Install Front & Rear Shocks - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 10-29-2017
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Install Front & Rear Shocks

I replaced my shocks this week. I was shocked to find that the only DIY for shocks involves disconnecting the control arms as part of spring replacement. This is not necessary if you are only putting in new shocks.

Front Shocks - Easy. Half hour a side including wheel on/off.

1. Jack the car and remove wheel.

2. Open the hood and find an upright bolt and nut over a large washer, at the left and right shock tower. It is probably covered by a large black plastic nipple, which simply pulls off.

3. Undo the 17mm nut. Use a small wrench or vise grips to keep it from rotating if needed. Be prepared to catch the nut and the washer, as it will be under tension. Remove the rubber pad under the washer and note that it is flat on one side and round on the other.

4. Undo the 16mm shock bolt at the lower control arm.

5. The shock is gas filled and expanded. From above push the shock rod down and tip outward. I used the lug wrench handle. Remove the shock. You may want to turn the steering wheel to allow for better access/clearance.

5. Strip the rubber boot/pad off the top of the old shock and put it on the new one.

6. Put in the new shock. The 16mm bolt (41 ft lbs) may not easily align. You may have to raise the control arm/wheel hub. I used a spare scissors jack. You can also push the shock down from the top, lower the car a little onto a block placed under the control arm.

6. Reattach 17mm assembly. Rubber pad goes in flat side up.


Rear Shocks A little more difficult than the fronts.

1. Jack the car and remove wheel.

2. Open the trunk and find a square plastic cover. Inside is an upright bolt and nut over a large washer.

3. Undo the 17mm nut. Use a small wrench or vise grips to keep it from rotating if needed. Remove the rubber pad under the washer and note that it is flat on one side and round on the other.

4. The lower control arm has a plastic cover that snaps on. It also has two 10mm small bolts on the bottom edges at far end. Undo cover enough to access the 16mm shock bolt. Remove.

5. The shock is gas filled and is expanded. From above push the shock rod down and tip outward. I used the lug wrench handle. Tip the top of the shock toward the front of the car and remove.

5. Reuse the rubber boot/pad from old shock.

6. Put in the new shock. Not easy, as it fits into a well in the control arm and is gas expanded. It needs to be compressed about an inch. Multiple ways to do this:
a. Compress by hand and be really fast on the install - good luck.
b. Compress by hand and use twine or wire to hold it under compression. Cut twine/wire after placing the shock.
c. I used my spare scissors jack and screw driver to raise the shock end and slide it into the well. See pic.
d. Use a narrow piece of wood under the shock end, lower the car some, and shove the shock end over and into the well.
Note: If the the shock end goes in 90 degrees wrong, there is room to rotate it by tapping on it with a screw driver.

7. Replace 16mm bolt (41 ft lbs), may not easily align. You may have to raise the control arm/wheel hub. I used a spare scissors jack. You can also push the shock down from the top, or lower the car a little onto a block placed under the control arm. Refit the cover.

6. Reattach 17mm assembly. Rubber pad goes in flat side up.

Add wheels and your are done. Worth the effort. (This is my first DIY post, all comments, improvements welcomed. Will post road report in General)
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