W203 Rear spring rubbing.

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Any chance you could share that part number please?

It was 4 years ago, so I'm struggling with my failing memory I'm afraid.

Two options. I suggest you try both to confirm.
I've just gone on to the ZF aftermarket website, put in the reg (it's the 3.2 V6 engine) and it shows the Sachs number as 553 870 for the rear shocks. That sounds familiar and the pictures look the same as what I got, but that is now superceded and no longer manufactured. Replacement part number is 317 268.
Some 553 870 shocks are available, but they are considerably more expensive than the 317 268. RTG Automotive sell them on eBay currently for £46.75 each. Not too bad. Autodoc for £48, and with the volumes Autodoc do, fakes must be a very low probability.

The other option (probably more certain) is to get your VIN number and go on 7zap, and do a VIN search. This will pull up your model and usually when you click through to chassis, then suspension, then shocks, it will only show you the shocks (or whatever other part you're interest in) that were actually fitted to your car, and any replacements due to NLS (no longer (in) service).
Take a note of the Mercedes A number, and put that into a website like Autodoc, and you will usually find a good few options for replacement shocks. You can do this to find OEM style spare part numbers e.g. Lemforder for loads of bits for your old cars. Has saved me a fortune!

I went with Sachs because they were what were originally fitted on the car, but with Merc part numbers instead of Sachs numbers.

Good luck.
 
It was 4 years ago, so I'm struggling with my failing memory I'm afraid.

Two options. I suggest you try both to confirm.
I've just gone on to the ZF aftermarket website, put in the reg (it's the 3.2 V6 engine) and it shows the Sachs number as 553 870 for the rear shocks. That sounds familiar and the pictures look the same as what I got, but that is now superceded and no longer manufactured. Replacement part number is 317 268.
Some 553 870 shocks are available, but they are considerably more expensive than the 317 268. RTG Automotive sell them on eBay currently for £46.75 each. Not too bad. Autodoc for £48, and with the volumes Autodoc do, fakes must be a very low probability.

The other option (probably more certain) is to get your VIN number and go on 7zap, and do a VIN search. This will pull up your model and usually when you click through to chassis, then suspension, then shocks, it will only show you the shocks (or whatever other part you're interest in) that were actually fitted to your car, and any replacements due to NLS (no longer (in) service).
Take a note of the Mercedes A number, and put that into a website like Autodoc, and you will usually find a good few options for replacement shocks. You can do this to find OEM style spare part numbers e.g. Lemforder for loads of bits for your old cars. Has saved me a fortune!

I went with Sachs because they were what were originally fitted on the car, but with Merc part numbers instead of Sachs numbers.

Good luck.

Many thanks for trying.
I can’t tell what the difference is between the various Sachs shocks and as mentioned there are some wildly varying prices.
I only had a quick look under the car and it is getting on now so wasn’t obvious so I’ll have to take a wheel off and have another go.

I also want to go with Sachs as I’d prefer better comfort over performance tbh.
 
So, what part numbers came up after going through the two methods I outlined?

I did all that you mentioned at work today and have a load of numbers on a post-it from various part sites, the MB EPC, ebay and the ZF site :oops:
 
I have this part number from the EPC for the shock which looks OK - A2033262300 Auto Part Check - Look auto part number and get vehicle assignments | BenzCat.com

For the spring I think this is the part no. - A2103243404 Auto Part Check - Look auto part number and get vehicle assignments | BenzCat.com
Which gives me these options - 23 results found for A2103243404 - AutoDoc Search

I get these options from Sachs for shocks - Find the Right Spare Part Quickly With the SACHS Catalog

Some items specifically mention 'for Avantgarde' which is what I have but I can't find any definitive evidence that there is anything different regarding suspension on the W203 C class.
I often see it mentioned that it is lower/stiffer but the EPC doesn't back this up.
 
For Sachs, using A2033262300 on Autodoc also shows 553 870, which as per above has been replaced with the later part number.

A check on the KYB website (and Autodoc) reveals KYB gas-a-just shocks No. 553306, which can be had for around £35 each delivered on eBay. Not from seller we would have likely heard of. KYB are well regarded. But I'd still go with Sachs for the exact replacement personally. It's worth it for the significant savings in my opinion vs. ECP and Merc and the far fewer variants of shocks available.
It looks like there's essentially one common shock across the range of normally sprung cars.

