ABC Suspension R230 SL500 2004

jnfgambler247

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
14
Location
Derbyshire
Car
XKR 5.0, SL 55, Bentley Continetal GT
Hello

I am new to this forum and recently bought a SL500 2004. It is my first Mercedes (dare I say on here I have 2 Jaguars; XKR and XJR and just sold a 645) so I am a bit of a V8 car nut. Having seen around 40 500's at auction over this year I finally found one that I felt was suitable, of course being a 500 it had to have the ABC hydraulic suspension and all it’s alleged foibles.

Anyway, to get to the point I do have quite a few questions that I hope you friendly folks will be able to offer good advice.

Firstly ABC… I have traced the maintenance of this car and found that a new ABC pump was fitted about 18 months ago at my local independent MB specialist.


I have taken the wheels off to inspect the area and found that the o/s/f suspension strut gator has a hole in it! I have att. An image.

Now, my first introduction to local independent MB specialist was a concerning as they were happy to suggest I needed a new strut now, they whipped on the phone to Milton Keynes to price up a strut and tried to get me booked for a new strut £1300 all in, all inside 5 minutes.

Now, me being a tight so and so I thought that there must be a cheaper way to solve this issue, maybe not permanently, but certainly I can put off the bill for a good while by sealing/repairing this gator. Apparently they are not available as a single spare part item.

At this point I am thinking of wrapping neatly cut Duck tape around the creases in the gator. Does anyone on here have any experience like this or have any other solutions?

(The suspension is currently working properly and no error messages have appeared)

On another issue I have the hideous 17 inch wheels on the car at the moment, however I have bought a set of Avoir 18 inch wheels and I am debating what tyres to put on them. My usual tyre dealers are not being able to locate a matching set of 4 of any brand for upto 6 weeks (Goodyear being the best price). I decided to go onto ebay and found some savings and some stock at local tyre fitters. BTW as a rule I insist on have no older 6 month old “new” tyres, however considering cost and availability I have found some DOT 2012 Dunlops (for rear) and DOT 2015 Pirelli (for front) for under £100 per tyre, fitted. I have included the links below. The 2012 Avon tyres on my XJR are cracking – I guess we will never know if that is due to use or age??
Does anyone have any experience with these tyres on the R230 and the age issue?

285 35 18 W Dunlop Sp Sport Maxx GT x2 Tyres - Free Delivery or Fitting | eBay

235 40 18 Y Pirelli Pzero Nero GT x2 Tyres - Free Delivery or Fitting | eBay

Sorry if the post is a bit long winded and rambling, so Thank you for reading my post.

Jim



20151202_115134_zpsa3hrmd0u.jpg
 

BTB 500

MB Club Veteran
SUPPORTER
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
19,622
Location
Berkshire
Car
R129 SL500, W639 Vito 120, S205 C300
Hi

I'd be very surprised if a tape repair on the gaiter lasted very long, with the movement/dirt/heat/water/etc. Nothing to lose by trying it though. Get the surface as clean as you can with meths first.

With regard to tyres I have Dunlops on both the SL and our C Class (Sport Maxx RT R1 on the latter), and they've been pretty good. I had Avon ZV5s on our Audi until we sold that (3 sets in total, I think), and they were excellent.
 

cb1965

Banned
Joined
Mar 1, 2013
Messages
1,266
Car
N/A
Common issue with these struts and will eventually lead to failure!

That said MB do exchange reconditioned struts for around £700 now or you could try a secondhand one!
 

reflexboy

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
Messages
2,399
Location
Surrey, UK
Car
E350 CDi Sport&SLK250CDi AMG Sport
How about using a self amalgamating rubber tape on the strut. Just an idea
 

lxi

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
737
Location
Yorkshire
Car
SL63 AMG, prior to that A-M V8 Vantage, SL55, SL500 and many more
Get yourself a can of this (in black!) Plasti Dip

Clean all around the hole, paint a thick layer of the above around the hole & gently lay some strips of some loose weave fabric (eg muslin) across the hole while the plasti dip is wet. Let it cure until touch dry, then paint more over the area & material so it soaks in (as you would with fibreglass). Again let that go off & apply another layer until completely sealed.

