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I just need to find a Techie local to me in the UK who is interested (and has the patience!) in diagnosing the problem - and with some of the info / suggestions you've given me. 👍
^^ Fully agreed! That should be your next step there. Hopefully you find the right guy without having to drive the 700 mile trip 😉
PS: Hopefully the second jab of that vaccine went well and you are feeling ok👍
 

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Mercedes W220 S320 cdi 2004
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Discussion Starter · #222 ·
^^ Fully agreed! That should be your next step there. Hopefully you find the right guy without having to drive the 700 mile trip 😉
PS: Hopefully the second jab of that vaccine went well and you are feeling ok👍
Thanks Sonny. 👍 Well, by my logic (!) it shouldn't be TOO difficult to get to the root of the problem now that so many other things have been eliminated! Fingers crossed, I'll be able to give you all some good news soon - and help others with similar issues. 🤞

I felt fine after the second (AZ) Jab, thanks, but awful after the first one: exhausted, dizzy, generally 'rough' for a few weeks. The medic said it's not a bad thing because it shows that my Immune System is 'fighting back'. I sort-of knew that already because my auto immune system is a bit 'lively' and over-reacted 5 years ago after a Pneumonia infection (caught on an international flight from a coughing, sneezing passenger in the seat next to me) and then I went down with a condition called PMR (Polymyalgia Rheumatica). Fortunately, after 5 years, I'm back to 'normal' health wise.

So: better to feel a bit ill after the jab than the possible alternatives without it? The UK has done well with the Vaccine rollout and I think the US is catching up?

My health story is in a mainly light-hearted book I wrote on my 5 year health journey: 'Write Me Funny, Ramblings on The Lighter Side of PMR...'. Dial-in 'Mark Benjamin' / 'Write Me Funny...' on good old Google and you can learn more about my Life outside of this forum. I have a few US 'Followers' on the PMRGCA / Health Unlocked social health forum and made some good friends in the US as a result - a bit like here. I can send you a copy of my book F.O.C. if you like? It's the least I can do in appreciation of your time and support here. Let me know... ;)

But enough about that or dave2302 (Moderator) will chuck me-off this forum for going 'Off Topic'! :oops: :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #224 · (Edited)
:ROFLMAO:

Didn't you know, "Off Topic" is my middle name, but I digress 🤣
Good for you Dave. Your combination of Expertise, Patience, Good Humour and a willingness to go Off Topic at times is what matters most to the likes of 'amateurs' like me. Keep it up! ;);) :ROFLMAO: 👍
 

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Does anyone actually know how the strut damping valves are operated? Specifically: Are the valves open by default, giving the softest ride when not powered? Or are they closed by default (that is, when not powered)? Given the German strong preference for "fail-safe" operation, I would expect, with no power to the valves, closed valves with fully stiff damping.

This chain of thought started by me wondering what would happen if you unplugged all four struts...

It would be nice to find a detailed description of the system's operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #227 ·
Does anyone actually know how the strut damping valves are operated? Specifically: Are the valves open by default, giving the softest ride when not powered? Or are they closed by default (that is, when not powered)? Given the German strong preference for "fail-safe" operation, I would expect, with no power to the valves, closed valves with fully stiff damping.

This chain of thought started by me wondering what would happen if you unplugged all four struts...

It would be nice to find a detailed description of the system's operation.
I'm sure that's correct wally. Have a look at Mercedes Benz W220 Wiki Encyclopedia - lots of technical info there including a detailed section on the airmatic system and ADS. W220 S-Class Encyclopedia WIS32
 

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Thanks Sonny. 👍 Well, by my logic (!) it shouldn't be TOO difficult to get to the root of the problem now that so many other things have been eliminated! Fingers crossed, I'll be able to give you all some good news soon - and help others with similar issues. 🤞

I felt fine after the second (AZ) Jab, thanks, but awful after the first one: exhausted, dizzy, generally 'rough' for a few weeks. The medic said it's not a bad thing because it shows that my Immune System is 'fighting back'. I sort-of knew that already because my auto immune system is a bit 'lively' and over-reacted 5 years ago after a Pneumonia infection (caught on an international flight from a coughing, sneezing passenger in the seat next to me) and then I went down with a condition called PMR (Polymyalgia Rheumatica). Fortunately, after 5 years, I'm back to 'normal' health wise.

