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  #1  
Old 03-30-2004, 06:32 PM
kenbrady
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front and rear shocks for '83 300D turbo

Dear experts,

I know that I need front and rear shocks for my 83' 300D turbo, but I am now getting two different pieces of advice. One mechanic says that only Mercedes shocks will do the job and that the cost and installation of front and rear will be between $550-$600. Another mechanic, who is also a friend, but frankly, a little flakey maybe, told me that I should just go to Kragen or Pep Boys and buy the shocks there and that they'd be relatively easy to install?

Any ideas? Thank you.

-Ken-
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2004, 07:06 PM
SW SW is offline
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Location: Houston, TX. USA
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Get the Bilsteins from Fastlane and install them your self. It's a very easy DIY job.
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'92 300D 2.5 Turbodiesel - sold
'83 300D Turbodiesel - 4 speed manual/2.88 diff - sold
'87 300D Turbodiesel - sold
'82 300D Turbodiesel - sold
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2004, 08:18 PM
LarryBible
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Although I'm not a proponent of cheap shocks from Pep Boys on a 123 car, $550 is a ripoff price. I would be very leary of doing any business with someone who quotes a price like that.

He is either ripping you off, thus you should not go back to him, or he has no clue about what he's talking about.

SW gave you the best advice. Get a set of Bilsteins and put them on yourself. You will have to pull the back seat to get to the top of the rear shocks and turn the wheels back and forth on the front to get to the bottom bolts for the front shocks. You will also need a 12 point box end wrench for the front bottom bolts.

Good luck,

PS, If I could get all the 123 shock jobs I could do for the price of $550, I would be retired in six months. LB
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2004, 09:27 PM
coachgeo's Avatar
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cost

I could NOT afford blistens etc. so (I'm going to get flamed for this) ordered some Gabrial's from JC whitney. Probably same as pep boy quaity. Will have to be better than the OEM that was still on the car. It rode like a boat in a fair storm on the ocean when driving.

I installed them myself. Car is still on jacks finishing the brake job. Then its a valve adjust. Another few weeks and Ill be on the road and let you know how goes it.

NOTE: front shocks. if the replacement shock you use includes a new bracket for lower mount that attaches to the shock via a center bolt. (common shock eye) I found it easier to just drill out the lower OEM shock pin on "each side". Dont have to drill all the way thru. Just each end. This pin goes thru the lower OEM shock eye. 1/2" drill bit is what I think I used. A Little whirring of a cut off tool helped too. Did not have to remove the hard to get to lower shock mount bolts this way. (see below for more info on this) New shock mounts in the lower OEM bracket with the bolt included with the new shocks.

You see the lower shock bolt's head are the type that stip easy. The inner one is also hard to get a good grip on with the socket. A couple days worth of shots of penetrant spray (PB blaster) would probably help the 12 point socket not want strip the head while breaking the bolts loose. It's a 10mm 12 point. buy it at sears. get the smallest drive. Smallest seems to work better on the bolt that lies between the shock body and the front springs.

hope this makes since to you.
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Last edited by coachgeo; 03-30-2004 at 09:34 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2004, 11:23 PM
djugurba's Avatar
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gabriel shocks? jmg how could you?
fyi, gabriel makes many store-brand shocks, but you'll pay as much for a crummy pair installed as you will to get the best bilstiens and do it yourself. I'm about to tackle the same on my 300D. best of luck!
K
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2004, 11:28 PM
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In general, I would definitely recommend sticking with Bilsteins. Many, but not all, people who've installed alternative brands have not been happy with their choice. Shop around a little -- I'm sure you can do better than the price you were quoted.
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2004, 11:38 PM
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I had Monroes on my 300D. The ride was OK, but when the shocks reached about 50,000 miles it started eating front tires. So I put the original shocks back on. Ride is still good and no longer eating tires. Bottom line is if I had left the original shocks on I would be about $500 ahead.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2004, 11:56 PM
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12 point bolts

Just a note on these mount bolts on the front shocks.

If you loosen the outside bolt first then remove the top mount bolts you can pull the shock down and out of the top mount and then pull it towards the wheel or fender making access to the inside bolt much, much easier.

When installing mount the inside bolt first then the outside then cut the band and guide the shock into place. my .02...
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2004, 12:28 AM
Charlie Mitchel
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Shocks:

On my 85 we installed Bilstein HD. Like them then when we got my wife's car dd the same thing.
I though they migh be to stiff. They are great.
No flames if that is what you wanted or could afford. Great.
Please don't use KYB on these cars.
Charlie
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2004, 09:30 AM
LarryBible
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Bilsteins for a 123 are a bargain as compared to same for a 124 car.

The bottom bolts on the front are no problem with a good 12 point box end. Turn the steering wheel to each limit to reach front and then back bolt.

A standard Craftsman box end wrench may be a problem because they are big and bulky. This is a tight spot. If you insist on buying Craftsman tools, get the polished version combination. It is thinner on both ends and should fit like a Snap On.

Good luck,
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2004, 10:17 AM
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Location: RI
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shocks

I stupidly installed Gabriels last spring, have rued the day ever since. In warm weather the ride is only just acceptable. This past winter they froze up and the ride was like being on a bucking bronco. Never again.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2004, 04:13 PM
JenTay's Avatar
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if the shock is "out" of the car i.e. on the bench, is there a way to check if it is still good or not?

on that subject, does the shock need to come off if one is changing the upper control arm?
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2004, 06:58 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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If it is leaking and is easy to compress I would toss it. Personally, I trash anything that does not have Bilstein written on it.

The shock does not have to come out to replace the upper control arm.
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  #14  
Old 04-05-2004, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by djugurba
gabriel shocks? jmg how could you?
fyi, gabriel makes many store-brand shocks, but you'll pay as much for a crummy pair installed as you will to get the best bilstiens and do it yourself. ....K
I installed the crummy Gabriels myself and saved even more. Just finished today. Have to do valve adjust etc. before test drive. Now that I know how to shock change and cause of the modifications I made (see my previous post) they can be changed with minimum PIA.

Teachers get paid SHIAT in this county and Substitute Teachers get paid even worse, so it was Gabrials or.... ahhh Gabrials LOL. The OEM's were so bad their was ZILCH compression left in the rear ones. So the shocks HAD to be changed and Gab's is all I could afford when adding in the brake parts(disk and pads), wheel bearings and other things I got to do to get this thing road worthy. All with own labor.
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by JerryBro


The Glow Plug Wait: This waiting period is a moment of silence to pay honor to Rudolph Diesel. The longer you own your diesel the more honor you will give him". by SD Blue

My normal daily life; either SNAFUed- Situation Normal... All Fouled Up, or FUBARed- Fouled Up Beyond All Repair

62 UNIMOG Camper w/617 Turbo, 85 300SD daily driver- both powered by blended UCO fuels
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