"Staggered" wheels - really necessary ?

laurie.lea

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My wife has an SLK and I drive a CLK . As you folk are aware they have larger wheels on the rear, presumably to assist traction. My question is what would be the benefits of having the same size wheels on the rear as the front ? Presumably the slightly narrower width would give a theoretical improvement in grip in snow and the opposite in normal conditions ? Would our insurance company need to be notified ?

The benefit is that I could carry one size of spare and not have to rely on a poxy space saver.

Any thoughts / comments guys ?
 

Wighty

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My wife has an SLK and I drive a CLK . As you folk are aware they have larger wheels on the rear, presumably to assist traction. My question is what would be the benefits of having the same size wheels on the rear as the front ? Presumably the slightly narrower width would give a theoretical improvement in grip in snow and the opposite in normal conditions ? Would our insurance company need to be notified ?

The benefit is that I could carry one size of spare and not have to rely on a poxy space saver.

Any thoughts / comments guys ?
I fit winter steel wheels to my Clk every winter , they are the same size front and back , 205 55 16 tyres. My summer wheels are like yours staggered . Without winter tyres (or all seasons) the traction in snow would still be utter pants regardless of wheel size :D
 

M80

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The handbook details wheels sizes that MB approve.
Any other size could effect insurance I would have thought.
 

umblecumbuz

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I've often wondered about this.

My 204 Estate has wider wheels on the rear, presumably for load carrying rather than outright traction. My earlier 203 Estate had same size front/rear, with just as much carrying capacity. It seems to vary with spec on the saloons.

My CLC has same size all round, and a space saver.

As Wighty, my winter wheels are same all round. It makes sense to keep same all round when punctures are considered, but like many now, I carry both an electric pump and a big aerosol of tyre gunge for the rare puncture.
 

Headhurts

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Mine are staggered which is a nuisance when buying tyres, I have the foam thingy in the back.

I cannot ever remember needing a spare though on any car (talked that up)

Robin


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flowrider

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My wife has an SLK and I drive a CLK . As you folk are aware they have larger wheels on the rear, presumably to assist traction. My question is what would be the benefits of having the same size wheels on the rear as the front ? Presumably the slightly narrower width would give a theoretical improvement in grip in snow and the opposite in normal conditions ? Would our insurance company need to be notified ?

The benefit is that I could carry one size of spare and not have to rely on a poxy space saver.

Any thoughts / comments guys ?
The space saver will be the correct size for front and rear so you wont gain anything by changing the rear wheel size.
 

GlosRichCLK

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The space saver will be the correct size for front and rear so you wont gain anything by changing the rear wheel size.

What the OP means is he could have a full size spare, if he had one tyre size, with the benefits that brings i.e. not having to drive at 50mph.
 

flowrider

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What the OP means is he could have a full size spare, if he had one tyre size, with the benefits that brings i.e. not having to drive at 50mph.
But where will he store the full size spare? I expect the space under the boot floor will only take a space saver spare.
 

GlosRichCLK

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My A208 CLK has a full size spare, but his is a W209 so he will have to check.
 

EmilysDad

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Mine are the same front & back, but no chance of fitting a full size spare in the stowage space that my stretchy spare lives in ☺
 

umblecumbuz

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Reminds me of the guy in the fancy two-seater (no names please - I had one!) who picked up a blonde then got a puncture.
With the blonde watching, he cleverly found a space saver and a large round zip bag in the boot, so he changed the wheel - then realised that the zip bag was for putting the punctured wheel in.

Goodbye blonde! The wheel would not go in the boot. It had to sit on the passenger seat - hence the zip bag.
 

Wighty

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Reminds me of the guy in the fancy two-seater (no names please - I had one!) who picked up a blonde then got a puncture.
With the blonde watching, he cleverly found a space saver and a large round zip bag in the boot, so he changed the wheel - then realised that the zip bag was for putting the punctured wheel in.

Goodbye blonde! The wheel would not go in the boot. It had to sit on the passenger seat - hence the zip bag.
Surely you would leave the wheel by the side of the road , until business with the "blonde" was concluded and then return for the wheel :rolleyes:
 

John Laidlaw

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Unless you’re pushing to the limit then no need I think
My 63 has same size front and rear in winter and it works well - ok maybe a bit squirmy under spirited driving
My SL could have had the staggered set up or not, when I bought it from Malcolm it didn’t and I wouldn’t have had it any other way
As others, check what’s alllowed and if so , go for it- if the book says it’s ok then your insurance will be fine too
 

Mic

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My wife has an SLK and I drive a CLK . As you folk are aware they have larger wheels on the rear, presumably to assist traction. My question is what would be the benefits of having the same size wheels on the rear as the front ? Presumably the slightly narrower width would give a theoretical improvement in grip in snow and the opposite in normal conditions ? Would our insurance company need to be notified ?

The benefit is that I could carry one size of spare and not have to rely on a poxy space saver.

Any thoughts / comments guys ?


The answer, so far as I am concerned, to the Thread Title question is NO, complete nonsense on a road going car.

Completely unnecessary and add nothing aesthetically and prevent tyre "rotation" which adds longevity to tyres.

Mic
 

LostKiwi

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Tyre width has no effect on straight line grip per se.
A wider tyre just changes the shape of the contact patch but not the size. To change the size of the contact patch you either need to alter the vehicle weight or the tyre pressure.
The behaviour of the tyre with side loadings does change with width. A wider tyre with a lower sidewall will deform less under cornering forces than the taller narrower tyre so is in theory more stable and can better maintain the contact patch shape.
 

flowrider

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To maintain the rolling radius of the wheel the tyre will have to have the same sidewall height no matter what the width of the tyre so surely there will be no change in stability.
 

flowrider

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To maintain the rolling radius of the wheel the tyre will have to have the same sidewall height no matter what the width of the tyre so surely there will be no change in stability
 

Uncle Benz

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I believe that they fit a staggered setup to these cars to make them inherently understeer. This is probably because the average driver would get themselves into trouble beyond the limit in an oversteer situation.
 

LostKiwi

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To maintain the rolling radius of the wheel the tyre will have to have the same sidewall height no matter what the width of the tyre so surely there will be no change in stability.
Take it to extremes... If you have a 1" tyre that's 3" tall in the sidewall there is very little lateral stability. If you have a 12" wide tyre with 3" sidewall there is a lot more lateral stability. The higher the ratio of tread width to sidewall height the greater the lateral stability of the tyre will be.
 


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