Mercedes Benz CLK 430 convertable 2003

suspension
mercedes-benz
clk-class

#1

I have a mercedes CLK 430 2003 and my front, lower bumper hits bottom all the time. The slightest incline or decline I’m scalping bottom. I’ve replaced this bumper twice already in one year. Has anyone else had this problem and are there any recommendations you can give me?
I’m in NY.
Greatly appreciate your help and suggestions.


#2

Check to make sure you are is at the standard ride height. Are they all like yours, or has yours sagged for some reason? If it has, obviously you should have it repaired, thus raising it.
If the standard height is too low, you’ll need to either change driving habits, or find a way to raise it. Aftermarket springs are typically used to lower cars, so likely no help there. You might be able to shim up the springs to raise the height, but you’d need to do front and rear to keep the car level.
I’m sure the California low rider community could fit your car with hydraulic lifts, but you’re probably not into the jumping car scene.
You might look into air adjustable suspension components, often used to level cars when towing or carrying heavy loads.
Taller tires would give you some lift, but at the cost of throwing your speedo out of calibration.
All I’ve got!


#3

A good suspension tech can measure if the ride height is in spec.
The old springs might be sagging, or aftermarket parts for a slight lift might be available.


#4

My mother has the same car, and the same problem. We’ve replaced the front fascia once (it was pricey because her’s has the AMG package and replacement AMG parts aren’t cheap and there are no aftermarket replacementes either., and we’ve had fascia repainted once as well (in addition to the first time it was repainted when it was replaced). There’s not much you can do other than be careful.


#5

The only thing I found that helps is to try to cross the incline or decline change slightly diagonally, so that one tire crosses the change before the other. I know you can’t always do this, but it does help.


#6

@Bill4speed‌

I’m a former Benz mechanic, and I’m well aware of the CLK430’s “issue” with the front bumper

Even the cars that haven’t been slammed have an extremely low bumper

There’s not much you can do, except drive carefully as @FoDaddy and @‌wentwest suggested

I believe the CLK320 bumper is not as low . . .

By the way, I’m willing to bet the front springs aren’t sagging . . . the owners were wiping out the bumpers when they cars were brand new

May I ask how long you’ve had the car?


#7

If I had that problem and the suspension was ok I’d be inclined to see if there is a compatible bumper available that doesn’t ride so low to the ground. [Edit: Or maybe there is something you could have installed that would warn you that the bumper is about to hit.] Have you asked a dealership? It’s sort of odd you didn’t notice this when you were looking at purchasing the car in the first place. Was it ok then, and now the problem’s been getting worse?


#8

@GeorgeSanJose‌

Exactly . . . which is why I mentioned the CLK320 bumper


#9

The performance versions of many cars hang way down and many get scraped up. Using a CLK 320 bumper sounds like great advice. Many of the lower bumpers have a separate added on air dam at the bottom, sometimes made of rubber, sometimes plastic. They can sometimes be removed and still look fine.

I see a lot of that in San Francisco, where many driveways head down into garages at extreme angles. They just dug out under the first floor and built a steep, short ramp down. In 1950 that was probably fine. I see a lot of very small cars with small overhangs and also compact utes in those garages, though I also see a lot of scraped air dams.