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  #31  
Old 08-22-2009, 06:43 PM
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I realize that car wise it may be apples and oranges but I put 4 new Billy Comforts on my 123 and it rides like a new car and can out corner my Jetta wagon with Koni Reds. I do have new Michelins on the Benz and worn out Contis on the VW but still in all it is a great handling and riding combo.
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  #32  
Old 08-22-2009, 07:43 PM
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A balanced RWD car can out-corner a front-heavy FWD car? Imagine that. Perhaps that's why you don't see FWD in F1, Indycar, NASCAR, IMSA GTO/GTP, etc. (unless in their own handicap class).

Seriously though, I think that since two of us have BTDT with the 124/KYB combo and feel that it really sucked, probably not money well spent. I'll probably go Bilstein comfort next time for that stock feel, but those adjustable Koni reds in the shop need to go somewhere, ...
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  #33  
Old 08-23-2009, 06:42 AM
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Well, I installed Bilstein HDs all the way around on my last W123 and it seemed fine.

I do remember being able to go about 50 mph over a serious dip I didn't see before hand and lived to tell about it.

The Bilsteins completely absorbed the impact. It was like I just cut through a wave in a boat without getting bounced around.

However, I have gone against conventional wisdom and have bought a full set of KYB GR-2s off fleabay for a total of $226.92, shipping included.

I then bought new strut mounts and some regular maintenance items from my regular parts supplier. So, I will be installing the GR-2s next week and hopefully proving some of you wrong.

I have read lots of reviews on them, none were on MB's though, and they seem to get very good reviews from those in Camry's, Maxima's and the like.

They only negative reviews were from ricers that also had sport springs, lowered the car too much for the product, etc.

We'll see.

Larry Bible, you never mentioned which KYB product you used in the past.

Were they the AGX's?
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  #34  
Old 08-23-2009, 03:51 PM
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You might be fine with the result, they control the car fine, just IMO cheapen the ride with an un-Mercedes harshness. On a Camry, how could you tell if it made it ride cheap, ... plus each make/model car uses a different shock/strut.

If the bilstein HDs made a 123 handle well, ... if a 124 ever handles like a 123, you need major suspension maintenance.
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  #35  
Old 08-23-2009, 04:40 PM
LarryBible
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I can't remember exactly which model KYB I put on my 300E, but AGX doesn't sound right. I think they were GR2's.

It sounds as if you are a penny pincher like I am. That's what made me buy the KYB's to start with. They were cheap. They are well built, but WAY too stiff for the 124.

I must say though, it's interesting when someone asks for advice, then gets actual first hand advice, THEN ignores the advice.

Maybe the harsh ride won't bother you as much as it bothered me. The harsh ride is only part of the equation. When the ride is too harsh, what comes along with that is too much dampening that prevents the tire from staying planted on the pavement better. When the tire is not consistently planted on the pavement, handling suffers.

I wish you the best of luck with them.
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  #36  
Old 08-23-2009, 05:52 PM
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Yeah, I am sometimes funny that way.

It has been suggested in the past that I insist on learning the hard way.

Either way, I've already paid for them.

Another question I had was how many miles did you two have on the cars when you installed the KYB's?

I have almost 225K now but there have been some suspension parts replaced by the previous owner. I don't think the springs were, though.

My front struts are completely toast and at least one rear is too.

If the KYB's are as stiff as you two say they are, I will be in a completely different car.

It is very windy here and a couple of times a week the car seems like it wants to roll over when I get as stiff cross wind.

I may be over reacting by going with the stiffer option but that is a very unsettling feeling that I want to avoid. Oh, and I'm CHEAP.

If history is any indicator, at least half of my cheapness-motivated moves turn out to be very frustrating.

So as I see it, I have a 50/50 chance of being happy with my decision.

Another thing in my favor is the very soft-sided tires I have on the car right now.

They are General Altimax HP's and they have a very soft sidewall.

They are highly recommended on Tirerack for performance and mileage but it has been acknowledged that they are a bit soft.

They're rated second in their class, Grand Touring All Season.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=General&tireModel=Altimax+HP

According to my calculations I will have a stiffer ride than stock(which is NOT what I have now with blown, cheap aftermarket struts and shocks) but also a softer tire than stock.

I am hoping for a reliably firm but not harsh ride with this combination.

