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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I just bought an old 2003 ML350. Are there any sic bumpers to buy with dimple die and that prerunner or offroad look? I can't find many aftermarket parts.
I'm going to modify this suv to just look and preform more up-to date, with a re-desing where ever posibble. I want to bring it more up-to date so it's deserving of the costly 91 octane, so I could be compelled to throw more high tech mods and keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The car looked good at first glance when I bought it, but as I owed it I noticed alot of things that had gone bad or just missing. As an experienced offroader, the name of the game was to break all the weaklinks and replace them with strongest ones. So I want to know from you guys if your car started falling apart when offroading. I looked at the steering and looks pretty thick, 4 disk brakes, what could go wrong? This car has alot of flimsy cheap parts that just break under normal use. So if I offroad it will I get Death Wobble? Royal purple in axle better? What is the optimum rim and tire sizes for offering. I experienced optimum grip when I upgraded to 35" tires, can the ML350 rock 35's? Or is it better to stay at 33? This car is just begging to be better.
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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Good luck Tread... Put up some pics when your done.. You might want to add a bike rack on the back so you don't have to walk home when your 20 miles out with a broken axial.. I love my ML, but wouldn't trust it more than a few miles from being rescued..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yes, the bike rack is a must! I like to bike, and I wish I could get out more with it. But when buying this car this time around, I entered knowing zero about Mercedes-Benz. I started offroading with a 91 XJ, and as soon as I got It there were steps already layed out for you to build a 4x4 Beast. That classic front fender cut when your still in phase 1 of 3.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When I lived in the Jeep world, I learned the story of the Open Government Contract to build a 4x4 vehicle, but what I didn't learn is how also Mercedes was a significant player. I like that the first critics dubbed it as "smart" as far as visual design concept. A downfall for the 91 XJ was that it was a unibody..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And even though at first when I sat in the vehicle, it did feel like a mom's car, since it sits low profile and no sign of off-road parts are visable in the design. I think the most offroad ispired parts or features on it are as follows:
The small spare tire under rear.
The fold away seats in the back.
And the 4 Disk Brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So looking at the vehicle from its side and front profiles, there are two things comming off I think. The two bumpers. Because they look poorly designed and they don't support body weight. They look cool for the sleek design in the city, but if you climb into the back and you accidentally step on the bumper, it feels like its going to break or crack. Mine are both broken from the center where the natural path of use would be. So I'm not bothering replacing that weak link with the same weak link.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A question about wheel profile comes to mind. The ML I have has rims that bulge out. The rims I used to rock were deep offset rims. Is the stock design better than a design that is opposite like a deep offset rim?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rock Sliders, probably custom made would be one of the first serious parts id consider. Some things you can't fix as good once they're damaged (rock rash).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have one major question to all ML350 owners who offroad.
When buying parts to lift this vehicle, what parts would need to be included in order to adjust the design to the new aftermarket parts.

If I lift it with longer coils will I need a longer pitman? or will I need a transfer case lowering kit? I know I will need longer shocks to articulate freely with longer springs, but what else?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So longer springs
longer links?
longer shocks
longer sway bar links?
longer control arms?
longer brake lines?
 

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2003 C320 coupe, 2000 ML320
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Who-ya,.. A mig and some steel.. Sounds like fun.. Be sure to put up some pics
PS.. No off-road advise here.. The only off-road my ML sees is my driveway..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wish I had the space to set up shop with a welder, tube bender, hydraulic rig for die cuts and some steel and aluminum, but lack space. Thats why if I need something custom, ill desing it, buy the scraps and give it to a welder. But yeah, ill post the journey, as far as I get along with all the usefull pics, diagram, and data links. I think the design would have to satisfy the greater general ML350 population, so it works for everyone. First however, ill have to discern wheater the ML 350 is worthy by reasearching it from the ground up. I read that some ML's were built here, but I think the real question is, "Can the ML350 rid itself off all weak links to be a modest offroader while maintaining city street ability?
 

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2000 ML55 sold😢 2013 ML500,😁 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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All you need to do to lift it is wind up the torsion bar and stick 20mm spacers on top of the rear struts. I saw some on eBay the other day. The ML has a 2:1 spring rate so if you use a 20mm spacer it will give you a 40mm lift.
 

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2000 ML55 sold😢 2013 ML500,😁 2015 C250 estate wagon, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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Discussion Starter #18
I also need to find a good diagram like this one I had found for jeep. I don't have a good picture of the underbody. I haven't had the chance to take one yet. Does anyone have access to a hydraulic lift to get a full clean shot of the underbody? I need one to do mods for this project. At the very least on like this one here so I could lable the parts.
 
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