On the tilt

jonthetourist

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Feb 2, 2011
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Glos
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SL 300-24
If I can detect that one side of my car is sitting lower than the other, but other people have to be encouraged to notice it should I:

A Replace all springs and shocks at once

B Ignore it since the car rides beautifully

C Some compromise between these extremes.

It's not road camber as I have checked it on different surfaces, but the offside sits lower than the n/side on my SL. It's just coming up to 100k, and I am planning a European trip this summer, which is why I am considering preventive maintenance options at present. Have other owners replaced springs? It's 22 years old and a keeper, so I am willing to spend the money if required. (although I have no idea what it would cost).

Any thoughts?

Jon
 

GP801

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2003 W209 CLK, 2005 R171 SLK in UK, 1995 S124 E280 in Italy
Are the springs ok? Today took the 124 for its service/MOT. One of the front springs has snapped. Had not noticed anything at all untoward with the car.
 
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jonthetourist

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Glos
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SL 300-24
I would say

D find out the actual problem and fix it

Nick Froome
That's certainly an option, but it's currently much warmer to speculate on a forum!;)

On my previous C-class a front spring snapped at around 90k miles and I replaced both. But an early R129 may have older springs made of sterner stuff than the modern disposable ones. Interested to know if anyone else has needed to replace them.

I should have mentioned that the car sailed through an MOT last month.

Jon
 

kth286

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Is it both front AND rear on same side that is lower ?

Do you have self leveling ?
 

Sp!ke

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Another lopsided SL?

I see loads of R129's with this problem after I suffered from it myself. I changed springs, pads, perches, bushes, alignment... everything and it was exactly the same as when I started.

In the end I levelled it out with spring pads - I think it is a RHD R129 'feature' but it still bugs the hell out of me.
 
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jonthetourist

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Location
Glos
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SL 300-24
Is it both front AND rear on same side that is lower ?

Do you have self leveling ?
Good questions, thanks. I don't have self-leveling, and when I first noticed this it was the front I noticed, but now it feels like both. I have just been out with a tape measure and checked.

Ground to highest part of wheel arch is 660mm front and back on the n/s. Rear o/s is 650 and front o/s is 645 (all measurements apx). So the answer is both, but slightly more at the front.

The weather is warming up so I will jack it up and have a look at the springs soon, but they should have been inspected for the MOT so I am not expecting anything obvious.

All thoughts welcome.

Jon
 

DSM10000

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If I can detect that one side of my car is sitting lower than the other, but other people have to be encouraged to notice it should I:

A Replace all springs and shocks at once

B Ignore it since the car rides beautifully

C Some compromise between these extremes.
Changing the dampers (shock absorbers as they are often incorrectly called) will not affect ride height, that is determined by the springs. My early Series 2 Land rover had an allowable difference of 2 inches per side accordong to one of the manuals :) Glad your car is not tha bad:thumb:

Find a specialist that knows this type of car and have them carry out a full inspection of the suspension components and then you will be able to make your decision.
 

Sp!ke

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I had the same sort of measurements as you and the only thing I havnt changed yet is the front wishbones.

I am slightly suspicious that at some point one or both wishbones have been replaced using a pattern part or a revised part that differed slightly from the original.
 

Sp!ke

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Every R129 I see with this problem has a higher front nearside.

The facelift models are particularly noticeable.
 
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jonthetourist

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Glos
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SL 300-24
Another lopsided SL?

I see loads of R129's with this problem after I suffered from it myself. I changed springs, pads, perches, bushes, alignment... everything and it was exactly the same as when I started.

In the end I levelled it out with spring pads - I think it is a RHD R129 'feature' but it still bugs the hell out of me.
Agreed. Once you have noticed it that's it - irritation. If you tried everything on yours without fixing it then maybe I am going to have to live with it. But I don't want to!

Jon
 

kth286

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As everyone probably knows the attention to detail with the design of these
cars was incredible.

A couple of examples on my 124 chassis (on which the 129 sports car are based) are:

* the different designs of each side door mirrors.

* the fact there is a mini sun visor in the middle of the car above the interior
mirror; to fill that gap when the sun shines in front of car.

So, what if, within the design of the car, it was made intentional that one side was slightly higher/lower than the other - to account for the camber of the road ??

The lower front wishbones, when removed from the car; has anyone compared them side by side ?

You may find that where the spring end sits in the wishbone, is in different
position - from one side wishbone to the other side of car, wishbone.

This may account for the slight difference - just like NASCAR cars are designed "lop-sided" because they race around an oval 'banked' circuit.

There is an allowance of up to 15mm difference on my car (side to side)
when measured with a tape according to the manual.

You should measure from centre of wheel to arch cut out, to exclude any difference in tyre pressures.
 
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