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post #21 of 107 (permalink) Old 06-09-2010, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BISHOP13 View Post
u can change to an aftermarket suspension now with strutmasters.com
I just checked the site- there's no ABC struts there, just the Air Suspension Conversion Kit for the S class.
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post #22 of 107 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 05:08 AM
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We should be updating this tread with some of the recent news:

1. Arnott now have ABC struts available
2. Arnott have informed that they will be rebuilding valve blocks this year
3. Arnott have a full suspension kit on the way to replace the entire abc system later this year.

4. a member suggests in a tread, that valve blocks can easily be changed and all you have to do is add fluid and use the raise button some times to flush the air.
However the problem with the valves being very expensive have to wait untill Arnott can offer a rebuild.

5. a member also suggests that the pump deactivates itself when there is a system error, which perhaps protects the pump from sucking air when a hose/strut/valve block suddenly leaks a lot. This member just replaced the hose, filled up the rescouar (spell?) used the raise button some times to flush air from the system, and he did not experience damage to the pump, even after driving some miles with little or no fluid in the system.

6. the valve block replacement tread has no pictures anymore, could this be fixed, I have a link to a tread that still has the pictures.

7. I have a link for a german ebay shop that can rebuild the abc pump for 500EUR, but maybe shipping will kill the deal for american members, but for us EU members this is a good deal.

David
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post #23 of 107 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 01:05 PM
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As I have posted in an other thread, last year my dealer changed one of my ABC hoses with an standard high pressure hydraulic hose which they think is the same, in the diagram this would be #322. The new hoses are SAE 100R2AT spec (I am pretty sure I can read this on the hose #322) from Gates High pressure reinforced wire braid hydraulic hose | Gates Corporation

Now this year we decided to change a couple of hoses as they where dripping very lightly #325 #320 #420. I think one of them was not even losing fluid but to do the job they need to remove the engine so they suggested doing all the hoses in which case the engine must be removed.

As you all know some of the hoses are damn expensive, so the dealer suggested having them fabricated at the same shop as the other, again explaining that a high pressure hydraulic is a high pressure hydraulic hose, and the fittings are universal, plus the one they had done is still fine. So I get the job done with the home made hoses.

If you are still reading this you must think that the bad news of ABC self destruction is upon me, well not really but there was a problem. The hose #420 (I am pretty sure it is this one) from Mercedes has a damper integrated in it, this is one of the more expensive hoses and now we know why. So my car had a humming coming threw the brake pedal and steering, probably similar to when an ABC hose makes contact with the frame or when the pulsation damper has gone bad.

The dealer ordered the part (#220 320 51 72) and replaced (had to pull the engine out again), problem fixed, my butter smooth V12 is all well.

So if you replace with common high pressure hoses, this one can not be done, you need the MBZ one...
And I also learned that with the V8, normally they do not need to remove the engine for this repair.

Cheers
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post #24 of 107 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 12:43 AM
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mcfischer : check with the dealer but i believe the CL and the S has the same suspention......so u can buy the S off that site.... i know a guy that did it to his E class that has been sitting ont he ground for almost a year and it took 3 hours or less to replace and car rides perfect and never have to worry about these issues again!
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post #25 of 107 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by BISHOP13 View Post
mcfischer : check with the dealer but i believe the CL and the S has the same suspention......so u can buy the S off that site.... i know a guy that did it to his E class that has been sitting ont he ground for almost a year and it took 3 hours or less to replace and car rides perfect and never have to worry about these issues again!
I believe the S class has air suspension, not ABC (with the exception of the S600). I don't think ANY E class has ABC.
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post #26 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 10:42 AM
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ABC struts

This is the first time I have posted on this forum so I shall try to be concise;

I have a Merc CL600 (2002) normally aspirated (AMG spec) with 74,000 which I purchased over a month ago in London off a dealer (heathrow diesels).
Upon purchase I got it checked, prior to my holiday tour which went through Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and on to the French Alps. The journey from London to the Alps covers some 2000 miles over motorway and alpine hairpin bends.

The dealer "Mercedes Chelsea" did a free health check and stated that it needed a new ABC strut to the front LHS and new pipe plus replacement cover and thrust arm bearings. The drivers door handle button would not operate the close "keyless" function so this was to be replaced.

Days before I was to leave I had an ABC white warning light, and took it to recommended Mercedes Specialist who informed me after investigation that both ABC struts to front need replacing as well as thrust arm bearings, pipes and ball joints. Grand total over £4,000.

