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Old 08-12-2015, 10:13 AM
ashedd's Avatar
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W251 R320 CDI suspension info

Does anyone know how the air suspension on a 2008 R320 CDI 4-matic 7G-tronic work, and can you explain it to me? I find surprisingly little info about it online.

I know I have air suspension, when I hook up a heavy trailer I can see the rear raise itself, and it does it much faster than a w124 or w123. Likely hydraulic vs electric I guess.

I've read about air bags in the rear only, and air bags in both front and rear. I have no idea which I have. I live in a condo now and can't just go look. I've also read about people being able to raise and lower the suspension at will, like 6.3/6.9?? And that it lowers itself on the highway. This behemoth actually rides like glass on the highway.

My issues is it seems like I need "struts", but I dunno where to start. I know some R-class' come with standard struts. Other than the needing struts, it's very tight in the front end.

Oh, I have a C/S suspension button too. The S(sport I guess) mode is noticeably tighter and I usually use it on the highway so it doesn't float so much.

Any idears?

08 R320 CDI current

95 E420
87 300D Turbo 5spd
90 300TE
83 300SD
85 300TD
92 400E
85 190D

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Old 08-12-2015, 05:46 PM
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Try pitching this on the on the ML / G / R / Sprinter section of this list to get more traffic. 08 is still pretty new so information is still being figured out.
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:08 PM
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Maybe you could get a bunch of people to sit on the hood and see if the car sags in the front or not.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:22 AM
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Forum member Clacker has an R and may have some insight into how the suspension works.

Unfortunately he is away from the forum right now, back in a few weeks.

You will need to do some shopping around for the $trut$. I know the initial aftermarket price Clack got was $1200 each. He managed to do much better but I don't know where or how.

2002 e320 4matic estate│1985 300d│1980 300td
Previous: 1979 & 1982 & 1983 300sd │ 1982 240d

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Old 08-13-2015, 12:12 PM
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Is there a switch to raise/lower the vehicle??? If not it's only equipped with rear self leveling (by far the most common). If this is the case it's amazing that the C/S switch changes the way it handles since Comfort vs. Sport only affects transmission shift parameters
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:03 AM
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Location: ottawa, ontario, canada
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If you have adjustable suspension that means you have four corner air bags (called AirMatic and ADS). Three settings, Sport, Comfort and Normal (no light on). The transmission switch for C/S is also in that area but only 2 settings and no change in ride.
You will also have a raise suspension button on the other side of the hazard light switch in the console, this will bring it up 2" in height (great for oil changes), only below 25mph-it will ride really rough when raised up.
I have Arnott suspension in the front (complete units) and rear bags, to date the best solution. You can now source cheap chinese struts, but nobody offers a warranty with them (Arnott is lifetime excluding wear and tear, and some online retailers also back it with another lifetime warranty without fine print). I spent $775 USD on both fronts (rebuilds) with air bags complete, rear air bags were $350 ish a pair, one OEM Bilstein rear shock was $500. I have found the Arnotts to ride very close to the original stuff and easy to install.
I did my fronts as preventative, the air bags were showing lots of minor cracks when deflated from exposure/age like an old tire.
FYI Arnott will buy cores if you find something without a core charge, not much but something ($50-100 each range, see their website).
If you need more info PM, I know the system well now but yes, not much info out there.

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