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ML320 2002
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Believe it or not, but my 20 years old rear shock absorbers are still original ! Only parts I replaced in the rear suspension were control arm bushings and sway bar links. Recently, ML had to sit on deflated rear passenger tire for 2 weeks while I was away. Since I came back, I am experiencing bouncy rides which seems to be due to rear suspension. After 20 years, I suppose I should replace both strut assembly rather than the shocks alone. I did not see DIY on this one.

Q1: Any tips on how to remove the top 3 nuts? Lack of space seems to be an issue.

Q2: I replaced front front shocks 2 years ago with Bilstein B4 19-293899 which is supposed to be OEM but I found Bilstein to be harsh over the bumps. It helps with less swaying during turns though. Should I go with matching Bilstein B4 struts in the rear also? Sachs is supposed to be smoother and cost $180 whereas Bilstein B4 struts 41-173435 is $325. I don't mind paying a few hundreds more if these will last 10-20 years more.

Q3: Am I supposed to buy 1633202313 or 1633202413? Online retailers are offering 2413 but my EPC v2016 shows x2313. I have a spare wheel carrier, but no Code 849.

Thanks
 

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Dallas, Texas
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Believe it or not, but my 20 years old rear shock absorbers are still original ! Only parts I replaced in the rear suspension were control arm bushings and sway bar links. Recently, ML had to sit on deflated rear passenger tire for 2 weeks while I was away. Since I came back, I am experiencing bouncy rides which seems to be due to rear suspension. After 20 years, I suppose I should replace both strut assembly rather than the shocks alone. I did not see DIY on this one.

Q1: Any tips on how to remove the top 3 nuts? Lack of space seems to be an issue.

Q2: I replaced front front shocks 2 years ago with Bilstein B4 19-293899 which is supposed to be OEM but I found Bilstein to be harsh over the bumps. It helps with less swaying during turns though. Should I go with matching Bilstein B4 struts in the rear also? Sachs is supposed to be smoother and cost $180 whereas Bilstein B4 struts 41-173435 is $325. I don't mind paying a few hundreds more if these will last 10-20 years more.

Q3: Am I supposed to buy 1633202313 or 1633202413? Online retailers are offering 2413 but my WIS v2016 shows 2313. I have a spare wheel carrier, but no Code 849.

Thanks
Let's clarify spare wheel carrier. Not spare doughnut under rear bumper.

This is spare tire carrier code 849.

Image courtesy of www.
 

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Any tricks for putting the lower control arm back? I am thinking of using a bottle jack and a wood block to raise it.
Put nuts on top of strut loose, just catch few threads. It will help to maneuver control arm back in place and align bolt holes.
 
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01 ML55
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I actually had a lot of luck from a Craftsman 1/4" ratchet about the same dimensions as a kids toothbrush. My problem was lack of torque. Trying to break those nuts loose after 17+ years (in my case) was a joke. I ended up with the 1/4" and a moving strap. I wrapped the strap around the 1/4's handle and then pulled the strap(s) towards me and was able to break the nuts free, one by one. I did strip one nut early one but it was before that method. I had to drill out that stripped nut from underneath and added hours to the job. The other side took no time at all. The ratchet wrenches do the bulk of the work buy my 1/4" 'breaker bar' was my best friend. I used that little guy earlier tonight and love it to death :)
 

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ML320 2002
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for tips guys. No, I haven't done this job, YET. I wanted to see if I can get my medium size fingers in there. I have a 13 mm ratcheting wrench which is not too long. A 2 inch mirror helped me to find the bolts. After smelling some WD40, I was able to break loose all 6 bolts! It took about an hour to figure this out from the wheel wells. I am still not sure how removing the spare donut will help.

Part number for mine is 1633202313 and I am looking for the best price for Bilstein B4 struts. Lowest I could find is $300 for each.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Yep, prices crept up across the board with everything & shortages, this last year. crazy
 

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ML320 2002
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep, prices crept up across the board with everything & shortages, this last year. crazy
Black Friday gave me 5% discount and I pulled the trigger on Bilstein struts. With the money saved, ordered Moog sway bar links which were probably getting tortured by the lack of shock absorption.
 
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