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Old 09-05-2001, 01:37 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 23
560 sec self leveling

Can rear self leveling systems be converted to a system that replaces the struts with shock absorbers? Do the springs also need to be replaced to effect this conversion? Additionally, was this system an optional piece of equipment on the 560? I also own an '84 500 SEC and it does not have this self leveling hydraulic system. I pose these questions as I have a leaking strut and I suspect that it needs to be replaced. I feel confident addressing a simple shock absorber replacement and a bit intimidated dealing with the hydraulic system. Thank you in advance for any replies.

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Old 09-05-2001, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
maybe using a search may help with general knowledge on replacing/ servicing the self leveling on your SEC...the topic has been discussed for 16V and W124 wagons

good luck and let us know how you resolved the issue

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Old 09-05-2001, 01:22 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Posts: 180
I highly recommend joining the SEC forum at You can search their archives without membership, as well.

There are a few members that have converted to the conventional system. The general consensus is that the original hydraulic system is actually quite durable and a leaking strut is a rarity if the nitrogen accumulators are replaced at the correct intervals. I confirm the struts sometimes get get pounded if the car is driven too long with bad accumulators, and are quite expensive to replace. Cheers,
86 560SEC
85 500SEC Lorinser
83 300D Turbo
75 240D
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Old 09-05-2001, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 401
There are parts available to convert, however, despite the high price for a new strut, it is probably cheaper than doing a whole conversion. Changing a strut is not much different than changing a shock. Bleeding the air is just a matter of compressing the rear of the car down and letting it rise several times. I did this repair on my wagon. I actually used "recycled" struts from a wrecking yard for about half the price of new.
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Old 09-05-2001, 04:04 PM
Posts: n/a
Stuts are not that bad I think around $250-300 each(try partsshop here). The rest is pretty expensive like the pump, actuator, cels etc. If just a leaky strut, you are probably better off just replacing it. I know in a Jag a conversion is easy and cheap. Looks more complicated on a 560.
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