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g5sp 06-30-2003 01:12 PM

Replacing Self Leveling Suspension with Shocks and Springs
I have a 1970 220D (115 110 12 087844) with rear self leveling hydraulic suspension...must have been a German taxi in its past. It has the typical bounce in the rear and suspension units are leaking fluid. To replace both rear air cells and leaking suspension units with new parts is estimated to cost $1500 just for the parts. So I'm considering replacing the hydraulics with regular shocks and about $300 total.

Anyone have experience with a conversion like this? Will same vintage 220 shocks and springs fit without modification? Will current hydraulic spring carrier accomodate regular springs? Do I need a blanking plate for hydraulic pump on engine or should I leave it in place and just cap hydraulic lines to suspension units?


1970 220D
1983 240D

mikaelw2001 07-01-2003 02:00 PM

Hi Bill,

I just went throgh the switch on my 1984 500 SEL. As far as I know the suspension system are the same between Your car and mine although the actual components are different so You should be able to do the swich. You probably need to change the rubber pads on top of the spring to get the ride level correct.

To most difficult thing in the switch was to get the rear springs in. This was a real PITA and I broke 3 spring compressors and an air torgue gun in the process.

Im happy with the conversion and the car actually rides better now although a bit on the harsh side.

My reason for not keeping the hydraulic system was that the pump leaked hydraulic fluid into the engine so I did the math just like You and did the switch.

Be carefull though with the springs and get some good quality compressors because with the layout of the system the springs are as strong as some light truck versions an should ba handled with some respect (except verbally in my case).

Good Luck,

Mikael Westerberg
Vanersborg, Sweden

g5sp 07-07-2003 11:45 PM

Thanks for the advice. I've ordered shocks, springs, rubber top donuts, and a hydraulic pump blanking plate for the change. I'm also questing for a strong coil spring compressor. I'll let you know how the conversion goes.

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