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Old 04-13-2006, 02:10 PM
Bigpete123's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 130
Help Deciding on Shocks

I know this issue has been covered a ton. I've done lots of research up to this point, so please hear me out.

My 300ce is lowered on H&R springs. Everyone on the forums (not just mercedesshop) say that Bilstein Sports are the way to go. So I was convinced.

Then I call up my mechanic and suggest installing Bilstein Sports, and he tells me that they are really harsh and that he has had customers come in to have them removed. He said I'll feel every bump, and they are only necessary if I'm planning on racing my car.

My understanding was that the Sports are made for lowered cars since they are shorter shocks. My mechanic is recommending the Comforts, but my understanding is that those are pretty soft, and they're longer shocks.

Anyway, my mechanic is very knowledgeable and honest, so I wanted to confirm with you guys that the Sports are the way to go. Thanks!!

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Old 04-13-2006, 02:20 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
Posts: 2,035
If people have removed them maybe he has some slightly used shocks you can try.
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Old 04-13-2006, 02:36 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Baton Rouge La
Posts: 2,632
we have comforts on the 300e..seems to ride nice and sporty... i think oems are on the 300ce.... it seems to ride more solid.

you would think the cars would be the other way around....
1989 300ce 129k
( facelifted front,updated tail lights, lowered suspension,bilstein sports, lorinser front spoiler, MOMO steering wheel, remus exhaust,stainless steel brake lines). (Gone)

1997 s320 154k (what a ride). Sold with 179k miles. Replaced with Hyundai Equus

1994 e320 Cabriolet 108k

1972 280se 4.5 153k Owned for 12 yrs, sorry I sold it

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Old 04-13-2006, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: northern VT
Posts: 537
Just my opinion!

Go with the sport shocks if you are willing to have a ride like a 3/4 or one ton p/u, yeah they probably handle a bit better, but how much time will you be pushing the envelope? unless it is 60% or more, then the comfort shocks would be easier to live with... I would be more inclined to spend the $ on tire upgrades, or (my dream) a trip to a performance driving school, as I doubt I use even 50% of my cars abilitys, and any professional driver could whip my butt, with 1/2 the car..
46 WDX Power Wagon

84 300TDT daily driver
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
I can't attest to the H&R springs as compared to factory sportline springs, but I can offer up some much discussed knowledge.

First of all I have to 300E Factory Sportlines, a '92 and a '93. The springs are shorter, stiffer, and different than regular MB springs. They are progressive. They get stiffer as they are compressed. So the point with shock absorber selection is to match the shock to the spring height and spring rate.

The factory sportline shock is not harsh. It's properly matched to the sportline springs. I replaced the factory shocks on the '92 with Bilstein Sports. They are still not harsh, but they are valved differently than the factory shock. I must say that I prefer the factory sportline shocks as they seem to be less harsh on rough roads. I just can't see tossing the Bilsteins and spending more money on the factory shocks (Sachs I think)

If it were me, I would buy the genuine factory sportline shocks and pay the extra money. Well worth it.

Comfort and HD Bilsteins are designed to a specific working range. Why would you use them on a car with shorter , stiffer springs. Makes no sense to me.

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Old 04-13-2006, 07:40 PM
Bigpete123's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 130
Yeah, I agree with that statement. My understanding was that the Sports were the only ones out of the three that were designed for shorter springs. So using the same logic, I wouldn't want to follow your recommendation and get the sportline shocks, because my H&R's shorter than the sportline springs. Also, the bilsteins have a lifetime warranty, and my guess is that the sportline shocks don't. so putting them under the abuse of pairing them with shorter springs would wear them out faster.

I don't really know what to do. I typically like to take the "moderate" alternative when I'm presented with issues like this. But in this case, I don't even know what moderate is! Which is the harshest, and which is the least harsh out of the three:

1. Sports
2. HD's
3. Comforts

I don't want a teeth-shatteringly stiff ride. I don't drive my car hard. But I also want my car to feel like a solid german car and not a Cadillac (I'm not in favor of getting seasick in my car ). I have been told that the HD's are 30% less stiff than the Sports, but I can't figure out where the Comforts fall in, which is what my mechanic is recommending. Are they softer than the HD's, or stiffer?

I also don't know how to make sense of the shorter springs. The HD's and Comforts are not designed for shorter springs, so it makes me nervous to use them in my application... I can only guess that they will not reach optimal performance.

Thanks for any additional support you guys can provide. I appreciate it!
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
Let me set you straight on this.
Bilstein Comforts are much the same as OEM ( length, damping, etc.).
Bilstein HD and Sport have the same valving, with the Sport's being shorter, to compensate for lowering springs.
Bilstein recommends the Sports on vehicles that are lowered 30 mm or more.
Having a combination of Eibach springs & the Sport shocks, I find the combination of ride & handling just about perfect.
I do NOT like a stiff ride, but not a " Floater " either.
2007 C 230 Sport.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:49 PM
Bigpete123's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 130
Thanks man. It sounds like I want to go with the sports. Chances are, the people bringing their cars back to my mechanic were old farts or something. No offense to any old farts who are reading this
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 20
Hi there Bigpete123,

I'm also facing exactly the same dilemma....Mine is a 190E lowered 40mm
using B+G Progressive Sport Spring...

I did try using Bilsten Comfort with B+G Spring, the ride was not harsh at all. In fact it's beyond my expectation (I was expecting harsh ride), even on uneven roads..But the trade off was, Both the front shock fail prematurely after about a year of usage.(around 30,000 miles).

After that I wanted to try Bilstein Sport, but cant find any at the parts store.
They instead, recommend me Bilstein HD as according to them the damping rate is exactly the same.....The only different is the stroke length.

As the different is in the length, I took the Bilstein HD to a machine shop to shortened the stroke of the stanchion by 40mm. I guess the spec is now equal to Bilstein Sport.

However.....The ride is now about 30-40% hasrher than when running the Comforts. But the handling I would say....Marvellous.....But really not recommended if you wanted to retain the comfort.

The lesson I learnt here is...There is always a trade-off between comfort and handling....
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:04 AM
Bigpete123's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 130
for sure. Thanks very much for your response, it helps tons. I was not sure about the length issue and whether or not it would wear the shocks out too fast. So that settles it. Bilstein sports it is!

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