That is if you don't mind the 'sagging' end when loaded. Don't be too
cheap with Mercedes-Benz cars. If you cannot afford the shock, well,
there's always lovely Chevrolet Caprice station wagon with all of cheap
parts in abundance at the junkyard...
My father agonised over the decision to disable the rear hydropneumatic
suspension in his 1977 450SEL because he could not afford to replace the
worn system. However, he found a shop who knows the stuff and told him
that it only needed new valve regulator which was gummed up badly. It
solved the 'stiff' ride syndrome. He eventually replaced the old gas
spheres. Then fuel injection system. Then upholstery. Then fuel supply
system. Then vacuum actuators for locking system. Then...
Yes, he still has that 450SEL in the garage awaiting for the 'antique
car' numberplates next year. Germany allows the antique cars to be
registered without catalysators provided that they be at least thirty
years or older. Otherwise, the annual taxation and registration for
'dirty' car is too much for Sunday drives so my father decommissioned
his 450SEL three years ago and looked after it ever since.
When we lived in Dallas, Texas, that car was one I used to break my
personal speed record of 220km/h outside the city. That record remains
unbroken to this day. The W116 is one of my few favourite Mercedes-Benz
along with 300c Adenauer and 600 Grosser Mercedes...
I've seen posts in the NG in the past where folks have replaced the system
with Bilstein shocks and seem to be content. I do seem recall, however,
that whether you replace the system with shocks or repair it with original
you need to replace the springs. These are usually worn by now and if you
do not replace them your "new" suspension will be shot in a couple of years.
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