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Discussion Starter #1
I just replaced the rear brake pads, all went well.

After lowering the car and starting it up, the airmatic system turned on and the car started to rise. Then after it got to the correct height they both POPPED!

This is not the first time I lifted the car, but they both popped at the same time. Did I do something wrong???

I ordered new struts and will be putting them in ASAP. But wanted to make sure before I do that I don't pop them as well.

2000 S500 94K Miles
 

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Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

I lift 'em up and down all day long, I doubt you did anything wrong, they were likely just weak, very bad luck they both burst, but at least it didn't happen on the road in the middle of nowhere ;)

HTH,
 

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I take it the rears went out on you, or was it the fronts? Typically the fronts go out before the rears do.

A 2000 S500 is now 20 years old. Wife also has this year and model. It currently has one remaining original strut, the rear left; all the other three are Arnott remans.

Since you're swapping both struts, also check the air lines going to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I take it the rears went out on you, or was it the fronts? Typically the fronts go out before the rears do.

A 2000 S500 is now 20 years old. Wife also has this year and model. It currently has one remaining original strut, the rear left; all the other three are Arnott remans.

Since you're swapping both struts, also check the air lines going to them.
Yes, it was the rears. I just purchased the car a week ago, knowing the rear had a small leak. It would take about a week to deflate if not driven. But was going through my checklist list I do to every car I buy. Replace all fluids, battery, brakes, clear any warning lights, ect. I have had the car up in the air before, but this time I did notice the passenger rear let out a lot of air (audibly) as the vehicle was being jacked up.

Was planning on doing the front end first since the bushings are VERY loud, but looks like I'll be doing the rear struts instead. Fronts have already been done and are Arnott branded.
 

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Hi,

There is something strange about Left Rear Struts lol, (or perhaps just the roll of my workshops dice), but every W220 that I have done Struts on always the left rear seems to be the last one to get done 馃榿

I'm beginning to wonder if there is one department doing shocks for each corner at the Billies factory, and left rear guys are better than the rest lol lol lol
 

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@Mdroll, since you've got the rear of the car up anyway, you might as well check for any other bushings. However, I can tell you that the wife's 2000 S500 didn't really need any rear suspension work (control arms and such). I did the right hand side anyway, essentially to teach myself how to do it and since I'd already ordered the parts, but it turned out not to be necessary at all.

The front was a different story. The entire front suspension of every W220 we have is brand-new, including the 2000 S500. That's every control arm, every ball joint, and both the inner and outer tie rods. Par for the course for any car that's this age. It should take you about a day to do the whole thing, and personally, I would recommend just doing the whole thing. Since your ball joints are making noise, everything else is probably on its last legs as well. Fortunately, you've got Arnott air struts, so it won't be too expensive for parts to do all this; I believe it was in the neighborhood of US $1,300, using all OEM parts (Lemfoerder, in my case).
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
@Mdroll, since you've got the rear of the car up anyway, you might as well check for any other bushings. However, I can tell you that the wife's 2000 S500 didn't really need any rear suspension work (control arms and such). I did the right hand side anyway, essentially to teach myself how to do it and since I'd already ordered the parts, but it turned out not to be necessary at all.

The front was a different story. The entire front suspension of every W220 we have is brand-new, including the 2000 S500. That's every control arm, every ball joint, and both the inner and outer tie rods. Par for the course for any car that's this age. It should take you about a day to do the whole thing, and personally, I would recommend just doing the whole thing. Since your ball joints are making noise, everything else is probably on its last legs as well. Fortunately, you've got Arnott air struts, so it won't be too expensive for parts to do all this; I believe it was in the neighborhood of US $1,300, using all OEM parts (Lemfoerder, in my case).
Thankfully it looks like the rear bushings have already been done by the previous owner.

One other question for the brain trust,

Is it normal for the entire system to go flat after a blow out of the (just the rear) struts? I would think the front would stay up if the rears were blown. the front was up, now all 4 are deflated. The car has been sitting for 2 days now. I did pull the fuse for the compressor, but I fear that I might not have thought to do it in time. I opened the door and it kicked on and ran for 5+ minutes while I frantically searched the web for the fuse location.

Just wanting to know if I should/need to replace the control valve.
 

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Hi,

Do the Rears first and see what happens when you re commission it.

