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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Shock Replacement

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

****

Tools:

Sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, floor jack

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W210 (1996-03)

Parts Required:

New shocks

Hot Tip:

Take your time and be careful

Performance Gain:

Better ride and handling

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear control arm bushings

One of the most popular Do-It-Yourself projects to perform is the replacement of the front and rear shocks. I usually recommend that you replace both the front and the rear at the same time, as they take roughly similar abuse over their lifetime, and the fronts or rears are not likely to be more or less worn than the other ones. As a rule, the shocks should always be replaced in axle pairs (left and right together).

I recommend that you replace your shocks every 60,000 miles or so, or if they start to show signs of fading or wearing out. Different driving patterns may also affect the life of shock absorbers.  Cars that are raced or often driven on sharp windy roads may need to have their shocks replaced more often than street cars.  It is also important to remember if you install performance springs into your car that lower it from its stock level, you will need to have the car realigned.  Changing the height of the suspension also changes the values of the suspension settings.

The first step is to raise the vehicle and secure it properly on jack stands. Once secured, remove the rear wheels. Once the wheel is removed, you'll see all the components that make up the rear suspension. The vehicle has to be in loaded position (wheels on ground) when the upper mount fastener is removed, as stated by Mercedes-Benz. 

Sometimes, the results of changing the rear shocks on a car are extraordinary, making the car feel like new again. Using our guide, I will go over the steps to change out the rear shocks on the Mercedes W210 chassis.

The upper shock mounting points are accessed by opening the rear trunk.
Figure 1

The upper shock mounting points are accessed by opening the rear trunk. Remove the spare tire cover first. You'll need to remove the rear inner trunk liner. This is held in place by four plastic rivets (green arrows) and two Phillips head screws (purple arrows).

Here's a close up of the Phillips head screw (purple arrow) and plastic rivet (green arrow).
Figure 2

Here's a close up of the Phillips head screw (purple arrow) and plastic rivet (green arrow).

With the rear trunk liner removed, you can see the two upper connections for the rear shocks (green arrows).
Figure 3

With the rear trunk liner removed, you can see the two upper connections for the rear shocks (green arrows).

You'll want to loosen the two lock nuts for the rear shocks with the car still on the ground.
Figure 4

You'll want to loosen the two lock nuts for the rear shocks with the car still on the ground. With the car on the ground, the shock will be compressed and make removal a bit easier. Use one wrench to hold the bottom nut while you remove the top nut as shown here. Once removed, loosen the bottom nut, but don't remove it just yet.

Now jack the rear of the car up and secure it on jack stands.
Figure 5

Now jack the rear of the car up and secure it on jack stands. At the bottom of the rear control arm is a plastic cover. Remove the two 10mm screws holding the cover on and pop the plastic cover off the control arm.

With the plastic cover removed, you'll see the 17mm bolt and nut that hold the rear shock to the control arm (green arrow).
Figure 6

With the plastic cover removed, you'll see the 17mm bolt and nut that hold the rear shock to the control arm (green arrow).

Remove the 17mm nut while counter-holding the 17mm bolt head on the other side of the control arm.
Figure 7

Remove the 17mm nut while counter-holding the 17mm bolt head on the other side of the control arm.

Place your floor jack directly under the control arm to support its weight and remove the nut at the top of the shock that you previously loosened.
Figure 8

Place your floor jack directly under the control arm to support its weight and remove the nut at the top of the shock that you previously loosened. Now remove the rear shock from the car. Now lower the jack and remove the bolt from the bottom of the control arm.

Slide the new protective grommet over the top of the new shock.
Figure 9

Slide the new protective grommet over the top of the new shock. Now slide the new shock up through the hole at the top of the wheel housing and maneuver it so that the bottom fits into the bracket on the control arm.

Once the shock is seated in the control arm, take the new 17mm bolt and slide it into the bracket, through the shock and fit the new 16mm nut on the end.
Figure 10

Once the shock is seated in the control arm, take the new 17mm bolt and slide it into the bracket, through the shock and fit the new 16mm nut on the end. Tighten the nut and bolt to 30ft-lbs.

