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MB 300 CE-90, MB500 SE-92, MB 500S-02, MB SL600 -93
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My quess is that the ADS-system was broken and replaced with ordinary shocks. Also the "shocksswitch" does nothing anymore.
Yes, the placebo effect! :)
 

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MB CLS550 -09, MB SL600 -94, MB 560SL, MB 170s, Austin Healey Sprite
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No, you don't have ADS, not at this stage at least, also the shocks are hydraulic of course and you are missing the plumbing for them. As I see it only two options, your car once had ADS and someone removed it because of problems I take, OR your interior is from a SL600, meaning no wiring behind the two buttons you mention. Is your central console, the one with the armrest black or in wood?
As I understand the SL600 has this in wood, 500 in black vinyl, my point is, if you have a 500 with wood=replaced interior.
If someone removed ADS, they usually loop the pump and plug up the pipes not going all the way and actually removing it all, which would have been the case in your car.

I am leaning towards you have "extra" buttons with no function and yes, placebo can be powerful... To own a car with ADS you have to believe in something....

Seems you need to trace a small oil leak on the engine also, most likely the tray gasket.
 

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1991 500SL
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126 Posts
Today, I finally had time to replace the ADS valve in my car. This was to be my final attempt before deciding to send the unit to Klaus from Top Hydraulics.

My issue was that the car wouldn't react when you press the leveling button by the headlight switch. The switch red LED would light up but nothing happens. The car can be raised manually via the valve levers underneath the car. Since the main ADS valve had a leak, I thought I'd try to replace the seals and maybe it will work. I also got another second hand unit to try that one too.

I replaced the seals and installed it, started the system bleeding procedure as follows:

1. Open the hex screw one turn

2. Disconnect front and rear lever arms from the adjusting rods

3. Open bleed nipples on both front and rear valves until fluid stops flowing and then re-tighten them.

4. Push the front and rear levers in the filled UP position

5. Start the car and watch the oil level, top off when necessary to make sure the oil is between the max and min marks. Apply some gas up to 2000 rpm as the car reaches the full raised up position, while watching the oil level. Wait until oil stops decreasing and then switch of the engine.

6. Re-tighten the Hex screw in the ADS valve

7. Re-attach the front and rear control levers to the adjusting rods

8. Start the engine up again and rev to 2000 rpm and the car SHOULD lower back to it's standard ride height.

9. Take the car for a spin.


Everything worked great until I got to step no 8. The car stayed up and simply wouldn't lower back to it's regular height, despite the control levers being in the DOWN position. I did the ADS bleeding numerous times before and this never happened. I even tried the second hand unit and the same result.

I took the car for a short test drive and it was extremely bouncy in a comic manner. Keep in mind, I have no ADS error lights showing up on the dash. I came back to the garage and attempted to re-bleed it again a couple of times, same results.

I opened the front valve bleeding nipple a bit and released some fluid, the car lowered a tiny bit to the point where it was still quite high but not bouncy.

It was late, I called it a day and drove it home. On my drive home, I noticed the front suspension was way more comfortable than ever before...exactly like a magic carpet ride that I never got to experience before. Previously my complaint was that the car was not as comfortable as people described in the comfort or standard mode. Today I got to experience that a bit for the first time.

Anyways, tomorrow morning I will drive again to the garage and attempt to re-bleed the system and hopefully get it to lower again. Then, maybe...just maybe get the switch to raise it and lower it. When I press the switch on and off, I can feel the solenoid inside the ADS valve working.

In the ADS valve of the second hand unit, when you open the 8mm allen screw, I can push against the rod/cylinder with a screw and it bounces back quite smoothly. The one originally in my car isn't as smooth, feels a bit held back but still pushes back and you hear a valve sound pushing fluid out.

Anyways, sorry for such a long post. Any ideas as to why the car isn't lowering down to regular height again during bleeding?

