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Old 10-24-2011, 10:58 PM
retmil46's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mooresville, NC
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WTH Is Going On With My Suspension?

Blue 87 had a set of cheap 195/65's from PO, all four badly out of round, and a set of well-used KYB shocks. Wrecked 87 had a set of 205/70 80K mile tires with only 7K miles on them, and Monroe shocks with only 10K miles on them. Blue 87 sat WAY lower than the wrecked one.

Swapped the 205/70's onto the blue 87, the 195/65's onto the wrecked one. Wrecked 87 still sat noticeably higher than the blue 87 - we're talking a 30 footer here, 2 or 3 inch difference.

When doing the tire change, noticed on the KYB front struts on the blue 87 that there was only 3 to 4 inches of travel before they would hit the top mount - and I do mean mount, as there were no bump stops. Methinks "Ah-ha, the KYB's are worn out - that explains the difference".

Put two new Monroe rear shocks, and the Monroe front struts from the wrecked 87, on the blue 87. Front KYB struts were so worn you could play them like an accordion.

BUT - I still ended up with only 3 or 4 inches of available travel on the Monroe struts before they'd hit the bump stop, and no difference in ride height. Front and rear lower control arms are practically horizontal, the beast is sitting so low.

After reading thru the W124 CD, I went out tonight and checked - best I can measure, both cars have the same thickness rubber shims in the spring mounts front and back - but measuring between the metal mounts on the body and the top of the control arms, it appears the springs on the blue 87 are somewhere between 1 to 2 inches shorter than the ones on the wrecked 87.

When I did a VIN number check 3 years ago, there wasn't anything listed in the breakdown about it having sportline suspension from the factory. I'm beginning to suspect that one of the PO's did a conversion to a Sportline suspension with shorter springs and didn't bother to tell anyone. That would also explain why the standard-suspension KYB shocks were so knackered when I pulled them out.

Doesn't seem likely that standard springs would sag THAT much - both cars were built the same month, 212K on the blue one and 150K on the wrecked one - unless something drastic happened. A sportline conversion seems the most likely explanation.

More to the point, what coil springs and sway bars do I need to put this beast BACK to a standard suspension and ride height? Only other alternative is to pop for a set of sport shocks and a new set of 196/65 tires to handle the lowered ride height - that's probably in the four-figure range as far as cost, besides the fact it rides like a bloody buckboard wagon with the lowered suspension when compared to the wrecked 87.

Any thoughts?
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Just say "NO" to Ethanol - Drive Diesel

Mitchell Oates
Mooresville, NC
'87 300D 212K miles
'87 300D 151K miles - R.I.P. 12/08
'05 Jeep Liberty CRD 67K miles
Grumpy Old Diesel Owners Club
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:59 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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Why don't you move the ones from the wrecked car to it?
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:34 PM
retmil46's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Why don't you move the ones from the wrecked car to it?
For several reasons - one being the damage sustained by the car may preclude removing one of the springs without the services of a cutting torch and other such equipment - that may not be a PRACTICAL solution at this time - although it was my first thought as well.

Fastlane has front and rear coil springs listed for around $200 for a set of four, but no real description as to long, short, sportline, standard, etc - guess a phone call to Phil or Roy is in order.
__________________
Just say "NO" to Ethanol - Drive Diesel

Mitchell Oates
Mooresville, NC
'87 300D 212K miles
'87 300D 151K miles - R.I.P. 12/08
'05 Jeep Liberty CRD 67K miles
Grumpy Old Diesel Owners Club
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