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Old 12-08-2002, 10:31 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 23
Rear self levelling adjustment resolved!!!!!

I would like to share my experience with the rear self leveling suspension adjustment on a W201 2.3-16V. You need to do this if you 1) change the shocks or springs or 2) Wheels of greatly different diameters from original.

Recently the rear wheels were sagging all the way till riding on springs only. I drove the car to a wheel alignment pit and inspected the rear end leveling valve. I found the lever was below the index mark of valve body. Apparently, as I discovered is if the lever is never held in the center mark position, the valve will not be fully closed and would be charging the dampers (lever above the mark) and dumping hydraulic fluid from dampers back to reservoir tank. I was getting the letter and soon the dampers were blank.

Further inspection revealed that the bracket holding the leveling adjustement rod has shifted down causing the lever to always be in discharge mode. It is held by a U-bolt with 2x8mm nuts on the rear roll bar. I also found the adjustment rod ball joints were out of service. Replacement part is similar for W123/124/201.Cost is US$20. Better to change if really old.

Hereís what I did to set back the suspension.

1) Remove the 10mm nuts connecting the adjustment rod from the valve lever. Disconnect the adj. rod end from the lever. The lever will be reset in place once vehicle ride height settings are completed.

2) Loosed the 2 noís of 8mm lock nuts on the adj. Rod so as the rod could be adjusted for length.

3) Get hold of a nail or short piece of wire 2mm thickness that would be used to lock the lever into neutral position (later).

4) Start the engine and return down to under the vehicle.

5) Move the lever manually up or down slowly. (Moving lever up = suspension up // lever down = suspension down)

6) Once the valve is beginning to move ie pressurizing or discharging depending on lever up or down, move lever back to center/neutral. Check the ride height. Adjust to get the desired height. Take the time here to remind all of you that to make the suspension rise is much faster than to lower. To make it come down takes a longer time. Moving up is very linear. So take your time and inch up the vehicle gradually. Always move the lever back to center/neutral when you stop making adjustments and inspecting the ride height.

7) Once you get the ride height fixed, we now proceed to set the neutral position of the valve lever so that when you drive, the new neutral point you have selected will remain. Else all the work done above is a waste of time. Shut down the engine.

8) Looking at the valve lever there shall be 3 holes on the lever. The smallest hole closest to the inside is the valve neutral guide point. Insert the nail/short wire into this hole and lock it in place with the alignment hole provided on the levelling valve body. The lever shall be locked in placed with a little free play. Thatís ok.

9) Now look at the support bracket for the adjustment rod mounted on the roll bar. Check for looseness and retighten if necessary. The is an indent on the rear anti-roll bar for the backet to set properly in position. Check for this as well.

10) With the adjustment rod, lengthen or shorten the rod by turning the mid adj. Nut until the rodís ball joint would fit into the valve lever arm. Do not move the lever arm to get the ball joint in. Instead adjust adj. Rod length to suit. (W201 to use the middle port on lever while W124 to use the outer port.)

11) Once the ball joint is in place in the lever, Refit the 10mm lock nut and tighten.

12) Move the jam nuts on the adjustment rods to locking position and tighten. Need not be super tight as you might rip the ball joints out of the rod.

13) Once done, remove the nail/wire youíve used to lock the lever to neutral.

14) Check that the lever is still somehow at about the same position and adjustment rod is held firmly in place.

15) Start you engine and measure the ride height. Go for a drive with bumps, speed breakers curves, hills.

16) Recheck your ride height. It should maintain +/- 5~7mm. Youír done

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Old 08-24-2003, 03:49 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 211
Question - (85 300TDT wagon - 123) 215 tires on stock 14 wheels. Just changed spheres, adjusted lever on valve box for height - and put lever in "neutral" position. Also tightened connection on bar with u bolt, in "detent" on bar. For adjusting rod from bar to lever - shortened it until I could NOT shorten it any further. Still had to attach to lever by pushing lever down (lowering) just a little. So any way - now I really do not have any more adjustment capability - except to make it longer - which (at this point) is not what I want - otherwise lever will always be in "down" position. Does this sound reasonable. Or am I doing something wrong? Thanks Steve
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Old 08-24-2003, 03:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 211
P.S. "Ball joints" cracked out - used heavy rubber sheeting - 1/16" thick to wedge steel ball into socket - very snug fit - will get parts now that I know what they look like. Steve
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Old 10-16-2004, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6
Smile Rear Self Levelling Adjustment

Hello "Alexkor" : I read your article in the forum about adjusting the Valve for the rear height. What a GREAT ARTICLE !!!!!!! I need to lower my rear end of my 16 valve car. After new Eibach lowering springs were installed in my car, the rear end is too high !!! When you turn the lever of the Valve downwards slowly, do you move it up and down repeatedly to get "the lowering effect of the rear" or do you just slowly move in a "ONEWAY" downward movement? My understanding from reading your article is that: " one simply turns the lever one direction downwards slowly...listening to the rush of the hydraulic fluid moving and watching the rear slowly move down.....once a desired height is achieved, return the lever back to the neutral a 2mm pin into the neutral position bore hole........fasten back the adjustment rod and I am done !!" Is this correct? RSVP. Thanks, Mercedes16Valve
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Old 10-17-2004, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5

When the lever arm is in the neutral position, is there any fluid coming out of thr return line going to the top of the reservoir ?????
Captain G

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