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Old 09-25-2002, 12:45 PM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
Besides Bilsteins...are KYB shocks any good?

Please dont misunderstand I love to maintain my mercedes at the highest lvel, but this summer I bought an impact wrench, air ratchet and I am rebuilding an engine.

My budget is tight. My daughter wants to go to college.

My cars are both 260 K and I would like to run each another 100K at least. They need new shocks. I cant afford Bilsteins. Can someone recommend a different model? Are KYB shocks (ala Performance Products) any good.

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Old 09-25-2002, 02:20 PM
tvpierce's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 612
Boge Turbo-Gas are very good (not as good as Bilstein). I just put them on all 4 corners of my Volvo 945 Turbo. They give a nice tight ride, and they're "guaranteed for life". They should offer substantial savings over Bilstein. BTW: they sell them right here at Fast Lane. The prices are usually very competitive, and the service is excellent.

Just my 2-cents.

Jeff Pierce
Jeff Pierce

Current Vehicles:
'92 Mercedes 190E/2.3 (247K miles/my daily driver)
'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon (263K miles/a family truckster with spunk)
'99 Kawasaki Concours
Gravely 8120
Previous Vehicles:
'85 Jeep CJ-7 w/ Fisher plow (226K miles)'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon
'53 Willys-Overland Pickup
'85 Honda 750F Interceptor
'93 Nissan Quest
'89 Toyota Camry Wagon
'89 Dodge Raider
'81 Honda CB 750F Super Sport
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'95 Toyota Tacoma
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:23 PM
Posts: n/a

I have KYB's on my 124 and I am very disappointed with them.

On my 123 cars, however, I always ran the best Sears Gas Shocks that they had. They served me well, and they always gave me new ones at no cost.

They are not as good as the Bilstiens, but very cost effective.

I have not bought any of these in five years are so, and I suspect that they have changed their product lines, so proceed carefully at Sears.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Northern California/Western Washington
Posts: 386
I second Larry's comments about the KYBs. You get what you pay for. I tried a set on an Audi quattro - ruined the handling and went to Bilsteins.

I understand your need for economizing, though. Good luck.

2003 Dodge Durango SLT
2002 BMW E39 530i Sport
1988 Mercedes 300TE
2003 Chevrolet Suburban
1999 E430
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Old 09-25-2002, 04:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
have a friend that put them on his Camry. he's blown one twice already. they may be warrantied for life but the labor ain't free. i'm sure the bilsteins are worth the difference. oh yeah, i emailed a distributor for pricing on KYB's on my w124 and it came back saying "not recommended for your car"...
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
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Old 09-25-2002, 05:38 PM
downsmith's Avatar
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Location: Oklahoma Sooners Alumnus
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I don't know about those guys who sell shocks...I have a 126 and I was also told "Not Recommended for your car" THEN WHY DO THEY MAKE THEM??????

I have KYB's on my 126 for a year now and I am very happy with them. Maybe I just do not demand much...Don't tell my wife!
R. Downs
1985 500SEL (260,000 miles) SOLD!
1974 280 SOLD!
1994 Volvo 850 Turbo Wagon (Yuppie Ice Sled)

"I know I have a Benz and they know it too." If you start bragging about it or shoving in people's face, you then become a Wally; especially to the girls.
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Old 09-25-2002, 05:42 PM
yal's Avatar
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Location: New York, Long Island
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Definately try the prices on Boge shocks before you settle for the KYBs.
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Old 09-25-2002, 08:03 PM
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I just replaced my shock (original) at 225K. I installed OE shocks (I think they are Boge) and got the original ride back.
And they were less expensive than any other make I shopped for.
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Old 09-25-2002, 08:07 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
My 1982 300D has a set of KYB shocks all around put in there by one of the previous owners.

They are fine for me - they hold the car up fine - the ride suits me OK. I'm not too much into performance with a 300D.

Bilsteins are 15% off at Performance Products on a special sale they are having.

Not having any experience with Bilsteins in a W123, maybe I don't know what I'm missing.......

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Old 09-25-2002, 08:52 PM
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Posts: 1,158
If Your current worn out shocks are Bilstein "WITHOUT" the MB emblem there guaranteed for life. It's worth a look.
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Old 09-25-2002, 09:36 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 412
Don't even consider purchasing KYB shocks. I hated the ride and they felt worn out after three months. After 2 years the right rear was leaking oil and squeaking so bad it was embarassing. Buy the Boge Sachs, you won't regret it.
1990 190E 2.6
1996 Grand Voyager 3.3
1985 Mustang GT 5.0 5 SPD
1982 Suzuki GS 750T
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
I have installed gas KYB shocks on two different 123 body cars. In both instances I kicked myself for being cheap and not getting Bilstein.

KYB's years ago (20) were great! I had a friend install them on his old 220SE sedan. Wow I thought. So about 7 or so years ago I installed them on the 123's.

My net advice: Don't
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:43 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
my 81 SD had new KYB's on it when I bought it so I left them on.My 500SE has Bilstiens of unknown age It's ride and handling are much crisper,I put Gabreials on my old 240 D and it's fine on the back roads where it's driven.Will go with Bilstiens on SD when KYB's show any leaks......
William Rogers......
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Old 09-26-2002, 08:51 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Forest Hill, MD
Posts: 58
For what it's worth, I too installed KYB shocks on my 123 300D on all 4 points and would not do it again. They were fine to start but after 100K the car just didn't feel as tight as now with over 140K on them I feel they are in need of replacement.

I also understand the need for economy on the purchase, that is what drove me to buy the KYB's 4 years ago. Many have already responded that they did not like the KYB shock. I would say take others advice and check out the Boge shocks, they might be a nice middle ground.

1987 300DT 127K
1987 300TDT 283K (Sold)
1999 528iTa 75K
1991 300D 2.5T 214K - Dead Tranny
1984 300DT 375K (Sold)
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Old 09-26-2002, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
I've had bad luck with KYB on a variety of cars. Never again.
Only ok at first, then they don't last, certainly not 100k.
You won't really save anything if they last only half as long.

For front on 240D I show:
KYB- $33
Boge- $46
Bilstein C-$70

I'd spring for the Boge. I've seen them last 100k+.
You can send your daughter to a state school, and this can be her first car. Perhaps the shocks will still be good...

Best of luck.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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