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2000 E430 (W210)
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gentlemen,

I have two questions involving shocks. The first is the most important to me.


1. Will 1995-1999 shocks fit correctly into a 2000 model E430? I would assume they would and German Auto Parts and Autohauz AZ show the 1996-1999 shocks are the correct shocks for my car, but I would like to ask the forum members that may have experienced this vary issue or a similar issue. What are the changes between the different years of shocks? Are there just damping changes or are there installation hardware changes? All comments will be welcome.

2. My E430 would have came from the factor with 235/45-17 tires and 17" wheels. However, the prior owner installed staggered 18" wheels. The front has 18"x7.5" wheels with 225/40-18 tires and the rear has 18"x8.5" wheels with 255/35-18 tires. Since this wheel/tire combination is likely to have a higher weight than the factory setup, it would lead me to the conclusion that a higher damping ratio (Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks) would help the wheels and tires stay more planted and reduce vibrations at highway speeds. Another thing to consider with my particular case is that the front wheels have a 1/4" to 1/2" spacer which leads to an outward shift of wheel mass causing the slight vibration at speeds greater than about 65 mph. (My tires are balanced.) I know going with Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks with 18" wheels will reduce ride comfort, but I think it is the best option given my circumstances. As far as using Sachs/Boge Shocks (OEM Shocks), I think they would be good, but I think they will under-damp the wheels and allow the shocks to keep oscillating longer after going over road imperfections.


My E430 currently has 130k miles on it and I don’t know if the shocks were ever changed. The ride right now is not that great at high or low speeds and I think it is more due to having old leaky shocks than the 18” wheels and tire. I also think that new shocks would help the wheel spacer issue I mentioned above, negating the whole vibration at speed issue.

(My tires are balanced.) – The reason I know my tires are balanced is because I had my front tires balanced twice. I had my rear tires balanced when I noticed a wobble in one of them and it cured that issue. The issue that I refer to as vibration is more of a ride quality / wheel spacer issue.


All thoughts will be much appreciated. As usual guys, thanks for all of the comments.


6ft6in_Giant
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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3,467 Posts
Don't know about the shocks, but the fact that there are spacers on the front, leads me to believe that the offset for the rims are wrong. Spacers are frequently the problem for imbalance, either due to an imbalance in the spacer itself or due to centering problems with the spacer or rim.

See if the spacers are really needed or whether it was just for cosmetic reasons.
 

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2000 E430 (W210)
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hub Centric Rings

Kobus,

After you mentioned the spacers as being the possible cause of the vibration, I did some research.

I Googled "wheel spacers vibration" and came across an Acura forum discussing wheel spacers for aftermarket wheels. A couple of the people mention that aftermarket wheels need HUB CENTRIC RINGS. I did further research on Google and came across a forum on BenzWorld that discussed Hub Centric Rings for someone's W202 C-Class. On the BenzWorld forum, a person mentioned that Mercedes have a hub centric wheel centering method versus a lug centric wheel centering method used on many other vehicles. So, here is what I learned:

A lot of cars use a lug centric wheel centering method which relies on the lugs to center the wheels onto the car's rotor/hub.

Mercedes use a hub centric wheel centering method which relies on a tight fit between the hub of the car and center bore of the wheel.

Aftermarket wheels are normally designed with a large center bore to allow installation on as many different types and makes of vehicles as possible. (Giving them more potential customers.) So, a car with a hub centric wheel centering method and using aftermarket wheels will have extra space between the car's hub and the center bore of the wheel. This allows the wheel to be slightly off center from the center of rotation of the car's hub/rotor. This small off center alignment will progressively be apparent as speed increases and the mass gets closer to a resonate frequency.

If a Hub Centric Ring is not used, stresses in the lug bolts will be high due to increased shear which may eventually lead to cracks in the lugs.


I plan to take my wheels off someday soon and measure the outer diameter of the car's hub and the inner diameter of the wheels to determine the correct Hub Centric Rings for my application. For anyone wondering, I will do this with digital calipers. You can find them online for $20 or so.

Aluminum Hub Centric Rings can be bought for $50 online. They have plastic ones, but I will not use those for this because of their lack of strength.

Explaination of Hub Centric Rings: http://www.justforwheels.com/hub-centric-rings.jsp

6ft6in_Giant
 

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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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7,035 Posts
You should have your front bushinghs checked, as many owners incorrectly diagnose a "harsh ride" as a shock issue, when the actual problem (almost for sure) are the front suspension bushings.

This can be visually diagnosed on a lift, you can see the play for yourself to confirm the shops diagnosis.

I have seen many W210 shocks replaced that really didn't need to be - I did that myslef, and much to my surpise when I had Bilstein rebuild the original set (in this case AMG) they tested out within 10% of original spec at 125K.

I have no comment on spacers, most I have seen have caused unnecessary issues when the correct wheel offset would have had no issues.
 

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2001 Mercedes Benz ML430 w163,2008 Mercedes Benz CLS550, RIP Mercedes Benz 1996 e320 w210
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520 Posts
if you dont have hub rings u will definitely get vibrations at high way speeds..
Here is Hub rings:

HUBCENTRIC RINGS RING HUB CENTRIC MERCEDES BENZ - eBay (item 370458315098 end time Nov-26-10 14:43:29 PST)

They are only 20 including shipping.

Also they have a lot of strength in them and even better then metals ones because they wont rust so you wont have any issues in the future when your trying to remove the wheels. But I guess if your using Aluminum one they wont rust but they will still corrode plus I read somewhere the ride with metal ones is more rough. I have plastic ones, they are worth the money and got rid of the vibrations and they are tough.
 

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2000 E430 (W210)
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
if you dont have hub rings u will definitely get vibrations at high way speeds..
Here is Hub rings:

HUBCENTRIC RINGS RING HUB CENTRIC MERCEDES BENZ - eBay (item 370458315098 end time Nov-26-10 14:43:29 PST)

They are only 20 including shipping.

Also they have a lot of strength in them and even better then metals ones because they wont rust so you wont have any issues in the future when your trying to remove the wheels. But I guess if your using Aluminum one they wont rust but they will still corrode plus I read somewhere the ride with metal ones is more rough. I have plastic ones, they are worth the money and got rid of the vibrations and they are tough.


Thanks for the input on Hub Centric Rings. I did not think of corrosion. Have you noticed any wear or deformation on the plastic rings when you take off your wheels?

Thank you again for your comments.

6ft6in_Giant
 

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2001 Mercedes Benz ML430 w163,2008 Mercedes Benz CLS550, RIP Mercedes Benz 1996 e320 w210
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520 Posts
So far they have been great I had them already for 2 seasons however, when I will come home I will take a closer look and maybe even post some pictures.
 
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