I asked whether it was drivable and took the chance to do my trip. The trip was great but monitoring the car was stressful. The car performed well, good speed and flat cornering in the alps. Loved all the toys and the quiet refinement of this big coupe.

Upon my return, I have found little if any loss of the ABC fluid (albeit having a red ABC warning on parking on an uneven hill in Germany, some 40 miles from its birthplace). However since that time the locks have failed the boot will not auto lift from the drivers door and periodically fail to open at all, the doors soft close has failed, no massage on seats and rear headrest do not work. A vacuum module failure I believe.

Car locked at the moment and it will be taken to a specialist on Monday if I can gain entry to it, for the scheduled work. The dealer who sold the car has agreed to pay the labour.

I have ordered Arnott Front ABC struts for the front which will be fitted next week as well as sorting out all the other problems. I will therefore report in full with regard to the work.
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post #27 of 107 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 01:07 PM
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Yeah, keep up posted on the Arnott ABC struts. We may all need to look into this (eventually). thanks
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post #28 of 107 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
This is the first time I have posted on this forum so I shall try to be concise;

I have a Merc CL600 (2002) normally aspirated (AMG spec) with 74,000 which I purchased over a month ago in London off a dealer (heathrow diesels).
Upon purchase I got it checked, prior to my holiday tour which went through Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and on to the French Alps. The journey from London to the Alps covers some 2000 miles over motorway and alpine hairpin bends.

The dealer "Mercedes Chelsea" did a free health check and stated that it needed a new ABC strut to the front LHS and new pipe plus replacement cover and thrust arm bearings. The drivers door handle button would not operate the close "keyless" function so this was to be replaced.

Days before I was to leave I had an ABC white warning light, and took it to recommended Mercedes Specialist who informed me after investigation that both ABC struts to front need replacing as well as thrust arm bearings, pipes and ball joints. Grand total over £4,000.

I asked whether it was drivable and took the chance to do my trip. The trip was great but monitoring the car was stressful. The car performed well, good speed and flat cornering in the alps. Loved all the toys and the quiet refinement of this big coupe.

Upon my return, I have found little if any loss of the ABC fluid (albeit having a red ABC warning on parking on an uneven hill in Germany, some 40 miles from its birthplace). However since that time the locks have failed the boot will not auto lift from the drivers door and periodically fail to open at all, the doors soft close has failed, no massage on seats and rear headrest do not work. A vacuum module failure I believe.

Car locked at the moment and it will be taken to a specialist on Monday if I can gain entry to it, for the scheduled work. The dealer who sold the car has agreed to pay the labour.

I have ordered Arnott Front ABC struts for the front which will be fitted next week as well as sorting out all the other problems. I will therefore report in full with regard to the work.
The work was done by Trident Mercedes in Uxbridge (W London), home to other sick CL's. The two new front struts from Arnott Ind (£1,650) seem to be as good however the ride is slightly harder than I remember. The new ABC link hoses were incorrect for my model and I suspect that the refurbed ABC struts may be from a less heavy SL. All electrics fixed and Trident had it in again for two weeks for testing (4 amp drain) but it cleared itself up and therefore did not ask for payment. A big thank you to Steve and Stuart at Trident Motors.
post #29 of 107 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 10:13 AM
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Question

I've seen several people ask about the ABC dipstick, but there's no clear answer here. There are no min/max marks on the dipstick, only notches on either side. I don't believe these to be min/max marks as it shows "engine off" on one side and "engine on" on the other. Should the fluid level be within this notch depending on whether the car is running or not? They are quite small. Please advise- I don't wanna screw this up.
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post #30 of 107 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 12:33 AM
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I have several other posts about the numerous problems I had/have with the ABC system on my 2001 CL500. I haven't written since the spring but that isn’t because I haven’t had even worse problems...

March 2009 - First, It all started when at 38K miles I would hear and feel a vibration under the driver’s seat when I started the car. The vibration would go on for about 2 seconds when I started the car and then shut off. After a few weeks it got louder, stayed on longer, and then I also started noticing it when I was driving. It was so bad it would make the driver’s side mirror vibrate too, and, you could hear and see it vibrating from inside the car. After a bunch of research on the forums here I believed the ABC pump was about to fail. I heard horror stories of what could happen if the pump failed while you were driving and car crashed on to the wheel wells. I took the car to the dealer who proceeded to tell me in fact that the ABC pump needed to be replaced. The dealer said the pump cost is $1290 + tax.... labor is 3 hours x $135. Then there is all the other stuff like shop fees, recharging the AC which must be disconnected to replace, etc, etc..

