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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Hello I have a 96 S420 with over 202,000 miles,(NO AIR SUSPENSION & NO SELF LEVELING SYSTEM) It has 255/45ZR/18 inch tires and I'm looking to buy either THE ORIGINAL MB shocks, SACHS or BILSTEIN shocks for this vehicle,the shock I want will cut down on the body roll that this vehicle has,will resist the rigors of really bad roads and it's potholes but I still want that comfortable smooth S CLASS ride,all feedback will be greatly appreciated,thank you in advance....
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Steelers . I Modified the Thread Title as it was to long ,it took Room for 3 new Threads here . In the Future ,try to keep the title of a Thread short ,then the rest into the Thread . Benzworld Members will still know what your Problem might be .

This is what i removed " (NO AIR SUSPENSION & NO SELF LEVELING SYSTEM) Should I buy, ORIGINAL MB SHOCKS,???? " .

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Hello I have a 96 S420 with over 202,000 miles,I'm looking for either THE ORIGINAL, SACHS or BILSTEIN shocks for this vehicle,the shock I want will cut down on the body roll that this vehicle has,will resist the rigors of really bad roads and it's potholes but I still want that comfortable smooth S CLASS ride,all feedback will be greatly appreciated,thank you in advance....
Doesn't your '96 S420 have the "SLS Suspension" system?? If so, read this my page on the repair of same here

If you want to scrap the SLS system and go to conventional shocks and springs, check the video here showing how it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Jim I have no air suspension whatsoever,I'm just looking for the best type of shocks for what I described....
 

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"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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I have no air suspension whatsoever...
No W140 has Air Suspension ,NONE , almost everybody knows that here & is no need to mention .
That crap was luckily only on the later W220's etc .
Stick to either Sachs or Bilstein ,you cant go wrong . Preferable Bilstein , slightly harder then Sachs .Your S420 has all shock absorbers front & back unless Original owner ordered it with SLS Hydraulic Suspension .
To find out if yours has SLS ,Open Engine Hood ,look on right side black cover ,there should be a little Cut out that you can pull up,if underneath you find a Reservoir ,that is for SLS Oil .
 

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To find out if yours has SLS ,Open Engine Hood ,look on right side black cover ,there should be a little Cut out that you can pull up,if underneath you find a Reservoir ,that is for SLS Oil .
I'm w/ you . . . looked at a number of S420 - '95, '96 and '97 and all had the "SLS oil fill cutout".

But if his model DOESN'T have SLS then here's link to a BW thread re shocks/springs . . here
Note the problems w/ rear end height and clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Jim I have no air suspension whatsoever,I'm just looking for the best type of shocks for what I described....
Sorry, have no experience in what you want to do . . . I'm sure others have so they will help you.
Hey Jim which shocks are on your S500 and how's the ride???
 

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Steelers, did you LOOK to see if you have the cut out? Most all 140's had SLS suspension which is hydraulic actuated, not air. If you ACTUALLY have SLS suspension then changing over is not worth it in my opinion. I've had two 140's with SLS suspension with absolutely no problems. Open the hood and look or crawl under the rear end and look at the shocks (struts). If they have hoses coming out of them then you have SLS. And you are not going to find replacement struts at a reasonable price. On the other hand, if there are no signs of leaking then they are good to go. You probably need new accumulators (spheres) as a start.
Anziani
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Steelers, did you LOOK to see if you have the cut out? Most all 140's had SLS suspension which is hydraulic actuated, not air. If you ACTUALLY have SLS suspension then changing over is not worth it in my opinion. I've had two 140's with SLS suspension with absolutely no problems. Open the hood and look or crawl under the rear end and look at the shocks (struts). If they have hoses coming out of them then you have SLS. And you are not going to find replacement struts at a reasonable price. On the other hand, if there are no signs of leaking then they are good to go. You probably need new accumulators (spheres) as a start.
Anziani
All of that is really interesting as far as the SLS hydraulic suspension and I really appreciate it,the shocks that are already on there are leaking and needs to be replaced,the car is sitting to low also,those shocks might even be the ORIGINAL MB shocks I really don't know,I wasn't looking to switch anything over I was just wondering which of those shocks I listed would work the best for my vehicle.Now an independent Mercedes Benz shop told me I need shocks and springs and they recommended BILSTEIN shocks, BILSTEIN makes a COMFORT shock and they also make a more RIGID shock,now I also took it to another place and they told me I needed only shocks,they recommended SACHS TWIN TUBE shocks,I was even considering getting the MB ORIGINAL shocks,what's your take on all of this and what brand shocks are on your BENZ??????
 

