R170 Lowering Springs - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

Performance MODS for the R170 Tuning and Performance modifications for your SLK

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#1 Old 06-08-2019
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R170 Lowering Springs

Hopefully someone can help. I have decided to install the Bilstein B12 Eiback/Bilstein spring and shock set on my 2000 pre-facelift SLK 230 Limited Edition with factory 17" wheels. I have ordered adjustable camber arms for the rear. The spring pads from the factory are the Number 5 (21mm) up front and the Number 2 (9mm) in the rear. Here are the questions:


  • Does anyone have feedback on using this kit with this car?
  • It is only supposed to lower the car about an inch, and I have 17" factory wheels on it. Any chance of tire rub?
  • Should I use the same spring shims that I have now (5 in front, 2 in rear), or go to Number 2 all the way around, or some other combination?
  • Is there enough adjustment in the factory suspension to not need different adjusters in the front?


Thanks for any help.
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#2 Old 06-09-2019
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Hi,

IMHO

Word of advice from someone who is .................

1) A professional MB Specialist.

2) When younger, (like most guys), I used to lower my cars etc etc ........................

DON'T DO IT !!

If your Car is not handling nicely, something is wrong with it

Yes by all means adjust your ride height slightly using different MB Rubber Pads, my V6 Car (which has just had new factory springs and shocks all round), plus all new Tyres, Arms, Bushes and Swivels all round in December last, also a full geometry check / set done properly by myself, currently has 4 dot on Rear and 3 dot on Front.

My Front end front is very slightly too low, when it gets it's V8 soon, I will likely fit a 4 dot or 5 dot depending if the V8 makes it drop any more than it's current setting.

My Rear end is just a tad high, but it has brand new springs, so will settle slightly, also when that V8 goes in it will squat like a mofo with all that torque and lead right foot, so a gnats tadger higher at the rear will compensate for this.

Subtle changes for an unsubtly modified Car

I will be measuring it very carefully before pulling out the V6.

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#3 Old 06-09-2019
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Dave,


Thank you for your opinion. I'm actually not as concerned about lowing the car for cosmetic reasons as I am about wanting to stiffening up the suspension a bit. Right now the car doesn't handle as tightly as I would like it to when cornering fast. The car only has 28K original miles on it, so there is nothing wrong with the factory suspension, it is just has a bit too much body role in fast corners for me.



So with that said, instead of new springs and shocks, would you suggest something else like a bigger front sway bar instead (my model does not have a rear sway bar)? The reason I wasn't considering that is I was concerned that without a rear sway bar just adding a bigger front one might increase understeer too much. Or any other suggestions about how to tighten it up. Maybe just stiffer shocks? Any other insight you can provide would be appreciated.


Thanks again,


James
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#4 Old 06-09-2019
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Hi James,

Just because the Car has a very low mileage doesn't mean there is nothing wrong...................

Bushes can deteriorate and joints seize through lack of use, then when you start using them again, play develops, a 19 year old Car with 28,000 miles is "lack of use"
Standing about is actually worse for a Car than high mileage with good maintenance !!

I wasn't aware that 4 Cylinder R170 doesn't have Rear ARB, I do not see 4 cylinder R170's in my Workshop, locally we only have V6's, and very soon a V8

So, asides from the obvious possibilities ............. Cheap "Ditch Finder" Tyres, Tyre Pressures, Poor Alignment from one of the many "a degree is about a mm isn't it" Mechanic brigade, then if I were you, I'd retro fit a rear sway bar first.

I have no experience of 4 Cylinder cars, but all the V6's I've driven are tight as a drum, handle like a dream, and believe me, I give 'em some serious stick on poor quality / good quality twisty Tarmac

HTH,

Cheers Dave
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#5 Old 06-09-2019
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I'll just add that if you're still on 16" wheels, upping the size to 17" or even 18"s or 19"s makes the world of difference to these cars

Upped my 200 to 17"s .. Oh my, that's better!

Now on 18"s on the 320 .. Oof
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#6 Old 06-09-2019
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Dave,
Thanks again for the information. I actually have quite a lot of experience with working on, modifying, and even building from scratch mostly older American cars. No experience with Benz though.

Maybe I wasn’t clear, but there is nothing wrong with the car or the suspension as is. The current suspension, tires, shocks, bushings, and alignment are the way they should be for stock. I just want to make it more sporty. Kind of like Mercedes does with the AMG and Sport versions of their cars. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to do it with this one.

Many aftermarket manufacturers make retrofit rear sway bars for cars that didn’t have them originally. I was surprised that no one makes one for this car.

If there isn’t a real good way to make this car’s suspension better (more sporty), then it’s not a big deal because it rides and handles well now. So no loss.

Thanks again,

James
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#7 Old 06-09-2019
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Originally Posted by hja99 View Post
Dave,
Thanks again for the information. I actually have quite a lot of experience with working on, modifying, and even building from scratch mostly older American cars. No experience with Benz though.

Maybe I wasn’t clear, but there is nothing wrong with the car or the suspension as is. The current suspension, tires, shocks, bushings, and alignment are the way they should be for stock. I just want to make it more sporty. Kind of like Mercedes does with the AMG and Sport versions of their cars. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to do it with this one.

Many aftermarket manufacturers make retrofit rear sway bars for cars that didn’t have them originally. I was surprised that no one makes one for this car.

If there isn’t a real good way to make this car’s suspension better (more sporty), then it’s not a big deal because it rides and handles well now. So no loss.

