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  #1  
Old 04-23-2008, 10:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sierras, CA
Posts: 136
Easy Test for Shocks/Springs?

Hi,

Awesome site with a huge knowledgebase! Itís one of my daily web stops!

I have done a search and while there are many threads regarding shocks & springs, there does not seem to be an easy test/gauge for evaluating the condition of the shocks & springs.

I have a 1982 380SL with 31,000 (documented) original miles. The sub frame was replaced at the time I purchased the car a year ago as well as tune up, rims & tires, AC conversion, etc. While I have no complaints about the car or how it runs, it appears that the rear end is sagging slightly. Is this due to shocks & springs? I hate to shell out the money if that is not the cause.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Tim
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2008, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 385
Assume the spring mounts are in good shape it can only be the springs effecting the ride height. They need to be removed from the car and measured without load to check them. Only a DIY job if youre experienced and have the correct tools.
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2008, 11:19 AM
83gray380
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: chicago
Posts: 53
If it's any concelation, I have the same look on my 82. I just finished replacing the rear shocks with Gabriel shocks and it did raise the height a little, but I have a feeling, that this look is common for the 380s. I'm not going to have the springs replaced, I just don't think it makes that much of a difference. The new shocks do give it a more solid ride.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2008, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sierras, CA
Posts: 136
Thank you very much for the reponses!

I think I'm going to pull the springs and inspect/measure, as well as replace the shocks.

Thanks again!

Tim
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2008, 06:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by 82gray380 View Post
If it's any concelation, I have the same look on my 82. I just finished replacing the rear shocks with Gabriel shocks and it did raise the height a little, but I have a feeling, that this look is common for the 380s. I'm not going to have the springs replaced, I just don't think it makes that much of a difference. The new shocks do give it a more solid ride.
The rear is little lower than the front of my 81, too. So, I assume it's normal. Just curious, though: why did the previous owner of a 380 with so few miles on it replace the subframe?
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Bill
1981 380sl
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2008, 09:37 AM
ScottinSoCal's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 252
There's a rubber bushing that sits at the top of the rear spring. After this many years, it's sure to be compacted and shot, even without mileage. It adds about 2 cm. to the height at the rear end. Replacing that is on my list of projects this year.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2008, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sierras, CA
Posts: 136
Bill,

The sub frame was replaced during the purchase, after an inspection. Even with so few miles the rubber does wear out. The pre-purchase also found the AC needed attention as well as conversion.

Scott,

Good "call" on the bushings! Ilive hours from anyone that would have parts for this MBZ. I will make sure I have the bushings "before" I start the R & R on the shocks.

Once again, Thanks to all that responded. I hope to be able to make meaningful contributions to the group in the future!

Tim
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