2003 C240 - Eibach? H&R? KW?

Torgut

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
I have a C240 Avantgarde SE which comes with the Mercedes Sports suspension, 17" wheels and sports calipers.

I'm thinking changing the whole suspension as I find the ride too jerky. Mercedes just can't do fine handling like a BMW.
It currently sits nice and low (standard) and looks good.
But on uneven roads, which most of London is, it just can't cope.
The setup just cannot recover well or absorb uneven surfaces.
At speed, the rear steps out far too easily and not because of loss of tyre grip. It's more a stiffness that just lifts the car up if it hits a bump.
And it can very easily understeer where the weight of the car shifts across from one side to the other. Change in direction is no way shape enough for a "sports setup".
So I'm looking at going for a Eibach or H&R package of springs and shocks.

Has anyone got any experience on this?
 

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
I have changed my springs for Eibach Pro spring kit and I am very impressed with ride. Its not bumpy at all(you will get very bumpy ride if you change the shocks) but its very very firm round corners.

I am very impressed with Eibach as I haven't lost much of the comfort but have a lot nicer ride handling
 

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
I wouldnt really change the shocks unless really need them to be changed. IF your car is lowered already then just buy the springs as they do not lower by great deal but still improve the handling in a great deal
 
OP
T

Torgut

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Okay.
So I should just start with the springs then? Has to be a cheaper option aswell.
With the Eibachs did it make the ride even firmer though as I think the "crash-bang" affect is just acceptable as it currently stands.
What size Eibach spring (ride height) would I need?

There's nothing wrong with the shocks but I once read that they are self-leveling? Is that correct?
 
OP
T

Torgut

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Oh, and what about adding anti-roll bars?
 

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
Okay.
So I should just start with the springs then? Has to be a cheaper option aswell.
With the Eibachs did it make the ride even firmer though as I think the "crash-bang" affect is just acceptable as it currently stands.
What size Eibach spring (ride height) would I need?

There's nothing wrong with the shocks but I once read that they are self-leveling? Is that correct?

Eibach only do 2 variants of springs, go for the pro kit as they are firmer and work alot better(these are the ones I have, slightly expensive but they are better quality) Go http://www.grahamgoode.com/ I used them to buy my springs, very good service and they have a you tube video explaining both variants as well as full shock/springs set up.


I dont think C240 are self leveling but i may be wrong
 

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
Oh, and what about adding anti-roll bars?

I dnt think you need to... Good set of springs will sort the handling out
 
OP
T

Torgut

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Thanks.....very helpful.
 

television

Always remembered RIP
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
164,073
Reaction score
332
Age
86
Location
Daventry
Your Mercedes
2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
No self leveling on these cars,, the adjustable shocks are a pain to use as on many you cannot adjust them on the car.
 

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
Thought as much
 

HelpThisDude

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
649
Reaction score
5
Location
Essex
Your Mercedes
W203 C270CDI, R172 SLK55 AMG
Hello Torgut,
I have a feeling springs alone will not get you the results you want, just based upon how detailed your descriptions of your current ride are.
Changing direction and recovery is an issue, I suffer it mainly on roundabouts, so I know what you mean.
I have standard dampers, with the eibach pro spring kit. I Knew this would not solve my problems, but, as Amo said, It did make a slight improvement. At the time, all I wanted was a cosmetic improvement.
To make the ride better, start Looking into damper/coil over kits.

Anti rol bar kits are the last addition to a set up. Standard bars are OK, and from what I have looked up, All W203s including the C32AMG have the same roll bars!?!

As I say look into a full kit, as it will usuall will come with coil over springs and bump-and-rebound adjustment which is vital for good fast cornering. It will stop the back coming round due to bouncing over bumps or dips in the road. As an example, the correct set up wound be the 'bump' adjusted to the rate of compression of the spring, but the 'rebound' adjusted so that the car rises slowly. The coil over platform will give you the option of how low you or the tuner wants the car to sit. The springs rated in lbs, and are a standard size. They can be upgraded to a different rate, but the ones supplied would be tuned roughly for a generic C Class, based on fast road application.
Race is a whole new game not worth getting into as you will sacrifice your ride quality.

I regret only buying the springs, given a second chance, I would buy the whole kit.
Bilstein B12 performance suspension kit is possibly the best real sports kit, not sure if they make one for the W203, But it really depends how much your willing to pay. Eibach do a cheaper kit, but it is still quite good. To get the best out of any adjustable set-up you will need someone to set it up right.

Its also worth noting that BMWs will always handle better. I state this through personal experience and reviews. My 1996 barge ship BMW 740i handled better then my little C class. Mercs are not ment to be thrown into corners, just glide around them :)
 
Last edited:

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
Surely the full kit will make the handling alot better as the ride will become alot stiffer. The main thing you need to keep an eye out for is the quality of ride. Suspension/coil over kits will make your ride bouncy and stiffer.

Oh and they are alot more than the normal spring kits
 

Stucoupe

Active Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Your Mercedes
C200k 54 W203 Coupe
Quicks tips: as Helpthisdude says, I'd not reply upon springs only. It'd be good to hear from someone who has tried it on your model of car though.

Im fairly sure my C200 uses coilovers on the front at least as standard; that is coil over spring. However, someone mentioned Adjustable ones - thus allowing you to adjust rebound compression etc. This maybe what you need - why?

Sorry for my ignorance, is the C240 a saloon or coupe? IMO my coupe is a poorly balanced car; although maybe a lower rear might help. Im not going to buy Adjustables to find out. Therefore IMO you have two options for fixing a rear happy car out - adjust ride height, or live with it. There is a slim chance an anti-roll bar will help too.