Springs were £60 from Merc. Springs from manufacturers I've heard of start from around £30, but as there seems to be the possibility of so many different spring and rubber spacer combinations, I'd still recommend Merc to supply, as you might save less than £60 so I personally feel it's not worth the gamble. But then you might get the wrong stuff and have to send things back. Autodoc are in Europe, so you really want to be certain of what you're ordering to avoid returns.

This should give you enough to make a choice. Good luck.
 
I'd still recommend Merc to supply, as you might save less than £60 so I personally feel it's not worth the gamble.

Yeah. I think I'll go that route as it isn't a massive outlay and they can supply the correct 'rubber cup' and shim.

Many thanks.
 
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I managed to get a look at the springs at the weekend and clean them off a bit so I could find the colour code.
I have two yellow marks on the spring after cleaning them off. They looked fine despite a MOT advisory for corrosion on the springs.

Many thanks to all in the thread for the really useful info.
 
Glad you found them fella when I looked on Zap7 for mine there are some many options it's quite daunting and every garage I called asked for the colour code so makes it a lot easier.
 
I have a 54 plate c200 w203 with Sports package. The left rear coil is also rubbing. I have replaced the coil recently but the noise returned after a while. In other words it's still rubbing and make that clunking "hammer against body panel" sound. I guess this is the coil rubbing on the arm and then releasing. It is worn as per the photo supplied by Chrisk2010, the original poster.
Has anyone found the root cause of this problem?
I didn't install the sacrificial metal spring shim (A2033240084) - could this be the couple of millimeters needed to stop it rubbing?
I'm not giving up on this car yet.
Any ideas anyone?
Chrisk2010 - did you fix your rubbing?
 
rear shock.jpg rear shock mounted.jpg This is what the rear of a 54 plate W/S 203C Class looks like (mine) , If the bushings on each end of the arm are good, the top rubber is in position and not worn the spring will not touch on its edge. It's close , but not touching.

There is a chance the spring is broken , the last inch or so of the spring can break off and no longer seats in the dwell in the arm (chances are the shim is also non existent) . If just the bottom bit of the spring is broken you will hardly notice a drop and it is very hard to see if you are not looking for it. You might hear a noise when going slowly over bumps.
 
Thanks for the quick reply Petrol Pete. That looks very tidy. Job well done.
I'll double check for spring break but suspect geometry might be off. I've had the car since new (20 years) and only changed the rear coils and shock absorbers once but have never done the bushes or replaced the spring shim (which dissolves away I believe). Strip down in order I think when the weather improves.
What did you spray your control arm with? It looks great.
 
The spring shim is stainless steel and as I understand it is to lessen the chance of corrosion over the years between the metal spring and metal arm . I don't think the paint lasts long on either and the shim is there to help them get along.

If you need to replace the 'bushings' at either end the ones in the hub can be a right Ba$tard to get out , you will need heat and the correct bush pulling tool . The elastomer bush on the inner end is less problematic but on the other end the wall material is thin and prone to dent.

1704275712902.png The one in the hub looks like this 1704275790406.pngThe ones on the inner end look like this.

1704275883220.png The pulling tool like this . I bought a cheapo and despite using a micro flame gas torch the thrust bearings (look like shiny washers in this image) on the pulling tool turned to dust and the threaded bar stretched :doh: . Luckily I had access to a machine shop to sort it out. But not much fun if stuck on the driveway and the tool falls apart. I would use it again but I would buy a handful of thrust bearings to replace as they collapse.

It might be worth buying new arms a bit like these with the bushing already installed rather than mess about with old rusty ones.



 
Thanks Petrol Pete.
Not going to get round to this for some time but starting the research and good input is appreciated.
Great advice re the bushes and yes, if I go down the route of changing the arm, I will go new. However, there doesn't seem to be anyone who sells my specific arm (A2033500006) as new, so will try the main dealer. Cost will determine my action as this is an old car.
I may just try the shim first and see what happens - it's the cheapest route for starters.
Cheers.
 
You can see from when I was doing the job the old ones cleaned up OK (ish) with a wire wheel on the battery drill and a spray can , I was happy to put them back in like this as at some time in the future I intend to drop and 'refresh' the entire subframe/underside/brake hoses . links etc . Good enough for now.

