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Old 03-07-2003, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 280
Angry car leaning to one side

My car was leaning too much on one side like the height of the top of the front wheel arch to the ground(driver's side) was 21mm lower than the passenger side when the car was empty. Was adviced to change all springs and all shocks and all other parts required to level the car. Approx. cost like A$2000? One brighter tech suggested changing the rubber bush on top of the spring to level the front and he did it. Now its perfect and just like normal. He's a good and honest dude.

1994 W202 body.
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Old 03-07-2003, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
Here's the problem with this method:

Suppose the ride height problem is the result of a weaker spring on one side. The spring has a 'spring constant' associated with it that determines the force it exerts for a certain distance of compression. This is also called the spring 'rate'. Two springs with different rates will exert the same force at some different distance of compression. What your tech has done is shimmed the weak spring to a distance where it exerts the same force as the other one - at rest. However, the two springs STILL have different rates, and will respond differently to compression forces on the suspension. The result is that one side of the car will behave differently than the other, which in the extreme can be quite unsettling. The proper repair is of course to replace the spring.

Note that if a different suspension component is at fault, a similar reasoning applies, and any solution which simply addresses the static appearance will fail the dynamic test. The tech's solution was cheap, but what he shortcutted was the diagnosis time. Only one part is probably failing and only that part needs to be replaced, anyway. The spring mount is unlikely to be the true culprit.

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