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2005 SL 500 R230
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However, there is what looks to be a rivet (circled in red).

Good work so far! Stick with it, the rest is easy. There are three or four rivets that have to be drilled out to remove that stainless steel cover. Upon reassembly you can just leave them off or put in small nuts and bolts.

But for now it's out with the drill - there is no other way to get it apart.
 

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'03 SL500's Tanzanite Blue, Aegean Blue, Mars Red, Alabaster White '11 S550 Flint Gray
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If you are going to replace the lock lever, drill the rivet. If you just want to get to the board, you don't need to remove it. The module is on the opposite side and is held by two screws from the back. The upper front one is obvious, the lower rear one is accessed through the hole below the rivet.
 

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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Ok, drilled out the rivets. I'm planning on replacing the lock lever with an aluminum one since I already have the assembly out and it sounds like a lot of people have the plastic lever break on them.

Is the sensor in this tiny module in the picture below or is it on the large one on the other side? If it's not in this little one, what is the little one for? The white piece is attached to a center dowel and the black piece moves with the lever, so it really looks like a position sensor to me.
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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
The sensor pictured in the previous post uses simple electrical contacts. What I've been reading is some optical sensors, so I guess those are located in the bigger module on the other side of the assembly. Does anyone know how this one is used? I'm guessing this sensor + the optical sensor act as back-up for each other for the shifter position?
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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
The larger module appears to be secured also by a metal pin. I have removed the 2 bolts and that module freely turns. However, I cannot pull it out, and it looks to be held in by a metal pin. I cannot seem to push the pin in, nor can I push the black plastic around the pin down to clear the pin.
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2005 SL 500 R230
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Yes it's that module. It's a logic board with a paddle moving through optical sensors, but I can't remember how to get it out, sorry. I don't remember cutting anything there. Now I'm thinking that you have to take the shifter lever apart from the other side, slip it out, then the module lifts out. I think that's right, but someone will know.

Definitely change the pawl while the thing is out and apart. You don't want to be back in there if you can help it...
 

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2009 SL 550
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Here's what I am doing to my 2003 SL55:
Engine Oil & Filter Change...Done
Windows Tint... Done
Engine air filters, ordered one and got one, usually it's a pair, so ordered a second filter.
Trunk lid Struts
Trunk lid rear spoiler, carbon fiber, it's arrived, it's beautiful.
Cabin Air Filters, those have arrived.
Engine & trans Mounts, those have arrived.
Suspension Accumulators, ordered and on the way.
ABC Filter / Fluid, have those on hand already.
Supercharger Jet Oil, ordered 8-oz bottle and a syringe kit.
Antifreeze/Coolant Renew
Brake fluid renew
Transmission service
I wish it was springtime!

Question on the Suspension Accumulators. Asked the dealer for my 2009, I find the ride a bit hard/stiff, said they only change them once they start leaking?
 

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2005 SL500 R230
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Question on the Suspension Accumulators. Asked the dealer for my 2009, I find the ride a bit hard/stiff, said they only change them once they start leaking?
Hydraulic accumulators have a bladder filled with gas. The hydraulic pump pumps hydraulic fluid into the accumulator which compresses the bladder. This stores fluid under pressure inside the accumulator. When more fluid flow is needed than can be provided by the pump, the compressed gas within the bladder expands and pushes fluid out of the accumulator, providing the extra flow/pressure needed. If you are familiar with electrical components, you can think of it as a capacitor.

It definitely can have a failure mode where there is no leak of hydraulic fluid. If the bladder develops a leak to the outside (not to the side with the hydraulic fluid), then it will no longer have gas to compress to provide flow/pressure later when needed. And it won't be noticeable since it's just leaks gas into the air, you can't see the bladder anyways. In that case, when there is a high demand for the hydraulic system, the pump won't be able to provide enough pressure by itself.

How that translates into the ride quality, I don't know.
 

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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Yes it's that module. It's a logic board with a paddle moving through optical sensors, but I can't remember how to get it out, sorry. I don't remember cutting anything there. Now I'm thinking that you have to take the shifter lever apart from the other side, slip it out, then the module lifts out. I think that's right, but someone will know.

Definitely change the pawl while the thing is out and apart. You don't want to be back in there if you can help it...
Any idea how the smaller module with the electrical contacts is used? I'm wondering if that also could be a culprit for the P1856 code I'm seeing.
 

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2005 SL 500 R230
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That module with the gold contacts is the selector position indicator - there are no components in it, just tracks connected by by the wiper on top. You can clean the contacts while it's out but your issue is most likely caused by bad solder joints on the optical pickups in the logic board in the other module. Did you get it out yet? I don't remember cutting anything to get it out.


I had the same issue. I'm not sure how the modules in the shifter interact, but the logic board is looking for a sequence of events with the paddle moving through the pickups in the correct sequence. If either one is misaligned I imagine it could potentially cause the code. There are optical pickups in the + and - manual selector at the bottom too (but they might be simple switches - can't remember).
 

