Might be joining the 'New Shock Absorber' Club!

Discussion in 'Wheels, Tyres, Brakes & Suspension' started by Will, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Stumbled accross this last night on ebay:

    Link

    My car has a sports chassis anyway, so not looking for any sort of upgrade as such, but I decided that I would take a bit of a gamble (have not had time to do any research for part numbers and such).

    As far as I know, Bilstein are a fairly well regarded brand when it comes to shock asbsorbers, so for £100 I didn't think I could go far wrong? If they don't fit or whatever, I am sure I won't loose out too bad?!?

    So, with 89K on a 'sports' chassis, and the car being originally ordered with AMG wheels from new (it's on the datacard!) I assume that the shocks have had a fairly hard life. All things well, it should be a decent improvement for a hundred quid! :)

    Ebay - a dangerous place! :D

    Cheers,

    Will
     
  2. R2D2

    R2D2 MB Club Veteran

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    Looks good. Believe you will REALLY notice the difference. Jimmy, Graham and I haveall done shocks in the last month and it transforms the car back to something youd forgot it ever could be!!

    PS. Where are you going to get them fitted;) ?
     
  3. GrahamC230K

    GrahamC230K MB Club Veteran

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    I do recommend it if you car has some miles under it's belt.

    Operating the shocks buy leaning on them whilst off the car, I didn't notice a massive difference. Once on the car, trying to bounce the front was almost impossible!!

    Driving is so much more taught. Not hard or harsh, just precise and not wollowy. Turning braking AND accelerating I notice the improvement.

    Go for it. Also, little would have I believed but the spring pads have really made a visible difference to the ride height, I recommend those too!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Thanks for the reassuring comments guys. Sounds promising - I was considering new shocks at some point, but couldn't justify them at first due to a few other items needing attention (steering damper, both front ball joints - now fixed).

    The Sachs Super Tourings seem to have got a good review from both R2D2 and Jimmy, and I take it Graham likes his Boge (same as the Sachs IIRC?!?).

    Anybody had any experience with these Bilstein? As long as they fit correctly, they've got to be better than an 8 year old/ 89K mile set of shocks?

    I changed a pair of rear shocks on a 190E a few years ago, and by the look of R2D2's pictures, it looks like an identical process on the W202. I *might* fit the rears myself in the garage, only reason really because I still have all the boot stripped out so it would be easy to get to! ;)

    Would anyone possibly know what the correct Bilstein part number would be for replacement shocks on my car? 1997 Pre-facelift C230 Kompressor Sport (5-speed Auto if that matters). Do they offer different spec shocks in the same fitment (eg, some more stiffer than others?) Or are they more universal for all W202s? How much would they have retailed for? :)

    Cheers,

    Will
     
  5. R2D2

    R2D2 MB Club Veteran

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    Cost wise about £90 each!! Try Bilsteinswebsite for the catalogue it will be model specific.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Doh - thanks, will do! :)

    Didn't think that they would have prices though, but I had a feeling they would be more than £100 for the 4! I think the pair of rear dampers that I changed on a 190E a few years ago were around £100 for some Boge ones!

    Cheers,

    Will
     
  7. stwat

    stwat Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    £100.......Well done that man..

    Stu
     
  8. willy

    willy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    you have got yourself a bargin. Probably around £400 if you bought them new from the shops.

    Bilstein shocks are really nice and you are in for a treat. I have Bilstein sports fitted to my 190 and it really transforms the handling without giving a harsh ride.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Update.....

    Shocks were delivered today. I was going to have them picked up, and emailed the guy selling them to ask for a convenient time to collect - he replied that he was not going to be around much this week and offered to post them half-price!

    So...they arrived today, postage worked out around the advertised rate anyway, so he didn't loose out! :rolleyes:

    Very impressed - all the fittings/bushes etc carry MB part numbers. The dampers are OE Bilstein, but with a 'Lorinser' badge/sticker on each damper.

    Initial testing confirmed my expectations - these are STIFF dampers!!!

    So - I got the car in the garage, and put my tools and skills to some use for once :)

    Changed all four shocks - the fronts were a little more challenging than the rears, mainly due to the fact that that they are very hard to compress and remove quickly from their awkward location. Not sure if this is helped by my car being a Sport model (lower)? New bolts/rubber mounts all round. New shocks were easy to re-fit. Using the bounce test, the car is a lot more 'firm'. The old shocks appear to be in reasonable condition. Not leaking or badly worn, but comparing like for like with the new shocks, they are much easier to compress, and return to their initial 'length' much more quickly!

    Anyway, in the garage at the moment - and it seems good. Each corner feels considerably more 'taught' and bounces less. I'll take it for a spin tomorrow and see what it drives like, but looking good at the moment.

    So, again, another member for the 'New Shock Absorber' club. That's five people now!

