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Old 04-18-2002, 11:44 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: tulcea , romania
Posts: 20
Question w123 front suspension

Hi everybody ! I have one question for today : owner of a w123 240D , I have just dismembered a w123 280 E sedan , and plan to replace the front suspension springs , hoping to obtain higher ground clearance (necessary here in Romania , after 2 broken oil pans) , But don't really know if they are too much stiffer . I don't want my car to be like a speeding boat ... so , is the weight difference (diesel 240 - 6-inline 280) too high , or should I obtain a fairly increase in ground clearance , as I expect ?
Thanks a lot !
W123 '77 240D with 130.000 km
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Old 04-19-2002, 09:40 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: tulcea , romania
Posts: 20

Anybody !!!please give me an advice ....!!!!
W123 '77 240D with 130.000 km
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Old 04-19-2002, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596

I am not able to answer your question directly, as I am not familiar with the details of the spring ratings for the cars you are talking about. A 240D engine may be pretty close to the weight of the 280 engine so the amount of lift you get might be marginal for the effort.

I believe the most direct way to get the car up is to put shims under the springs. These shims are standard parts from MB, and if the standard ones are not thick enough, you can make some. Also, I believe MB makes a steel plate guard for the oil pan, which is probably the best solution to protect it from being punctured by hitting stuff on the road, or falling into holes and the like. If you cannot get an MB version, I think you can make one from some plate about 6 to 8 mm thick.

If you raise the car with a different spring you may avoid a few of the obstacles but you cannot expect to raise it enough to really ride over all of them. Good luck, and hope this helps, Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 04-19-2002, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Well, its pretty hard to give advice on used springs.

It gets even more difficult when you throw the variety of versions that can exist in european trim. MB really limits the options in the US.

Looking up springs for a 1980 240D and 280E brings some interesting considerations. The 240D has three springs available by chassis number and amount of special versions.

The springs are labeled: 1: Front spring; used with 0 to 2 special versions, 2: Front spring; used with A/C & 0 to 1 SA (special version), 3: Front spring; used with A/C & 2 SA.

The 280E has only one spring listed but comes with this description: Front spring; used with A/C & 3 SA.

The number for the 280E spring and the heaviest 240D spring are the same. Sooooo, if it were a US car with A/C the springs probably would be the same. The 280 would not be available in the US without A/C so there are not the spring varieties for it. This counting of accesories to determine springs has not been discussed in US service manuals since the early cars as the possibility of different versions does not exist.

My interpretation of this means that whichever car has A/C will probably have stiffer springs than one without. It also makes sense that a car with A/C also has other variants.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 04-19-2002, 06:14 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 459
Why go to all that trouble? All you have to do to protect your oilpan is install a skidplate. Mercedes actually sold these as an option to protect the underside of the engine, and they bolt to the cross-member in front and somewhere around the bumper. If you look close at the crossmember you will see to threaded holes, and that it for mounting the skidplate. I have been searching junkyards for one for a while, but have had no luck. Wouldn't be too hard to make one yourself though. Try a custom 4x4 shop.

'84 300D
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Old 04-20-2002, 06:35 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: tulcea , romania
Posts: 20
Thumbs up thanks

Steve ,
Thank you very much for a complete answer ... it gives me something to think about .
I don't really know the weight of a 240D engine , but with the cast iron and everything it would be about 200kg....I think . I don't have AC but have power steering .
The other car was a 280 E autotrans , pretty loaded with optionals . It took us 3 powerful guys to lift the engine , and the gearbox is heavy too .
Finally , I'm going to change some bushings and ball joints anyway , so taking out the springs would be easy , and plan to compare at least the two .

Greg , I admit not having checked the underside for pre-installed holes and threads for a skid plate , and I appreciate the idea . Since this is Romania , DIY is almost the only option...all I need is an idea or a starting point ...

Another question : a friend of mine asked if connecting a 220D engine (type 615 from a w123) to the autotrans from the 280E has any chance to work , even with a correct ratio differential adapted .... Just a little question
W123 '77 240D with 130.000 km
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