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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 154
Leaking Damper? W115 220/8 GAS

Hi All,

I went to retrieve my car and noticed a little pool of oil on the ground. It is at the rear of the car on the drive side, just fore of the control arm. I cannot determine the source of the leak. It smells like regular cheap old dyno oil, and it seemed to be a one-time sort of thing. I've noticed no further leaking since. Most of it absorbed into the concrete so I can't speak to the viscosity. It is definitely not fuel or brake fluid. On the way to the garage the day before I did hit a pothole, and I believe it was on this side of the car... of course I don't know how big it actually was because I was in a W115 and the bump felt like nothing...

The strange thing is, I cannot find any indication of the source -- there is absolutely no trace of oil on any of the suspension.

What should I do in this situation?

I'm wondering if I need to pull the damper--is there a test I can do with it on the car?
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2013, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 14
You could do a bounce test at the rear of the car. Pretty crude but free. Just push down the the trunk (one corner at a time) and see if the car settles right away or bounces around for a bit. If it bounces around a bit then your shocks probably need replaced. You can test the front to compare.


It isn't that hard to remove the rear dampners to test them either - Rear shock replacement on a Mercedes Benz W115 / W114 /8 | Old Car Junkie
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 154
Thanks Dave,

I'll try your suggestion and see if it tells me anything. I'm just so baffled that I can't locate any fluid on the shock or control arm...

Does anyone know the length of time/mileage one can expect from a Bilstein HD? Average driving conditions, nothing abusive. I believe these were replaced in the last 5 years or so.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:10 PM
Pooka
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 664
I usually get about 80,000 out of a set of Bilsteins, but I drive very carefully.

You said you hit a pothole.... It is possible you splashed up some oil or whatever that had settled in the pothole and then it settled on your suspension pieces? Then, when the car was parked, it all drained off in one spot?

It would have drained off one drop at a time which you would never notice on the street since you would cover so much distance between drops. However, when the car was parked and the drops kept hitting the same spot.....

If you find no trouble during the bounce test, and it does not repeat when the car is parked again, then I would not worry about it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:18 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooka View Post
You said you hit a pothole.... It is possible you splashed up some oil or whatever that had settled in the pothole and then it settled on your suspension pieces? Then, when the car was parked, it all drained off in one spot?

It would have drained off one drop at a time which you would never notice on the street since you would cover so much distance between drops. However, when the car was parked and the drops kept hitting the same spot.....
I'm not sure about your splash theory Pooka -- like I said, there was no sign of anything on the suspension, and I can't imagine splashing enough stuff out of a pothole to drip off and collect in a neat little pool after parking a mile down the road.

On the other hand, the bumper test recommended by Dave seems to have checked out. Everything feels very smooth both "up and down" with consistent responses on all four corners


Anyway, when I do a full brake job in a couple weeks I'll pull the damper for a real inspection.
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