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  #1  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:49 AM
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Suspension Refreshing

The car sags in the rear, and I understand that this may be a result of both front and rear bushings.

The previous owner replaced all 4 shocks with new Bilsteins.

Does someone have a parts list to refresh both front and rear suspension and the general amount of work/time needed to complete a full job?

Now that the car runs like new, i'd like it to ride like new.

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  #2  
Old 12-28-2009, 12:24 PM
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Isn't a saggy rear from worn out springs?
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2009, 12:28 PM
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I'm intimately familiar with the sagging rear on the SD.

Before condemning the springs, which is the classic approach by most, here's what I found:

1) The diff mount and subframe bushings on the rear were in excellent shape. Must have been replaced by the PO at some previous date. I replaced the shocks with new Bilsteins about two years ago. So, nothing to do with the rear is going to help the SD short of new springs (which I do not yet believe are necessary).

If your diff mount is shot, that's the first thing to do. Same deal with the shocks.

2) Got into the front end in a big way over the last year. Pulled the springs and found that the spring pads were the thickest available............19mm. I removed them and replaced them with the thinnest available..........8mm.


The front end came down about 1.5" and the fenderwell clearance looks proper.

The most interesting phenomena is that the back end gained about 1" during this endeavor. Apparently, lowering the front causes the rear to rise slightly.

So, the SD looks just about perfect now. Slightly high in the rear with no fuel and slightly low with full fuel. Cannot get better result than this.
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2009, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
I'm intimately familiar with the sagging rear on the SD.

Before condemning the springs, which is the classic approach by most, here's what I found:

1) The diff mount and subframe bushings on the rear were in excellent shape. Must have been replaced by the PO at some previous date. I replaced the shocks with new Bilsteins about two years ago. So, nothing to do with the rear is going to help the SD short of new springs (which I do not yet believe are necessary).

If your diff mount is shot, that's the first thing to do. Same deal with the shocks.

2) Got into the front end in a big way over the last year. Pulled the springs and found that the spring pads were the thickest available............19mm. I removed them and replaced them with the thinnest available..........8mm.


The front end came down about 1.5" and the fenderwell clearance looks proper.

The most interesting phenomena is that the back end gained about 1" during this endeavor. Apparently, lowering the front causes the rear to rise slightly.

So, the SD looks just about perfect now. Slightly high in the rear with no fuel and slightly low with full fuel. Cannot get better result than this.
Primarily I would like to alleviate a clunk when shifting into 4th gear and shifting into lowest gear at idle. I was told that that this may be a rear suspension bushing, differential mount/bushing or something similar.
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2009, 10:24 PM
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Just curious Brian, is there a way to see what the thickness of the pads currently are w/o removing the springs? Same for the rear?

If you dropped the front end 1.5" just by changing pads...wow! I'd actually LOVE to lower the whole car about 1/2 to 3/4" (that gap between the top of tire and fender lip just seems too big...at least in the front, it is).
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck42 View Post
Just curious Brian, is there a way to see what the thickness of the pads currently are w/o removing the springs? Same for the rear?

If you dropped the front end 1.5" just by changing pads...wow! I'd actually LOVE to lower the whole car about 1/2 to 3/4" (that gap between the top of tire and fender lip just seems too big...at least in the front, it is).
On the bottom of the pad..........along the very bottom lip...........will be a series of "tits". The number will determine the pad. Either there will be one, two, three or four of them in a row. See what you have and we can make some choices as to what you'll get.

You can only get 1.5" if you start with the 23 mm pad (4 tits) and go all the way to the 8mm pad (1 tit).

You don't need to drop the rear any amount. It's at the perfect height already.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
I'm intimately familiar with the sagging rear on the SD.

Before condemning the springs, which is the classic approach by most, here's what I found:

1) The diff mount and subframe bushings on the rear were in excellent shape. Must have been replaced by the PO at some previous date. I replaced the shocks with new Bilsteins about two years ago. So, nothing to do with the rear is going to help the SD short of new springs (which I do not yet believe are necessary).

