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  #1  
Old 05-13-2003, 12:50 AM
edge's Avatar
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BIlstein - comfort or heavy duty?

I will need new shocks for my 85 300SD. Would you recommend the comforts or the heavy duty's in your experience? Thanks.
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85 300CD Signal Red/Tan sold
83 300D Manganese Brown 109K
97 E420 Midnight Blue 197K sold
98 BMW 328i Vert White 100K, sold
95 BMW 525i White 125K, sold
93 BMW 525iT Red 193K, sold
95 E320 Green Wagon 125K, sold
94 E320 White 127K, sold
85 300SD 156K Grey (Annie), sold
84 300D Lapis Blue 170K (Judy), sold
99 ML 320 Black (lease), 1998 C230 White (lease)
00 Honda S2000 Red (lease)
86 Mercedes 300E (sold)
84 Porsche 911 Red (sold), 1965 Porsche 911 White (sold)
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2003, 12:53 AM
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Howdy again Edge

It really depends on the ride you want. Personally, when I had to change, I decided something a little stiffer might be nice....so I wend with the HD.
The HD's are not THAT much stiffer IMO. I'd make the same choice again give the chance.
But, if you want the OEM plush ride, go with the comforts.
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Chris
1985 300SD - 'Grace' (198K mi.)
2010 Honda Fit Sport
2013 Honda Accord Sport
1996 Lexus LS400 (Retired)
1995 Ford Contour SE (Retired)
1976 Porsche 914 (Sold)
1972 Datsun 240Z (RIP)
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2003, 01:08 AM
edge's Avatar
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Chris, it looks like I'm right behind you in the upgrade cycle. Have you done your engine mounts yet? Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2003, 01:41 AM
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My 2 cents -- I find comforts plenty stiff on the SE and SDL. If the bushings and subframe mounts are in good shape, the suspension with comforts is pretty tight.

I run my MXV4 HRs at 40psi so maybe that compensates for the softer ride of comforts. With 70 profile tires on 14" wheels maybe you would need HDs to make things tight.

Sixto
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2003, 06:41 AM
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Edge,

Actually :p I plan on doing motor mounts this week, along with front flex disk and tranny mount.....or at least that's the plan ......ritght after I change the oil , install a door check strap, install turbo boost gauge, replace all the engine belts, and replace the power steering fluid. wow, didn't realize how much crap I need to get done
Did I mention my wife is also having a baby tomorrow morning?

Something else I'd SERIOUSLY like to do but looks like I'm outa my league on are the track rod mounts. I'll prolly just end up paying the $4-500 to have them done.

Anyway, good luck on whichever shock you choose. Oh ja....you're in Atl. area Edge??
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Chris
1985 300SD - 'Grace' (198K mi.)
2010 Honda Fit Sport
2013 Honda Accord Sport
1996 Lexus LS400 (Retired)
1995 Ford Contour SE (Retired)
1976 Porsche 914 (Sold)
1972 Datsun 240Z (RIP)

Last edited by ck42; 05-13-2003 at 06:48 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2003, 07:51 AM
edge's Avatar
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Chris, I'm in Old Greenwich, CT...that's where you sent the Kleen wheel...although I haven't installed them yet. So that's why you have the little guy swimming under your logon name. Good Luck!

Also Sixto, does Bilstein carry a "standard" shock in between the comfort and heavy duty? Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2003, 10:50 AM
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Edge,
I just replaced all four original shocks on my 84 300D with Bilstein Comforts this past weekend. Man, what a difference. It is really a personal preference as to which you choose. I chose the comfort because I would rather have a softer ride vs. stiffer ride. My brother also has an 83 300D that he put Bilstein comforts on about 6 months ago. I was able to drive his around and get an idea of what the ride is like. If your shocks are shot like mine were, I think you will be happy with either. The ride is so much nicer.

Tim
1984 300D "Annaliese" (191K)
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2003, 11:05 AM
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Tim, is this an easy D-I-Y'er? Any tips? Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2003, 11:12 AM
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tough choice

I grappled with this * HD vs Comfort * thing for most of the winter while I rode around with one busted rear shock.

I posted on this forum and got lots of great feed back and opinions. as well as speaking to folks in tire shops etc.

The more feed back I got the more I realized that it come down to what you want.... a stiffer ride & a little better handling or a little more comfortable ride.

I finally ordered the HD's and installed them. They were not necessarily better, just stiffer.

The only thing that would deter me from the HD's I think is if I did alot of bumpy city driving.

good luck!

