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Rims

This component is part of Wheels and Tires.

Definition

The steel Rim (German: Felge) for the Pagoda came in a number of different types and designations.

The first twelve months of production, 5.5 inch wide rims were fitted, after that 6 inch rims became standard.

Correct rims depends on the model and its VIN. There are four different steel rims for the W113 in sizes 5.5 J x 14 and 6 J x 14. Later Mercedes type W 108 rims (and others) lack the three protrusions which allow the separate hub caps to be fitted.

New original W113 rims are no longer available. Hence, possible sources of rims are internet, junk yards, parts dealers, or fellow owners.

Part numbers

All factory fitted Mercedes rims have their spare part number imprinted into the center part of the rim (together with their size). Furthermore, you can find the month and year of production, for instance 5 63 where the 63 is stamped below the 5.

  • the original 230SL rims were 113 400 00 06 (5.5Jx14H, with pins for the small hub caps), up to serial no. 005498. These rims were made by Südrad in Stuttgart, Südrad part no. 14004M
  • replaced by 113 400 03 06 (5.5Jx14H, with noses for the small hub caps) as replacement parts for the earlier cars (see above)
  • the second original 230 SL rim, part no. 113 400 01 06 (6Jx14H, with pins for the small hub caps), mounted from around July 1964 on, from VIN 005499 were wider (6 inchs instead of 5.5), also made by Südrad in Stuttgart, Südrad part no. 14005M
  • the late style W113 rim (230, 250 and 280 SL) 108 400 00 02 (6Jx14H, with noses for the small hub caps) was introduced together with the "new" W 108 in August 1965

Rim 113 400 00 06, showing pins



Rim 113 400 01 06, showing pins


Both the earlier rims types pictured above have 3 pressed-in pins which hold the central hub cab. These pins are still separately available from MB. In 1965 the rim design changed. The new W108 (250 S/SE and 300 SE) was introduced and did not receive the 230 SL rims with the pins anymore. Instead, the W108 got new rims (6Jx14H) with the MB part no. 108 400 00 02. These rims differ from the 230 ones in that they don't have the 3 pins anymore but instead pressed-in noses that hold the small center hubcaps. These rims were then used by MB for the 230 SL as well; however, the last and still valid spare part list 10126 (230 SL Edition C from Jan 1967) does not indicate from which exact VIN on. At the same time, the 5.5Jx14H rim was changed in the same way, the new part no. reads 113 400 03 06, these are the replacement spare part rims for the earlier 230SL up to VIN 005498 with the 5.5Jx14H wheels. None of the rims originally designed for the W113 are today available from the factory anymore. Today’s replacement rims from MB are 6Jx14H rims as well, but have a 126 part number and are only a poor replacement in design for the W113 but are well suitable as functional replacements. Today’s replacements cannot hold the small center hub caps.


Rim 108 400 00 02 showing noses instead of pins


From 280 SL VIN 000045 on the hubcaps design changed from two-piece to one-piece design but the rims did not. The W115/W123 hubcaps are similar to the one-piece hubcaps the 280 SL has had from serial number 000045 onwards, but later W108, W113, W108, W115 and the W123s used stainless steel wheel covers on their steel wheels, whereas early 280 SLs and W108s had chrome plated covers. The late W108 - W123 steel rims are not identical to the correct 280SL steel rims. The W123 and early W126 rims can be used instead of the original ones but there are differences in the holes and internal cooling fins. The following table shows an overview on contemporary steel rims used or partly suitable for the W113 chassis:

SteelwheelsOffset (mm)MB NumberUsed on W113
5,5x1430113 400 00 06
113 400 03 06
230SL
230SL until chassis nr. 05498
6x1430113 400 01 06
108 400 00 02
108 400 14 02
123 400 16 02
126 400 16 02
230SL from chassis 05499 (except 5500,..02,05,06,10,13,21)
230SL from chassis 144364, 250/280SL
no
no
no
6,5x1430108 400 08 02
116 400 04 02
126 400 07 02
126 400 15 02
no
no
no
no
7x1525126 400 28 02no

The current part number (as of 2012) for the standard steel bolts is A170 401 0170. See Wheel Bolts for further information.

Colours

230SL - 280 SL early had the visible outer surface of the rims always painted in body color. The remainder of the rim is/was painted with a grayish primer, not with body paint. With the introduction of the 113.044 280SL, the rims overall color changed to black.

Light weight aluminium rims

Mercedes Benz produced aluminium rims that could replace wheels on cars with hubcaps. The 6Jx14 H2 wheel was used on 1981 W123 280E and 300D automobiles in the United States market only. The part number is 123 400 15 02. They can only be used with the one-piece later style Hubcap. Each wheel weighs 11 pounds versus about 23 for the steel. That's a whopping 40 pound savings in unsprung weight. Add the additional 10 pound savings if you have the spare in aluminium as well, and you have a car that is much lighter on its feet; handles a bit better and takes the wheel covers.

Maintenance

Refinishing rims

The following lists (and gives time estimates) on one brave soulś effort on refinishing his wheels, after consulting several opinions on the forum:

  1. Buy anti corrosion paint and final paint (body color) = 1,5 hours
  2. Go to mechanic and get tires off, and car on 4 "seats"
  3. Go to tire shop, get tires off
  4. Take wheels home (total for previous tasks = 3 hours)
  5. Clean wheels with special intense de-greaser detergent. Time 20 min x 4 wheels = 1,20 min.
  6. Take old paint off with home mechanic metallic brush (effectively taking only damaged part of paint, except for very outer part of wheel where polished to metal. Not a perfectly professional job. Time 35 min x 4 wheels = 2,15 hours. Better results can be obtained by sanding down old paint and rust or even sand-blasting.
  7. Clean again wheels with special intense de-greaser detergent. Time 20 min x 4 wheels = 1,20 min. Much dirt comes off again.
  8. Paint each wheel completely with a good anti-corrosion paint, not only outer part (visible parts). 45 min x 4 wheels = 3 hours.
  9. Clean and polish all hubcaps and rims = 3 hours.
  10. Let rims dry 24 hours and then spray body paint on top of anti corrosion paint. 20 - 40 min x 4 = 1,20 - 2,40 min depending o painting only the visible outside of the rim or the complete rim in and out.
  11. Reverse transportation and installation, alignment of wheels and placing back rims and hubcaps = 5 hours.

Lesson learnt:

  1. Time spent in transportation, assembling and de-assembling: 9,5 hours
  2. Time spent painting several coats, including taking old paint out: 6,20 hours and more
  3. Time spent cleaning wheels, rims and hubcaps: 5,40 hours

TOTAL time for a job I had never imagined would exist when I bought the car = 21,5 hours (in a week-end, including Friday evening and Monday early morning)

Lessons learned:

  1. Count in sufficient paint, don't forget the 5th wheel if applicable. Plenty of time necessary and also quite some time for drying of paint.

Wheel bolts torque settings

Alloy wheels are torqued to 110 Nm (81 lbf ft), Steel wheels to 90-100 Nm (66 to 74 lbf ft)

Torque the bolts in a ”star” pattern (i.e. in a clockwise manner: bolt 1, 3, 5, 2 and finally bolt 4) using a hand torque wrench. Do not allow workshops to use an air powered impact wrench, even though they will claim it is "set" to the correct torque! If you can't fight the workshop people off, re-torque yourself when you have arrived back at your garage. Wrong torque can cause wheel disks or brake disks to become twisted and then wobble...
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