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  #1  
Old 10-23-2003, 12:02 AM
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SL shock height sag - interesting!

I discovered while cleaning this morning that the body of my 1993 SL500 sits lower on one of the front wheels than the other side.

It became obvious when I had trouble getting my hand inside the wheel well on one side - but not the other.

So I took a tape measure to the mudguard area and found that the body sits 2cm lower on the driver's side.

I rang my trusty independent shop and asked them if it was serious.

It turns out this is very common with SL's. Apparently they all sag by this much after a few years, and even if the spring is replaced the car will drop again within a year, but never further.

I found it hard to believe, but the shop said they have noticed a lot of R129's have this problem, and they have done 3 replacements over the years. They all have the same result.

So they don't do it any longer and recommend we live with it.

Now, they are an exceptionally good shop with a lot of specialist knowledge, and I don't doubt them one bit. But has anyone else had experience like this before?

And are there any fixes?

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening green-black on black leather, xenons, no headlight wipers (from choice).
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1992 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2003, 12:09 AM
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After titling the subject, I realised that putting "SL" was a somewhat redundant term, and it should have been "R129" to better distinguish it for our 107 friends.

But it may happen to 107's too, I don't know.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening green-black on black leather, xenons, no headlight wipers (from choice).
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1992 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2003, 02:26 PM
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If anyone's going to measure their 129 to give me an idea as to whether this is a common problem (hint!), I measured mine this way: I used a flexible metal tape measure, and ran it vertically from level ground up through the center wheel star to where it meets the bottom of the mudguard.

But with the number of engineers, students and pilots on this forum, I probably didn't need to tell you how to suck eggs


Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening green-black on black leather, xenons, no headlight wipers (from choice).
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1992 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2003, 03:09 AM
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Ken

I'll have a measure this afternoon - off work today ;-)
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'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002

http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2003, 09:42 AM
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Ken,

You may recall my post on refreshing the 107 rear suspension. The rear of the car was practically dragging on the ground with only 57k miles.

I took a pic of the "before and after" springs....the height difference was enormous. I went to a 560 sl spring as it supposedly handles more weight.

And that's where I believe the problem lies....weight. The 107 (and probably the 129) is a very heavy car and and as a result takes a toll on all of the suspension parts.

Could you do a similar upgrade? Perhaps with 600sl (much heavier engine) or hi-po aftermarket springs.
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SL shock height sag - interesting!-sl-springs.jpg  
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'85 380 SL (sold)
'85 Carrera Flatnose
'71 280 SL Signal Red/Cognac
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2003, 06:01 PM
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Thanks Rick,

Didn't see your earlier post, but I will discuss the problem again with my shop. From the last talk I get the feeling that they have exhausted all the answers, as they have seen the problem so often.

Surprised MB doesn't have a solution.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening green-black on black leather, xenons, no headlight wipers (from choice).
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1992 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2003, 05:21 AM
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Ken

655mm (drivers side - Right Hand Side) and 660mm (nearside).

I suspect that 5mm is just within measurement error as my drive isn't particularly flat. Also I didn't check the front tyre pressures so these could also be a little different (checked them about 2 weeks ago).

Not sure if this helps really Ken but at least you have one other car around your year and mileage for comparison.

Lea
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'93 R129 500SL-32
'89 190E 2.6 - sold in 2002

http://antron.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/i...nature/Sig.jpg
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2003, 08:41 AM
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Thanks Lea,

5mm doesn't seem to be much, I agree. Mine is very noticeable.

Ken Silver
--------------
~1993 SL500, glistening green-black on black leather, xenons, no headlight wipers (from choice).
~1991 Daimler, shiny grey on grey leather, best in country!
~1992 Miata MX5, sparkling BRG on tan leather, wife's (but my polishing)
ex 350SL, 230E, 280E (and a lot of other makes not nearly as nice)
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2003, 02:42 PM
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Ken,

Other possible solutions could be to use the different thickness factory coil pads. However, making up for a large difference may be useless.

You could try to level off one side using one of these products: http://www.jcwhitney.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/EndecaControllerView?catalogId=10101&Nty=1&Ntx=mode+matchallany&Ne=100005023&Ntt=coil&N=111+100005023&langId=-1&tmplframe=EndecaCategoryView&section=body&storeId=10101&tmplhome=StoreCatalogDisplay&Ntk=AllTextSearchGroup&ss=10101

I'd also talk to the folks at Eibach and see what they say... http://www.eibach.com/index1.htm
After all it's all they do.
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'85 380 SL (sold)
'85 Carrera Flatnose
'71 280 SL Signal Red/Cognac
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2003, 08:42 PM
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1992 300SL - I have exactly the same problem with the drivers side front wing ride height which is lower by 2cm and in fact the situation has caused the tyre to distort the appex of the wheel arch ie. it has over time unfolded the steel outwards. My mechanic has just replaced the springs which has improved the handling but the ride height on the drivers height has not gone up. The mechanic is reluctant to add shims as this may affect the stability of the steering.

The whole situation is not helped by the fact that the car came with oversized front alloys which is very common for Hong Kong cars. Are the springs for a SL500 longer ? Any further input would be welcome.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:53 AM
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Am I hearing that new springs won't remedy one side being lower than the other?
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'85 380 SL (sold)
'85 Carrera Flatnose
'71 280 SL Signal Red/Cognac
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2003, 10:21 AM
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RE: ride height

Not sure of the front suspension on the 129. The 107 front suspension sits on rubber subframe mounts. They deteriorate with age causing differences in ride height.
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