W203 Rear spring rubbing.

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chrisk2010

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 1, 2014
Messages
1,202
Location
Essex
Car
C230 w203
Hi all I'll make this quick as I have had a glass of wine and my missus is going to doosh me one if i'm on the laptop while we're meant to be watching "Cheat".

So I was replacing my rear anti roll bar bushes and drop links and noticed that my rear passenger spring is rubbing against the wishbone it sits in.

IMG_1260.JPG

I suspect a pot hole has been hit at some point as one of the "summer wheels" has a dent.

Any suggestions on how I should ben fixing this?

Replace spring or wishbone, or shock ............ any help gratefully appreciated. :)
 
I think there is meant to be a rubber cup the spring sits in, it may have deteriorated and fallen apart?
 
The Spring needs changing at least , likely to break I would suspect due to the corrosion causing stress / weakness in the metal, not an expert but if it is still rubbing on the wishbone then something must be bent or set up wrongly.
 
Thanks both i'll get on the EPC and have a look.

I was looking at the car and the rear seems to be sitting quite low.

Would you say it's the shocks or springs that give the car the ride hieght or a combination of both?
 
I can't see a rubber for the bottom of the spring just a "spring shim" (A2033240084) which is a very thin piece of metal.

upload_2019-3-21_7-53-15.png
 
I am not an expert, other than having an W211 Eclass that needed springs due to failure.
Would have to suggest you wait and get some more expert advice on the forum or from a MB Indi before you decide on next action, at least before buying any parts. Springs particularly you need to get the correct colour coded ones,
 
Springs determine ride height. (along with any rubber spring cups or shims)

Well looks like I'm going to be getting dirty again I did write down the colour code for the springs but can't remember where so i'll crawl under and have a look.

The car is getting new tyres fitted Saturday so while it's there I'll ask them to take a look to confirm and it'll give me a week to gather the parts up ready to fit next weekend.
 
I am not an expert, other than having an W211 Eclass that needed springs due to failure.
Would have to suggest you wait and get some more expert advice on the forum or from a MB Indi before you decide on next action, at least before buying any parts. Springs particularly you need to get the correct colour coded ones,

Thanks Smart i was typing the above when you replied.

The shocks are coming up at £75 each from ECP the springs worst case are around £60 for Sachs (in both cases) without checking the colour code but i'll get onto Merc newcastle and see what their price is.

If i have to do the springs then i may as well do the shocks from looking at the set up at the rear.
 
Sounds like you have everything covered , no doubt you will get a few more inputs before the end of the day. I also used MB Newcastle and find them cheaper than my local dealer and very helpful
 
Really appreciate the help guys.

SO ...... lots of ringing around had some crazy quotes on labour the springs themselves i'm getting a pretty consistent £64 each. ECP just got confused when i gave the the colour code, reg, vin and Part no. :rolleyes:

As my car is getting the tyres done the garage said they'd need to look at it before commiting to it as they might have the compressor for the job but none the less they quoted £40 a side if they can do it which is better than the £224 and £190 i have been quoted in labour.

The parts are coming from Merc Bradford and my Dad has fantastically offered to pick them up for me as he wants to go there for something else anyway.

I add the cups (one "notch" 5mm) and perishable shim to the reservation for good measure and "that's all folks" until i learn if they garage can change the springs.

If not there are two more garages my dad uses we'll try and go from there.

I'd like to have a crack at them myself looking at the Youtube vids they really don't seem that hard to do but if they can be done while the car is in the air then great.

Couple of pic for those that haven't had this issue yet.

The three blue dots colour colour code:
IMG_1261.JPG

I think what i had written down was for the front spring.

Finally the cups i have found out set the ride hieght they're position #20 in the diagram a few posts up. There are four size from 5mm - 17mm and on them if look closely there are notches like this ^^^^, you guessed it one or four of them and mine had oneb ^ so 5mm cup.

IMG_1268.JPG

Thanks again guys
 
You can change the rear springs on a W203 without a compressor, I did it myself a few years ago. The only tricky bits are removing the inner bolt on the lower arm (you need a 18mm spanner) and jacking the exhaust out of the way for the passenger side spring. A second trolley jack is useful for lowering and raising the lower arm against the residual spring force.

