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Registered 2006 SLK280
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
At present my 280 is factory fitted with the sports pack and has covered 78k miles.
I should imagine by now the suspension has taken a fair beating on our wonderful UK roads, so
I'm toying with fitting a Bilstein B12 - Pro-Kit Suspension Kit, my questions are, has anyone
had experience with this set up, did you notice a significant difference, and do you think
it would be worth the £650 outlay ?
 

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Registered 2006 SLK280
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38 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the link, I'm not sure yet, just testing the water so to speak.
Already having the sport kit, the car is lowered with quite a stiff suspension, I have heard of spring failures etc and having covered 78k miles I'm not sure whether or not it would be prudent to overhaul the suspension.
I was amazed how reasonable the Bilstein kit was, the single Ohlins rear shock on my bike would cost over £1200 to replace.
 

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31 Posts
I upgraded to bilstein b12 kit and didnt have factory sport pack.
With 225/45/17 tyres it is very stiff for my taste. In my country roads are pretty bad and i am constantly avoiding potholes. But i like it, car feels more connected to road and shocks perform very well when driving to the limit.
 

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I have the B12 on Sunhilde, which was a base-spec SKLK280 manual transmission without Sport package. I kept the 16" rims when I did the upgrade. The B12 kit is noticeably stiffer than the stock suspension. It is tiring on poor pavement and does induce rattles on those surfaces. On smooth roads it is comfortable enough, and the cornering ability is dramatically improved over stock. When I go out for a romp on roads I've driven for decades, Sunhilde will carry more speed into corners than is sometimes prudent. She could probably use more tire, but I don't want the expense of 17s or a still-rougher ride. When the Continental ContiExtremeContact DW tires wear out I will fit Michelin Pilot Sports instead for more grip.
 

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I had a different experience than Beekster but I'm running 19 tires. I went from the '55 suspension to the B12.

Yes the ride is still stiff, but even my wife said she preferred the ride over the OE ride as it was actually softer.

And the low profile sidewall tires really make a gargantuan difference in cornering. Definitely worth the stiff ride. I just go slow over speed bumps.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK280
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76 Posts
I only recently became the owner of an SLK and never had experience of the standard suspension. One of the shocks was shot when I got it so I changed both to Bilstein B8's. It's not on the road yet but I have had it round the industrial estate where I work and boy is it hard. If the roads where you live are bad I'd think twice about it. Bilsteins might be ok round Goodwood but on poor roads I'm not so sure !
 

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The Bilstein B8s Shock/Struts are the correct replacement for the Sports Pkg. I don't see any real advantage to the B12s.

When mine wearout, if ever, I'll replace them with the Bilstein B8s. I agree the OEM and the Bilsteins are way to hard, but one must remember the fault is with the springs. The shocks simply match the rate of the springs. There isn't much one can do about it.

To soften the ride, you can go to a smaller wheel for more sidewall height, and a different brand of tire can help. My car came with Pirelli P-Zeros which rode hard and wore out fast! I switched to Michelin A/S +3s for a greatly improved ride.

And we have pot holes in Ohio! Some are so big those who fall into them are never seen again! I lost a tire hitting one recently. The sidewall had a big bulge in it. Fortunately the tire was nearly worn out. BTW, save your take off tires when you get a new set. You might need them as an emergency replacement.
 

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I seem to have gleaned from reading offers online Bilstein b12 consists of b8 shocks and pro kit (Eibach) springs. Is that correct?
 
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