self levelling suspension

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hi my 1988 230te just failed its test with rear suspension problem as the mechanic said it could be very expensive I'm trying to isolate the problem to see if its worth fixing
Is there any easy way to test the pump and dampers? I believe the accumulators are shot as the ride is poor, but if that is all that is wrong I'll get it into a local independent Merc place - is it likely they could analyse the problem without it costing an arm and leg?
thanks in advance
cheers
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If you failed suspension test, it is the shock absorbers that failed. The one that is on your car is hydropneumatic version and are very expensive... Autohausaz.com is normally the cheapest source where I buy all the time is $404 each side. Other places are nearly $100 more each side. The good news is I found one much cheaper on ebay for you...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Hydro-shock-W124-300TE-Mtc-300TD-87-93-Wagon_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33590QQihZ011QQitemZ320123764482QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
You should also replace the air cell and have the mechanic check other part of system. Just to let you know... if you let your mechanic buy the parts for you, he will charge anywhere between $540 and $782 PER SIDE plus his labor.
If know how to work on cars, you can save more money with with service manual to guide you.
I know it sounds very very expensive but it is a necessary part to repair your car...I am pretty sure you got high mileage now... and on original equipment... it is worth it... long life.
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It took me all of 45 minutes to change the cells on my 81 wagon. They cost considerably less
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I thought I'd take a crack on the air cell on ebay... Damn!
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Benz-Air-Cell-Accumulator_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ42609QQihZ011QQitemZ320124399710QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
Use this link for reference that proves the above air cells fit your car... 88 300TE. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-129-140-124-PLUS-OEM-Accumulator-Shock-Cells_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ42609QQihZ001QQitemZ110135756266QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
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The spring struts as Benz calls them or shock absorbers, are rarely bad unless leaking. The much more common problem is bad air cells (accumulators). The operating arm for the leveling valve can be disconnected and worked by hand while the engine is running and weight in the wheels to verify the operation of the spring struts.
Chas Hurst

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Mercedes-Hydro-shock-W124-300TE-Mtc-300TD-87-93-Wagon_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33590QQihZ011QQitemZ320123764482QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
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If he had bad air cells... wouldn't his car sag down when not running? I remember a 6.9 with a bad cell... all the way down and the mechanic had to rev the engine a bit to pump it back up before he can move it...
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I think a bad SLS valve causes the sagging by allowing oil/pressure to bleed back to the reservoir. I repaired my E320 wagon recently. No sagging, just a very bouncy ride. New air cells fixed it right up.
Chas Hurst
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Ahh... I see... good. I learned something today... Would be helpful when I get my SL..... they also have those system.
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Hey Tiger, AC works great now on the 560. It had been converted. Thanks! What kinda SL are you going to buy?
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Welcome! I really wanted like a 96 or 97 SL320... I love those bodies... Prices are coming down... and it is just a matter of buying the one with right color and condition... Out of the two Mercedes I bought... are both white! Augh!... That's 14 years of white! No black one either... don't want to wash car every day.
So all you had to do was recharge it? LOL
wrote:

