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The damping is to resist oscillations in the spring in either direction, but because they're designed to be used in a loaded suspension the resting position is fully extended when unloaded.
 

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89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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The pressurized gas only provides resistance/lift in the upward direction. That is why it lifts the car up by a tiny bit like I said. I would say it is in the order of 20-30 pounds on each strut and perhaps depends on the brand/model. Just from the feel I got during installation of the B8-HD's.

And as PN187 mentioned with a new strut you will not be able lift the car more and a quarter or half inch unless you are a body builder. With a blown strut (no gas) even I could lift it by almost an inch. So this is actually an easy test to figure out if the gas chamber is blown without taking the old ones out. The bounce test does not work because the fluid dampens the movement.
 

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Euro (German) 1996 E280T (S124) ASR/AC
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Can confirm new front struts lifts the car if the old are kaputt. New stock Sachs sport struts liftet ride hight closer to 1/2 inch on my car. New struts came fully expanded with pressure preload.

Sent fra min SM-N975F via Tapatalk
 

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Prob worth noting that it is only a small amount, but it can be noticeable difference on a lowered car where you use your fingers as a gauge to measure tire-wheel gap. And it usually will settle after the shocks break in a bit.

And I am a body builder.
 
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