Tyres are rare for the w116!!

1973-1980 : 280S, 280SE, 280SEL, 300SD, 350SE, 350SEL, 450SE, 450SEL, 450SEL 6.9
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Cream 280SE
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Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Cream 280SE » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 6:44 pm

Hello all!

Well I’m looking for new tyres for 1977 280SE. Current tyres are a Nexen brand, 205/70R14.

Have called all tyre retail outlets up here on the Central Coast of NSW.

Have been told there is a Hancook brand, Optimo, K715.
GT Radial Brand, VP1
Maxxis
Nexen, N Priz SH90i

What do other W116 owners have? Mine are the standard steel wheels.

Thanks Darren

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Chai
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Chai » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 6:46 pm

I've Michelin branded 205/70R14 on my standard alloys.
Chai
1974 450SLC

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cuisses
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by cuisses » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 7:33 pm

I just fitted Bridgestone whitewalls 205/75R14 (C) (for commercial) to my W108 with Bundt rims.
I had a bit of trouble getting 14 inch tyres from local places - they had no interest in sourcing them. The forum sponsor explained to me that the tyre business is cutthroat and the margins very small - hence the reluctance to sell anything slightly non-standard.
David Williams

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by John Green » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 9:27 pm

Check your owners manual, I think you will find that the original tyre size was 185HR14, which is 185/80R14 in more modern speak. These are even harder to find. However 195/75R14 should not be so difficult. The standard rims are 6" and a 205 width tyre idealy needs a 6 1/2" rim which the V8's had.
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by mrkozzy » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 9:50 pm

Bought a set of Hankook 3 years ago. (Nice fresh set of rubber. Date stamp on the tyres told me they were manufactured 4 months before I purchased them.)

I find them excellent value and ride. Top class in the wet.

(Bought from Jax Tyres)

I've always run mainly Michelin, also Vredestein and Pirellis over the years.

Cannot fault these Hankooks and the price is 1/3 of the Michelin.

Seeing as I only drive about 6oook per year and based on the 7 year rule, the Hankooks are the go for me.

Can recommend


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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Cream 280SE » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 5:48 am

Hello all

Thanks for the comments ,

Regards

Darren

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Lance » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 4:07 pm

I disagree that the 185HR14 is an 80 profile, according to my data manual and workshop manual they are a super low profile which by their definition is 75. It clearly states this in the manual and I have read and re-read this to be sure because I want the correct tyres for my W114 280E which has the same tyre specification as a w116 280SE (at least for my 1973 manual). The manual also states that a 205/70HR14 is fine for this car on a 6.5 " rim.
So you should be looking for a 185/75HR14. There is a Goodyear Optilife in that size.
To confirm the above I actually have a very old Continental (not on my car) and I measured sidewall height to width and it was definitely 75 ratio.
Regards,
Lance Smart

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W123 280E

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Cream 280SE » Sat 14 Apr, 2018 6:13 pm

Thanks Lance

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by John Green » Sun 15 Apr, 2018 9:15 am

Lance wrote:
Tue 10 Apr, 2018 4:07 pm
I disagree that the 185HR14 is an 80 profile,
To confirm the above I actually have a very old Continental (not on my car) and I measured sidewall height to width and it was definitely 75 ratio.
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by pastelgrey300D » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 1:18 pm

I've found this site to be good for reference - if you put in your tyre size it gives all the specs and a list of alternate sizes.

https://tiresize.com/tyre-size-calculator/

For example putting in 185 80 R14 it gives alternate sizes 195/75R14 and 215/70R14 as only being +/- 0.8% in terms of overall rolling diameter, which would make negligible difference to speedo error/acceleration etc.

FWIW i've ordered quite a few tyres from tyroola lately and have found the service to be very good, they often have specials including free freight or buy 4 pay for 3 etc. https://www.tyroola.com.au
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by AMG » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:05 pm

The original aspect ratio is derived from the metric conversion of the old imperial measurements.

The aspect ratio of any metric fitment wich DOES NOT have a specific sidewall profile percentage mentioned, is 83%. This is identical in convention to the original imperial sizing.

Any metric tyre placard which shows a 185R14 or 205R16 for example is an 83% aspect ratio.

Since it is over 40 years from the intriduction of the metric system, and the propensity for manufacturers is to move to stupidly low profile rubber, tyre companies have all but discarded the older sizes.

