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Old 02-27-2003, 04:38 AM
spinedoc's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: North Grafton, MA USA
Posts: 700
What is the proper way to adjust for rims being too large?

I just bought my 91 500SL and it had some killer 18 inch rims on it with nice Yokohama's. The front rims rub a bit, only with large potholes or with very tight turning like U-turns. But they also are starting to rub out on the fenders themselves. This is only on the fronts as far as I can tell.

I know I can put spacers in, but I would rather fix this the proper way and not cut corners if I dont have to. What should I do? Should I look at new shocks or something else? If I do spacers should I do all 4, or just the front 2? Are there any other solutions I am missing?

The car rides quite stiff with the 18's, I dont mind it too much as the tradeoff is the handling is phenomenal. I still havent figured out what the button on my console with the tire is, Im assuming its the ADS, so maybe that will soften the ride up if I experiment with it.

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-27-2003, 06:15 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 215
I assume you don't want to ditch the rims and go for ones that fit properly!

It all depends where the rubbing occurs. If the outer surface of the tyre rubs against the edge of the wheel arch, spacers are likely to make it worse, not better. You will need to get the edges of the arch 'rolled' or the fender 'pulled'. Both of these reshape the fender to create more clearance. This can be done by a competent body shop. Depending on the amount of the problem, this may not involve a repaint of the fneder.

If the rubbing occurs between the inside face of the tyre and either the inner panel or the suspension, then you may halp this with spacers. But remember this will make matters worse as above.

There's nothing wrong with using small spacers. Big ones will put unusual loads on the suspension.

You may be able to use a different tyre to solve your problems. Sometimes the same size tyre in a different brand will have enought of a difference in construction and shoulder profile to stop this kind of trouble.
Cheers, Neil
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