Shock absorbers are normally replaced only if they are leaking excessively (oil visible on the outside cover) or if they are internally worn to a point that the car no longer rides smoothly and rebounds excessively after hitting a bump. A good general test of shock absorber condition is to bounce the front of the car rapidly. Let go. If the car bounces more than twice (or three times, at the utmost), you can assume the shocks need replacing.
You can also examine the shocks for a bent piston rod, which will bind during travel. These shocks should also be replaced.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION Except 190D, 190E, 1974-76 230, 240D, 280, 280C, 1975-76 300D, 380SL, 380SLC, 450SL and 450SLC Models
See Figures 1 and 2
- Jack and support the front of the car. Support the lower control arm.
- Loosen the nuts on the upper shock absorber mount. Remove the plate and ring.
- Place the shock absorber vertical to the lower control arm and remove the lower mounting bolts.
- Remove the shock absorber.
- Installation is the reverse of removal. On Bilstein shocks, do not confuse the upper and lower plates.
1974-76 230, 240D, 280, 280C, 1975-75 300D, 380SL, 380SLC, 450SL and 450SLC Models
See Figures 3 through 8