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Strutmasters- My first impression

SL-Class (R230) 2003 -- 2012: Discussion on the SL500, SL550, SL600

Strutmasters- My first impression

Old 04-15-2019, 10:19 AM
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Strutmasters- My first impression

Hey guys,

Hope all is well. I recently purchased a 2003 SL500 from North Carolina. Had it shipped to MD. I sent a reputable mobile mechanic company to inspect the car and he gave it rave reviews- very clean car BUT he said the ABC struts had been removed and replaced with Strutmasters. He said the ride quality and handling had been compromised because of this change so it may be something I would want to consider before buying the car. I had done research on Strutmasters when I owned my CL and S500. It was something I had considered when my struts started to leak but my mechanic told me to stay away from Strutmaster and just get a Arnott shock and keep my ride quality. Over the years I have read comments on here regarding ride quality and the dangers of not having sway bars etc....the comments seemed to be 50/50. Some people enjoyed the new ride and saw no difference while others wanted to get rid of the car altogether.

With that said, I didn't feel like dealing with ABC problems. I went ahead and pulled the trigger and have driven the car for about a week now. Here's my input:

1) the ride is floaty/soft. I don't feel like the car grips the road the way it should (this is my 3rd SL)
2) Took a couple turns coming off the exit and I definitely had to slow down a bit; the car leaned a bit since it now has no sway bars. Have to be careful
3) The ride is a tad bit bumpy but that was to be expected with this kit.
4) I don't feel very secure driving the car. How will it react in an emergency situation when I have to react quickly?
5) I feel some drifting/wandering when going straight and on uneven pavement. I think this is an alignment issue which I will confirm when I get my car back from service tomorrow. One rear control arm had to be replaced in order to get the camber/toe perfect in the back

There's another company in Florida that sells the front and rear sway bars for conversion kits but looking at a recent youtube video, it looks labor intensive with the entire subframe needing to be dropped- I.E an expensive upgrade. Cost of labor and parts will probably be around $2500 and at that point, I think I would rather just put Arnotts back on and get my ABC ride back. Every other conversion company I have looked sells the entire kit with the sway bars and stated that you MUST install sway bars when doing the conversion.

I'm surprised Strustmaster has not built a sway bar kit- or atleast provide some type of warning- this may be a lawsuit in the making.
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The following 3 users liked this post by imtheking:
bobterry99 (04-15-2019), Das Geld 2 (04-15-2019), pierrejoliat (04-20-2019)
Old 04-15-2019, 11:36 AM
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2004 SL55 AMG
Sounds like your mechanic gave you good advice.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:02 PM
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Can't you use the other brands sway bars anyways?
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:01 PM
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Complete trash- ABC or nothing
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Adi-Benz View Post
Can't you use the other brands sway bars anyways?
I'm hearing I can use the sway bars off a SL65 Black series. To be honest I'm looking at other options- I'm looking to replace the struts with CEIKA coilovers. Doing some research first...
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:30 PM
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I believe you already know what you need to do, but it's good to explore the other options. you will not be happy with the coil-overs either...
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