So: better to feel a bit ill after the jab than the possible alternatives without it? The UK has done well with the Vaccine rollout and I think the US is catching up?

My health story is in a mainly light-hearted book I wrote on my 5 year health journey: 'Write Me Funny, Ramblings on The Lighter Side of PMR...'. Dial-in 'Mark Benjamin' / 'Write Me Funny...' on good old Google and you can learn more about my Life outside of this forum. I have a few US 'Followers' on the PMRGCA / Health Unlocked social health forum and made some good friends in the US as a result - a bit like here. I can send you a copy of my book F.O.C. if you like? It's the least I can do in appreciation of your time and support here. Let me know... ;)

But enough about that or dave2302 (Moderator) will chuck me-off this forum for going 'Off Topic'! :oops: :ROFLMAO:
Without getting off topic much here lol My mother had the same experience but with both shots unfortunately 😕

Yes, thank you! I would be honored to get a copy on your earliest convenience 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #229 ·
Without getting off topic much here lol My mother had the same experience but with both shots unfortunately 😕

Yes, thank you! I would be honored to get a copy on your earliest convenience 👍
Yes, the Covid Jab seems to affect people in different ways. But better safe than sorry (...or worse)?

As for my book: send me an e.mail to '[email protected]' with your name & US address details and I'll post a copy to you. It normally takes 5 working days from the UK to the US.

Next week: more investigations with a local Indie into the cause of the hard damping problem - and with the thoughtful guidance from all of you here. Fingers crossed! 🤞 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #230 ·
Yes, the Covid Jab seems to affect people in different ways. But better safe than sorry (...or worse)?

As for my book: send me an e.mail to '[email protected]' with your name & US address details and I'll post a copy to you. It normally takes 5 working days from the UK to the US.

Next week: more investigations with a local Indie into the cause of the hard damping problem - and with the thoughtful guidance from all of you here. Fingers crossed! 🤞 :)
p.s. Dave (& others here who have helped / supported me on my S Class Hard Damping journey / saga): I'll be happy to send a complimentary copy of my mainly (but not entirely) Humorous book about my recent Health Journey to anyone who's interested? It discusses the Psychology of the Parallel Themes of: 'Don't Give Up - Find a Solution' - and might be of interest at a few levels. And with a touch of my Silly Humour too. The Stuff of 'Life in General'..? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #231 · (Edited)
Greetings to All who are following this long thread.

First: I hope you & your nearest / dearest (or even your family - ha ha! :LOL:) are well and busy wherever you are in this crazy Covid World.

Quick Update..

I have today handed-over the treasured (but with serial, problematic Hard Damping issues) 'S' to my new local Indie (an ex MB main dealer Techie) with the instruction to FORENSICALLY investigate the problem (via SDS and by actually driving it), together with reams of notes about previous work done (e.g. 4 new OE Struts / Valve block etc), a detailed description of the persisting symptoms and possible causes - with thanks to many of you here for your 'clues' / suggestions etc.

At least the new Indie 'gets it' re. the Hard Damping, and agrees that it's 'not right' (for a change). The next couple of days will tell: but I'm 'cautiously optimistic' that he'll find the root cause of the problem and FIX IT! As always: 'We'll see'.

In the meantime: my Loan / Courtesy Car is a humble 2008 A Class and it reminds me how relatively serene the ride quality is on the 'S' - even if the Bl**dy ADS ISN'T working properly! :LOL:

Thanks for following / your support & interest as always. I'll update shortly, and Fingers crossed...? 🤞

To be continued....

MB :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #235 · (Edited)
Greetings all (Dave 2302, Doni, wallyP, and all of you who have had the patience to follow this Saga).

W220 ADS Hard Damping Update (no. 244 I think?). Honestly, this would make a good Mystery Novel.:ROFLMAO:

Well where to start? Ok: so I collected the 'S' from my local Indie today after further investigations on SDS and by driving it / putting on the ramp / physically checking wiring connections to sensors etc. (Mike Smith, Milton Auto Services, W-s-M BS22 UK, ex Master MB Tech. I recommend him for his friendly service, expertise and helpfulness in case anyone locally is interested).