Thanks again,

James

You could make a sway bar from another car fit if the dimensions are close.
Many years ago I took a front sway bar out of a Honda Accord and made it fit into a
1978 Ford Fiesta that didn't have one from the factory. (you can figure when that was)
It was a solid steel bar, did lots of measurements for fit and clearance,
heated the bar in the correct places red hot and made bends to fit.
If I remember correctly to cool the bar and keep the temper, it was dipped in oil to cool it down.
Where there's a will, there's a way
Good hunting!
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#8 Old 06-10-2019
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Hi,

Perhaps you or someone could check a 4 Cylinder Car it might well have the Captive threads in the Boot floor / Chassis for the ARB Saddles if not a decent welder guy could soon fabricate some and weld on ....................... I know I could, I know @Turdo2 could ........................

Drilling the lower arms for the M8 Bolts of the Plastic Rollbar Links will be no biggie, then just get a V6 Rear Rollbar, saddles and bushes from a scrappy do and your good to go

HTH, Cheers Dave
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#9 Old 06-10-2019
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Dave,


The last car I retrofitted a rear sway bar to was a 1972 Volvo 1800E that I resto-modded. As you said, it is not too difficult. The Volvo only required drilling which was very easy as I had the interior and everything else stripped out of the car at the time.



So maybe this is a good solution for the SLK. I will look into it a bit more to see how feasible it is. If we were on the same continent I would bring my car in to get some help with the welding, but Scotland is a bit too much of a drive for me from California.


Thanks again.


James
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#10 Old 06-10-2019
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Originally Posted by M4rCu5 View Post
I'll just add that if you're still on 16" wheels, upping the size to 17" or even 18"s or 19"s makes the world of difference to these cars

Upped my 200 to 17"s .. Oh my, that's better!

Now on 18"s on the 320 .. Oof

Thanks for the suggestion. The car is a "Limited Edition" model, so it came from the factory with 17" wheels. Not sure I want to go bigger, but it's something to consider.


Thanks,


James
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#11 Old 06-10-2019
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Originally Posted by vlodarty View Post
You could make a sway bar from another car fit if the dimensions are close.
Many years ago I took a front sway bar out of a Honda Accord and made it fit into a
1978 Ford Fiesta that didn't have one from the factory. (you can figure when that was)
It was a solid steel bar, did lots of measurements for fit and clearance,
heated the bar in the correct places red hot and made bends to fit.
If I remember correctly to cool the bar and keep the temper, it was dipped in oil to cool it down.
Where there's a will, there's a way
Good hunting!

Retrofitting a rear bar might be a good solution. Luckily the later cars had one from the factory so I could just use one of those and only have to modify/make the mounting points. I'd rather avoid heating, bending, and dipping in oil if I can.
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#12 Old 06-10-2019
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Hi,

Have you actually looked, the Mounting Points may already be there ????

If not, and if I were buying the parts off a scrappie, I'd get them to cut out a big slice of the rear floor around where mount is, then on the bench you can carefully unpick the welds and then when all cleaned up weld to your Car ..............

Just a thought

Cheers Dave
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Starting from the top - If you keep the spring pads the same, you can expect it to be an inch lower from where you are now. If you put the kit on and it's not low enough, you can probably pull another 3/4" out by going to #1 spring pads. The rears wont be affected much by changing the pad - you are already on #2 's.

as for alignment and adjustment, there isn't much you can do. basically loosen all the bolts and move everything with a pry bar then tighten it all up.

as far as swaybar, the stock one would mount above the subframe and to the body. When I do mine, I was planning on trying to do the same if I can wiggle the sway bar through there, except I was going to weld the mount to the subframe and not the body.
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#14 Old 06-11-2019
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Hi,

I'm very curious now, (I'm always curious, and look where that's got me) .....................

Can anyone who has driven both Cars in good condition and in anger, (Rear Rollbar and no Rear Rollbar), comment on the difference.

Personally I have driven 2 V6 Cars, one belongs to a customer, and is not in the best condition, my own is currently mechanically and electronically perfect, and for general very fast, like (silly fast at times) road use both handle very very well on mixed surfaces, they certainly don't cause any sphincter clenching.

There is a series of Tarmac Esses I use as a guide, my rally car would go through them nicely at 80 mph, (it was on Gravel Suspension), the V12 CL with ABC will do 'em at 90 + and my SLK, well lets just say I haven't found that "almost" point yet, but over a ton so far !!

These esses are on the local race track honest occifer

Cheers Dave
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#15 Old 06-15-2019
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How about this
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How about this
how about what?
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I've just installed in my car Bilstein B6 shocks plus Eibach Prokit coils springs. And now the rear wheels are too close to the interior on the upper side of them. Does this car have any regulation in order to sort this out? I'd need get them more vertical respect to the floor. A friend of mine told me about there is an excentric bolt for each rear arm with two positions, but I don't know if this will be enough, or I'm going to need installing an adjustable special upper bar of suspension triangle (camber bar).
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@hja99 How about this? see post above


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#19 Old 06-15-2019
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Originally Posted by chemaco View Post
I've just installed in my car Bilstein B6 shocks plus Eibach Prokit coils springs. And now the rear wheels are too close to the interior on the upper side of them. Does this car have any regulation in order to sort this out? I'd need get them more vertical respect to the floor. A friend of mine told me about there is an excentric bolt for each rear arm with two positions, but I don't know if this will be enough, or I'm going to need installing an adjustable special upper bar of suspension triangle (camber bar).

You need to get adjustable rear camber arms. I have found three sources:

  • Megan Racing (MRS-MB-0310) at Race Consulting Agency for $151.50
  • F-1 Fabrication through their website or on ebay $195
  • MB Arts through their website $310


Once you install the adjustable bars the problem can be corrected by having an alignment performed by a shop.


Hope that helps,


James
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#20 Old 06-15-2019
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@hja99 How about this? see post above

Adjustable camber arms.
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