It may be OK, if not it will need to go on SDS and do all the leakdown tests to determine exactly why the Front's are going down ;)

@wallyp ,

I was joking, just the way it has worked out here ;)

HTH,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just wanted to report that the new struts are in and working great. Turns out a lot of the squeaking noises that I heard have also been eliminated. I had thought it was the front end bushings. Glad this happened as I would have done the front end and still had the squeaking.

Didn't hurt the wallet too bad either, altogether the repair cost was $650 with Arnot struts! Each side took about 2 hours to complete. I'm not a mechanic so I'm sure it could have been done faster.

2604240

IMG_20190913_124552.jpg
 

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Hi @Mdroll ,

Thanks for the update :)

You'll do them quicker the second time, but great result, and as I suspected in my above post, nothing leaking re front end 馃榿
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update # 2:

So something strange happened today. I have been driving the car all week with no issues. I pressed the raise car button as I was pulling to a driveway, nothing out of the ordinary. but after leaving the store and lowering the car back down the rears lowered all the way, I notice the car was driving rough over small bumps. there was NO "low vehicle, do not drive" warning message. pulled over and sure enough, it is sitting on the frame. The compressor was not running. I pressed the raise car button and the rear started to rise. So I got back in the car and stopped the raising with the button..... the front went to normal..... the rears kept going. They fully inflated, it looked like a drag car. I was close to my father's house so I drove it there. (less than a mile). The struts were so firm could bounce the car on the tires.

To bleed the air from the struts I loosened the connections on the valve block one side at a time.

Then after driving the car for about 10 minutes they went flat, again. This time on the highway. I can pump them up by pressing the button. But the compressor should be coming on automatically and giving me a warning message, shouldn't it? I did this several times on the drive home. I don't have any messages on the dash about the airmatic system.

After getting home I let the struts fill to 3/4 full and left it to see if they would dropdown. It has been 6 hours and they haven't budged. The car is higher in the back.

I'm at a loss.....
What would you start checking?
 

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Hi,

It needs going on SDS and running the full set of tests to get a conclusion. Likely a mechanically, not electrically faulty Rear Height Sensor (mechanical issue like it's linkage is detached) or possibly Valve Block, but that is just educated guesswork.

HTH,
 

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In my case, it was the valve block (fixed last year), but like Dave says, this problem needs some diagnosing with STAR Diagnostic System.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you Dave2302 and cowboyt. I'll take a look at the linkage this morning and see if it needs attention. I Have been meaning to order an SDS since I bought the car 2 weeks ago.
Looking at the iCarsoft MB V2.0 I know this is just a scanner and can not program with it, but will it tell me whats going on? Not looking to spend $1000 on a tool at the moment. LOL
 

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Hi,

The ICarsoft will not get all codes in all systems, likely not be any help here anyway or you would have an "Airmatic Visit Workshop" Message on the dash.
That is why I think it is a mechanical problem like Height Sensor Linkage or sticky / internally leaking Valve Block 馃槈 The SDS will be able to see a mechanical issue via the Tests and Actual Values (Data).
SDS C3 Mux / Lead and Dell Laptop start at 拢400 / $500

You will likely save the $500 if you nail it first time, parts are expensive, and whatever you do for a living, so is your time ;)

HTH,
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So the rear linkage is GONE! 馃槄

I'm getting a new one or going to make one, they look to be adjustable. I don't suppose anyone knows what length it should be set at? I'm also suspecting that an SDS is going to be needed to set the ride height for the linkage.

FYI just in case you guys didn't already know: you ROCK 馃嵑
 

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Ha Ha how did I know that 馃懣

Set it roughly in the middle and adjust it one way or t'other until the ride height is where you want it, weight on wheels of course, so use a pit or wooden blocks under wheels 馃槈

Yes buy the SDS, W220 Ownership needs it ;)

Buuuuuuut do not attemp an Airmatic Calibration, it needs special angle finder equipment and a level lift or pit to do successfully, if you guess or input the wrong angle figures the Controller will lock out and then the Airmatic doesn't work :(

The only time you normally need to calibrate is when you replace a level sensor, and even then only if required.

Be careful with the plastic Arm on Height Sensor, don't want to break that or you'll need a new Sensor, they should only be bought from MB, cheapies are noted to be a pain, and MB aren't that dear for them, last one I bought was under 拢50 :)

Buy the metal Linkage pieces from MB they aren't that dear and then you can set it to the same adjustment as the old one, try not to disturb the piece bolted to the rear Anti Rollbar, unless that is the busted bit, mark things so you can get it close and all will be good 馃槈

HTH,
 
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