Self-Levelling hydraulic fluid reservoir - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 01:19 PM
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Self-Levelling hydraulic fluid reservoir

The fluid level in my reservoir is down well below the lower dipstick mark. I cannot find any evidence of fluid leaks. Two questions:
1. Where might the fluid be going? Unfortunately, I can't remember the last time I checked the level, but it was no more than a year ago.
2. Will I encounter any difficulty or hazard driving the car with the fluid level at this state? Recent drives have not presented any problems.
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 01:51 PM
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The oil may be leaking in a number of places and if you don't remember how long it's been since you checked it last, you may a just a tiny leak somewhere in the system.

Potential leak sources:
- High pressure line from oil pump
- Hydraulic ram fittings
- Actuator and distribution valve

However, you may have ruptures one or both of the membranes in the nitrogen cells.

How is the ride?

If the ride is very stiff or overly bouncy, you should replace the cells.

If your car rides well, just refill the reservoir and check the level periodically.

Regards,
Axel

1990 SEC, Arctic White w/gray interior, M119.960 326 Hp. engine from 1992 500 SL, 722.370 transmission from 500E (reinforced clutches), 2:82 Differential, Euro Headlamps, 1st Gear Start module, One-Touch Window module and Keyless Entry module all from BergWerks, Bilstein HD Shocks on front axle, H&R lowering springs front and rear, AMG 3-piece 17" rims, 8.5" in the front and 10" at the rear.

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 02:02 PM
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The hydraulic oil can also leak from the pump directly into the block....the seals on the pump can fail and result in slow leakage into the engine oil.

MB dealership sells a 3 piece seal kit for the self levelling pump - takes approx 5 mins to change the seals on the pump, about 25 mins to remove and fit pump.


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#4 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 02:35 AM
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Do you a procedure to remove pump. My '90 SEL also has a small leak around the pump I actually see seapage in front of pump resulting in sludge (small) build up. I would appreciate a description on how to remove pump to replace seals. Thanks
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 05:32 AM
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There are six allen head bolts in the face of the pump. The four at 12/3/6/9 o'clock take it off the engine, the other two (10/4 o'clock) hold the front face on the main block.

Remove the steel return line into the top of the reservoir and with a short hose, aim it into a plastic bottle (2L Soda bottle works fine). Start the engine and let the pump empty the reservoir into the bottle. Loosen the big 10mm bolt for the AC Pump idler pulley so it can be lowered out of the way, then take off the inlet and outlet lines from the pump.

Remove the four bolts and remove the pump. Remove the two bolts and open up the pump - keep everything clean!!

Remove the big o-ring, remove the center shaft of the pump, pry out the shaft seal in the back and then gently hammer in the new seal. Lube the shaft and gently push it through the seal, install the new o-ring, bolt the face plate back on. Scrape off the baked on paper washer from the back of the pump. I used some silicone gasket material spread on the rear face to hold the paper gasket in place whilst reinstalling the pump.

Blasphemous Mike
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mramay View Post
There are six allen head bolts in the face of the pump. The four at 12/3/6/9 o'clock take it off the engine, the other two (10/4 o'clock) hold the front face on the main block.

Remove the steel return line into the top of the reservoir and with a short hose, aim it into a plastic bottle (2L Soda bottle works fine). Start the engine and let the pump empty the reservoir into the bottle. Loosen the big 10mm bolt for the AC Pump idler pulley so it can be lowered out of the way, then take off the inlet and outlet lines from the pump.

Remove the four bolts and remove the pump. Remove the two bolts and open up the pump - keep everything clean!!

Remove the big o-ring, remove the center shaft of the pump, pry out the shaft seal in the back and then gently hammer in the new seal. Lube the shaft and gently push it through the seal, install the new o-ring, bolt the face plate back on. Scrape off the baked on paper washer from the back of the pump. I used some silicone gasket material spread on the rear face to hold the paper gasket in place whilst reinstalling the pump.
Hi Mike, your write up would make a good addition to the DIY. Could you add it please?
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#7 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teutone View Post
Hi Mike, your write up would make a good addition to the DIY. Could you add it please?
Sure (how do I do that??).

For a DIY addition, it needs more text (e.g., how to get the pump shaft out of the pump and what to do with the four pump pieces sitting there spring loaded, desiring a chance to travel to the darkest reaches of your garage floor). Now I wish I had taken pictures of it while I had it apart.

And I was just reminded that there is a 13mm bolt into the front of the engine block that holds the input line still. Gotta take that bolt out.

Blasphemous Mike
US '87 560SEC with Euro headlights, clear markers, H&Rs, 18x8.5, ATE slotted rotors with semi-metallics, BergWerks FGS, 3.07 Limited Slip.
In progress - FrankenBenz SEC: GM LS6 5.7L engine with custom 4L60E 4-spd overdrive transmission, GM rack and pinion.
One of my goals with the FrankenBenz is to scare women and children, and to have Lexus drivers spill their latte.

Last edited by mramay; 04-26-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 05:37 PM
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Adjusting ride height with Hydropneumatic Suspension

Hi - good to read all the comments on the Hydropneumatic stuff. Can I add a question though -
My manual shows a knob adjustment for the ride height beside the headlight adjustment.
However my '82 380 sel doesn't have a knob! Does this mean I only have Self levelling suspension and not Hydropneumatic? or?
The ride in my car is level, but seems high, so wondering how to adjust.
Thanks
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Pollleeey View Post
Hi - good to read all the comments on the Hydro-pneumatic stuff. Can I add a question though -
My manual shows a knob adjustment for the ride height beside the headlight adjustment.
However my '82 380 sel doesn't have a knob! Does this mean I only have Self levelling suspension and not Hydro-pneumatic? or?
The ride in my car is level, but seems high, so wondering how to adjust.
Thanks
Well, if you don't have the height adjustment knob, you definitely don't have the super-rare four-wheel hydro-pneumatic suspension.

Actually, it is doubtful you have the hydraulic SLS option on your 380 SEL as it wasn't very common on that model.

You probably have conventional shocks/springs on all four wheels on your car.

Do you have this oil reservoir in your engine compartment?
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Regards,
Axel

1990 SEC, Arctic White w/gray interior, M119.960 326 Hp. engine from 1992 500 SL, 722.370 transmission from 500E (reinforced clutches), 2:82 Differential, Euro Headlamps, 1st Gear Start module, One-Touch Window module and Keyless Entry module all from BergWerks, Bilstein HD Shocks on front axle, H&R lowering springs front and rear, AMG 3-piece 17" rims, 8.5" in the front and 10" at the rear.

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#10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2010, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelWulff View Post
Well, if you don't have the height adjustment knob, you definitely don't have the super-rare four-wheel hydro-pneumatic suspension.

Actually, it is doubtful you have the hydraulic SLS option on your 380 SEL as it wasn't very common on that model.

You probably have conventional shocks/springs on all four wheels on your car.

Do you have this oil reservoir in your engine compartment?
AxelWulff,

Did you drop a different motor in your car or just modified a newer intake to fit the existing motor?

Mike

1989 560SEC (US spec) 040 Black/Black, 17" Aero I's, H&R springs, Bilstein HD shocks, Euro Headlights,Tri Y's, First Gear Start Module, AMG (clone) Heads Solid Lifter Conversion and AMG Gen II US Body Kit
2014 ML350 (Wife's Car)
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