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Old 06-23-2010, 10:09 PM
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W126 rear-end "squat" on acceleration?

My mother has my old W126. Its a 1988 300SEL (LWB) sedan. I never noticed it when driving, but the other day I was behind my mother ( she was driving the Merc) and I noticed that when she would pull out that the car would "squat" down and the front would raise substantually. I could really see this when she would pull out and make a turn and I could see the car from the side on acceleration. I think my other W126 did this, so maybe its normal... in fact, I have seen many W126 do this.

I read though that the W126 supposed to have "anti-squat" bars, but dont seem to work unless these do something else. Is this pretty much normal on the W126 chassis or is something in order? It does not bottom out or anything and ride smooth, though the back seems floaty sometimes. I was behind a "gen 2" W126 (420SEL) the other day and it was really squated down in the back and the tops of the rear tires were leaning way in. A very old couple was driving it... I see them quite often actually. Its identical to our W126, save ours is a 300SEL and that one is a 420SEL.

Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:11 PM
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Its pretty normal. You don't feel it in the car. It's really noticeable on a stock height car. I have stiffer shocks, springs, and my car still squats on acceleration fairly noticeably. The car has to be very lowered, and very stiff to completely eliminate the squatting.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:18 PM
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Thanks John. Yeah, I cant even tell it when driving it. I still drive it occasionally. It still has all stock suspension as far I know. I am sure it could use updates, but its still OK for now. It may need tie-rods or ball joints. Has a little slack in the steering and pulls some to the right. This is next to be addressed after the new fuel sending unit which hopefully will be purchasing from a member here.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:06 AM
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New rear shocks should help.
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:59 AM
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New shocks all around actually.
The rear squating is an effect of weight transfer to the rear and away from the front. So the front lifting makes things even worse.

In handling terms, this means you have good rear traction on acceleration but poor steering
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:57 AM
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When I was in high school in the '80s, my friends and I would take multiple w126s out at night to go cruising. The rear ends would squat on the brand new cars.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:49 PM
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These are naturally squatty cars without the hydro rear end. Nevertheless, the rear springs do tend to wear out because these cars have a heavy rear end.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:17 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like its pretty much the norm. Just makes it looks like you are really accelerating faster I guess. lol.

Yeah, now that you mentioned it on these when they were new, I remember my mom used to watch the old "Dallas" shows on TV in the 80s and I remember seeing alot of these cars (the W126 chassis) on the show (as well as the red 380SL convertible) and I think they squated down in the back on acceleration as well if I remember correctly.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinypanzer View Post
Nevertheless, the rear springs do tend to wear out because these cars have a heavy rear end.


Yup, new springs make a WORLD of difference on them. I did springs at the same time I did new rear subframe mounts and rear sway bar links on my 300SEL, car handles far better now.

And people, do not be scared of the HD shocks for the 126s... they are the ones to use not the Comfort/Touring.
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