W210 lowering woops

Smaltze

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Well guys I messed up.

I tried fitting the springs I bought that I made a thread about earlier.
Neither of them fit, the pigtails are wrong sized and the rear ones are too wide.
In a stupid moment of spontaneousness I cut the rear springs by 2 coils instead thinking it wouldn't be so bad.
Well yea it is, it's awful. Car is like buckaroo and every aspect of the handling is tragic.
The car is at the desired height but I can't keep it like this.

The kind of springs im after, I don't really care about handling in terms of stiffness, I just want it lower whilst retaining as much as I can of the soft absorbing ride. Is it possible to get really soft appropriate springs? Or maybe ads adjust the shocks.
 

JBell

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The kind of springs im after, I don't really care about handling in terms of stiffness, I just want it lower whilst retaining as much as I can of the soft absorbing ride. Is it possible to get really soft appropriate springs? Or maybe ads adjust the shocks.

Get some H&R Springs, ECP sell them, they are by far and away the best, I would also put new shocks on the car
 
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Smaltze

Smaltze

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Is having lowering springs and the self levelling shocks going to be enough? I don't want handling upgrades I want comfort.
 

hotrodder

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I don't want handling upgrades I want comfort.

Then your options are leave it standard, spend the £££ and airbag it or rewrite the laws of physics [/tongue in cheek]
There's a finite amount of suspension movement, lowering the ride height removes some of the available bump travel. Keep the spring rate standard/comfy and the suspension will bottom out more frequently. This is less comfortable (and worse from a handling and even safety POV) than a stiffer spring as hitting the bumpstops = infinitely stiff suspension. 'Sport' dampers for lowering springs are typically shorter so they don't run out of travel/bottom out as well as being valved differently to control a stiffer spring

Decent lowering kits like the H&R mentioned are often a progressive or dual rate to maintain as much comfort as possible while still being able to cope with large bumps without bottoming out all the time. Air/gas springs have an exponential rising rate and fitting an airbag kit will also allow changes to ride height at the flick of a switch i.e. can have your cake and eat it. Downside is there's more £££ and work involved... even model specific kits often require some fabrication, need to find a home for the compressor and airtank, route airlines & wiring etc

The standard SLS system is height adjustable in that it's 'idea' of level is set by an adjustable linkage between the SLS valve and the antirollbar that drives it. That can be used to finetune things but the basic ride height is still set by the coilsprings, it's just that the nitrogen filled spheres take care of most of the springing and damping when on the move
Dunno what the score is with the s210 but on 124s sportline/sport chassis (slightly lower and stiffer but still wafty barges) models used a different SLS strut for the same reasons as sporty dampers i.e. at least physically shorter and maybe valved differently. IIRC in 210 speak sport chassis = Avantgarde?
 

turbopete

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comfort amd lowering will NEVER go hand in hand. there will ALWAYS be a trade off in ride when lowering a car, if for no other reason than reducing the distance the springs can travel. plus lowered springs are, without exception (to my knowledge) upgraded (stiffened) over the stock items
 

Frontstep

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As above, where is your suspension to travel to if you have less movement, it either goes harder and/or hits a stop.
 
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Smaltze

Smaltze

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Ok well I don't think I'll bag, but getting proper lower springs, do they bounce? Or are they stiffer so you feel bumps more but it's still absorbing. I assume cutting stock springs just leaves you with crap springs.
I think perhaps if I had nice stiffer low springs I might take to the handling improvements more and enjoy them, I can deal with a stiff ride but not the bouncing.

Also can someone fully explain to me how the shim adjusting part works as I couldn't work it out when I had the springs off, not sure I was looking at the right thing or don't know what I was looking at.

My ride height before was huge, higher than most w210s id seen so I was not sure what setup I had.
 
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nyx

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i have the 210 in avantgarde trim and that is lower and harder than classic or elegance and i wish id bought an elegance model. its still comfortable and not too hard but i like the softer taller springs and dampers in the other trims.
 

Frontstep

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Sleeping policemen, pot holes, speed cushions etc will become your new kissing friends with the lower car.
 

