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W210 front shock/damper replacement

Discussion in 'DIY: Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by Parrot of Doom, Jul 1, 2010.

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  1. Parrot of Doom

    Parrot of Doom Senior Member

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    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester
    Your Mercedes:
    Was an E300TD, now a Lexus LS400
    At 242,000 miles I reckoned its time they were replaced. The car feels a bit wallowy, leans a fair bit through corners, and a fair bit of weight shifts to the front under heavy braking.

    The replacements were Bilstein HDs from Euro Car Parts, about £60 each.

    Tools required:

    1. Jack
    2. Axle stand
    3. Wheel wrench
    4. 17mm ring spanner * 2
    5. Ratchet with 17mm long socket, with a long handle
    6. Mallet/hammer
    7. Mole grips

    This is a guide for the offside of the car. Nearside is next to no different.

    1. Steering wheel centred, put the parking brake on, loosen the front wheel bolts slightly, and jack the car up.
    2. Put the axle stand under the front wishbone, and slowly drop the jack slightly, to let the stand take a bit of the weight of the car. Don't forget to support that corner of the car—another axle stand, or a substantial block of wood, supporting the chassis independently of the suspension. Don't rely on just the jack.
    3. Remove the wheel

    [​IMG]

    4. Sit on your backside, legs either side of the hub, and locate the bottom of the shock. Its easy to find. On one side is a nut, the other is the head of the bolt.
    5. Rest the 17mm ring spanner on the head of the bolt, and the ratchet on the nut.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    6. The bolt will be stiff as hell after all those years of rain and mud, so watch your hands here. Get a grip on each tool, and see if you can get either end moving. You'll probably hear a loud crack as it does.
    7. I then turned the ratchet, so the ring spanner became wedged up on the bodywork, holding the bolt head in place.
    8. There isn't much room to turn the ratchet, so I did it handle down. I leant back a little, and pushed hard on the ratchet handle with my foot. This was enough leverage to start it moving. Also, not having your hands in there reduces the risk of injury, should either tool slip.
    9. It'll take 5-10 minutes to get the nut/bolt off.

    [​IMG]

    10. Once the nut is off the bolt, leave the bolt in there, and open the bonnet. On top of the wing, you'll find a tall black plastic dust cover, just near the heating duovalve. Remove this to expose the top of the shock.

    [​IMG]

    11. Get the open end of one of your ring spanners on the bottom nut, and the long 17mm socket of your ratchet on the top one, like this:

    [​IMG]

    12. Undo the top nut and remove it. If you can't undo the bottom nut without the entire thread turning, hold it steady with the mole grips and turn the nut that way. There's also a special tool for doing this, but I don't have one.

    13. It might be worth at this point dropping the jack a little further, and compressing the spring more. The shock will have a tendency, once the top nuts are off, to shoot down toward the floor. Don't worry, nothing will break, its just easier if you negate this by compressing the suspension.

    14. Once the top nuts are off, go back down below, and tap the bolt through the eyelet (you can use a screwdriver) using the mallet.

    15. You might need to tug and push a little, but the shock should now detach completely.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  2. OP
    Parrot of Doom

    Parrot of Doom Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Manchester
    Your Mercedes:
    Was an E300TD, now a Lexus LS400
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    16. Take care to note exactly how the rubber seal, the grommet, and the large metal plate are assembled. Your new shocks should have all these parts. Basically, there's a large rubber seal that sits on top of the shock, and which remains on the underside of the wing. The grommet and metal plate, and new bolt, all sit on top of the wing, accessed from the engine bay.

    17. Installation of the new shock is almost a reversal of removal. Slide it into position, push the new bolt through the eyelet (you did of course remember which way the bolt goes through...) put the nut on the other side, but don't tighten yet.

    18. You'll almost certainly find that once the fat rubber grommet and metal plate are pushed over the thread in the engine bay, that you can't get the nut on. You need more compression of the suspension, so you can do this by moving the axle stand outwards, be careful if you put it on the brake disc as that hub is free to turn. Better to get a couple of mates to push hard down on the front of the car. Watch it doesn't roll off the stand or jack.

    19. Tighten the top nut, if the thread turns you can either use the mole grips to hold it, or buy one of those special tools.

    20. Go back down below, and tighten the bottom nut/bolt.

    21. Now for the other side.
     
  3. OP
    Parrot of Doom

    Parrot of Doom Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,167
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    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester
    Your Mercedes:
    Was an E300TD, now a Lexus LS400
    The car now feels much more tight as it passes over speed bumps, grids, and turns corners. Whereas before, on a speed bump, the car would tend to wobble over it like a jelly, now you can actually feel the front wheels impact the bump. There's almost no body roll now as it goes around corners at speed, and this is Elegance trim btw, not Avant-Garde.

    The old offside shock wasn't too bad, still a fair resistance to compression, but obviously the bush on the eyelet had seen better days. The nearside shock however, that was wrecked. Years of driving across grids and other rubbish on the nearside of the road had taken its toll. It was very very easy to compress.

    I'll probably do the rears soon.
     
  4. OP
    Parrot of Doom

    Parrot of Doom Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,167
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester
    Your Mercedes:
    Was an E300TD, now a Lexus LS400
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