Oh, forgot to mention that most ADS components on this car are brand new, with the exception of the ADS main valve, front and rear valves. It has new spheres, new shocks, new springs, new shock mounts, all hoses are brand new, pump was second hand but completely rebuilt. There are no error codes and no old codes stored for ADS.
 

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500SL ('93), C200 ('14), MGB Rdstr ('65)
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152 Posts
Discussion Starter #64 (Edited)
AG129, a common cause why the car raises and stays up after valve rebuild, is missing or wrongly installed check ball in the main control valve. See case Maukku1955 in this (now exhaustive) thread and GUSMB's early experiences.
 

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77 450SL, 79 450SLC 5.0, 67 250SL, 61 190SL, 61 190, 62 180;Others:www.cardomain.com/id/challenger_7
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I am leaning towards you have "extra" buttons with no function and yes, placebo can be powerful... To own a car with ADS you have to believe in something....

Seems you need to trace a small oil leak on the engine also, most likely the tray gasket.
Thank you both for your replies. I will get to the bottom of this still :)
Changing of interior components, yes always a possibility. Please see below photo of the armrest. I guess this part is still original?
One other thing, shouldn't there be an ADS light on the dash? Please see also photo of mine. But then again, they may have also changed the Dash to one without ADS light to cover the removal of the ADS, which reminds me that when I first got the car, we had serious problems with the dash, some gauges were not working and there was a serious electrical short from there causing the battery to die after 2-3 days. More and more mystery ??
Yes I do have a small leak. I had a major one from the steering pump and treated it. Had issues with the convertible top and that is done too plus quite a few other bits and pieces including a full body paint job.
Next will be the engine, but this has to wait a few months as I have more urgent matters to attend to on my other cars.

Thanks again.
Cheers
2612858
2612859
 

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MB CLS550 -09, MB SL600 -94, MB 560SL, MB 170s, Austin Healey Sprite
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The console with the armrest, in grey is a 500, in a 600 it would be wood. Instrument clusters are the same, but some lights "blacked out" on cars with no ADS. Yours seem to be a ADS one, been to long since I worked on these cars, mine is in long time storage......
 

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1991 500SL
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AG129, a common cause why the car raises and stays up after valve rebuild, is missing or wrongly installed check ball in the main control valve. See case Maukku1955 in this (now exhaustive) thread and GUSMB's early experiences.
Hello Pazo

I see, but I haven't messed with my original valve check balls. Anyways, I'll check them out. I attached a screenshot of the picture you shared. I know the two balls on top of each other are inserted from the hex screw with the spring underneath.

How do you insert the other two balls, if I were to take out the piston/rod completely?

Oh and I'll attach another image to ask about something. In the circled area that you can access from either the top or buttom round plugs with two holes, there is a cylinder inside that is shaped like a "D" but more circular with a straight faced edge. Should this edge be facing a specific direction, does it have orientation or does it spin freely with oil pressure?
 

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Discussion Starter #68
How do you insert the other two balls, if I were to take out the piston/rod completely?

Oh and I'll attach another image to ask about something. In the circled area that you can access from either the top or buttom round plugs with two holes, there is a cylinder inside that is shaped like a "D" but more circular with a straight faced edge. Should this edge be facing a specific direction, does it have orientation or does it spin freely with oil pressure?
To insert steel balls into the sliding valve bore, I have successfully used a screwdriver as most have magnetic tips.

Nobody has reported the correct direction of the regulating piston between large plugs. I do not know if it even matters. Looking from the schematics, it seems the slot or "D" points to the rear leveling valve i.e. downwards. Its purpose has remained a mystery to me.

Cheers!
 

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To insert steel balls into the sliding valve bore, I have successfully used a screwdriver as most have magnetic tips.

Nobody has reported the correct direction of the regulating piston between large plugs. I do not know if it even matters. Looking from the schematics, it seems the slot or "D" points to the rear leveling valve i.e. downwards. Its purpose has remained a mystery to me.

Cheers!
Hey Pazo

So to insert those two small steel balls, I insert the check valve half way until the slot point of the 1st ball and insert it, and then push in the check valve farther in and insert the 2nd ball at the second slot?

