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Registered 05 SLK55 & 06 Kleemann 55K S8
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878 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I am not too impressed with the suspension on my SLK55. I had test drove a car that had the Black suspension setup on it and it was very nice. My car has 83k miles and I know the suspension is tired. The front struts were replaced 25k miles ago, but I am still not impressed with them. I am replacing control arms up front too. So, with that said I have searched here and not found too much about suspension upgrades.

I am looking to go Bilstein as they have a good reputation and the price isn't nuts. Has anyone used the B16 (PSS9) in their car or rode in an SLK with them in? Bilstein says you can use them in a 55, but also lists the same ones for the other models. I don't really want to put down the cash for the KW V3 ($3k) as this is just a fun car. I was looking at the V1, but they say it is for the SLK350 on down. H&R are too low, but they also say they fit all models.

So I have it narrowed down to the B16, B14 and the KW V1. The B14 is a non-adjustable B16, but I am worried they may not be optimal for the 55 and the adjustable compression damping on the B16 might help. For $400 less though, it would be nice to go with the B14 since everything else is the same. So, does anyone have some input on these 3 options?
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG
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11,269 Posts
I know that @JazzanovaSLK has Bilstein B14s on her non-AMG R171 until quite recently (they're for sale here, although she says they're not suitable for the SLK55 anyway)... I don't know whether there's any point in asking how they were on her SLK, or not?
 

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Registered 05 SLK55 & 06 Kleemann 55K S8
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878 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
^ I think B8 are struts only, B14/16 coil over.
Yes, this is correct. B8 struts/shocks are ~$750, so I was thinking it isn't that much more to go to B14 for $400. I would like a firmer (but composed) feel than stock shocks, does anyone have the B8's on?
 

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Registered 2006 SLK 55 AMG w/P30
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176 Posts
I have B8’s on my P30 55 on all four corners. I autocross and track my car quite a bit. I went the B8 route to be able to stay in the SCCA BS street class for autocross. I like B8’s for both competition and spirited street driving with minimal additional harshness for commuting type driving. I still dodge the manhole covers as I did with the stock shocks. Installation was pretty straightforward. I didn’t have access to a spring compressor, so I had a local shop swap the front springs from the OEM to B8 struts. It took them about 30 minutes since I brought the removed struts to them.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK55 AMG
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251 Posts
I have B8's on my 2006 '55 AMG and like them very much. I bought mine from shockwarehouse.com owing to them having the best price around at the time.

Here is what they are asking for B8's today. Local parts stores often loan out spring compressors.

tn
 

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Registered 05 SLK55 & 06 Kleemann 55K S8
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878 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have B8's on my 2006 '55 AMG and like them very much. I bought mine from shockwarehouse.com owing to them having the best price around at the time.

Here is what they are asking for B8's today. Local parts stores often loan out spring compressors.

tn
And they are an extra $40 off on BF.... Thanks for the input guys! I have spring compressors already, so that is no issue.
 

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Question for conversion to coil-overs for the rear. Would these give any additional clearance between the inside edge of the wheel/tire as compared to stock suspension?
 

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Registered 05 SLK55 & 06 Kleemann 55K S8
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878 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Question for conversion to coil-overs for the rear. Would these give any additional clearance between the inside edge of the wheel/tire as compared to stock suspension?
They use the same top perch, so it looks like the springs are the same size as stock.
 

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They use the same top perch, so it looks like the springs are the same size as stock.
Thank you for this response. I will have to pull the rear wheel and do an inspection to see how much clearance I have, and what possible modifications that might give a bit more clearance for wider wheel/tyre (tire).
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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2,204 Posts

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Registered 05 SLK55 & 06 Kleemann 55K S8
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878 Posts
Discussion Starter #13

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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2,204 Posts
Thanks for this! I hadn't dug in to the rear suspension yet to realize the stock springs are inboard. That means any coilover may actually decrease the amount of tire you can put in the back.
I haven't looked at the car for the actual rear shock mounting location, but from the picture it looks to me that the top of the shock is inboard of the wheel well as the top of the shock appears to be inside of the subframe mounting point 1c. Plus the top shock mounting point is accessed from inside the trunk and what appears to be inboard of the wheel well. Careful inspection of your car is warranted.
 

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Registered 05 SLK55 & 06 Kleemann 55K S8
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878 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I haven't looked at the car for the actual rear shock mounting location, but from the picture it looks to me that the top of the shock is inboard of the wheel well as the top of the shock appears to be inside of the subframe mounting point 1c. Plus the top shock mounting point is accessed from inside the trunk and what appears to be inboard of the wheel well. Careful inspection of your car is warranted.
Yes, the top of the shock mounts inside 1c. I haven't been able to find any really good pictures of the rear suspension, but from what I have found it looks like the outside of the shock body is basically flush with the inside of the wheel well. A coil over definitely may limit rear tire width. I will try to get some good pics shortly as I am trying to chase down a vibration and checking out the rear was the next thing to do. I had the front apart already. The front has some quirks, but a somewhat normal multilink setup.
 
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