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Ken300D 12-28-2001 08:36 AM

1987 300D OEM Wheel Size vs W126

Well. I sorta had an education yesterday on what "offset" means. Actually I knew what offset meant, but I didn't realize it varied so much among OEM Mercedes wheels of the same era that look the same.

Background: I recently got a well-used 1987 300D. No two tires are the same brand. In one case a tire is 205/60R15, the rest are 195/65R15. Also, one wheel has an unsafe looking place where it looks like maybe two inches of outer rim broke away. Probably a curb hit. Gotta do something here. Oh, no spare tire either. :rolleyes:

The issue: I have the 15x6.5 ET49mm "15-hole" wheels as OEM equipment on the 1987 300D. I found some wheels that look exactly like them in MUCH better shape. They appear to be from an OEM W126 chassis by their part number. Also, they are 15x6.5 and I believe the offset is 25mm.

So, they go on the car but stick out further about an inch. I am using OEM size tires (195/65R15) and was actually going for a nice OEM appearance.

The question: What am I getting into here in terms of increased rock/sandblasting damage to the vehicle's paint? Clearly the fenders don't offer as much protection now. There seem to be no issues with clearance, such as during a full lock turn or with suspension movement up and down. Anyone else done this wheel swap? (I don't want to "roll" the fenders outward.)

I am considering putting the nicer 25mm offset wheels only on the back wheels, thinking the rear fenders offer more damage protection from the slightly wider offset. (And leaving the front totally OEM with the best two W124 wheels). How does this sound?


1991 560 SEC 12-28-2001 02:49 PM

I thought they should be : 6.5 x 15 and 21.5 offset. Check with an MB dealer. If this is the size I have some for sale.


Ken300D 12-28-2001 03:24 PM

I think you are right. I saw something like ET215 and had trouble interpreting what this meant. Searching through other posts here I thought it might be 25mm for the W126 rather than a 21.5 mm offset. (Perhaps there are different offsets between some of the W126 class car models?)

But your post cleared up that misunderstanding - thanks!

I have been searching all over the web for a matrix of what offset goes with each model Mercedes in terms of OEM wheels. It seems to also be dependent on model year, and of course the size of the wheels vary too.

At some point I'll get a chance to post a picture to show the effect.


Ken300D 12-30-2001 02:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a picture of the car with the W126 wheels on the front. These wheels came from a 1988 300SE. The particular angle seems to exagerate the inch or so further that they stick out. I plan to swap them to the back this afternoon.

1987 300D w/328K shown

Ken300D 12-30-2001 03:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's another picture from a more straight-on and lower angle.

1991 560 SEC 12-30-2001 03:42 PM

Your front track looks much wider than your rear. Check your owners manuel for the correct measurement.
Measure it from outside tire wall to outside tire wall on the same axle.


JCE 12-30-2001 03:47 PM

The stock wheels on a 1987 300E are 6.5"x15" ET 49, according to what my manuals and what my wheels say. My owners manual says 260E/300E on the cover, and my engine/chassis catalog says 260E/300E/300D Turbodiesel on the cover.

dieseldiehard 01-31-2005 08:36 PM

tires sticking out like they do might lead to more chances for getting bumped and scratched while parking.

The OE wheels for the W124 300D are: MB p/n 124-400-1802 15X6.5 ET49

I am using a set of 124-401-0802 15X6.5J ET48 wheels, from a 300CE 24V.
They are the similar in appearance and painted silver. I lucked out and found an almost pristine set on eBay with Pirellis mounted. Only one showed any curb rash. I got them on eBay from a person that upgraded his wheels shortly after he bought the car. If anyone has a spare wheel with those specs I'd like to have one for the spare (PM) as the diifference in 48 vs. 49 offset although seemingly slight, would probably result in odd handling if mixed on the car, especially the front wheels.
Also, if you have any W126 15 in wheels with 25 mm offset left over I may be interested (PM please with details) thanks!

PS FYI. I was informed that some Flat Face W126 wheels will fit the W124 are: 126-400-3002, 126-400-3402 and are 15x7 ET49 - this has not been verified however, one is painted one chromed I suspect but not sure.

Fimum Fit 01-31-2005 10:32 PM

Going to a much smaller ET number
is likely to overstress wheel bearings of the type used on the cars with the 45-49mm offset as OE. Even _Hot Rod_ recommends against a change of more than 1/4 " (c. 6.5mm) under these circumstances. Granted, AMG does it all the time.

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