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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, my first post, not sure of the etiquette on the forum, but my virtual credit card is behind the virtual bar and the first virtual pint is on me - I shall be drinking exmoor beast ... Virtually of course.

Right my question:

I have a 2001 SLK230, I have had it from new its only done 56K miles. One of the reasons its mileage is so low, is that the wheels are so corroded now that I have to pump the tyres up every time I want to use it. So its easier just to take the other car or jump on the motorbike.

I am considering changing the wheels 205/16 front 225/16 rear as the cost is roughly twice the cost of a refurb. I am looking at:

either 17 Inch
7.5" ET36 front with a 225 tyre and
8.5" ET30 rear with a 245 tyre

Or 18 Inch

7.5" ET36 front with a 225 tyre and
8.5" ET30 rear with a 255 tyre

What is the consensus of what works best for these cars - its only 200hp, so I am more interested in negative effect on handling etc or any problems people experience putting such a wide tyre on the car.

thanks for any suggestions
 

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Founding Member #2
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My vote would be for 17". IIRC, there's a thread/post by SantaMonicaSLK32 about wheel & tire sizes with diminishing returns as they go beyond 18".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks I found the article.. interesting read. there is only about 10% difference in cost between the two, hence I was considering the lighter 18" rims. Althought I suspect the 17" tyres will be cheaper going forward

When the R170 came out 16" was sporty, now every family ford seems to come stock with 17" wheels
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the welcome - don't forget to order your pint - bars closing ;)

still temped to go for the 18" rims :D
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK350
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18,131 Posts
I like the looks of the 18's and 19's. But the 17's we have on now go over that pothole without doing as much if any damage. This opinion is based only on what I have heard. I have never had larger wheels with low profile tires before.
 

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Premium 2006 SLK55 AMG (Kleemann K2)
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17" is ideal and with lowering it will look very nice, sporty but doesnt affect handling as much as 18" basically it could be a different story with forged 18" wheels which are relatively lighter than regular 17" inch wheels.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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diy,

Welcome from Valrico, Florida!
And welcome to this great forum!

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Go 18"s!!! I got 19"s and they are a bit too much for every day driving especially with how low I have my car. Unless you are constantly going to be pushing the edge on the corners at high speeds I think 18x8f/18x9r and some lowering springs/better shocks is the way to go. You shouldn't have any rubbing issues whatsoever and staggered is the only way to do it! Me personally I think 17" just looks too small. If you're going to dish out the money anyway spend an extra couple hundred and do the bigger size it just looks like it is meant for the car. Just my opinion though. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just placed my order...

Front 7.5x18 ET36 5 Twin Spoke A20340155 with Avon ZZ3 225/40R18 92Y
Rear 8.5x18 ET30 5 Twin Spoke A20340156 with Avon ZZ3 255/35R18 94Y

I don't plan to change anything else so we will see how I go. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
New wheels arrived today, went with Goodyear eagle asymmetrics in the end as the avons were out of stock. I got 20% discount on the good years as concession.

Interestingly I weighed the new wheels verses old as I was fitting them 4kg heavier on the rear going from 16" 225 standard wheels to 18" 255. On the front it was 2kg going 205 to 225, 16 - 18". So I can understand why people see a drop in straight line performance. Anyway if I want to go quick I'll take the motorbike ;)

I think these are the 2LOOK wheels marketed on the R171?
See pics below:
old wheels
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4139/4818487797_9aedaece1a.jpg
New
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4818497289_a32c565e2c_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/4818498655_461de7016f_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4074/4819115848_26cb7e9318_b.jpg

I can see why people think the rear looks higher the distance from the edge of the wheel to the arch is greater, because the wheel sticks out another 1cm frm the old. Hence the optical illusion.

I haven't test driven yet.
 

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aka John
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Welcome from London, and can't believe you didn't take her out for a spin! Remember to go easy, the release compound used on tires can make 'em slick till it wears off...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I just couldn't resist, so went for a quick blast. Grip is amazing. turn in is much better, handling is much better, a little noisier, and slightly harder ride, but overall very much an improvement.

I tried hard to get the back out on a roundabout - it just wouldn't let go. Imagine how good these tyres will be after a few 100 miles
 

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New wheels arrived today, went with Goodyear eagle asymmetrics in the end as the avons were out of stock. I got 20% discount on the good years as concession.

Interestingly I weighed the new wheels verses old as I was fitting them 4kg heavier on the rear going from 16" 225 standard wheels to 18" 255. On the front it was 2kg going 205 to 225, 16 - 18". So I can understand why people see a drop in straight line performance. Anyway if I want to go quick I'll take the motorbike ;)

I think these are the 2LOOK wheels marketed on the R171?
See pics below:
old wheels
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4139/4818487797_9aedaece1a.jpg
New
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4118/4818497289_a32c565e2c_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/4818498655_461de7016f_b.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4074/4819115848_26cb7e9318_b.jpg

I can see why people think the rear looks higher the distance from the edge of the wheel to the arch is greater, because the wheel sticks out another 1cm frm the old. Hence the optical illusion.

I haven't test driven yet.

Looks really good. 18 inch is a nice visual look on R170's. Glad to hear your handling/traction is better already. Hopefully you wont notice any weight penalty on your acceleration or fuel mileage.

I stayed with 17's and chose a lighter wheel type only to decrease the rotating mass/unsprung weight.
 

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I like the looks of your new 18's. Very nice. I've had 19 inch on another vehicle with 35 profile. They were a pain, the slightest pothole would mess them up. I'm fat and happy with 17's or 18's.

Rabbit
 

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HI!
I am driving an SLK 230 (2002) and I wear the SLR 18'' rims (which are awesome)!
about the air pressure I put 30 front and 33 back.I am goning for new tyres tomorrow and probably I will fit the F1 eagle asim as well!I will ask them and I will let know if they tell me anything else!
cheers!
 
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