I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you took the time to provide me with such a detailed response to my not-so-simple question. I will study your info carefully and apply what is appropriate to my lowering project. Would you clarify one thing for me? In looking at the various options, i.e. H&R, Eibach, Sportline, I'm not clear on your preference since Eibach offers 2 choices for my vehicle: "Pro-Kit" and "Sportline". I can't locate a separate brand/maufacturer called "Sportline". The Eibach "Pro-Kit" has more height choices under that name than does their "Sportline" line. Any clarification about this would be extremely helpful.
Wooops, sorry about that... I forget that not everone is familiar with the terminology. Mercedes sold the 124 and 201 chassis with an optional "Sportline" package from the factory, which included lowering springs, larger sway bars, stiffer bushings, quicker steering box ratio, wider wheels & tires, different seats, and a couple other items. So, the "Sportline" springs I'm referring to are Mercedes factory springs, used on factory Sportline models. For 6-cylinder sedans, there are basically 2 different front springs, and 2 different rears, along with many more different springs for wagons, coupes, cabrio, V8 models, and models with or without self-leveling (SLS).
And finally, can you recommend a supplier for the appropriate parts or kit, as that would save me sometime time and effort in doing a price/source comparison. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
Since the Mercedes Sportline springs are dealer-only items, you'll need to find a source for dealer parts at wholesale... for example, Parts.com, MB of Ft Lauderdale, Duval Motorcars, Caliber Motors, or Rusty at BuyMB Parts. Be careful with places that show very low prices (like parts.com), they make up the difference with steep S&H fees. In the end, you may decide that the Mercedes Sportline springs are too expensive... about $325 wholesale/set, plus S&H (current list price is $400/set). Some additional info is posted here
, and you may also want to check out my coil spring spec spreadsheet at this link
, where I compiled as much data as I could on the various springs. I'd like to fill in the specs for H&R and Eibach eventually. If you do go with the Mercedes Sportline springs, do your homework to make sure you order the correct part numbers, to achieve the desired ride height... special-order parts are usually not returnable, although you'd likely have no problem re-selling them on the forum if necessary.
Final thought... I prefer to decide what ride height I want first, then obtain the springs which should provide that ride height, and tweak slightly as needed by using thinner or thicker spring pads. Also, with new front struts, the front ride height will be about 0.5" taller than with used struts. The gas pressure decreases over time, and the front end drops... it's not the spring sagging, it's the strut. So, if you install new springs & struts, keep that in mind when you're dialing in the ride height. If it's all perfect with new struts, a year or two later you will likely find the front end has dropped while the rear has not. For typical street use, I'd recommend keeping the fender to wheel center distance a bit over 14 inches all around... this should be at least 1 inch lower than stock for your car, maybe more.