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  #1  
Old 12-16-2013, 09:10 AM
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Suspension wear - age or use?

I'm looking at a W201 with 73K miles. 1 owner, bought locally in '85 and was driven regularly throughout its life. Everything in the suspension feels fairly tight. Should I plan on having to replace all rubber and ball joints due to age or can I expect further service?
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkenvol View Post
I'm looking at a W201 with 73K miles. 1 owner, bought locally in '85 and was driven regularly throughout its life. Everything in the suspension feels fairly tight. Should I plan on having to replace all rubber and ball joints due to age or can I expect further service?
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Depends on your budget.
You could keep driving it until the rubber bits fall apart. And replace them as they fail. 28 year old rubber is due to fail from age.
Or, you could replace everything now and not have to deal with it again.
The additional benefit of replacing everything now is that the car will ride and handle as it was designed.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:46 PM
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Both wear and age are a factor with all rubber components. Its worse in dry climates.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Both wear and age are a factor with all rubber components. Its worse in dry climates.
Agreed - my W201 has fully documented "mileage" just over 100,000 miles and you can see the state of the rubber here =>

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Old 12-16-2013, 05:34 PM
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Stretch, looks like you have more rubber than steel.


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Old 12-16-2013, 09:49 PM
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I also would drive it till the one of the major Rubber Parts fails. At that point of Failure I would consider that the rest of them are neaing the end also and replace all of the Rubber Parts.

Best to repalce all the Rubber Suspension Parts aftar a Failure because normally you need to do an Alignment. More than a few Members have had an alignment done only to have anther Rubber Part Fail 6-12 months later ane mess up the alignment.

The Ball Joints can be checked for wear and they don't usually suddenly fail.

Why wait until something on the Suspension Fails. You can put a lot of Money into the Suspension and have something catastrophic like an Oil Cooler Hose leak and ruin the Engine or Flex Disc come apart (more Rubber Parts that need to be checked).
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
Why wait until something on the Suspension Fails. You can put a lot of Money into the Suspension and have something catastrophic like an Oil Cooler Hose leak and ruin the Engine or Flex Disc come apart (more Rubber Parts that need to be checked).
Those are the parts cars the rest of us wait for

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Old 12-16-2013, 11:01 PM
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Check for cracked grease boots and check the flex discs. Anything else failing will just feel weird, one of those failing could be catastrophic.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:44 AM
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Thanks for the advise. Like so many on this board, this isn't my first MB rodeo as I've done the front suspension and part of the rear on a different W201. I've never worked on one myself this age with this low of mileage so I wasn't sure what to expect. Was hoping to be able to drive a year or 2 to sort out the other odds and ins that always pop up before needing to jump into suspension work. Will be pulling the motor for a diesel rep owner and there's no easier time to access the steering components but if I can expect more life than 73K then I'll hold off.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:55 AM
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If everything feels tight and there isn't any weird vibrations and you can visually see the the pays are fairly sound, then drive the $&#!? out of the car. 73k is really low. I didn't touch my ball joints until 230k+ or my lower control arm bushings. I'm now at 335k and once I get my transmission rebuilt I will do my rear suspension.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:59 AM
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The FSM should specify maintenance by mileage AND time. Plan on replacing all the rubber and do it up front rather than prolonging it. The entire rear end will cost lest than $500 with quality parts and is easily DIY requiring no special tools outside of the local autozoo. The front end requires a special spring compressor but costs substantially less. You may or may not find that you need shock/struts at such mileage.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:56 PM
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Those are the parts cars the rest of us wait for

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Old 12-17-2013, 11:58 PM
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Yes, one of my goals is to keep My Car from becoming a parts Car.
Is that your new years resolution?

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