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New wheels - Mercedes 450 SEL - Bling! - Loogy Help???
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: New wheels - Mercedes 450 SEL - Bling! - Loogy Help??? Reply with quote

I picked up these wheels yesterday from the local Pick Your Part (50% off day...thanks for the info Lanval) for $90. I yanked them off of a Mercedes 450 SEL. The wheel is a 15"x7" ET 25 (or ET 23 I forgot to right it down...too excited to mount them). They mounted up with the stock lugs and bolts. The rear nuts mounted with 6 1/2 to 7 turns on the thread and the front bolts with 2 1/2 to 3 turns on the threads (I know this is not enough, I just wanted to see what they looked like mounted!!!) They seem to clear the control arms and sit a little further out than the stock 14'ers. I've picked through the 11 page ULTIMATE WHEEL POST but still have a few questions...
(1.) Is the taper on the mercedes wheel the same as the vanagon nuts? Is 6 1/2 turns on the threads enough?
(2.) Because of the ET being 25 will I have a positive scrub radius? Should I worry? Can I do anything to change the offset?
(3.) The original lug nuts off the mercedes had a two step lug because the hole in the wheel is so deep. Can I just use normal lug bolts and stick the socket deeper in the wheel?
(4.) Are there any other concerns with this wheel?
(5) I don't really like the polished look...too much bling bling for me...I remember reading a post a while back about painting your rims. James (Dogpilot) and some others had some good tips on painting wheels but I can't find that post when using the search. Any suggestions on removing the polish and painting these wheels? I'm thinking Black or a Gunmetal grey.
Any and all suggestions are very much appreciated!...And now some pictures!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Lanval
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

meh... I don't remember seeing a Merc 450 anything. Did you go on Sunday? I picked up a few other things, but not much. That damn Baywindow Westy is still sidelined over at Katella.

The 50% off days makes stuff cheap, don't it? You gotta watch, or you'll start buying things you don't need.

Good work on the wheels, though. I've been watching for 5 lug VW wheels on the later models, but haven't memorized the Vanagon spec yet. 5x112, but can't remember the ET.

Hope to see ya round sometime. My Van is nearly roadworthy!

Best,

Lanval
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: New wheels - Mercedes 450 SEL - Bling! - Loogy Help??? Reply with quote

Nice score on the wheels! They sure look better than the stockers.

captainpartytime wrote:

(1.) Is the taper on the mercedes wheel the same as the vanagon nuts? Is 6 1/2 turns on the threads enough?


I could be wrong but I think those wheels have a tapered seat (like the Vanagon alloy wheels) instead of a ball seat like the Vanagon steel wheels. If in fact they are tapered, I think Van-Cafe sells a set of lug nuts and bolts for something like $40. I think 6.5 turns is fine. If you are using the ball seat lug nuts and the wheels are tapered, you may find that you will get an extra .5-1.0 turn out of it with the proper nut installed.

captainpartytime wrote:

(2.) Because of the ET being 25 will I have a positive scrub radius? Should I worry? Can I do anything to change the offset?


Yes, you will have some pos. scrub radius. Should you worry about it and can you do anything about it? Not really and no. The main result of added scrub radius is that it will be harder to steer. If you an live with that, your fine. Tire wear will increase ever so slightly but not enough to worry about or even notice really.

captainpartytime wrote:

(3.) The original lug nuts off the mercedes had a two step lug because the hole in the wheel is so deep. Can I just use normal lug bolts and stick the socket deeper in the wheel?


Yep!

captainpartytime wrote:

(4.) Are there any other concerns with this wheel?


Other than the not-quite-perfect offset, which you can't really do anything about anyway, no!

captainpartytime wrote:

(5) I don't really like the polished look...too much bling bling for me...I remember reading a post a while back about painting your rims. James (Dogpilot) and some others had some good tips on painting wheels but I can't find that post when using the search. Any suggestions on removing the polish and painting these wheels? I'm thinking Black or a Gunmetal grey.


Are they polished or chrome? If they are polished, sand them down with 400 grit sandpaper and wash them with a an aluminum prep solution which can be purchased ant any autobody supply store. A quick shot of primer and paint and your good to go. If the are chrome, It will be harder to get paint to stick to it. A light sandblasting followed by shot of zinc chromate primer will be about the best you can do for adhesion.
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vwjedi
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captainpartytime- Wheels look great man, that price makes me scratch my head. Mad How do you guys find these kinda deals?

BTW-I have personally used the VW alloy wheel lugs bolts on Merc. rims and they are the same head style. Good luck.


