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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone installed staggered wheel sizes with 18s on the rear and 17s on the front? Since the SLK is staggered anyway and thus can't rotate tires I was curious if this is a successful option much like a corvette which I owned previously.

Thanks
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding member 2006
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Oh my! Please don't even think of putting different size rims on front from the rear. It doesn't make any sense for a car that was not designed for it. You are going to have to choose a tire that has the proper diameter no matter what wheel size. So, you'll end up with a car that looks ridiculous. The reason why a Corvette or GT500 look good with different sized wheels is that they also are designed to use different sized tires (different overall diameters), and thus side walls are the same front and rear (or close to it). I bet handling is negatively effected if you do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Same size wheels and rotation

Ok, that makes sense thanks. Why not the same size wheels all around then and be able to rotate tires? Not really understanding why the difference between front and back. To me when looking at my car now seems having the same size dimension on rear would look fine
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding member 2006
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Many reasons...ahhhh google

Its a Euro-thing. On a rear wheel drive car, the rear tends to break loose under hard acceleration. The wider tire gets more of the power to the pavement.
Wider rear tires increase straight-line traction
Tire size is just one of many factors that affect handling balance.
When you have non-staggered setup, say 255's all around, it can induce snap- oversteer, something you don't want because its a really pain to correct. Mild understeer is easier to manage than heavy oversteer, so a staggered setup makes more sense.
 

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Same size front and back does look fine. With the staggered tires the width of the rear tire is a little wider than the front but the overall height is about the same. In fact, having the same size tire is recommended for winter tires.

Rotating tires works from right to left but not rear to front because the rear rims are wider than the front ones.
 

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You can put the same size (width and diameter) on both ends - they don't need to be staggered

Make sure you get rims the correct width, and with the correct ET - You may need spacers somewhere so you can clear the calipers...

If you do have staggered rims you'll notice the profile of the tyres are different front to rear - this helps keep the overall diameter the same (or close enough) so as the ABS / ASR stuff doesn't throw a wobbly....
 
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