Author Topic: Suspension noise at low speeds  (Read 253 times)

hanz

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Suspension noise at low speeds
« on: 11 March 2019, 04:15 PM »
This may be the trad off you make for high speed stability

I will start with the positive

At speeds well in excess of the speed limit in Australia and a licence suspension for a long time if caught by the police I can say I have never felt so in control and safe in a car that is not a much newer sports car. And with the shear weight of the car feel it planted to the road .

At low speeds the ride or noise from mainly the front suspension is a disappointment. Hit a raise road line reflector or drive on a second rate road and you can feel and hear the bumps.

Is it the firm or racecar like suspension that is the source of the noise and harsh feel of the bumps and the trade off for high speed stability. I have one of the last series 6 Mazda RX 7 so a much newer car so not fair to compare the ride and if I was more of a sports car person this question would be a waste of your time
I will say its a toss up which car I would say is more stable at excessive speeds in a straight line . Not tested the lost control of the car situation but cornering at higher speeds would suggest the weigh of the Benz is its downfall compare the RX7.

I finally add that, driving at speeds beyond the speed limit is irresponsible even in Australia on roads that are deserted and no police to be seen for miles in front of you .I can only blame the car for saying free me , let me live . and it seems so happy at those speeds
 

ptashek

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #1 on: 11 March 2019, 05:32 PM »
At low speeds the ride or noise from mainly the front suspension is a disappointment. Hit a raise road line reflector or drive on a second rate road and you can feel and hear the bumps.

Yes, it is. But I rarely drive slow enough to notice ;)
The car is heavy, with a huge hunk of cast iron just over the front axle, and the non-hydro suspension is not necessarily an engineering marvel either.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)
1977 "Milan Brown" W116 350SE (parted out)

hanz

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #2 on: 11 March 2019, 07:32 PM »
Hello ptashek

While I was on the forum I thought I would ask another question I knew the answer too but other opinion just backs up my own even if its wrong so I am happy

I not you said you rarely drive slow enough to notice the suspension issue but trust that's within the speed limit . Me,when I am on a deserted road and I can see miles ahead of me for signs of the cops I just let the car do what it wants and let it run free. There is a saying if you love an animal set it free . While the Benz is not an animal ,it wants to be set free

By todays standard the rear suspension cells are nothing to rave about but I think they are part of the high speed performance .  I have driven other peoples old cars and they don't match the Benz even with the noise from the front at low speeds as an annoyance so a good reason to get it over 60 Kmh quickly . Also got to love the lift in the front as you take off 

I can testify to adding a load to the rear. You would never know you were smuggling people over the border  :)  No rear end sag and unwanted extra power steering in the front like other cars that  start to lift in the front and leave you with no feel in the front for the road 

Like your car colour . Cant remember the correct name of my colour but mine is the Champagne Gold ,more a dull gold  and there is a third gold I think . All great colours

Randys01

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #3 on: 12 March 2019, 03:28 AM »
We've had Mercs [from new] in the family since 1961.
I've ridden in quite a few so I'd like to share with you the experience coz it sets the baseline.

With regard to the w116, it was a revolution  when released in Aus 1974. But like every Merc before it, there was  a constant observation: "the ride is firm...the seats are firm..there is a surprising degree of low speed road noise thump transmitted into the cabin."
Having ridden in these cars from new, W111...W108  W114 ..W116 etc it was my observation too. Most of the "noise" is from the front end. Pleasantly in touch with the road but you knew what was going on underneath...solid..reassuring. You sure knew a manhole cover when you ran over it.
Now the only car in any numbers that could be compared [ride ] to the W116 was the Jag XJ6...the Jag had the game skun.....BMW didn't get there until the E34....['92] sorry Munich.
So this has been the MB design philosophy for 25 years. Does that sound like your car?
If your W116 feels anything other than  sure footed, glued to the road..albeit a bit of road noise thump  thump...not clunk clunk ..then it is showing its age.
If you reckon yours is some way off my description then:
one of the first things to check is the age of your tyres. Hey? After about 5 years they go hard. By the time they are 8 they are arguably unroadworthy. In any case they go wooden and the walls take up no compression. Mercedes/Jag/Beemer went to great lengths to design their suspension either around the premium tyres of the day OR had tyres made to suit what they were building. With the passage of time, 2..3 4th time buyers have strayed onto other makes /variant etc and these are not necessarily the tyre for the job. The profile, ply and construction of the tyre in the era was an important part of the suspension/ride effect. Today's ultra low profile tyres  have basically abandoned that philosophy.

