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  #1  
Old 10-12-2004, 10:48 PM
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SDL ride height

I need some assistance with the ride height of the SDL. I changed shocks this weekend and installed the Bilstein comforts. I am quite pleased with the improvement in ride quality. The shocks that were removed, although supposedly gas charged shocks, could be easily moved by hand. Clearly, they were doing nothing to slow the movement of the front end.

The problem that has now surfaced is the ride height in the front.

The fender is 28" off the pavement! The tire is 24" (205-65-15) and there is 4" of space above it. You could host a party in there.

Prior to the new shocks, the fender was at 27". Still seems a bit high, but not unreasonable. At 28", the vehicle looks ridiculous. The additional inch of height was caused by the resistance in the new gas filled shocks that actually work.

I am at a loss to explain why the ride height would be this tall. I would seriously doubt if the front springs are anything but original. The rubber seat at the top of the spring does not appear to be more than 5/8" or so.

I have installed the shocks with a steel washer and rubber bushing underneath the fender and with another steel washer and rubber bushing on top of the fender, in the engine compartment.

It would appear that the vehicle would need to be lowered by 2" to look "proper".

Any and all comments are requested. If anyone else (SDL only) can measure their fender height, this would also serve to provide some data for comparison.
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  #2  
Old 10-12-2004, 10:52 PM
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Sounds like you were just used to the lowered ride height of your car from bad shocks. I can speak for my Crown Vic.. the old OEM shocks were worn out and the car sagged something terrible. I put in new Edelbrock IAS shocks and it looks like there is a jack under it holding it up.. the height increased a few inches.
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2004, 10:54 PM
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Since you can compress (with difficulty) the Bilsteins by hand I fail to see how the gas pressure is providing you with a full inch more of ride height. Not that I am doubting you, just thinking maybe something else is happening? Incidentally, installing Bilstein HD's in my 300D didn't change the ride height at all.... RT
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2004, 10:57 PM
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RWT:

If the old shocks were basically doing nothing, and the new ones have a couple of hundred pounds of resistance to them, then this is going to increase the height, by effectively taking a couple of hundred pounds off the springs, correct? If not, then what else could cause this? The only change was the shocks (other than calipers and rotors, which clearly have no effect).
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2004, 11:49 PM
romansek
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dallas, Tx
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I checked 3 W126's and the dimensions from the pavement to the fender is in the range from 26-3/4" to 27-3/4". My front shocks are old, I think if I installed new shocks I probably will gain 1" in height.

Roman
87 300SDL 155K
86 300SDL 212K
86 420SEL 225K
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:02 AM
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Thanks Roman. Does the vehicle with the 27 3/4 height look a bit funny to you, or is it just me?
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:15 AM
romansek
 
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Brian, it looks fine. I did not paid any attention to it, but when I changed my back shocks I liked gained hieght.

Roman
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:18 AM
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That may be my problem. My rear sits at 24.75" because the springs are shot, and the shocks are probably no better. I've got to do rear springs, and, if I gain a couple of inches back there it probably won't look as bad.

I still would like to get the front end down to 26.5" or so. I don't see any easy way to do this without modifying the factory spring.
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  #9  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:20 AM
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My Talon did the same thing when I installed new struts, it makes it look like it is ready to go offroading in some rally racing.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoostnBenz
My Talon did the same thing when I installed new struts, it makes it look like it is ready to go offroading in some rally racing.
.......but it looks a bit ridiculous on an SDL, especially when the rear is at 24.75".
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:38 AM
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I don't know what you can do about it short of adding several hundred pounds to it or getting softer spring rate springs. I had a couple hundred extra pounds in my trunk with a fuel tank of fuel... I could really have used that extra wheel gap.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:41 AM
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I just measured the SDL:

LF - 27-1/2"
LR - 26-5/8"
RF - 28"
RR - 27"

Riding on 225/60-15s

LR tire has a slow leak.

Replaced Bilsteins and read subframe bushings within 5-7K miles.

Compared to the my 3 SWBs (81 SD, 83 SD, 91 SE) which all had a worn looking cowboy rake, the SDL has a funny car rake. It does seem to be on the high side but nothing I care to change.

In your case, Brian, I think you should address the rear sagging first and see that that does to the front. I suspect the front will drop some when the rear contributes more.

Talk to Gale Banks about a second turbo and intercooler. That'll add some useful weight to the front

Sixto
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  #13  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
about a second turbo and intercooler. That'll add some useful weight to the front
If it isn't broken, fix it until it is!!
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Mercedes W123 DIY pages are now located here.
1983 / 1984 300D Sold
2000 CLK430 Cabriolet ~58k Sold
2005 Avalanche 4x4 ~66k
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  #14  
Old 10-13-2004, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixto
I just measured the SDL:

LF - 27-1/2"
LR - 26-5/8"
RF - 28"
RR - 27"

In your case, Brian, I think you should address the rear sagging first and see that that does to the front. I suspect the front will drop some when the rear contributes more.
Thanks Sixto. I definitely need to fix the rear. If I can get it up by two inches or so, I'm sure that the front will come down a bit. I'm going to put the thickest rubber bushings above the rear spring that I can possibly find.
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2004, 01:08 AM
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Just bushings? Why is this, so you can use just a standard spring compressor to loosen it and drop the bushing in or what? Figuring most springs are progressive rate I'd think adding bushings would also make them stiffer as well as raising the car up.
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Mercedes W123 DIY pages are now located here.
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2005 Avalanche 4x4 ~66k
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