Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

41 - 60 of 61 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,175 Posts
I'd sit and wait it out until a few more vendors show up. It will happen. It's a happened to Jaguars, Lincoln, Range Rovers and just about every other car with air / hydraulic suspension. It's' a matter of time before spring setup becomes available for the 2000 and newer MB's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
...also wonder why people dont go for the SL350 setup if they want to delete abc..
It depends where in the world you're located. The SL350 is not available in the US.

It also depends on whether you bought your car new or used. If you bought it new, I sort of doubt you'll be here right now. If you had the $100K to fork out for this car when it was new, you probably bought a warranty, or you probably have the money to keep it up.

But like most of the folks here (I would imagine), I bought mine used, and inherited the ABC system and its problems.

In fact I think that most people that bought an SL used, had no idea what they were getting into, and only ended up here on these forums because of necessity.

Point is, most of us didn't know about ABC suspensions or their problems before purchasing the car. Had we know we might have thought real hard about getting the car. As far as the US is concerned, even if I did know about this problem, the choice would have come down to either buying the car or not. All the R230s here have the ABC system.

On a different note, I'm quite familiar with the concept of coil-over conversions, because I use to own a '94 Infiniti Q45a which had active suspension, and failed. The Infiniti dealer wanted $8K to fix it, so instead, I had it converted to standard coil-over shocks by Jerry Tucker, an automotive repair place in San Diego that specializes in that. The conversion went perfectly, and I drove that Q45 for 6 more years after that.

The Mercedes' active suspension is quite different, but the idea of converting to a standard coil-over shock is still valid and I hope someone would perfect it.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
One thing seems to be omitted, ride quality... how is it?

SL65 BS was known for a very unforgiving ride... I am guessing this wont be as bad, but Coilover and comfort don't usually go together...
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
Nevermind, just looked at the pics, that's a standard shock/spring... not coilover...

This is the conversion I ve been suggesting for a while, so SinSL would buy his R230 finally...

The car will be perfectly fine with it, and will handle like a normal SL350 or any R129, minus 100 pounds... and maintenance free suspension, That's the positive...

The negative is the car will lose its edge as far as body roll, auto drop at high speed for better stability, and hard braking nose dive/acceleration pitch elimination...

Vmax on this car should be limited to 135-155mile, and that's really pushing it, delimiting that car is a deathwish...

air under the car at ultra high speed is no joke...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I don't get the desire to move away from ABC. Can it be expensive to fix? Yea if you're dealing with a dealer. If you're a DIY I'm not so sure.

The SL350 conversion kit is $2,500 + $1,500 install = $4,000

The ABC system
Struts- $600 each X 4 = $2,400
Pump- $800
Rebuilt valve blocks- $100 labor (by member jnash) each x2 = $200
Accumulators- approx. $150each X4 = $600
Hoses- can be rebuilt inexpensively by any local hydraulic line supplier
Pentosin 5L- $80 each x2 (more than enough for whole system)- $160

The struts don't go bad that often, and come with lifetime warranty from arnott. If you had to replace EVERYTHING you're looking at a fairly similar number to that $4,000. Granted you couldn't get everything in the ABC system replaced for $0 labor, but it is unlikely every single thing will go wrong. Plus, given how superior a suspension system it is I don't get why you'd move to the SL350 which is going to offer both a worse ride & poorer handling. Add on top of that the fact that the SL350 shocks too will have to be replaced over time and I'm not sure how you're leaps and bounds ahead changing over to an inferior suspension.

Is there something I'm missing?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
I don't get the desire to move away from ABC. Can it be expensive to fix? Yea if you're dealing with a dealer. If you're a DIY I'm not so sure.

The SL350 conversion kit is $2,500 + $1,500 install = $4,000

The ABC system
Struts- $600 each X 4 = $2,400
Pump- $800
Rebuilt valve blocks- $100 labor (by member jnash) each x2 = $200
Accumulators- approx. $150each X4 = $600
Hoses- can be rebuilt inexpensively by any local hydraulic line supplier
Pentosin 5L- $80 each x2 (more than enough for whole system)- $160

The struts don't go bad that often, and come with lifetime warranty from arnott. If you had to replace EVERYTHING you're looking at a fairly similar number to that $4,000. Granted you couldn't get everything in the ABC system replaced for $0 labor, but it is unlikely every single thing will go wrong. Plus, given how superior a suspension system it is I don't get why you'd move to the SL350 which is going to offer both a worse ride & poorer handling. Add on top of that the fact that the SL350 shocks too will have to be replaced over time and I'm not sure how you're leaps and bounds ahead changing over to an inferior suspension.

Is there something I'm missing?
Nope, you're right, its just that there are a few particular members that made it a life long goal to take the time of their day and "hate" the ABC...

The coil conversion is to provide those terrified of ABC an alternative...

none the less, regardless of what some may say, one of the best aspects of the R230 is its stability and lack of body roll, while providing a full size sedan ride comfort...

