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  #1  
Old 08-24-2001, 10:19 AM
smthack
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Monroe shocks on a 190E

Has anybody else had bad experiences with Monroe Sensatrac shocks on a 2 litre 190E?

I replaced the old OE shocks and have had no end of problems with the front wheels fouling the wheelarches. This was not helped by the 'professionals' forgetting to fit the rubber bump-stops to the shocks, but the suspension still seems far too soft. After all should the shock be hitting the rubber bump-stop in day-to-day driving (obviously it depends on the driving, but I mean normal driving)?

Does anybody know where I can find further Monroe details on line? I'd like to make sure they've actually fitted the right type for my car.

My next step is to replace the springs (the car has 100K miles on the clock). Does this seem like a sensible next step, or should I just give up with my new (expensive) Sensatracs? Failing that, any other suggestions?

Thanks

Mark T
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2001, 10:55 AM
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I have the Sensatracs on the rear of my '88 Acura Integra, and it is a mistake I will probably decide to live with. These are absolutely the worst design of shock absorber anyone could dream up.

The idea is that for small displacements, the suspension is not working hard, so the damping can be weak - allowing a good ride. When motions become larger, stiffer damping occurs, because the suspension is working harder. The system is 'position' sensitive, accomplished with grooves in the cylinder wall.

Unfortunately, real-life is different. Variable valving needs to be 'velocity' sensitive to compensate for increased suspension activity, as Bilstein and others do. The net effect of the Sensatracs is that on large bumps, the weak center valving allows a rapid acceleration of motion followed by a sudden stoppage - it can launch you right out of your seat (or your lunch out of...)!

Whether the shocks they installed were the correct model for your application or not, I recommend you drive carefully back and have them re-install the originals until you can make it to a shop that can handle the oem brands.

Steve
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2001, 01:42 PM
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Location: Jax, FL
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I do not know how valuable your time is but, are you really saving money buying not OEM for your car? Bite the bullet and buy OEM quality struts and shocks for your car. You won't need them for another 100,000 miles. Do a search on the subject, right uper corner of the screen. Monroe's are designed with american and asian cars in mind.
I would look at the rest of your suspension system, since the rear arm links and front component go frequently. Shocks and struts may outlast these components in most cases.
Just a friendly advice. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. It is your car, after all.
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Old 08-24-2001, 03:43 PM
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You should be OK with new springs. I would suggest you buy OEM from Mercedes Benz. Replace all four springs and go with the Bilstien of Boge shocks/struts. The new springs will stop you from regularly bottoming out.
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1996 Grand Voyager 3.3
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2001, 11:55 AM
smthack
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Just to give you an update, I decided to go with new MB springs all round while putting up with the Sensatracs. The improvement was huge.

I'm now wondering if I actually needed to replace the shocks in the first place...? I guess so, at 100K miles, they must have been pretty shot.

Thanks for your help
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Old 09-17-2001, 12:00 PM
smthack
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Just to give you an update, I decided to go with new MB springs all round while putting up with the Sensatracs. The improvement was huge.

I'm now wondering if I actually needed to replace the shocks in the first place...? I guess so, at 100K miles, they must have been pretty shot.

Thanks for your help
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2001, 01:40 AM
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Mark,

MB springs last a very long time, passing 100k easily. I just changed my front struts at 225k miles. I stuck with Bilsteins, a MB OEM. They're definitely worth the money. Your car is heavy, unlike the asian and american cars out there.


Vu
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