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99 SLK230 Sport 5sp
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone tried to soften the ride of the SLK230?

Yes, I know it is a sports car and it is supposed to have a firm ride, but the stiff ride is aggravating my back problems - and I'd rather soften the ride than get rid of it.

The jarring nature of the bumps is what is bothering my back. I'd like to soften the bumps and I'm willing to give up some of the sport car like handling to achieve this.

BTW, it has been years since I've driven another SLK, so I don't know how this car compares to others. I do know that the 4runner that I also drive - which is not known for a smooth ride - doesn't bother my back at all.

Thanks in advance,

-don
 

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SLK32, ML430
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6,349 Posts
First easy thing to do is check your shocks. If they are going bad this can upset the ride.

The easiest thing I can think of is going with a taller sidewall tire. Run a narrower but taller tire to keep the rolling diameter the same.
 

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2002 SLK 32 AMG
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441 Posts
I've had 9 back surgeries and to tell ya the truth, I don't think its the shocks. The problem is the SEATS, trust me on this one. Change your seat padding and the car will be a dream. I have an SLK32 which is much harder suspension than the 230, there's no lumbar in the darn car, I'm looking for a seat person in MA to do some alterations for me. If I can find one, and I have the cash to do the job, ( I haven't worked in 10 years because of all the surgeries that I've had) I'll let ya know how things work out.
 

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'01 SLK230,'93 190E 2.3, 1971 LS5 Corvette Convertible
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2,194 Posts
1999slk230 - 4/19/2005 7:02 AM

Has anyone tried to soften the ride of the SLK230?

Yes, I know it is a sports car and it is supposed to have a firm ride, but the stiff ride is aggravating my back problems - and I'd rather soften the ride than get rid of it.

The jarring nature of the bumps is what is bothering my back. I'd like to soften the bumps and I'm willing to give up some of the sport car like handling to achieve this.

BTW, it has been years since I've driven another SLK, so I don't know how this car compares to others. I do know that the 4runner that I also drive - which is not known for a smooth ride - doesn't bother my back at all.

Thanks in advance,

-don
1999slk230,

I know that 430 and others aren't going to like this reply, but I also didn't like the jarring nature of bumps in my 2001 SLK230, so when it was time for new tires I went with Goodyear Eagle GT's 'H' rated. I could tell instantly that the ride was smoother and less jarring when going over speed bumps and uneaven road surfaces. The sidewalls of the 'H' rated tires aren't as stiff as 'V' and 'Z' rated tires.
I stayed with the same recommended size for my car and will admit that the tire profile doesn't look as good as the V and Z rated tires, but the ride and longer tire life is much better for me.

The tire salesman at Sears warned me that I would not get the same "performance" out of the 'H' rated tires.
Well, I guess I'm the only SLK owner that doesn't take corners at 60 mph, so I have to slow down to 40 mph when I turn into my driveway.[:D]
 

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99 SLK230 Sport 5sp
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As I was typing the original post, it occurred to me that I hadn't even checked the air pressure in the tires... [:eek:]...since getting the car a few weeks ago (from an MB dealer).

Well, I just went out and checked and they were all in the high 40's. Highest was 49.5 in the front right.... (insert Homer's trademark whack on the head here)

I figured I'd go on the low side and try it out, so I just set them to the 33 rear/30 front as posted on the door panel. Heading out the door in a few minutes, anxious to see the difference...

-don
 

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99 SLK230 Sport 5sp
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34 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Lowering the tire pressure to 33/30 made a big difference. Also made a big difference in the handling - AND the CD player hasn't skipped yet! I'm going to inch up the pressure and see what happens.

I'm still interested in what other may have done to make their SLKs more comfortable.

I agree with the lumbar comment. First thing I did was add a a D shapped lumbar pad, although the one that I have is not large enough and doesn't stay in place well.

This a daily commuter for me, so comfort is important (and will hopefully help me put off back surgery.)[:0]

-don
 

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I would have to agree with John Boy. In addition to the air pressure solution, if combined with some improved seat padding, you might arrive at a comfortable level for yourself.
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John Boy 330xi - 4/19/2005 8:59 AM
I've had 9 back surgeries and to tell ya the truth, I don't think its the shocks. The problem is the SEATS, trust me on this one.
 
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