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Old 04-11-2003, 12:44 PM
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Location: Germantown, MD
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Springs: How do you know?

Since this forum has been on the topic of springs lately I have some Q's...

How do you know when your springs are bad?
Its pretty easy to know when the shocks are shot but what about the springs?

I have a wagon (85, 295k) and I was thinking about new springs (primarily rear).

I am also aware of heavier springs that were available for different versions of the wagon and sedan. I tend to carry a lot of 'stuff' in my wagon and could probably use the extra support. Any thoughts on heavier springs? May interfere with ride height?

Thanks for your time,
85 300TD Turbodiesel 299,376 miles
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:00 PM
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Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
Mercedes has a compulsion about springs... unlike most of their owners...LOL
You should be able to find the official height which your wagon should sit as measured on a flat level surface and dropping a plumb from (usually four) places on the bottom of the frame....
This is typically how a (good ) front end shop checks to see if the car is within specs enough to actually be able to do a correct front end alignment...
Not so good shops just do it as close as they can and take your money....
Mercedes uses different size rubber 'shims' to try to get their cars level side to side... AMAZING NUMBER OF THEM AVAILABLE... like... " if the drivers left leg is bigger than the right leg of the passenger use JMBS 123647857748893 part number "
Really ! it is amazing how much trouble they went to... it appears they have combinations for every accessory which might be put on the car and all the combos thereof...
That is in addition to the SPRINGS availabe..... including my favorite " springs for less developed countried, including New Jersey".... where really rough roads may be the norm....LOL...

Heavy duty springs should not affect the unloaded sitting height of your car.. they would not be LONGER than the originals.. they would just be made from bigger around round spring stock... they would compress LESS when loaded... but that would not be a problem which would relate to ride height.... except in the good sense that you can be loaded more and not bottom out the suspension as easily as before the heavy duty springs were installed...
The different springs are color coded from MB....
On your wagon the actual " ride height" front to rear will probably be set by adjusting your " rear level control system" ... not very hard to do if it is working.. if not sure do a search , lotf of great info on checking and setting them....
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
As told to me by a reliable Mercedes tech. The rear 300TD springs do get a good workout. Consider replacing them. I informed him that I had 175,000 miles on the car.
The spring you need is part number 123 324 06 04
The level of your car, a wagon, is controled by the hydraulic leveling system in the car.
Replacing the springs wil do nothing without a properly operating hydraulic system.
Your ride height can be adjusted by setting the control valve lever as it attaches to the rear sway bar. The service manual has a proceedure for testing adn setting the height.
Usually the item that wears in the wagon rear suspension are the accumulators. They have a nitrogen charge and will slowly loose it over time.
Get a service manual and learn about your rear suspension. If you have not had any work done on the car. Consider your bushings also.
To remove the coil springs you will need a coil spring compressor. The consensus is you either use the SIR TOOL or the KLANN tool.
You can buy it. $550 for the Sir, $750 for the Klann. Or you can rent it from Performance products or some individuals.
Do a search on rear suspension. Make sure your looking at a 123 (300TD) suspension in your search. 123 and 126 use the same design concepts. I don't know if the parts are the same but the design is the same.
Go to these posts for info.

W126 differential reseal/refill - illustrated

Go to thomaspin's web site for a phototechnomanual

300TD REAR suspension rebuild

My post on the 82 300TD wagon rear suspension rebuild.

If you mantain the rear suspension on the wagon, bushings and hydraulic level system, the rear suspension on the wagon will andle the loads your putting into it.

1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:18 PM
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Location: central Texas
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This is really one of those deals where a person needs to look at the Factory Shop manual to be sure they don't spend money on something different from what they were wanting...

Since your question involved Heavier Springs....The number that was given in the last post is NOT the correct number for heavier springs...

THere are in fact TWO versions of heavier duty springs available for you car.. neither of which is the number quoted above.. ( it is the standard replacement spring )....
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:39 PM
scott 98
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Do you really need those expensive spring compressors to do the job? What about the normal strut spring compressors you can buy at any auto parts store. I used those to change some struts in a VW. I realize the coil springs on my Benz are much larger but that seems like a fortune to spend. Again, safety is more important than saving money but are these tools really necessary? I would appreciate any comments as I plan on replacing the shocks on my car - '85 300D and would also like to do the coil spings.

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Old 04-11-2003, 02:01 PM
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Location: central Texas
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I own both inside and outside spring compressors which I have used on regular cars...
I do not think the MB springs are " bigger" than other springs...
I think the problem has to do with the access and the number of coils which need to be captured to get the job done... The flat design has advantages in that area of addressing the springs....
If you do a seach you may find this discussed more....
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:03 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: st paul, mn
Posts: 284
I have been asking the same questions about the swanky spring compressor v. the $20-100 kinds. here are the conclusions I have come to ( I have not done the job yet, so this is sort of a synopsis of the past couple months posts on the subject)

I have used the simple compressors to do stuff with rabbits and subarus, but looking at the benz I tend to believe it when others tell me it won't work. The springs on the benzes are apparently under more compression than on lots of other cars and I can see just by looking that the coils are much closer together. The diameter of the coil is also smaller than on the strut type stuff that I have done. I believe the problems are these:
You will have trouble getting both hooks of the simple tool onto the springs, both because of coil diameter and the close spacing of the coil.

I also assume that if the are under a lot of compression that even if the simple type tool fit on you may not have enough travel in it to compress the spring enough to get if off the car - they are long springs already, I dont know what the uncompressed length is.

Then there is the part about the spring getting away from the compressor and going through a wall or your head.

Just my observations from previous threads and trying to apply them to my car. please feel free to correct any mis-statements. -Andy
andy t
'78 300d
'95 volvo 850, wagon
'86 300sdl - engine out, maybe I'll have it rolling by June

whole bunch o' bicycles
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:09 PM
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Location: central Texas
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Andy, That is a good description....
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:23 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 106
Part numbers...

The MB CD has a list of the springs and part numbers which is where I got the idea for heavier springs (african, police, and ambulance versions of the wagon). I'll just have to go dig them up again.

I love this car but everytime I turn around I find something else I WANT to fix...thankfully this site exists and I dont mind getting dirty.

Thanks for the info...

As for changing the springs...that's a job I just assume to let the pro's handle.
85 300TD Turbodiesel 299,376 miles
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:30 PM
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Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
If you rent the proper spring compressor and follow the safety rules there is no reason you can not DIY....
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Old 04-11-2003, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 106
Spring Change...

Perhaps I'll check out what all is involved with a DIY spring replacement. I would stand to save some $$$ which is an incentive.

As for the spring shims mentioned above...I assume I can use the existing ones is I install new springs?

Would the rear end need to be realligned in any way if the springs were replaced (I can see why the front would need it)...when I was under there replacing the rear axels I dont really remember seeing anything that allows for adjusting/alligning the rear end angles.
85 300TD Turbodiesel 299,376 miles
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