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  #1  
Old 08-12-2003, 08:13 PM
fhmajid
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Are C43s squirmy by design?

Greetings All,

Have the opportunity to buy a 98 C43 with 48k miles for $21k. Car seems to be mint. Hence, decided to test-drive nearest Long Island dealer's 99 Starmarked C43 w/ 29k miles.

I was deeply disappointed with the way the car traversed bumps. The suspension felt way to squirmy. In fact, going over a single wheel mound type bump (which my 190E Sportline barely cares about), the 43 literally quickstepped sideways towards the median - much to my alarm!

Are all C43s like this? It seemed as if MB had dialed in way too much compliance in order to compensate for the thin tyre sidewalls.

Please advise, since I like the car overall. Sadly, though, the Audi S4 (old model) handles far better. I just can't bring myself to buy one though...

Regards
farrukh

1995 E320T Pearl/ grey w/ 500E suspension, 70k
1994 E500 040 Triple Black, 58k
1993 190E 2.6 Sportline Limited, 040, 86k
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2003, 09:34 AM
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Thumbs up

I have only driven one C43...it was before buying the 500E and a euro-version (at the illustrious Barry Taylor's place in Richmond, CA). I know what you are saying and agree that it felt 'squirmy' at low speeds...though I thought at speed (80+) it was quite nice riding, even over the bumps. Harsh, yes, a bit, but a better tire set-up may remedy that somewhat....and fresh shocks, pads, bushings, springs, etc.

Certainly a great car...a V8 in a C-class chassis can't be a bad thing....and that's a nice price you found too.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:15 PM
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I have driven the latest model year C43 in stock form a few times...the car has very low miles (~20-30k) on the odo

=did not feel any squirmys in low to high speed runs

-fad
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:15 PM
Jim's500E's Avatar
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I'm very sure they weren't designed to feel that way. Maybe the PO beat it up (?) I certainly know I would of.

I'd say save some cash and go with the older S4...they are just as nice and much more tune-able/ reliable...

And you also already have a top dog V8 benz in your stable...unless you are starting to expand the Star collection.
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Old 08-18-2003, 12:09 PM
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There is a letter in this month's (September) Mercedes Enthusiast on a similar line. The reader complained that his C43 was riding very hard at the front, and skipping about on the road. Two dealers said nothing was wrong, the third identified that part of his suspension had seized and road shocks were being transmitted direct into the body. Apparently this was a common problem and there was a materials change in the relevant components at some stage. You may want to look at this.
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2003, 10:53 AM
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The C43 suspension can be described as very harsh, but I wouldn't call it squirmy. What you sense as squirmy maybe I sense as responsive and agile, I've never felt out of control or lacking in the handling of the car. All cars take some getting used to when driving hard.

The only thing that bugs me about the C43 is the limited availibility of parts (like brakes) that drives the price of maintenence up. I guess you've got to pay to play.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2003, 02:36 PM
stroked 1/2 dzn's Avatar
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202's suffer from bad lower A-arm bushings. They all fail around 30k miles. Mine got replaced at 40K. When you get them fixed they will fail again before another 40K is added to the car.There is no 'improved' fix from MB. All 202's have or will have this problem. Now, it shouldnt affect the overall feeling of the car, just the alignment. There is NO camber adjustment on 202's, just toe & castor. There isnt much that MB could have 'set-up' from the factory. 202's are also notorious for the toe adjustment going out of whack?? How old are the tires on that C43?? New, softer Z-rated tires make a HUGE difference in how hard it rides.
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