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Old 09-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
modrover
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Thumbs up Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :vD

Ok folks... I know it's been covered and I'm certainly not lazy (sifted through threads already). So, once and for all... does anyone have the definitive answer as to which model (number stamped on rim) 16" steel rim will fit onto a 2002-2005 T1N Sprinter 118" 2500 model that has the 15" rims on it?

My 2005 has the 15" rims and I'm just not pleased with the limited ply rating options and tread patterns for this size. I know my tires... let's just leave it at that. I want to fit 215/85R16 tires on mine.

Also, reading those other threads of guys who fit 215/85R16 tires on their 2500 118" T1N rigs, it wasn't exactly clear as to what was required or in need of modifying to fit this size. It was mentioned that some of the mudflap sections needed to be trimmed, but what about the tires rubbing other areas like the body or underside bits when turning the wheels full lock side to side?

I also read something about having to swap out brake calipers for another size to be able to use the 16" rims? Huh? That part really didn't make sense to me. Did MB really design different calipers for the 2500 models that use 15" and 16" rims?

I'm sure there's a 16" steel wheel that just bolts right up in place of the 15" rim right? Ok, call me el-dumb-o, but would you please enlighten me?! ;v)

Again, I don't mean to irritate anyone by asking these questions again, but I seriously couldn't find solid answers to these questions.

Thank you in advance... this has been a wonderful wonderful place to learn from!
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

In the early 2002 Sprinters, all of the wheels were 15 inch. For the 140 and 158 inch Wheelbases, for the 2500 series models, they updated to 16 inch rims a few months into the model year. In doing that, they added a 1 inch spacer to raise the body for the larger tires (kind of like the spacers they sell for pickup trucks if you want to raise them 3 or 6 inches to allow of much larger tires).

I don't recall anything special about the 16 inch stock steel Sprinter rims sold as NAFTA models - they are all the same size for the 2002-2006 2500's that use them. My Sprinter was missing a spare tire when I got it and I bought a rim from a company that did RV conversions of Sprinters (they were putting Alloy wheels on instead).

You can look in the parts manual for your year of Sprinter - there is a section for wheels and it lists the part numbers that you are interested in. If you had put the year of your sprinter in your profile ('User CP' in the blue bar), I would have put a link to the actual manual you need, however its here:

http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/

The 2002 Parts manual might have the spacers listed, so you might even be able to order them (and not have to trim anything to use the larger tires).
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

IIRC from reading the archives, any pre-2007 (T1N) 16" rim fits just fine (except 3500 duallies).
(My 118 is also curious about this topic....)
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

They do list a different part number for the brake rotors between 15" and 16" wheels. Maybe the 16" rotor is slightly bigger??
If that's the case then 16's will fit on a Sprinter made for 15's but not the other way around.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

If you are near Philadelphia, PM me and you can stop by sometime and throw my extra set of 16" rims and tires on your van to see what happens (no, they aren't for sale).
Or maybe if you post your location, someone on the forum might be near you and can offer the same thing.
Good luck.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

I did look up some part numbers, but then I also did read in a couple threads about a certain part number rim fitting... and then another stating that it didn't fit. This is why I'm confused. I'm planning to buy a used set from someone, but I certainly want to make sure I've got my facts straight.

I'm hoping someone who's got firsthand experience fitting the different steel rims chimes in.

I would think that any of the 16" rims, aside from the dually rigs, from the 2500 series would work, but like I was saying... the opinions of others tell me... it ain't that easy. I even remember reading the rigs with the 15" rims do in fact have different calipers/rotors and that they interfere with the fitting of some 16" rims. Odd, like mentioned, you'd think the calipers/rotors on the 15" would be smaller and just fit the 16", but maybe the 15" rims have different bends in places that work with those brake components and the 16" rims have bends in them that hit stuff.

Again, I'd love to get some feedback from someone who had the 15" steel rims and then bolted up some 16" steel rims... what you personally found to work... and if you had any issues with brake parts not allowing them to fit correctly.

Thank you to the posters so far... I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of this.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

Oh... and I'm located in the Portland, OR / Vancouver, WA area.

Any you lot have a set, that you know will fit my 2005 T1N 118" rig, that you'd sell me?!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

The specification for the dishing may be different between the 15" and 16" wheels hence requiring different brake components to fit the space?

Have you tried asking somewhere that sells wheels?
They usually have a some kind of reference material to let them know what the options are for any vehicle.

I think the stock tyres are 215x70R15 aren't they? I'm sure the profile is 70% anyway, so going to 85% profile on a 16" rim is likely to give you clearance issues (it's nearly 4 inches bigger) not to mention speedo calibration issues. I think you want to be looking at 65 or 60% profiles.

I have an idea, take your spare wheel to a scrappy and compare it with some 16" wheels until you find some that will fit in the required places, and then buy the set for minimal outlay.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

225/70R15 is the stock size. Diameter of 27.4"

215/85R16 is what I'd like to fit. Diameter of 30.4"

There very well could be clearance and speedo issues. I'm not hell bent on making these fit if it's going to mean re-engineering the whole rig.

I remember reading two threads, a couple months back, where a fella did fit this size to his 118". He used steel Sprinter rims and 215/85R16 tires... and only had to trim the thick-wide mud flaps. The thread never stated what rim number and... I can't find the thread now! I was hoping that fella would see this thread and chime in again.

The idea of calling on my local tire/rim shop is a good idea. I'll check that. They'll probably try to get me to slam the Sprinter and put some spinners on it!
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Going from 15" rims to 16" rims... the white elephant is beating the dead horse :

Btw... my reasons for wanting to do this is so I can go taller (not wider) with tire. Camping and exploring on fireroads can be a bit scary with the low profile stock size tire. The problem I have found over the years, when running taller tires with heavy vehicles, is that the ply ratings really make a substantial difference. I have sworn by 10ply rated tires for both safety and long wearing. This is my opinion mind you. I only really know what I've personally experienced.

On all the old Range Rovers and old Discovery rigs, some came stock with 205 tires!, I've bumped up to the 215/85R16 (10ply version) and it was a major improvement in many areas. The speedo being off a bit was not an issue as you just get use to it. Now, I understand a Sprinter isn't a Land Rover, but I still require more ground clearance and if I'm going to go taller in size... I demand a firmer ply rating.

I think there are a couple 10 ply options in a 15" tire size... if I go one more size up from what I have. Sadly, the tread pattern is not what I'm after. That's the other big problem... tire options are lacking with these 15" (for me anyway).
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