Date registered: Jan 2014
Vehicle: 2008 AMG CLK63 Conv., 2012 R350 4-Matic, Wife's 2015 C300 sedan
Location: Cypress Texas
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Quoted: 2518 Post(s)
I've given up.
One air spring, one solenoid valve, two level sensors and the thing still won't stay up. It won't even rise on its own.
You can hotwire the solenoid valve by removing it from its mounting on the compressor frame and disconnecting the wiring harness / plug. You use very small alligator clips (one of which must be insulted to prevent shorts), some electrical wires and a 9-volt battery. The middle pin of the three is the common or ground, the outer two operate the solenoids to pull the "shuttle" inside the valve body left or right to allow air to pass to the left and right air bag respectively. Hotwire the solenoid valve AND the compressor, and you can get the car to rise, but only one side at a time. But if you have a leak it's only temporary, and I don't believe the solenoid valve is 100% air tight either, even when new. You can only get one side to rise at a time, so getting the car level is a bit hit and miss.
Oh, the o-ring on the brass fittings is a standard #9 o-ring. About 10 cents a go from Autozone or wherever.
I have bitten the bullet and ordered a coil spring conversion from Strutmasters.com. $599 plus shipping. That includes new coil springs, new shocks, and all the other parts that go with them, plus instructions (they say) on how to prevent the suspension warning coming up on the dash. I can live with the warning if not.
I hope to recoup most of that cost by selling on the compressor, air springs, solenoid valve, and possibly the level sensors. I'm not sure if the level sensors can be removed once the coil spring kit is fitted, however, as their presence may be necessary to stop the electronics from shutting the car down to stop further damage to the (now no longer there) air suspension.
We've had a coil spring conversion on our Landrover Discovery for well over a decade. You barely notice the difference in ride quality and since we never load the thing up with scrap iron, any ride height adjustment isn't really needed.
The parts have made it to Houston, but UPS has shut down deliveries until TS Harvey and the resulting flooding subside. Fingers crossed they arrive by Wednesday so we can still go to Aspen for the holiday weekend.
"Semper In excretio, solum profundum variat" - unknown
They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me" - Nathaniel Lee