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  #1  
Old 08-07-2015, 09:34 AM
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Tony
 
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Location: Bandon, Oregon
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280SE vs 300SEL rear suspension

As I ponder my air suspension conversion I keep going back to the differences between the 280SE and the 300SEL. The 300SEL does not have a compensator(or center spring) but has a rear anti sway bar. So if I convert to air suspension should I delete the center spring and install a rear anti sway bar? I have one(rear anti sway bar) from a 300SEL 6.3. I know the 280SE rear axle does not have the mount for the sway bar but i think something could be fabbed.
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111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new

Last edited by Tony H; 08-07-2015 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:37 PM
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My two cents: Sway bar!

But if you're doing that much work, have you looked into what (if any) more modern rear setup might "Fit" with some fab work (like 126?)
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2015, 10:58 AM
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Some points to consider before moving forward on this project.....

air suspension coversion to coil... | Mercedes-Benz Club of America
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  #4  
Old 08-08-2015, 02:38 PM
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Idle, I think Tony is talking about converting his w111 to an aftermarket air suspension, not converting a 109/112 to springs
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Current:
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited
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Previous:
1972 280SE 4.5
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited "Hefe", 1992 Jeep Cherokee Laredo "Jeepy", 2006 Charger R/T "Hemi"
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  #5  
Old 08-10-2015, 08:11 PM
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Yes I am converting my steel spring 111 to air suspension.(SS-6 air bags and Accuair E-level)) There seems to be a lot of mystery concerning the role of the center spring/compensator and I was wondering about the consequences of removing it and installing a rear anti sway bar as the 109 cars have. Was the compensator purely a ride leveling device or did it play another role? Why don't the 109 cars have a center spring?
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Tony H
111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2015, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony H View Post
Yes I am converting my steel spring 111 to air suspension.(SS-6 air bags and Accuair E-level)) There seems to be a lot of mystery concerning the role of the center spring/compensator and I was wondering about the consequences of removing it and installing a rear anti sway bar as the 109 cars have. Was the compensator purely a ride leveling device or did it play another role? Why don't the 109 cars have a center spring?
Oooopppssss! I guess I read through this too fast. It is common for people to try the 109 to springs concept and not so much the other way around.

So, from what I know from owning a 6.3 and needing to rebuild the system....

You would need to get everything from scratch but there were W111's with the air suspension so the parts are out there.

The front a-frames would need to be swapped out so they could receive the air bags and the top part would need to be modified to accept where the cans bolt in. You would also need to find a power steering/air compressor combo, a dryer and an alky mister for the air to keep the moisture out.

Also you will need an air tank, the type that fits under the front left fender in front of the tire. This smooths out the system when there are demands put on it.

A valve to control ride height that is mounted on the left inner fender with a control knob that goes into the car will also be needed.

Air lines and the bags for the back will also be required. The compensator is necessary to provide a smoother ride; think of it as a large third shock absorber. It is not needed on the air ride cars since the height control valve in the rear takes care of all of this.

I don't know if the antisway bar is necessary or is just nice to have. Since the 6.3 put out so much horsepower and was capable of being driven with verve I think the sway bar was just there to give you some control when you put your foot down. I don't think it had anything to do with ride quality.
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2015, 11:58 PM
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Hi Idle,
I'm installing a aftermarket air suspension so don't need any 109 stuff except the front lower control arms and the rear anti sway bay-both which I have sourced. Lots of 108's have been converted to Air-it's pretty popular. I'm not "slamming" my car-I just want the adjustability and ride of air.
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Tony H
111 280SE 3.5 Coupe
Manual transmission

Past cars:
Porsche 914 2.0
'64 Jaguar XKE Roadster
'57 Oval Window VW
'71 Toyota Hilux-Dad bought new
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2015, 10:57 AM
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You don't need the center compensating spring for what you are doing.
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