2001 S430 Airmatic Replacement - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 07:03 PM
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Cool 2001 S430 Airmatic Replacement

I have a problem with the Airmatic system on my 2001 S430. In the morning the car is all the way down. Crank up and in a few minutes she is back where she should be. It takes about 6 hours for it to go completly down. The pump was replaced 2 years ago. I don't think the struts or shocks have been replaced. She goes in the shop on Monday. If the diagnosis comes back that I need to replace the struts and shocks, I'm concidering installing a coil over replacement kit by either Arnott or Strutmasters. Has anyone had experience with either replacements? Any pros or cons on doing the replacements?
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 07:45 PM
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Answer is in the sticky.

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 05:20 AM
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Question

Thank you for the reply. Being a bit new at this, could you elaborate on "sticky".
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 06:41 AM
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At the top of the W220 (and many other) forum page(s) there is a section of threads that do not move down the page as they age. They are "stuck" in their positions - thus the name "sticky." In addition, the name of the thread is preceded by the term, "Sticky:"

The one to which you are being referred is the "W220 S-Class Encyclopedia - Start Here" sticky. There is a reason why "Start Here" is included in the title.

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with Gateway 500 iPod integration

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Formerly: 2000 S500
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Last edited by Skylaw; 04-25-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 11:11 AM
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Thank you for the quick response. Yes, I did review the "Start Here" and on your suggestion I reviewed it again. I also searched for any threads related to "airmatic". I didn't find were someone has installed a coil over replacement kit. It's probably because I'm new. So my question is still, has anyone done or had a shop do a coil over replacement? And what was your opinion.

Thanks.
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 05:02 PM
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Anyone try to MOD with spring over strut have to put a spring perch into the body. That is almost impossible by DIYers. The replacement of Arnold's newest development which get rid of the air strut and use conventional struts should already incorporate the spring's duty in suspension system to support the weight of the vehicle. You should contact Arnold if you need any technical data. I have not study his system.
Our air strut has two chambers, top is the air chamber, which work like a spring, its ratio changes as pressure various, the lower chamber has fluid, its flow regulates the firmness and extra chamber connected by hose to an outside cylinder reservoir with magnetic valves, this is the legacy strut. THERE IS NO COIL OVER OUR AIR STRUTS.
Some of our member has installed Arnold's newest development, completely get rid of the air strut and I believed, it is coil over strut combined in one system.

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#7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:00 PM
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Thank you for your response. By coil over I'm referring to Strutmaster or Arnott coil over shock struts. Sorry I wasn't clear. They both have a kit that replaces all four struts. The price difference is about $400 with Sturtmasters being the less expensive. You mentioned that some of the members have made the switch.
I'm looking for people that have made the switch. I'm looking for advice from those that did the swap themselves or have experience with either replacement? Any pros or cons on doing the replacements? Wondering how the computer update works, etc.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone that has gone through the process.
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#8 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 05:54 AM
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There have been many opinions expressed by members on the value of coil spring strut kits vs Airmatic struts. It seems to split between "purists" and non-purists.

I, for one, bought my car for its ride and handling. It is unlike any car with spring struts that I have driven. Therefore, I would only replace my struts with Arnott's improved Airmatic struts.

Those who have used the spring struts swear by them; some stress relief of not having to "worry" about Airmatic; others say the ride is the same.

I note only that MB uses Airmatic on the (high end) E500 model, and springs on the E350.

Some folks who installed early Strutmaster kits had an Airmatic warning light. I believe Strutmaster (and Arnott) provide a means of bypassing that light now, if you use the spring struts. You will want to be certain that is the case.

As for me - I'm sticking with Airmatic. I bought a W220, and IMHO without Airmatic or ABC, it just isn't a W220.

A quick search of the forum will get you opinions of folks who have used the spring struts.

Warren

2005 S500 4-Matic
with Gateway 500 iPod integration

1978 450SL restoration project

Formerly: 2000 S500
with Ice>Link iPod integration
Moto V710 phone with MikBox
Upgraded Voice Control

Last edited by Skylaw; 04-26-2012 at 06:01 AM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 12:38 PM
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My mechanic says that only a shop with the diagnostic computer or the dealer can change out the struts. He says that if the system is opened then the computer will not allow the struts to be aired up until it is told that one or more struts have been installed. Do you know if this is true or false?
Shop cost to replace one strut is $750. I have seen the Arnott struts at $400 each. That leaves $1400 in labor to replace 4 struts seems a bit high. Except for the Diagnostic Computer I can do the job myself. The labor cost plus the computer business is what has pushed me towards the Coil spring struts.
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#10 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 02:30 PM
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Find another mechanic knows about MB, we all DIY our struts. You can remove the relay, O, and the fuse, 32, before you work on it, at the passenger side fire wall. Follow instruction comes with the struts. No diagnostic needed or another re set. You do not even need to disconnect negative battery terminal. Actually, most system in this car is very simple, except the motortronics, which we never touch. MB AC system, most mechanics will not touch, but it is same as domestic system to replace or repair.

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