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  #1  
Old 05-26-2006, 10:58 PM
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When Should Shock Absorbers Get Replaced?

My 1988 560SL has the original front shock absorbers. The car has 79500 miles and I plan to replace the front subframe bushings soon, and was wondering if it is also time to replace the shocks. I know the MB shocks are very good quality, and these still appear to be working. I would go with the Bilsteins. Thanks for any advice.

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  #2  
Old 05-26-2006, 11:28 PM
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Yep, they are tired.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2006, 04:45 AM
blitzgritz
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mOST SHOCKS NEED REPLACING EVERY 80 000 - 100 000 MILES

Sounds like it's time....you'll really notice the difference in handling and body roll
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Old 05-27-2006, 06:22 AM
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i have replaced them at 80k and found them to be not in the least worn out. but it all depends on driving conditions they have been subjected to.

the first thing to go is ride quality. when the car starts feeling bouncy they are tired.

this will happen before any leaking or unsafe handling becomes apparent. so how is your benz riding? if it feels like a benz should, probably they are not worn out yet.

tom w
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:40 PM
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Shock life can be pretty variable. I squeezed over 250k out of my original set. My parents have a '91 300E that went about 200k before it was time. If the car doesn't wallow at speed, then the shocks are probably still okay.
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2006, 03:45 PM
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I recently changed all four on the SD.............185K on the clock. The two rear shocks were definitely shot.......leaking oil.........and allowing the vehicle to hop all over the pavement.

The two front shocks looked perfectly fine. No oil leaks and the vehicle did not exhibit any pronounced hop on the front end.

The new shocks on the front might perform slightly better than the originals.........but........I'll not swear to it...........it could certainly be the placebo effect.

I gave the two front shocks to Hattie for possible use on the SD. I definitely believe that they are serviceable.

Last edited by Brian Carlton; 05-27-2006 at 08:18 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2006, 08:12 PM
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They seem decent enough, I'll let you know if I end up using them.
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  #8  
Old 05-27-2006, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
They seem decent enough, I'll let you know if I end up using them.
Yeah, I'd be curious as to whether you think they are acceptable or not........
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  #9  
Old 05-27-2006, 08:21 PM
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Well the front shocks on the SD are Bilstein's, not that old either maybe 5 years at the most. But I will hang onto yours, they certainly seem to have a bit of life left in them.
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Old 05-28-2006, 12:49 AM
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I just replaced all 4 shocks and this is what I learned.

I bought the car 7/2002 with 112m. While poking around I saw dirt encrusted oil on one of the rear shocks. The car drove fine so I decided just to monitor it.

I happened to check it again recently at 136m, car still drove fine, but I saw (after heavy rain) that there was no dirt but a fresh slick of oil on the same shock.

I ordered new Bilstein comforts but after checking their website, they said that oil on the shock was normal and not a warranty item. I swapped them out anyways and while they still worked OK they were clearly not the same as new ones. The old ones compressd easily and had different and much slower return rates. My conclusion here is that if you are not keeping the car much longer and the ride is fine, leave them be.

After seeing the condition of the rears, I did the fronts also. Again the ride was fine but the condition of the old versus new shocks was night and day. One of the fronts took 30 seconds to rebound, the other about 10 seconds. The new ones rebounded in less than 5 seconds and were much harder to compress.

So if you are keepng the car for awhile, put in new shocks based roughly on mileage. New shocks are a joy and YOU should enjoy them as well as the next owner.

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  #11  
Old 05-28-2006, 01:03 AM
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Sometimes replacing shocks is a joy, sometimes it's a nonevent. I've replaced Bilsteins at 125k a couple of times and felt no difference in performance whatsoever. I once told a Bilstein U.S.A. rep that I was changing shocks at 125k and he was utterly baffled that I would be doing such a thing. Conditions do vary - but there's no reason to change them if you don't feel any degradation in performance - the new ones won't feel any different and you'll be out around $400.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2006, 01:08 AM
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I would try Bilstein comfort shocks and a steering damper too at that mileage

I would think about motor mounts too, maybe
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2006, 03:47 AM
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For what it's worth... I had asked my dealer about replacing shocks and they told me that it was so rare that they aren't a dealer stocked part. They did however tell me that motor mounts and steering bushings were a different story and should be checked on a regular basis.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2006, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeH
For what it's worth... I had asked my dealer about replacing shocks and they told me that it was so rare that they aren't a dealer stocked part. They did however tell me that motor mounts and steering bushings were a different story and should be checked on a regular basis.

Of course but remember the source. Most of the cars the dealers see on a regular basis are 5 years old or newer.

Come 10, 15, 20, 25 years down the road, shocks get tired.
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  #15  
Old 06-01-2006, 02:33 AM
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I replaced my 86 560's at 83K two years ago; all but one rear looked OK, the fourth one was clearly leaking. I replaced them with Bilstein comforts, f/r subframe mounts (fronts completely shot), motor mounts (one was broken, one crushed), and the steering shock (completely, totally shot, a hanging piece of metal). It was like a different car. And my car was a "creampuff" with two older women PO's - not likely to have been at the drags on Sunday.

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