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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Members,

Looking for some input from the w163 vets.

Ive been searching for an answer to the question:
Are the front torsion bars on each of the different level models (ie. ML320, ML430, ML500m, ML55) the same spring rates across each model?

Reading thru all the threads I could muster up, I haven't really found a clear answer on this.
However, in my research, I did find thru parts listings searches using VIN#s (for the different level of models), the front torsion bars ALL seem to reference to the same part #s.
As an example, shown here in the photos attached.

If they all have the same part#s (ie. part 110), then would it be a good presumption that all models use the same rate torsion bar?
I would have thought the torsion bars would have a higher spring rate with the ML55, say versus an ML320 or ML500.

If the torsion bars are the same as per the part # search, then would the OEM front shocks (and sway bars) be the only deciding factor for each models ride height and comfort level?

There was plenty of discussion back in the day on the ride heights of the various models and in particular, the ML55 model having a lower ride height and a much stiffer suspension vs the other models.
Would appreciate any input.
Cheers
 

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Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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Went through this a few years back and found the torsion bars are all the same.
I painted mine red to make it go a bit faster




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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #3
That's your swaybar that's red, matt. :)
 
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Premium Member
2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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Ahh! Yeh stupid me I thought for some reason we were talking about sway bars. Sorry!
That will teach me to reply to a topic straight after a little nanna nap. I鈥檒l go straight back to sleep.



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Premium Member
ML55 2003, ML55 2002, ML63 2007
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Painting the sway bar red also makes the car go faster......

Ok...the stiffness on the 55 comes from front torsion bar is adjusted lower + rear springs are shorter+ 285/50 tyres.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #6
Art,
I realize this, however, everyone that's adjusted to lower the front end on all other models (other than the ML55 has indicated spongey, bouncy and a less firm suspension on the front end. From the past posts on this topic, to acheive a firm, lower ride, even with shock swaps (to either hd bilsteins or the taller ride munroes, as an example) and the tire swaps from 17" to larger, the concensus from members comments was mostly a miss; front end bounciness being the main issue.
Am I missing something here when one looks at the ML55 vs the other models in its class?


Painting the sway bar red also makes the car go faster......

Ok...the stiffness on the 55 comes from front torsion bar is adjusted lower + rear springs are shorter+ 285/50 tyres.
 

Premium Member
ML55 2003, ML55 2002, ML63 2007
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Khomer, I don't know what others tried, but it doesn't make any sense. The ride can't become bouncy or spongy if one drops the height. The ride gets bouncy if you increase the height. Plus I don't think members have gone all the way by changing the springs+lower front+wider 285 tyres. Just by changing shocks one wont achieve the 55 stiffness.
Also adjusting /dropping the front while one still has the normal/non 55 springs wont achieve much.
The small differences in the 55 makes it a different breed. I had 320, 500 & now 55's. They are a different species..........
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #8
Khomer, I don't know what others tried, but it doesn't make any sense. The ride can't become bouncy or spongy if one drops the height. The ride gets bouncy if you increase the height. Plus I don't think members have gone all the way by changing the springs+lower front+wider 285 tyres. Just by changing shocks one wont achieve the 55 stiffness.
Also adjusting /dropping the front while one still has the normal/non 55 springs wont achieve much.
The small differences in the 55 makes it a different breed. I had 320, 500 & now 55's. They are a different species..........
Art, thank you for your comments.

Maybe Im getting dyslexic at my age, or maybe losing my eyesight or my mind with all the reading, or a combo. :crying
I was pretty sure ML members that had performed to some (small) degree the lowering of the front end on their ML rides (not necessarily the ML55) resulted in softer and bouncier rides vs. oem ride levels.

I've got 275s x17 oems presently on the ML500 with 285s (new toyos oem 50s on amgs) ready to shoe-on in the spring. I was planning to fiddle with the ride height, but I'll see how this shoe-in fairs on the city roads before making spring, shock, torsion adjustments.
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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I lowered my 430 with H&R springs in the rear and lowering the torsion bar. bilsteins all round and the ride became very stiff , definitely not bouncy. . But shit it went round corners beautifully. My wife hated my old Ml.


