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Registered 2010 SLK350
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to replace my 17" stock wheels with lighter wheels but in the stock size as I have new tires. I'm having a devil of a time finding wheels in the stock sizes which I understand to be 17X7.5 front and 17X8.5 rear. When I find a wheel that comes in 7.5 it doesn't come in 8.5 and vice versa.

Similarly if I look at 7" widths there are no 8" or if 8" no 9"

Has anyone encountered this problem and come up with a solution? Any ideas?
 

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Premium Member 2012 SLK55 AMG
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2,815 Posts
You will find more choice of staggered width fitments if you go up to 18" diameter or above. I'd look for 18" rims if I was in your position.
 

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What type of rims do you have on your car? The AMG 17s or non-AMG 17s?

Mercedes rims are fairly light compared to other manufacturers so you would be hard pressed to find a set aftermarket rims that is both lighter and visually appealing. If you bump up to 18s then they will likely be heavier than your current 17s unless you get a well engineered set which will be costly.

Get new rims because you like the way they look. Reducing unsprung weight is a noble goal but in everything aside from track driving you would not notice a difference.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK280
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Get new rims because you like the way they look. Reducing unsprung weight is a noble goal but in everything aside from track driving you would not notice a difference.
Not necessarily. Horsepower covers a lot of sins, and if you don't have a spare corral of ponies then it can be noticeable. The nearly color-matched charcoal 17s I have for my Jetta TDI look fabulous on the car, but they are noticeably heavier than the factory 15s. Acceleration is somewhat compromised because of the power needed to get the heavier rims moving. Braking is about even since the larger contact patch pretty much balances the heavier rolling mass. With cornering, it takes more initial effort to get the car turning, but ultimate grip is higher (again, contact patch) so more speed can be carried through a corner. How do I know all this? I've autocrossed the car with both sets of rims.

Mercedes-Benz rims are fair to middling as far as weight goes, but they are quite strong. Personally, the only reason I would replace rims on Sunhilde would be to reduce unsprung weight...and the cost of doing so is more than I'm willing to spend.
 

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Registered 2010 SLK350
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241 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, all. I reached similar conclusions. First, I want to stay with 17" because I have almost new tires I want to use and because the Benz' ride is stiff enough w/o stiffer side walls. I wound up compromising with 8" rims as they allow the use of the tires thus continuing to be staggered. I decided on Moda MD20s at 21# ea.

I've found with previous cars that lighter rims are the most cost effective performance mod that can be made. We'll see if that's true w/the Benz.

Beekster nailed it, but the most noticeable affect of lighter rims is handling bumps, much quicker response to compression and re-bound.

Again, thanks
 
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