BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: May 2011
Vehicle: 63 190SL, 94 SL600, 01 CLK320, 01 S600, '89 300E, '93 500SEC
Location: Niagara Falls, New York USA
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DIY S600 Rear Strut ... Not what I (anyone) thought
Thank you VERY much for all of your kind responses, comments, and suggestions, regarding the ABC rear driver's side failure on my S600.
As I mentioned, I was driving uneventfully home from a trip whem, after filling at a gas station, my rear driver's tire suddenly went all the way to nearly the inner fender housing.
The car was not rubbing except on bumps and it was Thruway travel, so I continued my trip home 500 miles.
Upon arrival and mchecking the normal fluid level, no leaks, etc. it was a mystery.
The dealer wanted to change the strut right off ($1400.+) and, said probably the rear valve block as well ($1000.+). I mentioned that the other three wheels raised and lowered correctly and that the 'accordian strut cover' was not warm to the touch or "squishy" as it would be if full of fluid (Internal Leak).
Received many kind suggestions and spent 4-6 hours with the wheel and inner fender cover off "starrng" at the assembly.
The situation, suddeness, lack mof leak, lack of other symptoms and, probably the hessitation to slap at least $3,000. down, kept me thinking without tearing things apart.
Turns out it was a good thing.
WAY back, inside and behind the strut base is the strut sensor arm. This arm attaches to the lower control arm frame at the bottom and to a lever on an electric sensor box at the top. It is very, very difficult to see. The sensor box sits on a small 3" x 3" shelf that is bolted to the frame.
A small flake of black paint and 1/16" of shiny metal on the shelf frame caught my eye.
Apparently, the car hit one heck of a pot hole and the lower control arm "toped out" by striking the Sensor box shelf, bending it upward 2". This in turn made the car "think" the wheel (allowing an additional inch for angle) was 3 inches lower then it really was...
Bad design not having any rubber "pad" or other stop to minimize damage from a pothole in my opinion.
Unbolted the bent sensor "shelf" and using measurment from the shelf on the passenger side, I placed it in a vise and squeezed it straight and correct.
Bolted it back on the car, put the wheel on and.... works perfect.
In seeing where, and how this sensor shelf is mounted, it IS GOING TO GET HIT and it IS going to get BENT, EVERY TIME the car hits a nasty pothole.
If you own a Mercedes with an ABC system, please keep thgis in mind.