You take that aspect away by such swap...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
saw one dude on mbworld raving about how it makes the car more predictable for drifting. While this is true, if drifting is your thing, this is likely a poor car choice even with the coil overs.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
saw one dude on mbworld raving about how it makes the car more predictable for drifting. While this is true, if drifting is your thing, this is likely a poor car choice even with the coil overs.
Not sure what idiot will drift an R230, but yes, active suspension will certainly seem to have a mind on its own to a drifter, specially when it was programmed from factory to prevent yaw movements to begin with; a computer and four powerful hydrolic pistons are adjusting anywhere between 5 to 20 times a second, to prevent just that, no wonder a drifter will have to hack the car before they can make it go sideways...

plus, a CONVERTIBLE drifter???

None the less, for the rest of the world of normal drivers with brain in their skulls, the idea behind the conversion is to eliminate the need for regular system maintenance of ABC...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Not sure what idiot will drift an R230, but yes, active suspension will certainly seem to have a mind on its own to a drifter, specially when it was programmed from factory to prevent yaw movements to begin with; a computer and four powerful hydrolic pistons are adjusting anywhere between 5 to 20 times a second, to prevent just that, no wonder a drifter will have to hack the car before they can make it go sideways...

plus, a CONVERTIBLE drifter???

None the less, for the rest of the world of normal drivers with brain in their skulls, the idea behind the conversion is to eliminate the need for regular system maintenance of ABC...
For the less than $200 it takes to flush the fluid and get a filter every couple years & $600 for accumulators every 10 years or so I'm not too concerned with the regular maintenance.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
I don't believe the original poster on MBworld, was meaning "drifting" in the literal sense.

Being from Beirut, I believe he mistranslated and actually just opined that the car now "handled" better on the road, while driving with the completed SL350 coil-over conversion.
I am originally from Damascus, 45miles East of Beirut, not aware of such lingual confusion...

As someone that drove both, the car does NOT handle better without ABC... not even remotely...

Think about it, how can adding back body roll, pitch and yaw make the car handle better?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
For the less than $200 it takes to flush the fluid and get a filter every couple years & $600 for accumulators every 10 years or so I'm not too concerned with the regular maintenance.
Me neither, someone that worries about ABC maintenance with all of the supplies available from Arnott these days, has no business owning an R230... or any high end Mercedes for that matter...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Me neither, someone that worries about ABC maintenance with all of the supplies available from Arnott these days, has no business owning an R230... or any high end Mercedes for that matter...
People that are the kind that take it to the dealer whenever any problem arises would be better off selling their R230 and using that money towards a lease payment. A dealer-only serviced car out of warranty could easily see $2,000 a year in extra expenses ($166/month).
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
A dealer-only serviced car out of warranty could easily see $2,000 a year in extra expenses ($166/month).
I spend more than that on mine a year on parts and maintenance alone... and all labor is free because I do everything... minding you I get parts at shop rate...

Truth of the matter is R230 today is a complex 5-10years old car, it's not a cheap car, nor was designed to be a cheap car... things do break in 10 years, and this is the cost of owning a $150K car for fraction of that price...

People that buy a top notch performance premium car and expect the reliability of a Corolla kill me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I spend more than that on mine a year on parts and maintenance alone... and all labor is free because I do everything... minding you I get parts at shop rate...

Truth of the matter is R230 today is a complex 5-10years old car, it's not a cheap car, nor was designed to be a cheap car... things do break in 10 years, and this is the cost of owning a $150K car for fraction of that price...

People that buy a top notch performance premium car and expect the reliability of a Corolla kill me...
I was referring to people paying an EXTRA $2,000/year by having the dealer do the work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I bought mine for about $25,000.00 with about 20,000 miles on it. I bought a really nice car cheap. If the ABC goes, I'll probably get the cheapest fix. If that's coils, fine.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,293 Posts
I bought mine for about $25,000.00 with about 20,000 miles on it. I bought a really nice car cheap. If the ABC goes, I'll probably get the cheapest fix. If that's coils, fine.
Its not, the coils conversion is much more expensive than fixing the broken one to two component(s) with ABC...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Coilovers would surely ruin the ride. If you drive a 350 back to back with a 500 you can really tell the difference in ride and handling. The 350 is still a nice steer but doesnt have the same composure over rutted surfaces. Weight transfer or sudden changes of direction are much less notable on the ABC car - even more so when in sport mode.
 
41 - 60 of 61 Posts
About this Discussion
60 Replies
17 Participants
bayhas
Mercedes-Benz Forum
BenzWorld.org forum is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz owner websites offering the most comprehensive collection of Mercedes-Benz information anywhere in the world. The site includes MB Forums, News, Galleries, Publications, Classifieds, Events and much more!
Full Forum Listing
Top