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  #1  
Old 07-09-2011, 12:52 AM
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W124 shock replacement

I need to replace the shocks and struts on my 300CE. They are the originals and I believe they could do with being replaced after 75k miles of driving. What would be an ideal replacement to keep the car stock? How hard to change them out? Since the front shocks are independent of the coil springs do I not need to worry about getting an alignment afterwards?

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Old 07-09-2011, 04:20 AM
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Blistein are the stock shock.Changing shocks in easy,and alignment stays.It Mc Pherson struts which are dangerous.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:08 AM
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mbzman, when replacing the front struts you need to keep the springs compressed. Either use a spring compressor or place a floor jack under the lower control arm to keep the spring compressed while replacing each front strut. Have an alignment done at your local MB dealer after replacing the struts.

The rear shocks are straightforward. Raise the rear wheels so you have adequate room to access the lower attachment bolts (above the black plastic control arm cover). Remove the trunk liner on each side to access the upper nuts.

Recommend buying Bilstein Comfort shocks and struts, or (if you have deep pockets) stock shocks and struts from your local MB dealer. If Bilstein Comfort shocks are not available for your 300CE you may have to buy Sachs/Boge Comfort shocks. Unless the original shocks/struts are leaking they are probably not worn out at 75,000 miles.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferdman View Post
mbzman, when replacing the front struts you need to keep the springs compressed. Either use a spring compressor or place a floor jack under the lower control arm to keep the spring compressed while replacing each front strut. Have an alignment done at your local MB dealer after replacing the struts.

The rear shocks are straightforward. Raise the rear wheels so you have adequate room to access the lower attachment bolts (above the black plastic control arm cover). Remove the trunk liner on each side to access the upper nuts.

Recommend buying Bilstein Comfort shocks and struts, or (if you have deep pockets) stock shocks and struts from your local MB dealer. If Bilstein Comfort shocks are not available for your 300CE you may have to buy Sachs/Boge Comfort shocks. Unless the original shocks/struts are leaking they are probably not worn out at 75,000 miles.
I just got my 88 300ce back from the dealer yesterday. One of the things I had checked out was the front end cause it has a shimmy at about 65 mph. They checked the tires & wheel balance first & found one tire with a flat spot. I asked about the rest of the front end and was told everything was fine.
"Shocks? Struts? Control arms? Nothing?"
"Jim, I'd like to spend your money, but everything is ok. Nothing is worn or needs replacement"
BUT..... the rear end needed new spring link bushings to the wheel carrier & I needed to replace lower rear ball joints - both sides. Heavy labor.

127,000 miles.
....and I'm sure the front suspension is original.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynalow View Post
"Shocks? Struts? Control arms? Nothing?"

127,000 miles.
....and I'm sure the front suspension is original.
My mercedes indy said the original struts and shocks for my 1989 300e with 115k were just fine. He said the struts/shocks from this era rarely fail.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:23 PM
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I don't believe any of the shocks are leaking. There is a bit more body roll than I would like. I was thinking after 22 years they could do with replacement. I don't really know what one of these cars drove like when new so it is hard to compare. Perhaps I will wait a bit longer before I replace them. When I do need to replace them I will go with the Bilstein Comforts. The dealer wants well into the three figures to do an alignment (even on special). There is a local shop with the latest equipment that can do it for much less.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:24 PM
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These shocks will last a long time. Even a small bit of oil leakage is acceptable.

I changed the front and rears on my 300CE and it is pretty routine, although very physical job. There are plenty of write ups.

If anything needs replacing, most likely the boots on the fronts are shredded. Also change out the shock mounts while you are at it.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:06 PM
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Changed my shocks and struts this year (180k) and now the car handles and corners like an AFX G-Force (dating myself) slot car! '91 300E. Before that it was dipping, leaning, and front end was hammering hard on uneven freeway transitions. I can corner without braking at fairly high speeds which I could not do before.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:28 AM
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i've used Bilstein touring on a BMW and Volvo and very pleased. Bilstein Sports are on my 930.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:22 AM
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mbzman, as far as I know the only reliable way to verify that the existing shocks/struts are fine is to remove them from the car and compare their compression resistance with a brand new shock/strut. A worn shock/strut will compress very easily, whereas a brand new shock/strut (even a Comfort shock/strut) will be very stiff and offer much more resistance.

