W208 rear suspension / extreme camber


New Member
Aug 29, 2015
2001 CLK 430
'ello, greetings from the colonies :)

I have a delightfully rusty and thirsty CLK 430 coupé with about 170 000 miles. I enjoy greatly the seats and engine.

I had an issue with unacceptable inner tyre wear on the rear to the point of shredded tyres on the inside :) The camber was obviously wrong by eye. I noticed unacceptable handling with mismatched tyres (a 225 and a 245), the rear end would dance like crazy around 75 mph. Strangely identical tyres (245/245 or 225/225) were fine.

I noticed the left side front rear subframe bushing was knackered in that it had significant play.

I replaced with new, and is now tight. But the camber is even worse, the tyre (even a front tyre (225/45-17)) is rubbing aggressively against the plastic cover, the car is essentially undrivable.

I think there is maybe an extra 1 or 2 mm of length the bushing could be pushed, so will try.

But the camber, it's quite obviously screwed, and we are told, no adjustment !

Right hand side tyre camber is wrong too. But it hasn't shredded a tyre on me yet ! 245/40-17 tyres are annoyingly expensive.

I note the rear of the car is sagging, perhaps old springs. Front springs were replaced maybe 5 years ago.

Any thoughts? I feel visiting a specialist would cost more than it is viable, though I would greatly enjoy to use the car for the balance of the year and this winter (a 35 mile one-way commute in tragic congestion daily an automatic becomes rather necessary...)
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hairless wonder

New Member
Sep 12, 2015
In a cave... most days.
w203 320
Is it just the one side that is really bad or both sides? Any service history or documentation that came with the car when you bought it? How long have you owned the car? Possibly wrong parts fitted at some stage, it happened to me with the ns front shock on my e30 bmw.

Essentially the garage fitted a shock from the four cylinder model rather than the six cylinder model. As the prior has smaller diameter it started to rattle in the hub mount, replaced almost all bushes and even a lower traction control arm before realising the booboo. Lesson learnt....but it was costly.

Just a thought


Active Member
Mar 1, 2015
SLK 230K
Most likely possibilities would be:

Worn Bushes
Incorrect tyre pressures and/or non-matching tyres
Knackered or un-matched springs
A damaged or bent suspension arm or upright (accident damage)
Bent wheel

Also, you need to check the front for all or the above, not just the rear.

Get someone to drive it while you follow and watch it carefully, don't forget to check for crabbing.
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MB Master
Jun 22, 2003
Perth, Scotland
W204 C200CDI Estate
Rear springs broken or too short. If you are an experienced DIY man they are easily replaced by dropping the suspension arm from its inner mounting point. There's numerous posts out there how to do this but not to be untaken without the requisite equipment [ axle stands/trolley jack/s] and experience

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