Well, it's going to be pretty obvious, you are trading off ride
comfort for handling. I'm not sure anyone can tell you what the right
choice is, because everyone's criteria are different.
I don't recall if they were Bilsteins or one of the other
well-regarded brands, but in a previous life I had some adjustable
shocks that allowed me to pick my own tradeoff. There was a
screwdriver adjustment on the top of the shock that allowed you to
tweak it over a wide range.
Yes, and the Koni for the 123 chassis must be removed from their mounting to
adjust them. I'm using Bilstein sport shocks on my 1980 300CD. It handles
like a sports car. Yes, I've replaced most of my front suspension parts too.
I recommend the sports shocks.
I don't know what model you have... Sport is a rare option for Mercedes.
Sport Bilstein is basically Heavy Duty with shorter shock rod designed
specifically for aftermarket lowering spring.
Comfort is what I recommends for everyone... it is nice balance of comfort
and firm ride.
Heavy Duty is much stiffer shock absorber for heavier car such as the
W140... but other than that I don't recommend them for those who wants
factory like ride.
I talked to a guy at Bilstein and Rusty at MBZ this morning and they both
recommended heavy duty on all four corners--Bilstein said they outsold all
the others 2 to 1 and that the ride would be a little less than half way
between comfort and sport--so that's what I bought.
If I made a mistake I guess I'll find out this weekend.
Ok, I chickened out on the HD shocks and exchanged them for "comfort".
Installed them today and they're just fine. Of course my old shocks were
not really doing the job so the change to the new shocks made quite a
difference. Handling is improved and there's a little more road feel but
not in a bad way. I'm glad I went with them.
BTW, I bought the shocks from Rusty in Atlanta and they were shipped out of
Ft. Lauderdale from World Pack to me in Florida, and when I returned them I
had to ship them all the way to California. Kind of a bummer.
Thanks again for all of your input.
Bilstein offers three types: Comfort, which is what most MB cars use, Heavy
Duty, which pronounces every crack in the pavement and every pebble as the
car rides along, and Sport, used only with lowering springs (Eibach or HR)
and lower profile tires. This package allows tight handling at the expense
of any comfort. Many enthusiasts want to lower the car body, especially when
moving "plus 1" (16" from 15") or "Plus2" (17"). To eliminate the "gap"
between fender and top of tire, is done by changing the spring pads.
Mercedes dealer parts windows sell them by the "bump". The different spring
pads are sold as bump1, bump2, etc., and change the height of the body. P.
The closest to OEM is the Bilstein Comfort
The closest to the OEM Sportline are the Bilstein HD. The HD is also
recommended for cars that are driven on irregular roads more than smooth
For any vehicle lowered in excess of 1.5" via shorter springs, the Sport has
a shorter piston travel and valving that will better survive the shortend
stroke of a lowered suspension.
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