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Old 05-21-2003, 03:07 AM
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190e Front Strut


The front left wheel is off.

I look at the strut from within the wheel well and lift the boot upwards.

I see a small quantity of red rubber shavings near the top of the strut.

Has some kind of rubber component worn off?

Is it necessary to change the whole strut assembly?

There is no leakage from the strut.

At the same time, the front passes the bounce test but when going over speed reducing strips, the bumps are significantly felt - very un-Merc like and i just noticed this quite recently.

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Old 05-21-2003, 03:39 AM
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Strut mounts?Haven't checked...
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Old 05-21-2003, 09:52 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,303
I think the bump-stop that slips over the top of the strut shaft is the color you noted - probably not a worry at all. The harshness could be worn-out struts, bad strut mounts, wide rims, low-profile tires, worn tires, too much air pressure.

Another issue to consider is - is the 'bump' response really harshly felt, or do you just hear a noise that fools your mind into thinking it 'feels' harsh? Try the same bump with a wool cap over your ears, or the music up loud, etc.

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Old 05-21-2003, 11:32 AM
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Let me see where I am...

1 Struts pass "bounce" test, but i could be wrong...
2 I will check the strut mounts in the morning.If they are bad, would that result in a rough ride over bumps even if the struts are "OK"?
3 Wheels are 15" with 195/65/15s so I guess the ride should be even smoother...but it's not compared to my kid bro's 190e with 205/55/15s so somethin's definitely brewin'...Tires are 29psi on the fronts and 32 on the rears.

I like your suggestion - wool cap and stuff!!!

But the ride IS bumpy coz when i go over speed strips (the thermoplastic painted ones), it's like i'm riding over them on a skateboard - EXTREMESPORTS!!!

Would worn (???) bump stops contribute to this symptoms as well?If worn strut mounts or bump stops with OK shocks result in a bumpy ride, then they would be my guess.

If so, DIYer?
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Old 05-21-2003, 12:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,055
The high gas pressure de Carbon type dampers used on Mercs usually maintain their damping characteristics until end of life, which is commonly signaled by major oil leakage. My RF strut failed about ten years ago creating a obvious oil puddle. I bought a replacement from Bilstein who makes them for Mercedes, and it looks and performs identically including black paint rather than Bilstein's typical yellow paint.

Speed bumps are a poor way to test damper condition because they vary so much and they are designed to force you to go over them very slow or cause an unpleasant shock.

The best test of damper performance is over the road, particularly a wavy road. If the body does not float and wallow around at normal speeds the dampers are probaby okay.

The front strut dampers have a rubber jounce bumper concentric with the shaft and hitting this could cause some rubber shavings. You can probably see the jounce bumper if you lift the dust shield and peer up into the shock tower. If you can reach it will your hand or a tool you can pull it down to the bottom of the shaft as it free floats on the shaft, but compression of the strut to near maximum will push it up to the top where it will stay.

I recently pulled my front struts to replace the disintegrating dust shields, and I also removed the upper mounts for careful inspection. Both the upper mounts and jounce bumpers appeared essentially new, so I just replaced the dust shields. My 201/2.6 only has 75K miles. I do have an occasional "clunk" that appears to originate at the LF when the suspension goes to near full rebound with the steering wheel turned such as exiting a steep driveway, but I couldn't find anything that appeared to be the culprit

I suspect that your front struts are okay.

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Old 05-21-2003, 09:20 PM
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So my question would be...

do worn bumpstops or strut mounts contribute to the overall ride comfort?

And if they do, are they a DIYer?

If they aren't, I thank everyone for their thoughts.

You will then see me with my wool cap over my ears and hear Racer X "Live" In A 190e...

Hope any of you guys have the answer.

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