If your diff mount is shot, that's the first thing to do. Same deal with the shocks.

2) Got into the front end in a big way over the last year. Pulled the springs and found that the spring pads were the thickest available............19mm. I removed them and replaced them with the thinnest available..........8mm.


The front end came down about 1.5" and the fenderwell clearance looks proper.

The most interesting phenomena is that the back end gained about 1" during this endeavor. Apparently, lowering the front causes the rear to rise slightly.

So, the SD looks just about perfect now. Slightly high in the rear with no fuel and slightly low with full fuel. Cannot get better result than this.
My bowling balls in the trunk and a full tank of fuel give it the saggy look. I've seen heavy duty springs available online, are these the solution? What am I looking at in terms of complexity to replace the rear springs?
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tr1cky View Post
My bowling balls in the trunk and a full tank of fuel give it the saggy look. I've seen heavy duty springs available online, are these the solution? What am I looking at in terms of complexity to replace the rear springs?
Obviously, you wish to ignore everything I recommended above and jump to the springs for your fix. The cost is approx. $175 per pair.

No, "heavy duty" springs are not the solution.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2010, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
Obviously, you wish to ignore everything I recommended above and jump to the springs for your fix. The cost is approx. $175 per pair.

No, "heavy duty" springs are not the solution.
No, that wasn't my intention. I apologize and will, re-read. As I read it, the message seemed like an endorsement for the rear springs after hunting for an answer with other possible causes.

Going back now.

Thanks Brian.
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2010, 05:47 PM
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I will check the pad thickness and report back. The shocks, 4 new bilsteins were installed just prior to my purchase. The shocks perform as they should.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2010, 06:49 PM
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The fact is that springs should be replaced way more often than they are...
the factory listing for suggested life of car springs is way less than 100,000 miles..
How many people do you know who replace the springs ever ?
I used to work at a spring and brake shop... a good one can recondition your springs like new.. including putting them back at the correct resting height...
In the FSM there are places shown to measure your height compared to original...
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2010, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by leathermang View Post
The fact is that springs should be replaced way more often than they are...
My experience with the W-126 suggests the exact opposite. Springs are replaced when the culprit(s) lie elsewhere.

The SDL did benefit from new springs, however, the new OEM springs did nothing to raise the height to a proper level. It required custom springs to accomplish that goal.

The SD achieved proper height (within 1/2") by adjustment of the front spring pads and ensuring that the diff mount was reasonably new on the rear.

Quite a bit can be done with rubber on these vehicles, especially with the pads above the springs.........if folks would bother to check to see what they currenly have.
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:25 AM
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Do the Rear Springs also have different sized Spring Pads?
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
Do the Rear Springs also have different sized Spring Pads?
Yes, they do.
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2010, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
My experience with the W-126 suggests the exact opposite. Springs are replaced when the culprit(s) lie elsewhere.

The SDL did benefit from new springs, however, the new OEM springs did nothing to raise the height to a proper level. It required custom springs to accomplish that goal.

The SD achieved proper height (within 1/2") by adjustment of the front spring pads and ensuring that the diff mount was reasonably new on the rear.

Quite a bit can be done with rubber on these vehicles, especially with the pads above the springs.........if folks would bother to check to see what they currenly have.
Brian, your advice is solid thanks spring pads are a help

With a car sitting closer to what I would expect it sat when new. I still wonder if you believe that the original springs are adequate. I generally drive without much in the car, not so much to save weight but I don't care for clutter. However, with a full tank of fuel, a 3-ball roller bowling bag, a handful of tools and my briefcase or a suitcase the rear sits low and the front sits high.

I plan on replacing front suspension items including tie rods and ball joints in the near future as well. They need replacement per visual inspection, creaking and my deductions of condition based on my forum searches.

I will inspect the rearend supports as well.

So, the question being. The total weight in the trunk not including the weight of the fuel is less than 75lbs. Would this have been enough to sag the car when new? Is this now a firm indicator that the springs may be due for a replacement?

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