OEM or Bilstein for sport suspension on a CLS?

molgrips

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CLS 250
Hi,

I've got a CLS 250 CDI shooting brake from 2013. It is listed as AMG sport on the V5. I think the shocks are old, they look as old as the rest of the chassis. They also feel like they could do with a refresh.

I couldn't get the part numbers on the current shocks to match with anything on parts websites, which was confusing me until I went onto mbepc.net and found out that the part numbers I currently have are not listed for my car in either sport or standard suspension. So it looks as if someone has replaced them with softer models either to save money or make it more comfortable. The front is quite soft and does dive when braking and going over speed bumps. By cross referencing the part numbers I found out that the front is a Sachs model and the rear is a Bilstein B4.

Now, I'm not a sporty driver, generally, but I think that I should replace these with something suitable for AMG lowered springs, for best results. MB quoted me £950 for all four dampers; I can get the shocks that Bilstein recommended me for about £850.

So the question is - Bilstein B8/6 or OEM sport shocks? Has anyone driven both?
 

whitenemesis

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I'd say you car is an AMG Line model, having a cosmetic link to the true AMG variant.
You say to match the AMG lowered springs, are you sure you have these fitted?
Try inputting the VIN into a decoder website such as mbepc.net to check the spec.

I fitted Bilstein coil-overs to my C270cdi that already had the factory fitted Sports lowered suspension. They transformed the ride for the better, more controlled, less choppy and rebound happy.
If you go non OEM I would recommend getting the matching springs and shocks
 

HB

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B4 are OE and slightly uprated , and actually OEM on some Mercedes models and a special dual rate B4 DampMatic®

B6 is uprated and B8 is a shorter version of B6 .
And the B4 is all he needs Gaz
 

HB

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Hi,

I've got a CLS 250 CDI shooting brake from 2013. It is listed as AMG sport on the V5. I think the shocks are old, they look as old as the rest of the chassis. They also feel like they could do with a refresh.

I couldn't get the part numbers on the current shocks to match with anything on parts websites, which was confusing me until I went onto mbepc.net and found out that the part numbers I currently have are not listed for my car in either sport or standard suspension. So it looks as if someone has replaced them with softer models either to save money or make it more comfortable. The front is quite soft and does dive when braking and going over speed bumps. By cross referencing the part numbers I found out that the front is a Sachs model and the rear is a Bilstein B4.

Now, I'm not a sporty driver, generally, but I think that I should replace these with something suitable for AMG lowered springs, for best results. MB quoted me £950 for all four dampers; I can get the shocks that Bilstein recommended me for about £850.

So the question is - Bilstein B8/6 or OEM sport shocks? Has anyone driven both?
I’ve recently replaced the shocks on my E350 CDI which will have a similar set up to your car. I put Bilstein B4 in and they are brilliant. Great ride and good composure. Much cheaper too. They’re all you need trust me.
 
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molgrips

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CLS 250
It says AMG Sport not AMG Line. On this car that means suspension that is already lowered from the factory, as far as I know.

I went from OEM sport set up to Bilstein B7s bit like night and day.
How? I'd expect better handling, I'm worried about how much less comfortable it was?

Car is the estate aka shooting brake, so whilst I can change the springs at the front the rear are airbags, and their spring rate will be programmed into the computer.
 
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molgrips

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You say to match the AMG lowered springs, are you sure you have these fitted?
I can't guarantee that they are the original. The shocks don't appear to be so perhaps someone changed both. There are numerous springs listed in mbepc with different coloured markings on, so I will have to check and see if I can identify which I have.

The VIN decoder link (cheers) is interesting. It lists 'comfort running gear' but then further down it says 'AMG SPORT PACKAGE'.

The AMG sport package is listed on the original price list and all it says is:
Direct control – sport-tuned suspension with unique damping system
Sport suspension is listed as a thing in mbepc when I put in my car and engine, so it doesn't seem to be confusing mine with the real AMG 63. I told Bilstein that I had sports suspension and they gave me B8 part numbers.
 
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molgrips

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The brochure also says this
There are enhancements under the skin too, including a sportier suspension set-up and a sports braking system, while the E/S/M switch lets you enjoy sportier gear shifts at the touch of a button.
I have the E/S/M button, and I also have vented discs but I know they also are not original.

Reading around still further, there's a suggestion that you may be able to specify the AMG Sport package and then specify the comfort suspension package. That might be why the VIN decoder says 485 comfort running gear rather than 486 for sport. If 485 is correct, then the part number is A 218 323 15 00 according to mbepc, which according to Autodoc corresponds to B4s.

Good news if so because they are a hell of a lot cheaper.
 
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molgrips

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Just called MB in Cardiff. They had a muffled conversation away from the phone which sounded like they were discussing codes, and they said that it does in fact have sport suspension - or did, when it was new.
 

HB

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All you need are Bilstein B4s
 
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molgrips

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Update:

I read the brochure more carefully, and it said that comfort suspension was an option on the AMG sport model, and the code was indeed 485, which clears it up. Someone specced the AMG sport pack on the car and then downgraded the only thing that really makes any difference, the suspension. So they paid £3k for a different front bumper, skinny tyres and some floor mats, which strikes me as a bit weird :)

Anyway given this I confidently ordered B4s and they seem right, the same length as the old ones give or take a few mm. They're a little more plush on broken roads, but not dramatically so although they have still to break in. The damping is a lot better, seems to have more compression which means it doesn't dive going over speed bumps like it did, or when braking. Also when cornering the body roll is much more progressive due to greater compression damping, which is nice. I'll give it a few hundred miles to see how much overall comfort has improved. Still what I would consider somewhat sporty ish, but comfortable, which is exactly what I want from a car like this.

The old shocks felt a lot less smooth when cycling them out of the car. They actually squeaked - it seems some sort of coating might've rubbed off the shafts because they didn't feel slick to the touch like the new ones. And maybe the gas pressure had been lost because the shaft barely returned on its own after being compressed.

£400 and a day well spent on a nice car to keep it nice, I reckon. If anyone's reading this and is going to do the job though make sure you already have a 21mm pass-through socket and you have a long enough T45 Torx bit to go through the middle, to get the top nut off the shaft on the fronts. After you've compressed the spring with compressors, of course!
 
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