Main.TrailIndexPage | Suspension | Springs


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Old Yahoo content

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Has anyone replaced a front spring? In true MB fasion, is there a special tool for compressing the spring? I need to tackle this job and am wondering is it one I'm better off paying an "expert" to do.

I was told by an experienced mechanic that the height of the rear springs can be adjusted by turning the cup that holds the spring rubber mount and spring itself. Apparently there are several screws that must be removed that allow this cup to turn. Does anyone have any experience with this?

That is actually the camber adjustment. Very little change. Ride height can be raised by changing the uppper pads. They come in various thicknesses. You can also change the outer rubber seat to the cross spring. Get the thickest one they make.

Sorry, the height can not be changed by rotating the cub and rubber. As previously reported, you can only change the height by putting thicker upper rubber on the spring. The process of getting the spring out is not difficult. Jack up the car, unscrew the control arm from the floorboard and slowly let it down. The spring then comes right out. The most difficult part of the whole proces is getting the contol arm reattached to the floorboard. Leave the changing of the cross spring to an experienced mechanic. Removing it is tricky since it is under tension. You really need the proper spring compressor. Putting it back on is a real trick and again just a little dangerous with the spring under tension.

I have heard from somewhere before that the adjustment for the spring heights is changed by simply rotating the spring and the rubber boot ends while on the car. The camber is also affected by this. You will need to release the bottom end of the shocks to get the spring loose enough to turn it by hand.

Sometimes it feels like either my springs are too soft or too unflexible when running into potholes or highway/road joints. How do I know if my springs have bocome worn without de-installing them?

I really don't know how to check the condition of the springs does anyone out there know how to tell whether springs are worn, is this something to be concerned about or do they in principle last "forever"? Someone mentioned they replaced the rear suspension compensator spring and it improved things, so perhaps the main springs also deteriorate over time.

Yes, my understanding is that springs deteriorate over time. Not necessarily as a result of mileage either; it could be from age as well.

Pete Lesler: the 113-321-0404 springs were standard. I would be curious if the 110 springs, which must have been specified on the very early cars, were slightly shorter. The optional springs were intended for harsher road conditions and were usually used with 15 inch wheels, therefore they are taller and stiffer. They will not help in lowering your front end. If this is really a problem, you can try to find a shorter pair of 110 or 113 SL springs, or buy a set of shorter Hypercoil springs. Hypercoil makes a spring that is nearly identical to the original size MB spring, and can be specified as shorter. Others have heated the springs to lower the car, but I don't recommend it. I used Hypercoils on my vintage 230SL racecar and along with 205-60-14 race rubber, it is much lower than stock.

Wonder if anyone on the list has any experience with progressive rate springs for their w113. I am interested in retaining the soft ride that I enjoy on the highway while improving (tightening) cornering and overall handling of the car. I have tried the poly bushings but there is somewhat of a trade off between comfort and handling. I am not planning on racing the car or doing autocross. I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too. Anyone have any experience with these springs?

I just installed progressive rate springs on my car. The difference in all around driving is remarkable. When cruising on the highway, the ride is soft, not floating, but smoother than the stock suspension. Long distance driving will be much more enjoyable with the new springs. Braking no longer causes the forward plunge, which is a real problem with the stock springs. Stopping is straight and strong. Cornering-hard to describe, other than tight, very tight. Just doing a 360 in the parking lot at low speed is noticeably different. Quick maneuvering from lane to lane is substantially enhanced. The only negative I see is that, while the springs measured the same as my existing springs (other than the compensating spring), the car sits up noticeable higher. The springs don't give as much, thus the weight of the engine and fuel tank with fuel do not compress the springs as much. I think I will end up preferring the look of the car with a little more height, but I was taken back by the increase in stance-looks like the car is on steroids! This is the single most meaningful enhancement I have made to this car. For those interested, I bought the springs from John Olson, SLMarket Newsletter.

That sounds great. I'll put it on my wish list for the future. Aren't there different thickness rubber spring mounts? Perhaps you could get thinner mounts to drop the car down the slightest bit. I don't recall the thicknesses, we could be talking only a couple millimeters here, which would not be worth the effort.

There are different thickness rubber spacers for the front and the rear shocks. The thicknesses vary from 20 mm to 32,5 mm in 2,5 mm increments (front) and, for the rear, 18, 24 and 30 mm are available. I checked two different sources, other suppliers may have more thicknesses (although this already seems quite a wide range that can significantly alter the car's height). A full set of 4 will cost around $100 or a little less. Also don't forget the rear bottom cups that the shocks sit in - they're three-way adjustable as well. I guess this all goes back to the discussion of how high/low the car should "sit" and what the correct alignment/camber/toe etc etc settings should be. Worthwile to dig into this subject as a winter-weekend-project? Should start reading the big blue manual more.
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