Author Topic: 116 tire size?  (Read 8879 times)

The Warden

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116 tire size?
« on: 17 April 2006, 02:33 PM »
I guess this is what you get for assuming... ;)

What size tires are factory on the 116 chassis? Or, alternately, what are you running, and how happy are you  with the ride, handling, etc.?

I had assumed that they were 195/70R14's (which is the factory tire spec for the 123 chassis, and since IIRC the wheels are the same...), but I'm seeing difference answers on tire sites (actually, the prevalent answer is "Vehicle Not Found; Please Contact Representative ::) ). I looked on the doorjamb, and the sticker said that the factory size is "185 HR 14" (which I guess is an old designation?).

Thank you in advance!!

BTW, unless I hear that they won't fit for any reason, I have a used set of 195/70R14's that are going onto the bundt wheels I have for the 116 on Wednesday, so I should be able to drive her by the weekend! 8)
1979 300SD (W116.120), miles unknown, daily driver, keeping her on the road
1984 Ford F-250 6.9l IH diesel

OzBenzHead

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #1 on: 17 April 2006, 04:45 PM »
According to my Owner's Manual, these were the standard tyres:

280 S / SE / SEL ("summer" tyres) - 185 HR 14 or 185 HR 14 90 H or 185 R 14 90 H - on 6 J x 14 H 2 wheels

350 SE / SEL ("summer" tyres) - 205/70 HR 14 or 205/70 HR 14 93 H or 205/70 R 14 93 H - on 6.5 J x 14 H 2 wheels

450 SE / SEL ("summer" tyres) - 205/70 VR 14 - on 6.5 J x 14 H 2 wheels.

This Owner's Manual does not include specs for the 6.9.

I am presently running my 116 280 SE on Sumitomo SC890 A/S whitewalls of spec. P205 70R 14 93 M+S on the 6 J x 14 H 2 "bottle-top"/"baroque" ("bundt" to Statesiders) alloys. Despite my initial reservations about these tyres (I bought them because they are the only off-the-shelf whitewalls available in Oz - and even then they had to be ordered in!), they are proving to be excellent in roadholding - all weathers - and quiet running; however, they are just a tad soft in the sidewalls compared with what I'm used to (they are, I think, only single-ply walls). I just don't go kerb-bashing in them!

The Warden

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #2 on: 18 April 2006, 12:25 AM »
What do the "HR" and "VR" designations mean?

I'm guessing that's a tire rating that's not used in the U.S., or has a different set of acronyms...

...but it sounds like the 195/70's should fit okay. I'm guessing that the 185/70's went on steel rims, while 205/70's went on bottle top/baroque/bundt cake rims?
1979 300SD (W116.120), miles unknown, daily driver, keeping her on the road
1984 Ford F-250 6.9l IH diesel

OzBenzHead

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #3 on: 18 April 2006, 12:42 AM »
What do the "HR" and "VR" designations mean?

AFAIK, the 'R' simply stands for 'Radial'; the 'H' and the 'V' are speed ratings (at maximum load).

letter   km/h   mph
N   140   87
P   150   93
Q   160   99
R   170   106
S   180   112
T   190   118
H   210   130
V   240   149
W   270   168
Y   300   186
You might find this site interesting (even though it is UK-based and probably Eurocentric).
http://www.tyres-online.co.uk/tech.asp

s class

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #4 on: 18 April 2006, 07:00 AM »
Warden,

Oz's comments are all spot-on.  You *can* use 195/70R14, but the rolling diameter will be slightly too small affecting your gearing and your speedo accuracy.  The olther problem with 195/70R14 is the load rating will be a little low. 

In South Africa the 6 cylinder cars all came with 185SR14, regardless of whether they were equipped with Bundts or steel wheels.  The v8's all had 205/70HR14, which is what most owners of the 6 cylinder cars eventually switched to as well. 

I have tried many tyres on my 280SE, all in 205/70R14 on 6.5Jx14 Bundts.

Bridgestone Turanza GR50 S&S (from their Austrailian catalogue) in 205/70HR14 are absolutley superb if a little costly.  They have incredible wet and dry grip, and very crisp response from the stiff sidewall.  THis can make them feel a little "crashy" in some people's opinion, but I can live with that in exchange for the incredible directional stability.  They are also very robust tyres and handle accidental curbing without apparent damage.  I have had good results at 2.3/2.5Bar front/rear. 

EVERYTHING else I have tried feels vague and wallowy in comparison.  If I had to take a slightly cheaper option, my choice would be Bridgestone B700 in 205/70TR14 or Nankang NE826 in 205/70HR14. In both cases they would need to be hard - say 2.7Bar to make up for sidewall stiffness.   