Resist the temptation to go with HD shocks/struts to prevent body roll. I installed a set of Bilstein HD struts on our 1995 E320 and the ride was busy and bone-jarring ... extremely uncomfortable. Switched to Bilstein Comfort struts 4 days later, and they provide the ride and handling you expect from a MB automobile.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferdman View Post
mbzman, as far as I know the only reliable way to verify that the existing shocks/struts are fine is to remove them from the car and compare their compression resistance with a brand new shock/strut. A worn shock/strut will compress very easily, whereas a brand new shock/strut (even a Comfort shock/strut) will be very stiff and offer much more resistance.

Resist the temptation to go with HD shocks/struts to prevent body roll. I installed a set of Bilstein HD struts on our 1995 E320 and the ride was busy and bone-jarring ... extremely uncomfortable. Switched to Bilstein Comfort struts 4 days later, and they provide the ride and handling you expect from a MB automobile.
Well by pushing down at each corner the car settles out almost immediately after rebound. The rears do feel softer than the front. Again it is hard to say how worn they actually are. I think the car still rides very nicely but I'm sure a new set of Bilstein Comforts are in its near future given the car's age.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:04 PM
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I don't have a whole bunch to contribute except this: the front struts on my vehicle were shot beyond redemption. Changing them out took about 45 min for the first one, 30 min for the second one. This is a very straightforward job. I had an used pair of shocks laying around so they went in. It was amazing how the handling improved drastically even after putting on a set of used front shocks! A set of Bilstein Comforts will be going in a couple of months and I can't wait.

The rear shocks were in remarkable shape; not sure if the PO replaced them or not but they didn't need changing. That was a relief because loosening the bottom shock hardware and then taking the bottom of the shock out of its home position looked rather arduous
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbzman View Post
I don't believe any of the shocks are leaking. There is a bit more body roll than I would like. I was thinking after 22 years they could do with replacement. I don't really know what one of these cars drove like when new so it is hard to compare. Perhaps I will wait a bit longer before I replace them. When I do need to replace them I will go with the Bilstein Comforts. The dealer wants well into the three figures to do an alignment (even on special). There is a local shop with the latest equipment that can do it for much less.
Chances are you don't need new shocks. High pressure deCarbon shocks don't slowly degrade like conventional shocks. They maintain their damping characteristics until end of life and then completely fail. This is often evidenced by a significant oil spill from the shock.

"Shock absorbers" is a misnomer. They are dampers that provide a resisting force proportional to velocity. They don't have anything to do with steady state body roll.

Find a dip in the road and hit it at speed. If the car rebounds without significant oscillation, the shocks are okay. Mercedes (base suspensions on most models) uses relatively soft springs and modest anti-roll bars. Jounce/rebound travel is very generous and the damping rates are well chosen for normal road speeds. That's why they have such a good reputation for ride and handling - swallowing huge bumps and dips that send a lot of cars bouncing off the jounce and rebound bumpers.

I had the RF strut completely fail on my '88 190E 2.6 circa 1993 after the warranty expired. It left a puddle of oil on the ground, and it was clear that the oil came from the strut. In addition it was obvious that the RF had no damping. I replaced the strut with an OE replacement from Bilstein, which looks exactly like the original, and it was easy to replace because you don't have to deal with the spring. The other three are original.

The sudden onset of severe front end shimmy is often a result of a failed steering damper, which is also a high pressure deCarbon type damper, and failure is often evidenced by loss of oil. It's easly to disconnect one end and test it for resistance. I've had to replace my steering damper twice, but it's relatively inexpensive and easy to R&I.

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  #14  
Old 07-12-2011, 10:30 PM
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where did you guys buy the Bilstein Comforts? Looking for a pair for the front of my 300TE? Best price I've found so far has been $83ea.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:32 AM
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try parts geek dot com

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