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420 SEL vs 560 SEL suspension

7086 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  284037
Thank you to everyone who has posted on subjects relating to 560 SEL rear suspension. I have spent the morning reading through as many posts as I could search for, although I am sure I missed some - so apologies if any of this is redundant or mistaken: Your advice is appreciated: Background I have my W126 420SEL, which ride well. I am looking to purchase a 560 SEL. I have test driven a 1987 which I like although the rear suspension needs work. It's ride at the back is hard. From the posts I have read via the search engine, the accumulators obviously are an item that wears and need replacing, also the newer thicker bushings and setting up the system correctly along with new fluids.

Here are my questions:

1. When the suspensions on both models are set up totally correctly is the 560 SEL still a harder (or noisier) ride than the 420, as some have suggested? That seems unlikely from a design point of view - as my gut tells me if they went to these lengths to design it that way on the higher end model, surely when its *right* it should be excellent and superior to the 420? (remember I have a 420 and love it, so not being negative)

2. Given some posters have taken their 560s' in and had mechanics say 'it's not that' and yet, then when they go ahead and do 'that' anyway (e.g. replace with the thicker bushings) the problem is solved - I think it might be sensible, on a say 100k mileage 560 SEL, just to go ahead and replace the bushings and the accumulators - assuming so, at an excellent independent (not a MB dealer), using only MB parts and replacing the fluids and setting up the system correctly (assuming no other parts are required) would one get any change from $500 US or $700? - on bushings, accumulators, fluid?

By way of background I have a health challenge that means I hate noise and stimulus, so a smooth and quiet ride is a significant priority for me: Hence my questons regarding whether the 420 is always a softer/ quieter ride than the 560 and assuming its not :)o) to get those parts mentioned addressed responsibly, the cost...

Any other information about the difference in ride (and noise) between the two models would be very much appreciated. I intend to put the 560 I am looking at into a PPi on Monday. Many thanks for this terrific resource:thumbsup:
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the SLS system is identical between both models, there should be no difference at all. There would only be difference where the 420 had standard springs/shocks.
Yes, that was what I meant - as in what is the difference btw the standard feeling ride on the 420 and the SLS on the 560. Unfortunately I was not aware the 420 offered the SLS ride -thanks! Can you answer either of my questions in regards to the standard 420 vs 560 SLS ride - I would certainly appreciate it. Many thanks,
I have both setups. If both are in top shape, there is no recognizable difference, except under load. Meaning, if you load up the back, the SLS will handle it better and keep the car level, while the non-SLS will sit lower.
OK - thanks - much appreciated; that means then that if they are both good, the 560 will be just as soft, smoth, quiet and compliant as the 420 SEL ride??... did I understand that right? :thumbsup:
Caribbean? You are likely looking at Non US models. Non US buyers could order a car any way they pleased. I saw a 1980 260S with NO air conditioning (not no climate - NO AIR CONDITIONING) and a manual transmission. So there is no such thing as a "420 this or a 560 that". There is the base suspension with shocks, 2 channel Hydro and 4 channel hydro.
I'm actually buying this one in US for long trips when I am over there, and while I have a 420 SEl in US it was written off by the accident's impact, and so while I kept it and restored it as a local run around, it is probably not a good bet to drive to San Fran from Atlanta for example and feel safe.

Hence my inquiry as to whether the 560 SEL suspension - when it is set up right - would feel as comfortable, quiet and smooth as the 420 SEL - or perhaps better. I've heard they are noisier and harsher, but is that only poorly maintained ones? Thanks for all input as tomorrow is ppi day.:thumbsup:
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