I could not believe that this pump needed to be replaced so I wrote to Mercedes Benz corporate to gripe about this expensive head ache. Less than 24 hour after writing I get a call from corporate in New Jersey who tells me that my car has an extended warranty put on it by the previous owner that I was not aware of. I was livid to find out that my car had an extended warranty and the dealership did not tell me. I called them back up and they claim that they don't know that car is covered unless they specifically look it up. So I told them to go ahead and replace the pump now that is was completely covered. A day later I went to pick-up the car and when I looked at the invoice I see that the only thing changed was something called an ABC Pulse Dampner ($125 part). When I asked why the pump was not changed he said that previously you could not change this part without buying a whole new pump but now you suddenly can. (Sounds like if did not have an extended warranty they replace the entire pump but if its covered by MB you suddenly only need $300 repair instead of on that costs $2000. Additionally, I later found out, from the service manager that Mercedes Benz makes the dealer send back all parts changed under warranty and if they were changed without cause the dealer eats it). Better yet, when they replaced this part they supposedly now found that front and lower control arm bushing need to be replaced. This, of course, is not covered by the warranty!

April 2009 -The pulse dampner was changed in February and almost about 2 weeks after I heard and felt the vibration back. I took it back to the dealer again who checked it and told me the noise was normal from such a high pressure system that was now operating correctly. The noise only occurred for a few seconds right after the car was started.

June 2009 – By June the noise was louder and I knew that my extended warranty was running out at the end of June so I decided to take it back to the dealer to have it looked at one more time plus have a number of electrical issues fixed. The “dealership” when I first brought it in was just actually a service center for the main dealership. However, at this time they had opened a completely brand new complete dealership under new management. I had them check and sure enough they tell me that there are more problems with the ABC system and under warranty they replaced:

- 327576 – HYDR. LINE – (ABC) SUPLY PRES. VALVE
- 2220-320-43-72 LINE

This was a big job, because according to the description, the transmission had to be removed from the car to replace the leaking hydraulic line from the tandem pump to the valve unit. (Oh and remember those control arm bushings that weren’t covered under warranty? Well, miraculously they were suddenly covered and changed during this service too! I got my car back after 5 days in the shop and I was happy again that I had no vibration and happy that the dealership was able to get all of these repairs and few others covered for me before the warranty ran out.

Nov 2009 – While driving home from work I began to smell a burning and made a quick stop to see something was leaking. The ABC warning had come on and the car had lowered on the left front side. I restarted the car and the side went up but there was still something leaking. I made it home, about a mile. When I got home and looked under the car I saw hydraulic fluid leaking all over the garage floor. The dealer was notified, and I had the car flat bedded the next morning back ($145). A day later my service manager calls me and tells me “You have lots of problems.” His pitch was when the put the new hydraulic lines on and changed that pulse dampner that now this “high pressure” system was working correctly again and some of the old parts that were not use to handling such pressure were now failing too. This time the parts that needed to be replaced were:

- 327570 - Active body control hose
- 220-997-85-82 Hose
- 220-997-22-82 hose

Of course now my car is out of extended warranty and the cost for this repair is $1600 plus tax. After pondering I decided to write Mercedes Benz corporate again and, amazingly, within 24 hours I received a phone call from the service manager, a really nice guy I must say, and he told me that he was asked to review my service record by corporate and he realizes that the car is just out of warranty and based on the previous repairs so soon before, that Mercedes would possibly cover the repair. He tells me the most that I will have to pay would be $500. By this time my car had been sitting there for 3 days and $500 was much better than $1750 so I was happy to accept the offer. Unfortunately, the parts had to be ordered and it took another 4 days before the car was ready for pickup. Better yet again, I did not have to pay anything towards the repair! I was super duper happy by this time. I even went so far as to write corporate and tell them thank you for assisting me with the repair and I also praised the service manager for really helping me out.

