Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All:

I just completed about 2 weeks / 700 miles on the new KYB Monomax Front Shocks.

Road Test Report:

Total success !

I love the improvement over the oem twin tube KYB's - which seemed to favor plush over precision.

Now, with this HD MonoMax upgrade, the ride is firm, but not at all harsh.

Gone is any sense of uncertainty when entering a turn, just responsive eagerness.

It is truly amazing how much ride, roll & pitch is upgraded.

Suspension dive on decelleration or squat upon acceleration are decreased.

And, heres the kicker - $50 per shock !

That's quite a bit less than the only other HD Monotube front shock offered: the Bilstein B6 @ $130 ea.

I was wondering if there might be another option.

Backstory:

I called KYB Tech support and had a lengthy discussion with Guna, told him about the ML / w163, how they get driven hard & are heavy rigs.

He was aware that their KYB Excel G's were the factory shock.

I asked why they didn't offer a heavier duty shock, but he said 'lets look & see what COULD / SHOULD work, also' - so after searching his catalog for shock dimensions & dampening stiffness rates, he suggested:

KYB # 565102 aka "MonoMax"

This is a large piston 46mm HD shock for Trucks / SUVs.

It's normal application is for Hummer H2's and Chevy 2500 trucks, both heavier vehicles by 1500# than our ML's.

This 565102 MonoMax shock gets 4.2 / 5 stars on Amazon.

It wasn't hard to fit, as the dimensions are all within a mm or two of the OE KYB our ML's already had.

But, there are a 2 or 3 things that need doing for a perfect install.

3 Fitment notes:

1) Secure ABS & Pad Wear Sensor Wires:

The sensor wires from the hub run up each upper control arm on it's backside. Factory used 2 zip ties to secure, but it's a good idea to add 2 more inside of those and / or add Gorilla Tape over the wires, full width of upper arm.

This is mainly because this MonoMax shock uses a convoluted rubber boot that could touch the wires. I measured around 8mm of space between boot & wires, but better safe than sorry.

2) Fabricate 2 small shims to make 14mm Lower Shock Bolt Tight.

This shock has a 9/16" hole, which is .6mm larger than our 14mm Lower Shock Bolt - which matches threads in LCA and thus cannot be changed.
No Matter - just take a commonly available 'Plastic Kitchen Cutting Mat' and snip out a small piece for each shock. (Thanks, Honey !)

These mats are common in housewares ailes - got ours at Walmart.
It measures .5mm thick, and a piece 22mm x 35mm was ideal to make bolt perfectly tight in hole. Just roll that piece insert in hole, bolt should now tightly fit thru shock hole. Don't worry this piece will stay in place once shock is bolted onto Lower Control Arm.

Obviously if you use slightly thicker or thinner of a 'Plastic Cutting Mat' you can change shim dimensions to fit. My pictures should make this clear.

3) Cut 'Shock Top Nut Access Flap' to ease Install / Future Shock Service
(Optional Step but helps ease of access)

When replacing shocks, to eliminate hassle of Inner Fender Liner removal, or lack of room beside engine, just use straight type Tin Snips or similar 'tough scissors' to make 2 Vertical cuts 1" outside of "shock top" and going up 3-4". Don't make a top cut, as you want the Flap to remain in place.

I then drilled 2 small holes in adjacent lower corners to secure flap between services, using 2 zip ties. To hold flap up while servicing, you can even use a zip tie thru 1 corner hole to an upper point.

On one side, there is a tin heat shield inside plastic fender liner - I cut thru that too, and then both get bent upwards to service, down to secure.

This 'Access Flap' can be seen in the posted pictures.

End of Fitment notes.

I've tried to cover all the bases here, but please post & ask if anything is unclear.

I did shoot a detailed install video but my Smartphone lost footage on accident so I'll try to re-shoot an abbreviated install / ride test video in next 2 weeks or so.

This ML500 now handles almost as sharp as the E-wagon - a welcome improvment.


Thanks David in Texas

20190820_174543.jpg
20190820_175029.jpg
20190820_175049.jpg
20190820_174729.jpg
20190820_174743.jpg
20190820_175018.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Here is a slightly milder version of the KYB MonoMax - the KYB KG5782 Gas--a-Just also a Monotube so a performance upgrade over OEM.

Its dimensionally same (a bit smaller diameter) with hard rod cover instead of a rubber boot as my MonoMax 565102 upgrade I covered above.

So fitting it would be even easier just shim the lower bolt + cut shock install flap if you wish - done.

At just $35 ea it's a sweet deal.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000EQ8GZ6/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_8?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

41IT7E9SJ3L._AC_SY400_.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
Nice edit David,

Read this a few nights ago and Im liking what you've written up on the 565102s. Haven't spent too much time on the 'to dos' on ml500 last few weeks. Got this on the bucket list.
I certainly appreciate your share on this find of yours. (y)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Nice edit David,

Read this a few nights ago and Im liking what you've written up on the 565102s. Haven't spent too much time on the 'to dos' on ml500 last few weeks. Got this on the bucket list.
I certainly appreciate your share on this find of yours. (y)
Thanks for the "flowers" Khomer.

Yeah I like doing 'mild custom' mods that are unique.

This one is pretty 'dead simple' - and it's on a 'wear item' that we need to periodically replace anyhow.

I have to hand it to the KYB Tech Support guy, Guna, he dug up which KYB Upgrade Monotubes would fit.