Use a floor jack to jack the top of the shock through the hole at the top.
Figure 11

Use a floor jack to jack the top of the shock through the hole at the top. Once through, fit the new rubber grommet over the shock rod, then the flat washer and the new nut at the top. Don't tighten it down just yet. Next, refit the plastic cover over the control arm and tighten down the 10mm screws that hold it on. Now lower the car back down and tighten the top nut on the shock until it bottoms out on the shock threads. Refit the inner trunk liner and you are done. 

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Comments and Suggestions:
Ed Comments: I have a 1998 Mercedes Benz wagon, 4matic
I need to replace my rear shocks.
I am shocked by the cost of the Sachs
rear shocks $360 a piece.
What gas shock alternative can be used
on the self leveling Sacns shocks.

KYB, BILSTEIN, OTHER BRANDS ???
November 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers. I like bilstein.


Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Foxx99 Comments: Thank you very much for this instruction, I must change all suspension soonost possible because car have about 300000 miles with original suspension! OMG. Just bought MEYLE shock I will do it this weekend.
October 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
slim Comments: Hi, I want to change the rear shock for My E200 Estate 1998 petrol, W210, Hydraulic self level one, can I disconnect the fluid cable first and join it to the new one without any problem , could you advice me please thanks.
August 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You need to relieve pressure at the accumulator. best bet is to get a repair manual for your vehicle. As I can;t be sure on non-us model vehicles. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: Great instructions and information. Thank you very very much.
August 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Shawn S. Comments: I'm hoping to see rear spring replacement update soon.
December 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is on the list to get updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: The title is "Rear Shock and Spring Replacement". How do you replace the springs? I need to replace both on my e320. Thanks in advance.
October 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I will see if the missing info can be uploaded. Thanks for catching that, we appreciate it. I will have the article updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Richard Comments: In your instructions concerning the last steps I am confused at how to lower the car to ride height except by putting the tires on and lowering the vehicle. Can I still tighten lower bolt with tires on the vehicle? A bit unclear.

Thanks

Richard
September 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you can access it with the wheel on. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rich Comments: Hello,
On the last step it is stated do not tighten down yet. What steps must be taken before tightening top nut. I did not see correction at stated location.
August 21, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The suspension has to be loaded into the ride height position, then the fastener at the bottom tightened. Then tighten the upper fastener. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Chuck Comments: Hi
Like Glenn said step by step stop at 11 .what is next step.I have try to go to roy@pelicanpart.com.I could not find the next step at all.
Thank you very much
July 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not what has happened. I will have someone check if the article in incomplete.

We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kelly Comments: What year and models would be compatible with my 98 e320 mercedes looking for rear coil springs
June 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dickson Comments: In figure 8, it mentions removing the shock abosorber before lower the jack and remove the bolt from the bottom of the control arm. Is that a typo? Should the sequence be reversed?
April 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think that is How Jared does it. Once the top bolt is removed, the shock will come down. Then you can remove the lower bolt and then the shock. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Stretch Comments: Additional comments about this DIY have been made here

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/tech-help/352833-question-pelicans-procedure-rear-shock-replacement.html
March 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Martin Comments: Thank you for the detailed information - l replaced all 4 shock absorbers over the weekend on my 1999 E55 with Bilstein updated compatible parts.Your instruction made the job much less challenging and saved me A$300 by doing it myself. Thanks again.
July 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You are most welcome, glad the diy was helpful.
-whunter- -
 
Slorkypy Comments: Err,,, no it has not!!
June 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Did you have an issue with this DIY?
-whunter-
 
Glenn Comments: Pelican Parts,
The step-by-step stops at figure 11, but should not as the text end with, "Don’t tighten it down just yet." as if there is something else to consider before tightening the top of the shock. Would you please finish this job? Thanks.
June 30, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thank you for pointing this out, it has been corrected.
roy@pelicanparts.com
 

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Page last updated: Sat 3/25/2017 02:13:14 AM