Alex Crow

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Beware of overloading the SLS system, if it is trying to compensate for your shortened springs it may be running at max pressure, reducing the volume of nitrogen in the spheres, which could give a much harsher ride.

Personally I just don't get lowering, as it can ruin a nice car.
 

turbopete

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Personally I just don't get lowering, as it can ruin a nice car.

and all too often makes them barekly useable (speed humps etc) and makes them look silly
 

hotrodder

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Ok well I don't think I'll bag, but getting proper lower springs, do they bounce? Or are they stiffer so you feel bumps more but it's still absorbing. I assume cutting stock springs just leaves you with crap springs.
I think perhaps if I had nice stiffer low springs I might take to the handling improvements more and enjoy them, I can deal with a stiff ride but not the bouncing.

Also can someone fully explain to me how the shim adjusting part works as I couldn't work it out when I had the springs off, not sure I was looking at the right thing or don't know what I was looking at.

My ride height before was huge, higher than most w210s id seen so I was not sure what setup I had.

All springs bounce, they store energy when compressed (or twisted if torsion springs/anti roll bars etc) and release most of that energy once unloaded. While part of the dampers / shock absorbers job is to turn some of this energy into heat they can't completely change the character of a spring... the right damper will compliment it while one that's valved incorrectly for the spring will either under damp it (bouncy and horrible) or over damp it ('kin hard and horrible) [/gross generalisation]
In suspension speak the term used is suspension frequency. Stiffer suspension has a higher frequency which is why it's less comfy even when properly damped. Covered in more depth here http://www.autospeed.com/cms/article.html?&title=Springs-and-Natural-Frequencies&A=112279

Yeah, cutting springs kinda turns them into crap springs... shortening them makes them stiffer but waaaay more crudely than buying a properly designed lowering kit where the free length, spring rate, installed height and a bunch of other stuff was carefully calculated

If by shims you mean the rubber spring cups/pads they come in several thicknesses and while they go in something like 5mm steps thickness wise they have a slightly larger effect on ride height due to suspension geometry. IIRC a 5mm difference in spring pad changes ride height by around 8mm. Dunno if it's the same on a 210 but with 124s they have 1 to 4 nibs or bumps on them which denotes thickness. 4 nib (thickest) version shown in this pic nicked from the internet

spring_pads1.jpg
 
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Smaltze

Smaltze

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collecting some H&R springs this morning, so all should be sorted :)
 

tjamesbo

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let us know how you got on I was considering lowering My 210 as the wheel arch gap is quite substantial even with 17 inch alloys whilst the ride is comfortable it does feel too soft / americanised for my liking i dont consider the softer setting any improvement on how my avantgarde clk430 rides the bumps in the road either
i was wondering about either H & R springs or a set of avantgarde springs
RE alex's comment i presume that if you disconnect the SLS and reset the arm connection then it will zero ( no stress ) on the new height .
as I am on 190K now i will probably replace my front shocks as well
Boyd
 
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Smaltze

Smaltze

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let us know how you got on I was considering lowering My 210 as the wheel arch gap is quite substantial even with 17 inch alloys whilst the ride is comfortable it does feel too soft / americanised for my liking i dont consider the softer setting any improvement on how my avantgarde clk430 rides the bumps in the road either
i was wondering about either H & R springs or a set of avantgarde springs
RE alex's comment i presume that if you disconnect the SLS and reset the arm connection then it will zero ( no stress ) on the new height .
as I am on 190K now i will probably replace my front shocks as well
Boyd

Couldn't be happier with the new springs, perfect height on 18's with 1 notch thickness shims all round. the ride is ever so slightly firmer, just in that it doesn't absorb as well anyway obviously because of the less travel, still extremely comfortable and absolutely bearable, definitely tighter in corners too.
And yes doing arm connection was easy enough, although i recommend wd40 and potentially heat etc because the bolts on the U-clip are tiny and likely siezed, mine sheered instantly (i was impatient it had been a long day ha).
I also definitely recommend using a proper spring compressor, one that fits INSIDE the springs with plates, i was using 2 cheap hook ones and it was a ball ache changing the springs over, mostly getting the new ones in being the hard part.
Good luck!
 

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