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Old 04-01-2002, 12:39 PM
Richard Eldridge Richard Eldridge is offline
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
About the shocks on my 300E

The reason I undertook this replacement was that when I took it in to get it aligned (I had run off an uneven curb and blew a tire when I got back on) the guy pointed out that the cupping of the tread was due to bad front shocks.

I forgot to mention, I also replaced the steering damper, which is a gas-filled shock absorber like device in the steering linkage.

When my 82 Buick needed bad shocks it passes the bouncie-bouncie on the corner test , but handled rather mushy. The old shock were utterly shot on this car, and you could push them down and they would stay compressed. unlikre the neww ones, which were springy. Changing the shocks did make a difference, but it still handled like a Buick: big and mushy.

All four of the Mercedes shocks will spring back up when compressed, although they are much slower than the new HD shocks, which needed about four times the effort to compress.

I finagled the rear shocks out of their comfy nest with some strategic cursing and a 24 mm open end wrench. I believe that the ideal tool for this job would be what mechanics call a "pickle-fork" aka a ball-joint separator. It took many tries to prop the end of the shock up on the edge of the "nest", and then I pried it
further with an old-fashioned tire iron (from that same 82 Buick).

The car now handles much more precisely: the nasty ditch that the Dade County street dept made across my street does not feel any rougher, but it's less noticeable than before. The car used to have a very slight dip when you turned it sharply at over 20 mph: it doesn't do that now. My venerable spare car, an 89 Hyundai Excel with 103K and original shocks on it, wallows much more.

All in all, it was worth the $400.00 the parts cost .

I forgot to mention: I also replaced the rubber bellows or boots and the yellow foam plastic damper gizmo on the front struts: they cost about $15.00 for the two dampers and the two boots. The old ones were totally wasted. The parts guy at Finish Line here in Miami I bought them from says most mechanics shops never change these. I suppose the boot isn't necessary, but you could tell something was wasting away the damper things.
The groove end goes UP by the way. I doubt you could get the boot on the wrong way, but the narrowest end goes up .

To anyone who likes fiddling with cars, I would say: this is the sort of thing yout might try doing by yourself, and good luck!
Semibodacious Transmogrifications a Specialty

1990 300D 2.5 Turbo sedan 171K (Rudolf)
1985 300D Turbo TD Wagon 219K (Remuda)

"Time flies like and arrow, yet fruit flies like a banana"
---Marx (Groucho)
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