Wheels Rubbing - Lowered CLK W208

Tuigamala

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CLK 320 Coupe
Hi Guys & Gals,

Just picked up this CLK 320 a few weeks ago and was hoping someone could give me a bit of advice. Generally everything's fine apart from some rubbing issues with the wheels. Fronts seem to cause some rubbing on the front of the wheel well as it has a shiny patch on both sides of the car (only on full suspension travel i guess) and also slightly catching the very bottom of the bolt in the top ball joint. Rear driver's side has rubbed a whole in the wheel arch liner near where the fuel filler pipe goes down to the tank. As well as the rubbing there's uneven tyre wear on the inside edges so I'm thinking there's camber issues and the car skips a bit on full lock (but probably due to the rubbing/clearance problems).

Had the car up on the jack and taken the wheels off. From what I can tell the wheels are replica AMG's and the suspension's been lowered with an Eibach Sportline kit. #5 shims on the front, which I think is standard for the Avantgarde model, but couldn't tell for the rear. Here's the specs of the wheels & tyres:

FRONT: 19x8.5 ET35 (235/35 R19)
REAR: 19x9.5 ET35 (255/30 R19)

So, I really like the wheels and the stance of the car but need to sort the rubbing issues and tyre wear, but I don't know what's possible and whether either the suspension can be adjusted (changing spring pads etc) or if the Eibach springs will have to be ditched or whether I'll have to give up on the wheels.

For the rear, I've heard about various camber correction bolts that can sort out the camber, from MB, K-Mac etc. Will this sort out the wear issue on the rears and by straightening the wheels will this then sort the slight rubbing at the back since it's obviously the top inside edge of the tyre that's rubbing the arch liner?

For the front, I'm thinking that the clearance is just too tight and maybe these wheels just cannot fit on a lowered CLK. The gap around the tyre seems much less than the rears. Should I just ditch the Eibach kit and go back to stock Merc springs? Is there another lowering kit that's not quite as severe as the Eibachs? Also, would switching the dampers to aftermarket ones (I'm pretty sure they're just the standard Avantgarde ones) reduce the chances of the wheel rubbing with the top wheel well? Will correcting the camber stop the rubbing with the ball joint?

Alternatively should I try dropping to 18" rims in the same style wheel thereby giving a higher profile tyre with more rounded shoulders?

The tyres need replacing anyway so are there any particular models that are better than others for tight situations? I was looking at Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta's

A lot of questions I know, but hopefully someone with more experience who's been there and done it can help me out. This is my first Mercedes so I don't really know an awful lot about them and I'm no mechanic by any stretch.

Thanks.
 

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npuk

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See: Alloy Wheels Direct Ltd | Fitting Chart Index

Front: 19x8.5 ET29 235/35R19 Rear: 19x9.5 ET35 265/30R19 Brabus

Your running the wrong size tyres and the front alloys are the wrong offsets (need a spacer). Even with the correct offset and tyres you may still have issues depending on how much the car is lowered by.

The tyres need changing anyway so if you get the correct size and ditch the Eibachs it should all fit fine.
 
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kth286

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don't know much about the CLK, if you are in the UK then you will be pulled up
by the police at some time with those dark front windows I would have thought.
 
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Tuigamala

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CLK 320 Coupe
See: Alloy Wheels Direct Ltd | Fitting Chart Index

Front: 19x8.5 ET29 235/35R19 Rear: 19x9.5 ET35 265/30R19 Brabus

Your running the wrong size tyres and the front alloys are the wrong offsets (need a spacer). Even with the correct offset and tyres you may still have issues depending on how much the car is lowered by.

The tyres need changing anyway so if you get the correct size and ditch the Eibachs it should all fit fine.
Hi npuk, thanks for the reply. For the record, the wheels are just what were on the car when I bought it.

So, for the fronts I maybe need some 6mm spacers? I guess that would stop the rubbing with the ball joint but maybe not the wheel well. To be honest I've looked at that chart before but at the time I'd only had the back wheels off (which have the right offset), then I must've completely forgot about it! Thanks for reminding me.

I thought for tyre widths though there was usually a couple of options for the width, so 255's on the rear should be fine? Surely 265's would be even worse?
 
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Tuigamala

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don't know much about the CLK, if you are in the UK then you will be pulled up
by the police at some time with those dark front windows I would have thought.
Yeah, they did strike me as quite dark, although the actual windscreen's not tinted. Have been side-by-side with a police car at the traffic lights though and they didn't pull me over but they can just rip the tints off if it's not within spec. Doesn't bother me too much.
 

John

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Yeah, they did strike me as quite dark, although the actual windscreen's not tinted. Have been side-by-side with a police car at the traffic lights though and they didn't pull me over but they can just rip the tints off if it's not within spec. Doesn't bother me too much.

