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Old 10-23-1999, 03:29 PM
16 valve owner
Posts: n/a
I have a quick question. What are the signs that the load leveling rear suspension system is failing. My car rides really hard on the rear. The rear suspension doesnt compress as easily as the front. When you are braking and coming to a complete stop, the rear has very little bounce in its travel. What are the life expectancies on the load leveling balls and the level controler. I think after 107000 miles, mine are bad. The ride is very rough and hard right now. Also, the rear suspension squats after sitting overnight. Once I start the engine, the rear sits back up tp the proper height. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Joe
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Old 10-23-1999, 07:33 PM
Aaron's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

Sounds like you're ready for new hydraulic struts and/or accumulators. The symptoms of a failing leveling system are usually hard or bouncy ride (air cells) and sinking over night. Also, you may need a leveling valve as well. The rear leveling system on 16 valve 190Es can be defeated if one opts for it. I don't think it offers a huge benefit over standard Bilstein tube shocks, but some owners prefer originality.

Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'79 6.9
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8

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Old 10-24-1999, 09:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
Replace the accumulators first.

1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V

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Old 10-26-1999, 06:05 PM
16 valve owner
Posts: n/a
I had the struts replaced already. I think that the problem might be the air cells. Can you tell me how the air cells work?
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Old 10-26-1999, 11:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Sounds like the air cells are bad. The air cells act as suspension springs. When the air slowly leaks out of the cells, more hydraullic fliud occupies the cells, thus less air springing and harder ride. The cells last approx. 60K miles before slowly losing their effectiveness.

Your load levelling valve is probably ok as long as it is not leaking. Even if it leaks, it is no big deal unless it is pouring out of the seal.
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Old 03-04-2000, 03:12 PM
Posts: n/a
I just had the rear air cells replaced. The ride is 100% improved over what it was. Thanks for all the suggestions. Joe
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