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SL 500 Suspension

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by MALCOLM JOHNSON, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. MALCOLM JOHNSON

    MALCOLM JOHNSON Senior Member

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    Greetings all,
    A question to the more knowledgeable than myself, My nearside front suspension strut is leaking pentocin fluid out of the lowest point of the gator onto the garage floor. It wont get any better as my mechanic mentioned when we looked under when on his ramp. So the question i'm asking before i hand over £873+Vat to a Mercedes stealer for a replacement strut. Is there refurbishment companies or other suppliers of struts ?.

    Best Regards
    Malcolm
     
  2. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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  3. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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  4. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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  5. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Yes I think so.
     
  6. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    CL struts are slightly different to SL. SL struts are now fully rebuildable in the U.K.

    I bought my latest strut from a seller on AliExpress, offering a part number match and 12mth warranty. Cost was $328 plus £69 in duties & taxes, giving a total landed cost of £296.03. Right now it’s still in the box, we will see next week what it’s like quality wise!

    In terms of taking a chance, it’s sold in As New condition- identical to those from MB, with the same warranty..!! It’s a part number match so the chance I’m taking is minimal. Last strut I had was £816 including core return.
     
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  7. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    suspect the rtn costs make a china, European solution attractive , be interesting to learn how craigs struts turn out..

    i now back on regular dampers and springs ,and yus, there is a major difference , already missing the Vdoz, .. i simply was not using it enough. nor was i confident enough in the suspension to be 2000 miles away rom home for it to miss behave.
    still looking the ng tf.
     
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  8. OP
    MALCOLM JOHNSON

    MALCOLM JOHNSON Senior Member

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    Thanks Gents,
    One Query that interests me re the strut. Did Mercedes design these struts so they are not common between each four corners?. ie 4 totally different struts per car.
     
  9. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    Don't know about all four...but the fronts and rears are different.
     
  10. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Yes they did. Each has its own part number. It's all to do with the hydraulic connection being angled where it leaves the strut body.
     
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  11. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    what a surprise....
     
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  12. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    None whatsoever :rolleyes:
     
  13. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    As LK- yes. And the S (220) & CL (215) struts are identical between those two cars, and distinctly different and non-interchangeable with those of the SL (230). And also pre and post facelift struts are non interchangeable. Just to make life quadruple awkward.
     
  14. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    To be fair here, it isn’t just MB. Nissan has 17 different steering wheel designs in its Sunderland plant, for example.
     
  15. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    i aint got a nissan !! if the struts are handed there really should be a way for benz to make a rear fit left or right same for front ie a drilling on each side and a blanking plug, same with the lower fitting it would NOT be rocket science to have any bracket fit 180 degree around.
    anyway WE are not surprised i am back on dampers and springs . i will say the suspension on the R230 ,in my view cant be beat , but the potential costs of maintaining it are, just beyond the pale . for me anyway, and i do all my own work, so i refer to the parts costs and not the labour.
     
  16. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Point being, MB aren’t the only OEMs to seemingly needlessly complicate parts like this. There’s likely a good technical reason why they’re handed and fronted, probably to do with packaging of the lines while keeping everything accessible for service, and avoiding sharp changes in fluid vector; that good technical reason clearly trumps reducing SKU count as the same concept followed through to the differences between S & CL vs SL struts. It would have been a major cost saving to have had identical struts, the fact they went with individual ones tells us that there were overriding factors.
     
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  17. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    get you.. for me the overriding factor , how to make things more difficult/expensive for the end user, for all but the most persistent/inventive of us. on a related note i am constantly flabbergasted by the shxxe quality of nearly all benz plastic/fasteners/clips, it is extremely difficult to remove things for the first time without breaking some. i just spent 5 hr removing an ML back bumper and the brittle and very well hidden fasteners made a 1 hr job into 5hr BUT I DID NOT! break anything my overriding impression. all designed to have you back at the dealer buying .something. i thought i had wriggled on the 2 battery story, until i found ANOTHER hidden behind the right rear inner bumper panel !!! tow bar now fitted .next drama wiring it up ,without involving a trip to benz ref stab programme and parking, fog light dramas. complicated by my star NOT having the full story ref WDC166004.!!
     
  18. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    The clips are a different story. MB have a manufacturing standard that says clips must have a positive mechanical latching action in one operator movement. That is why the hollow plugs with central rivet thingies are used, there are way cheaper clips available but those ones are way the fastest lineside fit with fewest rework issues. So there, it’s a Takt time and line headcount issue. Fewer operators can fit more clips with fewer point-of-fit failures this way around; MB have designed the build quality into the clip in the first place.

    On the other points you raise, they really are all packaging related. By that I mean, fitting the parts physically into the volume available within the car, it’s quite awkward. That’s why many wash tanks have the most peculiar shapes; the larger wash tank on the Navarra is flat, almost a metre long, crescent shaped and about 2” deep for instance.

    Just remember that if say a battery has to go into the engine bay, it forms part of the crash system so has to have all kinds of containment designed around it to prevent acid leakage and therefore fire risk in event of a crash. So, it’s easier to package a battery elsewhere where it’s within the energy absorption system, rather than forming a part of it.

    Look, I’ve sat on loads of design reviews from ideation to productionisation. Literally none of them have ever had any time on making life awkward for the end user. There isn’t an overarching conspiracy to desig carparts to cost more through the dealer’s service counter; they don’t need to do that because the manufacturer controls prices into the aftersale market anyway.
     
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  19. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    i see yr point. but as you might expect ,dont entirely agree. eg.i approach the car to remove a 10mm headed bolt ,no issues the fitting right next to it which i must also remove is still a 6mm thread with a 6mm hread 10mm nut but that a torx head !!, whats the logic of that ,i have to go back to the box to get another tool ,and as they both are doing a similar job i just dont see the need/reason for it , and it does get to be a ball ache continually getting out from under the car as this happens every few min.
     
  20. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    That’s something called poke yoke (pokey yokey), it’s a design concept that prevents things from being assembled incorrectly or in the wrong sequence. MB will have driver guns only set up for say 11mm AF hex on one build station, then T30 torx on another build station, and so on. One manufacturer uses bright copper plated 9/16 BSW bolts to secure its seatbelt mounting brackets to the chassis, for instance, so they cannot be confused with any other fixing in the factory.
     

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