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Sorry to hijack a thread, the shifter work is awesome. Re the accumulators,
I'd read in the stickies, that failing accumulators can cause stiffer / harder ride quality because it's their job to buffer when you contact a hard bump. They act like a shock absorber for the fluid to expand into just a tiny bit at that moment. Especially if, when you hit a hard bump, a red message comes on saying drive carefully, that is the cue that they may be failing.
Their lifespan is estimated to be ten years although that's probably someone's guess, the other R230s I've owned were a 2004 and a 2007 and showed no problem and had no indication of them having been replaced. But once you suspect them failing just replace them because they don't cost that much, between 100 and 200 each, and if the rubber diaphragm inside deteriorates the bits of material could destroy the pump, and that's big money.
So I bought new ones that arrived yesterday, I just wish it was springtime because it's too cold out to replace those now and there isn't room in the garage to do the work! We actually had snow here last night. But, in due time...
 

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All interesting and useful.

New accumulators make an amazing difference to the ride. On new accumulators, it's truly a magic carpet ride. That's the main reason I'd be hesitant to put mine on coils.
 

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2005 SL500
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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Figured out how to remove the module. For those who might be wondering the same thing. The metal pin cannot be pushed in. You need to move the outer plastic piece out of the way so the metal pin can clear it as you pull the module out. See the picture with the red arrow showing which piece to move in which direction. There is one more metal pin on the other side that you will need to do the same in order the pull the module off.
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I had the same issue. I'm not sure how the modules in the shifter interact, but the logic board is looking for a sequence of events with the paddle moving through the pickups in the correct sequence. If either one is misaligned I imagine it could potentially cause the code. There are optical pickups in the + and - manual selector at the bottom too (but they might be simple switches - can't remember).
Here are pictures of the solder joints of the optical sensors on my shift assembly. To my untrained eyes, they look to be ok? How does it look to you? Since this is a two layer PCB where the pins don't go through to the back, I guess there's really no way to test the continuity of the solder joints?
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Sorry to hijack a thread, the shifter work is awesome. Re the accumulators,
I'd read in the stickies, that failing accumulators can cause stiffer / harder ride quality because it's their job to buffer when you contact a hard bump. They act like a shock absorber for the fluid to expand into just a tiny bit at that moment. Especially if, when you hit a hard bump, a red message comes on saying drive carefully, that is the cue that they may be failing.
Their lifespan is estimated to be ten years although that's probably someone's guess, the other R230s I've owned were a 2004 and a 2007 and showed no problem and had no indication of them having been replaced. But once you suspect them failing just replace them because they don't cost that much, between 100 and 200 each, and if the rubber diaphragm inside deteriorates the bits of material could destroy the pump, and that's big money.
So I bought new ones that arrived yesterday, I just wish it was springtime because it's too cold out to replace those now and there isn't room in the garage to do the work! We actually had snow here last night. But, in due time...
I have had my 2005 SL500 ( w96K miles) for about 5 months. Everything worked on the ABC system when I got the car with no indications of problems. The ABC fluid level was somewhat low when I first measured it. I decided to change the 2 main accumulators for the reasons you outlined as well as for some of the reasons outlined in the YouTube videos I saw on the subject for cars with 95 -100K miles. I know the maintenance history for my car after 50K miles. I found the 2 accumulators in good working order which surprised me. They are the original M-B accumulators. I'm naturally thinking about the two accumulators I didn't change. I decided to listen to the car very carefully to detect any problems but I am comfortable with my decision to change out the 2 accumulators.
 

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Here are pictures of the solder joints of the optical sensors on my shift assembly. To my untrained eyes, they look to be ok? How does it look to you?

You really have to look at them under a microscope to know but that's just for academic interest. One of the reasons solder joints go 'cold' is insufficient flux when they're first done and that's what I suspect is going on here.

Mine looked fine too, but when I redid them the issue was fixed. I would have passed them as good. They weren't cracked.

You need a temperature controlled iron with a long thin tip, set to about 295 C. (Sorry to mansplain if you already know all this).
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
You need a temperature controlled iron with a long thin tip, set to about 295 C. (Sorry to mansplain if you already know all this).
Thanks, I bought the temp controlled iron, but didn't have the temp setting number. Did you wick away the old solder and used new solder or did you just melt the old solder and let it cool again?
 

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I should have said that a small mains powered 25 Watt soldering iron would have been fine for this job, but you'll use your TC one again, no doubt.

The main thing is not to use too much heat on the board, so avoid solder-wick. But it is important to use new solder with new flux (the flux is inside the core of the solder). It is not sufficient just to heat up and reflow the old joints.

The heat of the joint, not the soldering iron tip, does the melting of the new solder.

So heat up each joint in turn for a couple of seconds then apply the solder to the point where the tip of the iron meets the solder joints. Let the solder flow for another second then you're done.

See if you can find some old electronics junk to practice on first maybe?

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
So heat up each joint in turn for a couple of seconds then apply the solder to the point where the tip of the iron meets the solder joints. Let the solder flow for another second then you're done.

See if you can find some old electronics junk to practice on first maybe?

Good luck.
I have soldered through hole stuff, but have never worked with surface mount.
 
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