...............and now for my totally shameless ad plug. Embarassed

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TheBlueTurtle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i thought the van wheels et30?
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VW_T25_BOB
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Wheels!
All OEM Mercedes-Benz wheels use a ball seat. All MB OE Benz wheels will hava a Mercedes logo of some sort and a part number on the back some where. Most part numbers will start with an A followed by ten digit number. Some accessory wheels might have a B followed by an eight digit number. AMG wheels may have either or evan a H WA and a ten digit number.
Vanagon alloys use a taper or cone seat, Vanagon steels use a ball seat.
Aftermarket Benz style wheels may have either a ball or taper seat.
Use the CORRECT style bolts to match your wheels or they will come off or as dumb as it may sound, get so tight you will break them when you try to remove them later.
The older style Benz wheel bolts had a long shoulder that were prone to breaking and corroding and have been replaced by bolts with shorter shoulders.
Also make sure the bolts thread into the hub at least as far as they are wide. Same for the nuts on the back. Make sure the studs are long enough for the nut to thread on completely without bottoming out.

It is a good ides to keep a set of VW bolts and nuts in your Vanagon that fit the spare you are carrying. Nothing sucks worse that getting a flat and not being able to put your spare on because the bolts that hold on your fancy wheels that are too long!!
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOOGY, YOU ARE THE MAN!!!! THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP!!!

Lanval wrote:
meh... I don't remember seeing a Merc 450 anything. Did you go on Sunday?

I went to the one next to Ball Rd. and Beach Blvd. on Saturday right when they opened. They have 5 or 6 Mercedes there, mostly 190E's but those rims also work. I think they have 12mm lug holes instead of 14mm but drilling them out is easy. I actually took off two pairs of Mercedes rims and put back the ones with the worse tire tread.
Lanval wrote:
The 50% off days makes stuff cheap, don't it? You gotta watch, or you'll start buying things you don't need.

Yeah, I found an '85 7-Passenger last time I was there and stripped the interior to the bone because I thought everything was going to be a steal! I spent two hours chopping that thing!!! I got to the cashier and knew I was in trouble when he asked me to separate every plastic piece, bolt, and fixture. I ended up throwing away about 3/4 of the stuff because they wanted way too much money for those parts (6 bucks for interior lights, 25 bucks for a jacked up steering wheel). What a waste! I did score two pretty nice seats with armrests for $30.
Lanval wrote:
That damn Baywindow Westy is still sidelined over at Katella.

I've been to Katella twice now and haven't seen any Westys??? Are they hidden in some back corner???

VW_T25_BOB wrote:
All OEM Mercedes-Benz wheels use a ball seat.

Sounds like I'm good to go on the rear nuts. Anyone know where I can get longer ball taper lug bolts without breaking the bank at the MB dealership?
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vntgbus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: lug nuts Reply with quote

http://www.ezaccessory.com/
Search for ball Seat they carry both front and rear!! good luck
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BIRD84WESTY
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:16 am    Post subject: Mercedes wheels Reply with quote

I put the same style Mercedes wheels on my 84 Westy, same Assaun Braun color too. My wheels came from a 1995 C220, 15", ET of 37. I had a machine shop bore out the holes to 14 mm, and then ordered new wheel bolts from an import parts supplier. The front bolts are from a Mercedes S Class 140, part number 140 400 01 70. The rear wheel studs came from a Porsche 944, part number 901 331 671 01, which were too long, but better long than short, so I had the machine shop cut the length back to 60 mm. Wheels don't rub, and I put a meaty tire on Nankang (Big O) 215/75/15 LT, I love it. Good luck.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

captainpartytime wrote:

Sounds like I'm good to go on the rear nuts. Anyone know where I can get longer ball taper lug bolts without breaking the bank at the MB dealership?


No problem! Just make sure (if you haven't already) that your wheels require a ball seat. There are several variations of that wheel, some factory, some aftermarket. I know for sure the aftermarket versions use a tapered seat so it best to check out which you need.

If your looking for a lug bolt with a 19mm head to match the rear nuts (so you don't have to carry two lug wrench sizes), RAD USA sells one. It's 14mmx1.5 with a 33mm shank. The problem is that it is listed as a R14 which means that the diameter of the ball is huge at 28mm. I'm not sure this will fit into the wheel. You would have to measure to be sure. The stock Vanagon ball seat lug is R13 (26mm dia.) which is the same as the Mercedes. The diameter could easily be turned down to fit though. A little silver paint would help keep them from rusting afterward.

Also, if in fact the lug bolts from car you took the wheels from were 14mm, they will work on the front of your van since Mercedes, Audi and VW all use the 1.5 thread pitch.

