2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

1998-Present CLK200, CLK230, CLK320, CLK350, CLK430, CLK500, CLK55 AMG, CLK63 AMG, CLK DTM AMG
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PeteGong
A Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue 03 Jul, 2018 6:00 pm
Model you own: w209
Region: New South Wales
Location: Figtree

2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeteGong » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 3:05 pm

Hi All, This is my first post so please be gentle....

I recently bought a 2003 CLK 500 with 73,000 kls on the clock. My immediate impression is that the suspension spring rate is not compliant enough. i.e. paradoxically, the springs seem too hard. When the car hits a pot-hole you *really* feel it.

The car has been Sydney-based all it's life. Based on my (trusted) mechanic's advice, the left front strut is leaking fluid and virtually inoperative, while the right front strut also needs replacing. This seems odd for a car with only 73,000 kls.

While there are plenty of heavy duty/lowered spring options, this is not what I need i.e. I am trying to source a softer sets of springs. Any suggestions?

Alternatively, Plan B is to remove the springs and take them to a spring works who can cut a coil from the springs and stretch them to the original spring length to make them softer.

Does anyone else have this experience with the CLK 500 ride?

tks

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Ivanerrol
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5833
Joined: Sat 12 May, 2007 2:21 pm
Model you own: w204
Location: Melbourne

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by Ivanerrol » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 5:52 pm

The CLK 500's were noted to have a firmer ride by reviewers back when the models were released.

There was a sports package with lowered suspension and 18 inch wheels - these cars were "intended" to have a enhanced firmer sports ride.

You maybe able to check which suspension your car came originally equipped with - "Sport" or "Comfort"

The suspension on my W204 is every similar to the W209.
My struts and strut mounts require replacing. They were noisy at 40,000k's - Still noisy at 52,000K's. They still damp O.K. but there's a design fault that causes a knocking noise.
The front thrust arms (Torque or Lower control arms) only last for around 80,000k's before problems occur. Some of these have gone faulty in as little as 30,000K's - depending on how the car is driven.

Springs have been known to break.

Stealership costs for suspension - Strut, mounts and springs will be around $2,000 per side. There are 4 lower control arms. $500.00 each at the stealership.
Look to the U.S.

Check for standard CLK500 comfort struts.
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
Departed
W202 - C200, C180, C180
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240, E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

PeteGong
A Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue 03 Jul, 2018 6:00 pm
Model you own: w209
Region: New South Wales
Location: Figtree

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeteGong » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 7:48 pm

thanks. 'much appreciated

PeteGong
A Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue 03 Jul, 2018 6:00 pm
Model you own: w209
Region: New South Wales
Location: Figtree

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeteGong » Thu 02 Aug, 2018 10:33 am

Thanks again for the helpful reply. My CLK 500 has 17" wheels. The struts have been replaced and I am sourcing the control arms from Australian suppliers. Curiously, my mechanic identified the control arms as the heavy duty type. One Australian supplier (RunParts) lists two types of control arms; one of which is not the heavy duty type. So, I am a bit confused as to what type of suspension my car actually has. The VIN is: WDB2094752T008358

I am also having difficulty sourcing front sway bar bushes (D type) from any Australian supplier. I don't want to go to the stealership if I can help it.

There seems to be two sway bar diameter sizes, 20 mm and 22 mm. I am assuming I have a 20mm front sway bar; with the 22 mm for the CLK 55 (?)

After many Google searches, I can't seem to find any Australian suppliers who have the sway bar bushes.

Any suggestions as to where I should go ? Many tks

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PeterQ
C Class
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon 26 Jan, 2015 6:18 pm
Model you own: w116
Region: Western Australia
Location: Bridgetown

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeterQ » Fri 17 Aug, 2018 9:54 pm

Are you sure your sway bar bushes are separate from the sway bar? On my 2003 CLK500 they were moulded to the bar, so I had to get an entire sway bar assembly from MB. Not too horrific at about $220, though I still needed to get the drop links as well. It took both after market and MB suppliers some time and research to work out why the bushes I got would not fit around the bar.
2003 CLK500 convertible, latest successor to:
2006 W164 ML350 - 1999 S430L - Audi A6 C5 V8
Holden Crewman Cross 6 - Ford Territory - Holden Commodore VZ 6 speed Ute
Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 - Ssangyong Musso 3.2 - Mercedes 450SLC
and a litany of others...

PeteGong
A Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue 03 Jul, 2018 6:00 pm
Model you own: w209
Region: New South Wales
Location: Figtree

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeteGong » Tue 21 Aug, 2018 6:42 pm

Yeah, they are separate. A number of USA sites list them. I got replacement bushes for US $2.17 each. The freight was a bit exorbitant though. I took a punt that I had a 20mm bar and luckily this was right. Mechanic fitted the new bushes; no probs.

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Ivanerrol
Mercedes Demigod
Posts: 5833
Joined: Sat 12 May, 2007 2:21 pm
Model you own: w204
Location: Melbourne

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by Ivanerrol » Tue 21 Aug, 2018 9:26 pm

It pays to check stealership prices before you go elsewhere.

I have bought stealership items which were far cheaper than ebay stuff
W211 - E240
W204 - C280
Departed
W202 - C200, C180, C180
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240, E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)

PeteGong
A Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue 03 Jul, 2018 6:00 pm
Model you own: w209
Region: New South Wales
Location: Figtree

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeteGong » Wed 22 Aug, 2018 5:11 am

To clarify, you are correct. To the best of my knowledge the bushes are factory moulded to the bar. 'Potentially clumsy design as the bar and the bushes have to be replaced as a whole if you want to go MB genuine. This type of design uses a fabric mesh material on the inside of the bush to achieve the moulding. That does not mean that you can't remove the original bushes from the bar, and install new bushes with some lithium grease which provides better flexibility and less squeaks/creaks

PeteGong
A Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue 03 Jul, 2018 6:00 pm
Model you own: w209
Region: New South Wales
Location: Figtree

Re: 2003 CLK 500 suspension spring rate

Post by PeteGong » Wed 22 Aug, 2018 5:14 am

In all cases, I have checked MB genuine prices with my mechanic before ordering OEM or aftermarket.

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