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W123-TECH Hydraulic Rear Suspension (for wagons)

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Benzitis's picture
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Does anyone know where to get a used or rebuilt height control valve? Is this part worth buying used?

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Ditching the self-levelling rear suspension - good idea?

Okay,

Re. my earlier post 'looking for used rear shocks'......I know how they work and also know that replacing them will cost $800 a pair for a car that cost me $2,850 to buy.

As I stated earlier, the rear suspension is currently apart and my mechanic is suggesting that we ditch the rear self-levelling system and convert it to normal shocks. The rear suspension was not sagging, but looking at the rear struts off the car (they had to take them off to replace the springs), they are certainly looking worse for wear i.e. lower metal bracket badly corroded and rubber bushing perished). They aren't leaking now, but in a years time, who knows?

Now, you purists out there will be crying 'blasphemy!', for my even considering this. However, bearing in mind the cost of new struts, let alone the nitrogen spheres and the hydraulic fluid lines, the option of doing a bit of preventative maintenance and replacing the hydraulic struts with regular shocks does make a certain economic sense.

Has anyone out there done this - pleased with the results?

Any other thoughts / opinions welome!

Quentin

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1981 300SD

Well, you may have a problem with the headlights facing in the air at night with a heavy load in the back, but I think some Euro lights with vacuum height adjustment can fix that.

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Self levelling rear suspension parts question.....

Hi,

I posted earlier re. the benefit of replacing the rear hydropneumatic shocks on my 1982 300TD wagon.

I have found a good deal for the shocks on line, so think I will probably replace them (as opposed to converting to regular shocks). Does anyone know a parts source for the suspension hoses? None of the online stores have these listed (and I couldn't call to enquire as its the weekend) - or is this something you need to get from a MB main dealer (if so, any idea of $$$)?

Regards,

Quentin

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Robby Ackerman's picture
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I have to agree with Vince re the wagon shocks. With the hydraulic suspension you can load it down and the car rides level & handles as if you've got nothing back there. You don't get the heavy body roll typical of domestic wagons. And to replace it with conventional shocks you are likely facing half the cost of the repair.

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1960 190 SL
1983 300 D (WVO)
1984 190E 2.3-16 / Mosselman Turbo System & Dinan suspension
1984 190E 2.3-16 / Delsing Motorsport suspension
1992 500SL


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I agree with Vince also. Suspension modifications will end up costing more than fixing the original suspension. If you want improved performance and are willing to spend big bucks to get there, that's a different story.

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Buddy2003 wrote:
Hi,

I posted earlier re. the benefit of replacing the rear hydropneumatic shocks on my 1982 300TD wagon.

I have found a good deal for the shocks on line, so think I will probably replace them (as opposed to converting to regular shocks). Does anyone know a parts source for the suspension hoses? None of the online stores have these listed (and I couldn't call to enquire as its the weekend) - or is this something you need to get from a MB main dealer (if so, any idea of $$$)?

Regards,

Quentin

Are the hydraulic struts (look like shocks) leaking? If not, don't replace them.

The metal lines between engine compartment and control valve cost me about $40 each a couple years ago.

Rusty at buymbparts.com or 800.741.5252 will be able to get most of the parts you need, at or below dealer cost (usually well below), and they'll be shipped to your door.

If you cannot wait, take your old lines to the best hydraulic line shop in your area, and have them make new ones using your old fittings. When I bought my hydraulic metal lines, one came with wrong fittings (MB shipped the wrong line). It had come from Germany, took a couple weeks, and I couldn't afford to wait for another one, so I had local hydraulic shop cut off wrong fittings and install correct fittings from old line.

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Max Dillon
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'87 300TD, 334k miles (head is off, getting ready to install a different used head...)
'95 E300 Diesel, 348k miles (daily driving duty)
'73 Balboa 20

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I have to throw in my 2 cents here. I am currently faced with the same decision: restore or convert. I think if we appreciate the utility of the SLS, we have to lean toward restoration. Bearing the long term cost in mind, I think it would be efficient in nearly all cases to restore. (Fortunately for me, all I need to restore is new fluid and height controller. :) )

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1987 300TDT

Buddy2003 wrote:
Okay,

Re. my earlier post 'looking for used rear shocks'......I know how they work and also know that replacing them will cost $800 a pair for a car that cost me $2,850 to buy.

As I stated earlier, the rear suspension is currently apart and my mechanic is suggesting that we ditch the rear self-levelling system and convert it to normal shocks. The rear suspension was not sagging, but looking at the rear struts off the car (they had to take them off to replace the springs), they are certainly looking worse for wear i.e. lower metal bracket badly corroded and rubber bushing perished). They aren't leaking now, but in a years time, who knows?

Now, you purists out there will be crying 'blasphemy!', for my even considering this. However, bearing in mind the cost of new struts, let alone the nitrogen spheres and the hydraulic fluid lines, the option of doing a bit of preventative maintenance and replacing the hydraulic struts with regular shocks does make a certain economic sense.

Has anyone out there done this - pleased with the results?

Any other thoughts / opinions welome!

Quentin

If they look bad to you, try to get a set of nice looking used struts. As you pointed out, the only failure mode is 'leak', which is rare, so a nice set of used struts is a good value.

I've only heard of one instance where the replacement was satisfactory, and that was on a 124 wagon. This was overseas (Malaysia), owner paid for custom made shocks to be installed, and then planned to never fully utilize the load carrying capacity of his car. I didn't understand that; why not just get a sedan if you don't plan to use the full potential of your wagon?

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Max Dillon
Charleston SC
'87 300TD, 334k miles (head is off, getting ready to install a different used head...)
'95 E300 Diesel, 348k miles (daily driving duty)
'73 Balboa 20

Anonymous
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Buddy2003 wrote:
Hi,

I posted earlier re. the benefit of replacing the rear hydropneumatic shocks on my 1982 300TD wagon.

I have found a good deal for the shocks on line, so think I will probably replace them (as opposed to converting to regular shocks). Does anyone know a parts source for the suspension hoses? None of the online stores have these listed (and I couldn't call to enquire as its the weekend) - or is this something you need to get from a MB main dealer (if so, any idea of $$$)?

Regards,

Quentin

Try autopartsworld.com

Rick S.

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1981 300SD

Have you checked autohausaz.com?

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Thanks for the info guys. Truth be told, the old rear shocks are not visibly leaking, but the lower metal fittings are badly rotted away, the rubber bushing ripped - they just don't inspire confidence and while the back end was all apart...........

I got a good deal at adsitco.com for the shocks at $259 each and the hoses were $59 each at star motors

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Rear suspension

I have a complete system; lines pump, reservoir, valve, accumulator, shocks, springs, etc. All parts were serviceable and not leaking when they were removed 4 months ago. 450 dollars takes it plus shipping.
Joe

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