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Registered 2001 SLK320
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

So my 18 yr old SLK320 with 120k miles still has all the original springs, shocks and bushings and I’m sure you can guess what the handling is like now, very squishy, slight body roll and very little feeling of what the car is doing until it start so to slide around etc. You can literally feel how much the wheels are moving due to worn bushings.

I’m looking at replacing all the springs, shocks and bushings in a few weeks and I need your opinions/reviews if you have installed any suspension mods.

I want the car to feel like it’s bolted down on rails, just a good confident solid feeling when pushing the limits. My Dad has an 2012 R172 with the AMG handling pack, this is the sort of suspension feeling I’d like to go for, maybe a fraction stiffer.

So far I’m leaning towards the H&R -30mm Springs, either #1 /2 springs pads. Bilstein B8 shocks, replacing all the front bushings with polyurethane, and the back with OEM rubber bushings and polyurethane subframe mounts for the rear. Also going to be changing the 17” rims to 18” to reduce tyre roll.

I understand the H&R cup kit is very stiff and the Eibach kit is close to stock.

Just for reference I’d call the R170s stock ride soft, comfortable and very forgiving and the R172 with the handing pack quite stiff by still comfortable and reasonably forgiving, I like how the car just feels solid and predictable. As a 19 yr old I’m not overly worried about NVH, and not great ride quality.

If anyone with a lowered stiffend car could give me some reviews of these suspension products that would be great.

Thanks
Aidan
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK320
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1,032 Posts
The Design Engineers in the suspension group spent hundreds and hundreds of hours getting all the ride and handling parameters to the best compromise for real world conditions for this car. Since UK has such a variety of good and bad roads, narrow back roads and long motorways the suspension needs to deal with all conditions.
A hotch potch of someone’s opinions about screwing down the suspensions with stiff springs and dampers may feel better on the track but as the car skips around corners on all the bumps, it will not feel like it is on rails,,,,
These are not light cars at 1300-1400 kg. They already sit on suspension with less travel than the C & E class that the bits were borrowed from. They need travel to work. Unless the car only drives on racetracks which are generally very smooth.

If your car has worn suspension you may be amazed at how good it feels with all new bushes throughout and new stock dampers and maybe new stock springs.
Don’t think SLK32 parts are the answer either, they are 180kg heavier than the early 230 so it has to have a different spec.
My postfacelift 320 is supposed to be 9mm lower than my last prefacelift 230 and it certainly does not ride as well and I don’t think the handling is measureably better.
Oh, put good tyres on it too.
 

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Premium Member 1999 SLK 5.4 M113
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1,433 Posts
I hear poly bushings will really tighten things up, but I dont believe there is a cost effective kit available.

Mine has coils, shocks and swaybars from a CLK55 and it feels really good. It's also on #1 spring pads but isn't much lower than stock - which is fine with me, I dont like how these cars look lowered.

I have also heard the H&R kit is basically just for lowering, and not so much for stiffness.
 

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Premium Member 2001 SLK200K/2001 SLK320
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1,599 Posts
As you plan to change them anyway, I'd start with upping the wheel/tyre size from 17" to 18" first.
That ½" less rubber on the sidewalls makes a substantial difference all on its' own and you might just decide that that's good enough (for now at least).
 

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Registered 2001 SLK320
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24 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info guys.

Well i definitely need to change the shocks and bushes because they are all shot. Tbh I hate the stock suspension height, the front is okay however the mega wheel gap on the back just makes it look like a toy town car imo 😂

I’ve heard the Eibach Kit gives pretty close to stock ride but is 30mm lower. Maybe this is the one to go for.

I definitely respect that the MB engineers know what they are doing with suspension but I’m pretty sure back in the early 2000s they were more interested in comfort and luxury than handling. Everyone who goes in my car makes remarks about how comfy and un-sports car like the ride is.

I think I’ll go for the wheels after the suspension because i do need to get the bushes and shocks replaced anyways. Not sure if they will pass the MOT this year.
 
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