If you go down this route I would suggest not hitting the elastomers out of the arm with too much vigour equally go easy if using an hydraulics press as the metal around the bushing area is quite thin , I can see the possibility of bending it slightly which could cause problems. Probably why new ones appear to be supplied with bushes pre installed.

I fed a hacksaw blade through mine and cut right down to relieve the pressure and they came out pretty easily.

ARM 1.jpg ARM CLEAN.jpg
 
I had one of these a few years ago now (so likely to be less rusty) and supplied all parts for a rear refresh as Petrol Pete talks about above. I paid someone as it was a dropped subframe job for the subframe bushes and on the uppermost forward arm, the bolt can't come out without dropping the subframe.
So whilst it was all off, it was okay to have the bushes in this lower control arm we're talking about pressed out and replaced.

But at this age of car and if I was DIYing, I would be seeing if I could buy new control arms from Merc, and save myself the headache of replacing the bushes, finding I might damage the arm etc as PP has indicated.
 
You can see from when I was doing the job the old ones cleaned up OK (ish) with a wire wheel on the battery drill and a spray can , I was happy to put them back in like this as at some time in the future I intend to drop and 'refresh' the entire subframe/underside/brake hoses . links etc . Good enough for now.

If you go down this route I would suggest not hitting the elastomers out of the arm with too much vigour equally go easy if using an hydraulics press as the metal around the bushing area is quite thin , I can see the possibility of bending it slightly which could cause problems. Probably why new ones appear to be supplied with bushes pre installed.

I fed a hacksaw blade through mine and cut right down to relieve the pressure and they came out pretty easily.

View attachment 151430 View attachment 151431
I wonder how many of us hang up our control arms and take pictures of paint drying - at least two!
 

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I do it as proof to the wife as to "what the hell have you been doing all day ?" type questions . I show her photographic evidence , she in returns rolls her eyes and gives me a sympathetic look. Then leaves me alone for a bit.
 
Got fed up with the clonking on the passenger side.
Jacked up car and removed the wheel. Disconnected the shock absorber (1 nut and bolt), supported the control arm with a trolley jack (to control the coil tension) and removed the "wheel hub bush" nut and bolt. Slowly and carefully lowered the control arm and removed the coil.

I'd bought one of those "through the control arm" coil compressors (about £45 on ebay) thinking it would save me time. Don't bother - they're hopeless. It could have been me but I just couldn't get it to line up and then the thick end of the tool wouldn't go through the control arm hole. I spent at least an hour trying to get the thing to work. Finally just decided to do what I normally do and dismantle it under coil compression.
I installed the sacrificial metal spring shim (A2033240084) and put it all back together. STILL clonking!!

So, I thought I'd strip the whole lot down and take a good look at the control arm. This time I removed the nut and bolt from the subframe end (having disconnected the shock absorber first). If you've not done this before you'll need to move the exhaust out of the way to remove the bolt. This time I put the trolley jack under the control arm at the subframe end and lowered the arm to release the spring. In my opinion this is the best way to remove the coil.

The control arm was very rusty but solid. Cleaned off all the loose rust, sprayed it with a couple of coats of Jenolite Rust Converter and then a coat of Hammerite Under Body Seal with added waxoyl. Then left overnight to dry. (Sorry, but didn't take photos of paint job!!). The wheel hub bearing felt sloppy but thought that would be my next item on the fault finding list. The bush in the arm, although rusty seemed pretty firm.
I'd bought a new rubber shim to install at the top of the coil and noticed that during the second strip down the old rubber shim was not correctly located. It was rotated about 90 deg so the end stop was not positioned at the end of the coil. When I've previously swapped the coil I've located it ONLY at the control arm end and not bothered checking the top. The old rubber top shim seemed in good condition (20 years old) but replaced it anyway with a new one just in case.
Put it all back together with the sacrificial shim at the bottom of the coil and the rubber top mount correctly aligned with the notch on the control arm. Reinstalled the coil with each end located in their respective end stops. Tightened it all up and road-tested.
FIXED - no more clonking.
My conclusion is that the top rubber mount must affect the spring compression geometry in some way sufficiently to cause the coil to rub.
The attached photos show the before and after.
 

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