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Difference In Rides?

2238 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Merc-S600
Hello Everyone:<br>
I would like opinions on the rides of the S class Mercedes.<br>
When I test drove an S 500, I noticed that it didn't have the same smooth ride (floaty sensation) as the S 420. Is this due to the bigger engine, or is it just my imagination?<br>
Thanks in advance,<br>
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Yes, I noticed that too. I drove an S320 and it handled like a local/municipal transit bus. An S500 was much better....and the S600 better yet. I believe the suspension is matched to the differing engine capabilities.
I'll assume that we are comparing used cars here.<br> <br> In that case, tires and shock absorbers are the most critical components to the ride of what are otherwise essentially identical cars. <br> <br> A car with Michelin MXV4 tires will ride better than one without. The difference is undeniably obvious. Also, brand new tires ride noticably better than worn tires. And there is the potential for tire pressure differences. <br> <br> Also, a car with new shock absorbers will ride better, especially if they are the original OEM or Bilstiens.<br> <br> Otherwise, note that generally Mercedes with larger engines ride firmer when equipped with larger engines. This is to bring the performance of the suspension up to the performance of the engine. If you want a classic example try an ML320 and an ML430.
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The difference is due to suspension type. The S420 and lesser models have the traditional spring/shock absorber set-up, while the S500 may have stiffer front springs and different shock valving, it also has the self leveling rear suspension which not only compensates for weight of load, but also adapts to road conditions. The S600 is entirely different having a pneumatic suspension set-up at all four corners. (hyrdaulic cylenders instead of shock absorbers) This set-up allows for different settings (firm/soft) and is changable via dashboard switch. This helps body roll considerably. I hope that this answers your question a little.<br> <br> -eric
Interesting, I recently drove a '97 S320W with 18' AMG monoblocks and (I forget the size) new Falken tires and the handling was immaculate. Go figure.
no, it's not just you. My 1993 rode way better than my neighbors 1994 S500.........
Hmm interesting bits here.

Personally I think my 500 (150k) rides well with dips and ripples, but it's completly jolting and jarring over high frequency bumps, like frost heaves or rail road crossings. I can't put my finger on it. I no longer have rear SLS, actually I have 300SE springs. Bilstein HDs all around too. Yet the ride doesn't make sense to me, smooth and compliant over dips but sharp and BMWish like over expasion joints and the itty bitty cracks in the asphalt on cold mornings, my car seems to be good at finding them and telling me all about them.:surrender::confused:.. If only one side of the suspension hits a bump its ok, but when the car rides over a bump perpendicular to its direction of travel, it's no good. Rear suspension, really soft springs when no dampers present, seems to ride harsher than the front....

I get this sensation, if you can try to imagine: Looking out the front windscreen, then hitting a sharp bump, the chassis doesn't comply, the seat takes the initial shock as I see the A-pillar and general frame out of the windsheild move as if it was disconnected from me, because my body has been bounced by the seat cushion.

It's all confusing I know, but for goodness sakes my friends, fathers 87 300TD (137k orig susp) rides better, as does his 85 300D (223k orig susp + new HDs), though less refined in feel these cars take larger bumps with no care.

Am I insane? Would really prefer that gliding feeling in a car this big, I'll let the swaybars take care of the bends.

The next step may be trimming the bump stops on the dampers, the car practically sits on them anyhow....:eek: Why did Mercedes do this?
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Wow, a thread from 2002!
What Amazes me is that the Publisher "Guest" Ask's the Questions 1st and then Answer's them as Well . LOL.So what are we here for?
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