Mercedes Steels

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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Can you not fit 195s?
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by slowcoach »

CovKid wrote:Can you not fit 195s?
Oh, I think someone said they'd be too narrow for 7j wide wheels..? Or not?
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by slowcoach »

slowcoach wrote:
CovKid wrote:Can you not fit 195s?
Oh, I think someone said they'd be too narrow for 7j wide wheels..? Or not?

ok scratch that.. theyre fine. 195s sounds good to me :ok
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

OK, the move from 70s to 80s. Using exactly the same 15" Merc steels throughout, this first pic is with 195/70/15 (what I had on there)

Image

Second pic, same wheels as before (albeit rustier ones) now with 195/80/15 Michelin XCA Plus tyres. (described as 'all season'). Load index 103 so more than enough.
Image

Wheels are (for reference) Mercedes 126 400 2802 (have a couple of spares if anyone is looking to assemble a set. They bolt straight on, sit out a little further at 25 offset but don't foul sliding door, or anything else or sit outside arches. I've heard it said that ET25 tends to make the steering go straight ahead but not had any issues. Most of the time I AM going in a straight line. Personally I find it lovely to drive on those compared to stock which always felt a bit challenging - less sure-footed somehow. They're excellent on corners due to the wider track - I leave most hatchbacks behind on roundabouts. Very popular with German T25 owners.

Anyway thats as big as I'll go on 15" rims. Yet to recheck speedo. It was bang on using 70s so we'll see. Bear in mind I've always had unusually high clearance in my arches as it was a Caravelle and it spent some of its life at an airport so presumably carried more and had higher springs than most. I must admit, thats the first time ever that my wheels have looked correct in proportion to wheel arches. On stock 14" rims it always looked like it was fitted with skateboard wheels hence the initial upgrade to 15". Since then I've gradually gone from 65, to 70, and now 80. I think if you go for fatter tyre, it effects height too. Kevtherev would know.

But I think if you're fitting 16s, the most I'd go is 195/70/16 - hard to know without offering one up and also checking to make sure wheel doesn't foul anything. 8-ply obviously although if you were merely testing sizes you could use car tyres I suppose. There are variations around 195/70/15, particularly with respect to width and remember, if you go too wide it makes low-speed steering tough going although I've manned up to all that now.

I wouldn't go back to 14" wheels though. There is less choice and as a result you tend to pay a hell of a lot more for a good brand whereas at 15" theres a massive choice and prices more competitive. 15" is a very common commercial size. I guess 16s probably are too come to think of it.

Finally, I would HIGHLY recommend you become chums with one of the many mobile lorry tyre fitters as they seem to know a lot more than the chain tyre places and can often pick up a set for you as they know everyone and anyone. It was my fitter (McGuires in Cov) that took one look and said "You'll get 80s in there no prob". He was right. :D

The new tyres had been purchased (incorrectly) by a man renovating, of all things, a vintage fire engine he'd bought in Europe. The tyres were too small for it so he sold them on. Bargain for £30 a tyre.
Last edited by CovKid on 27 Oct 2014, 07:52, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Speedo.

Did a few runs today (on the flat) and speedo seemed correct using GPS but this was mostly at moderate speeds. Need to test for a week over the whole range to be absolutely sure. It felt light on the front initially but that was down to over-inflation by garage so I let some air out until they looked right. Handling seemed better but will do the chalk test to get pressures worked out.

May go for a slightly fatter tyre next time. :D
Last edited by CovKid on 27 Oct 2014, 07:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by slowcoach »

Thanks covkid very informative! How did it feel performance wise, with stops and starts?

There seems plenty of van rated tyres for 16", just need to make some notes and see what the local tyre shops can do. I'll try for 195s though if possible for my reasons above.

Why do reckon u might go wider next time? Just for kicks? 8-)
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Visually, 195s look like the absolute minimum on those 7J rims as 80s (they sit almost flush) but not sure I'd go too fat due to the probs of steering in tight spaces. 215s perhaps? Might look a little better on 215s and offer more stability. These came up at a good price so that influenced choice more than anything. Hard to make a real judgement as to effect as I've only done the fronts (rears tomorrow). 1st gear was a hell of a lot more useful I'll say that but obviously with the front almost an inch higher than the back (new tread too remember),it wasn't really a perfect test. Felt positive but then they're new tyres. Drove nicely. Lowering is for chavs. :rofl

Quite keen to get the back ones done so will be up the garage mid day. Will let you know tomorrow evening. I suspect I'm going the right direction though as every time I've gone up a size, the gearing starts to make a bit more sense. I think California Dreaming mentioned that if you overdo it, the vehicle can lack stamina. Be interesting to see how that pans out.

I've got a rock n roll bed to reupholster as well tomorrow so a lot to do. :D
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Back wheels on. Speedo bang on up to 40mph so fairly safe to assume it won't change much up to 50mph. I did numeropus tests and all on the flat. Rolls lovely on these. Its a subtle change but definately less revs needed for a given speed. I would recommend min 215s on 16s Slowcoach. That should be your starting point. Tyre place had to use a portable air blaster and two blokes to blow the tyre up enough to get near the rims before they could actually inflate them so 195 is absolute limit on 15" wheels (going down the scale). On that basis with16s you'll definately need to go wider than 195, possibly wider than 215, but start there.

