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  #1  
Old 04-24-2003, 02:42 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Manila, Philippines
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smoothening the ride

recently got the following done to my car (230E W124):
replaced front shocks (bilstein HD)
replaced front (r&L) lower control arm bushings
replaced steering dampers
replaced all front sway bar bushings
replaced all rear bushings
replaced all rear ball joints
replaced rear stabilizer arm assembly
replaced all rear coil spring seat

Also, last year I replaced the following:
front lower ball joint
tie rod
center link
idler arm
differential bushings

These are all with the end in view of experiencing the ride-like-new feel to a rather old car (17 Years old), but to no avail. I still hear the usual annoying sound of going through the bumps, feel road imperfections, etc. Am I missing something? I know that the shock mounts, subframe mounts rear shocks have not been touched but according to my mechanic these are all still ok. Would appreciate receiving any inputs on this matter.

by the way, I don't know if this has any bearing but my tires are sized 215/17/50 and springs are stock.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2003, 02:47 AM
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The lower the side wall height on a tire the less flex thus a greater amount of impact is going to be translated to the cabin of the car.

I am assuming your car has 215/50 X 17 tires? Try trading the wheels and tires with another car that has the standard recommended whiles and tires. You can find the recommended tire sizes by looking in the driver's door jam or your owners manual.

Keep us posted,

Haasman
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2003, 10:03 AM
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17 inch wheels? That will have a huge affect on ride quality and noise. If you want "like-new" ride quality, you need "like-new" wheels, which are 15 inchers with, I think, 65 series sidewalls.

That said, I'm pretty dissappointed with the noise and rough ride quality of my w124 that I recently purchased. The tire selection will also make a difference. Do some research on quiet tires on in the wheels section for some ideas.

Good luck,

GregS
'84 300D, 173k
'90 300CE, 163k
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2003, 01:23 PM
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Get factory tires (Michelin MXV4 195/65R15) with straight wheels and you'll see a ride improvement. MB engineered the suspension with those tires & that aspect ratio in mind. Subframe bushings do go bad over time. They collapse internally making it hard for a mechanic to spot.
.
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2003, 02:19 PM
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Just to add to the accurate comments so far, note that the stock wheels are very lightweight compared to the average 15X6.5 alloy, and of course the smaller tires will have much less weight as well. Compared to stock, your unsprung weight ratio is very high, causing poor inertial response of the suspension. In addition, there can be problems with the soft front bushings handling the stresses imposed by the wider, stiffer tire arrangement.

Steve
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2003, 03:06 AM
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thanks all! really appreciate it.

So what i'm looking at is a change in tires. Ouch! big drain on the pocket as these are relatively new (1 year 10,000 km on it). Now i have to choose between aesthetics and feel, hmmmm.

A friend opined that the springs mights also be going bad. Is this a possibility?

I'd really like to make sure about these aspects because, while I really love my car, it's not really cheap to repair (spent about $4 K since i bought it, including dagger looks from the wife).

Will i get what i want in definite terms looking at: (1) change in tires; (2) new subframe mounts; (3) new springs, or are there still others needing replacement?

this is really a great site!
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2003, 03:58 AM
azhari
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A couple of months back, I swapped my 15" 8 hole wheels (with 195/60/15 tires) with my friend's 15" 7 hole wheels (with 195/65/15 tires) and immediately got a more comfortable ride.

Haven't even worked on my front end stuff yet (damper, idler arm, shocks, etc)!!!

Needless to say, i was pleasantly surprised...

Azhari
Babybenz 1991 190e 1.8
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2003, 04:10 AM
azhari
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I think it's always a problem to balance looks and comfort.

If you want a more comfortable ride, you probably have to give up those tires for a set of higher profile ones.

Good luck!

Azhari
Babybenz 1991 190e 1.8
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2003, 09:12 AM
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If it were my car, I'd put factory sized tires and Michelin MXV4 on the car and see how I like it. This will have a lot more effect on your ride than replacing subframe mounts and springs that are in decent shape, possibly even if those parts are broken.,
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2003, 12:58 PM
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OEMs do a lot of engineering work to "tune" the ride quality to the frequency transmission characteristics of the design tires. Suspension and subframe bushing design and durometer are specifically tuned to attentuate the primary frequencies transmitted by the tires. Tires are an integral part of the suspension and substituting short/stiff sidewall tires will normally dramatically increase ride harshness, so you have to be willing to accept this for the "look" and performance increase.

For some, it's not a good tradeoff.

Duke
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2003, 12:56 AM
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Smile

Got it! "It's the tires, stupid". I will have to save up on that one. In the meantime i tried tweaking with some of screws inside the door panels and it was so gratifying to have lessened those annoying cabin noise being translated by the short/stiff sidewall tires i currently have. I'll be checking inside the dashboard next to see if there are others that i can still manipulate.

Thanks to all of you!
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2003, 02:39 AM
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It's also the HD Bilsteins that are adding to the harsh ride. "Comforts' would have been a better choice, I think.
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2003, 03:08 AM
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I don't think hds or comforts would make such a big difference. I rode in my friend's 300E and he uses HD's, however with bigger sidewall tires and it's so quiet that its' driving me nuts jsut trying to mimmick the the ride with my car.
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  #14  
Old 04-30-2003, 02:22 AM
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124Addict

The other day I gave a ride to someone who had never been in a 300E before. They went on and on about how incredibly smooth and solid the car's ride was. He asked if I had a softened suspension or something. I said it was simply a stock 1991 300E with Bilstein HD shocks.

In my opinion if everything else is right, the car with HDs just glides, well controlled, but smoooooooth.

Keep us posted,

Haasman
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  #15  
Old 04-30-2003, 02:32 AM
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one question though about changing to a higher side wall tires - if i decide to change it, am i not just hiding the fact that there might be some other loose parts or other components that need repair and contributes to the annoying sounds when i manage bumps and other road imperfections? Because really i don't mind hearing the solid "thud" sound as long as its not a "blag", "eek-eek-eek" or rattling sound.

Thanks again.
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