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Old 05-24-2009, 02:58 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Amarillo, TX
Posts: 644
Best Shocks/Struts for a W124 300D?

I had Bilstein HD's on my W123 300D and they seemed pretty good.

Do Bilstein Sports lower the car any?

Are they too firm for this chassis/engine?

I will be traveling about 1000 miles a week in the car so highway comfort is somewhat important.

The struts/shocks on the car right now are about shot and they are cheap ones to begin with.

My driving will be in the VERY windy Texas Panhandle and that is one of the reasons I know these must be shot.

A high crosswind will cause the car to roll occasionally as will passing a tractor-trailer on windy days.

I know that this model was a bit wallowy from the factory but I would like to minimize this for handling and safety reasons.

Another reason I suspect they must be shot is that the right rear and right front mounts were LOOSE when I bought the car. The lower rear mount would "pop" upon every shift and would rattle over bumps. I then found the mounting nut on the right front strut had about 1/4 inch gap between it and the washer.

I have no idea what the previous owner was thinking by letting this continue. He was also driving it on dirt roads extensively in this condition.
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1993 W124 300D
-297K on the clock as I type this.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2009, 01:17 PM
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Dieseldiehard
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bay Area No Calif.
Posts: 3,982
The W124s are tight handling vehicles and should only wallow about only if the suspension is worn. The rear is especially prone to causing this condition, there are several links which the bushings wear out and if yours are worn then it may feel weird in a sidewind also a check for this condition is that on acceleration from a dead stop the car will want to drift sideways even without any wind. If your fighting the steering then maybe you need some new rear suspension parts, or the front as well.
The Sport shocks aren't any stiffer than the OE, but they are designed to run with shorter springs. Bilsteins are the way to go and while you are changing the struts you might want to consider the mounts, see if the rubber is getting cracked, they have been known to fail in some cases sending the front shock up to the hood
Also the nuts used on the shock towers are supposed to be lock bolts, I can't imagine one coming loose! I always replace them with new when replacing the strut mounts, maybe someone has reused them on your car?
You might want to look at gsxr's thread(s) on the suspension upgrades available, he has a table of the parts that can be interchanged on these cars. I am using heavier front and rear anti-sway bars which improved steering response a lot over OE.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2009, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Amarillo, TX
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I suspect the mounting nuts were loose because somebody who didn't know what they were doing installed them.

The rear lower mount had about 1/4 inch of thread between the nut and the mount. It is a locking nut and I suspect that whoever installed it felt some resistance and stopped.

So, If I used Bilstein sports I would have to also use shorter springs?

I will definitely check into the rear end bushings and the heavier sway bars all the way around.

The PO said he replaced the front ball joints and I noticed a new tie rod down there also.

I suspect that if I have any worn suspension parts it will be on the rear.

However, I did notice some pretty deep cracking in the front strut mounts so I may have some work to do yet up there.
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1993 W124 300D
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