If you can eliminate the tyres from the exercise, [incl correct pressures-not this nonsensical current persuasion to pump them up to 40psi for fuel economy etc] THEN you must look at the suspension bushes. The W116 front end floats on rubber...after 40 years these are getting dry/splitting and rigid.
Now a front end overhaul is another few chapters -not to be covered here- but a quick first check of the shockers could be worthwhile  after you have satisfied the tyre project. That era of Merc, contrary to then popular convention, utilises the shocker in part to be load bearing as well as damping.
Some Crappo brand of shocker replaced 15 years ago may now be conspiring to harden the damping...it's all in the seals and the valving. Any resistence to the stroke of the shocker either in extension or compression is going to adversely impact on the ride and noise.

Be assured  in its day the W116 had few peers. .it was almost in its own world..................40 years on it should still feel she's up for it.
BUT don't forget. ..it's a 1.5 ton 4 door saloon that whilst chuckable and a great cruiser is from an era where the  ride versus handling ratio was perhaps a bit "mushy" compared to today's expectations.
May I leave you with my 50 years of experience?......if you want your Merc to act like it was from new, think very carefully about substitute brands of replacement kit. Ask yourself this. K Mart or Koni. K Bob Jane all rounders or Michelin...Kleber or Nanching Nancy?

Interested in what you determine.


hanz

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #4 on: 12 March 2019, 06:18 AM »
Hi Randys01

Only other negative about the car to add to my original complaint about the suspension noise and you hit on it.   Hard seats ( German car trait) good for the long drives when you want to fall asleep at the wheel . My rear end complains too much to let that happen so probably a safety feature not mentioned in the brochure or I just have a delicate rear end  and a un designed safety feature  For drives less than an hour no complaint once you plant you rear in just the right position . Not a worn seat issue just you need to be in the seat exactly in spot A not to the side a touch or forward or back to much but cradled in the seat shape evenly. Try it yourself the seat has a sweet spot

The noise is not the noise of worn parts, as I mentioned I was probably wasting peoples time asking the question when I knew you have take EXCESSIVE high speed stability with a firm ride as a trade of for snail pace soft ride and no noise  .  Even at the slower high speeds you still know your in a Benz.  Rock solid on the road and the faster you go the more the car says to the road surface your coming with me baby.  As I said cant compare my Benz to a newer car and don't trust them to do a Benz speed . In a straight line its fantastic  but the weigh at high speeds is going to be an issue if I had to do a sharp change of direction to say miss a Roo,  but at those speeds no car is not going to end up in the trees.

Cant comment on trash parts as mine has all the good stuff on it . Drive it every day and when off to the country its my choice of car to take.

Never had Cruise control till the Benz and on long drives it the Bees Knees . Engage it and rest the legs one foot on the top of the seat the other out the window , well not quite but beats holding the pedal down . Even use it where ever possible around town.  This reminds me the first few times I used it was a bit of a scare. When your coming to a stop light or slowing to a T intersection without thinking you let of the juice but with cruise control the car detects a falling speed and gives the car a boost so you pick up speed going to a red light  so watch that one.

As for old cars they are a chore to drive ( I have a 1914 ) and no modern comforts worth noting  .  Cant speak for 60s Benz's ( my bias is below) but no car in the 70s, 80s and into the 90s other than the Benz is a daily driver in my opinion . In my opinion a 90s or later in some ways car made in the 70s

First time I saw the W116 I was a small boy. There were two on display , a gold and silver side by side with the bonnets up . Aside from the stunning design as I walked up to the car the engine bay was a marvel to see and then the interior . We had a brand new car (other make) and the Benz made it look like a flee bitten dog.



Final short complaint version . Suspension noise is a trade of for a stable ride . Seats are German firm but even so if you get the sweet spot on the seat it mostly solved at least to my rear ends satisfaction . Longer runs I have never sat in a car that did not pain my rear end  .

One final word to the new owners . The fuel delivery pack (filter pump etc)  in the rear of the car needs to be thrown out and new installed . Its old and every part has to function 100% or you will have hot start issues or a no start etc some time soon .  In my case sooner as its a daily driver that brings out issues faster than once a year to the show and shine day

Sorry one final final word . Dont throw parts at a problem . Everything has a test procedure to diagnose a problem and a one part purchase to fix it first time. When you ask a question on the forum  say,  the car is doing this . What are the test procedure to find the fault  DONT ASK WHAT IS WRONG , WHICH PART IS DEAD.  Some people give opinions and humans take the cheap fix opinion which is normally the long fix time and the expensive one. Only exception is the fuel pack in the back of the car . Take the cheapest options if you don't want to take my advice and end up replacing all of it in the end to find the faulty part (all of then soon). No financial loss in my opinion  and you will not have any more questions on this forum in the future when all the old stuff is gone.

