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Old 03-27-2003, 11:19 PM
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follow up to bouncy ride and anothe question...

Previously I had reported a very bouncy ride in my '81 300td wagon. well, we took a road trip this past weekend and it was worse than ever!
There were many excellent responses to my previous post, one member stated that he replaced the front shocks and this seemed to help.

I looked back in the receipts and noted the front shocks had been replaced approx. 30k miles ago, as well as the rear struts. No other suspension work noted. Another member had mentioned the air cells in the SLS. The front shocks shouldn't wear out after 30k miles, should they?

It does seem as if the bounce is coming more from the rear. Should I replace the air cells? Big job? Can I do it on my own? I'm becoming a more confident DIY'er as time goes by...
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Old 03-28-2003, 10:31 AM
BoostnBenz's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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I'm not very familiar with the TD's rear suspension, but I would imagine the air is to make the ride more smooth and just that. Struts entire job is to dampen the ride, yours are underdamping causing the car to bounce. No they shouldn't of failed that early, but it seems as if they have failed again if the car is bouncing excessively.
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Old 03-28-2003, 09:57 PM
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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The hydraulic accumulators are what is causing your bouncy ride. They are the little black spheres at the rear of the car. What happens is that the internal diaphragm which separates the nitrogen chamber and the hydraulic oil chamber ruptures and the nitrogen side becomes "water logged". So replace those accumulators and the ride will be back to normal. I think they run about $80/each.

When you begin the R&R process, SLOWLY undo the flared fittings, as they will be pressurized. Let the pressure out and undo all connections. Install the new ones and fill the hydraulic resirvoir with fluid. Start the engine and place weight on the back of the car to "bleed" the system. You will slowly see the rear end rise when the accumulators pressurize. You also should "bounce" the back end up and down and then drive the car and recheck fluid level.
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Old 03-28-2003, 10:39 PM
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Thanks a lot, Aaron

What's the best reference out there for swapping these out? Any special tools required or can I just put it on jack stands, remove the wheels, and get started?
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:31 PM
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Location: Vernon, CT
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It would be best to use flarenut wrenches on the fittings. You don't have to remove any wheels to get to these cells. I would have a container on hand to catch the fluid that will come out.
1999 MB SL500 (110,000 mi)
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