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  #1  
Old 11-21-2005, 09:09 PM
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S500 Suspension Clunking and Recommendations

I have a 1994 S500 that makes some sort of a clunking noise when going over speed bumps or when coming to a stop. The clunk is only audible once the car has been running for a while and has warmed up. The lower control arm bushings and the ball joints were replaced a year ago and they are still fine. I took the car to Firestone for an estimate and they couldn't find too much wrong besides the following:

-Leaky left shock
-Right inner tie rod has play
-Bearings have play

Should I go ahead and get all these parts replaced or do you guys not really think that these could be the culprit. Are there any other parts that may stop the noise. The car runs fine otherwise, the sound is in no way affecting my driving.

-Sulman

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  #2  
Old 11-21-2005, 10:26 PM
rdanz's Avatar
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Take a look at the sway bar end link on the side that clunks also check sway bar bushings. If you really think its the shock swap the shock to the other side and see if the clunk moves also.
Good luck
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2005, 01:56 AM
e420A1's Avatar
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a leaking shock is not a good thing to have. you should install a set of bilstein gas shocks all around. i have them on my 97 e420 and they are sweet. it may be a loose bushing somewere. if there is play when you shake the wheel i think that is your culprit right there. there cars are known for a solid suspension.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2005, 05:28 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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ditto on replaing the shocks

when a bilstein leaks it is long past its useful life. new shocks will transform the ride of your car. you will love the way it feels.

the wheel bearings loose on the front is easy to fix. after a hundred k or so they need tightened. it makes small clunking. the big one is prob the shock letting the wheels flop too much.

tom w
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2005, 08:39 AM
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Be careful about replacing OEM shocks with after-market shocks if you have the self-leveling system. The Bilsteins (or any other brand not intended for self-level) are not going to work. If you do have self-leveling (and I suspect you do), the leaking shock definitely needs to be replaced. It could also be the source of the noise. I attached a link to my web page that describes an issue I had with my suspension...

http://v12uberalles.com/Rear_Struts.htm

I initially thought the noise might be coming from a bad bump stop on top of the strut. I pulled the strut out, saw that the bump stop was indeed worn and rattling, and replaced it. I put the strut back in, but the noise was still there. I grabbed the questionable strut, had my son push down on the car, and could feel something inside the strut creaking / snapping. Once I replaced the strut ($$$ for self-level and ADS), the noise went away.
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Last edited by pcmaher; 03-03-2007 at 10:00 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2005, 03:42 PM
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Location: Florida
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My 92 had that clunk and they repaced the strut (hydraulic cylinder) under warranty. I dont know if it is worth $500 for that clunk. Try shock (strut)bushings first.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2005, 08:00 PM
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Parts Planning on Ordering

Looking at everyone's recommendations, I plan on ordering the following parts off thebenzbin.com

1. Wheel Bearings
2. R Sway Bar Link
3. L Sway Bar Link
4. Sway Bar Bushings
5. R OEM Shock
6. L OEM Shock
7. I need to figure out what to order; the estimate stated the Inner Tie Rod has play, what do I get a tirerod end? bushing? or tierod assembly?

You guys see anything that may not be vital right now, aka if I don't get it done I'm not in danger driving down the road in this huge boat.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2005, 08:11 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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if it is like

a 123 and 126 it is about as cheap to order the tie rod assembly.

tom w
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2005, 08:40 PM
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You didn't mention.....is the clunking coming from the rear? If it is, and there is more than 100k miles on the clock, then my experience says the problem is with a rear upper shock bushing, and it needs to be replaced (both of them). Unfortunately, the [I]reason[I] those bushings failed is the accumulators are bad (full of hydraulic fluid) and they need to be replaced as well. The accumulators themselves are relatively inexpensive ($100 each), but the labor cost is quite high. Don't let someone tell you that you need rear shocks...they are like $800 each...when the bushings are only like $40. In either case, replacement of either or both without addressing the accumulator issue is simply throwing money away, because the problem will recur in short order.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2005, 09:49 PM
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The clunk is from the front and is more noticable while braking. For example if I'm rolling at 5 mph, and i jerk the brakes contract and release I hear it. But not always, just after the car has warmed up, I have not noticed any differennce in performance.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2007, 12:25 PM
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Me Too

My 1996 S500 Coupe also has this clunk in the rear. I bought into the accumulator theory and have a pair of spheres and a liter of fluid waiting for a warmer day.

But this week I had the car in the shop for a transmission service, and discussed the clunk with the tech. He felt very strongly that the spheres are OK because the rear "bounces" normally when you push down on it (with the engine running). His theory is that if the spheres were blown out, there would not be any give when you push down. His recommendation is to replace what Worldpac calls the "strut bump stop" which looks like it screws on the top of the strut, provides a cushion against the strut mount, and then passes through the hole into the trunk, where the nut attaches.

The car has 100K on it, and the spheres look original to me. The fluid in the resevoir is low, but there are no leaks to be found.

So much as I was looking forward to working with caustic hydraulic fluid under pressure, I would like to fix the problem. Spheres, bump stops, or both?

TIA
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2007, 04:55 PM
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The car has 100K on it, and the spheres look original to me. The fluid in the resevoir is low, but there are no leaks to be found.

So much as I was looking forward to working with caustic hydraulic fluid under pressure, I would like to fix the problem. Spheres, bump stops, or both?

TIA[/QUOTE]
Chuck,
I am waiting on the same parts plus the ride height valve, it leaks a little. If you are low on fluid and there are no leaks then the only logical place for the fluid to go is in the spheres. Also, the oil is not caustic.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2007, 04:04 AM
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sulman, you did mention that the tie rod on one side is loose, just change it. check the rubber bushings all around the front suspension and do lubricate the rubber bushings with a thin coat of greese (provided that all the bushings have no signs of craking )
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2007, 05:48 AM
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S500 Suspension Clunking and Recommendations

Look what happen to me.



95 E420 Shock in Trunk

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