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2000 S430
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I got my airmatic pump replaced yesturday at the stealership and they told me that my front struts are leaking I know they sell a leak kit but I didnt fix the problem at the moment because fixing the pump had me strapped for cash. I know that if I spray soapy water on the struts I could see where the struts are leaking from. Can I fix this problem myself. I was thinking can I place rubber epoxy over were the strut is leaking to seal the air in or to minimize the leak. Im sorry if this is a stupid question Im just trying to look for a cheap fix.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,195 Posts
It depends on where the strut leaks are. I don't know of a seal kit for the lower end. There is a mounting plate and seal replacement kit for upper strut leaks. It cost me about $550 for parts and labor to have mine replaced on my '00. Some dealers have done it for less.

Failure to address the leak properly will eventually result in your having to replace the airmatic pump again - soon.

To do the job yourself you need a special tool. The parts and the tool (it sells for about $125 as I recall) will run close to the the cost of having the dealer do it. Small savings. There several posts concerning this either here or on MBWorld, but I don't have them bookmarked to give you. Try a search in the W220 or General MB forums.

If you check the upper strut mounting plates (where a pressure hose enters the upper part of the strut) you may see small circular cracks in the metal, around the valve where the hose enters. The plates are painted black. If there are cracks in the paint, the metal beneath is cracking. Your leak is likely there, but verify it.

The pressures you are dealing with will not be amenable to repair by just placing epoxy on top of the leak. In addition, with a top leak, raising the car on a lift (so the struts fully extend), then lowering it without first starting it before full weight is placed back on the struts, can cause the car to go fully down on the suspension and possibly cause damage. The precaution of re-pressurizing before full weight is placed back on the struts is not necessary unless there is a leak.

It would be of help to us if you completed your profile to include the year and model of your car (important for most questions), and at least the continent on which you live (important for questions about electronics).
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
Hi All,

I got my airmatic pump replaced yesturday at the stealership and they told me that my front struts are leaking I know they sell a leak kit but I didnt fix the problem at the moment because fixing the pump had me strapped for cash. I know that if I spray soapy water on the struts I could see where the struts are leaking from. Can I fix this problem myself. I was thinking can I place rubber epoxy over were the strut is leaking to seal the air in or to minimize the leak. Im sorry if this is a stupid question Im just trying to look for a cheap fix.
Sorry to say this, but if the front strut tops are leaking then the only effective fix is the repair kit and for this it needs special tools. I can understand your feelings (being "strapped for cash") but you have just replaced the pump and if the struts are leaking then then the pump will be working overtime and soon you will have a bigger problem.

The good news is that a specialist can do this repair far cheaper than the stealership, so find a good indi and fix it once and for all. If you decide to fix the struts then one more item, change the airmatic relay for the Hella type relay and your car will be OK for a long time:thumbsup:
 

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2000 S430
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To All,

The top of my front struts were leaking I had hair line cracks around the top of the strut. I bought a weld kit at a local auto part store a two part epoxy and put it over the top of the struts where the cracks were I let it dry and then put soapt water above the struts and no bubbles so Im assuming that the epoxy stopped the leaks.
 

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1999 ML320
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24,029 Posts
Epoxy is a hard material. If it fails, wouldn't there be a sudden loss
of pressure ? (not a good thing at highway speeds).
 

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2001 S430
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419 Posts
I went through the breaking down on the road thing. Leaving your MB due to a 10.00 fix. I would have it fix and bite the bullet then you have fixed the three most common things. It sucks to pay out so much but worth it in the long run unless you are only using the car to go to the corner store. I have a funny feeling because I really do not have very good luck. I will be paying for the comp......soon also
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,195 Posts
To All,

The top of my front struts were leaking I had hair line cracks around the top of the strut. I bought a weld kit at a local auto part store a two part epoxy and put it over the top of the struts where the cracks were I let it dry and then put soapt water above the struts and no bubbles so Im assuming that the epoxy stopped the leaks.
If the leak is in the sealant under the plates and there are no cracks in the upper metal plates, it may work. We'd be interested in hearing how long the repair lasts.

If the upper plates are cracking, I don''t give it much chance of holding.
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
It will, indeed, be intersting to see if it holds. But I would not expect it to hold for long. Especially on rough roads. Still, its worth a try;)
 

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here are my cracks... anybody had luck with a repair kit? I called local shops but nobody knows about it and dont know how to use it, how much it cost at the dealership and labor?
my front leaks really slow and my back is raised real high, because the pump keep working when the car is running, if I use the repair kit will my back go down? I have 2002 s500





 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
I have already said on this thread that it needs a special tool to do this job and only the Dealership or a good specialist has said tool. An ordinary workshop is unlikely to have either the tool or the knowledge for this type of special repair.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,195 Posts
gixxerblack,

Your photos illustrate exactly one of the primary causes of leaks in the airmatic system. Nice job. The cracks are already fairly serious (personally, I believe this is a design defect that MB should have to repair under extended warranty, but that's another issue). Where such cracks exist, the underlying seal is also leaking.

The replacement "seal kit" is actually new seals and new metal mounting plates; it runs about $500-600 to install, depending on dealer labor charges. Do not delay replacing them. Your airmatic pump will wear itself out prematurely (or burn itself out is a short time) trying to maintain pressure, and that is a very expensive repair at a dealer.

The tool is at MERCEDES (W220) SEAL TOP AIR SUSPENSION STRUT; Chain Auto Tools & Accessories, among other locations. A bit more info (part #s, etc) at Airmatic Strut Rebuild - MBWorld.org Forums

Do not try to replace only the seal. You need the plates too.
 

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Thanks for the info Skylaw. so it it possible to do it yourself or it worth the money to let the stealership do it? ntw how much the tool cost?
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,195 Posts
When I had the problem I had the dealership do it. I don't have the part number, but your parts guy should be able to look at a parts diagram and identify what's needed. If he can't do that, I wouldn't let them touch my car.

I can't believe they'd be an authorized dealer and never have done the repair or ordered the parts before.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,195 Posts
I believe that $140 is the retail price of a single kit. Two kits plus installation cost me $550 a few years ago.

When MB replaces the kits under warranty, they mark the price as $50 for each kit. Don't you love it?
 

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S500
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28 Posts
its a big MB dealership here in Seattle, he couldnt find anything except some kind of repair kit for 140$ thats it.
The part Number for the repair kit is 220 320 25 38.
It is called hydropneumatic or something like that.

Dealer sells $140.00 per set.You need two.
The tools will cost you $75 + 10 and total will be about $100 on ebay.
Total material + tools will cost you 280 + 100 = 380 + trouble cleaning and headache for all unnecessary issues.

Most of the German Cars Mechanic have this tools and they charge in between 450 to 500 including material + labor.

I was thinking the same thing and finally I decide to go to Local Indy. Negotiate with dealers to get 500 and it is worth to do it. They can reset your height just in case anything wrong after installation.
 

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Skylaw, I guess thats why they got their name, stealership

winmaw, thanks, I'll probably let them do it too, I dont want to mess up and then pay more money to fix it, now does that kit has everything that I need? I mean does it have plates too?
 

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Skylaw, I guess thats why they got their name, stealership

winmaw, thanks, I'll probably let them do it too, I dont want to mess up and then pay more money to fix it, now does that kit has everything that I need? I mean does it have plates too?
It should include everything to do this repair. The mechanic will take care everything. Talk to them and negotiate with them.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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It should include everything to do this repair. The mechanic will take care everything. Talk to them and negotiate with them.
What he said.
 
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