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Old 03-15-2016, 02:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 86
suspension overhaul. polyurethane bushings anyone?

Okay guys. My next project is getting the suspension up to par on my 108 280se 4.5. I ordered all new bilstein standards all around. I alos would like to replace all the suspension bushings.

does anyone have list of all of the rubber bushings that should get replaced?
I've attached a picture of what i've found so far and i'm wondering if this is all i need for the rear suspension bushings... where does the trailing arm bushing (rear forward) go? 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 4.5 Sedan - Suspension, Shocks & Springs - Page 2

i've read up on the advantages of polyurethane bushings. Has anyone attempted to mod their suspension parts with poly instead of rubber? especially the front sway bar

I've replaced the front subframe mount kits on my car and it has already made a big difference. (the old ones were basically crumbled garbage)
also, i see here on pelican parts that there is a rear subframe mounting kit. but when i look up the part number on other sites, it says that its for another car. is there a rear subframe mount on this car?

Any other rubber bits that i should replace to get this beast riding like a mercedes again?

thanks guys!
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suspension overhaul.  polyurethane bushings anyone?-trailing-arm-bushings.jpg  
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:34 AM
JMela's Avatar
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where does the trailing arm bushing (rear forward) go?
Rubber donuts go at the fore end of the rear trailing arms - #16 in the diagram below.

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Old 03-15-2016, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Middle Haddam, CT
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The original trailing arm bushes on my my 72,000 mile 1972 300SEL were noticably deteriorated. Replacement made a difference.

I have often read that poly bushes will introduce a degree of harshness to the ride that is not pleasing in a luxury oriented car. I suggest that the 108 car ride is taught enough with the standard bushes.
Berfinroy in CT
Present vehicles:
1973 300 SEL 4.5
1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I
Past vehicles;
1958 Bentley S 1
1976 ex-Max Hoffman 6.9
1970 300SEL 2.8
1958 Jaguar MK IX
1961 Jaguar MK IX
1963 Jaguar E-type factory special roadster
1948 Plymouth woody
1955 Morgan plus 4
1966 Shelby GT350H Mustang
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:16 AM
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Poly bushings are also known for squeaking unless kept properly lubricated.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:53 AM
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And, some suspension systems are designed with rubber in mind. Adding poly can cause things to bind and eventually break. For this kind of car, rubber is just fine.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:09 AM
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Location: Central Ky
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used Poly's on a BMW, never liked them, , noisy , harsh and failed eventually . I would advise against it .
I would suggest on the rubber bushings, do not cut corners OE, or OEM only from a reputable source. Trust me on that one
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 86
Thanks for the quick response guys! What about the rear sub frame mounts. Does that exist on these swing axle cars?

Any front bushings that I should replace?

Or are there no front bushings? Just grease ports?

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Old 03-15-2016, 07:53 PM
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Gonna want to replace the front sway bar bushings
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JMela View Post
Gonna want to replace the front sway bar bushings
I want to replace the front sway bar bushings on 1972 280SE 4.5. Can anyone help me with the parts # or diagram for the front sway bar. Thank you!
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Orinda, CA (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 97
I tried the poly bushing thing on my '72 Porsche, and also on a '73 VW Thing that was used for off-roading.

Miserable experience, from installation to driving. I eventually went back to rubber. The squeaking and creaking drove me nuts. There was also a fair amount of 'stiction' when temperatures dropped.

I'd avoid it, unless you are in to punishment!
Filmmaker, Dad, Citizen of the World in the San Francisco Bay Area
=== current vintage stable ===
'78 280CE '81 300TD-T '92 500SL '73 VW Thing '95 BMW 325i Convertible
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:52 PM
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Location: Savoy, Texas
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Here is what you need if you want to have excellent suspension and riding comfort. I would also recommend using only OEM parts. I have found that every other manufacture will not hold very well.

Rear end:
Rubber donut on the front trailing arm
Rubber bushings on the back trailing arm
Main rubber support
Rubber buffer on the cross member
The upper and lower rubber on the springs.
The two rubber pieces on the compensating springs.

Front end:
Engine mounts
Sub frame mounts
Transmission mount
Upper and lower spring mounts
Torsion bar bushings
Leaf spring bushings
Upper and lower control arms should be pulled of and rebuild. Most of the components should be great but there are these rubber grommets which keep the main bearing bolts properly lubed.
Replace the upper and lower kingpin bushings
Britton McIntyre

68 280 SE coupe 'Hairball'
70 280 SL
71 280 SEL - RIP May 2010
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:44 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Antonio, Tx.
Posts: 72
Poly bushings v. Rubber a battle?

I will tell you in the terms of longevity ploy is the way to go... it does not breakdown the same. However, consider this, you MBZ has more than 40 years old and the bushing in the rear sub frame have most likely never been changed (it not a fun job/ like the fronts). In my experience when we saw 108s, 114/115 often in the shop unless there was an identified failure by a tech or "clunk" reported from the customer they are "invisible".

also consider that ploy although very durable is much more dense creating situation where there is less flex as they were designed to take that small flex of torque and shock of suspension movement. Ploy will change the ride to more stiff, but that may be where you want to be it is your preference.

THe last set of "Rubber mounts" lasted probably 30-40ish years... do you need/want more than that in consideration that the ride could change to be less MBZ-ish and more kart-ish? Just my .02


1975 300D, Feuerrot and Parchment interior

1971 220D (RIP)
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