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d2bernhard 09-14-2002 03:10 AM

Sportline+Bilstein HD+Stock Springs>300E>>opinions

Car is an '86 300E. At 155k, it needs a bunch of new rubber in the suspension. I am wanting to do a partial Sportline kit upgrade (all the rubber and bars) keep stock springs, and go to Bilstein HD shocks/strutts. Why? I don't want to spend for the springs, and I don't want to lower the car. I do want the firmer ride. Anyone have any experience with this setup? I woudl very much like to hear your opinions.

d2bernhard 09-17-2002 02:15 PM

Hi All, just talked to Phil here at MBShop Parts. He advised not to mix sportline as all the bushings are not the same height, etc., so mixing with base springs is not a good idea. Go all sportline or none. He feels new rubber and Bilstein HD strutts/schocks is a good way to go.

gsxr 09-17-2002 03:12 PM

I hate to disagree with Phil or David, but I don't think you will have any problem with the partial kit you describe. I also don't think there are *any* size differences in the bushings. The Sportline springs lower the car an inch or so, that's it. Otherwise, the suspension differences are as follows for the Sportline items vs. stock:

Sway bars - Sportline bars are thicker, front & rear
Control arm bushings (front only) - Firmer rubber compound
Rear subframe bushings - Firmer rubber compound
Springs - Shorter & firmer (higher spring rate)
Shocks & struts - firmer

That said, I have put Sportline bars & control arm bushings on 2 cars with over 200kmi. It made a significant difference. Both are lowered as with aftermarket springs. If you want a firmer ride but no loss in ground clearance, I think you should go for it. The bars are a bolt-on, and the shocks & struts can be installed w/o special tools. However, the front c/a bushings require a MB-specific spring compressor to remove the control arms, and the rear subframe bushings are NOT easy (and also require special tools.) Just a warning. I plan to buy the subframe tool and install the Sportline bushings eventually, just haven't had time yet.

More information than you ever wanted to know about sway bars for the 124 chassis are on this spreadsheet (requires MS Excel to open). It includes part numbers, dimensions, and prices. Note there is what I call a "Sportline Plus" option if you want even stiffer bars, but it will cost nearly double (~$225 for Sportline, but closer to $400 for the bigger bars, and a 2-3 week wait while they get shipped in from Germany):

Here's a great deal on the regular Sportline sway bars:

Good luck,

ke6dcj 09-18-2002 01:37 PM

David- if you want a very firm ride, go SportLine.

If you still want some of the Mercedes ride, but lessen some of the roll and a slight stiff ride, I HIGHLY recommend the following:

1) 500E front struts or KONI adjustables;
2) SportLine swaybar & bushings;
3) 500E rear swaybar & bushings;

I'd just keep your stock springs. The SportLine springs are very stiff.

I've been through Bilstein Sport, HeavyDuty, and SportLine struts before settling for the 500E struts (a good compromise, esp. if you drive long distances, have kids, or a significant other).

I've also been through H&R; SportLine; and Stock springs; I like the 500E springs, but I have a heavier front end, and I like it lowered slighly. The stock springs with the 500E front struts are a nice ride.

IMHO, the SportLine front swaybar reduces roll more than the 500E front swaybar.

Give Tom Hanson at CaliberMotors (wholesale MB dealer: 1.800.CALIBER) a call, and tell him you're a Mercedes club-member to get a good quote.

Good luck,
:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG
1993 500E

gsxr 09-18-2002 03:39 PM

Don't forget that both the "limo" and E60 front sway bars are larger than both the regular Sportline and E500 front bars, if you really want to reduce front body roll.

The E500 rear bar (18mm) is the largest avaiable from Mercedes.

I also saved my swaybar spreadsheet as a PDF, seems a lot of folks don't have Excel:

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