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New Member
Jul 13, 2020
2004 CL500
Hi all. My 2004 CL500 is about to be written off due to too expensive repair needed on ABC- 2 Struts, possibly new valve block plus labour- total £5-7k!

Are the coilover replacement kits good and what would be a good estimate for the labour doing the swap. Also, is it right there would be a permanent Red ABC warning light? And how does that affect MOT?
AFAIK there are at least two manufacturers that offers conversion kist from ABC to conventional struts. Arnott and Strutmasters. I read some comments regarding one conversion made by a guy in the US. He decided to add swaybars to his CL after having installed the conventional strut replacement kit. Strutmasters offers one kit for $ 1319. "Easy to install" they advertise...

I once owned a CL500 but never experienced any problems with the ABC-system. BUT: It is absolutely vital for the life span of that system to replace the ABC oil and filter at regular intervals. For the M/Y 00 that I owned, there was no oil change interval specified and 6 years old, the oil in the system was greysh and smelly. (Fresh oil is transparent/green). I had a replacement in mind should the system in my CL fail but after 160,000 when I sold the CL km the system was still performing well w/o any issues.

I doubt that neither Arnott or Strutmasters would sell their systems without offering/including some technology that turns any warning light off. What MOT i the UK has to say about it I cannot say. At least in the US these kits seems to be perfectly legal for use on public roads.

What I have not checked is how to deal with the coaxial pump that handles both the steering and the ABC-system in an unmodified car.
There is a video on youtube showing an American changing out the ABC units for coil overs, not for the feint hearted, but certainly doable.
Coilovers are stiff so the anti roll bars are optional, in the sense that many cars did not come with with them as standard in the rear or both, but will help manage roll in extreme situations. You will need to get them from a regular airmatic car. You'll also need the ps pump from the same car.

If you can find a w220 that did not come with airmatic as with some diesel or V6 models. You can convert the car using factory parts

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