As for the D shaped regulation piston, I opened one of my spare ADS valves and found the D edge facing the side that attaches to the main ADS distribution block on the car. However, that piston seems to rotate around far too easily for it to have a proper fixed orientation.

Do you have a picture of the schematics you mentioned?
 

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Discussion Starter #70 (Edited)
When assembling, first insert two 4 mm steel balls into the sliding valve bore (use a magnetic screwdriver tip). Then insert the spring and sliding valve into the bore. Then put in the third 4 mm ball, the larger ball, spring, seal and 13 mm bolt. Done.

While the sliding valve is removed, it is a good idea to ensure the very small valve adjacent to the 3 mm allen screw moves freely (remove the allen screw). That valve is operated by one of the steel balls in bore and is essential for manual height control (encircled red in the very first attachment of this thread).

Schematics can be found in the two first messages in this thread. Observe that the sliding valve actually has two slopes (two check valves share same slope). In the two-dimensional schematic drawing there are three slopes illustrated.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #72
…..One other thing, shouldn't there be an ADS light on the dash? ….
You do have ADS MIL on the right side, next to the thermometer display - shock absorber symbol. I bet the bulb is removed. How about the other goodies in your car: trip computer and auxiliary heater? Do they work? I agree with Maukku1955, your car must have been molested by a previous owner.
 

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77 450SL, 79 450SLC 5.0, 67 250SL, 61 190SL, 61 190, 62 180;Others:www.cardomain.com/id/challenger_7
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You do have ADS MIL on the right side, next to the thermometer display - shock absorber symbol. I bet the bulb is removed. How about the other goodies in your car: trip computer and auxiliary heater? Do they work? I agree with Maukku1955, your car must have been molested by a previous owner.
Again thank you both for the replies, well noted. Yes I guess ADS removed by previous owner.
Pazo, yes other goodies still work, like the computer and aux heater.
I am not sure about the Ice thing (Chain Tyre Symbol), not sure what to expect when I switch it on? Can you enlighten me.
As for the soft or hard ride, I am sure that does not work either. Am I right?
Here are more photos of the relevant switches/computer.
Cheers and thanks again.
2612879
2612880
2612881
 

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Snowchain tire = "Super anti spin"
The shock button sets ADS suspension into hardest setting, however, since this is adaptive, it will do that by itself if you drive it like you stole it, basically no function on this type of car, could see the function on a semi track car, but anything beyond 1500 kg is not something for the track=useless function and no, with ho hydraulic suspension it will not work.

You need the build sheet to find out if it once had ADS.
 

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1991 500SL
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When assembling, first insert two 3 mm steel balls into the sliding valve bore (use a magnetic screwdriver tip). Then insert the spring and sliding valve into the bore. Then put in the third 3 mm ball, the larger ball, spring, seal and 13 mm bolt. Done.

While the sliding valve is removed, it is a good idea to ensure the very small valve adjacent to the 3 mm allen screw moves freely (remove the allen screw). That valve is operated by one of the steel balls in bore and is essential for manual height control (encircled red in the very first attachment of this thread).

Schematics can be found in the two first messages in this thread. Observe that the sliding valve actually has two slopes (two check valves share same slope). In the two-dimensional schematic drawing there are three slopes illustrated.

Good luck!
Hey Pazo

Your description was very helpful, today for the first time I managed to take the entire ADS valve apart. I discovered that only the large steel ball was in place, the small steel ball underneath it was loose inside and not in it's position. I believe the same was true for the other two steel balls.

I placed the steel balls with a magnetic screw in their slots as you told me and then inserted the check valve. I inserted the two other steel balls from the 8mm hex screw port, place the spring and screwed it in place.

I also took the Y36 solenoid apart and replaced one rubber seal and cleaned and re-installed it back together. I assembled the whole thing with new seals all around and tested it on a car battery with wires and the solenoid click was way more audible this time around. I cleaned everything with Liqui Moly Brake Cleaner.