Yes, they still make Michelin XWX radials for your 450SEL 6.9 or your 500SLC or 300SEL 6.3, but obtaining them is the issue.

For the "normal" conversion, the general rule of thumb is to fit a slightly wider, slightly lower profile tyre, which equals the circumference of the original 83% aspect ratio tyre.

So in many cases, the 195/75R14 is ideal, if a little oversize on the fitment.

It was once common practice to fit oversize tyres, to allow a little extra footprint. 30 years ago when I had a weekend job working at a Bob-Jane Tmart, we would routinely fit 215/65R14 tyres to holdens and fords, where the original tyre was a 185 or 195 R14.

those cars needed all the rubber they could get under the arches, just to keep them on the road in the wet.

Mercedes has always had a very sensible tyre size fitment and optional wider rim selection for all of the models since the 1970's, and it certainly won't affect the fuel economy enough to be concerned about, when fitting a 205 tyre to a 6" rim.

So long as the aspect ratio of the new tyre provides a circumference that equals the tyre placard's original tyre specification, there will not be an issue with speedo error.

We haven't discussed load indecies or speed ratings - needless to say, the minimum specification is an S on passenger vehicles (180km/h) and on certain models (e.g. 560SEL w126) the specification is for a 205/65VR15 - and the V specification is one which is rather important, as it is a passenger tyre with a continuous speed rating AND higher load index, unlike later ZR (240km/h+) rated rubber.

The speed rating specifications change to increased W and Y ratings (300km/h+) for certain vehicles, but this is found on very low profile high performance rubber. ($$$$ for a set of 4)

for M+S rated tyres (winter tyres to be used in alpine regions) the speed rating and load index drops considerably. most M+S rated tyres produced these days have a max speed rating of 140KM/H and at those speeds in the conditions the tyres are designed for, is quite a risky proposition here in australia.

again, there are LT ratings for sidewall ply strength, (light truck) and these are more appropriate where 4x4 vehicles (Gelandewagen for example) utilize a large circumference tyre with a relatively small diameter rim, to allow the tyre to be deflated for use in offroad conditions.

For example... the 235/85R16 LT BF goodrich KM2 Mud Terrain as used on a plethora of 4x4's from landrovers to toyota 76/78/79 series, in mines, on forestry trucks, etc etc is an M+S rated tyre, with a light truck carcass, to handle a higher load capacity (GVM) and also has more sidewall plies to handle the extra laod and remain stable when deflated partially for offroad use.

When choosing a passenger car tyre, personal preference often trumps specification and price.

There is no real happy medium between price, longevity, grip, handling and ride quality (quietness). It is a case of the more you are prepared to spend, the grippier the tyre, the better the handling, the shorter the lifespan and the (sometimes) quieter the ride.

On Mercedes, I have found that Michelin and Continental are the only two tyres that provided acceptable performance for my own requirements. I've had all manner of stuff on them over the years, and even though Gretel has Bridgestone RE003's on it now, I'm not a fan. Compared to a michelin Pilot sport 3 in the same 225/50ZR16, the bridgestone wet grip is horrid, it's noisy and it feels numb on initial turn-in.

Conversely, when I fitted Michelin Pilot SuperSports to the megane for the first time (coming from Bridgestone RE050A -OE fitment and 40,000km) the michelins squirmed under braking, followed tramlines and generally felt very nervous.... until I put an extra 4psi in them. So the michelins needed 42psi, where the bridgestones needed 38.
The michelins were no quieter, and still did not feel as good on turn-in as the OE tyre.

on the standard 15x7 rims for the 560's, I had both continental and michelin. The continental were OE spec V rated 205's and perfect. the Michelins were newer spec pilot primacy and I did not like them. I ended up putting pilot sport 3's on the amg monoblocks and running those - and they are still on the car. Brilliant quiet high mileage tyre and very grippy in all conditions.

the marginal brands like toyo, falken, hankook etc, all produce a quality tyre if you choose the 'right' spec. And herein lies the devil in the detail..... when you look at the 'spec' that matches the OE, they are no cheaper than the major players in the market.... because the big players can sell volume and maintain profits.

