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Repairing the hydraulic hose for SLS hydropneumatic suspension

on the 1985 300TD Turbo Wagon (W123)

by kerry edwards


Everyone with a wagon will eventually face the necessity of replacing the rubber high pressure hydraulic hose which runs from the pump on the head to the metal fitting on the passenger inner fender under the air cleaner. I just did mine. It's simple and inexpensive. All you need is a comparable length of high pressure hydraulic hose. I used Gates 6G2 3/8 9.5mm. It cost $14. The hose fittings are easily reusable (despite what two hydraulic hose repair shops told me).
Remove the air cleaner. Remove the hose at the banjo fitting at the pump and at the metal line at the fender. Note that that the fittings on the hose are made up of a large round outer portion which goes over the hose and an inner portion threaded into othe outer portion. Hold on to the outer portion with a vice or vice grip and unbolt the inner portion. Once the inner portion is removed, unthread the outer portion off the rubber hose. IT IS LEFT HAND THREADED..
Be careful at this point. The OE hose has about 30 small plastic inserts inside the hose. Carefully let them drop out onto a clean surface, noting the orientation of the insert. You will need to insert them back into the new hose.
Put the outer portion of the fitting onto the new hose. (REMEMBER IT IS LEFT HAND THREADED AND SCREWS ON TO THE RUBBER.). The hose will stop at a shoulder inside the outer fitting. Screw the inner portion into the outer portion. It is tapered and fine threaded. You will need to push down on it with moderate force to get it far enough in the hose for the threads to bite. Before doing the other end, reinsert the numerous plastic fittings. Put the fitting on the other end and reinstall the hose on the car.
With these instructions, the job should take about an hour and half. It could be done on the road if you have a second person to hold the vice grip when disassembling the fittings.
My hose sprang a leak on a road trip. No new hose was available so a mechanic took off the old one, cut off the leaking end and reinstalled the fitting. He cursed and swore for quite a while trying to get it back together. This was because he never figured out that the outer portion IS LEFT HAND THREADED. I only discovered it by accident after trying to thread it on for about 10 minutes right handed, and then when trying to remove it to figure out why it wouldn't go it, presto, it threaded right on as I unscrewed it.

By the way, the fittings on the power steering hoses look to be the same so I bet replacing them is just as simple and inexpensive.

Discuss this DIY here.

-kerry edwards

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