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Old 03-03-2004, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 365
Pothole aftermath on '95 E420

I hit a big pothole yesterday, unavoidable given the road that i was on and traffic at the time.

I heard a loud BANG and the passenger rear began to clunk over bumps.

I was close to home, and parked the car - not thinking about it until this morning.

On the way to work - the clunking was still bad - getting worse. The rear suspension felt really weird going over bumps as well. Upon reaching the parking garage at work - I started to investigate.

I could see the chrome arm of the shock when examining the right rear wheelwell, but not on the left. Hmmmm...not good.

When I opened the trunk, I could see two hex nuts on the right side sticking up through a section of ripped trunk carpet. I pulled the carpet out, and found about 5 inches of the chrome shock arm sticking out of the body, with 2 nuts and a washer on top.

I believe that I need to install a new mounting washer to fix this. My question is - is it dangerous to drive the car like this? There is NO shock action on the right rear side - the shock just wiggles around. it doesn't appear that the mounting surface on the body has been damaged (thankfully). I believe this to be a quick and cheap repair - am I right?

1995 E420
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Old 03-03-2004, 09:17 AM
PHAEDRUS242's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Shakedown Street
Posts: 423
it will definately change the handling characteristics of you car and could make it dangerous (especially at its limits). there could also be other damage that could be perpetuated by the lack of an important suspension component. i would have that repaired as soon as possible. one of the key features of a MB product is the attention paid to the active safety systems of the car. this effectively negates a lot of that engineering.
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: AL
Posts: 1,219
A friend of mine did the same thing. The shock had to be replaced. The mounting hardware was dislodged and slid down the shaft of the shock.
2012 E350
2006 Callaway SC560
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:27 AM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,264
Where was the pothole?

I hit one on the 495 near the road to Dulles the size of a small european country. Knocked both left wheels WAY out of balance and alignment.

You can make the state it happened in pay sometimes, *I hear*.
'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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Old 03-03-2004, 01:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 365
Shock failed

Brewtoo was correct - the shock has a washer-like piece built into the top of the chrome rod - right below the threaded part - that keeps the shock in place (washer rests against the body on the wheelwell side of the car). It had completely broken from the rod - allowing my shock to punch through the carpet in my trunk.

$73 for a new shock and $57 worth of labor later, and I'm on the road again.

Mitch Carr's auto service in Kensington is THE BEST! They took me immediately for me 'emergency' and always charge a fair price.

I could have done the job myself, but I needed this done fast. I love having an independent mechanic that can always put me in his schedule and charges reasonable prices.

1995 E420 77k
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