Plasti dip sets like soft rubber, so it should hold for a good time
 

SL350_SWINDON

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
225
Car
SL350 2003
Tyres are the wrong size.
Should be: 285 35 18 rear. 255 40 18 front.

I can't open the link so can't see the load or speed rating of what you propose
 
Last edited:

lxi

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
737
Location
Yorkshire
Car
SL63 AMG, prior to that A-M V8 Vantage, SL55, SL500 and many more
Tyres are the wrong size.
Should be: 285 35 18 rear. 255 40 18 front.

I can't open the link so can't see the load or speed rating of what you propose

No spec W rear, 95 Y front (but wrong size as you said)
 

karozza

Active Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
516
Location
MALTA
Car
SL55 AMG/C180 K
Amalgamating tape is a good idea as suggested above, just give it a good clean prior to application.

When the time comes to replace as there is clearly no need now, ARNOTT, is the cheaper & reliable route. Unlike MB, you get a refund when you send them your defective strut as you pay a core charge. Although MB UK seem to also provide remanufactured units as well if you ask.
 

SL350_SWINDON

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
225
Car
SL350 2003
I'm pretty sure the load rating should be 96 for the front.
 
OP
OP
jnfgambler247

jnfgambler247

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
14
Location
Derbyshire
Car
XKR 5.0, SL 55, Bentley Continetal GT
Hi

Thank you all! Great information.

I might as well give the plasti dip a go - seems pretty useful stuff, Duck tape was a bit bonkers but it was meant as a stop gap until I could find something better...like the plasti dip :)

The 799 euro sevice exchange for the strut seems good value and if that company are recommended on here then it is probably the best way forward, hopefully not for awhile yet though.

Re tyre size - Yes, it has been a long week and I quoted the wrong tyre size should be 255 not 235, the ratings are Y (upto 186mph)

The same ebay seller has 255's but again 2-3 yrs old.

The seller also has some 295 35 18, and I am toying with idea of putting them on the back in place of the 285 35 18.

Here are ebay items No.s

REAR
181872726891 DUNLOP 285 35
or
311487856006 VREDESTEIN 295 35

FRONT
311445704507 PIRELLI 235 40 (wrong size)
181947107939 BRIDGESTONE 255 40
181921553169 CONTINENTAL 255 40


Cheers & Thanks Again
Jim
 
OP
OP
jnfgambler247

jnfgambler247

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
14
Location
Derbyshire
Car
XKR 5.0, SL 55, Bentley Continetal GT
I have now got around to repairing the hole with plasti-dip. Looks OK but as to how long it lasts I am unsure.

I checked the near side gaitor and found that that side HAS A HOLE AS WELL!!!

So repaired that side while I was at it.

Thanks for all your advice on this post.
 

starlight

Active Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
94
Location
Scotland
Car
C220 Bluetec Sport Premium Automatic (W205) (2015)
Amalgamating tape is a good idea as suggested above, just give it a good clean prior to application.

When the time comes to replace as there is clearly no need now, ARNOTT, is the cheaper & reliable route. Unlike MB, you get a refund when you send them your defective strut as you pay a core charge. Although MB UK seem to also provide remanufactured units as well if you ask.

When a strut on my 2003 SL500 failed at 53,000 miles the M-B dealer's opening bid was £1,300 for a replacement; but as others have said M-B now supply re-manufactured struts for around £850.

The cost of a replacement strut is probably the least of it. The ABC system on the R230 is a ticking financial time bomb. It seems that when one component fails, there's a tendency for others to follow suit; and diagnosing problems appears to be a major challenge even for very competent techs. At the risk of being a Cassandra, when you see the 'ABC Visit Workshop' message, there's likely to be a pile of trouble ahead.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom