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89 mercedes 300 te
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
i have an 89' 300te with what i have been told, a hydro style suspension.it has a box next to the abs system that says hydro fluid.my shocks have lines running to them.i am having problems with this system,the cars wonders at speed and really rough on bumps.a hissing sound is coming from the right rear of the car by the tire.my question is...can i convert it to a standard style shock all around?
 

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Cruise Control
'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
It sounds like you need to replace the accumulators (spheres), which may eliminate your problems. I don't recommend converting to a standard rear suspension.
 

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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Why is everyone's first thought "How can I get rid of the SLS?" Answer: buy a Ford Taurus wagon!
All 124 wagons sold in the USA (and probably worldwide) had the self-leveling suspension (SLS). It's a great system and largely trouble free. The container next to the ABS unit is just a fluid reservoir -- basically a thick milk carton with a dipstick. The rubber hose that exits the front bottom corner goes to the power steering/SLS pump which is unique to cars with SLS. From the pump a high pressure line goes under the front of the engine, up past the alternator, back past the coolant reservoir, and then on to the rear of the car.
If the ride is hard and bouncy, the accumulators (there are 2) have failed and need to be replaced. These are chambers that contain pressurized gas behind one side of a diaphragm and SLS fluid on the other side. They're not too hard to replace so long as the bottom of the car isn't terribly rusty.
The hissing noise that you hear is just the fuel pump running. Not related tot he SLS at all.
 

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89 mercedes 300 te
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
"Why is everyone's first thought "How can I get rid of the SLS?" Answer: buy a Ford Taurus wagon!" because i wanted a mercedes!and i do not like the sls!its my car and i want it off!you want to keep it on then i'll sell you the car.

ok you say its a great system...then way is it broke?how come "everyone wants to get rid of it"?

i did not ask "why should i keep it...i asked could i swap it.this is what i want to do with my car.if you can explain what i need to do to convert it then fine tell me please.but if all you want to do is bash me for wanting to do my car the why i want my car then dont post to any more of my threads.
 

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89 mercedes 300 te
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Discussion Starter #5
zeitgeist,thank you. why would you not change it?is it too complicated or just not worth it?and where are these accumulators located at?
 

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Cruise Control
'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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Here's a link to a FSM explanation of where the spheres reside. The SLS system on these cars is very robust and doesn't catastrophically fail all that often. Just fix it and continue to drive one of the finest wagons ever produced.
 

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Benz, 300 TE 1993 / B200 2009 (Sold)/ ML 320 CDI 08
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195 Posts
i have an 89' 300te ..... rough on bumps.a hissing sound is coming from the right rear of the car by the tire.my question is...can i convert it to a standard style shock all around?
.... Hissing noise might be the fuel pump thats normal ....

as others said SLS is one of the wonderful things to keep do some research and keep it.:bowdown:

Thats what I did..
Cheers
 

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95 E300, 91 300TE, 84 190D
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777 Posts
no one has ever posted successful retrofit

There is no commercially available shock absorber specifically made for the TE to replace the hydraulic strut.

The two mounting holes for the hydraulic strut on the LCA are in different locations than the one mounting hole for a shock absorber for a sedan or coupe, and the inner width of the LCA of the TE is wider than that of a sedan or coupe.

The hydraulic strut supports some of the weight in the rear of the wagon, so stiffer replacement springs would need to be fitted also. Then replace the tandem PS/hydraulic pump with a standard PS pump.

No one has ever posted on any board here in the US within the past six years of successfully retrofitting shock absorbers on a TE factory equipped with SLS.

89300te, that is why every knowledgeable TE owner says fix it. But if you do indeed try to "just swap ", please post with details and pics to document it. You will become immortal in cyberspace if you succeed:bowdown:
 

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89 mercedes 300 te
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Discussion Starter #10
i think i will keep the setup it has now.i priced the accumulators are not that expensive...about the same as standard shocks.and if you all are saying that this is a great system then i will give it a try and have it fixed.but is this going to be worth it with me modding to car to race (scca style) with?
 
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