Author Topic: use of 15 inch rims on W111 3.5 coupes and Cabriolets  (Read 6975 times)


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use of 15 inch rims on W111 3.5 coupes and Cabriolets
« on: March 21, 2010, 23:45:30 »
I am having an ongoing debate with Bob Ensign on the originality of factory's use of 15 rims and larger front brakes on W111 3.5 coupes and cabriolets. When project W111 was bought by Ensign for use as 3.5 doner car, it came with 1990's style S class alloy rims. When the swap was made they took the front and rear suspension from the 3.5 coupe and intalled it in the 280SE cabriolet. They discovered the front calipers from the 3.5 were bigger and would not allow the use of the orignal Cabriolet's 14 inch steel rims.
If you look on Silver Star restoration's wesite they list W111 technical specifications for both 280SE and 280SE 3.5 and shows both cars to have the same 14 inch wheels and 273/279mm braking system. Can anyone shed light on this? Did W111 previous 3.5 get a front brake upgrade thus requiring the use of the later S class wheels or were they original. I'm looking for a set of 15 inch steel wheels and hubcaps for Ensign's W111 Cabriolet 3.5 conversion car so it has the classic Mercedes Hupcap look.
Peter Perry
1970 911T Bahia Red
1972 911T Albert Blau
1963 220seb coupe barn
1965 230SL Light Ivory automatic
1966 230SL Havana Brown 4 speed Barn Find
1970 280SE living 3.5 donor car


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Re: use of 15 inch rims on W111 3.5 coupes and Cabriolets
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 17:12:07 »
I have 15 inch steel wheels and painted hubcaps on my 113.  If this is the kind of information you need you can do a search to find my posts on the subject.

Benz Dr.

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Re: use of 15 inch rims on W111 3.5 coupes and Cabriolets
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 02:43:44 »
What sort of fiting problems were you having? I have a 3.5 coupe and it has allloy rims which seem to fit just fine. They're 14'' which is what all of those cars had as far as I know.

The V8 cars had vented front rotors which are a bit wider than solid rotors so I imagine the calipers would be wider too. Is that where you were hanging up?
I'm not sure what the regular off set is on these older rims. I think it's marked somewhere as ET = xxx. You have to be careful with clearances on these cars but mostly in the back wheel housings. Sometimes the tires can rub on the inner fender at full lock if you hit a large bump. 14"" tires always work in terms on diameter and width if there's any question.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
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1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
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1967 250SL
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Re: use of 15 inch rims on W111 3.5 coupes and Cabriolets
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 06:51:58 »
Yes, I ran into a similar problem one time. It turned out to be an off set problem not a diameter problem.
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
1969 Dark Olive 280SL
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