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W208 CLK430 Coupe, W212 E350 Sedan
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
I've been doing a lot of searching on this forum and on Google for guides on how to swap out springs and shocks. I'll be purchasing Bilstein Sport's and H&R Sports in a few months and I want to do them on my own. I'd really like to find a DIY on how to do it without a spring compressor, and how to do it with a spring compressor.

Also, do you all think I would be okay doing this on jack stands?

Thanks in advance!
 

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R230 SL350 Presnt, Past - W208 CLK230K 2000, W203 C Class, W202 C Class, W210 E Class, W201 190E
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Hey everyone,
I've been doing a lot of searching on this forum and on Google for guides on how to swap out springs and shocks. I'll be purchasing Bilstein Sport's and H&R Sports in a few months and I want to do them on my own. I'd really like to find a DIY on how to do it without a spring compressor, and how to do it with a spring compressor.

Also, do you all think I would be okay doing this on jack stands?

Thanks in advance!
I have done the springs myself before and it can be a tricky and dangerous job for the front, but not so bad for the rears. For the front you will need a propper coil compressor I dont think you can get enough clearance if you try and use the external clamps and it is also very dangerous as the coils are under maximum compression. The propper coil remover uses two purpose made metal discs that sit above and below the coil you then use an extention bar and tighten the coil. The bar is then removed and you insert the compressed coil into the car. There is a small hole in the bottom of the control arm which you then re-insert the extension bar and un-tighten the coil into position.

The rears springs are simple, no compression tools are needed, just a jack and stand. Remove the pin drop the arm down and remove the coil, then reverse to install the new coils, takes 15mins a side.

PS Once you have the new springs on the car, you MUST get the wheels aligned or you will go through tyres like crazy, especially the front. The rears you may be able to get away with depending on your camber etc. I didn't touch my rears after I lowered the car and they wear perfectly flat. just lucky !

Good Luck
 

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W208 CLK430 Coupe, W212 E350 Sedan
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Discussion Starter #3
I have done the springs myself before and it can be a tricky and dangerous job for the front, but not so bad for the rears.
How do I make it "not-dangerous"? haha
Oh...and define dangerous :p
 

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04 SL500 / 06 ML 500
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DON'T STRAIN A MAIN VEIN

Steve relax.
Changing out the springs is fairly easy. Only problem is a W208 style; its not like a Macpherson strut so the usual style external claw and bolt style spring compressor can't be used.
Using common safety practice of a car raised on jacks and the proper pie plate internal spring style you'll do fine
You just have to be a diligent searcher. Hope this helps. Good Luck. Post some before and afters.

How to use a Klann KL-0025 spring compressor
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1338841-spring-compressor-action.html
 

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How do I make it "not-dangerous"? haha
Oh...and define dangerous :p
If you have the proffesional coil remover i.e the type which uses plates and tightens on the inside then its moderately dangerous, using the external springs which is tight but is possible if you remove other components to make room in teh front is more dangerous and I have heard of springs flying off and literally punching a hole through a wing or worse your hand!
 

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I think its fair to warn you now Steve, Negative Camber its a bitch you'll have to deal with.
With respect; A1EKG I get that your car worked sans camber adjusters and thats a good thing.
I have my car on H&R' sport springs and I needed rear camber bars to correct what the sport springs brought to the rears. P.S. Camber bars aren't cheap but they do make the tires sit flat again. Which is also big plus on traction and saves huge premature tire wear
Do a forum search it tells of what happens to alot.( Rear Camber)
The fronts; most lowers can get away with MB adj to correct camber.
Big piece to add to your dilemma; spring pads. Again, search
Every car is unique. Every drop is different.
 

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W208 CLK430 Coupe, W212 E350 Sedan
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'd really like the car to look like that ^ :p

In regards to negative camber....I've been hearing from a lot of people that I won't need to worry about that because the drop isn't that extreme?

Also, what if I don't change the spring pads?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One more question: How much of a drop will I expect with stock spring pads, and H&R sports+Bilstein Sports?
 

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Steve, I have H&R sport springs! Again, search Steve. H&R. They detail drops
You might want take a bet from those people saying no need to worry. It'll help pay for the tires you wear out at 10,ooo mi.

Pads? It all depends on the overall condition and if they're matched fr/rr. Also mi says a lot. Car can look great but they might be roasted.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, one more question. How is the ride quality with the Bilstein sports compared to stock? I think that the stock is incredibly hard and it feels like something is going to break everytime I go over a bump. Is it like that with the Bilstein sports?
 

