Front Shock Life - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Front Shock Life

My 2000 E430 AWD, 137k miles seems to wallow a bit on uneven asphalt roads. Notice at 25 - 45 mph, smooths out at higher speeds. Car has original shocks, sway bar bushings. 2 questions:
1. What is the expected life of original shocks?
2. Are polyurethane sway bar bushings available for this car?
I plan to replace sway bar bushings first - easy and cheap. Shocks on the 4-matic are a real bear to replace and would rather not unless absolutely necessary. Or maybe what I consider wallow is normal for the big Benz? This is the first one I've owned so nothing to compare to. It is not disconcerting but maybe I just expect more stability? Cornering is fine, nice and flat. Any comments are appreciated!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 09:40 PM
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When I bought my 1999 E320 two years ago with 72K miles on it, the shocks were already shot. I would guess the factory shocks are good for 50-60K miles.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 11:49 PM
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With modern dampers there is rarely that "presto!" moment where the car immediately loses all compression or rebound control and starts bouncing like a pogo stick.

I've had various cars with dampers from Bilstein, Kayaba, Sachs, Koni, and Spica. Modern dampers tend to lose performance gradually and it's difficult to tell from day to day -- but when I replaced my last set of Kayabas on another car, the difference was night/day. The old units were in fact worn out (at 320K km -- who knows if I'd be able to notice a difference at 100K instead?).

I don't think there's a magic number distance. I also don't think a bounce test (where you rock the car like we used to do when the world was young and we were full of wonder and hope, so many beers ago) is completely reliable *except* if the dampers are completely gone (and note: *not* if they're seized, which is another story). Also, yes, Mercs with the standard comfort dampers are a bit softer compared to something lighter and more firmly damped -- but they should not bounce around or wallow excessively. If you have a taxi on your hands it's probably OK. If you have a yacht it's probably not.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks cruiser.I figured 137k was well over Bilstein service life. Guess I'll bite the bullet and replace. Any good instructions out there on how to DIY?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks SD. I did the bounce test but meh. Im going to replace I guess, been looking for articles/u-tube info but haven't found anything I can use. 4matic is a different beast, seems a lot harder to DIY.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loden338 View Post
My 2000 E430 AWD, 137k miles seems to wallow a bit on uneven asphalt roads. Notice at 25 - 45 mph, smooths out at higher speeds. Car has original shocks, sway bar bushings. 2 questions:
1. What is the expected life of original shocks?
2. Are polyurethane sway bar bushings available for this car?
I plan to replace sway bar bushings first - easy and cheap. Shocks on the 4-matic are a real bear to replace and would rather not unless absolutely necessary. Or maybe what I consider wallow is normal for the big Benz? This is the first one I've owned so nothing to compare to. It is not disconcerting but maybe I just expect more stability? Cornering is fine, nice and flat. Any comments are appreciated!
1)


2) Search fleabay, mostly likely

3) How does replacing the sway bars have anything to do with replacing worn out shocks?

4)wallowing on any Benz is NOT normal, including a w210. btw, a w210 is not a big benz.

5) shock life also depends on road conditions in the environment you drive in (ie. highway vs. city, NYC vs. LA as examples) and that rack up equivalent yearly mileages.

5) Please update your user cp.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Loden338 View Post
Thanks SD. I did the bounce test but meh. Im going to replace I guess, been looking for articles/u-tube info but haven't found anything I can use. 4matic is a different beast, seems a lot harder to DIY.
https://blog.fcpeuro.com/w210-e320-4...eplacement-diy

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w21...-steering.html


Use the search feature.... it's fast and it's your best friend.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 01:28 PM
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In the olden days the OE Bilsteins were good for 10 years and more. I replaced them (front) - rears are Sachs) on my 1996 SL500 5 years ago, and a year ago had to replace them again after 60,000 miles or so.

There was a rattle that I could not find - and my shop friend finally found it. It was a flange on the shock that had worked loose and was just clanging metal on metal. Same old story; a big corp buys a small corp with a noted product for quality and the first thing they do is cheapen the product to live off the reputation and make more money.

Bilstein has since changed the design from that flange but the only way you can really know is to take them off and test them.

Mine were completely gone - after 60K miles.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks wlb50. Sounds about right for shock life. Like a Monroe, Gabriel, etc. You are right, Bilstein used to be one of the best for longevity, but I think Koni has outclassed them a long time ago. Same issues as cheaper shock/struts. And the beat goes on...
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 02:44 PM
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Poly Bushings

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-Co...8AAOSwux5YWACN

Snooozie on eBay makes high quality suspension parts for our W210's.
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