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2008 ML550 /// 2003 E320 /// 2013 CLS 550 (renntech)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I just wanted to post this after reading other people's horror stories on here about the ML not sitting level , riding way to hard, bouncing all over the road. I have lowered/raised every single car I have ever owned, and could not figure out why this one was so horrible (or so I thought after reading other peoples threads)..

Guess what...ITS NOT! Other people must have either had, POOR INSTALL or just half ass wrong!

Now here is the skinny on springs. H&R will give you a 1.4" and 1.9" drop back/front respectivly. Eibach will give you 1.4" all around. H&R are notorious for being a SPORT spring and ride very hard. Eibach have a more comfortable ride compared to other springs, BTW Eibach is also the manufacturer for brabus on this vehicle. (that should tell you enough as it is)

So for my drop (ML550) I decided to go with The eibachs and took my springs north a hour to my buddies shop.

The ugly: a normal spring compressor will not work on this spring , the compression of the spring is soo incredibly high your liable to break it. If your going to drop it the normal route, you should probably go with a MB style spring compressor.

The Bad: By just disconecting your Suspension, and taking off your calipars and rotors..the suspension will not drop low enough to get the spring out. Your going to also have to take out the axle (on the front end).

The Good: You dont NEED a MB style sping compressor... you can simply use the weight of the car to compress the spring. For example on the font put your spring and Strut into place, place a block of wood under the suspension, and then slowly lower the car (making sure all stays in place). By this point you should have also tigthend spring into engine bay (obviously it is not compressed so you will not be able to tighten strut)....As the car lowers it will push the bolt for the strut up thru the springs and into the engine bay, tighten down bolt. The raise the car back up... At this point you can now unbolt the spring from the engine bay, drop the compressed srping enough to place the factory plate back on top of it (to cover strut bolts)...then re-tighten spring in engine bay. Then put your whole suspension back together and your on to the other side. On the rear you simply need to loosen the suspension and sway bar and shock and drop it far enough to remove the spring. Place the new spring in, then use weight of car to tighten up suspension and place your bolts back in.

Total time was about 5-6 hours....but that had the learning curve of the sping compressor not working of about a hour and some lunch.

As for Ride: IT DRIVES GREAT. As comfortable as stock, stiffer on the corners...and obviously bigger bumps like pot holes and speed bumps are hard due to the shorter compressed spring. But would NEVER go back to stock due to ride quality being worse, because its not, its better. I am a 2x back surgery patient, and this is perfectly fine on my back..NOT HARD AT ALL. Do not freak out by reading amature installs that did not work, and then the person blaming the spring. I can vouch for Eibachs with a PROPER install...will give you the car and ride height you want.

**EDIT--this car comes with leveling shims on top of each spring, BE SURE TO REPLACE THEM IN THE ORDER YOU FOUND THEM. If memory serves, the drivers side has 2 shims 1 thick, 1 thin....the passenger side has 3 shims... 1 thick, 1 thin, and 1 super thin. I garuntee some aftermarket shops for other people have tossed theese aside or screwed them up putting them back in.



Will try to grab some pictures later today
 

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2008 ML550 /// 2003 E320 /// 2013 CLS 550 (renntech)
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Discussion Starter #2
Attached are the photos from the 2008 ML550 with 1.4" drop all around with Eibachs. Ride is GREAT..not to hard at all. Much less body roll.

20x10 Forged wheels comming in the next couple weeks (getting custom made)

I know some of you are going to give me crap about not going with 22's...but here are my reasons.

1)22's ride very hard with the little amount of a sidewall
2) worse on gas mileage and less power to the ground (rolling resistence)
3) I am not planning on being in a rap video
 

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09 ML350, 07 E350 (sold)
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Looks good Mavrick! I have 22's on my ML. My ride is really not that hard. Far from factory, but not that hard. I'll see if I post a pic.
 

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2008 ML550 /// 2003 E320 /// 2013 CLS 550 (renntech)
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Discussion Starter #5
Hopefully I did these right. I enclosed two pics
Lou...looks good man. I have just seen some pretty hideous 22's that look horrible. Yours look pretty good (really sharp color combo). In all honesty I have to keep the ride as soft as possible, I have a 6 inch rod in my back and 6 more screws... so while in my younger days I would have jumped on the 22's..now I am too screwed up to take the hard ride.