Michelin is traditionally a popular fitment on Mercedes, but I have found the MXTE 205/70TR14 very very disappointing.  They are so marshmallowy soft as to be undriveable on the rear - even at 2.8Bar.  I have not tried the more upmarket Michelins such as Certis or Primacy - they may be better.

I have more limited experience with the following (on my 15" Bundts) :

Yokohama A539 in 225/60VR15 : Softer ride than the Turanza GR50's but generally inferior in terms of grip.
Goodyear Eagle in 225/60VR15 : good lateral stability and impressive ultimate grip. 

On the W116 chassis I have found that good tyres are really worth the cost - especially on the rear.  Also don't be shy to pump the tyres hard - especially at the rear.  This will also help to couteract the chassis tendancy to wear both inside and outside shoulders.  Generally it is preferable to have higher pressure at the rear than the front, even when unladen.

I have in this post been advocating higher pressures than some might prefer, but Its my personal choice as a means of
a) improving sidewall stiffness (and hence cornering response)
b) somewhat counteracting shoulder wear problems
c) decreasing rolling resistance.

Be aware though that all tyres have a maximum safe pressure.  When running tyres very hard, especially with cheaper ones there can be a tendancy for "ribbing" of cracking - the tread blocks can actually start splitting up due to impact forces.  I have seen this happen on cheaper tyres even when below their recommended maximum pressure. 

Hope some of this helps. 

Ryan in South Africa

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

OzBenzHead

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #5 on: 18 April 2006, 03:40 PM »
Ah, yes - I forgot to mention tyre pressure.

I run mine at 36 psi using nitrogen. Nitrogen, being inert, is temperature-stable and, hence, pressure-stable; i.e. no matter the ambient temperature, or how far and fast I've driven, the pressure remains within a whisker of my preferred 36 psi. This is not only a good thing in itself, but the tyres, too, run cooler as a result, as there is no hot air inside them to exacerbate materials fatigue.

Now I know there are two diametrically opposed views on using nitrogen in tyres - the other view insists it's complete bullsh*t. However, I've now used it through four sets of tyres on three Benzes, and I'll swear to a positive difference.

Another advantage of the stability seems to be that I never have to re-inflate: I've never yet lost so much as one psi in any nitrogen-filled tyre (and it can take me three to four years to go through a set on a daily driver).

For $7 per tyre when fitted (only at Bob Jane T-Marts), or $14 per tyre if they weren't fitted at BJTM, I consider Nitrogen excellent value in monetary and safety terms - even though I have to drive 80 km for the privilege (nearest BJTM being at Tweed Heads). (An extra bonus is that the franchisee of BJTM Tweed Heads is a Benz man, so he appreciates one's feelings for one's Benzes.)

Captain Spalding

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #6 on: 18 April 2006, 10:39 PM »
Hi Oz,

After the warm welcome you gave me in the recent Sunroof thread, How can I put this as uncontentiously as possible. . .

I cannot speak off hand to the relative benefits of filling ones tires with nitrogen versus compressed air. But the notion that nitrogen, by virtue of being inert, is temperature-stable - Hmmm.

As an inert gas, nitrogen does not support combustion. But it is neither temperature- nor pressure-stable. Here is a common sense example. If I take a welding cylinder filled with compressed nitrogen and put it in a fire, the temperature of the nitrogen will rise, as will its pressure, and the cylinder will explode. Air is 78 percent nitrogen, and so its thermal expansion characteristics do not differ significantly from pure nitrogen.

Consider performing this experiment. Before a long commute, let all the nitrogen out of one of your rear tires. Refill with air. Note the cold pressures of both tires. At the end of your commute, measure the pressures again. My bet is that whatever small pressure increase there is will be comparable between the two tires.

If I were pressed to make an unsupported claim about why nitrogen might be of benefit in a car tire, I would say that when a tire is filled with pressurized air and then heated by road friction, oxidation is encouraged in both the tire and the valve stem seal, eventually degrading the them. By substituting pure nitrogen for air, the atmosphere inside the tire is free of oxygen, stifling oxidisation.

But who knows, really.

- Spalding
« Last Edit: 18 April 2006, 10:56 PM by Captain Spalding »
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OzBenzHead

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #7 on: 19 April 2006, 12:02 AM »
Hi Oz,

After the warm welcome you gave me in the recent Sunroof thread, How can I put this as uncontentiously as possible ...

Consider performing this experiment. Before a long commute, let all the nitrogen out of one of your rear tires. Refill with air. Note the cold pressures of both tires. At the end of your commute, measure the pressures again. My bet is that whatever small pressure increase there is will be comparable between the two tires. ...


