Author Topic: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"  (Read 6707 times)

Jack the Knife

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2023, 22:46:36 »
To those interested, I contacted a group in England who makes reproduction Rudge wheels for the D-types, MGs, etc. Apparently they used to make the wheels for the very nice 300SL replicas made in LA many years ago, the company Mercedes shut down. Anyway, they have the designs to make a 15x7 Rudge-type wheel (same dimensions as the wheels on the Bohringer car) out of aluminum. I suggested a look-a-like with a wheel cover so that one doesn't need the axle adaptation kit. Cost is expected to be just under 4k for a set of wheels. So if you know any 300SL owners or 190SL owners who don't want to pay 40k+ for a set, let them know. I am asking for the weight, as this isn't something I'd be terrifically interested in if they weigh over 20lbs. Will update with that information.
1964 230SL
2015 G550 """Professional"""

Benz Dr.

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2023, 23:56:41 »
Imagine a world where the 107 and 113 shared a top. Would be a lot nicer on the wallet...

Perhaps unbeknownst to many, the 300SL utilized 15" wheels. The hubcap wheels used our standard dog bowl caps. It is interesting to look at them and see how our caps interacts with the 15" wheel. See here for a BaT listing with many pictures: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/300sl-roadster-wheels/

Here is an entirely painted wheel.

And here is a polished wheel.

300SL rims are unique. The center portion is steel and outer rim is aluminum. Many owners had the center chrome plated and the rim polished or just the outer rim polished leaving the center painted with the dog dish cap.
Most have to run tubes inside their tires as air will often leak by the riveted portion between the center hub and outer rim.

 600's use 15''rims but the lug screws are larger.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra
1965  230SL
1967 250SL
1970 280SL
1988 560SEC

Jack the Knife

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2023, 00:18:10 »
300SL rims are unique. The center portion is steel and outer rim is aluminum. Many owners had the center chrome plated and the rim polished or just the outer rim polished leaving the center painted with the dog dish cap.
Most have to run tubes inside their tires as air will often leak by the riveted portion between the center hub and outer rim.

 600's use 15''rims but the lug screws are larger.

I should have specified that the wheel cover isn't our painted wheel cover, but a Rudge look-a-like wheel cover with a two bladed spinner. I believe another company made something similar for the 190SL owners in years past, but you probably know much better than I. However, I didn't consider perhaps making these wheels with an adapter that could hold a dog dish cover in place. I'll ask if their design can accommodate one, as I think this would be a pretty cool option to be able to switch between both. The company is named Image Wheels and these would be based on the Billet 46 style, but with the slots rather than holes. They can paint or polish them depending on what people want.

Relatedly, do you know if the original 300 wheels had contact corrosion issues between the aluminum and steel?
1964 230SL
2015 G550 """Professional"""

Benz Dr.

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2023, 00:29:36 »
I should have specified that the wheel cover isn't our painted wheel cover, but a Rudge look-a-like wheel cover with a two bladed spinner. I believe another company made something similar for the 190SL owners in years past, but you probably know much better than I. However, I didn't consider perhaps making these wheels with an adapter that could hold a dog dish cover in place. I'll ask if their design can accommodate one, as I think this would be a pretty cool option to be able to switch between both. The company is named Image Wheels and these would be based on the Billet 46 style, but with the slots rather than holes. They can paint or polish them depending on what people want.

Relatedly, do you know if the original 300 wheels had contact corrosion issues between the aluminum and steel?
I'm not sure. I know they sometimes have air leaks.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
Dan Caron's SL Barn

1970  3.5 Coupe
1961  190SL
1985   300CD  Turbo Coupe
1981  300SD
2013  GMC  Sierra
1965  230SL
1967 250SL
1970 280SL
1988 560SEC

Jack the Knife

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2023, 15:19:32 »
Total price delivered to me in Florida is $3300. Approximate weight is 17lbs with the spinner covers on. Asking about adapter for the dog dish hubcap, which should easily be achievable.

You’ll have to pay for it, but hey, you’ve got the Bundt weight savings but with more style and flair.
1964 230SL
2015 G550 """Professional"""

Jack the Knife

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2023, 21:04:17 »
Saw a 507 at the McKee Jungle Gardens Car Show this morning and did not know they have 16x6 wheels. Quite similar to the 300SL wheels in construction, though those are 15".
1964 230SL
2015 G550 """Professional"""

Jack the Knife

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Re: Promising Lead on 16" Aluminum "Steelies"
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2023, 16:32:11 »
Update on my project.

I elected to powdercoat the entire thing in body color, rather than having the polished exterior. I thought it would look better after examining many photos of 300SL and 507 wheels with spinners. Seems lighter colors blend well with a polished outer band but not so much with the dark colors. Saw a black 300SL Rudge wheel that likewise was black but with polished outers and it looked like something was missing. Alternatively, the polished outer might look good with a white wall tire, but I think those look fussy and antiquated in a bad way so I won't be doing that. Will update when I get the wheels.
1964 230SL
2015 G550 """Professional"""