Mike's verdict:

1. More thorough SDS tests (i.e. ACTUAL VALUES) to Struts / ECU / ADS Switch / Sensors etc: 'No Faults stored' (as per the previous 4 or 5 tests over 4 years - at least the Data is consistent?).
2. His conclusion: the ADS is functioning ok (according to SDS).
3. He has rarely known an Airmatic strut to fail due to internal (electronic) valve damping problems: 'they are usually quite reliable even at higher mileages'.

4. (BUT!).. he did agree that the damping is (q.): 'A BIT STIFF' after driving it. Well at least he didn't deny that there's a problem even if SDS can't detect it? That's better than a couple of other Indies who said "It Drives Fine!": and in one case politely suggested that I was imagining it.

Having driven a humble A150 loan car for 2 days (Yikes - WOT a Bone Shaker!), I gradually got re-aclimatised to the 'S' and made allowances for the difference.

But (here's the interesting bit): I SWEAR that the 'S' damping felt softer (almost perfect?) a couple of times over a couple of familiar small road bumps and dips at even sub-20 mph speeds on my local urban roads. (I do the same 10 mile circuit every day and know each one intimately / how the car behaves). Paradoxically: Hard as a Rock - as usual - over most of the others. Either way: The Airmatic ADS still isn't giving the consistently 'Magic Carpet' ride that The S Class is famous for.

My best effort at a Conclusion?

1. There is STILL a (now possibly an electromechanical) fault causing the ADS to shut-down and default to 'Driving Safety' Mode (i.e Hardest / Level 4 Compression & Rebound) despite the SDS verdict.

2. This could happen intermittently and only ON THE MOVE for various reasons including a): a faulty sensor or wiring connection which doesn't show on SDS when the car is stationary, And / or b): a poor sensor / wiring connection which is any or all of Heat / Humidity / Movement / Road shock / Vibration related. (Again: I've noticed that the Hard Damping is slightly less-so in certain weather conditions - but only slightly).

Next Steps..?

1. Maybe try swapping-in another used, tested ECU in case the original and a replacement were both bad (unlikely?).

2. Physically de-coupling, cleaning, replacing or / 'Tweaking' / lubricating the various sensors and mechanical linkages in case just ONE is causing the problem and evading SDS (more likely since the car is 17 years old?).

3. Cut my losses, scrap the 'S' and buy an e.scooter. (But at my advanced age? Honestly, it wouldn't be safe nor elegant) 🤪

Answers on a Postcard please? ;)

Thanks as always for your interest and support

MB :cool:
 

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I would have you drive the car over your usual route while I watched as many actual values as possible on SDS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #237 ·
I would have you drive the car over your usual route while I watched as many actual values as possible on SDS.
Thanks wally, that makes sense. All along I've wondered if the fault might be intermittent / movement related (due to the type of symptoms) and not picked-up on a stationary SDS Dx.
 

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Did you drive another W220 that's has working suspension for a comparison?

Not to say that you don't know what a sorted out car feels like, but maybe you've been driving your car for so long that it's hard to remember what a original example feels like?
 
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Discussion Starter · #240 ·
Did you drive another W220 that's has working suspension for a comparison?

Not to say that you don't know what a sorted out car feels like, but maybe you've been driving your car for so long that it's hard to remember what a original example feels like?
Thanks Deplore - and a very good point! ;)

I will only say that from experience of driving 'S' Class cars over 30 years and going-back to even the pre-Airmatic W126 & 140 models (when I was first an MB Salesman in the 1990s and later Senior Sales Training Consultant with MBUK supervising 'Ride & Drive' days), I remember how supremely smoothly they rode in all conditions. The 'S' (of whatever generation) was / is legendary for its supreme comfort and ride quality if set-up correctly - and puts most competitors (BMW / Audi etc) into the shade. Lexus was the only Marque that could compete.

I understand what you say: but I'm still convinced that all is far from 100% with the ADS on my 'S' (despite today's update). Honestly, the car usually rides as if riding on wooden blocks rather than Air Springs around town (especially at sub-30 mph? - OUCH!). Surely that can't be right?

Of course, the condition of our roads (in the UK at least) is increasingly poor and might contribute to the perceived problem. But as Dave 2302 suggests: 'unless driving in a war zone on flat tyres, an 'S' should feel smooth and comfortable' (or words to that effect?) ;)

But getting back to your kind suggestion: another Next Step is maybe to drive an equivalent car 'back to back' and compare notes with another 'S' owner or two?

Many thanks, and to be continued...;)

MB
 
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