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Old 03-13-2003, 08:45 AM
Richard Eldridge Richard Eldridge is offline
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
HD Bilsteins improved the ride

First off, the car leans less in turns than before with the old standard shocks.

It is not a rough and bumpy ride at all. My friends mention that the car rides really smoothly. I should mention that I have the stock 15" 15 hole wheels the car came with. My guess is that if you use 16"wheels and skinnier tires you will get a bumpier ride, even though you may look cooler while doing it and you will spend less time cleaning brake dust out of those 15 hateful holes with an old toothbrush as I do every month or so.

The car seems to track better at high speeds (85 is as fast as I've gone).

I replaced the four shocks with HD Bilsteins and also replaced the yellow plastic shock bumper thingies (that fit at the top of the front shocks) and the bellows. All these parts were clearly worn out. After I queried several shops about this, it eseemed pretty clear that they didn't believe that it was necessary to replace anything but the shocks. They all agreed that this was a really really HARD job and was worth $400 to do. It was harder for me on my patio than for them with a lift, I am sure, and it took me a day and some minor aches. I am a college teacher and no one ever pays me $400 for a day's work, and I like learning new stuff, so I decided to do this myself, since no electricity was involved.

As I said, the front spoiler dragged on parking lot stops before and no longer does. The car is still too low to drive up on my ramps. One thing I like about my 123 wagon is that it rolls right up those ramps, thereby saving me jacking and jackstands. I always change my own oil and filters, because that way I know that everything is tight and done as I want it done.

The front shocks have more bolts holding them on, but the rear shocks seemed harder to mount. Jacking the shock into position and turning it so that the bolt holes lined up was a real pain, The first one took about an hour, the second under ten minutes. I used a balljoint device called a "picklefork"I bought for a dollar in a yard sale to jockey the shock into position and lever off the jack and into its hole.

This was the first relacement of shocks on a Mercedes that I'd ever done.

I don't know anything about Konis. I do know that the local guys did not have and were not aware of the existence of HD Bilsteins. They had Boge comforts at about the same price.
I don't know anything about Boges, either. I bought the Bilsteins because the consensus on this website is that they are the best. Labor is the major expense in doing the job, but I always try to use the best materials so I won't have to do the job twice. Again, I don't KNOW that Konis or Gabriels or Boges are just as good or better because I have no experience with them. I am very happy with the results of the HD Bilsteins.

The four shocks cost right at $400 delivered. The bellows and plastic bumper things were extra and not expensive, but my guess is that if I had known of their existence before the job I would have bought them from the same vendor for less than I paid the local guys.

I bought them on the web, but I don't recall the vendor at the moment. I did mention all of this stuff earlier, I think.

Good luck with your shocks.
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)

Last edited by Richard Eldridge; 03-13-2003 at 08:57 AM.
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