Will add a side pic so you can get a better idea of where my 195s sit.
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by slowcoach »

CovKid wrote:Back wheels on. Speedo bang on up to 40mph so fairly safe to assume it won't change much up to 50mph. I did numeropus tests and all on the flat. Rolls lovely on these. Its a subtle change but definately less revs needed for a given speed. I would recommend min 215s on 16s Slowcoach. That should be your starting point. Tyre place had to use a portable air blaster and two blokes to blow the tyre up enough to get near the rims before they could actually inflate them so 195 is absolute limit on 15" wheels (going down the scale). On that basis with16s you'll definately need to go wider than 195, possibly wider than 215, but start there.

Will add a side pic so you can get a better idea of where my 195s sit.

thats really good info, thanks for this. Ive been looking at maybe 215/65/16s. that gives me a straight 27" tall tyre, which is my ideal (after much samba discussion). theres a gazillion options in that size so finding ones will be easy. i need to start crouching down next to any trans1t /ducato or whatever and see what 215s look like. maybe theyre not as fat elephant as i think ;)

have you a 5 speed box then as well? ive always enjoyed 1st gear actually, knowing i can climb pretty much anything in that gear from a standing start with little/no clutch slipping. i live in a steep sided valley. but stretching that gear a bit further feels like itd still be very useful. is your 1st more useful for you now?

my vans still at the body shop for another few days so cant start anything yet :/
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Its only very slight but I seem to get quite a bit more out of all gears, including 1st - managed almost 15 feet rather than 9 feet! As noted, its not revving quite so high in situations where it did before. Cruising is very pleasant. The other plus, as I discovered this afternoon, is that its a darned sight easier to slide underneath now. Yes mine is a 5 speed. Overall, very pleased. Worth doing.

Theres a 3-4" difference between stock wheel/tyre diameter and what I have now but according to my tests, speedo is spot on. :shock:

I suppose my speedo may have been overly generous but the maths ( http://tire-size-conversion.com/speedom ... libration/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) says that for a speedo reading of 40mph, I'm actually doing 44mph, and at 60mph on the speedo, I'd be doing 66mph :shock:

If I use GPS on the flat, 30mph = 30mph and 40mph = 40mph. I think I have to trust the GPS on this.

There ya go - my balloon tyres!

Image
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by slowcoach »

oh boom! that looks great :ok

and nice to hear your performance hasnt been drastically reduced at slow speeds. thanks for the pic!
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Driven a bit more since Slowcoach. This is the first time I've ever been able to use first gear with any real effect in slow moving traffic. Before I tended to slip the clutch in second. When motoring it rolls along effortlessly - barely need to use the accelerator at all under 30mph. Have to restrain myself to be honest. No loss in stamina. It just feels right. A marginal saving on fuel noted during the week due to not having to cane it everywhere. I do the same mileage every week and actually topped up a day later than I usually do. On Fridays I always do a run from Bedworth to Tamworth (26 miles each way at a steady 60mph) and the fuel guage was definately higher on my return - not a lot but enough to notice. I'm not sure I can be bothered to do detailed mpg calculations but its better than it was before. :D Grip is better. Tyres somewhat harder than the previous ones so I do have to ease up for sleeping policeman but thats a small price to pay. I hope my findings help anyone else considering going big. Prob not good on a 1.6 diesel though :rofl
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Footnote (week later):

At one time I could just get into 5th at a moderate speed. I can't now, most I can manage is 4th until I hit a motorway. Works brilliantly - all the gears are properly useable and it rolls along effortlessly.
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by slowcoach »

great stuff. updates like this are very useful!

Im on the hunt for tyres now. 215/65/16. theres plenty in the tyre fitting shops, and plenty on ebay. just weighing things (costs!) up. range from £55 each and up. theres so many brands ive never heard of. I have nexen at the moment, which is a budget tyre, and theyre good.

theyre cheaper via mail order, but then obviously i have to get them fitted, which ive been quoted £10 a tyre.. which is of course £40 cost on top. think im thinking about it too much though! be best once its done and dusted.
had some starting issues which ive resolved with a new dizzy cap and rotor. always something hey.. :mrgreen:
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Re: Mercedes Steels

Post by CovKid »

Its hard to describe the improvement on taller tyres Slowcoach but 1st was redundant on stock wheels and you could just about labour along in 5th on rural roads but now that gear is most definately 4th (more logical). In a lot of cases, 3rd will do it.

3rd is just as pokey as ever with a seemingly wider range. I have no idea how this might work on a 4-speed box but you wonder if VW envisaged bigger wheels with 5-speeds since its such a perfect match. Overall, I use 1st far more now and don't get into 5th much at all. On the few occasions I have, my top speed has improved by a good 10mph. Its just a case of finding the sweet spots for good economy but I suppose practice is the answer.
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