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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello to all. I thought I'd pack an introduction thread with my first 10 days of modding notes. Some items I mention could be spread out in various forums or posts in more detail, but until fully developed, this will serve as the thread of record for my ride.

Background....
I've been on an Mercedes kick for a few years now, my first own MB is my black CLK 500 Cabrio because I simply wanted a convert to run errands in summertime, Northeast PA. I grew up in dad's convertible Mustangs, Porsche Targa, Mercedes 450SL etc. VW Cabrios were dear to me, mostly based on cost considerations. Mom had a 1961 190 from new, I have the registration...."black"

When it came time for a modern convert, my main brand Audi left me short. Their V8s are flawed. The corresponding 2006-era Audi Cosworth V6 3.0 code AVK (run away) is flawed, as well as a horrid CVT trans. So, no....thanks. CLK is rock solid in every way. A car I can take to Monoco, for $8000 (62k) Vibrant resonator exhaust mod did wonders, best $50 ever.

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Somewhat hooked, I snagged a C Class wagon for my Florida car. Made 7 trips so far, I did the serp belt, MAF, and had the control arms done, it was $3000. Made it as far south as Miami and back. M112 and M113 are bulletproof engines.

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I killed last summer with my new Metris, a leftover passenger model that only cost me $28,000 new with 9 miles. Took it to Florida last winter. It's amazing, and reduces the need for me to have a big SUV, or even my fair sized Audi Avant. As much as I like the M-Class SUV, it would compete with the Metris....smaller was the way to go.

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So when I hit a ball of wire with my perfectly good Avant and damaged the fender and bumper, I over reacted and got the GLA.
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Not a problem, because the GLA is great. I'm bored after 23+ Audis and a similar number of VWs. In fact, you can say I jumped at the chance for a GLA because I like them so much. Definitely a unique vehicle, like many of my cars. My wife currently has a new Golf Sportswagen in white, 6-sp with JB4 advanced piggyback. The Avant has a Neuspeed Power Module, fwiw. We had 2 Tiguans, which served us well, including a 6-Sp with APR on A3 springs. Relevant for comparison to the GLA.... the Tig is kind of like the new GLA, taller like a lunchbox.
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We had a Q5 that we kept a long time, it was another good vehicle, I would take it again if pressed, but we decided not to ever get the same model car twice again. So, the GLA came into being...
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I feel like the wagon is an outdated body style. I do like the new European C Class wagon a bit, but the usual E Class wagon I would normally want to own just doesn't do it for me. The place I bought the GLA had TWO C63 AMG wagons there. I watched a RS6 video and realized how obsolete they are. Maybe someone coming from a sedan might want it as a segue into a liftback, but there are too many good CUV lifted vehicles on the market to stick with the wagon. Roads are terrible here in PA, theGLA works well. My dogs can hop into a wagon better than SUV, and again, I like smaller vehicles for DD. My Avant was fine for an ONLY car, with or without roadtrips, but the GLA is better for DD with the Metris as the flagship.
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Ok, I'll leave it there for now. I will pick it up with my mods tomorrow, and which I promise not to disappoint.
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I blacked-out the rear 1 inch of the grille "wing" bars to reduce that big slab of grey plastic. Done with vinyl tape, I can remove or change it. Maybe I'll buy a diamond grill at some point, but it does look better imo.

The Euro nose for this car is different, the opening is raked forward, rather than rearwards, making a very different overhang on top of the opening, like 8 inches instead of US, the 5 inches of painted plastic below the hood, where the emblem is. Visually moving the "bars" forward creates a bigger looking opening on top, sort of the overbite shark look of the newer better Euro bumper-grill combos. Plus, it's just too much grey!

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imma redo it w/o the blue chrome. Top bar has 1/2" black plus 1/2" blue chrome. Bottom bar just the chrome. If I could reduce the bars further, I would.
Still, not bad. The side gills are painted now too. Titanium silver Rustolium looks pretty good. Sure they will chip, but they pop right out and can be redone in a snap.

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It's a little blingy, yeah. I added some cheap chrome trim that I had laying around to the door bottoms as blades, but the finish wasn't as nice as I remember, so I took them off for some 3/4" chrome tape, which I might install tomorrow. It'll look virtually the same as...
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Not a great pic, but yeah.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Not quite needing winter tires, I'm going with my 2-sets of all-seasons approach. A nice set I keep for winter and a set of smoker all-seasons for summer. Car came with Maxxis Bravo. While a legit tyre mfg name from post-war Europe bicycle tires, they are now owned by the loathsome Cheng-shen tire company, the 9th largest in the world! Ok, so maybe I keep them since they are brand new. Barely worth the aggravation to sell them and swap for better ones, like I have done many times before. No, I will accept the unacceptable for now because I really want to use these 17's off my Metris....
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I know, 17's. I think this car will be good with 17's on my rough roads. I was going to go jumbo 235/60-17 but got 235/55-17 Pirelli P7 A/S Plus. On closeout for $94, a solid choice. The reviews are consistently good, same for the staff comparisons test against some other top range tires. I want a crusier tire that is quiet and comfortable for the GLA. It's good in snow too.

They won't go on for a while. Surprisingly I sold my Nexen Winguard Sport 2 locally really easy. An excellent all-weather tire leftover from my Audi, but 1/2 size too small, imo. They would have worked, but the difference of $200 on the Pirellis is well spent. I'm not THAT cheap.

More mods later this week.
 

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Ordinarily I agree with going -1 for Winter rims. Saying that, our OEM 19" with the Conti A/S run-flats have been quite good for us over two years now (pick-our-day driving). Plus we really like the looks of the 19" on the GLA. But again, if a dedicated Winter set, yes I would go 18".

