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  #1  
Old 09-28-2003, 08:03 AM
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Question About to replace front shocks on W107

Dear All:

I'm about to replace the worn out shocks on my '86 W107 with a fresh set of Bilsteins. Do the wheels need to be removed in order to replace old with new? If so I'm guessing I'll have to support the car under the control arm?

Is there anything else special to know before starting the job?

TIA, Ryan
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2003, 09:20 PM
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Location: Liberty, Missouri USA
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I'd say (if you don't have a lift...) use jackstands & put the front end up in the air. Pull the wheels. You'll want a fairly narrow head on the jack (I had to improvise with some "short lengths" of 2x4) so you can get right out on the end of the control arm and retain access to the nuts attaching the shock (13 mm). From the (shock) fully extended position you can slowly lower the control arm and get the shock out. Don't go too far (keep an eye on the brake line - don't stretch it!)

"Theoretically" you don't have to pull the wheels, but unless you are on a lift, etc, you will want to have plenty of space to work with everything really stable since bad things could happen if the control arm loses its support without the shock in place.

Obviously, you'll have to pull the coolant bottle on the right side. The service manual is adamant that the rod of the shock not turn while the top nut is unscrewed - the shock could come apart internally.

There are other ways to do this, of course. I just did the subframe bushings on our '87 yesterday, so everything is fresh in my mind...tho I didn't actually change the shocks.

best,

Dave
'87 560sl getting very driveable
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2003, 10:42 PM
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DavidSoine

Don't want to hijack the post, but could you post the way you did the subframe bushing on the SL.
Now are these the rear subframe bushings or the engine subframe mounts?

Dave
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2003, 11:40 PM
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Did the job on the 88 560SL just a couple of months ago.
Jack the car up and place it on jackstands. You only have to place the front on jacks. Remove the wheels it makes working on the suspension area easier. I raise the lower control orm with the jack I used to raise the car. The top nut of the shock requires 2 wrenches or the tool Mercedes has. I made one out of some square stock
Heres the post.

Making the Mercedes shock absorber tool

You don't have to weld the T handle on it. I had the welder so I did it anyway. You can just buy the 2 pieces and use them.

If you don't buy the home made tools. I found that I took one wrench and ground the open end section so that it was thinner that a standard wrench. That was so it can fit on the lower nut while you loosen the upper nut. A standard wrench is to thick and you can't get both wrenches on the nuts due to the lower wrench blocking the upper nut.

As David said, You have to remove the radiator expansion tank to get access to the front right shock top.
the bolts on the 88 SL at the bottom of the shock are star head bolts. You may or may not have these on your year SL. Sears carries a star box wrench in metric. Harbor Freight does too.

To remove the lower bolts. Its a tight fit for the wrench. I remember using both box wrenches and sockets for the job.

Remove the shock and you will reuse the plastic splash shield that is on the currently installed shock. There is also a foam bushing that is about 7-8 inches and goes on the upper shaft. You will figure out how it goes as you take it apart. Keep track of what comes off and in what order. If your foam bushing is powder, as mine was, Mercedes sells them.
I used the hydraulic jack to raise the lower control arm to assist in installing the shock. Its to short to have the lower shock installed and the top extend through the upper hole. so I bolted the lower end to the lower control arm and raised it with the floor jack to push the shock through the hole completely so you may bolt it in.

To remove the shock you may have to pull down on the top of the shock to make it short enough to completely remove it. I just pulled on the top of the shock with slow and steady pressure, It will slowly collapse, and then you can remove it.

Below is a pict of the wrench I had to grind to get it to work the upper shock nuts.

Go to the link I have posted, there is a diagram of the top washers, nuts, rubber bushings. This will help you reassemble the tops section in the right order.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
About to replace front shocks on W107-shock-wrench-grind.gif  
__________________
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car

Last edited by dmorrison; 09-28-2003 at 11:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2003, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Thanks everyone for the advice. Looks like I'll pull the wheels and then use jacks to support the front end and control arms.

One final question...the bilstein's have arrived and after looking at the parts it appears that there is only one lock nut to attach the top of the shock. I'm pretty sure that the stock shock absorber has two nuts to secure the top. Am I a nut short or is this normal for the newer shocks???

Thanks again for all the advice,
Ryan
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2003, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Liberty, Missouri USA
Posts: 124
I'm pretty sure the front shocks only have one nut on top, on my car. They may be replacements, but I'm not sure.

Dave, I did the front subframe mounts. I'm going to leave the rear subframe mounts for next year... I'll start a new thread with my observations from the job.

best,

Dave
'87 560sl
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