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  #1  
Old 09-26-2001, 09:15 AM
Robert Boyer
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W126: Bilstein shocks question

About 3-4 months ago, I had all new Bilstein shocks installed in my W126.

I have noticed that the upper bolts on top of the front shock towers turn rather easily; not tight by any means.

Wuestion: how tight should these bolts be? I have the feeling that my local guy just didn't install them correctly, in this regard. Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

And if they need to be tightened, how to do it? There is one bolt, and the shaft has a slot for a screwdriver. However, can't get enough grip to keep the shaft immobile while attempting to tighten the bolt.


Also: If I want to check tightness of upper bolt on the rears, I need to remove the seat. Any tips on removal of rear seat in W126?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2001, 03:24 PM
sixto's Avatar
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Robert,

First off, Bilsteins don't have a slot for a screwdriver, they have flats on the threaded shaft so you can hold the shaft with a small open wrench or pliers while you tighten the nut. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

If the nut turns with the shaft and requires a wrench to turn, then you're probably okay. I don't know how tight it should be, but if at least 2 or 3 threads are showing above the nut, you should be fine. Tightening the nut is just as you describe. Maybe try a bigger screwdriver. There should be caps over shock mounts. I don't think they're critical.

To get to the rear shocks on a sedan, do an archive search or read on. I don't know if this applies to 126 coupes:

- pull inward the tab at either end of the rear seat bottom where it meets the carpet near the doors
- lift the forward edge of the seat bottom and pull out the seat
- remove the 3 screw holding the seat back to the car. Left, middle and right near the floor. It might be easier to access the middle screw with the armrest down and the thing that holds the seatbelt clips together out of the way.
- review your dockside vocabulary and lift the the seatback 3-4 inches
- pull the seat back forward and out of the way
- peel the black padding at either end to expose the black plastic boxes on each side (the stereo amplifiers)
- remove the amplifier. Just remove the screws and move it out of the way. No need to remove the electrical connections.
- remove the plastic cap behind the amplifier
- you should see the top mount of the rear shock, one on each side

Be careful working on the rear shocks because anything you drop in the hole will be lost forever or until you remove the fuel tank.

Sixto
91 300SE
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  #3  
Old 09-26-2001, 03:31 PM
Robert Boyer
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reply to Bilstein shocks question

Sixto - thanks for your time in replying.

However, the tops of these shock's shafts do NOT have indentations or flat spots in order to apply a wrnech or plyers. Only have a screwdriver slot.

I know these are brand-new Bilstein comforts, because I got them direct from the local warehouse. I even have the boxes.
(unfortunately, lost the instructions).

Also: when using a wrench to the bolt, as mentioned, each bolt turns so easily it seems that they could almost be turned by fingers. No tightness evident at all. Yes, they are tight to the shaft. That is, turning the bolt turns the shaft.

But this should not be turning so very easily. Contrary to all my past experiences - unless this is how it should be with Bilsteins.

Any thoughts out there?
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2001, 12:50 PM
sixto's Avatar
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Robert,

My apologies. My Bilsteins do have a slot for a screwdriver. My front shocks have two nuts that I certainly can't turn by hand. Maybe it's the rears that have wrench flats. I'm not about to check.

If you have two nuts, you'll have to loosen one with respect to the other before you can tighten the lower one against the shock/mount. Holding the shaft with a screwdriver will not be enough to tighten the two nuts together.

Sixto
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2001, 05:46 PM
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The nuts need to be tight. Thay should squash the rubber pads at least 1/3 down.
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2001, 05:30 PM
Robert Boyer
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Bilstein tightening/front: Help Steve!!

Thanks, guys, for the tips.

However, no one has yet to address my problem - simple as it may seem - of how to tighten the front shock to bolt. These are new Bilsteins. again, I have one bolt over the top plate/washer, threaded on a shaft which only has a slot for a screwdriver. No indentations. Cannot use a wrench.

I cannot seem to get sufficient grip on a screwdriver to hold the shaft from turning while I attempt to tighten the top bolt with a wrench.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2001, 05:44 PM
sixto's Avatar
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Robert,

Maybe I'm on a different page. The threaded shaft of the shock comes through a hole in the inner fender, then there's a series of washers and rubber rings and finally a nut or two. I don't know that there are any bolts involved up top. If you're sure you're working on a bolt, maybe a picture will help.

If it's a nut, maybe it's the wrong nut for the threads. I doubt that's the case since Bilsteins come with new nuts (or am I dreaming again?). Can you loosen the nut? You might try holding the shaft of the screwdriver with Vice Grips for more leverage.

Sixto
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2001, 05:50 PM
Robert Boyer
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Bilsteins

Sixto:

I mis-spoke. I was refering to the nut, not a bolt.

Here's my take on it: the nut seems new and came with the boxed-Bilsteins. It is one per shaft.

The installer seems to have put something blue-ish on the shaft where he threaded the nut: a plastic sealer, or something. This may be causing too much bonding to allow me to free the nut to turn.

I'll try your suggestion with vice-grips on the screwdriver - but I suspect that this will be too unwieldy to give me the leverage I need.

Once again, with a small open-ended wrench in hand, I can quite easily turn the nut (of course, the shaft turns at the same time). Everyone I';ve spoken with and one who looked at it hands-on says the same thing: the nut should be tight, not turnable so easy.

Am I wrong? Help!!!!
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2001, 06:14 PM
sixto's Avatar
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Robert,

That blue stuff is probably thread locking compound. Still, better blue than red. The red stuff requires heating to 400F or something like that to make it yield. I don't know if penetrating oil will help. It certainly won't hurt. You might try acetone but I'm not sure what acetone will do if it comes in contact with the rubber bushings. You certainly don't want acetone on painted surfaces.

One thing I can recommend (among the dozen things I'm thinking of) is to break the nut with a nut splitter and start with a new nut after you clean the shaft.

Here's a Rube Goldberg alternative (www.rubegoldberg.com for those unfamiliar): If there are enough threads exposed, put two more nuts on the threads. Tighten the two new nuts against eachother, but not against the original nut. This should allow you better leverage to loosen the original nut.

Another thing to consider is that if the washers and rubber bushings aren't free enough to turn by hand, it might not be as tight as it should be, but maybe it's tight enough not to worry about it.

Sixto
91 300SE
81 300SD ... buy me
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