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2000 E320 4Matic Sedan
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a front end clunk which my local mechanic has diagnozed as a shot shock. He says that he can't do the work himself because he doesn't have the specialty tool and suggested I go to the dealer. Dealer estimate: $1700 (parts and labor) front shocks replacement.
E320 4Matic MY2000 Sedan - 125,000 miles

Any advice for this mechanical dunderhead gratefully received.
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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5,019 Posts
4matics uses coilover type design ie spring coil is coaxially located above the
shock. nonetheless, presuming one would reuse the spring (yes, it does require
removal with task specific tool) labor proposed comes to over a grand....just for
the fronts. but daa-yum! it is trickier to remove shock/spring from the 4matic
as well (vs 15-30 mins in a RWD E320 and about $250 for shocks). I dont have
access to flat rate manual right now so will defer to a 4matic owner here.
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
Honestly , I would be replacing the links at a price of about $15.oo a side, if the part is anything like my 96 E-320. I had a front end rattle (clunk) and made the mistake of replacing any and most of the front end, and found out it was those links. Also the links visually showed no sign of wear, but in reality were the cause of the rattle everytime I hit the slightest bump in the pavement.
A hour at most, and an easy job.
Could it be your shocks? Yup, but my car at 145K is still on the stock shocks. Overdue for replacement(and due to be done), but they sure don't rattle or as you say clunk.

Good luck

Aardvark
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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2,946 Posts
4-matic shocks are filled with oil, so when the shock is shot, you will know when you see the oil in your garage floor. have an indie check your suspension parts. i'm not sure if the 4matics have the same stabilizer links as the rwd sedans do, but aadvark is correct, cannot tell if they are bad by looking them. once you get the old ones out you will see the rubber part deformed. they are usually the cause of the "clunk". have your mechanic change the links first, they are pretty cheap.
also autohaus has your 4matic shocks listed for $140. how much is mb charging you, $500 a piece? i;m pretty sure there are plenty of indies in boston with the right tools to do the job if you are not happy with the dealer price.
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
You will always get hosed at the dealers , price wise. I won't say they are without benefit, and can do better at warranting the work, but usually at the cost of having the same thing done twice from an Indy. There simply has to be a indy mechanic in the Boston area.
I live fairly rural and have 2 indys within 20 minutes of the house who specialize in Benz and euro rides.
I agree with tirona on the leaking. You can also bounce the car physically and see if the shock , at the mounting points are loose. Highly unlikely with all of those miles, unless the rubber mount is deteriorated or broken down with age.

Aardvark
 

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2000 E320 4Matic Sedan
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys - great advice. The dealer wants $600 for the parts and $1100 for the labor. I will start with the links and if that doesn't work take it into the dealer for a free diagnosis.
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
I think that is a good start, and if you are a DIY guy the links are an easy job.
1 bolt a pickle bar and a little dishwashing soap. Dishwashing soap? Yup. It is a good lubricant for making the rubber part slip on easier, and in the first rain, it washes off.

You also get that Lawrence Welk 60's experience when driving down the road.

Aardvark
(and plleeeaaasssee, for your sake, don't get soaked by the dealer)
 

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03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
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Your 4Matic does not use links but 4 bushings in the front. Very easy to change and they do seem to wear. When they wear, the holes in the bushings are too big for the sway bar so you hear the noise when you hit a bump or pothole. The noise is very frightening for such a little problem.

In addition to the various lubricants recommended, I prefer plumber's grease (I learned this from a a pro). It is safe for rubber and has many other uses in our cars because it repels water and can prevent corrosion.
 

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03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
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I also use it to coat the area of the rotor where the wheels touch and screws that are exposed to rain.

In my 1997 E320, the grill is fastened to the hood (shell) with these 8-mm screws that are not even galvanized. Since the pre-face lift hood (shell) has a lower frame under the chrome grill, water would sit there and rust started on these screws and spread to the lower frame. I used POR 15 to fix the little rust and coated the screws with the plumber grease before install. So far so good after a few years since I did it.
 
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