    Anyone else wishing to join, I seriously recommend checking out the seller I bought mine from. I paid £100 plus £10 delivery. He has advertised another set, so if you fancy some new shocks at a bargain price check out this auction:

    Link

    I will report back tomorrow on how it drives etc, but I am currently enjoying a few Stellas with some friends, so I will leave that till tomorrow! ;)

    Cheers,

    Will
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2005
  10. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    If anyone fancies a really taught car then now the dampers are done a set of polybushes would really improve the turn in and feel.

    http://www.polybush.co.uk/
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    I know of the 'Polybush' company, but do they do anything for modern cars? Can't find any mention of any Mercedes on their web site?!? :confused:

    Will
     
  12. R2D2

    R2D2 MB Club Veteran

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    Glad you managed to fit them will. I suspect they will transform the cars handling!! Well done.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    The test drive:

    I drove the car around for a few miles to help the shocks 'bed in' a little, then went back and checked/adjusted all the mounting bolts to ensure they were all torqued up correctly.

    I must say it is really, really firm! Don't get me wrong, I like these shocks, but if anyone is used to Elegance or Classic suspension then you would be looking at a 200% different ride! :D As a guide, you can hardly move the car AT ALL whilst leaning or bouncing on a corner! :eek:

    Observations:

    It seems to drive exceptionally well. Compared to the old suspension, it is a great improvement. What I noticed was firstly that it seemed very firm but I don't think the ride has suffered particularly (well it is a sports chassis anyway, with 18" wheels...)

    It doesn't dive as much when braking, or accelerating hard. Pushed it through a few sweeping bends, and lets just say that you have more confidence to wind it up. Stays a lot flatter which has got to help with weight distribution?

    It does seem ever so more "taught". If you flick the back out, as Graham noticed, its manners are much better. Much quicker response to your inputs (more direct control - less wallowing!)

    Cornerering through roundabouts etc is greatly improved.

    If there is any such wording for this, it seems better controlled at 'diagonal damping!'. What I mean is, if you turn into a bump (eg, into another road with a repaired section of tarmac or a small speed hump), it stays much, much flatter - where as before it would sometimes seem a little random?

    Anyway, certainly one of those jobs with direct and apparant benefit for the outlay if you know what I mean. For the £100 I paid and a few hours in the garage I am over the moon! :bannana:

    That guy on ebay seems like a good bloke - offer to collect them if anyone bids - see if you can get the half price postage deal! What I meant in my earlier message was that the postage worked out at the actual cost, but he was originally asking £19.99 P&P, a little steep! :rolleyes: )

    Pretty Satisfied! :rock:

    Cheers,

    Will
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    Another update:

    Not too sure on whether this is something the R2D2/Graham etc etc noticed, but after a bit more driving tonight (circa 50 miles?) it has improved even more (unless I am imagining it! :eek: )

    No seriously, it has settled in nicely, and now seems ever-so-slightly more supple? I would be bold to say it, but I actually think the ride has improved! :eek:

    It always has/will be harsh (sports chassis, 18" wheels etc) but I reckon that the bumps are more smoothly damped (stating the obvious I know) and although it is eager to do its work, it does seem 'firm' but 'compliant'?

    I must say that I will second what Graham C230K said the other day about scrabbling more for grip?!? Maybe weather/enthuisiastic driving or whatever, but I swear it does it more than it used to? My only logic would be that it perhaps 'squats' slightly less (sorry to copy you Graham!). Either as Graham suggested, this wastes power slightly, or I would guess perhaps it keeps the weight distribution more even (before when the rear 'squats', more weight is focused on the rear of the car, giving better traction?!?)

    I don't really know to be honest, and I am certainly not a shock absorber/suspension engineer, so i'll leave it at that, but anyone else care to comment?

    It definately dives less through braking now, but I suppose it is slightly harder to measure how much it 'squats' compared to before accurately?

    Again, very pleased, and probably the best £100 I have spent on the car so far! :rock:

    Cheers, :)

    Will
     
  15. jimmy

    jimmy Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I was most worried about getting a more uncomfortable ride, my other half gets very travel sick very easily, the car now wallows much less around corners and she is fine even when kicking along country roads!!
     
  16. R2D2

    R2D2 MB Club Veteran

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    That was my worry as well. The Sachs are a lot firmer than my old shocks, not as firm as the bilstein sports shocks but firmer than Fastlady's sportscoupe shocks. But most importantly everyone is happy with the ride!
     
  17. Aletank

    Aletank Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Will
    Did you have your own spring compressor for the fronts ? I believe you need a special spring compressor for Mercedes :confused:
    I was tempted by the latest set on E-bay - maybe next time :)
     
  18. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

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    I reckon my shocks have probably gone, I mean they're original with 114k on them and although they probably look ok I bet the car would benefit from new ones.

    Will probably get some lower/stiffer springs and shorter shocks, just not sure which yet :)
     
  19. R2D2

    R2D2 MB Club Veteran

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    No1 pads plus Sachs super tourings if ride is as important as well as handling. Bilstein sports if handling is everything.
     
  20. Shude

    Shude MB Club Veteran

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    I was thinking of the H&R cup kit (claims to lower 60mm front, 40mm rear!), with #5 pads or something to make the ride slightly less gangster and also cancel out road/tyre noise.
     

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