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  #1  
Old 12-12-2009, 12:06 PM
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"Adding" ET to a W123

I bought and installed a set of CLK wheels -16J7 et 37. They fit the w123 but with my Vogtland springs and Bilstein HD shocks the passenger tie rod end scraped the inside rim under hard right turn cornering. The tie rod end was about 1/8 inch from the inside rim at rest. By installing a washer on the rear (wheelside) of the two bolts seen in the photo that arm that connects to the tie rod I created more clearance. A new alignment was needed immediately, but now I have about 7/32's and NO tie rod rub under any circumstances.

Last edited by MTUpower; 12-12-2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:21 PM
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I assume you used a large diameter washer to avoid any flexing issues. I'm thinking the 18" wheels would move the rim away from this tie rod and not require adjustment. Ideas?
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cr from Texas View Post
I assume you used a large diameter washer to avoid any flexing issues. I'm thinking the 18" wheels would move the rim away from this tie rod and not require adjustment. Ideas?
No flexing issues so far. Many 18 inch rims are quite wide- so the issue may still exist- plus they barely clear the fender wells, so a getto roll may be in order. Most folks think that 18" with rubber band tires ride like ***** on a w123.

Last edited by MTUpower; 12-14-2009 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:16 PM
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washers on there don't seem like the very best solution. did you consider 10mm hub centric spacers with longer wheel bolts?
18" wheels are too big for a w123, 16x7.5 would be a good max size, imho. lets see some pics of the car with what you have now.
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:45 PM
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spacers?
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mundoracer View Post
washers on there don't seem like the very best solution. did you consider 10mm hub centric spacers with longer wheel bolts?
18" wheels are too big for a w123, 16x7.5 would be a good max size, imho. lets see some pics of the car with what you have now.
Why do you think the washers (one per side) are not a good solution for adding a few "ET" numbers so to speak? You give yourself another 5-7 and lose perhaps one thread of bolt holding power. I don't see any downside, and neither did my Indie shop owner who's been at it for 30+ years.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTUpower View Post
Why do you think the washers (one per side) are not a good solution for adding a few "ET" numbers so to speak? You give yourself another 5-7 and lose perhaps one thread of bolt holding power. I don't see any downside, and neither did my Indie shop owner who's been at it for 30+ years.
It wasn't so much that it was not a good solution...as much as whether it was the best one. I was curious if you considered spacers, and if so, why you decided against them. A couple more thoughts…doesn’t that steering arm bolt on with two bolts? Did you only put a washer on one bolt?
What I really want to know is how the wheels look, lets see some pics man!
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mundoracer View Post
It wasn't so much that it was not a good solution...as much as whether it was the best one. I was curious if you considered spacers, and if so, why you decided against them. A couple more thoughts…doesn’t that steering arm bolt on with two bolts? Did you only put a washer on one bolt?
What I really want to know is how the wheels look, lets see some pics man!
Yep- washer on one bolt only- and that angled the arm out to make more clearance for the tie rod. Plus the part is angled so it made even more clearance. I did consider spacers but this was just so simple, quick and easy, plus my indie said why not? I'll take wheel pics soon.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTUpower View Post
Yep- washer on one bolt only- and that angled the arm out to make more clearance for the tie rod. Plus the part is angled so it made even more clearance. I did consider spacers but this was just so simple, quick and easy, plus my indie said why not? I'll take wheel pics soon.
I agree with you and your indy. Makes good sense. Any time the lower cost option is better, it's a no brainer. Quality spacers are not cheap.

I nixed the 18" wheels. They looked nice and the guy was taking offers. Turns out his minimum was $3k.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Cr from Texas View Post
I agree with you and your indy. Makes good sense. Any time the lower cost option is better, it's a no brainer. Quality spacers are not cheap.

I nixed the 18" wheels. They looked nice and the guy was taking offers. Turns out his minimum was $3k.
Ouch!
I even asked several members about spacers, but since I only needed so little space this seemed like a great solution. I know many people are running the 99-01 CLK rims and this just makes the clearance a bit better.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2010, 02:59 AM
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i just saw this thread. yeah, the solution with the spacers works, but i have clk wheels on my 123 also, and the front wheels' center caps don't fit into the hole because the wheel bearing cap pushes them out. seeing as to how this tie rod issue is a problem on one side (i didn't know this), i'm gonna kill two birds with one stone with a 5-10mm hubcentric spacer.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:59 PM
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Nothing hits on mine

However one cannot use inner lip mounted balance weights as there is onlyabout a CH between the rim and tie rod end. Been that way for 2 years with no problems. Mine are the light weight forged wheels, I think from 1999.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2010, 11:31 PM
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I know I'm resurrecting an older thread..

I got some Ronal R9's from a 88 190e and they fit great on the w123 except the front's hit the tie rod just like described here. The only issue I see is my Ronal's are 15x7 so the inside diameter is smaller which is mainly my problem. Is there enough movement with the "washer trick" to fit my Ronals? I figured I would need like an 8-10mm spacer if I went that route... I'm going to get spacers for the back because I want to have the wheels sit more flush with the fenders.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:25 AM
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ET is abbreviation for "einpresstiefe" which equates to "offset". It's literally how deep (tiefe) the faceplace of the wheel was pressed in (einpress).

Clearance is a factor of the width of the wheel and ET. See the pic. http://www.balancemotorsport.co.uk/images/offset%20diagram.jpg

By putting a washer in between one bolt of the steering knuckle arm and the steering knuckle you are changing the toe by effectively "bending" the arm. That "bend" or angled installation means the arm isn't fitting as designed. You're not thinking of an 8-10 mm stack of washers, are you?

Considering the FSM says "Make sure that the contact surfaces are free of paint" and to replace the arm if there is any doubt as to whether it's in good shape, I think adding a washer to the steering that "cheats" to make your wheels fit isn't a great idea. As a minimum, you'll need a new alignment.

It might work, but I'd check the torque on the steering arm bolts a lot.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2010, 03:23 PM
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Yeah... the more I think about this the more "ghetto" it sounds... I wasn't thinking about 8-10mm of spacers... since the arm is at an angle I would need less spacers then the actual amount of room I need to make... but that is still probably 1/4" of washers I would need on there... I was going to get an alignment done anyways but I think I'll avoid trying to "add et" with washers...

I'll just pick up some spacers for all four corners and then mount up my Ronals... I think this will be the safer route considering this car is my daily driver... Thanks for the help!

-David
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