So we come full circle, and see why it's hard to obtain the odd sizes.... like the 225/45ZR16 for the 16v. - only one other australian delivered car runs that size tyre - a toyota MR2, and they're not exactly thick on the ground..... so selection is heavily marginalized.

And this is why you're likely to find what you want in an 'alternative' brand, for less money than a major player.

I can also say the brand new pirelli P Zero tyres fitted to the e63 are noisy as all buggery, grippy and always smell like they have done 50 burnouts after I've just taken the car for a trip to the shops and back.... They'll be swapped out for some conti SC6's or PS4S michelins when theyre done (which won't be too far away it seems :violent3: )

So in a nutshell, be careful about your selection. If you're not using the car as a daily, spend the extra few bucks on a grippy tyre than one which is harder than a dried out corn cob.

Whether you choose to go for a slight overfitment for the rim because you cannot get the exact tyre size you want or brand, or whether you choose to fork out for the specific OE spec tyre to meet concours requirements is entirely up to you.

Just remember it all comes at a cost, and there is no one-tyre-ticks-all-boxes winner.

:occasion5:
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by T-Modell » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:14 pm

AMG wrote:
Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:05 pm
... and the V specification is one which is rather important, as it is a passenger tyre with a continuous speed rating AND higher load index, unlike later ZR (240km/h+) rated rubber.
... :occasion5:
I guess you're wrong here; "V" means up to 240km/h and extra load is specified separately. Here in Germany you HAVE to have "V" tyres as soon as your vmax is > 210km/h, which is the max for "H".

Regards
Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Cream 280SE » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:48 pm

So, in a nut shell.... what is the best size tyre / Brand I should be fitting in my w116 280se, 1977 model?

Thanks

Darren

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Ivanerrol » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:52 pm

T-Modell wrote:
Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:14 pm

I guess you're wrong here; "V" means up to 240km/h and extra load is specified separately. Here in Germany you HAVE to have "V" tyres as soon as your vmax is > 210km/h, which is the max for "H".

Regards
Thomas
Here in Australia where the speed limit is 100kmh or 110kmh.
The insurance companies insist you install the correct speed rated tyres rated on the maximum possible speed of the car as outlined in the owners manual. In essence, what ever speed rating is listed in the official owners manual is what the insurance company will specify.
So.... If you have a crash at 40KMH the insurance assessors will make sure you have tyres which are rated for 300kmh as per the owners manual. If you don't then your insurance policy is invalid.
W211 - E240
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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Ivanerrol » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:56 pm

Cream 280SE wrote:
Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:48 pm
So, in a nut shell.... what is the best size tyre / Brand I should be fitting in my w116 280se, 1977 model?

Thanks

Darren
First response by Chai :
Chai wrote:
Mon 09 Apr, 2018 6:46 pm
I've Michelin branded 205/70R14 on my standard alloys.
+1
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
Departed
W202 - C200, C180, C180
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240, E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by Ivanerrol » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 9:09 pm

Did you know that Michelin and Continental now make specific tyres suited to Mercedes, BMW and Audi?

Mercedes tyres have a M.O. label against them. BMW - BO and Audi - AO.


Back in the old days, Mercedes engineers spent a considerable amount of time and dollars getting the suspension and ride correct. Mercedes engineers specified to Michelin and Continental exactly what requirements they wanted per model.
Suspension components went so far as to even test every shock absorber and strut that came in from Sach's or Bilstein. matched sets were installed on cars. matched springs were also installed.
Mercedes wheels were manufactured to high standard.

Michelin and Continental tyres were considered to be superior because they were .....round. Other brands tyres were less "round".
if you stand behind the wheel fitter at a tyre shop while he is balancing wheels and tyres you can see the deviation out of round on many cheap arse tyres.

A Michelin or Continental tyre on a Mercedes Rim required very little weight compensation when being balanced on the machine at the tyre shop.

I had OEM W211 Yilduz wheels with Continentals on my W210. Two of the wheels required no weights at all when being balanced. The other two minimal weights.
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
Departed
W202 - C200, C180, C180
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240, E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by AMG » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 11:22 pm

Ivanerrol wrote:
Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:52 pm
T-Modell wrote:
Tue 24 Apr, 2018 8:14 pm

I guess you're wrong here; "V" means up to 240km/h and extra load is specified separately. Here in Germany you HAVE to have "V" tyres as soon as your vmax is > 210km/h, which is the max for "H".

