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1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Benz World Members

I just bought this 500SEC 1987 UK version car with SLS rear suspension, less then a month ago and still learning about this car. (note: I love the car)

It seems like the rear ride height is a bit low for a stock suspension or is it normal for Euro version? The front ride height looks normal to me. Is it the sign of leaking or broken SLS accumulator or broken rear strut?

Really appreciate for any advise about the rear ride height .. :)



2650446


2650447
 

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1986 560 SEC
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4 Posts
Hello Benz World Members

I just bought this 500SEC 1987 UK version car with SLS rear suspension, less then a month ago and still learning about this car. (note: I love the car)

It seems like the rear ride height is a bit low for a stock suspension or is it normal for Euro version? The front ride height looks normal to me. Is it the sign of leaking or broken SLS accumulator or broken rear strut?

Really appreciate for any advise about the rear ride height .. :)



View attachment 2650446

View attachment 2650447
Car looks sweet, congratulations! I also have a white C126 and love it. Ride height could be effected by any of those things. There is also a level adjuster as part of the SLS system. You should have a shop check that out. It might just need adjusting. If it is struts, they are very hard to source unless someone has started manufacturing them again.
 

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1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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Discussion Starter #3
Car looks sweet, congratulations! I also have a white C126 and love it. Ride height could be effected by any of those things. There is also a level adjuster as part of the SLS system. You should have a shop check that out. It might just need adjusting. If it is struts, they are very hard to source unless someone has started manufacturing them again.
Thank you Richard, we have the same white SEC .. :)
I think my rear SLS strut is gone, the rear weave like a boat but I am curious if the spring sunk or still normal by the look in this pic.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,926 Posts
Looks normal to me. You might check your subframe bushes. Car looks fantastic, original ride height and great condition.
 

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1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Looks normal to me. You might check your subframe bushes. Car looks fantastic, original ride height and great condition.
Hello Ian

I really thought that the rear of car sagging compare with the front. The front has big gap between the fender lip and the tyre and the rear only has a bit of gap. Ok, so the subframe bushes might need to be replace, I will ask the workshop to check it too. Thank you
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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4,708 Posts
Suggest you measure front and rear. Using a tape measure, go from the center of the wheel up to the top of the wheel opening. Look for anywhere between 13" and 15" on the front. Should be about a one inch difference between front and rear, rear being the smaller number.
 

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1990 SEC
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4,245 Posts
Thank you Richard, we have the same white SEC .. :)
I think my rear SLS strut is gone, the rear weave like a boat but I am curious if the spring sunk or still normal by the look in this pic.
It may not be your struts, you may just have to replace the accumulators and bleed the system.

The accumulators are about $300 each, and use only the MB ones.

The struts are no longer available so if those leak find someone who can rebuild them.
 

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One Smoke Silver '87 570SEC, one Black Pearl '87 560SEL
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I've lowered my '87 560SEC to what I understand are European levels, 13.5" from the bottom of the fender arch to the center of the wheel, front and rear. The back looks about right and the front is too high. This is what I'm talking about.
 

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1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,989 Posts
My red Euro SEC stock springs & shocks w/17” AMG wheels. This is a stock stance and NO SLS.

Below is an image of my teal stock USA 560SEC with SLS & 16” AMG rims.

DF9D569E-1540-43DD-A760-698B9E26FB2D.jpeg 3E1CCDAF-82E2-4404-8753-8EE04FDCFC21.jpeg 85782B95-5EB7-478A-A9CD-E1A03D8A795E.jpeg

I think your car is sagging in the back.

MBL
 

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1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Suggest you measure front and rear. Using a tape measure, go from the center of the wheel up to the top of the wheel opening. Look for anywhere between 13" and 15" on the front. Should be about a one inch difference between front and rear, rear being the smaller number.
Hello Mike

I just measured it. The front is about 15.35 inches and the rear is 13.77 inches. So is it normal?

Thank you
 

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1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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Discussion Starter #13
It may not be your struts, you may just have to replace the accumulators and bleed the system.

The accumulators are about $300 each, and use only the MB ones.

The struts are no longer available so if those leak find someone who can rebuild them.
Hello Axel

I already put the accumulator parts in my shopping list just in case my accumulators is in bad condition. If not then I will keep it as a spare part. Someday I will need it.

Thank you
 

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1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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Discussion Starter #14
I've lowered my '87 560SEC to what I understand are European levels, 13.5" from the bottom of the fender arch to the center of the wheel, front and rear. The back looks about right and the front is too high. This is what I'm talking about.
Hello Mramay

Your car ride height looks good. Mine is like the car wants to take off .. :)
Maybe I will consider to lower the front suspension.

Thank you
 

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Registered
1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
My red Euro SEC stock springs & shocks w/17” AMG wheels. This is a stock stance and NO SLS.

Below is an image of my teal stock USA 560SEC with SLS & 16” AMG rims.

View attachment 2650542 View attachment 2650543 View attachment 2650544

I think your car is sagging in the back.

MBL
Hello MBL

You are collecting the beautiful SEC .. :)
Both of you cars ride height look normal and balance between the front and rear. Mine is like the car wants to take off.
Btw how the car ride difference between the SLS and Non SLS?

Thank you
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1989 560SEC, 1989 560SEL, 1995 E420
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JSSS10, Pretty sure that's about where a stock car would be.

Most here would say that's too high, though, aesthetically.
 

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1991 500SEC 55K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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4,989 Posts
Both of you cars ride height look normal and balance between the front and rear. Mine is like the car wants to take off.
Btw how the car ride difference between the SLS and Non SLS?

Thank you
Hi there JS,

The 560 w/SLS has felt 'planted' on the road and has no difference in ride/handling whether just me, my wife & I with luggage in the trunk, or 4 people at speed. Its very composed & while soft, is well controlled.

Years ago, after having new rams & accumulators installed during the great suspension rebuild, the car sat low in the back and felt like a 60's American station wagon 'loaded to the gills'.. Dragging its rear down the road. On acceleration the rear would drop further. It was bad & quite different than my 560 experience prior to the work.

It turns out the ride height needed adjustment and after this was accomplished it was fine again & has been since.

The 500 with springs & shocks front and rear rode beautifully when I collected it and drove it the 260 miles home that first time. Great road manners while slightly firmer ride than the 560. As an aside, the car had somewhat over 60,000Km/38,600 miles on it at the time.

Again it was good on the road with 1, 2, or 4 people, and continued to be so with the installation of 17" AMG rims, though the ride incrementally gave more road feel.

A year later I had H&R springs, Bilstein B8 Sport shocks installed & a Dkubus 19mm rear sway bar installed.
This totally transformed the car making the ride stiffer and way more sporty. Where the suspension soaked up the road irregularities before, now one feels them more in the body. The car does NOT lean in turns when pressed and is really a LOT of fun. I have had 3 of us in the car and the car does not bottom or sag at all.

Below are photos of my stock 560 with 15" AMG rims and for comparison, another of my red 500 after lowering.

Good luck man.

M

IMG_0007.JPG

IMG_2443.jpg
 

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Registered
1987 Euro 500SEC & 1988 Euro R107 420SL
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Hi there JS,

The 560 w/SLS has felt 'planted' on the road and has no difference in ride/handling whether just me, my wife & I with luggage in the trunk, or 4 people at speed. Its very composed & while soft, is well controlled.

Years ago, after having new rams & accumulators installed during the great suspension rebuild, the car sat low in the back and felt like a 60's American station wagon 'loaded to the gills'.. Dragging its rear down the road. On acceleration the rear would drop further. It was bad & quite different than my 560 experience prior to the work.

It turns out the ride height needed adjustment and after this was accomplished it was fine again & has been since.

The 500 with springs & shocks front and rear rode beautifully when I collected it and drove it the 260 miles home that first time. Great road manners while slightly firmer ride than the 560. As an aside, the car had somewhat over 60,000Km/38,600 miles on it at the time.

Again it was good on the road with 1, 2, or 4 people, and continued to be so with the installation of 17" AMG rims, though the ride incrementally gave more road feel.

A year later I had H&R springs, Bilstein B8 Sport shocks installed & a Dkubus 19mm rear sway bar installed.
This totally transformed the car making the ride stiffer and way more sporty. Where the suspension soaked up the road irregularities before, now one feels them more in the body. The car does NOT lean in turns when pressed and is really a LOT of fun. I have had 3 of us in the car and the car does not bottom or sag at all.

Below are photos of my stock 560 with 15" AMG rims and for comparison, another of my red 500 after lowering.

Good luck man.

M

View attachment 2650632

View attachment 2650633
Hi M

Monday I will ask the workshop to check if there is any leak on the strut and if possible test the accumulator too.
Thank you for the detail description about the car ride. Your 560sec Teal color looks much more beautiful in the pic with the direct sunshine. That one is definitely a keeper. My part shopping list and work to do are getting longer.

I considering to down size the wheels to 17" AMG Aero III and maybe lower the front a bit.
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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14,926 Posts
Lowering the front is ridiculously easy. The back is not bad to do but it does take longer. MB did not intend the rear to be high as I see in the US. But it's all down to personal preference.
 
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