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Old 11-05-2001, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 272
88 560SEL Brakes $1000.00?

Good afternoon guys'
Is it hard to rebuild the calipers (rear) on a 1988 560SEL?

Also the self adjusting leveling valve needs to be replaced...both of the above as per the mechanic who just said the same about the front and replaced the front calipers to the tune of 600 bucks. They say the rear boots on the calipers are cracking and the leveling valve is leaking and the estimate is $1100. Any input would be appreciated.

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Old 11-05-2001, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Well, looking at FastLane I see you could get what appear to be new calipers for less than $150.00 ea, and rebuilts for less than $100.00. The leveling valve is between $250 and $363, depending on which you get. Didn't look for a caliper kit though.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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Old 11-05-2001, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
For years we replaced calipers as they were so cheap. About ten years ago they doubled in price and have been going up ever since. We now rebuild all calipers that are leaking and are rebuildable.

In looking at the parts, I noticed that the Bendix Calipers are about a hundred dollars cheaper per side (272 list versus 389). MB says that the same brand should be used as the opposite side. If both were needed I would get the Bendix and save a bundle.

If you were to buy from fastlane I think you will find that the Bendix might not be available AND you will find that brake parts are one area it really pays to shop. The ATE calipers 126 420 06 83 and 126 420 07 83 are going for 191+.

The height valve # 202 320 02 58 lists for 272 and doesn't get much better at fastlane.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 11-05-2001, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 272
thanks guys. Want to rebuild the calipers if I can. What determines if they are rebuildable and are the jobs hard for a doityourselfer?
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Old 11-05-2001, 08:06 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
The owner of a local MB shop, who is from Germany, said that when he toured a dealership in Germany, when any S-class vehicle comes in at 100,000 miles, they wheel out a cart loaded with parts. They ROUTINELY replace all calipers, pads, rotors, brake booster and master cylinder -- they are THAT concerned about safety!

Now that's a hefty repair bill!
'93 400E
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Old 11-05-2001, 08:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 368
Just wanted to add that the rear self-leveling valve rarely needs to be replaced. In majority of the cases the only problem is the big O-ring inside that dries up. It is not a DIY because you need to have or make a special tool to open the valve and access the O-ring. I've done it many times.

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Old 11-05-2001, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
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OK lets talk further about this "O" ring and the tool to open the valve. Just for the record (and I don't claim any particular knowledge) my father has been a tech for GM 32 years this year and his own shop for nearly 20 years before that so I have an interest in that particular reply.
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Old 11-06-2001, 05:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 368
Remove the valve. You'll see a big round cover with two holes in it. You need to fabricate something in order to fit perfectly in both holes. I used two old drill bits (bottom end), but I can't remember the size. Next, you need to weld some kind of rod or pipe to both of them. This is my special tool. The only thing left is to remove the cover (counterclockwise) and change that O-ring. If you can't match the O-ring put teflon around the thread of the round cover. This should stop your leak.

This is where 99% of them leak. The oil should be dripping right between the mounting bracket and the valve. Just double check that it isn't one of your pipes.

Good luck,

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