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Front Shock Absorber Replacement – S Class – W140 – Mercedes-Benz
Time: 4 hours
Tools: Torque wrench, 5mm hex wrench, 17mm box wrench, spanner wrench
Mercedes-Benz W140 (1992-99)
Parts Required: Shock absorbers
Hot Tip: Have some Blue Lock Tite handy
Performance Gain: Better handling and suspension
Complementary Modification: Rear accumulator replacement
This is a how-to guide to replace the front shock absorbers on the W-140 body, S-Class Mercedes in mid-late 90s model cars. This article is of my own making, and from my own research. If you use any of the material within then, like me, you’re on your own. You can’t hold me or anyone else responsible for whatever, so if you don’t feel comfortable doing this sort of mechanical work, then take your car to an authorized mechanic.
A while back when I acquired this wonderful automobile, I noticed the suspension was well, somewhat neglected. It had a ride like there was 100 lbs of air in the tires, rattling everything from my teeth to lose interior parts. Sort of like someone had replaced the shocks with cement.
But wait – when I bought it, it only had 65k miles on it, and just 6 years old! Was it really time for new suspension stuff? Certainly neglected by previous “lessee,” but hey, it’s still a Merc right? So a little fishing around on this site and viola – suspension problems are not only common but are VERY easy to fix. It’s almost a routine maintenance item. The rears are more complicated, plus the MB shop wanted quite a sum to do the rear accumulators (no shocks on the rear) – almost ,400.00. My costs for the rear accumulators was about 0, and maybe the same amount for the fronts.
A few months back I got it up in the air, and replaced the failed accumulators along with some hydraulic lines. But here’s the best part – there is simply no words, adjectives or diction I could place in writing that would describe what that little bit of work did for this car’s ride. And my back. It went from race car hard to the comfort and luxury the S class W-140s are known for, yet still gave me a sparkling sense of road feel – a combination only found on Mercedes. It was what they were designed for!
Confidently thinking I had solved all of middle Georgia’s auto suspension problems, I did notice that although the rear of the car gave me that impeccable ride, there was just something in the front that I could not put my finger on. Something a little stiff maybe, even made the wheel shimmy at certain speeds. New Michelin MX4 Tires/wheels were balanced once again, but no difference. Until I drove a new 2004 S500 – then I knew.
Back to the task at hand – the front shocks. After 70K miles, the front shocks were apparently shot. Remember, it was a salt car from NY, and after all it is going on 8 years old. In the American car maintenance world, shocks are sometimes a 4 year item. So let’s give these front shocks a try. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised at how simple the procedure is on this car. Dirty, yes. Somewhat laborious, but amazingly simple. As an amateur I’m sure I went around the elbow to get to the thumb. But this is how I did it, and I certainly hope it will help all you DIY’s out there that have been contemplating the same task. Good luck!
How to replace your front shock absorbers.
Applies to: W140 (1992-99) Subscribe 😉
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