Another option would be to go with the adapter studs so that you can use lug nut front and rear. Tencentlife used ***THESE*** and said they work great. You will probably need the 1.75" versions. These also make tire changing SO much easier.

If you end up needing to use a 17mm headed bolt in the front and a 19mm headed nut in the rear, buy yourself a collapsable lug wrench which has both sizes on it.

***Gorilla Wrench***
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help everyone. Now another question....What tire's do you recommend for this size wheel. I'm having trouble sizing the tire because I'm not sure what size tire will fit other than 15". The wheel is 15"x7" and it's going on a 1982 diesel westy. I have the 27x7.5x14 BFG AT/TKO's on my 14" alloys on my 1989 7-passenger and love them. I like the ride, traction off road, and the aggressive look of that tire. Which 15" version of that tire will work with 15"x7"??? I'm confused about the width and height...205,215,60,65???
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not the diesel, tall tire expert but if you want to stay with the BFG's, I would venture to guess that the 215/75SR15 would fit nicely. They are roughly one inch taller than your current tires which will drop your freeway RPM's by about 200.

Tire designations can be confusing.
Your current tires are 27x7.5R14 Which translates to:
    27= 27" tall (as stated by the manufacturer. However this is seldom 100% accurate)
    7.5= 7.5" wide (again, as stated byt the manufacturer. However this is seldom 100% accurate)
    R=Radial
    14= Rim size


That is the older version of tire designation. The more modern method of tire measurement uses a combination of metric, percentage and imperial measurements.
For example, a 215/75SR15 translated to:
    215= 215mm wide at the widest point of the tire (not just the tread)
    75= Sidewall height. Measured as a percentage of the tires tread width. So "75" equates to 75% of the tires tread width.
    S= The speed rating of the tire. In this case 112mph.
    R= Radial
    15= Rim size


The thing to remember is that all tire manufacturers measure their tire slightly differently. So a 215/75SR15 can be a different size depending on the brand of tire. It's best to look up the tires true specs on the manufacturers website or someplace like Tire Rack.
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Last edited by Christopher Schimke on Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:14 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
loogy 75= 75% of the tires tread width


If I got it right the side wall is 75% of the width...Right
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I was pushing the BFG's a little hard. What I meant was what are other tire recommendations for the 15"x7" ET 25 wheel. I know Hankook, Vredestein, Michelin (Hydroedge, Agilis), Nokian, Yokohama are all recommended tires for their load rating. GoWesty runs 215/65/15 with the same wheel width. Michael Sullivan suggests 205/75/15 or 225/75/15 depending on the wheels offset. Vanagon.com also mentions 215/75/15. Is one size tire better than another for my 7" wide rims??? Do I have to worry about rubbing issues with any of these tires???
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

winkshog wrote:
Quote:
loogy 75= 75% of the tires tread width


If I got it right the side wall is 75% of the width...Right


Yes, you are correct. I was in a hurry when I was typing that, hearing "I need the computer" over my shoulder from my wife, and neglected to add the "sidewall" part of the explination. Thanks for catching that.

Captain, here is a quote from the ***Ultimate Wheels*** thread:

DeMinimis wrote:
Loogy, hope this helps the thread.

15x7 ET23 AT Ilatia wheels
215 75R BFGs
No spacers
No rubbing
Longer studs (can't remember the length)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It's my opinion that a 205, 215 or a 225 will fit just fine on a 7" wheel. A 7" wheel is actually approx. 8" wide. The 7" width is measured from where the tire seats on the rim, not it's overall width.

Using the Yokohama Aegis as an example, compare the section widths of the 205/75, 215/70 and 225/70 (Note: the 75 series 225 starts to get really tall. The 70 series in this size helps keep the overall height in check. The 215 could go either way, 70 or 75 series, depending on how tall you want the tire.)
    The section width of the 205/75 is 8.1" (nearly straight up, little to no sidewall bulge).
    The section width of the 215/70 is 8.8" (normal sidewall bulge).
    The section width of the 225/70 is 9.1" (Right close to 1/2" of sidewall bulge).


You can see that any of these will work. From the looks of what others have done, I would try to keep the overall tire height no taller than 27.8 (the height of the 215/75/15 BFG AT KO) but that's just an observational opinion, not from experience.
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captainpartytime
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chris, you truly are the WHEEL GURU!!! I think I will go with the BFG 215/75R/15. I think they are $75 off of 4 at Costco. Will post pictures when I get them mounted...if my wife doesn't erase the pictures first Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so is the BFG 215/75R/15 okay on a 6.5" rim?
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