It's only a matter of time - there is no doubt they are not legal. The windows at the front should let in 90% light IIRC.

As you say - easily resolved.
 

mazza

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Hi

Wicked screen name mate, and what an excellent player he is...

As per NW Merc post regarding the 18's...

18's is the way to go, you get a bit more tyre profile + none of this rubbing crap.

find out what the original ride was when the car left the factory, this way you get correct rolling radius, display speed and actual speed.

all the best mazza
 

flango

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The lowest you can go on a CLK w208 running 19's and those tyre sizes is to lower it by 30mm, drop to 18's and you can go to -35mm like mine. Front offset on 19'sis definitely wrong. Drop to 18's check the Eibach kit on how much it lowers adjust accordingly and your problem solved :thumb:
 
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Tuigamala

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Mazza, cheers yeah an awesome player. And nobody ever registers it on forums lol !

Flanaia1, I'm 99% sure this is the Eibach kit that's on, looking at the model numbers on the springs:
Eibach / Sportline Lowering Springs / Mercedes-Benz CLK Coup

The site says the front will be 45-50mm lower so I guess that's too much of a drop for these rims. Is it a good idea to mix & match springs front to back or best to stick to the same kit all round?

I'm thinking 18's might be the way forward but even then the eibach's are no good. What suspension set-up do you run flanaia1?
 
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Tuigamala

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It's only a matter of time - there is no doubt they are not legal. The windows at the front should let in 90% light IIRC.

As you say - easily resolved.
Defo, car's off the road at the mo' but just reading up and the regs are 70% which these are definitely not I'd say. Question is whether to rip the whole lot off or get the fronts tinted a lighter shade (driver's side is peeling a little anyway). Don't want the car looking like a van!
 

Dieselman

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Any additional tint will make the fronts illegal.

As already said the wheels and tyres are the wrong size for the car, hence the rubbing.
 
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Tuigamala

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Hi Diesleman, do the fronts windows already have a slight tint from the factory?

From what I understand the wheels should fit this car (although really should've had front spacers) but maybe not if it's lowered. I get the impression the previous owner may have paid a lot of attention to looks and not much else.
 

Dieselman

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Pretty well all modern cars have tinted glass, which is down to about 72% transmittance, thus no more tint can be added.
 
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Tuigamala

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Pretty well all modern cars have tinted glass, which is down to about 72% transmittance, thus no more tint can be added.
Cheers fella, I guess I'll peel the fronts off and see how the rest looks afterwards. Probably a bit daft I'd imagine.
 

e55

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Hi Tuigumala!

Your first name not Inga by any chance is it?
 

achoren

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So what was the resolution? I'm elated to have come across this post (registered just to ask!) - I have an 02 CLK 430 I recently purchased CLS wheels of the same size/look and was unsure if they'll rub (I'll have them mounted in the spring with new tyres).

I have a stock suspension, so hopefully I'm in the clear, pun intended. But I saw you're having rubbing at the ball joint? I'm guessing I would experience the same problem, regardless of suspension setup? Would spacers help or would they generate a new problem of wheel-well rubbing?

Thank you for any help!
 
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Tuigamala

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So what was the resolution? I'm elated to have come across this post (registered just to ask!) - I have an 02 CLK 430 I recently purchased CLS wheels of the same size/look and was unsure if they'll rub (I'll have them mounted in the spring with new tyres).

I have a stock suspension, so hopefully I'm in the clear, pun intended. But I saw you're having rubbing at the ball joint? I'm guessing I would experience the same problem, regardless of suspension setup? Would spacers help or would they generate a new problem of wheel-well rubbing?

Thank you for any help!
In the end 2 of the wheels turned out to be cracked on the inside and the other 2 had been repaired so I just have the car on 16s with winter tyres at the mo. I'm probably gonna get the same style in the spring, either 18s or 19s depending on what I do with the suspension.

The question is really whether your wheels are originals or replicas like mine? A 35mm offset is too high on the fronts for 19s so they sit a little too far in which caused the rubbing. 5 or 6mm spacers would solve that. All the other problems were down to the lowered suspension.
 

achoren

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Thank you so much for your answer! Right on - I purchased replicas (same measurements as yours), though I do have 19's on now with 35mm offsets a bit narrower at 19x8 and 19x9. I think they rub just a tad now in the front when making a tight turn, hence I was a bit fearful when I purchased these new wheels without doing the proper amount of due diligence research on the wheels beforehand!

Though spacers may be required, I'm glad I'm not having to eat the purchase or go through the hassle of reselling. Thank you for the info and pictures very, very much!
 

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