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1985 500sel
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently started work on my granpas 85' 500sel (euro grey market with full hydraulics, later imported back to europe), unfortunately the car has sat for well over 10 years because the hydraulics stopped working after they were operated manually from the controller on top of the hydraulic tank (3rd image) causing them to go out with a bang and the car falling on its belly.

Front struts were replaced after the incident but that's where it was left, until now.

Unfortunately the US repair guides We have in our posession are not that helpful as the us models didn't have more than rear sls.

So far I've only tried manually operating the front leveling valve to see if the height was being measured wrong. While doing this i removed the rotten rubber piece around it but i suspect that's only to prevent dirt. (See last image)

Hydraulic fluid is not leaking and has proper color

Current goal is to get it to stand on it's own so it can be driven or towed into a better garage where it can be properly jacked up for further work, but I have no idea where to start given the unusual way of "dying"

Vin: WDB1260371A197673
new member sorry if I missed an important bit of etiquette
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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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17,153 Posts
Welcome to the forum. This is a rare bit of kit. We do have a few select members who know about this stuff though.
Hopefully they can help you out, would be great to see this working again.
 

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Registered
84 500SEL AMG, 90 560SEC AMG, 85 500SEC AMG Widebody
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1,920 Posts
Cool feature, but it is unfortunate that many of the parts for that system are available any longer. There was an eBay Seller a year or so ago that had a couple complete sets of hydraulic rams (front and rear) and some other parts for sale - for the W116 and W126 cars, but those auctions were many thousands of $$ and were eventually all sold. Hopefully your system can be resurrected. Not sure what the options would be.

Here are some auctions from that Seller for the full hydraulic system. Maybe the Seller has some parts you need




 
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Registered
1985 500sel
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cool feature, but it is unfortunate that many of the parts for that system are available any longer. There was an eBay Seller a year or so ago that had a couple complete sets of hydraulic rams (front and rear) and some other parts for sale - for the W116 and W126 cars, but those auctions were many thousands of $$ and were eventually all sold. Hopefully your system can be resurrected. Not sure what the options would be.
Those sure are expensive, fortunately I have access to people and machines for refurbishing parts if it's possible to do, and I'm not that interested in a complete restoration. apart from trying to get it to raise up for transportation the real end goal is to just have it on hydraulics whether original Mercedes parts or any other system.
 

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1977 450 SEL 6.9
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845 Posts
Start with basics as always. Are you sure you have enough fluid in the tank? Also make sure the tank is not overfilled, for a general fluid level it should not be higher than the bottom of the paper filter with the system running and car "pumped up". Correct in that the dust boot rubber has no function on system operation, it keeps dust out and that is all. With your height control switch (aluminium block at the tank) in the current position as you show it in your pic, that is the "N" position for normal driving (dash knob fully pushed into the dash). On a well operating system the car should pump up from flat in about 30 sec to 1 min max with engine at idle (no revving required). With engine running, you can try rocking and lifting the car by the fender up and down to "wake up" the leveling valves. The arm on the leveling valve must be in the "filling" position to signal "pump up" to normal driving height - N position. A good place to start with repairs is the pump itself, if it is weak and not putting out enough pressure the system will never run right.
 

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'82 500sec euro, '95 Ford F150
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1,723 Posts
I wonder if you could reach out to Klaus at Top Hydraulics. They repair the hydraulics for most convertible tops, but also the ride leveling hydraulics for the R129, which is a more sophisticated setup than this.
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1990 500SL, 1986 500SEC
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1,817 Posts
Neil @ Star Motors is great with these suspensions. Here is a link to some resources on his website Customer Service - Star Motors NY

I have a repair manual saved somewhere, I will look for it and send it over if I find it. Good luck!
 
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