dave
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2003, 12:20 PM
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Edge,
I would say yes, it is definitely a DIY job. It took me about 2 hours to complete. I am only familiar with the 300D, not the SD, so all my advice relates to that car. Maybe someone else can elborate on the differences, if any.
For the fronts:
1. Spray the top nuts in the engine compartment with penetrating fluid to help with removing.
2. Loosen lug nuts on front wheels while still on the ground and giving time for penetrating fluid to work.
3. Remove top nuts in engine compartment. On the passenger side, I had to move over coolant overflow tank to get a wrench on it. It will help if you have a "stubby" wrench.
4. Jack the front up and do necessary safety precautions, ie jack stands.
5. Pick a side and remove the wheel.
6. Loosen the "outer" bottom bolt, ie the one closer to you. It is a 12-point head on the bolt and you will need a 6 inch extension for your socket.
7. Grab onto the dust cover and compress the shock and pull it toward you, then let it extend into the wheel well. This will give you plenty of access to the "inner" bottom bolt.
8. Remove the bottom bolts and remove the shock.
9. Get the new shock and assemble per the enclosed diagram. A few tips here, I coated the rubber bushings with some grease so they wouldn't squeak. Also, make sure you compress the new shock a few times. You will notice it takes a bit of force to compress it the first time. This will allow you to compress the shock by hand when the bottom bolts are installed and guide the top stud into the hole in the engine compartment.
10. Install the bottom bolts in the same manner you removed them. I started with the inner bolt, then the outer.
11. Compress the shock and guide the stud through opening in engine compartment.
12. Install bushing, washer and tighten the top nut. When tightening the nut, you need to have a small wrench to prevent the stud from spinning, while tightening the nut.
13. Replace wheel.
14. Repeat on opposite side.

For the rear:
1. Remove the back seat. It helps to have another person to do this.
2. Jack up rear and use necessary safety precautions. You will need to jack up the car pretty high to be able to remove the shocks.
3. Inside the passenger compartment, remove access cover to the top shock mount. It is a white 3.5" circle on the back wall.
4. Loosen the top nuts.
5. Underneath the car, loosen the bottom two bolts. Be careful, the shock will drop down when both bolts are removed.
6. Remove the shock.
7. Make sure the rubber bushing comes out too.
8. Assemble new shock according to the diagram and grease the bushings.
9. Install new shock. It helps to have someone topside to help guide the stud through the hole and hold the shock while getting the bottom bolts started.
10. Tighten the bottom bolts.
11. Install the top bushing and washer.
12. Tighten the top nut the same way as the front using a wrench to keep the stud from spinning.
13. Repeat on opposite side.
14. Replace dust covers.
15. Install rear seat.
16. De-jack and you are done.

Make sure everything is tightened to spec. and enjoy your comfortable ride. Hope this helps.

Tim
1984 300D
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2003, 01:40 PM
Charlie Mitchel
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sjocks:

We, me and {Skunk Lips} did this on my wife's 84 300d a couple weeks ago. Took about one and a half hours.
Great write up above. Just one addition. On the rear before you remove shock, jack up support to take tension off the brake line other wise you will snap it.
Oh yes we used HD all around. Love it. Takes speed bumps at 30 mph and doesn't bother you.
Charlie
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2003, 04:15 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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I don't think there's a Bilstein shock between the comfort and HD. I believe the comfort is the equivalent of or pretty darn close to OEM. You can check on Sachs and Boge shocks as well.

For the front, no need to remove the wheel. When doing the left, turn the wheels full right. Common grease degrades rubber. I'd recommend using silicone lubricant on the bushings if you have to do it. Talc might last longer.

As for the rear, much easier on ramps than on stands. Gets the car high enough to extract the shocks and keeps the trailing arm from dropping too far with the shock out. There's a tab on either end of the seat bottom. Slide the tabs outward then lift the seat bottom and pull it forward. There's an 8mm head bolt on either lower corner of the seat back and one below the armrest. The center one might be shielded by the plastic cover over the seat belt receptacles. Lift the seat back about 6 inches then pull it forward. Peel the black insulation pad towards the center. Take care when working through the little portals that you don't drop something. It's pretty hard to fish anything out of there.

I believe the spec is 17Nm for the first front nut then 35Nm for the jam nut. My Bilsteins came with a single locking nut. I don't have a crow's foot so I tightened until 4 threads were showing. Felt like 17Nm

There's no spec for the rear. Just bottom the nut. I went for the same 4 threads in the rear since it seemed that the bushings would be deformed if I let the nut bottom.

Sixto
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD ... any takers at $1100?
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2003, 06:16 PM
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Big Ditto's for the comforts.
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1983 300SD
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2003, 09:37 PM
edge's Avatar
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Thanks, guys. It looks like the comforts for me. I'll be awaiting an Ebay auction for these.
__________________
85 300CD Signal Red/Tan sold
83 300D Manganese Brown 109K
97 E420 Midnight Blue 197K sold
98 BMW 328i Vert White 100K, sold
95 BMW 525i White 125K, sold
93 BMW 525iT Red 193K, sold
95 E320 Green Wagon 125K, sold
94 E320 White 127K, sold
85 300SD 156K Grey (Annie), sold
84 300D Lapis Blue 170K (Judy), sold
99 ML 320 Black (lease), 1998 C230 White (lease)
00 Honda S2000 Red (lease)
86 Mercedes 300E (sold)
84 Porsche 911 Red (sold), 1965 Porsche 911 White (sold)
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2003, 11:36 PM
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Location: Boston, MA
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I just bought a pair of Bilstein Comforts (fronts), an air filter, and wiper inserts..

time to work on the car

My question...

I tried compressing the shock absorber myself. That was impossible to do unless maybe I rest it against something and push it... Should I try harder?

or should I just use a jack on the hub?

I don't think I have a 12-mm socket so I probably need to buy a torque wrench and some hex sockets.

How big a wrench should I get?

Thanks
-Holson-
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