Poor Ride Quality - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Poor Ride Quality

I've not had my 320 CDI for too long, but I just can't get to grips with the suspension. It's definitely not right, but I can't figure out why. Firstly; the suspension isn't firm as such, but small bumps and imperfections seem to upset the front wheels, resulting in a secondary shudder/jiggle/bounce that gets really tiresome, and it happens at all speeds. This does not appear to be the case on the rear, which seems to sweep over bumps that would otherwise be felt through the front.

The car has been inspected on two occasions and no play discovered in any of the rubber. The airmatic system itself seems to operate exactly as it's supposed to; it raises and lowers normally, you can feel it cycle through the settings normally, and it doesn't lose any height while standing. The only thing I've found that seems suspect is that the push down test reveals that one front corner is softer and has more bounce than the other. The firmer one feels more like the rears do. However, this doesn't seem to present itself while driving; the whole of the front feels off rather than just one side.

Any advice?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 01:08 AM
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Hi,

Welcome to the forum

Please complete your profile so we all know exactly what Car you have and at least where in the world you are ............ Different models and geographical locations will often have different parts fitted !!

Does the car look like it has had a strut replaced recently at the front end ? ............. Could be a cheap Chinesium one which are always harder and nasty junk (IMHO !!)

Also it is often difficult to find play in Rack Joints, Ball Joints, Bushes etc when a Car is up on a jack and you are tugging at the wheels, because of course those joints are not sitting at "ride height" position, which is where the most wear occurs. It needs someone with experience, often a 4 poster lift / pit and sometimes even "Shaker Plates" to find this wear, which is often significant play

Finally, the Airmatic Struts have Air Springs, which obviously seem to be OK, but also do not forget they have a Damper Valve which adjusts the Damping Rate, these have been known to go bad, but sadly are an integral part of the strut, so would require strut replacement !! They are the round looking canisters with a black cable going to them at the bottom of the strut

HTH,


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Updated my details!

When I say inspected - this was indeed in an inspection pit by trusted mechanics.

The front struts both look the same from what I can see, and I'd hazard a guess that they're actually the car's original units too. I don't think that one of them is a different brand. The interesting thing is that it's the softer corner that feels like the outlier, not the firmer one, so perhaps your suggestion of a shot damping valve is correct.

I'm more than happy to replace the struts, as they look like a very straightforward DIY job, but obviously I'd like to be sure that they need changing before throwing money under there (though I do have half a mind to simply rebuild the front). Interestingly I can't find anyone with similar symptoms to me. People describe having overly firm suspension or terribly bouncy suspension, but my issue is somewhere in the middle of those.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:05 AM
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Hi,

OK that's all good news, thanks for sorting the profile

Based upon your latest and from OP :- "secondary shudder/jiggle/bounce" if this is a vertical movement / bounce, then I'd say it does sound like a Damper issue so starting with a decent replacement pair of Front Struts is the way to go ..................

AFAIK there is no way SDS can test the Damping, it can only report an 'electrically' faulty valve, but if the problem is mechanical inside the damper or valve then it will be no point paying for SDS diagnostic in this scenario.

MB are very expensive, but their own RE Manufactured are good and carry the same guarantee as new MB.

Bilstein are OEM for MB, good products reasonably well priced.

Arnott are now supplying in UK via Factors, New and Rebuilt I believe, can be troublesome once in a while, but warranty and after sales service is good, but double check that Arnott still have the Adjustable Damping Valve, as I have heard that some did not

HTH,


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:21 AM
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Further to my post above, read this current post and a few back from it ..........

https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...l#post17836216

Now, I run my own MB Indie Workshop in NW Scotland ........................

If this were a Customers Car it would get MB Reman's, as I gotta guarantee the job and don't want "bad press" ......................

If it were my own Car I'd fit new Bilstein, and likely have no trouble at all

HTH,
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Much appreciated Dave! Will look into the options.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave2302 View Post

If this were a Customers Car it would get MB Reman's, as I gotta guarantee the job and don't want "bad press" ......................

If it were my own Car I'd fit new Bilstein, and likely have no trouble at all

HTH,
^^Once again, right on the money!! I used MB Reman's for my two front ones as well. I paid around $1100 for both. I would have liked to have used the Bilsteins but since mine is 4Matic the price for them was a little too high. I believe around $900 for each at the time
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 09:08 AM
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There are two series of Arnott struts--the remans, and the "new-mans". The remans retain full adjustability. The new-mans do not, i. e. they've got one setting, namely Sport 1, though they are brand-new.

It depends on whether the car is 2WD or 4Matic. For a 2WD car, I'd go with new Bilsteins, as they are very nearly the same cost as the Arnott remans. For a 4Matic car, I'd go with the Arnott new-mans, since the 4Matic Bilsteins or M-B remans are going to be hundreds of dollar$ more money per strut.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 04:06 PM
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There are two series of Arnott struts--the remans, and the "new-mans". The remans retain full adjustability. The new-mans do not, i. e. they've got one setting, namely Sport 1, though they are brand-new.

It depends on whether the car is 2WD or 4Matic. For a 2WD car, I'd go with new Bilsteins, as they are very nearly the same cost as the Arnott remans. For a 4Matic car, I'd go with the Arnott new-mans, since the 4Matic Bilsteins or M-B remans are going to be hundreds of dollar$ more money per strut.
T,
I don't know about the OP but I personally prefer to do the job once and be done with it. So even if Arnott made 5 series of struts instead of 2, I would still go M-B Reman's ALL DAY LONG
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:46 PM
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Hi,

Thing is this, y'all know how fussy I am about my Cars, and the same is true when I do a job for a customer ...............

So, I simply could not live with having a function that no longer works, (Adjustable Damping)

Further to that, i have seen many posts on here that suggest Arnott re mans quailty control can at times be somewhat lacking, so although they promptly rectify the matter by sending one or 2 replacements out in short order, I am not the most patient person when it comes to having to do the same job twice due to someone elses, (or my own), fault !!

If like @wallyp 's experience I had to do it a 3rd time in short order I would be chucking hammers around and swearing, which is really no good for anyone

It would appear to me that due to most faults with Arnotts being Damper related, it means the Arnott "Re Mans" just get cleaned up, painted and new Airbags and Dust Covers etc, rather than the Damper Part being overhauled at the same time !! Either that or they are not testing them properly after rebuild ................

If this is true, and not just my educated guess, this means really they are just repaired units, not re-mans !!

I never have an MB Reman back for damping issues, and with very close inspection one cannot tell the difference between New MB Parts and Reman MB Parts !!

Being in business for many years in the UK has made me a naturally suspicious individual, and, to that end I often wonder if MB just have 2 tiers of pricing for the same "Brand New" Part, if you ask for reman you get hefty discount, if you don't you "pays the piper"

HTH,
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Last edited by Dave2302; 07-10-2019 at 11:50 PM.
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