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  #1  
Old 01-23-2001, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Utah
Posts: 51
How do I adjust the rear ride level on my 560SEL? I have read about an adjustment, I just do not know where to find it. When I fill the reservoir with hydraulic fluid the rear suspension raises up to give the car the look of having air shocks. I want the car to look level not jacked-up.

The rear losses fluid over time. I am not sure where it is coming out from. Using the search on this site I think that my 560SEL's sagging rear and fluid loss is from the accumulators. Is this correct and is this a dealer part only?

Thanks
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David
1988 560SEL, Green, Chrome wheels.
2000 Suburban, 20" wheels, DVD, wood grain dash (wife's car).
67 Beetle euro, Lots of Empi parts.
69 Beetle conv, 1980s cal look.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2001, 03:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 199
The level is set with the level control valve at the differential. You will see a turnbuckle looking device connecting the control valve to the sway bar. I am not sure if moving the valve actuator up raises the car, or vice versa. Just adjust the turnbuckle a couple of turns in one direction. Car goes up, turn the other way. Car goes down, you are done.

As far as losing fluid, I would not guess the nitrogen accumulators, it seems it is usually at a fitting or line vibrating loose. I had a leak from the high pressure line, just behind the smog pump, where the line rubbed the engine block and wore through. It leaves the passenger side of the block wet, inside the engine mount. The fluid is clear and slick, and would leave a trail someplace of it is leaking.

If the rear end raises when the reservoir is full of fluid, I think the nitrogen accumulators would have to be good. At least one of them. They are not a dealer only part, I am sure Partsshop will sell them to you, much cheaper than a dealer will. I posted my experience replacing them. They are difficult to get to from the floor, much easier with a lift.
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1989 560SEL (172k)
1989 325IC (122K)
2004 Suzuki Volusia LE (3500 miles)
2005 Yamaha Road Star (20 K miles)
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2001, 04:12 PM
Bigshot
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i believe it is backwards. To lower turn nut up. Just did mine couple months ago and I believe it is opposite.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2001, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Utah
Posts: 51
That is just the info I needed, thanks.
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David
1988 560SEL, Green, Chrome wheels.
2000 Suburban, 20" wheels, DVD, wood grain dash (wife's car).
67 Beetle euro, Lots of Empi parts.
69 Beetle conv, 1980s cal look.
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2001, 02:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NY(work)/NJ(live)
Posts: 12
Similar Issues w/91 560 SEL

I've had the accumulators and hydro-pneumatic shocks replaced but it stills rides quite rough. I read a post by orlie detailing replacement of the accumulators. Thinking that air in the system might not be a good thing, I loosened the flexible rubber line running from the accumulator to the hydro shock( Both sides!). The fluid that was emitted was remarkably foamy reminding me of a pour of Guinness stout. I loosened the bleeder on top of the leveling valve and the fluid showed no signs of air bubbles, exactly like you would expect to see from bleeding a break line.

The self leveling mechanism does not work and its ride like a haywagon (I'm from Iowa, hay wagon's have straight axles with no springs). With the engine running, I moved the leveling valve arm in both directions holding it for 30+ seconds with no movement whatsoever.

Is it reasonable to surmise that the observed foaming was due to air, and that the air is being compressed to the point where the shock just sits in the fully compressed state and has no opportunity to lift or cushion?

What would cause air bubbles in those lines but not @ the leveling valve? How does one bleed those lateral lines?

Thoughts always welcome
Jim
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2001, 04:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 199
The system should bleed the air out of itself, as the fluid recirculates constantly through the reservoir while the car is running.

Foamy fluid usually indicates the nitrogen cylinders, one or both, have failed. But, you stated the nitrogen cylinders are new, and the shocks are new. Is the fluid level at the proper level? Perhaps the pump is starving for fluid, because it is low, and pumping air into the system? I would not think air could get pulled into the system, as the lines are all under pressure, and fluid would come out if there is a leak!

Perhaps loading the car down, then unloading it, to cycle the system will help work the air out of it? I have not heard of this as a requirement, and the manual does not instruct one to perform this upon replacement of these components, but it is worth a try.

Check the fluid, load/unload the car.... and let us know what happens!

Good luck!!
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1989 560SEL (172k)
1989 325IC (122K)
2004 Suzuki Volusia LE (3500 miles)
2005 Yamaha Road Star (20 K miles)
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2001, 12:20 AM
Bigshot
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I am losing fluid as well, real slowly. I had it up on the lift to lower rear and did not see anything leaking. Right now my resevoir is full, my car rides nice but when you push on the trunk corners like you are checking the shock bounce, it seems like my shocks are shot. Lets put it this way, if it had conventional shocks, I would say they are very worn. It bounces like 2 times before stopping. Are these soft by nature? Where should I look for leaks as well. Should the rear bounce like the front(none) or is this OK?
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2001, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 199
I will go bounce the rear of my 560SEL at lunch and let you know how mine reacts.

As far as looking for leaks, mine had one where the leveling pump discharge line curves around the passenger side front of the engine. The line had rubbed against the block and worn almost through. Try looking around up there. It will show as a drip on the floor right under the smog pump.

Also check your oil level. I have read on this forum where the seals in the pump leak oil into the engine when they fail. So, if your oil level is rising for unexplained reasons....

I will revise this post after I bounce my car. Good luck, I hope this helps.
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1989 560SEL (172k)
1989 325IC (122K)
2004 Suzuki Volusia LE (3500 miles)
2005 Yamaha Road Star (20 K miles)
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