Nice Mod's!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I go back and forth between 17 and 18 on several different cars. It usually comes down to the size of the vehicle, deciding which works better.
My preference is for the smaller wheel / bigger tire combo, but to be objective I think the GLA will fall below the size threshold for 18's....imo.
I've seen lots of regrets with VWs on bigger wheels. For instance, I would not put 18's on a Golf, and I didn't like them on the Tiguan, but on the V6 Q5 they were a necessity. I did run 17's on the Q5 and they worked well for their intended purpose. The Tig is the exact same size as GLA, the Q5 a bit bigger, so I am somewhat consistent, bigger than 235/55-17 should go up to an 18.
The GLA instance is a little different. If I was going for snows, sure more people would agree that the 17 would be a good choice. But I am right on the edge here with the vehicle and my usage. I think 17 is still acceptable.
Also, I mean....look at those wheels, they are awesome. Letting them sit around unused is not an option, no more than buying another set of 18s is....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Avant was better on 18's, a slightly bigger vehicle and tire combo than the GLA.
Here, the Golf on 16s and 17s. I could not see going larger, because there's not much tire then.
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Discussion Starter #10
I redid my chrome trim in favor of vinyl tape. Much better and cleaner looking. I dunno if the 3/4 stripe is too wide, or if I should add a 1/2" stripe to it???

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Mea Culpa....
As I was just washing our GLA 250 AWD I was reminded that as a condition of the on-lot sale we opted out of the OEM 19" black wheels and were 'given' 18" silver at no cost (5-split spoke per my avatar). So our Winter driving has always been on 18" Conti A/S run-flats and have been just fine up to medium depth snow. Excellent in more prevalent sleet/slush/rain too.
The 18" look plenty large to me and hence why I've been confused until now, and sorry for any subsequent confusion to the forum.

Our FL 250 FWD has the black 19" however. They like more bling down there. 🤪

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Discussion Starter #13
When I said the 17s worked on the Q5 as intended, I didn't actually put snows on, just some Destination LE2 for winter, which were pretty good. I have them on my Metris now, but it doesn't see any snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Again, I'm not too happy with the Maxxis Bravo HP from a ride quality standpoint. I have no point of reference with the GLA, so I'm hoping the P7s will help me decide what to do with the stock wheels and the Maxxis. I can say that on roadtrips the overall fatigue factor of the GLA is much higher than my Avant, which has the buttery Nokian eNTYRE 2.0 on. I think the P7s will work out, and I'm really looking forward to trying 17's.

Speaking of which, I forgot the other reason I came back to the thread... this guy's channel is very good.


It corresponds with the uk site: Tyres by Brand - Tyre Tests and Reviews @ Tyre Reviews

I recommend the 2WD vs 4WD snow video and the All-Terrain tyre video...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
245/50-18 or 235/55-18 is the new question. I want to have a plan ready for when the Maxxis sell.

Eagle Sport for $110 might be "for the win"...

235/55-18 is my preference right now. I assume our wheels are 8" wide, which can run 245s, but...?
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Discussion Starter #16
Update.

Because I signed up for Track Night In America at Pocono, I took a detour with my old set of 235/50-18 bald Conti Control on Voxx 18s w40mm offset. They will run 10mm wider than stock and a full inch bigger barrel at 8in. I can't believe stock 18s are only 7in wide, w/235 mm tires....kind of odd, and lame. The tires sit flush with the body now, instead of "tucked". I'll grab a pic sometime.

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I sprayed my rusty brakes silver. A technical specialty of the highest order, it takes years of training to bend the pizza box just right and use as little masking tape as possible.

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Upon further inspection, the brakes are about half beat, but the rotors have little wear. I may slap on pads at some point. The Contis are a one-and-done situation. After TNIA I will decide what kind and size of tires I will get for summer street driving + mild track use. I want to go to as many tracks as possible just for voyerism, not splitting seconds on the clock. I have a nice place in Daytona, and spend a lot of time there...I want to "pick up the pace" a little, so to speak.

Part of the dilemma is those Voxx are great dimensionally, wider and less (more) offset w/o using spacers, but the finish is beat. I would need to spray them silver to go ahead with another set of tires, unfortunately because they look awesome.
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Although I ordered 12x1.5x33mm conical bolts, I didn't know MB went to 14mm bolts. Oops, I realized when I took it apart, but was able to reach into my big bin of bolts and pull out the correct, but a little long , brand new tapered conical bolt set! There is plenty of extra room inside the GLA hubs for longer bolts, the rotor hats are huge. Audi and MB are fully compatible now! (except for offset)

I also found unused 14x1.5x40 BALL seat bolts for when I put my 17's with 15mm spacers on. That install will trigger another post, unless I have pics from TNIA. It's Sept 14 if anybody wants to show up, I'm easy to find, I'll be guy the with the cheap mods.
Track Night 2020: Pocono Raceway - September 14
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Discussion Starter #17
After running the old Contis for a week, I'm convinced the harshness I experienced was from the Maxxis tires.

So I ordered a cushy performance tire, the Nokian Zline SUV.

luyfuky.PNG

I'm familiar with the regular all-season version, but I wanted a summer-only tire on 18's to complement my 17" Pirelli P7s A/S, my winter tire. Anyway, I'm not waiting for after track night or anything, they are going on this week.

I went with 245/50-18, $449 I passed on the 255/45-18 for only $340. Those won't fit the 7" wide stock wheels, but mine are 8", still I would reserve 255 for an 8 1/2" wheel.
 

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I have the Zline at the back for a few weeks, it is good, but it is not a high performance tire. For a 250 it should work great, but a 45 depend on what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The 245/50-18 Nokians are on! 8inx40mm offset....

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More steering feel than I expected of a taller tire.

I have my 235/55-17 Pirelli P7 ready for colder temps. These Nokians are the summer-only Zline.
 
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