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Old 03-13-2003, 12:02 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097

While you are doing the shocks it is time to replace the front and rear sway bar bushings. Easy job to do, the bushings a not expensive and results in flatter more comfortable cornering.

As far as Comfort vs. HDs, it depends on what you want. I don't see a big difference in the two. Yes, the HDs are a little bit firmer, but not dramatically. The Bilstein Sport shocks will make that difference.

As far as just the rears or both? I would do them all together at the same time. I have done rears only and that made me immediately do the fronts. Shock replacement is, in my opinion, one of those gratifying car repairs. You spend time and money and the improvement is something you can enjoy for years and miles into the future.

I recommend: Do all four shocks with HDs and replace the Ft and R sway bar bushings. Your car will feel great afterwards.

Keep us posted,

'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 03-13-2003, 02:20 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
I am pretty sure that the car actually does lean less than it did prior to installing the new Bilsteins. I imagine that the greater height of the car could be due to the new plastic bushings that slide on the top of the old shocks. The previous ones were pretty badly eroded. It could be that this was the only reason that the tires were cupping.

I noticed that the spoiler would drag on a particular parking lot stop before I replaced these and no longer does.

At the same time I changed the shocks, I also replaced the small shock on the steering.

The rear tires were not wearing in an irregular way, but the front ones were.
Semibodacious Transmogrifications a Specialty

1990 300D 2.5 Turbo sedan 171K (Rudolf)
1985 300D Turbo TD Wagon 219K (Remuda)

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Old 03-13-2003, 03:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
Getting back to your original question:
Should I replace all 4 shocks ? Yes !
2007 C 230 Sport.
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Old 03-13-2003, 03:20 PM
Benzwood's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 300
Richard I wonder if your improved ride was as much from replacing worn shocks as it was going to HDs?

I like the idea of a bit firmer ride but I think I'm going to take the "safe" route and stick with the original Bilsteins. And I will take the advice to replace all four as well as the swaybar bushings.

And unfortunately I'm going to pay to have it done at an independent shop... I live in Minnesota and significant DIY projects are limited to summer months. I'm getting too old and creaky for worming around on frozen concrete.

I'll report back when completed, thanks again for all the input.

PS -- Any other wear items that should be replaced at the same time?
1992 300E
1995 E320
1999 E320 Wagon
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Old 03-13-2003, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
I agree with your decision.

I understand that most guys on this site have gone with the HD shocks, but I don't think I would. Even though slightly worn out, my original comfort shocks damp the ride beautifully. The ride is not too hard and not too soft.

My Mercedes Mechanic, who worked for Mercedes Benz on three continents, has told me that the HD's were engineered for the poor roads in South America.

He has also told me that the single best thing you can do to improve the handling of the car is to go with thicker sway bars. Stu Ritter in a previous issue of The Star Magazine in a technical editorial reported the same information. He stayed with the original comfort shocks on his W124 400E and 300E, and installed Sportline sway bars. He did not change to HD shocks. He also installed the braided steel brake lines.

Just my $02 cents (and with another $0.99 cents you might be able to buy a cup of coffee)...
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 03-13-2003, 07:56 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Another "brand" you might want to check is AMG. They sell suspension bits in varying "levels" and their control is AMAZING. They are made by Bilstein, and I love the set on my C230.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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