Mercedes shocks, struts: Key to Mercedes handling

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Published: 24th May 2007
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Since a car's drivetrain like that on a Mercedes Benz only has the wheels to prop it up on the ground, a shocks and struts assembly called the suspension system reinforces the chassis and drivetrain in keeping the car stable in various drive applications. Composed of a network of braces and sway bars, the Mercedes Benz struts support the weight of the car and, together with the springs and torsion bars assembly of the Mercedes Benz shocks, takes chassis flex away from the passenger cabin.

During cruise speed, the Mercedes Benz shocks serve as catch framework for bounce from bumps. The stress from the bounce, instead of being transmitted into the car chassis, is then rerouted to the Mercedes Benz strut assembly. When the car hug curves, on the other hand, not only bounce but also chassis flex and longitudinal compression get transmitted into the strut assembly. Every time bounce and chassis flex are redirected in the Mercedes Benz struts, the cabin is spared from an otherwise uncomfortable ride.

In the case of chassis flex and longitudinal compression, a Mercedes Benz is theoretically liable to roll off when cornering. But, because of the suspension system, chassis flex and compression stress are transmitted away from the cabin and into the heavy-duty struts, maintaining the car's bearing on corners. The same is done to the weight of the vehicle and the bounce from bumps. This function of the strut assembly gives it the description "passive" shock absorbers.

Mercedes Benz struts are usually installed across the car chassis, where it is on a high ground to function as chassis frame and support the car. These struts often carry rugged designs and can be used to reinforce the upper suspension arms of the Mercedes Benz. Due to the strain that strut assembly must absorb away from the chassis, they are held firmly by similarly durable strut mounts. The Mercedes Benz strut mounts serve as pivot point for the strut assembly. For improved absorption of longitudinal compression, struts are lubricated at either ends.

In most cases, the front end of the Mercedes-Benz is equipped with a MacPherson type of struts. This assembly has rubber strut mounts, fitted with bearings and bushings at the center to provide mobility for steering. A MacPherson strut is also used on the rear end of the drive train if the Mercedes Benz is capable of 4-wheel drive. Normally, a traditional strut assembly composed of strut tower braces and sway bars affixed to a chrome strut mount shaft is used on the read end of the drive train.

Aside from passenger comfort, the Mercedes Benz shocks and struts assemblies contribute to improved car handling. The Mercedes Benz suspension system is usually calibrated to prevent the car from nosediving during brake operations, tugging sideways, acceleration squat, among other things. This optimization of car handling, however, is often at odds with the functions of the Mercedes Benz shocks and struts in car suspension.

There are Mercedes Benz shock absorbers that are fitted with velocity hydraulic damping devices that provide increased speed in the movement of the suspension to attain greater resistance. The result is a versatile shock absorber that can easily adopt to various roads conditions. The effects of constant bounce, sway, brake dive and acceleration squat are thus significantly reduced.

Types of Mercedes Benz shock absorbers range from twin tube to mono tube designs. A twin tube Mercedes Benz shock absorber is made up of an inner and outer tube that work seamlessly together to achieve its intended purpose, while a mono tube is made up of one tube mounted in an upside down position to help reduce the load. It is advised that the Mercedes Benz shocks on a car should correspond to its strut assembly. This is necessary to arrive at the optimal balance between car handling and car suspension.

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