Cap'n S: No need to worry about treading on my bunions by raising contention; you're more than welcome to challenge anything I write. I might even discover that I'm wrong now and then.   ;)

When I first read of the nitrogen idea I did, in fact, try it by running one front and one rear tyre (diagonally opposed) on nitrogen and the other two on air, over a 200 km highway drive (speeds in the range 90-150 km/h). At start of trip all tyres registered 35 psi on my Jaeger gauge; on arrival at destination, the nitrogen tyres gave readings of 37 psi and the air tyres gave 43 psi. That was a large enough difference to convince me.

I do accept that my reasoning given in previous post may have been less than scientifically sound, but my initial trial, plus now quite a few years and many tens of thousands of km driving later, I'm convinced of nitrogen inflation's worth.

Here are a couple of links that deal with the subject:

http://choosetoprosper.com/nitrogen-in-car-tires.html
and http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question594.htm.

I certainly suits my purpopses. In the end, as you say ...
Quote
But who knows, really.
« Last Edit: 19 April 2006, 03:23 AM by OzBenzHead »

Mforcer

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #8 on: 19 April 2006, 03:07 AM »
I was going to chime in regarding nitrogen but I see no point repeating what out friend Captain Spalding has already written.

I will still add that when I bought new tyres for my car, I bought the very best I could afford. When it comes to safety, NOTHING is more important than the tyres on your car. No other aspect of your car works without the tyres doing their job as well as they can... your car will not brake let alone accelerate without tyres.
Michael
1977 450SE [Brilliant Red]
2006 B200

Captain Spalding

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #9 on: 19 April 2006, 08:27 AM »
When I first read of the nitrogen idea I did, in fact, try it by running one front and one rear tyre (diagonally opposed) on nitrogen and the other two on air, over a 200 km highway drive (speeds in the range 90-150 km/h). At start of trip all tyres registered 35 psi on my Jaeger gauge; on arrival at destination, the nitrogen tyres gave readings of 37 psi and the air tyres gave 43 psi. That was a large enough difference to convince me.

Thanks for accepting my comments in the spirit intended.  :)  I think it is important to perform that experiment on tires of the same axle. The driven wheels generate more heat, so there is typically a difference between front and rear.

The first link you mentioned cites the following:

According to the Michelin Tire Manual, a tire that
is inflated with Nitrogen loses itspressure 3 times
slower than if it were inflated with air.


and

Nitrogen provides longer tire life: Nitrogen inflated tire
run cooler and require less maintenance according to
the Goodyear application bulletin.
[/center]

Meanwhile, in this article it says:

Michelin officials recommend nitrogen only for tires used
"in a high risk environment and/or when the user wants to
reduce the consequences of a potential abnormal overheating
of the tire-wheel assembly (for example in some aircraft
applications)," according to a company statement.

But for all other tires in normal use, nitrogen "is not required
and does not necessarily bring the expected benefit. "It is true
that the physical properties of nitrogen reduce the pressure loss
due to the natural permeability of the materials of the tire and
thus the broad use of nitrogen will in general assist motorists
with pressure maintenance.

"Nevertheless, the existence of several other possible sources
 of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the
wheel) prevents the guarantee of better pressure maintenance
for individuals using nitrogen inflation."


and

Jim Davis, public relations manager for Goodyear Tire and Rubber,
says replacing air with nitrogen is "a tough call." . . . "There is no
harm to the tire from using regular air. But we urge people to check
their tires monthly." . . . Checking tires for correct pressure also has
a side benefit. "When you're down there, look at the tires," Davis said.
"You may notice a nail or tread that is wearing abnormally, and you
can catch it before the problem becomes worse."


The problem with the internet is that one can find research to support any viewpoint. I have no more reason to believe the article I citied than the one you cited. I'm a big fan of emperical testing. As mentioned, I think your findings would be totally persuasive if the tires you compared were both on the rear axle.

I also think it is important to note the concerns of the Good Year representative that was quoted. His worry is that consumers will fill their tires with nitrogen and then neglect them in every other way.

When I wash the car, I wash the tires as well, and feel all the way around the tread. I find more stuff that way. Luckily I have one of these.



Cheers,

Spalding



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John Hubertz

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #10 on: 19 April 2006, 06:40 PM »
That's a nice kit spalding.  where did you get it and what was the cost?
John Hubertz
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Captain Spalding

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Re: 116 tire size?
« Reply #11 on: 20 April 2006, 10:02 AM »
That's a nice kit spalding.  where did you get it and what was the cost?

I got mine from Expedition Exchange (link below). Do a search for Safety Seal and you will find a hundred vendors who carry it. You can pull a nail and have the tire repaired before it's lost 5 pounds of air pressure,  without jacking up the car or removing the wheel. There are similar kits with less robust tools, but for steel belted tires, you need those big tools.


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'91 300GE Cabriolet GRAY MARKET