I am also theorizing that people who put 22's on the same time as they do the springs, must have one hell of a shock...instead of doing it one at a time to see where most of the "stiffness" comes from. There were so many people on here complaining how hard the ride was with lowering springs, I am not sure what the hell they were talking about. The ride is awesome. I have lowered or raised any car or truck I have owned...this one was no different.
 

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09 ML350, 07 E350 (sold)
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Thks! I hear you Mavrick. I live in Tampa, FL. Here they put big hideous wheels on anything. Look up Donks & see for yourself.
 

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2008 ML550 /// 2003 E320 /// 2013 CLS 550 (renntech)
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thks! I hear you Mavrick. I live in Tampa, FL. Here they put big hideous wheels on anything. Look up Donks & see for yourself.
LOL funny you say that...I picked up mine in Sarasota, FL.... the guy had 22" chrome wheels on it. He thought I was on crack when I asked him to put the AMG's back on it. I figured they had more a resale value, then the chrome things. Just cant wait to get my 20x10 gunmetal forged concave wheels. Then I gotta figure how how I want to do paint on the rest of the car..thought about taking off some of the chrome (came with it)...and painting side steps gunmetal to match wheels...

So far all I have done is:
lower it, smoked tailights, smoke side mirror lights, Tinted all windows and front windshield(50%), painted grill to match AMG
 

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09 ML350, 07 E350 (sold)
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I'm sure it's gonna look bad ass! Don't forget to post pics of the finished project.

All I've done so far to my ML besides suspension & wheels, I switched out my tail-lights, upgraded my headlights with an H.I.D. Kit & I swapped out all my speakers & head unit.
 

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2006 ML 500 Capri Blue & 2011 E 350 Iridium Silver
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What headunit did you use to replace the COMAND unit? Brand of speakers? Any drawbacks with the head unit (i.e., interface with displays, satellite radio, etc.)?
 

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09 ML350, 07 E350 (sold)
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What's up KY,

I replaced my factory head unit with the: Kenwood DNX9980HD. Did not activate the satellite radio. It's a waste of money in my opinion. Speakers: 6.5 Image Dynamics Component Speakers. No drawbacks what so ever.
 

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hello member Mavrick77, i own a 2008 ML350 with some 22 inch rims on it....after replacing the stock wheels with the aftermarket wheels, i noticed that the space between the tires and wheel wells got even bigger, so i wanted to lower my car. I did some research on here and noticed just about everyone saying that they had bad experiences lowering their ML's except for you. After reading your post on here, i have gained a new boat of confidence for wanting to lower my ML350 without fearing that i will need to replace the shocks in 6 months or something else going wrong. Could you please inform me what all i have to buy? Should i just buy a set of Eibach springs off of ebay and take it to a shop? or are there additional parts that i would need to buy? Also, you said that it took you 5-6 hours to complete this task..is this how i should calculate shop cost if i were to buy the springs and take them to a shop to have them installed for me? please share with me as much information as possible so that if i do decide to go through with this, i will save myself from as many problems as possible..thank you very much

this is the gap im talking about --->
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hello member Mavrick77, i own a 2008 ML350 with some 22 inch rims on it....after replacing the stock wheels with the aftermarket wheels, i noticed that the space between the tires and wheel wells got even bigger, so i wanted to lower my car. I did some research on here and noticed just about everyone saying that they had bad experiences lowering their ML's except for you. After reading your post on here, i have gained a new boat of confidence for wanting to lower my ML350 without fearing that i will need to replace the shocks in 6 months or something else going wrong. Could you please inform me what all i have to buy? Should i just buy a set of Eibach springs off of ebay and take it to a shop? or are there additional parts that i would need to buy? Also, you said that it took you 5-6 hours to complete this task..is this how i should calculate shop cost if i were to buy the springs and take them to a shop to have them installed for me? please share with me as much information as possible so that if i do decide to go through with this, i will save myself from as many problems as possible..thank you very much

this is the gap im talking about --->
yea man trust me I was in the same boat as you...after reading the horror stories I couldn't figure out what made this car so different. I have raised or lowered at least 5 other cars/trucks without a hitch.

