Suspension Harshness Question - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 11-29-2016
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Suspension Harshness Question

I am new to the SLK world, but certainly not new to cars. (I've had a bunch.) This 1999 SLK 230 (with 110,000 miles) seems to be harshly suspended. I realize that one man's "Firm" is another man's "Soft", but hopefully someone can help me understand my suspension. Here are my questions:

1.) My shock absorbers have imprinted on them large letters. The fronts have "V1" on the them and the rears have "H2" in LARGE block letters. Are these shocks the originals? Do those numbers mean anything?

2.) Does anybody else think this vehicle is too stiffly suspended, or is it just me?
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#2 Old 11-29-2016
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Just guessing here but: what does your "data card" indicate?
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#3 Old 11-29-2016
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My data card only lists one option: Special paint.
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#4 Old 11-29-2016
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Early models don't have a lot of 'data' in their datacards

https://www.slkworld.com/vehicle-data...d-request.html


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#5 Old 11-29-2016
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#6 Old 11-29-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twright View Post
Does anybody else think this vehicle is too stiffly suspended, or is it just me?
If you have the 1999 SLK230 "Sport" with 17" wheels like my previous car, it is very stiff. It will beat you to death over rough roads. It's made for handling. Reminds me of my old Austin Healey Bug-Eyed Sprite.
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#7 Old 11-29-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twright View Post
I am new to the SLK world, but certainly not new to cars. (I've had a bunch.) This 1999 SLK 230 (with 110,000 miles) seems to be harshly suspended. I realize that one man's "Firm" is another man's "Soft", but hopefully someone can help me understand my suspension. Here are my questions:

1.) My shock absorbers have imprinted on them large letters. The fronts have "V1" on the them and the rears have "H2" in LARGE block letters. Are these shocks the originals? Do those numbers mean anything?

2.) Does anybody else think this vehicle is too stiffly suspended, or is it just me?
Regards #2 : No, it's a sports car. I found the 2000 SLK230 to be an excellent balance between the stiffness required for good handling, good compliance to let the tires track the road surface, and ride quality. The 2006 SLK280 is a bit more biased to the sporty/stiff side but still has excellent ride quality and compliance for a middleweight sports car.

Some thoughts:
Presuming your springs and shocks are standard and not worn out (you can estimate wear on the springs by measuring static ride height and a good suspension shop can measure wear on suspension dampers using an appropriate gauge and jig setup*), a potential cause for harsh ride quality is also worn out motor mounts. I bought my SLK230 with 122,000 miles on it and it definitely needed motor mounts immediately ... the engine was riding very low due to the worn-out mounts and it rode harshly as a result. Ride quality was much improved the moment the engine/transmission mounts were changed. I believe the motor/transmission mounts on SLK cars are intended to be changed at around 65,000-75,000 miles, but most aren't.

* The shock absorbers Mercedes uses as stock equipment are generally speaking very good quality so you rarely have to worry about having them measured until you reach very high mileages. The ones in my SLK230 were still working well at 170,000 miles.

Tires ... both the size and the brand/type, and their inflation pressures ... make a huge difference to ride quality. When I upgraded the SLK280 to the Sport kit 17" wheels and matching tire sizes (my SLK230 was completely standard with 16" wheels), I went with Continental ExtremeContact DW tires and inflate them to the standard pressures listed in the fuel filler door plus 1 psi. I chose them because I know these tires perform well (excellent braking and cornering stick, not too razor sharp a turn-in bite, etc) and give a plush ride quality. These same tires gave an excellent ride quality on the SLK230 at standard sizing and with standard inflation pressures.
There's no getting around the fact that the SLK is a small, tautly sprung car intended for a sporty driving feel, however. Anything that makes it handle better (lowering, aftermarket springs for less body roll, shock absorbers with more spring control, etc) will generally make it feel firmer and likely increase ride harshness and noise. If it's a softer, plusher-riding car that you're after, you likely need to consider something else.

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#8 Old 11-30-2016
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V stands for Vorderseite "front" and H / Hintere for "rear" in German. I don't know the meanings of numbers but my facelift had H4 V4 installed originally.

Now I run on Bilstein (HD) B6 shocks for better handling. For oem dampening they have B4. And B8 for lowering kits and even stiffer ride.
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#9 Old 12-01-2016
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How much stiffer did the ride get when you installed the Bilstein HD B6 shocks?


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Originally Posted by murat orhan View Post
V stands for Vorderseite "front" and H / Hintere for "rear" in German. I don't know the meanings of numbers but my facelift had H4 V4 installed originally.

Now I run on Bilstein (HD) B6 shocks for better handling. For oem dampening they have B4. And B8 for lowering kits and even stiffer ride.
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#10 Old 12-04-2016
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How much stiffer did the ride get when you installed the Bilstein HD B6 shocks?
B6 has monotube design which is different than oem shocks. Actually, I like very much the general dampening and handling of bilstein but you feel its much stiffer when you go over pot holes etc. But still never want to go back to oem.

Now, I plan to replace my rear subframe bushings (all 4 of them) so probably the ride quality and stiffness will get even better.
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#11 Old 12-14-2016
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Question B6 after awhile?

[QUOTE=Now I run on Bilstein (HD) B6 shocks for better handling. For oem dampening they have B4. And B8 for lowering kits and even stiffer ride.[/QUOTE]

Do the B6s soften up after awhile? For a daily driver I'm having second thoughts about the change I made to them.
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#12 Old 12-14-2016
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B4s?

Has anyone replaced their stock shocks with B4s? I know it's the official replacement for stock but I had a '69 280 SE/C and I replaced the stock shocks with Bilsteins and it made a big improvement. As I recall the OEM shocks were not made by Bilstein.
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