I'll also have to remember this when I replace these tires in about 50K so that I don't beat myself to death with a firmer tire.

I will update this thread when I have installed the KYB's and have a few miles on them.

Wish me luck!
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  #37  
Old 08-23-2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babymog View Post
You might be fine with the result, they control the car fine, just IMO cheapen the ride with an un-Mercedes harshness. On a Camry, how could you tell if it made it ride cheap, ... plus each make/model car uses a different shock/strut.

If the bilstein HDs made a 123 handle well, ... if a 124 ever handles like a 123, you need major suspension maintenance.

Well, I didn't say the 123 handled well but it was acceptable.

It definitely could absorb some serious dips and potholes with aplomb but the handling was still a little iffy even with all the suspension upgrades I completed.
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  #38  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:14 AM
LarryBible
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As I said I'm a cheap skate too. That's why buying the Bilsteins was so hard to take. I took off a perfectly good set of KYB's to put on the expensive Bilsteins that I should have paid for in the first place.

Although I AM a cheap skate, in my 60 years on this Earth I have finally learned not to pass up Dollars to pinch Pennies. That's what I did when I bought those KYB's. As I recall, I sold them to someone and got some of my money back. Getting rid of them in place of a set of Bilsteins was one of the best things that I did in the course of trying to make the car drive and handle they way I wanted it to.
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  #39  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:41 PM
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Well, I just revealed that the existing shocks/struts are GABRIEL.

From what I can gather Gabriel in English means JUNK.

They are junk shocks/struts that are also beaten to smithereens.

Those KYB's should be quite different.
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  #40  
Old 08-30-2009, 01:34 AM
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Well, the deed is done.

And....I am very impressed.

There is no harsh ride I was warned about.

The KYB GR-2 front struts are working just fine as are the KYB Gas-A-Just rear shocks.

My cornering has improved dramatically as has my braking.

There is no harsh ride whatsoever and big dips are completely absorbed.

My Verdict:

Excellent buy!

I don't know what others installed them on but I have nothing but good to say about them.

I only have about forty miles on them so far but I have driven interstate, large, sweeping, circular entrance ramps and rough city roads.

They even do very well on the brick-paved streets we have here in town.

The front right strut was in pretty bad shape as were both bump stops with the right one looking worse.

Once off the car, I would push in the strut rod and it would come out all herky-jerky like something was binding up inside.

The left one did it too but not as bad.

The rears were completely gone as I suspected.

I gained about an inch of body height in the rear with the replacements.

I didn't measure the front but it looks like it raised it a bit as well.

I also replaced the front strut mounts with some Meyle heavy duty replacements that claim they exceed OEM standards.

I am more impressed with the upgrade on this W124 than I was with my W123 that I installed Bilstein HD's on.
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Last edited by i-osprey; 08-30-2009 at 01:39 AM.
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  #41  
Old 08-30-2009, 01:39 AM
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go with the bilstein hd's
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  #42  
Old 08-30-2009, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmaysob View Post
go with the bilstein hd's
If you would have read ahead you would have seen that I went with the KYB GR-2's and they worked out beautifully.

Thanks for the advice anyway.
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  #43  
Old 08-30-2009, 09:18 AM
LarryBible
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I'm glad that they worked out well for you. It very well could be that KYB learned that these were too stiff for the chassis and modified the valving. I am not the only one who complained about them back about ten years ago. Since they are not too stiff I'm sure that they will serve you well for a long time.
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  #44  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:34 PM
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Mine were installed about 2years ago on my '87 300D, but perhaps they have changed, or it's just the taste of the user. I remember how my '91 rode new, and liked it, didn't want it any softer nor harsher.

I also am happy it worked out for you.
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  #45  
Old 08-30-2009, 05:04 PM
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I should also qualify that my only reference point for ride quality on the W124 chassis was this car with very bad shocks and struts.

So, I guess you have to take my experience with a grain of salt.

I have however owned many, many cars and I have to say this set up is very good.

Since I have heard it suggested that the W124 was what Lexus was trying to reproduce, I would have to say that mine definitely doesn't ride like a Lexus but it is acceptable and much more predictable than my previous setup.

It does indeed sound like they have made the appropriate adjustments in the product.

This setup is very good.

For the record, I have KYB GR-2 struts up front and KYB Gas-A-Just shocks in the back.
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