This assumes you have the car supported on axle stands with the wheels dangling in fresh air.

Edit: I just remembered I posted accounts of when I changed mine here and here.
 
Last edited:
Thanks Stratman great write up. That is pretty much the way i have seen it done.

This guy lowers it at the hub end but i have watched the videos where it's done from the other side too.

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My only worry is having a sports set up the spring might be a bit difficult to work with but i'm totally game to give it a go if they can't do it the weekend.

It's nice doing it yourself not only for the saving but because i'd take a bit more time and clean things up along the way i miss the days when i had a forklift workshop to put the car in now everything i do is out on the road.
 
Quick update all sorted for now :)

I had the tyres changed and they replaced both my rear springs which has stopped the knocking noise for now.

I say for now because the rear passenger one is still a little close so i'll have to conclude that the lower control arm is bent. The perishible shim has elped locate it a bit better but i find a used one on eBay give it a refurb and replace it at some point when the weather is a bit warmer and the evening longer.

Happy days though as it was £80 labour and £128 for the springs.
 
Just a note on the shocks.

I did the same springs and shocks etc on my w203 coupe and it transformed the rear grip, especially in the wet. Before it used to be so twitchy.

Anyway, I took the Merc number off the shock, and put it into the Sachs/ZF website to get the Sachs number. Searched ebay for the shock via thr Sachs number (which also matched something odd like an Astra van as it happens) and found Mister Auto ebay store shipping them from France for something stupid like £20 a side including delivery.
I bought one just to check, and when I swapped it, it looked and fitted identically. So I ordered another and did it the next weekend.

Wouldn't usually use eBay from random sellers, but mister auto, ECP etc will do large volumes and are unlikely to have issues with fake stock
 
I need to do this soon and I have fell down a bit of a rabbit-hole trying to determine the correct springs.

As far as I can tell there are three points to consider:

1. The vehicle weight which is the base model + options which in my case is:
  • 203.261 178pts
  • 423 AUTO. TRANSMISSION, 5-SPEED 1pt
  • 669+(M612/M112) COLLAPSIBLE SPARE WHEEL 5pts
So 184 pts total to get the spring weight = colour code.

Next does the car have the sports suspension pack, self leveling or increased ground clearance - No for all of these for me which determines the spring length which appears to be around 330mm rather than 315mm for the sports pack.

Lastly there is the rubber mount as has been mentioned which has various thicknesses.

Example

Code:
===========================================================================================================================
           REAR SPRINGS TABLE/RUBBER LININGS
===========================================================================================================================
           SUM OF POINTS                REAR SPRINGS                BOOT
NORMAL. SUSPENS. &   LG.GROUND CLEAR.
494 & 494+486         CODE 482
         -150                         210 324 34 04            210 325 01 04
 
      151-158                         210 324 34 04            210 325 02 84
      159-166                         210 324 34 04            210 325 03 84
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      167-173            -156         210 324 36 04            210 325 01 84
      174-181         157-163         210 324 36 04            210 325 02 84
      182-194         164-171         210 324 36 04            210 325 03 84
      195-250         172-179         210 324 36 04            210 325 04 84
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                      178-185         208 324 03 04            210 325 02 84
                      186-193         208 324 03 04            210 325 03 84
                      194-250         208 324 03 04            210 325 04 84

Just a note on the shocks.

I did the same springs and shocks etc on my w203 coupe and it transformed the rear grip, especially in the wet. Before it used to be so twitchy.

Any chance you could share that part number please?
 
Hi Ant I got a bit stuck as but Mercedes parts were very helpful, the rubber mount if you can squeeze under there will have a notch moulded into it the amount of notches indicates the thickness.

To be honest it sounds like you've worked it out is the colour coding missing from yours?
 
Each spring has a small colour paint mark on it at the back, and as said, the rubber top spacers have the 1 to 4 marks. I could see these under the car.

In any event, Merc is the best place to buy them and not too expensive. Plus they should automatically be able to get in what you already have.
 

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