Yes, some type suspensions incorporate the shock into one of the structural members. This of course has to be a member with a vertical component.
Because this strut now telescopes the device has more ways to fail than a normal shock who's concern is just in and out. The strut/shock also is responsible for the structural component of sideways play. Movement sideways on a vertical strut causes camber changes and often is the reason for negative camber that is uncorrectable whin normal adjusting mechanisms. This can be a concern on 124 and 201 bodies. The 202 and 210 bodies went back to upper and lower control arms.
I am posting a picture, tell me what kind of suspension it is of the above two types. Anyone care to guess what car it is from?
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician