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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry i know this will have been asked loads but i need to lower my 560 sel 91 plate , but i see on a lot of sites it says except models with self leveling .

please could anyone help the car is like a monster truck i need to go like 3-4 inches down
 

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1990 300SE
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1,466 Posts
You should be able to rip out all the self leveling parts and fit in a normal coil spring + shock. However, I don't know if there are a lot of other parts to change, like the control arms, sway bar, axle shaft, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok thanks , i thought about taking the rear dampers out and replacing with normal ones and just looping the pipes back on them selves so it just circulated around. axles etc will be fine i know someone with a 420 and its sat quite litterally on the floors just got some very short springs but he didnt have the hydro damper problem , thanks fo ryour info again
 

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Depends on the day!
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Personally, I'd leave the SL'ing in place and lower it w/ a set of H&R's. They have them for 560's..

If you are interested, I have a set of H&R's for a self leveling set up w/ around 14-15K on them. The car they were in had it's left front end crunched a bit.

If you do decide to go w/ non self leveling springs/shocks etc...You'll want to set the car up w/ a bit of a rake so that when you have passengers and/or luggage etc the rear end won't sag.

If your self leveling system is in order it Really doesn't make any sense to go through the hassle of removing it.

Jonathan
http://jono.mbfans.net/Index.htm
Need parts? Give a call, I don't sell anything I wouldn't install on my own car.
404-805-1357
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate all the advice about lowering but the car is a toy thats all we have a 300 as a daily drive ,
The 560 is just for fun a lot of my friends have merc lowriders ,
I have a kit that i could use on the merc but initally i want to keep it cheap and find out how to cap the self levelling , was just going to use euro car parts for some springs there £90.00 . also remove the shims for a bit more , see i have ordered some wire rims for the car and whitewalls and need to it to sit lower , I know its not what some would imagine doing with a 560 but take into account this car cost me £680.00 with tax mot ad full merc history , she is on 196,000 but still leaves most things for dead ( in a straight line )

iam going for lowrider look :) thanks for all advise so far
 

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00 Audi TT & 00 E320 4M
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Very old post but... what was the end result?

I am considering trading my 92 500SL for a 91 560SEL with SL suspension
I would like to lower it with H&R sport springs and possible keep the SL system

Will it self adjust to springs or is there an adjustment to make to compensate for whatever the HR/SS spec drop is?

I did a search I couldn't find what was involved if I wanted to remove the SL and mount Bilsteins in their place
 

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Its pretty easy to set the "static" height of the SLS (I'm told), but I don't think the lowering springs *require* you to adjust it. The SLS will carry *some* weight, obviously (otherwise it wouldn't work), you just don't want it to carry *all* the weight.
 

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Two '87 570SECs, one '87 560SEL
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Cutting regular (stock) springs can result in the desired ride height and a fairly soft ride.

H&R lowering springs result in the same ride height, but noticeably stiffer ride. It's not harsh but it is stiffer.

I've had right at a 1,000 pounds of steel electronic signs in the trunk and back seat, and although it slowed the car down, the SLS maintained the standard ride height and a trip from San Francisco to Portland was simple.

I took the FrankenBenz and since the LS6 has no power output capable of driving the SLS hydraulic pump, I put in "non-SLS" rear springs and shocks. But... I do like my SLS operational on my other two W126's - a 560SEC and 560SEL.
 

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1991 560 SEC 1994 E500 2014 E350 Cab
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The SLS is very misunderstood and quite a simple process. It take very little to keep this system up to operating conditions. Now to answer the SLS questions: In order to put in the HR springs, you need the proper spring compressor, and you need to remove the rear rams and they are full of hydralic fluid. You have a lever near the differential and it is pointing forward. It is a simple lever on a valve that when pointing down, the rear rams drain out the fluid and the car drops to the stops over a period of time. Raise that lever up and the rams (rear shocks) fill with fluid raising the level of the car. Now you have to have the car running about 2k RPM while you do this and the lever needs to be disconnected from the rear swaybar.

So the SLS is a leveling system, not really a shock absorber. The springs cushion the blows and support the car. Once you set a baseline level with new springs, you will want to raise the level of the car just a skosh to allow for a full tank of gas. Once you have the level you want (I assume you reinstalled the rams with new copper washers on the hydraulic lines) you are good to go. Now if the rams are leaking, replace. If the boots are torn, replace boots only if they do not leak. There are two rather stoudt rubber bushings that go on either sidde of the frame when you reinstall the rams, and they cushion the blow on the frame so they may look good but can be hard and compressed and should be replaced.

Bottom line, the SLS is a great system and it is not to give you a rake look or support the car. Your springs do both, or about 90%. The accumulators cushion the fluid stored in the rams and they provide some cushion but not much. Keep the SLS IMHO.
 

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1987 560 SEL
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390 Posts
The SLS is very misunderstood and quite a simple process. It take very little to keep this system up to operating conditions. Now to answer the SLS questions: In order to put in the HR springs, you need the proper spring compressor, and you need to remove the rear rams and they are full of hydralic fluid. You have a lever near the differential and it is pointing forward. It is a simple lever on a valve that when pointing down, the rear rams drain out the fluid and the car drops to the stops over a period of time. Raise that lever up and the rams (rear shocks) fill with fluid raising the level of the car. Now you have to have the car running about 2k RPM while you do this and the lever needs to be disconnected from the rear swaybar.

So the SLS is a leveling system, not really a shock absorber. The springs cushion the blows and support the car. Once you set a baseline level with new springs, you will want to raise the level of the car just a skosh to allow for a full tank of gas. Once you have the level you want (I assume you reinstalled the rams with new copper washers on the hydraulic lines) you are good to go. Now if the rams are leaking, replace. If the boots are torn, replace boots only if they do not leak. There are two rather stoudt rubber bushings that go on either sidde of the frame when you reinstall the rams, and they cushion the blow on the frame so they may look good but can be hard and compressed and should be replaced.

Bottom line, the SLS is a great system and it is not to give you a rake look or support the car. Your springs do both, or about 90%. The accumulators cushion the fluid stored in the rams and they provide some cushion but not much. Keep the SLS IMHO.
+1 Great description, Thank you!
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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Very old post but... what was the end result?

I am considering trading my 92 500SL for a 91 560SEL with SL suspension
I would like to lower it with H&R sport springs and possible keep the SL system

Will it self adjust to springs or is there an adjustment to make to compensate for whatever the HR/SS spec drop is?

I did a search I couldn't find what was involved if I wanted to remove the SL and mount Bilsteins in their place
In my experience with my 1989 SEC, the lowering springs are SO low that the SLS has to make up a huge difference to bring the car back up to a reasonable height.

This is fine, for a while. You get a firmer ride which I like. Unfortunately, I'm discovering the life of the accumulators (which I purchased from MB) seems to be greatly shortened. I have already had to readjust the ride height back up, using the adjusting lever on the SLS valve, and the ride is getting increasingly harsh. My theory is that the added stress of carrying more of the car load than is designed is increasing the rate of migration of hydraulic fluid into the nitrogen side of the accumulator.

If I were to do what you're planning (and I intend to on our 1989 SEL), I would try a thinner spring pad first and use the SLS to make up any remaining height difference.
 

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00 Audi TT & 00 E320 4M
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The SLS is very misunderstood and quite a simple process. It take very little to keep this system up to operating conditions. Now to answer the SLS questions: In order to put in the HR springs, you need the proper spring compressor, and you need to remove the rear rams and they are full of hydralic fluid. You have a lever near the differential and it is pointing forward. It is a simple lever on a valve that when pointing down, the rear rams drain out the fluid and the car drops to the stops over a period of time. Raise that lever up and the rams (rear shocks) fill with fluid raising the level of the car. Now you have to have the car running about 2k RPM while you do this and the lever needs to be disconnected from the rear swaybar.

So the SLS is a leveling system, not really a shock absorber. The springs cushion the blows and support the car. Once you set a baseline level with new springs, you will want to raise the level of the car just a skosh to allow for a full tank of gas. Once you have the level you want (I assume you reinstalled the rams with new copper washers on the hydraulic lines) you are good to go. Now if the rams are leaking, replace. If the boots are torn, replace boots only if they do not leak. There are two rather stoudt rubber bushings that go on either sidde of the frame when you reinstall the rams, and they cushion the blow on the frame so they may look good but can be hard and compressed and should be replaced.

Bottom line, the SLS is a great system and it is not to give you a rake look or support the car. Your springs do both, or about 90%. The accumulators cushion the fluid stored in the rams and they provide some cushion but not much. Keep the SLS IMHO.
Ok thanks
I was thinking the leveling was part of the shock/struts

And yes I'm familiar with H&R sport springs
Have had them on a 91 BMW 325i convertible and a 90 VW Corrado

Currently have them on my 92 500SL with HD Bilsteins
Not too harsh a ride and absolutely no roll at all in corners
Of course the wide 18" offset wheels help also
 

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1991 560 SEC 1994 E500 2014 E350 Cab
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it is part of the shock/strut/ram as those three are the same. I just wanted you to know that the level of the car is based on the spring, y=the SLS you will manually adjust to the level you need based on the workhorse of the suspension, and that is the spring. The hydralics as designed are to compensate for load to maintain a predetermined height prior to the load.
 

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2006 S65 AMG V12 Biturbo
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I plan to run H&R springs. There are also spring isolators in a few thicknesses....

Rubber Buffer - REAR
1153252244....9.5mm....1 Burl
1153252344....14mm....2 Burls
1153252444....19mm....3 Burls

Rubber Buffer - FRONT
1263210784....8mm
1263210884....13mm
1263210984....18mm
1263211084....23mm

I will probably upgrade to Bilstein HDs up front as well.
 

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1987 560SEL Astral Silver/Silver blue leather,Michelins,SONY
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820 Posts
Nice description and well stated reason the leave the system the way the MB gnomes designed it.
 

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None of this rings true to me...

1) The SLS is a very simple system; it is not trying to maintain a predefined ride-height or a certain amount of suspension travel. It only wants to raise/lower the car to the position you've "told" it is level. Once there, it acts as a damper via the accumulators. One could imagine that with a stiffer/shorter spring its job as damper is even less strenuous as the amount of travel it goes through is lessened. That said, it's not going to be "tuned" for this new spring rate (see the many Comfort vs. HD. vs Sport arguments) so while it may not perform as well, I don't think it is working harder or carrying more weight -- if adjusted properly.

2) If the car is lowered equally at all four corners then the relative travel of the SLS should be same as before and the absolute amount of travel should be less. As someone stated earlier: the SLS isn't there to give your car rake or to fine tune its ride-height; that's what the spring pads are for.

If you are using it for this purpose, or if you've unevenly lowered the car then, yeah, perhaps the SLS is under more strain than before. Anyway...

Moral of (my) story is:

1) Let the springs carry the weight.
2) Use the pads to fine tune stance/ride-height.
3) Once happy, adjust the SLS to the new static level.
 

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None of this rings true to me...

1) The SLS is a very simple system; it is not trying to maintain a predefined ride-height or a certain amount of suspension travel. It only wants to raise/lower the car to the position you've "told" it is level. Once there, it acts as a damper via the accumulators. One could imagine that with a stiffer/shorter spring its job as damper is even less strenuous as the amount of travel it goes through is lessened. That said, it's not going to be "tuned" for this new spring rate (see the many Comfort vs. HD. vs Sport arguments) so while it may not perform as well, I don't think it is working harder or carrying more weight -- if adjusted properly.

2) If the car is lowered equally at all four corners then the relative travel of the SLS should be same as before and the absolute amount of travel should be less. As someone stated earlier: the SLS isn't there to give your car rake or to fine tune its ride-height; that's what the spring pads are for.

If you are using it for this purpose, or if you've unevenly lowered the car then, yeah, perhaps the SLS is under more strain than before. Anyway...

Moral of (my) story is:

1) Let the springs carry the weight.
2) Use the pads to fine tune stance/ride-height.
3) Once happy, adjust the SLS to the new static level.

Ok thanks for the input.
Still debating since I have someone that want to do a deal for a trade
91 560SEL for my 92 500SL
The SEL is bone stock whereas my SL already has H&Rs Bilsteins and 18" offset rims
I like to mod my cars slightly, stock bores me :devil
 

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2016 E400 coupe, 2018 GLE350, 2007 CL600, 2019 C43 coupe
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So I'm on the journey to lower the rear of my SEC 560. I bought the H&R springs and they were installed on the front. It gave the front end the perfect ride height I was looking for. The independent shop who installed them didn't do the rears and said it was because it was time consuming removing the rams, blah blah blah. He said he did lower the rear by adjusting the SLS but it didn't look lower to me. This is after new accumulators about 500 miles ago. Anyway, I bought a new adjuster and modified it so it could be about a half inch shorter figuring shorter is the way to go. I went to the local Jiffy Lube and we put it on the alignment rack so we could get at the SLS easily. That's when I found out the SLS wasn't working at all. I pushed the SLS lever up and down all the way. No change at all.

A new pump or SLS for my 86 is anywhere from $500 to $1000 each. Time to buy some non SLS shocks and install the lowering springs. There is a difference in spring rates. The spring rate and spacer are determined by the the number of options you have on your car. So the spacer is the same for my car (blue is 9.5mm and red is 14mm) The base spring is 116 324 08 04 for non SLS and 123 324 06 04 with SLS. The spring defelections are 16.6 mm and 18.45 mm deflection per 1000 N for stock springs so the SLS springs are softer, I'm guessing by 25%. Cutting out one coil from the stock springs might do the trick. I'll keep you up to date.
 

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1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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So I'm on the journey to lower the rear of my SEC 560. I bought the H&R springs and they were installed on the front. It gave the front end the perfect ride height I was looking for. The independent shop who installed them didn't do the rears and said it was because it was time consuming removing the rams, blah blah blah. He said he did lower the rear by adjusting the SLS but it didn't look lower to me. This is after new accumulators about 500 miles ago. Anyway, I bought a new adjuster and modified it so it could be about a half inch shorter figuring shorter is the way to go. I went to the local Jiffy Lube and we put it on the alignment rack so we could get at the SLS easily. That's when I found out the SLS wasn't working at all. I pushed the SLS lever up and down all the way. No change at all.

A new pump or SLS for my 86 is anywhere from $500 to $1000 each. Time to buy some non SLS shocks and install the lowering springs. There is a difference in spring rates. The spring rate and spacer are determined by the the number of options you have on your car. So the spacer is the same for my car (blue is 9.5mm and red is 14mm) The base spring is 116 324 08 04 for non SLS and 123 324 06 04 with SLS. The spring defelections are 16.6 mm and 18.45 mm deflection per 1000 N for stock springs so the SLS springs are softer, I'm guessing by 25%. Cutting out one coil from the stock springs might do the trick. I'll keep you up to date.
I hope you're not ditching the SLS too quickly. It's a fantastic system and easy to maintain. Was it working 500 miles ago when you replaced the accumulators?

And it's not that hard to find SLS pumps at a dismantler or rebuild your own...
 

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87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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Gee we have covered this off so many times and owners still do not understand the capabilities of the rear SLS system and most workshops do not have a clue.

The system is very good when functioning properly and does a better job than just fitting in a rear shockie and removing the SLS.

The rams assist the springs in keeping the rear level to where it has been pre-set to a determined height based on half a tank of fuel and spare tire in the trunk-well and no luggage in the car
(So when you fill up the tank / add luggage to the trunk / put passengers in the car etc etc the system ensures the correct ride height is maintained which no shockie can do)

It is then adjusted so that SLS valve arm is basically horizontal (the adjusting rod is roughly in the middle of of its travel setting) at this point fine tuning is done with the engine running and the adjusting rod finessed so the ram just starts to take the slightest weight off the spring
By that i mean the spring is holding the weight of the car and as you make slight adjustments to the rod you start to see the car rise ever so slightly meaning just a fine touch so the ram is just starting to take up some slack.
That is the where the adjusting rod is then locked in via the two locking nuts.

Now when you lower the car with say H&R lowering springs this is what you do-

Make sure the adjusting rod is aprox in its central position of travel.
Loosen off the clamp on the rear sway bar enough to be able to move the connecting arm so the the SLS valve arm is back in its required vertical position.
lock down the clamp nut on the sway bar so that is now clamped back tight again.

Now go thru the above same process to re-set the rams in the correct position.
Your done.

Now if you are a bit handy to can even modify the SLS system further very cheaply to have control over damping/rebound to suit your own personal requirements and even have individual setting control of each side.
Read on-
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w126-s-se-sec-sel-sd/1674868-sls-adjustable-shock-damping-reveal.html
 
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