Looking at the rear suspension on the W169 is like looking at a different car, gone are the swinging arms of previous 'A' Class models and the rear shock absorber is upright rather than vertical which will make sense to most mechanics, this should allow it to do the job it is intended to do, and account for the smoother ride of the W169 which even takes speed humps less harshly than previous A class.
The top securing bolt will need to be accessed via the lockers in the boot , or it may in my case because of the Eco- Start electronics be necessary to remove the internal panels of the boot. Either way it is not a job that will want doing for some considerable time.
It is interesting to see that the springs on the W169 do not have the orange plastic sleeve top and bottom, lets hope these springs perform better than on the w168.
Having said that when I sold my W168 it had all four original springs on it and they still looked like new, this I attribute to the fact that I spray the metal under parts of the car with 'Duck oil' which definitely preserves the underside from rust and corrosion.
The rear springs on the W169 are vertical and stand a better chance of dealing with the bad road surfaces which are now common throughout the country.
Both top and bottom tails sit in spring cups which are made of steel, so have Mercedes Learned their lesson and stopped mixing aluminium and steel allowing electrolysis to set up between the metal surfaces as occurred with the W168.
Forward of the rear wheels is a wide cross member that forms the main structure of the rear suspension there are then two substantial tie bars that join centre and rear of the car. Again a spray of duck oil will help preserve the components and protect them from rusting. The location of these makes fitting an EC approved tow bar more difficult, however a purpose built tow bar assembly can still be fitted.
The main cross beam also serves as an anchor point for fixing for the handbrakes adjusters.
Note the slots in the top of this beam, one just hope that there are drains holes on the underside to allow any trapped water to escape.
I am sure many of you will have watched the television this year 2012/13 and seen drivers taking their cars through very deep water, many of course have failed in the process . To enter deep water with any car is chancy , due to the location of the plugs and electronics on the A class either W168 or W169 is fall hardy and you may well 'write your car off' by doing so.
The securing point of the two tie bars can be seen in this photo, my early observation was that this car will not take a rear end collision without almost certainly effecting the rear suspension. The tracking of the rear suspension is set up by the make up of the various components involved it cannot be adjusted unlike the front.
It is interesting to see that both the main cross member and the rear tie bars are shielded with a substantial plastic guards, I am unsure at this point whether it is to protect them from scuffing on curbs and speed humps or to protect them from corrosion
Any tracking problems/unusual tyre wear on the rear of this model will point to component wear At this point I'm unaware of any details.
In this photo the components have been cleaned and 'duck-oil sprayed on them this will help preserve the components from the vast amount of salt put on the roads during the winter and the continuous wet roads which we seem to now experience in the UK.
I will be adding information to this page as it becomes available.
This breakdown shows the components associated with the rear axle The parts shown by the black arrow are plastic shielding which protects the underside of the axle against abrasion/damage