Dec 5, 2009 – This is today and it is exactly one month since the last ABC system repair. My car has been sitting at the dealer since it was flat bedded back there 3 days ago. As I backed out of my driveway to go to work both the front and rear of the right side dropped onto the wheel wells causing a terrible noise. I was unable to turn the front wheels of course, the paint cracked around the edges of the wheel wells and it looked like some damage to the front right tire. The car had dropped so low that that flatbed operator could not get the car on the truck without several wooden blocks to raise the wheel and try to keep the front ground effects from scraping. Unfortunately he was not that successful and ended up cracking the right front bottom. He also tells me that he brings in at least 4-6 Benz’s a month with ABC system problems. The towing cost was again $145 + special services fee of $50 for the trouble getting it on the flatbed. After more than 24 hours in the shop the dealer called me to tell me that this time two level sensors have failed and they need to be replaced - $765 plus tax. I have not authorized this repair and even if I did the parts have to be ordered again so it will be a while to be fixed. I mean really what are the chances that not only 1 but 2 level sensors in both the front and rear would fail at exactly the same time, exactly a month after the last repair? I seriously find this hard to believe so I once again wrote Mercedes corporate to complain and I am awaiting a response. Looks like no car for two more weekends and I will surely update this post as soon as we get to the next step.

Dec 8, 2009- I got no where with Mercedes corporate who said that previous repair less than a month ago was not related to problem with the faulty level sensors I authorized the repair. I did make it a point to bring up to both corporate and the dealer that the chances of both level sensors failing at exactly the same time was nearly impossible. I authorized the repair and my car was fixed by 8am. After work i went and picked up the car and my service manager had "Good News!". Only one sensor had to be changed instead of two! Imagine that! The part that was replaced was:

010-542-77-17 Sender Unit : $215.81 (labor was $165.81 + plus $118 for towing + $192 for 6 days rental car)

I paid at the cashier and then got in my car. Started it and put it and gear and what do I see.. the dreaded red screen of death.. "ABC failure Be careful". Unreal can these guys fix anything right? So, I was told that the pressure is not reading right and the car had to stay again. They did give me a new c300 to use for a loaner car but I am sure they will get their money back in this new repair bill. One more thing I tried presenting the recall letter for the ABC level sensors that was attached in the beginning of this thread to both the dealer and he said if the recall is not listed on my VIN then I don't have defective parts in my car... Yeah right again...

Dec 9, 2009 - Just got the call from the service assistant... Guess what it is this time?? ABC pump! $4600 plus tax is repair estimate.... There is some good news... the service manager got Mercedes to cover the repair based on the repair record for the ABC system, and because my car just came out of extended warranty and i was experiencing these same issues while it was under warranty....


To be continued...

================================================== ====

If someone asked me would I buy another CL500 I would highly recommend against it. This would be based on the ABC problem, fueled by an assortment of non-stop electrical sensor issues, 2 new alternators, defective driver door glass, defective driver door rubber seal, defective mirror tint on the drivers mirror, outside air temp reader that always reads 20 degrees warmer than it is and cannot be fixed for some reason, defective left and right front head lamp assemblies that cause a left and right parking light failed message to appear for the last 5 months combined with the questionable repair service tactics from the local dealership. I swore after I purchased my CLK55 that I would never buy another car accept Mercedes I was so happy with that car. Now, with all of these problems on a $112K vehicle with only 40K miles on it I think I may reconsider and look at BMW’s or Porsche’s. I also can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I was driving on the interstate at 80 miles per hour a mere 5 minutes later when the suspension dropped onto the wheel wells. The car would have certainly locked up, I would have never been able to steer and there is a good chance that a horrific crash could have occurred both killing me and other drivers around me. It is very obvious from the huge number of posts about this issue that there is a engineering defect by Mercedes Benz on this ABC system for this model. A class action law suit really needs to brought on the behalf anyone who has been injured and anyone who has paid massively to repair this issue….
I own a MY 2000 CL500.

I FEEL YOUR PAIN!

My ABC system is very unreliable and problematic. Everything breaks. Struts, valve blocks, pump. And then after you fix them they break again and again. It is endless.

I wonder if the newer cars with ABC are any better?

As you have mentioned, the CL500 has a host of other annoying flaws. faulty window seals, bubble formation in the side windows, headlight problems, driver main displays that go dark, and even creaking seats (broken cheap plastic parts) and internals eroding through the leather of the drivers seat.

Even the front hood badges need to be replaced because they are made so cheaply that the color washes off.

Why did Mercedes design such lousy stuff on one of their Flagship cars.

But knock on wood, the engine is still pretty good.
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