tread left on them.
they charged me $60 to mount/balance them and dispose of my old tires.
the wheels and car would accept a 235/50-18 and the height dimension would be very similar to the 255/45 it should have on those AMG rims.
but the 255/45 would be much wider. when I need tires, probably will go with 235/50 cuz they are much cheaper, and well good enough for my uses. I'm a little hesitant to put the 255/45 tires on, the tires I've been using prior and now are very close to the outer fenderwell the way they are, I would not want a rubbing issue in the wheelwells.
 

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Good stuff . . .

Here's the comparison between the various sizes vs how the speedometer is effected.
Tire Size - - SW -- Rad --- Dia --- Circum -- Revs/Mile -- Difference
235/60-16 - 5.6in - 13.6in - 27.1in - - 85.1in - - - 744 - - - - 0.0%
225/55-18 - 4.9in - 13.9in - 27.7in - - 87.2in - - - 727 - - - - 2.4%
235/50-18 - 4.6in - 13.6in - 27.3in - - 85.6in - - - 740 - - - - 0.6%
255/45-18 - 4.5in - 13.5in - 27.0in - - 84.9in - - - 746 - - - - -0.2%
245/45-18 - 4.3in - 13.3in - 26.7in - - 83.8in - - - 756 - - - - -1.6%

The 255/45 tire can scrape on the wheel-wall with steering-wheel extreme turns. The best tire size for speedometer is the 255/45R18 . . with the 235/50R18 coming in 2nd! However, the former will most likely rub whereas the latter won't.
My tires 245/45R18 are not optimum but nothing 'rubs" . .

The tire size calculator is here
 

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1994 s600 coupe
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exactly. 235/50-18 is the sweet spot
I hear a slight rub in the left front wheelwell when turning to the lock, from a stop sign, turning left.
that's cuz the inner plastic wheelwell is not quite fastened in there as it should be, the front half of it.
the S600 W140 did come with those 18" AMG wheels though, and those 255/45 tires.
so I wonder if those scraped a bit right from the factory ? I'm thinking probably not unless it hit some really rough roads.
the 225/55, well you can't beat free.
I just measured the 225/55 tires now, they are 27"
that's another thing, you can't always go by nominal specs, different brands are different diameters. in this case, there is some tread worn off already, so they are shorter than new.
I actually eyed them up, by standing the 225/55 tires, next to the 225/50 tires that were on the car. that's the best way to pick a tire. then you KNOW exactly how it compares to the existing tire, even though you don't have a tape measure handy. it was such a slight amount taller I knew it would work.
again, the car had 225/50 tires on it when I got it.
 

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exactly. 235/50-18 is the sweet spot
Actually, the "best" [ie most accurate] for the speedometer is the 255/45R18 . . the 235/50R18 is second!

the 225/55, well you can't beat free. I just measured the 225/55 tires now, they are 27"
that's another thing, you can't always go by nominal specs, different brands are different diameters. in this case, there is some tread worn off already, so they are shorter than new.
I actually eyed them up, by standing the 225/55 tires, next to the 225/50 tires that were on the car. that's the best way to pick a tire. then you KNOW exactly how it compares to the existing tire, even though you don't have a tape measure handy. it was such a slight amount taller I knew it would work. again, the car had 225/50 tires on it when I got it.
The Miata tire size calculator in my post assumes new tires . . if they are worn, in the case of the 225/55, that will minimize the error (2.4%) and will lower it. And as you wrote, hard to beat free!!
 
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