W123 240D Can I lower this car

whitenemesis

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Perhaps the Bilstein B12 kit, uses H&R springs?

You could do worse than dropping Olly (BlackC55) a PM he has done numerous suspension swaps for members here
 

Pontoneer

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The W123 series are now classic models , with remaining good examples becoming quite rare and sought after . Do remember , though , that serious collectors will only be interested in ORIGINAL cars and that modified ones will have little or no resale value .

Good , original W123 cars values are already creeping up into the low thousands with a few of the very best ones changing hands for £10,000 and upwards ; this can only continue as surviving examples become fewer and demand increases .

Personally , I would not lower the car as one of the main qualities of the model is the superbly comfortable 'magic carpet' ride , which allows the car to 'float' along in isolation from bad road surfaces in a way that many newer cars can only dream of .

If you lower the car the ride comfort will be lost ; you will also have to take the car somewhere like 'Wheels in Motion' for a full geometry realignment as all the adjustments will currently be set up for correct ride height , if you lower the car and don't adjust anything then be ready for accelerated tyre wear and strange handling anomalies as the wheels may no longer be vertical/straight .

I have been through the same thing with one of my W126's , which shares the same suspension design with the W123/W116/W114/W115 and replaced the old , tired rear springs and pads with genuine new ones from Mercedes at a cost of approx £200 , just for two springs and pads ! My dealer looked up the original springs against the VIN , then spent some time with me calculating points as I have added weight to the back end by fitting a towbar and audio equipment in the boot thus requiring uprated springs . I am still looking for a donor car to get SLS components from as , even with new springs , mine still sits slightly low at the rear . It is hard to see how 'complete kits' for not much more money can be of comparable quality .

Another consideration re lowering is the presence of speed bumps where you live as you may then no longer have sufficient ground clearance .

My preference would be , on a classic model like this , to keep it original . If you modify the car the time will come when you'll regret it .
 

Pontoneer

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No problem, cant remember if I posted pictures of it at the moment. I have now on the gallery.

http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/members-gallery/90427-my-w123-240d.html#post994983
I just looked at your pictures - the car looks like a nice example of a pre facelift W123 .

Yours may be sitting slightly low at the back if it has been used a lot for towing something heavy - the aftermarket towbar will also be adding weight not taken account of in the points system as it is not factory fitment and thus not recorded against the VIN which your dealer would refer to . Even if you are not going to tow anything , the towbar is a useful bit of protection against getting rear-ended : I have been thankful for this twice ( with different cars ) when hit from behind whilst stopped in traffic - in both cases the other cars were badly damaged but mine hardly at all :D

I'd check whether the chrome wheelarch trims are hiding any nasties as a lot of people put them on to cover up rusty arches - they were aftermarket only .

As Tony says above , the car does look good on the original steel wheels with wheeltrims . If you do consider changing wheels , only consider original Fuchs 'Mexican Hat' alloys which were a factory option on these cars . As with suspension modifications , going to larger wheels with lower profile tyres will ruin the ride quality .

Another comfort issue with W123's is the condition of the driver's seat - it is very common for springs to break in the seat base - compare the driver's seat with the passenger seat which has usually been sat on a lot less , if it feels firmer and more supportive then your drivers seat is knackered . The easiest fix is to get a good passenger seat from another car ( W123 and W126 front seats are the same ) then strip down and refit your drivers side runners to the base from the other seat - don't worry about getting a seat with the same fabric as covers are easy to swap over too .

When everything is as it should be , the W123 is a supremely comfortable car that can be driven all day without fatigue setting in - sadly a lot of cars running around have one fault or another which ruins this experience .
 
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cdc02254

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1979 W123 240D-1983 W123 230e
This is a real dilemma.

I drove the car 80 miles yesterday and just couldn't get over the unique drive quality.

On Thursday I done a 2 hour trip in a brand new 25K Audi, and it just doesn't compare. Its not that the W123 is a perfect drive its just so different almost like being on a boat in calm water.

The thought of changing the suspension and losing that ride quality is a big no no for me. I do like the way a lowered car looks and in particular the W123's and W115's I have seen that have been done properly look good, but its a big trade off and to pay maybe £600 to loose the ride quality is madness for me.
 

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