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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #10
I lowered my 430 with H&R springs in the rear and lowering the torsion bar. bilsteins all round and the ride became very stiff , definitely not bouncy. . But shit it went round corners beautifully. My wife hated my old Ml.


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Thanks matt,

How would you rate this vs. ML55 oem ride (if you have dirven one, of course :) )?
I presume you used HnR lowering springs in the rear?

Last year, I drove a friends (first owner) 2001 ML55 in the city for a fews days while house sitting for them and I thought it was a firm ride, cornered well for an suv, and vs. a 04 ml350.
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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Mine was much stiffer than the stock 55. My friend that bought mine went and got some 55 rear struts for it and swapped out the H&R springs and Bilstein shocks. He said it鈥檚 much nicer to ride in than it was.


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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #13
To lower the ML320 you need the torsion bars from the ML55 along with the front strut springs....
Nope, torsion bars for the MLs are the same across the models... all the same part #s. Only the shock and spring, struts will vary.

Are you speaking from experience?
 
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2002 ML55 AMG, 5.5 liters
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Hi all,
Sorry to join this conversation late. Can someone post the stock ride height for the 55. My 55 came with 20" tires so I increase the ride height without first measuring the stock height. The tire was rubbing the front frame whenever I went over bumps. Now the car is seriously bouncy. I have lower it to 30mm but its still a little bouncy. I'd like to know tge stock height to be able to adjust properly.
Thanks in advance.
 

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1999 ML430
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Only had my 2003 ML55 for a few months but there is a world of difference in the handling and quietness of the 55 as opposed to my 99 ML430. It truly is a different animal with all of the improvements.
It kinda caught me off guard. I was fully expecting the performance upgrade but with all the other upgrades it adds up to a totally different experience. Much, much quieter ride with the improved door seals and the suspension is much firmer.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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Can someone post the stock ride height for the 55. My 55 came with 20" tires so I increase the ride height without first measuring the stock height
What size and profile are your tires? The profile might be nonstock hence the rubbing.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter #17
Hi all,
Sorry to join this conversation late. Can someone post the stock ride height for the 55. My 55 came with 20" tires so I increase the ride height without first measuring the stock height. The tire was rubbing the front frame whenever I went over bumps. Now the car is seriously bouncy. I have lower it to 30mm but its still a little bouncy. I'd like to know tge stock height to be able to adjust properly.
Thanks in advance.
Here are 3 links of many - Read here Lord Braska,

Post#147 - ML ride height specs

Our 02 ML500 on the 18" ML55 monoblocks 285 50 toyos - coil-over rear struts / oem front springs (still)
Ground to underside of flare - Frt 32" Rear 32.5"
The ride is slightly better than an oem ML55 - (but dont forget, it's still a truck)

I can't imagine what a w163 with 20" (lower profile tires) rides like. You must have a good dental plan. :)

Here's an example of 20"
Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 7.54.54 AM.png
 

Registered
2002 ML55 AMG, 5.5 liters
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Here are 3 links of many - Read here Lord Braska,

Post#147 - ML ride height specs

Our 02 ML500 on the 18" ML55 monoblocks 285 50 toyos - coil-over rear struts / oem front springs (still)
Ground to underside of flare - Frt 32" Rear 32.5"
The ride is slightly better than an oem ML55 - (but dont forget, it's still a truck)

I can't imagine what a w163 with 20" (lower profile tires) rides like. You must have a good dental plan. :)

Here's an example of 20"
View attachment 2644713
Thanks Khomer2 for the links. There are a lot of mix messaging in those forums. In my experience raising the vehicle height leads to very bouncy experience. Just lowering my ride height to 30mm makes a world of difference. The ride is still a little bouncy but I will observe for a week and lower accordingly until the desired height is achieved.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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An 2003 ml 55 would in had 285/50-18

Circumference is 29.2. & 11.2 wide

Your 275/45 -20 =
29.7 and 10.8 wide.

So It seems that tire size should be fine.

You check for a broken rear spring? If I remember correctly you recently were looking to change them?
 
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