300 SEL Suspension Noises

1979-1991 280SE, 300SE, 300SEL, 380SE, 380SEL, 380SEC, 420SE, 420SEL, 420SEC, 500SE, 500SEL, 500SEC, 560SEL, 560SEC
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jas-300-sel
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Model you own: w126

300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by jas-300-sel » Sat 20 Jan, 2018 2:33 pm

Hi guys, recently my front suspension started making little clicking and knocking sounds when driving on smooth surfaces like a car park or smooth road and after the car warmed up they went away. My mechanic said it was the front shocks when the fluid settles in old ones it leaves a gap which causes the noise but as they warm up the fluid expands and sound goes away. So I ordered new Bilstein OEM front shocks and had them fitted yesterday. I jumped in the car this morning and the little knocking & clunking noises are still there till the car warmed up on the road, which was about 15 mins.

MY mechanic said the bump stops will need replacing soon as they've collapsed a fair bit. Can anyone give me some ideas as to what this noise could be and why it goes away once the car has warmed up? Do new shocks take time to bed in or anything to get fluids moving?

Cheers

Jas.
'89 300 SEL

CraigB
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Re: 300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by CraigB » Sat 20 Jan, 2018 5:50 pm

Given that you are hearing the noise on smooth surfaces with little movement, I wouldn't be thinking shocks but I think its something that is binding up and affected by the small movement - my guess ball joint lower control arm, maybe upper. I would check and see if the boots on any of them are broken that might be a hint. I'm trying to remember what my wheel alignment place does, but they basically lever or jack the suspension and i guess feel the different joints with movement and can tell which is making noise. Maybe you could try to spray some Inox or something in there and see if it makes a difference - not a long term solution but if it goes temporarily you know where the problem was. Years ago my Alfa had a worn lower ball joint, replaced with a cheap one, had the noise you describe, tried to lube it more, replaced with a good quality one and was fine ever since. In the good old days it would have had a grease nipple and you could pump grease through it!
Craig Baulderstone
Lurch
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jas-300-sel
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Re: 300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by jas-300-sel » Sat 20 Jan, 2018 11:19 pm

Thanks Craig.
'89 300 SEL

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jas-300-sel
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Re: 300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by jas-300-sel » Wed 25 Apr, 2018 11:07 pm

A further update guys, my mechanic seems to think it might be worn front spring pads? I'm going to take it to a merc workshop that's down the road from me for a second opinion and also because it will most certainly still be making the creaking, crunching & knocking sounds with this local shop being much closer than my usual guy.

The noises are not when I go over bumps but more acute when the car experiences changes in road or surface camber or incline. There's no noise when the shock or suspension is working when I go through a pot hole or bumpy road, but the noises are there when I go up or down a car park ramp or round a tight corner with reverse camber. They go away after around 40 mins of driving. But come back when the car has been sitting for more than a few hours. The front shocks are brand new.

Any thoughts or similar experiences?

Cheers

Jas
'89 300 SEL

CraigB
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Re: 300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by CraigB » Wed 25 Apr, 2018 11:40 pm

Just gut feelings - not spring pads - can't see why that would change after 40 mins of driving, as one reason. My money is still on ball joints or something that moves. Binds up on sitting and after minor movements over 40 mins it loosens up - or other joints that move. The reverse camber could be that the joints have a smidgen of wear in the normal postion but that tightens with the position of the off-camber but problem is coming from it being dried out from say a broken boot - hence my suggestion of a can of inox with the little tube it comes with, poked under the boot or in a crack and see if it makes a difference.

I really don't know though and just using reasoning to try and suggest a solution - main aim that you don't go spending decent money replacing something like spring pads - still have the noise, replace the next part etc etc. A good place that knows their stuff should be able to confidently diagnose and i think your best chance of that is from and 'old school' suspension place. You don't want to be paying mechanic rates to test their guesses!
Craig Baulderstone
Lurch
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL
350SL
500SEC's
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kimrh
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Re: 300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by kimrh » Thu 26 Apr, 2018 1:59 pm

Front suspension -
Any of these compenents
*Caster Rod bushes (could be at the dog bone end or the front of the rod where it mounts into the lower control arm via a the bush) - highly likely
*Ball joints - easy to tell if dust covers are shot
*Torsion bar bush to upper control arm
*Upper control arm bushes
*Steering Idler arm bush worn - easy fix

It will not be the spring pads - but if your having the suspension worked on (requires springs out) then it does not hurt to replace the spring pads with fresh rubber at the same time

Get it checked out by someone who knows these cars
87 White Euro 500SEC "ECE" 195kw
88 Black Euro 560SEC 220kw
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sinbad2
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Re: 300 SEL Suspension Noises

Post by sinbad2 » Thu 07 Jun, 2018 7:53 pm

I had similar behavior in my 300D, it turned out to be the self leveling rear suspension, and low oil level in the reservoir?

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