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Wow. You got me there Steve.
Trying to be subjective about road feel isn't easy.
You say your car is hard or feels like its going to break?
If thats a true statement something on your car is F***ed up. Do you have more than 75,000 mi.? CLK's by nature are very soft and compliant. NOT in a Cadillac manner but compared to say a BMW.
My OEM suspension was great at soaking up pavement joints and wasn't harsh over even say slightly sunken manhole covers.
The H&R's and Bilstein sports are very close to that. Only drawback is you are working with a lower center of gravity and large dips that a stock has an increased height you obviously need to be more careful of. Other than that, lowered has a pretty cushy feel. Noticeably more confident and controlled than OEM.
 

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For me I researched hard like you to get the setup I needed. I wanted a compramise between looks, comfort and practicallity ( In that order) . I went with the Eibachs as people had reported a more cushioned ride then other like the H & R's. Also the coils are progressive meaning that they get firmer the more thay are compressed which is whats needed for load.

As for the pads, I have changed the back like 5 times to get it right myslef, just by some pads from Merc dealer and you can see what looks best. In the end ironically I went without pads on the back as I couldn't get it low enough to get the look I wanted, the front has number 1 pad.

Overall my car rides sweet with a nice cushion but still firm on the corners. I think if I had 19" then it would be possibly too firm, so I stuck with 18" wheels...

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If thats a true statement something on your car is F***ed up. Do you have more than 75,000 mi.? CLK's by nature are very soft and compliant. NOT in a Cadillac manner but compared to say a BMW.
The car has under 60k miles on it. I had the suspension looked at over the summer when I had the car in the shop, and they said everything looked fine. But I think that the ride is much harder than it should be for stock suspension components.


What is the average drop with H&R and Bilstein Sports? I did a search, and they all seem to be different. :confused:
 

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If your car rides as bad as you describe you've got to have blown shocks and possibly worn out ball joints. CLK's don't normally ride that harsh.
I live 20 miles from H&R HQ and asked them at length about setups. They actually make 2 different spring sets. Coupe and Cabriolet due to weight differences. Yes the Coupe spring set is .1" lower. So just make sure you get Coupe instead of Cab springs or vice versa.
If you're reading different ride heights, you 're probably looking at owner evaluations of drop skewed by changing the spring pad thickness. Otherwise the drop is all the same per model, ie Coupe, Cab.
P.S after changing to sport springs, the car takes a couple days to settle and seat before it ends at full drop. So it's not uncommon to initially have a 1/4- 1/2" side to side or fr to rr discrepancy. It all settles out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If your car rides as bad as you describe you've got to have blown shocks and possibly worn out ball joints. CLK's don't normally ride that harsh.
I live 20 miles from H&R HQ and asked them at length about setups. They actually make 2 different spring sets. Coupe and Cabriolet due to weight differences. Yes the Coupe spring set is .1" lower. So just make sure you get Coupe instead of Cab springs or vice versa.
If you're reading different ride heights, you 're probably looking at owner evaluations of drop skewed by changing the spring pad thickness. Otherwise the drop is all the same per model, ie Coupe, Cab.
P.S after changing to sport springs, the car takes a couple days to settle and seat before it ends at full drop. So it's not uncommon to initially have a 1/4- 1/2" side to side or fr to rr discrepancy. It all settles out.
I'm gonna guess that it's probably blown shocks because I just had the ball joints replaced when I had the suspension checked out.

With the original spring pads, what type of drop do you think I'll get? About 1.3" in the rear and 1.4" in the front?
 

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You'll get that and a couple months later 1.4 & 1.5. Most of the additional comes as the springs settle into the rubber spring pads
Cabs are only supposed to be 1.3, 1.4 mine settled at 1.5, 1.6 I wrote it off to the soft spring pads allowing the the spring height to sink in that much.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You'll get that and a couple months later 1.4 & 1.5. Most of the additional comes as the springs settle into the rubber spring pads
Cabs are only supposed to be 1.3, 1.4 mine settled at 1.5, 1.6 I wrote it off to the soft spring pads allowing the the spring height to sink in that much.
Wow, you've been an amazing help! :D I'll make sure to post back in this thread if I have anymore questions(I'll think of something :p)
 

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For me I researched hard like you to get the setup I needed. I wanted a compramise between looks, comfort and practicallity ( In that order) . I went with the Eibachs as people had reported a more cushioned ride then other like the H & R's. Also the coils are progressive meaning that they get firmer the more thay are compressed which is whats needed for load.

As for the pads, I have changed the back like 5 times to get it right myslef, just by some pads from Merc dealer and you can see what looks best. In the end ironically I went without pads on the back as I couldn't get it low enough to get the look I wanted, the front has number 1 pad.

Overall my car rides sweet with a nice cushion but still firm on the corners. I think if I had 19" then it would be possibly too firm, so I stuck with 18" wheels...

Good luck
Can spring pads be replaced fairly easy without a spring compressor?
 

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Can spring pads be replaced fairly easy without a spring compressor?
NOPE. The spring pad sits above the coil so you need to remove it each time.... its ok for th back though as you dont need a spring compressor
 
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