Fitting my 450SLC with AMG ‘Penta’ rims

I had previously purchased a set of original AMG ‘Penta’ wheels and had tyres fitted.   My next step was to fit them to the car.   I waited until the car was back from having the subframe mounts done – It seemed silly to fix nice new wheels to a car right before they are being taken on/off in a workshop.   At the same time I also wanted to clean out the wheel arches.   I learned a couple of years ago these are supposed to be body coloured.   Due to the state of mine, I had assumed they were black!

A friend of mine runs a detailing business, and he suggested using a diluted wheel cleaner for this job.   I was able to source this through him, which was a big help.
450SLC with AMG 'Penta'As I started cleaning, I could see the black colour was a thick gooey mud like substance that took quite a lot of effort to remove.   The wheel cleaner certainly helped to get it off.   On the first wheel, I just used a regular spray bottle and sponge.   This took hours.   The wheel was not really compatible with the spray bottle and I could not get enough on.   The sponge did eventually get the stuff off, but it took a lot of scrubbing.

450SLC with AMG 'Penta'

The stuff dripping down reminded me of one of the anti-smoking ads they aired here in Australia during the 90s.   They had a sponge that was supposed to simulate a set of lungs and all the tar and residue from a long time heavy smoker.   It was quite an effective ad campaign at the time and this stuff certainly reminded me of it.

With 8 wheels to do, I wasn’t going to be done this year if I kept up this method, so I purchased a small pressure washer the next day, which I used for the other seven.  It took me a bit of time to get the hang of it and I think I may have slightly damaged the paint in one or two places I need to touch up.   There was already a bit of damage from when the 8 hole wheels rubbed before, so I anticipated this.

450SLC with AMG 'Penta'The second wheel was much faster than the first, and this included assembling and trying out the pressure washer.    On the first evening, I got one wheel done.   On the second, I also got one wheel done, but set myself up to do the next six in a marathon that lasted to 2am.

I didn’t get the wheel wells as clean as I hoped, but they were certainly much better than before.   As well as the dirt there was a thick tar like substance that wouldn’t come off without damaging the paint in some places.

The car did look rather interesting after just the rear wheels were done.  Its an interesting contrast and you really notice the fatter 225 width tyres with the deeper dish Pentas over the other wheels and their 205 width tyres.

450SLC with AMG 'Penta'I finally got all four mounted and I am really happy with the look.    This is now the 5th type of wheel this car has worn.   It was delivered with the colour matched hubcaps.   At some point a set of Australian made ‘Bundt’ wheels were fitted.   I never really liked those wheels, so fitted the 8 hole replicas for a couple of years.   Those wheels look better on the W126 than the C107, so I replaced them with the 15″ ‘Gullideckel’ wheels that were fitted on the 86-89 R107s.    Finally, I have the 15″ Pentas.       The Gullideckel wheels will go on my 560SEL, as the wheels on that car are in need of refinishing.

The only thing I would change is the bolts.  Even though I made them better, I am still not all that happy with how they look, especially contrasted with the wheels.   I’ll probably look to get a better set at some point.  Overall I am really like the look of a 450SLC with AMG ‘Penta’ wheels.   I think they really suit the car – far better than the modern wheels some fit.

450SLC with AMG 'Penta'

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