A final final final    Its long post and I am too lazy to fix text errors,  so forgive me,  I must have made a few
 
 

hanz

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #5 on: 12 March 2019, 07:15 AM »
I forgot one point on tyres ( ENGLISH spelt not US) 

I have the good stuff on it so not tyre related .  I do up the pressure a few PSI per the sticker for high speeds so even worse at low speeds for noise but as mentioned over about 50 kmh you don't have the noise anymore  form crap roads or road markers etc . If your in town all day in traffic drop the pressure a few psi form the recommended and you get less noise
 
Here in Oz tyres  to the best of my understanding are not meant to pass a roadworthy test if the date code on the tyre is more than 7 years ago.  With variations in codes I think the mechanics just do the ,is it cracked  yes /no and is there the legal tread depth left yes/no so pass or fail

Did have to throw away a near new tread depth set that passed a roadworthy test . They were flat spotted  from being parked for 16 years and once you got over 80Kmh the car started to shake.  Did try having the tyres balanced but no luck they were land fill

 

TJ 450

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #6 on: 12 March 2019, 07:48 AM »
I will reiterate that things like expansion joints and road markers are not at all subtle with the coil spring suspension. Even with the full hydro suspension there is a certain amount of bump-thump although over all it is a very smooth aircraft-like experience at the expense of cornering stability which the steel spring suspension invariably does better.

Tim
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1969 300SEL 6.3 1394

hanz

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #7 on: 12 March 2019, 04:58 PM »
Hello TJ 450

I don't know what your "reiterating " I don't see a reply on this post from you so maybe something form another post I have not seen .
You seem to be saying that a certain amount of noise is to be expected and I don't disagree its just at low speeds its overly noticeable over bumps compared to even cars from its time. I have just read some road tests of the day and its a downer for the car but every car ever made has a negative compared to its peers . Give me this one bad point over the dozens its peers have.

You did make me think about the suspension noise and I cant for the life of me remember any noise at high speeds . Now either its quieter than a modern car or the same level of noise . So everything that is worse than a baseline is noticeable and if its better than a base line you don't.

As I said old cars can be a chore to drive or you notice its no where as good as my 2019 brand X . All I can pick on is the suspension noise and not a car made has no fault. Its also 40 years behind todays cars but 20  -30 years above a car born the same day .  As a car to drive long distances  and a long time in a car , do I want to put up with it for all that time., probably not. The thing is I take it long distances and at high speeds there is not the I wish I took the X and it feels safer than the alternative . Now you made me think about noise at high speeds I will need to test it to see if it is as good as a new car or better . With no complaint at high speeds it must not be behind a modern car just need to check if its better and I took it for granted

As one presenter on a You Tube channel  says  (Benz hater and owns an old Toyota )   "rev up your engine" I am going to exceed the speed limit to see just how NOISELESS it is




daantjie

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #8 on: 12 March 2019, 05:20 PM »
Quote from: hanz
As one presenter on a You Tube channel  says  (Benz hater and owns an old Toyota )   "rev up your engine" I am going to exceed the speed limit to see just how NOISELESS it is

OMG that Scotty Kilmer guy is a douche of note!
Daniel
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TJ 450

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #9 on: 12 March 2019, 07:43 PM »
I was more or less reiterating what Randy was saying. With the W126 and other models during the ‘80s and later, a lot of work went into isolating various components to reduce the noise and some harshness but this led to less feedback to the driver in my opinion. All one big compromise.

Tim
1976 450SEL 6.9 1432
1969 300SEL 6.3 1394

hanz

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Re: Suspension noise at low speeds
« Reply #10 on: 12 March 2019, 11:36 PM »
Hi TJ 450

I got it now. Well with a 40 year old car and only one defect that was a compromise between high speed stability and low speed noise I will live with it and its a lot less defects than on other cars  .  Easy fix for that one defect. Reach maximum speed as quick as possible or at least about 60 kmh when the noise starts to fade . If this is not possible then take a few PSI out of the tyres which I have tested and a lot of noise is gone. This is just an old school version of what computers do now to the suspension system of new Benz's . Compromise the suspension when its not needed 

To daantjie

I did not think anyone would guess the You Tuber . All I can say is I want to slap him with a dead fish in a 17th century,  you have insulted my honour  and  with a double slap , challenge you to a duel . In 20 - 30 years what will he have to bag Benz's over when his replacement old Toyota has Benz technology that is such an evil now