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JoeB 01-15-2001 09:24 PM

After living with a rough, loose-handling suspension for three years, I am taking my 87 420SEL (233k miles) in for a complete suspension overhaul to corect four chronic problems:

1. front end vibration at 70+ mph
2. rough ride
3. excess play in the steering
4. a "loose" feeling while cornering (wife calls it "Das Boat")

I already have new tires and had the steering damper replaced. Judging from replies to other postings, potential problems are shocks, various bushings (front/rear plus steering column), idler arm, etc. Before I take the big dollar plunge, does anyone have any silver bullets of wisdom?

I recently drove a 1990 SEL with only 32k; now I know EXACTLY what it is supposed to feel like (as I'm sure it did when new).


420SEL 01-26-2001 09:07 AM


Did you get your suspension work done? What exactly needed to be done?


JoeB 01-27-2001 10:11 PM

yes, had all four shocks replaced, plus tires rotated and balanced...and had previsously had steering shock replaced -so it is better now. Had two of the techs drive it and tell me that it was as good as it's going to get for a 126 with 234,000 miles. Since I had recently had a valve job, new catalytic converter and new a/c parts (pushbutton unit/aux water pump), I plan to drive it to 300K minimum. Only one cocern - original owner let it go 10-12k between oil changes, and I have read that W126 V-8s are susceptible to camshaft wear. It still has lots of power, but if I ever have engive rebuilt, will likely put in new camshafts. Have seen them advertised for around $500 each, but not sure if those are M/B parts or aftermarket.

By the way, there is a wide discrepancy out there in cost for Bilstein shocks for W126.


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