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Old 03-21-2006, 11:41 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,298
How does your W126 ride???

Ok here is an interesting queston. I think both of mine ride like Model T's honestly. The SDL has a fresh set of Bilstein comforts all the way around with pretty much all new suspension parts. The SD had the front end gone through by the PO about 5 years ago, has Bilsteins as well. Tire pressure 30 in the SD, 34 in the SDL with 225/55/16 tires.

Both ride very stiff you notice every freaken bump, expansion joint everything!

Compared to a W140, W220, XJ8, W210, G35, 3 and 7 series, they don't soak up the bumps and provide that silky smooth ride.

Also don't give me the stiff ride improves handling line, these cars don't really deliver much of what the suspension promises. A W140 will run circles around one in the corners.

Is it a 1980's thing? I don't remember 80's vintage Jags riding like this?
2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ
2007 Tiara 3200

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:58 PM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,264
My 300SE rides exactly as you describe. I really never have been impressed.

My 300D is smoother and feels more solid to be honest. Soaks up bumps around town and I feel less shudder/shock through the steering wheel. Both have rebuilt front ends.

My old 116 was smoother riding than either, and was the most solid of the three. Out-cornered both too.

Don't think I will buy another 126. Keeping my eyes peeled for a 450SEL or maybe a 280E, with a 5 speed. 210 and 140 too flashy and modern. I prefer frumpiness.
'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:01 AM
wbain5280's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Va.
Posts: 3,386
Mine wallows. I need new shocks.


Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL


Not part of the in-crowd since 1952.
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Old 03-22-2006, 05:56 AM
Hit Man X's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 9,030
Thumbs up

My SDL has new shocks on it and I too notice it stiff about town, but it feels fine on the open roads. SD is receiving new ones next week, I'll comment once installed.
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 244k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 325k
'91 560SEL 189k

Eight others from IH, BMW, GM, Ford, and Volvo.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:06 AM
This space for sale
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,342
My 560 will be getting a suspension upgrade around summer...

purchased the last set of w126 springs sold by Lorinser and hope to find AMG shocks or Koni yellow's to go with them. I hope this will give the car a new tight feel on turns and handling.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:41 AM
blueeagle289's Avatar
Blue Eagle
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 457
Talking 420SEL Rides smoothly

I don't really get a rough ride in this car; it rides smoothly -- with power in all kinds of normal road situations, as I would expect. (My 99 ML rides a little stiffly, but that is to be expected of that car; and the Corvette is stiff because of its suspension -- as would be expected. (My 68 230S rides very well over the road; again as expected.)
I guess all this is in the minds of the driver ..... so many different opinions of the same car models always come up in the Forum... I think some are super sensitive about little bumps and noises and others seem to accept their cars as normal, probably with exactly the same bumps and noises.
Anyway, we all seem to be fairly happy with our Mercedes, don't we?
Ben Harrison Carter
1999 Mercedes ML320 87K
1992 Mercedes 300CE 89K
1995 Corvette 29K -- Sold Dec 09
1989 Mercedes 420SEL 99K -- (Sold 4/08)
1968 Mercedes 230S (106K) (Sold 9/06))
1976 Mercedes 450SEL 130K (Just sold - 06)
1961 Mercedes 220Sb (sold years ago)
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:48 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lakeville, MN
Posts: 25

Mine is terrible. In Minnesota the roads are in tough shape and the heaving of the pavement leaves small breaks in the pavement at regular intervals. The ride is heavy and loud. Every bump is amplified into loud thuds. I had an '85 300D that was a dream. The suspension was so smooth and quiet. I just figured this car needed some suspension work but it looks like there are many that have similar experiences.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:12 AM
3 MB's and counting!
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,825
Mine (which I passed back to my dad) rides firm but is loud and has lots of body roll. NOTHING and I mean nothing compares to the ride of the W140s that Ive tested out when buying another car. Its incredible.
99 C43
98 S420
99 C230K
01 C240
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:15 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 33,076
mine rides like a benz ..1990 350sdl

firm but supple.

the 225 tires will be heavier so will contribute to a harsh ride. also you might lower the air pressure a bit. and if you have aftermarket wheels they are prob heavier than the benz wheels. the weight of the wheel tire combo is crucial to good ride.

my best riding benz prob was a 240d with the black alloy wheels and hubcaps with 175 tires. that is a light wheel tire combo.

tom w
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual. It still needs upholstery redone...I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:36 AM
Gary Ganaway's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 367
My 380SE rides very quiet and smooth but I do feel and hear, what I call that typical Mercedes "thump" when hitting expansion strips and bumps. After new shocks it is much more stable on turns but I'll bet 15 inch wheels would ride and look better vs. stock 14". Not as quiet as my E420 but its 10 years older too.
95 E420 ( 76K) SOLD
85 380SE(125k)
95 SL500(72k)
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:19 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockville MD
Posts: 833
Sometimes I miss the big old American boats with their numb steering and total road isolation. But all in all I prefer the slightly harsher more connected feel of the MB, which helps keep you alert on long drives.
1985 380SE Blue/Blue - 230,000 miles
2012 Subaru Forester 5-speed
2005 Toyota Sienna
2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible
1999 Toyota Tacoma
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:23 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,182
My 90 sdl with 225/55/16 rides as well as it gets for a 126.
123s have much better curb jumping potential.

Compared to a 94 legend w/ sport suspension, the mb does better w/ bigger bumps but the legend absorbs all the small imperfections. The 126 is a 70's design (I know they came out in the 80's but they must have designed them in the 70's) and for that they are great.
82 300D....went to MB heaven
90 350 SDL....excercising con rods
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: NB Canada
Posts: 1,173
Originally Posted by Gary Ganaway
My 380SE rides very quiet and smooth but I do feel and hear, what I call that typical Mercedes "thump" when hitting expansion strips and bumps. After new shocks it is much more stable on turns but I'll bet 15 inch wheels would ride and look better vs. stock 14". Not as quiet as my E420 but its 10 years older too.
My '85 380SE has aftermarket 15" light alloys, and I hate the way this car 'bangs' over every hole and bump around town, most of this coming from the front end. All my front end ball joints are less than 5 years old, the shocks are good. Not my idea of a nice riding sedan. OK on the highway, but most heavy cars are.
1986 560SL
2002 Toyota Camry
1993 Lexus
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:53 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Ashland, KY
Posts: 365
I think the only way to compare is to drive another non-Benz car, then drive the 126. I felt the same way until I drove another car and then my 420SEL. It makes a big difference.
I agree. The W140 has the best ride of any vehicle I have ever driven.
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:15 PM
BrianH's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 46
Sadly my 190 2.6 and 1993 Range Rover ride better than the 560sel.
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