He did say that other than the bottom bolt hole being a 9/16 inch vs 14mm the shocks are identical dimensionally with just stronger dampening on the Gas-A-Just and Monomax VS the MB OE KYB Twin Tube 349226 fitted at factory.

I belive he said that the Monomax would support heavier loads, whereas the Gas-A-Just would have a faster reaction time at Highway speeds, due to intermal valving differences.

Hoping someone here who already has worn out front shocks gives these KYB KG5782 Gas-a-Just a try out.

I mean, for $35 each you can't beat that with a stick, as these are quality Japan shocks, not some Monroes that will blow out in a year.

In fact, ourr w210 has this Gas-A-Just Monotubes on the Front and I've been flogging them for a long while now 4 years / 60k miles still tight and bright, as they say.

I bet your bucket list gets pretty full as summer draws to a close up in the 'great white North', eh ?

Here, we'll still be sweating until Oct 1 !

Cheers - David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I might just give the Gas-a-Just shocks a try. I love Bilsteins, but they are painfully expensive and I missed a used set at my local self-service boneyard.

Now the big question: what options do we have for the rear shocks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I might just give the Gas-a-Just shocks a try. I love Bilsteins, but they are painfully expensive and I missed a used set at my local self-service boneyard.

Now the big question: what options do we have for the rear shocks?
Sam: You had to ask the HARD question, didn't you !?

We were hoping you had an idea on that one.

Are your Rears worn out or OK ?

I think the main really only HD option for the Rear is the Bilstein B6 HD, which as you said are 'painfully expensive' but maybe if one SAVES on the Front by going KYB MonoMax that helps pay for the rears ?

Speaking personally, I opted for the 'SACHS' by ZF complete units @ $185 ea side.

They also had a paper tag on them that read KYB - I don't know what to think about that. I guess it's OK as both companies are solid. I just want them to feel right and last long.

The ride quality for these rears is ideal, just right. and they seem to match well with the new HD Monomax Fronts.

Probably too early for 'last long' assessment.

They were installed 14 months ago and its 20k so far.

Also an aspect of this is: You can save $$$ if wiliing to wrestle the Rears into place yourself.

I didn't want to so it was $450 for me to pay an INDY shop. A DIY guy gains a big advantage there.

Changing out the spring & mount parts can also save, but not much. I think the SACHs inserts were only $60 less so it seemed like a 'wash' on savings, and thats more true if your spring & mounts are rusted or compromised.

I didn't run across too many who did this - guessing because the spring is an odd tight coil shape and the right spring compressor is hard to find.

As I recall only 4wd specific shops tend to have the right kind.

Anyhow, that's what I've discovered. Love to hear others ideas along these lines...

David in Texas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I don’t know if the rear shocks are worn out or not, but I’m guessing they aren’t great at 21 years and 227k miles. Since I’m replacing all of the suspension wear parts as part of my swap to the ML500 brakes, leaving two original shocks in place seems silly.

On a similar note, one of the rear hatch struts (which were also original) blew a seal while I was under the car last week. I was very confused for a minute about the source of the hissing, until I looked up and saw a mist spraying out between the shaft and tube of the strut, and the hatch slowly dropping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
I don’t know if the rear shocks are worn out or not, but I’m guessing they aren’t great at 21 years and 227k miles. Since I’m replacing all of the suspension wear parts as part of my swap to the ML500 brakes, leaving two original shocks in place seems silly.

On a similar note, one of the rear hatch struts (which were also original) blew a seal while I was under the car last week. I was very confused for a minute about the source of the hissing, until I looked up and saw a mist spraying out between the shaft and tube of the strut, and the hatch slowly dropping.
When you say swapping brakes, we assume you do not have an ML500, correct?
If not an ML500, then what do presently ride?

SO when you say "brakes", do you mean you are planning to swap out the front discs (only) and the calipers to an ML500 setup? Rear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
When you say swapping brakes, we assume you do not have an ML500, correct?
If not an ML500, then what do presently ride?

SO when you say "brakes", do you mean you are planning to swap out the front discs (only) and the calipers to an ML500 setup? Rear?

That’s an older thread. I pulled the complete hub and brake assemblies from a wrecked ML500 in a junkyard to install on my 98 ML320. Since most of the boots are crumbling on the 320’s various ball joints, I’m replacing all of the wear parts as part of the swap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
864 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I love threads like this... thanks for the information David @2000 E 320 White Wagon
Sure amgdvi:

I think modestly difficult 'custom' mods are fun. This one is a no brainer.

At most order KYBs of either type via Amazon & ask wife If you have permission to cut small snippet of plastic .5mm kitchen mat material - or hit up a Wallymart & get it.

We just got back from our first major 'Interstate Flog' in the ML500 - 1200 miles round trip to Destin, FL loaded with 5 of us + car top carrier.

Road manners were impeccable - and the large road 'humps' in Louisiana, that made the rear end do the 'momba' last years trip were not even discernible.

They were so irritating last year that I had the Rears installed immediately after that trip.

So, very good to have loaded her up heavily & feel safe @ 75 mph.

BTW, 16 mpg overall, acceptiable considering drag of car top carrier.

SAM, there is a better than even chance those are not original rears on your rig @ 220k miles

My rears were original and at 130k miles the rear would continuously bounce over pavement undulations and bottom on large dips. It literally made you drive gently lest you bounce overmuch.

Does yours behave like that or better ?

Cheers - David in East Texas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I haven’t driven it yet. Transmission is out. All four shocks appear to be the Mercedes-branded KYBs, I have not checked the date codes.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top