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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys:)
This is my first post and i am quite new to owning a E320 sedan , the vehicle belonged to my late father and i have decided to keep it for a while as it is in good condition and runs well , i had it serviced recently and all seems good , i purchased a set of Amg style III 18 inch rims 4x8 inch at a very good price and had them fitted today with Dunlop Fast response 235x40x18 tyres all round , the ride is fine and feels good but as i have read the wheel arch gap seems quite large , i do not want to mod the suspension with new springs as i am not after a sports machine just a nice neat ride . I have read that you can swap the suspension pads which will lower it slightly at minimal cost , i think something like 5 down to 1 ? sorry for my ignorance on this but have no experience in lowering.
The Amgs look great just a bit to much height. would changing just the pads make a pleasant difference to the height appearance ? , the car came with standard 16 inch alloy rims , quite nice but a bit dated.;)
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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Sorry about the loss, but glad you're keeping the car around.

Hop into the stickies and you'll find lots of info, including about this.

You probably have threes in the front and going to ones will only gain you 1/3 of an inch or so. I installed Eibachs, and the drop to the front was perfect (about an inch) with barely any effect on ride quality. Of course I'm on 17s, so it might be a bit harsher with 18s. You could also cut off one coil, so you'd maintain close to your original spring rate; use the search function as there are several threads on that.

Good luck.
 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply , yes i thought that may be the case with the pad change , i am just worried about playing with things to much , as i am based in the N.W of Tasmania this is not really M.B country mostly 4wd and utes , and not many performance places that work on M.b . i am also wary of doing to much in case i decide to sell into the future , there is no market for hotted up mercedes around here ;) just thought a simply reversed option may be available .
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
Likewise condolences .

To do a lowering, just replacing pads won't do it.
At most (if you already have a #5 pad) you can drop to a #1. You only drop 1/2 inch if that.
Mine was done by a coil cut of 3/4 twist of the coil. It dropped it 2". You need the Klaan style spring compressor to remove the springs (fronts are a pain without it).
2" allows for no change in shocks and the ride is not hindered, (unless you want to run the cones in a road course). Actually in my case the ride was the same, and the handling improved some in corners.
Many would argue this is a cheap way of doing it. I didn't listen and am very pleased with the results. With 18" wheels, verify wheel and tire clearances.

aardvark
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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Oh, and you will see some internal tire wear. Camber arms are the next mod needed.
 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice , seems like there are a few issues with lowering eg ; camber , pot hole risks , and tyre wear . I think i might just live with the extra height look for now . The colour is metalic grey ( so the gap is not to me as prevalent as on a white Benz ).
 

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I think she looks fine just like that. It's not really noticeable until you're right on it and if your roads are not in great shape, you want the extra ground clearance, too. Even a rock or piece of wood can do lots of damage if you don't have the clearance to get over it!

And I love those wheels on the 210 chassis, btw, and even better on that color. :thumbsup:
 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the thumbs up Gregs210 :)
Yes the roads can be a bit rough in places and we have a small population here on the island with lots of wildlife so it is not uncommon to round a curve and a dead possum or wallaby be there so the extra clearance is a big advantage , sorry about the pics in the last post , i took them in poor light last night in the garage :eek:. I took these this morning in the driveway , i think it shows it in a more natural state . ;) I am really pleased with these rims its just what the girl needed .:D , thanks again for all the advice it has been a great help.
All the best from Tasmania the island state of Australia. :)
 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #10
Just a quick side note of info , i checked the front pads today and they appear to be #5 pads , i read in another forum that the avantguard springs are smaller than the elegance springs in length is this true ? and would it be worth replacing the elegance springs with the avantguard springs with say #1 pads all round , sorry if this sounds like i'm going in circles its just that the nearest MB supplier is 200km from where i live and there are not many auto shops nearby that work on M.B suspensions.
 

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There was supposedly a Sport model as well, which had a lowered stance. Mine seemed to meet that criteria in ride height. I don't any longer have quick access to my measurements, but they have been listed in prior posts, and a search might be prudent.
My friend has a E-420 and it sat high by comparison, and I teased him that he had a 4wd Benz. Not so, but his sat tall.

Measure from the high part of the fender lip to center of the wheel (both front and rear) record those numbers and proceed to do a comparison.

I simply needed to cut 3/4 twist off the coil, to get a 2" drop, to set me quite low. It meant even the shocks would work without replacement. Others are in need of more drastic measures.
 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #12
Checked the ride height on the front and rear , centre of rim to top of the wheel arch today. Front is 385mm rear is 372mm does this sound about the normal height ? Cheers.:)
 

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1996 E320 Avantgarde
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hey mate,

I am in QLD and I have an E320 Avantgarde, I also heard that the Avantgarde springs were shorter than the Elegance/Classic. Not sure how much though, have been unable to confirm.

For reference, here are some pics of my car on 18s too.

Looks around an inch or so lower than yours?



 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #14
Hey there
Year does look a bit lower for sure , nice looking too : ) That ride height would suit fine , any idea what pads you have on the front ? mine are #5 (21mm) have not checked rear as did not have torch handy , fronts are easy to see in daylight with full lock turn , How do you find your rims to ride on vs stock 16 inch , if you have time can you do me a favour and measure the height from centre of rim to top of wheel arch front and back on yours and let me know , mine measures from centre cap to top of wheel arch 385 mm on the front and 372 mm on the rear . I had standard 16 inch m.b rims which are now in the shed . Cheers. Phil . Tassie . :))
 

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1996 E320 Avantgarde
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Hi mate,

I've just had a measure of mine, and the numbers are as follows:

350mm Front
345mm Rear.
 

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Mercedes Benz E320 W210 1996
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Discussion Starter #16
Hey mate
Thanks for getting those heights to me , ok's so 35mm difference in ride height all round yours vs mine , is your suspension completely stock ? if so it will give me a clear difference between Elegance vs Avantgarde for stock suspension springs , just need to find out what spring pads you have ? , if you turn your steering to full lock and shine a torch on the pad there should be a number of small pips from 1-5 . My front pads are #5 (21mm)
Cheers. Phil. :)
 

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1996 E320 Avantgarde
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yeah my suspension is standard at the moment.

I'll have a look at the spring pads tonight when i get home from work.
 

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1996 E320 Avantgarde
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Hey mate, just had a look at my spring pads, the fronts are Number 2.

Which is lower? number 1 or number 5??

Hope this helps mate, I found that Kmac will make new springs to any height you want.

I was quoted $518 delivered. Just need to get a tool to install them, or pay a mechanic.

I'm looking to go another 2" lower than it is now.

:)
 

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A #1 pad is the thinnest, and going up.
A 2" drop can be achieved by doing a coil cut of ~3/4 twist.
Save your $500 for something important. Many purists don't like the cut idea, but from my experience it gives a stock ride and cornering is slightly better (lower center of gravity?) When you buy aftermarket springs you deal with their spring rate, and stock ride goes away generally unless they are trying to match it (unlikely). Many aftermarkets are set up for performance applications. Same with shocks. Blisteins as an example will give you a stiffer ride.

With a 2" drop, shock length works. No need for change.

Be forewarned, your camber will be effected (a good place for that $500, camber arms)

And yes, you will need the clamshell style spring compressor, especially for the fronts.

aardvark
 

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Oh, and cutting tip. A cutting wheel and keep it cool in the process. Don't torch em off.
 
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