I went with eibach because I have Always used them, and offer the most comfortable ride. lets be honest with the HR, the only difference your going to get is .4-.5 inch in the front, for a much harsher ride.

As for your 22's...they are going to produce a bit stiffer ride anyhow, due to lack of sidewall in your tire.. but shouldn't be too horrible.

With my buddy and I working on it, it was about 6 hours... without the proper spring compressor and having to use the trucks body weight to compress the spring. If you take it to a proper shop, they should have a MB style spring compressor. MB springs are wound very tight, and normal spring compressors can't get between the gap without "modification".... on the fronts a normal spring compressor works betcause you dont need to go between the gaps in the springs because of the shocks, but make sure its a VERY VERY sturdy spring compressor...as they are EXTREMELY compressed, and we had to stop due to the fact it was bending the 1" steel bars in our spring compressor and my buddy didn't feel like having another spring hit him in the face (accident a few years ago)

A MB dealership will probably round up to 8 hours (I think the time the software my buddy has estimated it at)...as shops charge by estimated hours, not real hours (sucks yes).

Before you take it to any shop, just make sure you label your springs...Fronts from rears (fronts are longer)..just in case you have some moron working. And tell them to put the shims back in at the proper angle and order they were in before, they have to sit a very specific way, but they also have holes that line them up so I dont know how they could screw this up....but other people had problems, so I could only assume they did.

As for EBAY..I would make sure you go to a dealer site and make sure the part numbers line up with what they sell you on ebay. Ebay can save you 20 bucks, sometimes, but may just be worth the price of getting them off a reputable site. You should need no other parts besides the springs.

If all is done well you will notice a slighty stiffer ride over speed bumps, but for normal road driving should almost be the same, with the corners alot better.

only downside I have had is I am taking my car to the dealership tommorow to get the negative camber fixed (part of lowering a car)...and on HUGE bumps you might hit the bumpstop in the rear, I have only done it once, and it was very minor.

I hope this helps some, have no fear, if done properly this car drives like a dream with eibachs
 

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after you are done with the dealership, please let me know the cost to fix the negative camber and also if they found any other problems linked to the lowering of your car.. thank you, alot of help :D
 

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MB camber bolts don't always work to solve negative camber caused by lowered front springs. I bought a set and installed them for our W208 after lowering it. It helped but didn't fix it 100%. it was much better. Not back to spec, but better. The front and rear both need + camber and if you drop +\- 2" it's a good idea to cut the oem bumstops to give back some needed travel distance or buy poly bumpstops made for sport/lowered rides. This adds comfort and pays for itself reversing premature tire wear caused by front and rear negative camber.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
after you are done with the dealership, please let me know the cost to fix the negative camber and also if they found any other problems linked to the lowering of your car.. thank you, alot of help :D
Just wanted to keep you updated about the dealership....

Well when they checked the Toe, cast, and camber...ALL were way out of allignment and in the red.

they were able to get the toe perfect, the cast perfect, but the camber was too far out. Even the MB aftermarket bolts would not have worked the tech told me. However he was able to bring it in to only about 3 degree's out of camber, that I can live with. Car drives much better and gas mileage has gone up 1.5mpg...toe must have been extremly out to hurt my gas mileage as much as it did.

I strongly recomend even if you can't get camber perfect, have MB do a allignment so at least your cast and toe are perfect due to the fact they were extremely effected by the lowering as well.

p.s. i did find 2 other shops that will do MB allignments, however they were also about 170-180, plus tax. So you should probably just let the dealer do it for same price. Btw the dealer recommends you have the stock wheels on when they do it, as there equipment is set up for thoose wheels

Hope this helps some.
 

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After doing quite a few of these, honestly they should've been able to dial down the - camber significantly more than -3 you quoted. Camber bolts could've taken it down to probably -1, -1.5. It's actually worth it

Did they give you a spec sheet with your drive-in condition? Thats basically (-3) how you drove it in like and they merely adjusted toe
On my own W164 (ML500) I have lowered 1& 7/8" in the front. I'm only sitting at -1.8*
Castor is static, it isn't and shouldn't be changed. So from a third party, tech level assessment it sounds like you paid $180 bucks for an expensive toe-in setting.
 
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