The small valve adjacent to the 3mm allen screw, do you mean the valve underneath the 3mm allen (grub screw)? If that's the case, then yes I pushed against it and it rebounds perfectly.

I didn't install the ADS valve in the car yet. The garage lift was occupied and it was getting late. I do the work myself but I use my mechanic's garage for the lift. I'm sorry I couldn't take any pics as I was super busy and my hands were super oily.

Tomorrow morning, hopefully the lift will be free and I'll jack the car up and install the ADS valve. I'm kinda optimistic and I have a feeling that this time it will finally work as planned. There isn't much I can do if it doesn't.

So we will see 😁
 

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1991 500SL
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Snowchain tire = "Super anti spin"
The shock button sets ADS suspension into hardest setting, however, since this is adaptive, it will do that by itself if you drive it like you stole it, basically no function on this type of car, could see the function on a semi track car, but anything beyond 1500 kg is not something for the track=useless function and no, with ho hydraulic suspension it will not work.

You need the build sheet to find out if it once had ADS.
Hello GUSMB

I attached a photo of the Snow Chain Switch function from the owner's manual. Basically it allows a bit more leeway with ASR up to certain speeds, then it switches off.
 

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Yup, sounds about right, have tried it on snow, not with chains though...
Hmmm....that's interesting. I tried it as a low setting ASR mode for a 0-60 launch. Discovered that the car is actually slightly faster with ASR fully on as it deals with wheelspin better.
 

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600SEL '93, SL600 '95, E55 '04
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Hi guys

i have a SL600 with strange issue with the ADS. I bought the car a year ago and parked it for a while bc i had no time to check it out. It started dripping ZH-M fluid out of the plugs on ADS valve. I replaced all the seals and while trying to set the height i noticed i can olny raise the car while operating both height regulators simultaneously. When i operate just front or back individually, the lever moves freely like there is no oil pressure. Car is leveled but i have an underground parking spot and i touch the ground with front bumper every time i drive the car to storage. Little more clearence at the front would be all i need. Can someone tell me where to look to correct that? Should i go back to that distributor valve that leaked? Its 94 USA spec car.

Thanks in advance
 

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1991 500SL
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When assembling, first insert two 4 mm steel balls into the sliding valve bore (use a magnetic screwdriver tip). Then insert the spring and sliding valve into the bore. Then put in the third 4 mm ball, the larger ball, spring, seal and 13 mm bolt. Done.

While the sliding valve is removed, it is a good idea to ensure the very small valve adjacent to the 3 mm allen screw moves freely (remove the allen screw). That valve is operated by one of the steel balls in bore and is essential for manual height control (encircled red in the very first attachment of this thread).

Schematics can be found in the two first messages in this thread. Observe that the sliding valve actually has two slopes (two check valves share same slope). In the two-dimensional schematic drawing there are three slopes illustrated.

Good luck!
Hello everyone

So I went today and installed the newly refurbished ADS valve as per instructions here. Basically now the switch works and both front and rear control rods extend to raise the car slowly. However, the car still doesn't lower back down. It raises up and stays up.

If I push the lever by hand nothing happens. The lever also feels like there is some pressure but not as strong as before. Before I completely opened up the ADS valve, it would raise and lower via the levers. I thought maybe the front valve is bad, so I checked the rear and it's the same exact story. So I'm sure it's something with how I assembled the ADS valve.

So I tried a second valve, completely disassembled, replaced all seals and assembled again....same results. The switch works and extends the control rods, but the car stays up and doesn't lower back down. The only way to lower it is to open the bleeding nipple of both front and rear valves. That means that oil isn't able to return back from the ADS valve to the main distribution block where it should go back to the reservoir.

Anyways...this time I took pictures of everything. I hope someone here can spot where I went wrong and let know. My last remaining solution is to send one of the two units to Klaus of Top Hydraulics.

Here are the pics, please note the position of the small steel balls during assembly.
 

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