Regards
Thomas
Here in Australia where the speed limit is 100kmh or 110kmh.
The insurance companies insist you install the correct speed rated tyres rated on the maximum possible speed of the car as outlined in the owners manual. In essence, what ever speed rating is listed in the official owners manual is what the insurance company will specify.
So.... If you have a crash at 40KMH the insurance assessors will make sure you have tyres which are rated for 300kmh as per the owners manual. If you don't then your insurance policy is invalid.
gets better.... if you happen to own the 'other' stuttgart stormer and the tyres do not have the porsche specified N1 / N2 / N0 fitment on each specific axle, then your up faeces creek in a barbed wire canoe with a crowbar for a paddle.

Yes Thomas I meant V≤ 240, but also here in AU, the V rating tyre is specified because of it's increased load rating, not just the speed rating. What I meant by my statement was that the ZR tyres almost always have a lower load index rating in the same size and profile as the VR tyre. As Les iterated, if for example you owned a 560SEL and on those standard rims you did not have a tyre that exceeded the placards speed rating and load index, then your insurance gives you a red hot poker right where you least desire.

The side issue is one of the +1 /+2 rim size increases, which usually results in a higher speed rated tyre due to the rim diameter increase. If performed correctly, then a +1 or +2 diameter increase will allow fitment of the same, or slightly wider (rules vary per state guideline and the NCOP) tyre, which has a load / speed index greater than the manufacturers largest optional fitment for that vehicle.

when not performed correctly, the speed rating is often increased - and the person thinks they are in the clear, until Mr Plod notices that the load index is lower than the tyre placard information.

It's more comon than many people think, because the cases are not always obvious. Recently I noticed 2 E class with different wheel/tyre packages. one had a larger diameter rim with runflats, the other was an inch smaller with normal tyres. The load index on the runflats was higher than the normal tyre. Both cars had the same tyre placard, one just had the 'optional' rim.
So if someone was to fit a larger rim diameter set of wheels from an aftermarket supplier, and did not fit the correct load index variant tyres to them, then they're rooted....

And that's how it was with the 126.039, and numerous times I would shop for a 205/65 15 and specify the V rating, and the tyre dealers would try and sell a bog standard H rated tyre with a lower load index - of the same brand and model.....

why you ask? because the VR15 is more expensive, they usually don't carry stock and they can sell the H rated tyre for almost the same price.

I didn't mention that they actually drive VERY differently. the V rated tyre is much more stable on the sidewall, and more predictable in handling. Amazing how hard you can throw a v126 into a set of twisties... :laughing6:
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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Re: Tyres are rare for the w116!!

Post by AMG » Tue 24 Apr, 2018 11:44 pm

Oh, one more thing I forgot...

SUV tyres - and high performance sedans which just 'happen' to have the same size and profile....

I think it was somethign like BMW X5 and the M6 or somethign similar - where both vehicles use identical diameter, width and profile fitments for (I think it's the rear axle) --- whatever it was. Porsche are in a similar situation....

Anyway, the gist of it is this:

the SUV tyre has a massively high load index for the same speed rating in the same size. and often they are WAY cheaper than their pesky high performance sedan stablemates.... So.... (I think you can see where this is heading) in order to "save a few bucks" phil the dill goes and buys 4 Contirelli Pilot ZeroSport SUV tyres for his GT Mx56....

and the steering is horrible, the tyres add huge amounts of unsprung mass to the axle and while driving his GT R8 'Flat out' with the super sticky contarelli's he has a handling issue on some bumpy road and trolls it into an armco barrier...

Phils not worried because he's insured and his v10 just caught fire and he posted it on youtube because that's how he rolls....

Then the insurance assessor denies the claim because the A0 code is missing from the sidewalls of his tyres...... he bought ones that had B0 on them.... "but they are the same tyre" err, no, they aren't. "You have B0"

That would be like saying dunlop aquajets are the perfect fitment for a Bugatti Chiron.... when we are all pretty much aware that a set of Michelin rubber for a Veyron / Chiron is nearly $65K AUD, and not $65 AUD. :jokercolor:
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Classic 4sp auto Ardennes Green "Oswald"
2012 E63 AMG Speedshift MCT Diamantweiß "Klaus"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"

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