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Old 01-25-2001, 11:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 46

My anthracite gray 300E, with 135,000 miles on it, started to handle differently about 2 years ago. Very soft and squishy, not responsive like it used to be. Put on new Mich. MXV4's, new tie rods, drag link, new shocks and struts, new sway bar bushing's and connecting links front and rear, helped a little but not like before. When I took the car to be aligned(local Euro shop, not MB dealer) they said it was very hard to align, and it took them almost 4 hours. Someone told me that Bilstein made 2 different style shocks for this car, comfort and sport. Is this true? Also, since the car is older, could it need new bushings etc. in the A-arms, and new eliptical bolts? Could they be worn out and this is why it is hard to align. How hard is it to replace them. I'm a very competent mechanic(Honda Motorcycles). But of course if this is hard and requires to many specialty items, I'd leave it to a pro.

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Old 01-25-2001, 11:26 AM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
I am not a pro, but in having my suspension done, If I understood my tech correctly, Bilstein does make 3 different shocks - std, HD, and sport. The sport is the same firmness as the HD, but a shorter travel shock for shorter springs.
Also, a number of people on this forum have discussed handling problems on 300Es (try a search on this), and I believe they concluded that changing the rear lower control (thrust, push-pull) links and bushings solved all their problems. I also recall someone saying they were meant to be exchanged around 80-100,000 miles, about the same time as the steering damper.
just my thoughts, I'm sure a number of people with more tech knowledge will respond on this as well.

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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Old 01-25-2001, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Northern California/Western Washington
Posts: 386
Welcome to this "Star-Crazy" Forum!

I'm not a pro either, but have the following thoughts.

Search for the "Floating 300E" threads. Also look for threads regarding "thrust arms" in the rear links and "rear subframe mounts."

You might ask if your alignment was a 4-wheel alignment. If only the front end was done, you're only 1/4 finished with the job, I believe.

My 300E was terrible for awhile. It's much better now - I had all of the rear links replaced (probably unnecessary, but certainly the thrust arms needed replacing), the steering damper, front and rear shocks replaced and the rear subframe mounts and differential mounts replaced. I used Bilstein HDs, by the way. I love them - they're not too harsh for me; I get asked about it all the time. Count me as weird, but I find a stiffer ride more comfortable (probably psychological given the way I drive). I had a four-wheel alignment done as well. It's still not perfect, but I may be too picky, or I may be erroneously attributing some of my car's minor neurotic behavior to the suspension rather than (i) the pilot, or (ii) the tires, which are Pirellis. The Michelin MXV+4s which preceded the Pirellis, however, acted exactly the same.

I have been told by 2 competing techs and have read often on this forum that 300E handling pieces start to go south at around 100K. Believe it to be true, especially the rear thrust arms. The replacment parts for these are redesigned (actually, they are taken from a heavier class) and I believe the kit contains a different bolt as well.

A short while ago, when I had a little extra fun money (not now) I asked JCE about his Sportline suspension and he referred me to the link under "CARS" at the top of this page. When all was said and done on the work I referred to above (including the work I did myself), the cost would've been about the same to bolt in the Sportline stuff, although the Sportline package doesn't include the subframe mounts and rear diff mounts (or does it?).

Think about that!

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Old 01-25-2001, 07:47 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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Location: So Kalifornia
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Hi: About the only things I needed that were not included were (optional) thinner spring pads, and new thrust arms somewhere in the next 30k miles. Yhe following is the list of parts I rec'd and had installed.

"The MercedesShop team has done the research to identify all the parts necessary to convert a 300E/E300 to Sportline suspension specifications. In addition, we have sourced the OE parts and can provide the entire kit through PartsShop for around $1,350. These parts include the following:

Front Springs
Front Struts
Front Sway Bar
Inner Bushings
Outer Bushings
Lower Control Arm Bushing Kits

Rear Springs
Rear Shock Absorbers
Rear Sway Bar
Rear Bushings
Rear Sub-Frame Mounts

Steering damper and thrust arms probably will be done before the Atlanta Mercedes Gathering (AMG)!

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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