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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I recently purchased a used 2009 E350 with the sport package and it looks like the front suspension ride height is about 2-3 inches above the factory ride height. I've compared my E350 to others I've seen on the road with and without the sport package and they all sit lower in the front compared to mine.

I've already taken my car to two different mechanics and they both said the suspension is stock, hasn't been touched and the only way to lower the car is with lowering springs.

As anyone encountered a similar issue and are lowering springs the only remedy?
2645009

Front Ride Height

2645012

Rear ride height
 

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2016 535i, 2019 Q5
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5,655 Posts
Springs don't just elongate themselves. Theres a couple different things I'd check...

I don't believe as I think through my time replacing almost my entire front end suspension that bushings would impact this, so cross that off the list.
I'm assuming both front left to right are too high?

This is my bet -- Someone replaced the shocks with new units wrong. If so, there is a height adjustment spring clip, that if its not put on the correct position will absolutely affect ride height. Take a close look at the offending shock absorbers, see if they look original, the sticker should tell you pretty easily compared to the other side/rear. A new shock absorber come "stock" with the spring clip positioned at the highest mark and there are a half dozen settings. When you replace the shock you're supposed to match the same setting from how it came off the car (because different options affect spring height settings).

Thats my gut feeling here is a shop didnt put the spring clip to a matching setting.

Heres an example of when its done incorrectly:
2645027


Start there and report back
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Springs don't just elongate themselves. Theres a couple different things I'd check...

I don't believe as I think through my time replacing almost my entire front end suspension that bushings would impact this, so cross that off the list.
I'm assuming both front left to right are too high?

This is my bet -- Someone replaced the shocks with new units wrong. If so, there is a height adjustment spring clip, that if its not put on the correct position will absolutely affect ride height. Take a close look at the offending shock absorbers, see if they look original, the sticker should tell you pretty easily compared to the other side/rear. A new shock absorber come "stock" with the spring clip positioned at the highest mark and there are a half dozen settings. When you replace the shock you're supposed to match the same setting from how it came off the car (because different options affect spring height settings).

Thats my gut feeling here is a shop didnt put the spring clip to a matching setting.

Heres an example of when its done incorrectly:
View attachment 2645027

Start there and report back
I really appreciate your response, this is the first thing someone's told me that makes sense lol. I'll take a look into this and report back when I can. Thank you,
 

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2016 535i, 2019 Q5
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5,655 Posts
I really appreciate your response, this is the first thing someone's told me that makes sense lol. I'll take a look into this and report back when I can. Thank you,
Its definitely too high, my gut feeling thats the deal. If you just turn the wheel to lock you should be able to see the shock absorbers easily with a flashlight to know. If they've been replaced, I'd bet dollars to donuts that's the deal, in which case they have to be completely removed and the spring entirely removed from the assembly to get at the circlip. You'll need a new alignment because the toe will be completely off and shred your tires in a few thousand miles. That would be the time to address any lower control arm or ball joints that haven't been done if you have 100k miles...

Here is my suspect (3a) - support ring

2645029


Can't find what setting I put mine on, but I had it lower middle setting off the top of my head.
 

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2007 W211 E320 Bluetec OM642
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652 Posts
My issue is that in the summer, my fronts look like yours. Especially in this hot weather we had recently.
In the winter, I have hardly any gap!
 

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2008 E350 4Matic, 2011 E350 4matic
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1,465 Posts
I put in Bilsteins recently. There's actually 10 steps in the ring clip. When you get the brand new, they're at the highest setting. If you read the old threads, it's anywhere from the 2nd-4th clip setting from the bottom depending on how people describe it and maybe it has something to do with 4matic/rwd, sport/luxury package. The only issue is that to fix it, you basically have to take the whole thing apart, it's the same as replacing struts as you have to get the struts out and compress them to get the spring out and then reset the clip and then put the spring on again. You need to use a good spring compressor as those springs are probably extra compressed.

It's either that or the springs are brand new and they take a couple weeks for them to settle down a little after you put them in.
 

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2016 535i, 2019 Q5
Joined
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5,655 Posts
I put in Bilsteins recently. There's actually 10 steps in the ring clip. When you get the brand new, they're at the highest setting. If you read the old threads, it's anywhere from the 2nd-4th clip setting from the bottom depending on how people describe it and maybe it has something to do with 4matic/rwd, sport/luxury package. The only issue is that to fix it, you basically have to take the whole thing apart, it's the same as replacing struts as you have to get the struts out and compress them to get the spring out and then reset the clip and then put the spring on again. You need to use a good spring compressor as those springs are probably extra compressed.

It's either that or the springs are brand new and they take a couple weeks for them to settle down a little after you put them in.
I put brand new springs on mine, theres no settling, so 100% its not that.
 

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2008 E350 4Matic, 2011 E350 4matic
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Mine were also brand new and they seemed to be a little lower after a couple weeks. They seemed a bit high when I first put them in. Then again, they were probably just higher than whatever was there before.
 
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