Question about Rear Air Suspension....Leak? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Question about Rear Air Suspension....Leak?

I drive a E500 wagon 4matic and dont mind wrenching on it myself when I have time. I pick and choose my battles. I already replaced front air struts on this car. When they failed it was bang, all air rushed out the car was on the ground and I was on the phone to AAA. Now after sitting recently for a week the back end is down all the way. When the car is started it blows right back up and drives fine, but even after 24 hours sitting it is all the way back down. It would always lower some but not this much. My question is, is this typical of the rear failing? Will this pattern continue until I replace it or will I have a catostrophic failure like the fronts if I keep using it around town? and lastly, Will replacing the bags most likely take care of it or are there other fail points to examine as well? Thanks. I bought my fronts from Arnott in FL and plan to do so again.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:28 PM
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I have been watching this topic for a while now anticipating the time when mine will fail as well. I have 124K miles and all is good so far. From what I read it seems there are two failure points: one is a solenoid and the other is a leaky connection point in the lines. The solenoid failure showed itself by only leaking air under certain conditions namely going over a certain speed. I think it was 45mph if he stayed under that limit the rears would not deflate but if he went over that limit they would deflate overnight. Under 45 he could drive it for two weeks and always stayed up. No conclusive diagnosis as the solenoids are not replaceable, had to go with new bags, etc. The other failure seems to occur at the reservoir tank in the backend. Listers were showing photos of a barbed connection with a lot of corrosion. The corrosion was allowing leakage. I have considered going in and cleaning up and maybe some silicone seal to head this corrosion off but I have been too lazy. This is the first place I am going to look when mine starts. My first repair attempt will be to remove rubber hoses from reservoir tank clean up connection, apply some silicone seal and use a stainless steel hose clamp to seal it all up again. I would check the connections at the reservoir first.

Jeff
2005 E500S4 Everything except Distronic and Heated Steering Wheel. "87" Porsche 928S4, "87" Porsche 944
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 01:16 PM
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My rear suspension has been doing the same thing and so a week ago I brought it to the dealership and had them take a look at it. I had been intermittently getting the "Visit Workshop" message in the dash with a picture of the car and an UP arrow. They said my compressor, compressor relay, and both rear air bellows were shot and needed replacing. I received a $4,000 quote for the job. Not wanting to pay that much (again) for the suspension on the car (already replaced both front and both rear suspensions), I'm taking out the Airmatic system. Time to delete the whole thing. I am not 100% sure of what I'll replace it with, but am leaning towards an H&R coil over setup because I won't have to replace the lower control arms in the back to do it. Most other coil over conversions require one to use the lower control arms off of a non Airmatic vehicle.

2004 E320 Wagon
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the repies. I am going to put it on the lift this week to replace the rear brakes so I will inspect all connections. Hhis makes a lot of sense since the bags do function well for the most part, and the back goes down evenly, not just one corner. I never thought of replacing it with coil overs although that was automatically done on most D2 land rovers I have seen. If there was a link to those conversion parts I would not mind reading up on it. Frankly if the air ride was good for another 6 or 8 years I would be happy. I do wonder how such a computer controlled suspension could be replaced with coils without deleting a lot of stuff from the computer, like deleting the DPF on my Diesel trucks I have to reprogram the computer. I will take pics of anything interesting while it is up in the air. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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1770.00 for 4 new coil over struts and shocks including the module for over riding the computer warnings dropped on my door step. Seems like a fair price to put the worries of air ride in the past. I fear the aging system will continue to have problems with the severe cold we have. I am not sure when I will do it as I have not inspected the current problem yet but am leaning that way. It is an all or nothing deal. Even though my fronts are newer, one is brand new, I have to do all 4 corners at once. Anyone else use this system from strutmaster?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:07 PM
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I have 129k on my e500, and the rear driver air shock just failed.

Local indy had it replaced in 3hrs labor for 1100 out the door.

I was just braggin that I've never had a car that went from 80k to 130k w/o something catastrophic, and sure enough the next day, suddenly "please wait.. vehicle rising.." and then the dreaded Red "STOP! Vehicle too low to drive!" of FML....
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Iceman View Post
I have 129k on my e500, and the rear driver air shock just failed.

Local indy had it replaced in 3hrs labor for 1100 out the door.

I was just braggin that I've never had a car that went from 80k to 130k w/o something catastrophic, and sure enough the next day, suddenly "please wait.. vehicle rising.." and then the dreaded Red "STOP! Vehicle too low to drive!" of FML....
unless owners are devoted fanatics of failing airmatic..... conversion to coil over H&R seems popular escape from this money pit Achilles heel.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by The Iceman View Post
the rear driver air shock just failed.
Local indy had it replaced in 3hrs labor for 1100 out the door.
You could buy a pair of new aftermarket airmatics with non-transferable lifetime warranty for $645. Replacing rear airmatics isn't so difficult.

Last edited by realeric; 01-16-2013 at 03:45 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 11:31 AM
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But then my on the fly Comfort, Sport, and Sport 2 suspension button will not be functional..!!!
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