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Old 08-01-2008, 03:14 PM
seo seo is offline
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123 ride height

I recently bought a 1984 300td that appears to have 72,000 miles on it. Nonetheless, even with the trunk and backseat empty it displays a peculiar "crouching tiger" stance, with the rear noticeably lower than the front. Or maybe it's the "leaping puppy" stance...
Before fooling around with the suspension, I'd like to figure out if the front is high or the rear is low. To that end, does anybody have any measurements for how high off the pavement a stock suspension should ride? None of the crummy manuals I have address this. I don't know if it's fatigued rears or misadjusted front, or what?
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:32 PM
TheDon's Avatar
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thats normal...

the W123 was given the name "The Wedge" by its creators due to its agressive sance.

but if you've got a higher front than rear, you're probably due for shocks and or new rear springs

now is this a wagon? because you mentioned 300TD which is a wagon.. not a 300 TurboDiesel.. that would be a 300D Turbodiesel
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:47 PM
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if you do infact have a wagon, remove the cap off of the SLS res. while running and see if fluid is circulating, if so that means the pump is good.
1985 300TD Turbo Euro-wagon
1979 280CE 225,200 miles
1985 300D Turbo 264,000 miles
1976 240D 190,000 miles
1979 300TD 220,000

GONE but not forgotten
1976 300D 195,300 miles
1983 300D Turbo 175,000 miles
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:25 PM
seo seo is offline
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Sorry 'bout that. It's a turbodiesel sedan. I do have a station wagon, but that's another question.
My concern about leaping to the rear spring conclusion is that I once replaced the front struts on a Dodge AWD Caravan, and even though the parts looked identical, and it was the same springs, the front suspension wound up noticeably higher (The "leaping puppy" stance). I don't want to renew the rear springs and then discover that the problem was that the previous owner had installed front parts from a different variant of the same chassis.
Which is why I'm trying to get height numbers for the front and rear, and see what's what. As al alternative I'll go slinking around town with a tape measure, checking distance from the fender lips, or the rub strip, to the ground.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:44 PM
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85 300D 4spd+tow+h4
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The hood lip (at the corner) should be 1" lower than the trunk lip. Check to see how many nubs are on the spring shims in the back.
1987 300D Sturmmachine
1991 300D Nearly Perfect
1994 E320 Cabriolet
1995 E320 Touring
2001 Eurovan FOR SALE
1985 300D car, sold and missed.
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:59 AM
seo seo is offline
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Is that hood and trunk lip as in the seam between the hood/grille and trunk lid/rear panel?
Also, where are the spring shims? And what's a nub?
Feelin' stupid out here in Maine...
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:17 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
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It's quite common for these vehicles to sag in the rear due to worn suspension components. The look is exaggerated because, as the rear sags, the front rises. When the rear is corrected, the front drops back to proper attitude.

The most likely causes of sagging rear ends are as follows:

1) Differential mount. The rubber collapses and the body drops.

2) Rear subframe bushings. The rubber compresses and the body drops.

3) Rear springs. The springs give up a bit on compressed height and the body drops.

4) Rear shocks. The internal charge is very low and the body drops.

The problem can be any or all of the above. If the vehicle has over 200K with no funds spent on the suspension, consider the "all" to be the likely scenario.

A cheaper way of fixing the attitude is to go with non stock rubber spring pads above the rear springs. The thickest pad available is 19mm and it "might" cure the problem, depending on how severe it is. This approach is not the proper approach to worn suspension components, however, if the attitude is the main objective...........and proper handling is not...........then, go for it.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by seo View Post
Also, where are the spring shims? And what's a nub?
The springs sit on rubber pads located between the top of the spring and the spring perch. There are different thicknesses available from the dealer, from 1 nub (thinnest) to 3 nubs (thickest I think). If you crawl under the car you can count the bumps on the side of the pad to see what ones you have in the car now.
1979 240D- 316K miles - VGT Turbo, Intercooler, Stick Shift, Many Other Mods - Daily Driver

1982 300SD - 232K miles - Wife's Daily Driver

1986 560SL - Wife's red speed machine
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