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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read different options for lowering the car. I am interested in a single document that would outline ALL of the lowering options from stock, through spring pads to the most aggressive lowering and their contribution to ride quality. <br>
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What I would like to do is drop the car enough to improve looks, add 17 or 18 wheels all without impacting quality of ride (don't want it to ride like a truck). Any help, or pointers to resources would be appreciated.<br>
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just spoke with the head man of service for Western Canada on this very subject. <br> <br> He tells me that when lowering the car with aftermarket springs you are compromising the way the suspension was engineered. The most he said to do was change the spring pads to the thinnest ones available which would bring it down about 5/8 of an inch.<br> <br> He has nothing to gain or lose from me lowering so I would take him on his word. <br> <br> Second, I asked one of the technicians about going to larger diameter rims and he said to be aware that these rims are very easily bent. He told me that it is amazing how many customers come in complaining of shakes in the steering wheel only to find they have bent a rim. And that is with 18's.<br> <br> I think it comes down to the fact that Benz's are by far more technologically advanced than we give them credit for and I think it is evident in areas that you and I would think are a no brainer like just lowering a car an inch.<br> <br> The best thing I can tell you is until Mercedes offers the springs to be installed and warrantied by the factory I won't be doing any lowering.<br> <br> Third, you have to expect that ride quality is going to be compromised more from 18's or 19's than an inch lower ride. The tires offer a lot of cushioning when the side walls are higher so it stands to reason that the thinner the sidewall the harsher the ride.<br> <br> Today's aftermarket springs are progressive and this allows for a more comfortable ride while still giving you performance when called upon.<br> <br> I hope this helps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Orion's got good info - had same discussion with...

head of Midwest Service in Chicago and service manager in Cleveland. Both agreed that while,lowering the suspension gives a more agressive look, it ulimately compromises performance. Upgrading to 17' wheels (standard on 430/55s) is OK; beyond 17' is not recommended. Advice (for what it's worth): the engineers at MB know what they are doing; these modifications affect performance and ultimately decrease the value of the car (not to mention the investment you would have made to alter it)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If we are talking about a clk320 or 430 how can lowering it comprimise anything? (more)

The 55 comes an inch or so lower and it has the same suspension as a 430 or 320 except for different springs and it has sport shocks in the front. My dealership put my H&R's and Bilstein's on for me. The only thing that is 'voided' is the shocks and springs. The guy that did the work said that if it was for my car he would put it on. He used the camber readjustment bolts and got the camber back to a reasonable amount but still more negative than factory. No excessive tire wear. He drove the car and said that it drove better than 95% of the MB's he had driven. Obviously they would not pay to fix a spring or shock that is not theirs. On the newer CLK 320's you can get a sport package which is just different springs and shocks. H&R, Eibach, Bilstein, and Koni all make a better product than comes on these cars. Lower your car! Do not be afraid. It makes a world of difference.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Then how come you can get 18

You can get them just be aware of the problems with bent rims. another thing to realize is you can have 18' rims with the a higher profile much like the ones on the CL 55. They are taller tires and would effect the speedometer etc if put on a CLK.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: If we are talking about a clk320 or 430 how can lowering it comprimise anything? (more)

I was just at the Benz dealership in Vancouver and they have a CLK55 and CLK430 in the showroom side by side, I checked the gap between the wheel well and the tires on both cars and there is no difference. I have heard this before that the 55 is lower and I have yet to find one on a Benz lot that is.<br> <br> Once again in talking with Technicians and the head of Service for Western Canada on and off the record they don't recommend fooling with the suspension unless the factory authorizes it. They have no problem with thinner shims and getting it 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch lower with the factories blessing is enough for me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: If it comprimises the cars suspension then why do they offer a sports package in Europe.

If it comes from the factory than no problem. Let them install it and there won't be a problem if there is your covered by warranty.<br> <br> The main focus here is whether to do 'AFTERMARKET' suspension modifications.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Aftermarket stuff is better quality! If the aftermarket stuff comprimises then (more)

why would Leith in Raleigh NC install H&R's and Bilsteins on my car? If the parts not covered by warranty bothers you the only thing you could possibly have to pay for if something went wrong would be another set of springs or shocks. The springs only cost 240 for 4 and the shocks are about 300 for 4 or 90 a piece. You can order individual springs but I am not sure how much they are a piece for the springs. Anything that goes wrong other than the springs and shocks that you have replaced will be covered by warranty. Are you worried that the springs or shocks will break?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Even with a 17 inch wheel you will eventually bend them to. All 4 of my 17's by 7.5 are bent.

Have to put on my ugly factory 16's since mine is 99 clk320. God those things are ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Re: If it comprimises the cars suspension then why do they offer a sports package in Europe.

I am sure the aftermarket parts you mentioned are at least as good if not better than the in-house products that are available. Let's face it they would rather sell us AMG products than someone elses. <br> <br> The frustrating part of all of this is as you have pointed out the performance suspension parts are available through Mercedes Benz in Germany!<br> <br> Why the hell aren't they available here?<br> <br> We wouldn't even be on this topic. Not that I don't enjoy your insights and comments.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: If it comprimises the cars suspension then why do they offer a sports package in Europe.

Are you sure that suspension changes are offered on the MB Germany site? The reason I ask this is the stock 430 has an AMG suspension and body kit wheels etc. Yet when I am on the German site there is no reference to AMG suspension options that can be ordered to lower the 430.<br> <br>
 
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