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All of that is really interesting as far as the SLS hydraulic suspension and I really appreciate it, he shocks that are already on there are leaking and needs to be replaced,the car is sitting to low also,those shocks might even be the ORIGINAL MB shocks I really don't know.
That is more than INTERESTING, it's IMPERATIVE! You MUST know what supsension system your S420 has?? Once you KNOW, then we can help you.

You MUST do as the others have requested . . open the hood, check the right side (as you look at the car), open the "SLS Fill" cover and let us know what you see??? Better yet, take a picture and post it . . .

The picture shows the "SLS Fill" cover outlined in the red box. . .
2608719
 

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The posted question/suggestion/request for you to have a look under the hood for the SLS oil reservoir WAS/IS relevant to your question.

If you DO have the 'extra' oil reservoir under the hood on driver's side at front plastic cover, then car did have SLS at one time, and the answer to your question becomes more complicated as you or someone needs to verify whether you still have SLS shocks in the back. Looking under car around the rear shocks for hose hydraulic line going up to the top of the shock is a sure way to answer the question (see pic).

Other than that, Bilstein OE have a great ride on the W140 and cost about $100 ea. Don't get any 'heavy duty' stiffer than OE version though. Not a great idea for W140.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is more than INTERESTING, it's IMPERATIVE! You MUST know what supsension system your S420 has?? Once you KNOW, then we can help you.

You MUST do as the others have requested . . open the hood, check the right side (as you look at the car), open the "SLS Fill" cover and let us know what you see??? Better yet, take a picture and post it . . .

The picture shows the "SLS Fill" cover outlined in the red box. . .
View attachment 2608719
Hey Jim thanks for the feedback,my vehicle is not equipped with a SELF LEVELING SYSTEM and I'm glad it's not,it has regular front and rear shocks with 255/45ZR/18 inch tires....
 

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Hey Jim thanks for the feedback,my vehicle is not equipped with a SELF LEVELING SYSTEM and I'm glad it's not, it has regular front and rear shocks with 255/45ZR/18 inch tires....
OK, that's clarified . . . your do NOT have SLS suspension. I've NEVER converted mine so I will bow out and let others who have experience w/ individual shocks/springs help you.

The "stock" wheel/tire for your car is 235/60R16. You have upgraded the wheels to hold 255/45R18 (as I have) so you have the same wheels/tires I have on my '94 S500 coupe. I'm due for new tires and I'm going to downsise them to 245/45R18.
 

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I will bow out also. My 140 has SLS suspension/shocks and the car performs beautifully as it should.
Anziani
 

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I did not realize that the 500 and 600 were the only models with SLS. I have had 2 S500's and my current S600.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The posted question/suggestion/request for you to have a look under the hood for the SLS oil reservoir WAS/IS relevant to your question.

If you DO have the 'extra' oil reservoir under the hood on driver's side at front plastic cover, then car did have SLS at one time, and the answer to your question becomes more complicated as you or someone needs to verify whether you still have SLS shocks in the back. Looking under car around the rear shocks for hose hydraulic line going up to the top of the shock is a sure way to answer the question (see pic).

Other than that, Bilstein OE have a great ride on the W140 and cost about $100 ea. Don't get any 'heavy duty' stiffer than OE version though. Not a great idea for W140.
I'll most likely go with the BILSTEIN B4 OE series they seem like they'll be great shocks,I also like BILSTEINS LIFETIME WARRANTY....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK, that's clarified . . . your do NOT have SLS suspension. I've NEVER converted mine so I will bow out and let others who have experience w/ individual shocks/springs help you.

The "stock" wheel/tire for your car is 235/60R16. You have upgraded the wheels to hold 255/45R18 (as I have) so you have the same wheels/tires I have on my '94 S500 coupe. I'm due for new tires and I'm going to downsise them to 245/45R18.
What's the reason for downsizing your tires,are they rubbing like mine, hopefully my new shocks will raise it enough so they don't rub....
 

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Shocks aren't going to raise the vehicle; if the car is sitting lower than it should it means the springs are worn and need to be replaced. Shocks control body movement, springs determine ride height.

I have Bilsteins on my car. Just had them replaced two years ago, made a big difference.
 

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What's the reason for downsizing your tires,are they rubbing like mine, hopefully my new shocks will raise it enough so they don't rub....
I was about to write in my previous post but thought better of that. I can understand that you get some rubbing with 255/45R18 on both front and back esp if the rear shocks/springs go bad. And possibly while exiting a driveway, you could get some rubbing on the front.

I made the unfortunate choice to have a slightly larger tire on the back (255/45R18) than the front (245/45R18) which means you can't ROTATE the tires. So they NEVER were. Not a good thing for tire life IMO. This time 4 - 245/45R18.
 
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