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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

Been reading the forum for awhile, but haven't really posted until now. I use my ML as a second car and have gone through most of the DIY maintenance items myself over the past year (CPS replacement, head gasket, MAF, filters, spark plugs, fluid flushes, etc).

The rig is due for new a new suspension, so I've purchased Bilstien (H2 version) shocks and struts. I also purchased new rear ball joints. I'm going to pay a very reputable shop for the install, but dragging my feet on the costs. It's about $900 with everything included (including alignment).

Is this truck worth it? What would you guys do? I don't want to keep sinking money into this car for it to blow out a transfer case next week, but I do love it. I'm even considering selling my R32 and making this my daily.

Ando
 

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2000 ML430
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As opposed to what? You have already bought all the parts. It would be hard to sell with blown out suspension, that's for sure. You would take more of a loss advertising it as a mechanics special or whatever. If you don't want it anymore, fix it and put up a for sale sign before something else has a chance to break. 900$ doesn't seem like a deal breaker to me though. Why not DIY it and pay for an alignment afterwards?
 

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05 500
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I agree mostly with what Paul12 said but why are you replacing these parts? Generally for that year/mileage I'd say do the shocks. But why the balls if they're not giving you any problems? If replacement cost is an issue, sell the hardware at a small loss - less than $900 for sure. What I really don't understand is the reason you are replacing these parts. If all is working fine, leave it alone! Don't look for problems if you don't have to.
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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The rig is due for new a new suspension, so I've purchased Bilstien (H2 version) shocks and struts. I also purchased new rear ball joints. I'm going to pay a very reputable shop for the install, but dragging my feet on the costs. It's about $900 with everything included (including alignment).

Is this truck worth it? What would you guys do? I don't want to keep sinking money into this car for it to blow out a transfer case next week, but I do love it. I'm even considering selling my R32 and making this my daily.
Ando
You are saying the truck is due for a new suspension. Does that mean you are seeing some suspension related problems?

Do you like the truck and plan to keep the truck for a long time?

If the answer to both of the questions (or at least for the second question) is yes, then IMO, go ahead and replace those parts.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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The front end suspension is the issue, and honestly the cost, and I would recommend you have that inspected by a compentant indie.

Most "rough riding" at 128K my expereince is more the front end, and less the shocks - those that replace shocks without paying more proper attention to the other - suffer "rough riding" on new shocks (but just don't admit it much).
 

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05 ML500 SE
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well whatever the case.. at 125k i bet at least the fronts are shot. Why not just do the fronts yourself (since that is reputed to be a pretty tame job) and then work through the rest iteratively? I would do the front shocks and then drive it.. take note of the differences. Next I would replace any other front end suspension components like ball joints, sway bar links, assorted bushings, etc (if it needs any of those). Drive it some more and take note.. Then tackle the rears. Thats the expensive job.. so you may benefit from delaying that part and just doing the front end to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. It was killing me thinking of putting more money into the car, but I decided to bite the bullet and take it in tomorrow. I guess what was getting me was that the install was going to be two payments toward a new Jeep GC that I had my eye on.

A little more on the suspension - The fronts are toast and the rears are very squeaky (leading me to believe I need new ball joints). I asked for that repair to be optional if that's truly the problem. It could just be the struts.

I'll let you guys know how the Bilstiens work out. Not many have reviewed them on the stock setup, so hopefully that will be helpful to someone.

Ando
 

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'07 C280 4matic, '06 530i, '98 ML320
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A little more on the suspension - The fronts are toast and the rears are very squeaky (leading me to believe I need new ball joints). I asked for that repair to be optional if that's truly the problem. It could just be the struts.
I have not seen ball joints making squeaks. Rear struts are known to squeak. Rear struts on my ML squeaked until I replaced them. Replacing rear struts is not a DIY project (at least not for me).
 

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2005 ml350 2001 e55 amg
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If you've done the head gasket yourself I don't see why you'd be hesitant on replacing the shocks and struts and ball joints yourself. Then just go get it re-aligned when your done. Shouldn't be more than $100.
 

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It was killing me thinking of putting more money into the car, but I decided to bite the bullet and take it in tomorrow. I guess what was getting me was that the install was going to be two payments toward a new Jeep GC that I had my eye on.
yeah but you be making more than two payments :)
 

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2002 ML500
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Bilstein H2 Shock Ride Evaluation

Thanks for the replies...

I'll let you guys know how the Bilstiens work out. Not many have reviewed them on the stock setup, so hopefully that will be helpful to someone.

Ando
Andobmw,

You're right. There doesn't seem to be much feedback on how the Bilstein H2 shocks compare to the original MB shocks. In addition to your before and after ride evaluation back to the forum, please let us know what make and part number your original shocks were (F and R), as MB may have installed more "sporty" shocks in an ML55.

FYI, my 2002 ML500 has KYB shocks on the front, which I think are original to the vehicle. I am very interested in your experience and evaluation, as I am due for new shocks too. I don't have any ride problems or noises, but I am at 88K miles right now, so it won't be too long.

Based on my previous experiences with Bilsteins and Koni shocks on other cars, I would much prefer to put adjustable Koni shocks on my ML, but Koni doesn't make shocks for our MLs. Does any manufacturer make an adjustable shock for the front or rear of our MLs?
 

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of course adjustables are nice.. but at least the H2's are valved specifically for the ML. but since there is 500-600lb potential difference between the range of 98 ml320 and 03 ml55.. adjustability would be a nice tuning feature. I loved my konis on the tdi.
 
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