Replacement Front Shocks for SL350 R230 Advice Please

Nile Griffith

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Hi Kids!!

My tame spanner monkey gave me a call today to let me know that my beloved SL350 (2009 Facelift). requires a new front offside shock absorber, to cure a squeak comparable with a nest of mice having a bun fight!!!

Now one could source a pair of shocks from Mercedes directly but quite frankly the price is a little eye watering (particularly in these uncertain days where I haven't turned a coin for the last six months). My mechanic has suggested that a pair of Bilstein B4 shocks would do the job and by and large his judgement is pretty good when it comes to these things.

However, have any of you guys had any experience of fitting Bilstein shocks to your SL's? I've only managed to find one Bilstein review online and that was relating to a Mercedes E class and the reviewer wasn't overly happy.

My SL 350 is completely standard and I'm not looking to upgrade the suspension set up in any way as I want to keep the car as original as possible. So I really don't want any issues with ride height etc.

Any advice, opinions, gratefully received.

My thanks in advance.

Nile.
 

00slk

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I wouldn't have thought there's much difference.
I fitted Bilstein shocks on my 450 SE years ago from F S shocks that were fitted, I did not notice any difference to be honest. Mercedes use Bilstein anyway on some of their cars.
 

AnthonyUK

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My SL 350 is completely standard and I'm not looking to upgrade the suspension set up in any way as I want to keep the car as original as possible. So I really don't want any issues with ride height etc.

Sachs if available are the other obvious choice to look at but the B4 are the standard rather than performance range which would suit your requirements fine.
 

-raj-

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why not replace just the lower ball joint, they press in and out. They are however pricey and might not be economical on a non ABC car. Ive done a couple myself due to the same noise you are talking about.
 

Uncle Benz

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I’ve bought the Bilstein replacements from Eurocarparts loads of times. They are of excellent quality. I’d normally insist on replacing in pairs, but for a particularly cash-strapped customer recently I replaced only one. I was concerned it would feel peculiar, but in fact I could not detect any mismatch at all.
 
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Nile Griffith

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why not replace just the lower ball joint, they press in and out. They are however pricey and might not be economical on a non ABC car. Ive done a couple myself due to the same noise you are talking about.


Hi Raj.

It was considered, but as you say with the cost of the ball joint etc it felt like the more prudent option to bite the bullet and replace the front shocks as a whole.

Thanks for your advice!!!

Nile
 
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Nile Griffith

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I’ve bought the Bilstein replacements from Eurocarparts loads of times. They are of excellent quality. I’d normally insist on replacing in pairs, but for a particularly cash-strapped customer recently I replaced only one. I was concerned it would feel peculiar, but in fact I could not detect any mismatch at all.


Hi Uncle Benz!

With the dealer price for a new shock it could well have meant replacing just the one, which as you say is do-able, but if honest doesn't sit well with good practice and...... well.......... she is my baby . My captive grease Monkey seems pretty happy with the Bilstein's spec's and their pricing means I can afford (just about) to have the job done properly. But it's good to tap into the knowledge resource of the membership...... just in case.

Thanks for letting me know of your experience with the Bilstein's

Nile
 

chris stuart

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Bit late to this chat but thought I would add my experience. I went to replace my stock R230 SL350 front shocks with the Bilstein B4 OE equivalent but found that they were 35mm shorter than the A230 320 1413 original part fitted. I don't think I can compress the spring a further 35mm (super strong spring) and if I could it would lower the car by 35mm which I don't want to do. I'm contemplating Merc parts now but cost is literally double the Bilsteins. Any thoughts anyone?
 

Uncle Benz

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Are you measuring the total length, the body length or the spring seat height? The seat height is adjustable with the snap ring, there are three positions. The damper rod of a used shock may protrude higher than a new unit because of an internal spring which goes weaker with age. If the length difference is all in the damper rod the ride height will be unaffected. The springs are hard to compress in any case. I have a method that involves moving the snap ring all the way to the bottom, assembling the unit with the spring seat loose, then compressing until I can fit the snap ring into its groove. I find this method a little safer
 

rayhennig

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My captive grease Monkey seems pretty happy with the Bilstein's spec's
Not the same car but my 300CE-24 Sportline had new dampers all round. We used the MB reference to cross-refer to Sachs part number. Excellent product and less than 300€ for 4 dampers from AutoDoc. All well.

RayH
 

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