Author Topic: Shock absorber bushes  (Read 176 times)

BCDC

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Shock absorber bushes
« on: 14 February 2020, 01:08 PM »
Does anyone here have experience replacing shock absorber rubber bushings on their W116? Mine are sounding a bit tired and clunky at times over speed humps and the like. The shocks themselves are still in good order, the rear has SLS which is in good working order so I don't really want to swap them out for standard shocks at this stage. The front once I could replace I suppose but it is only the bushing I think that are the noisy bit. Thanks in advance.
1978 280SE Cream with blue leather interior. With SLS

rumb

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Re: Shock absorber bushes
« Reply #1 on: 14 February 2020, 02:11 PM »
I would recon if the bushings are shot then so are the shocks.
'68 250S, '77 6.9 euro, '91 300SE, '98 SL500 '14 CLS550

ptashek

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Re: Shock absorber bushes
« Reply #2 on: 15 February 2020, 02:29 AM »
It's one of the easiest jobs. Support the control arm at the bottom in a position where the spring won't explosively decompress on you, once the shock is unmounted. These things can kill...

Lock the shock shaft with a 5mm Allen key, then undo the top bolt (15 or 13mm, can't remember). Pull off the top bushing. Unmount the shock at the bottom, move it out of place, replace bottom bushing, assemble in reverse order.

I'd replace the shocks while at it.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

UTn_boy

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Re: Shock absorber bushes
« Reply #3 on: 15 February 2020, 05:37 AM »
If it truly is the shock bushings they can be had separately.  The ones for the front shocks are 180-326-01-68, four of them are required.  They currently list for around 2.80 Euros each.  The bushings on the bottom are not available, and will require the replacement of the shocks of those are bad. 

On the rear hydraulic rams for the SLS there are two different ones for each side.  The top bushing is 115-326-16-68, and is still available for around 2.39 Euros each, and the bottom ones are 114-326-00-68, and are still available for around 4.05 Euros each.  The bottoms of the hydraulic rams do not have a rubber bushing.  They have an actual ball type joint bushing, part number 116-320-13-28, but are no longer available.  If they were, they'd be around 300.00 Euros each. 

However, do take heed to what the others have said.  Especially regarding safety.  Given the age of the shocks and possible higher mileages it's probably best to replace the front shocks altogether.  Shocks are only good for around 90,000-100,000 miles.  Less if driven on rough roads a lot.  Also, when clunking is heard going over bumps it's usually because of worn upper and/or lower front ball joints and/or upper inner control arm bushings.   Check all of that first so you can replace those while you do whatever you'll be doing to your shocks. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

BCDC

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Re: Shock absorber bushes
« Reply #4 on: 15 February 2020, 01:09 PM »
Thanks UTn_boy, you are a legend and a W116 encyclopaedia it seems. The car has only 95,000KM's and the shocks ride fine, no bouncing at all but as we know 42 year old rubber is pretty much had it. However if the shocks for the front aren't too expensive I will just put new ones on. Will price them this week. As to the rear, I will refurbish at this stage. Thanks for your advise. A lot of the ball joints have been replaced by a previous owner and I have checked these out with a mechanic friend on his hoist when I first got the car.
1978 280SE Cream with blue leather interior. With SLS

UTn_boy

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Re: Shock absorber bushes
« Reply #5 on: 16 February 2020, 12:03 AM »
Well, non bouncing shocks doesn't always mean they're ok.  I've seen 50 year old shocks with under 15,000 miles on them exhibit no bouncing but had lost their ability to absorb "shocks" in the roadway causing noises. Just be alert when inspecting.....these original shocks are 40-50 years old now.  They were not meant or designed to last this long. Even though a previous owner replaced some ball joints recently make sure to check them anyway.  You never know!  In addition, be sure to check your steering linkages (tie rods, drag link, idler arm bushing) since they, too, can cause noises when going over bumps at slow speed.  And again, even if they have been replaced check them anyway.  Don't forget about your steering shaft to steering gear box coupling, either.  They are certainly a source of rattle when worn/damaged.  In a worse case scenario the lower inner control arm bushings could also be bad/deteriorated.  Again, the rubber is far beyond it's 18 year shelf life.  The rubber an literally crumble away.  The sad part is that these are no longer available from Mercedes, and the aftermarket ones don't fit. :/ 

You should be able to tell where the noise is coming from....front or rear.  Wherever the noise is coming from start there.  I'd almost suspect something on the front of the car is where the noise may be coming from. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex

BCDC

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Re: Shock absorber bushes
« Reply #6 on: 24 February 2020, 12:47 PM »
I've been chasing down control arm bushing and found these but UTn_boy said some aftermarket ones don't fit. Do you think these to be okay?
1978 280SE Cream with blue leather interior. With SLS