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Front Shock Absorber Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Shock Absorber Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50 to $350

Talent:

**

Tools:

14mm wrench, 10mm twelve point, adjustable wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Parts Required:

New shocks

Hot Tip:

Buy a good shock, they last longer

Performance Gain:

Improved handling

Complementary Modification:

Rotate your tires

Nothing can freshen up the handling of your vehicle like a new pair of shocks. Most people never think to check their shocks and end up leaving the same shocks on for the life of their car. If your car is bouncing up and down or diving and squatting while braking or accelerating there is a good chance that you are in need of new shocks. The shocks on the W123 are easy to replace, relatively inexpensive and can really help restore the factory feel to your vehicle.

Note: Shocks should always be replaced in pairs; if one is bad, the other is not far behind it.

Over the years your car may have been serviced by multiple people including previous owners and this can lead to parts replaced with different size fasteners and hardware including the type of fasteners used on the tie rod ball joints. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. If something is different on your vehicle please let us know and share your info to help other users. If you have any questions or comments or even a different procedure you would like to share please leave it below and please leave your vehicle information.

Raise and support front of vehicle on jack stands and remove the front wheels. See our tech article on jacking up your W123.

There is a single shock on each side (red arrow) along with a separate spring.
Figure 1

There is a single shock on each side (red arrow) along with a separate spring.

To replace the shocks begin by opening the hood and locating the top of the shock in the engine compartment (red arrow).
Figure 2

To replace the shocks begin by opening the hood and locating the top of the shock in the engine compartment (red arrow).

There are two nuts on the top of the shock.
Figure 3

There are two nuts on the top of the shock. Use a 14mm and remove the top locking nut (red arrow).

You will need to hold the top of the shock shaft with an adjustable wrench (red arrow) to stop it from spinning and then use a 14mm wrench and remove the nut.
Figure 4

You will need to hold the top of the shock shaft with an adjustable wrench (red arrow) to stop it from spinning and then use a 14mm wrench and remove the nut.

Remove the top washer and rubber isolator.
Figure 5

Remove the top washer and rubber isolator.

The lower shock is attached by two 10mm twelve point bolts (red arrows).
Figure 6

The lower shock is attached by two 10mm twelve point bolts (red arrows). Turn the wheel so you have access to the outside bolt and remove it.

To get better access to the inner bolt slightly compress the shock from the top and tilt it outward (red arrow).
Figure 7

To get better access to the inner bolt slightly compress the shock from the top and tilt it outward (red arrow). Place a small rag on the top of the shock and let it expand inside the fender. This will give you more room to remove the inner bolt.

With both bolts removed you can easily remove the shock from the vehicle.
Figure 8

With both bolts removed you can easily remove the shock from the vehicle.

Your new shocks should come with new isolators and washers.
Figure 9

Your new shocks should come with new isolators and washers. Make sure to install them in the correct order as one goes under the fender and one above. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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