Back to the shocks. The shock will be designed to rebound based upon the spring strength. Therefore if you go putting on a stiffer shock, you'll need a harder working shock - hence a sports shock. I would imagine a sports shock with spring will sort a lot of your road holding issues in higher speed stuff and possibly roll issues; howevr I'd expect a bumpier ride. Personally I find the C200 rides teh bumps in town fine. In higher speed corners I find the 17's struggle for true adhesion - but I dont blame the shocks; there is little to no chance they're bottoming out.

You complain of bumps. It doesn't look as good, but ever tried running 16" wheels? A bigger tyre wall will mean a better ability to soak up bumps. An expensive tyre should help combat any slip angle problems going from a 17 dia, as brands like Michelin etc tend to have stiffer walls than say Toyo etc.

If you can afford Adjustable coilies, then by all means, go experimenting - feedback would be great.
 
Last edited:

SQ_W211

Active Senior Members
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
2,139
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
Your Mercedes
W219 CLS55 AMG
Adjustable coilovers would still make the ride stiff/stiffer than the normal spring job. My point was, changing the coilovers would cost around £500-£600 for the parts and then further £200 for fitting. If that gives you bone breaking ride(it probably will), you are stuffed as you cannot do anything other than changing the whole setup again. However if you go for springs first, see how it goes(this is tried and tested by me and few others on this forum) If that doesn't help a great deal then you can go for shock to match springs. The cost for supplying/Fitting springs is £150/150 and then if you change the shocks at later date you would probably spend 200 for shocks and further 150-200 on fitting. Yes, this method is slightly more costly but you will have options to go for the right set up for you.
 

Stucoupe

Active Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Location
West Midlands
Your Mercedes
C200k 54 W203 Coupe
I'd still buy both. The idea of a stiffer sport spring alone will give you a firmer ride - what some people call harsh or bumpy. The sport shock wont give a harsher ride and infact should smooth out any extremes of a sport spring. Idea being that the sport shock will initially have compression damping, meaning the dive of the front/rear will be slower; the sporty spring will not travel as far as a normal spring, then upon the upwards motion the sport shock will give rebound compression, meaning it will come up slowly and not bounce up like a jack in the box. Hence I always buy sets.

That said, you can certainly buy springs alone. Then again, if the shock was 4 years old, I'd be expecting it to be falling apart by now anyhow.

If you can afford it, then Adjustables are fine. Yes, if you find the spring too hard, you simply replace with a standard spring (the ones you kept maybe) and keep the adjustable shock. As said, the adjustables are for those with finite requirements and can afford it. To me its a mere luxury on a road car.

Typo:
Therefore if you go putting on a stiffer spring, you'll need a harder working shock - hence a sports shock. .
 

HelpThisDude

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2008
Messages
649
Reaction score
5
Location
Essex
Your Mercedes
W203 C270CDI, R172 SLK55 AMG
Correctly set sports suspension should never be harsh. It would defeat the object- Because if the ride is choppy and bouncy, you will never hold the road. The 'bomb hole' at Snetterton, or the long fast righthander leading up the the double apex at Thruxton is a excellent test of this. If you have a bad set up, the bumps will throw you into the grass. Most claimed sports set ups are just stiff for the sake of being stiff. Ok, they may help the roll a little. A proper set up will iron out bumps and keep the rubber-to-road contact as best as possible.

Sportscoupe made a Very good point about Low profile tyres, they will make the ride harsher, and there is nothing you can do about that as the min size of wheel that you can use with your brakes, is a 17" wheel. Besides, i'm sure you would not want a smaller wheel!

I have wasted lots of money playing with set ups, and in my experience, you have to match the shock to the spring.
As Amo said, Eibach do a normal damper, that match the pro kit spring. So if for example you decide to try a spring kit first, you could, and then fit the matching dampers and you have not wasted the spring. Just some labour.

However, If you decide they are not good enough, its money wasted (I know all about that). If you wanna play a bit more, say, high speed cornering, change of direction, then get an adjustable Bump and Rebound kit.

That said, please note (and I hate to say it) the weight distribution on the C class is OK at best. I have not had it on quad pad scales, but at a guess I would say its out of balance standing still. With the traction off, It handles a bit like an old Capri. So ask your self if it is worth spending a grand+ on handling kits. I drove a normal '03 318i and it was so well balanced it was almost sad. No sport bits or silly M badges, It still has an engine up front, still rear wheel drive, but none of the drama. Its like getting off an old Yam V max and getting on a Honda CBR.

I think the W203 is a beautiful car, which is why despite my bitching, I will put up with with the handling being a little slack when pushed. Just means you really need to know how to enter-apex-exit a corner to get it to go where its is pointed.

I will possibly go for the Eibach kit eventually, but I am still doing my research, so let me know what you learn from your enquires please :)
 
OP
T

Torgut

New Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #18
Guys,
Great info. You have given me a lot to think about.
What I want to avoid is having an uncomfortable car in town. It still needs to be a family transporter.
I'm beginning to think springs alone won't do it but take the point that it's a cheaper way to start finding out.
Also it sounds like it's key to find a fitter who knows his setups really well.
Although my car has the factory sports set up, it could do with coming down a little more. Shocks at the rear are less then a year old. Changed under warrenty.
Will keep you posted on what I decide.
 


Comand (Europe) Ltd are the leading specialists in supplying and fitting Comand, Linguatronic, Media interface kits, UHI phone, IPod interfaces and much more.
Top Bottom