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  #1  
Old 09-19-2003, 02:25 AM
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Replace shocks on w124 - DIY?

My Monroe shocks are just about worn out, so i need to replace them.
I've never replaced shocks on an MB before. Is there anything 'special' i should be aware of, or is it just like other cars?

Freestyler
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2003, 07:51 AM
engatwork's Avatar
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Should be a pretty straight forward diy job. I would suggest spending the extra $$ and go with Bilstein.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2003, 12:50 PM
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Not at all like most other non-MB cars.

Easier in many ways. No MacPherson strut.

May need a 7mm hex key to undo strut from top mount, which is not the most common size. This may vary depending upon brand. Check in advance.

Bump stops and dust boots are not included with strut.
Be certain to recover plastic clip that holds abs/wear sensor wires from old strut prior to tossing (not included either).

Most important of all:
Just be sure to rest ENTIRE weight of car on proper jackstands positioned under control arm, as near to balljoint as possible. There is a 'notch' that receives the 'concave top' type of stand that is designed for axle tubes. Flat top stands would not be as safe.

Why? This setup will use the weight of the car to compress the spring. Otherwise the spring will want to fly when you unbolt the strut. The strut is the part that limits downward travel at full extension on this car.

Place stands on hard level surface. Be careful, use common sense.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2003, 01:30 PM
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... and regarding the rears ..

Unlike the fronts, the rear tires do not need to be removed.

The rear shocks are held at the top by a double 17mm nuts which can be found inside the trunk. To access, remove the side trunk liner and then carefully pull back the center liner.

The shock bottoms can be accessed by jacking up the car and removing the plastic control arm cover. The small screws are 10mm. Once uncovered, the the lower shock can be removed by first removing a through-bolt that has a 17mm nut. You will need to hold the bolt with a wrench while taking off the nut.

Installation is the reverse. You must insert the top of the shock up into the body first and then located the bottom. Be sure to secure the nut tightly to the through-bolt.

The tops again are held by two 17mm nuts. The first nut (with washer under it) compresses the rubber bushing agains the body. The second nut acts as a lock nut.

Once familiar, changing both rear shocks on a 124 can be done in less than an hour.

I would suggest that with removal of both the fronts and the rears that you do not change the amount of rubber buffers, their order or locations. It is fine to substitute new ones for old ones.

If you have never changed your front and rear sway bar bushings, and rear plastic links, go for it. The parts are not that expensive and their replacement returns you car back towards the new car handling.

Additionally, regarding the front shock R&R, since you are there, you might want to carefully inspect the front upper shock mount which is a huge rubber bushing. Now would be the time to replace it if necessary.

Keep us posted,

Haasman
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2003, 06:14 PM
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I replaced the shocks today. -Piece of cake. A 2 hour job, including coffee breaks.

I bought a 'shock kit' containing Gabriel front shocks and KYB rear shocks for $307. (OEM was $553)
The Benz feels SO much better now!

Freestyler
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'86 300E optically converted to '95 E300 (Sold)
-Blauschwarz on silver
-Black leather
-17" AMG & 15" AMG for winter
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2003, 07:00 PM
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Next time you replace shocks, use a better quality shock. KYB and Gabrials are a minimal quality product. They will not give you control OR the life that you'll get with Bilsteins. You really can't beat the Bilsteins. Also, depending on car age, the suggestion in an earlier thread to replace the upper shock mounts on the fronts is cheap insurance. I have had them fail before when the rubber hardens with age and then cracks. The upper shocks mounts are also very inexpensive (< $30 each).
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2003, 07:35 AM
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I did try to get hold of the Bilstein shocks, but i couldn't find them anywhere.
Even though the KYB & Gabriel's are not as good as the Bilstein, the car drives MUCH better now!

And i did check the upper shock mounts. They were in good shape.

Freestyler
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Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do, you're a mile away -and you have his shoes!


'86 300E optically converted to '95 E300 (Sold)
-Blauschwarz on silver
-Black leather
-17" AMG & 15" AMG for winter
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2003, 02:48 AM
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Bilstein shocks

I wanted HD Bilsteins on my 300D, but other than perhaps the dealer (I check with dealers last, because no one offers less for more money)., no one locally here in Miami had any Bilsteins, just Boge comfort shocks.

I got mine from Rusty. I wrote his address and phone down in a previous message about this that you can find, and all four shocks cost about $400 delivered. Then I got the upper yellow plastic dohickies that go on the front shocks and the bellows locally. I was unaware that I would need them until I took them off.


The hardest part for me was compressing the rear shocks and getting them into their proper hole.
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2003, 07:24 AM
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FYI: MercedesShop (the owners/sponsors of this forum) carry Bilstein and Boge shocks/struts -- check out FastLane at the top of the page. The prices are quite good, and you're supporting this forum by shopping with them.

Just thought I'd mention it.

Jeff Pierce
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2003, 04:15 PM
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How about changing the front and rear shocks on a 420SEL? Is this tecnicque applicalble? An is the jack stand recommendation the same?

Thanks
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2003, 04:59 PM
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I'm not absolutely sure about your car, but in general, changing shocks on any of the Mercedes cars that does not have a coil over arrangement (still relatively easy, but requires more steps and the use of a spring compressor) is relatively straight forward and well within the reach of the DIYer.
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