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Spent a whopping $15 for a 16 oz recharge. Who said these 560SEL are expensive to maintain? hehehe. Regarding the SL, I agree on that body style, and I am planning on a SL soon too,As soon as I get the 560 sorted out.. The 320 has that sweet twin cam inline six. Spent to day yesterday detailing the 300SD. That car looks showroom nice. The 560 looks like it was rescued from NYC gang sedan duty.
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Tiger, Is this what you are looking for? Original URL: http://dallas.craigslist.org/car/351228542.html
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Damn it... YES that is what I am looking for... that color and that interior. I wished it was newer but damn it... would have bought it.... still thinking... still thinking...
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wrong
cheers for all the responses so far well the ride height seems ok so unless the 'struts' are leaking they should be good? and if the ride height can be changed via the adjuster on the valve, that should be ok, I can assume the accumulators are shot due to ride quality so -
-is there any way of checking the pump?
-are there any filters in the system, would it need flushing and if so what with,
-will LHM fluid damage the system ? reason I ask is last year I had a burst in a steel pipe and the garage didn't mention ZHM, so I think they may have refilled with 'ordinary'..
cheers again
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I have a 1982 300 TDT with the load leveler. Your problem, as others have written, is most likely the accumulators. If the struts are not leaking, they are probably fine.
This place has accumulators at $90.36 for my car. http://www.germanimportedparts.com They are in the "Chassis and Steering" section of the catalog.
Maintenance of this system is easy to do and very important. You should change the fluid annually. I do not use the expensive Mercedes hydraulic oil in my TDT. I use regular dinosaur oil based automatic transmission fluid. I use the Chevron brand in the blue bottles you can get at Costco. You change the filter too. German Auto has the filters on the same page as the accumulators.
If you want to see if your pump is working, all you need to do is go under the rear end and find the control valve that is attached to the torsion bar and the oil tubes that run to the struts. On the control valve you will find a bleeder valve just like you find on a brake cylinder or slave cylinder on a clutch. That is how you bleed the system when you change the fluid.
Open the bleeder valve (it should have a dust cap on it), and then start the engine. You can see if the pump is working because if it is it will pump out all the old fluid from the reservoir under the hood.
After the system drains, close the valve and put on the dust cap.
Then, replace the filter in the reservoir under the hood and refill the system with automatic transmission fluid. The filter is held on by a spring that has a hook on the end that you can't see because it is in the filter. You have to compress the spring and unhook it. You will see what I mean when you start working on it. Disconnect the oil line to the top of the reservoir before you remove the big cap, the one you have to unscrew. Disconnecting the line first will help prevent bending it and if it gets bent it will be hard to put it back on.
I have run my system with automatic transmission fluid for more than 200,000 miles and my system works great.

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So what kind of transmission fluid is it? Dextron? This is fascinating...
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heav wrote:

Thanks for this info; I've been intending to do this myself but have dragged my feet on looking up how to do it.
My oil at present is crazy dirty. I'm hoping there's nothing wrong with the system; it /seems/ to work, but I don't carry much in the back save for ~250lb of vegetable oil from time to time or the odd guitar amp. It seems to be lifting up, but does so very slowly, and as soon as I park and unload it's at normal height (should I expect it to un-fill without the engine running?). The car isn't sagging by any stretch, so... yeah.
Will change the oil and filter one of these days and will either see a difference or not. :)
thx for the post though. That's all I intended to post. :)
-tom!
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wrote:

the
wrong
could
hi good one mate sounds like just what I need, might even print it out to take with me under the car! I'll try that lot when I get my ramps back cheers!
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hi well got under the car today and had a go,

pump appears to be working, pumps out oil with the egine running, not a massive gush but definitely running out faster
With regard to the valve, presumably the only way to check is with the car on its wheels? i.e. with the lever disconnected if I point the lever up the car should rise up etc but how long does it take to go up and down, and how far? I found this link, is it relevant to the W124 ? I mean other than being a totally different car..
http://v12uberalles.com/pressure_spheres.htm
?
cheers for all the answers so far!
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If your car has not been sagging in the rear, the valve is almost certainly all right. The web page you sent a link to was interersting and relevant. It also made me appreciate having a California car and living in the desert. The corrosion visible in those pictures is disturbing. My car is 25 years old and once you wipe the grease and accumulated dirt off parts the surfaces look like new. I 125 miles north of Mojave, where the airplane lease companies park the airliners they don't have leased at the time.
It sounds like you have already removed the arm between the torsion bar and the pump. Hopefully there was a way to do that so it can be hooked back up exactly where it was, because I remember it being tricky to adjust that. I had to replace my valve about ten years ago and the price was $450 or so. Or at least I was told I needed to replace it by a mechanic I later doubted, but I did replace it.

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