W212 E350 Estate Problem with auto powerlift tailgate

Seftonbarn

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Joined
Jun 21, 2015
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18
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E350 CDI Estate Blue Efficiency Sport
Hopefully someone can help. I press the open button on the keyfob/inside the door and the tailgate opens. It's a bit jerky (not very smooth) but that is not the issue. It gets to the fully open position. When the motor stops the tailgate then lowers toward the close position (just a couple of inches (not sure if this is normal). But then, slowly at first the boot closes under it's own weight. It's actually quite dangerous because it does end up slamming shut. I have disconnected both struts. Both offer significant resistance, albeit one more than the other. The left one I can compress with a fair bit of force, the right one hardly moves at all without hurting the palm of my hand. There are no significant signs of oil leaks on the struts. Any ideas please?
 

jc651

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Jan 1, 2021
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36
Location
Northeast uk
Car
2012 Mercedes e250 sport
It sounds like the struts are shot from what your saying. The motor relies on the help of the struts to push up so if the struts are about shot you would get a judder going up and not holding fully open.
 
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Seftonbarn

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Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
18
Car
E350 CDI Estate Blue Efficiency Sport
One other thing I should have mentioned is that this doesn't happen all the time. Which make me wonder if it could be the struts as if it were the fault would be more persistent. I was wondering if the motor also incorporates a solenoid or motor driven lock pin that engages when the tailgate is fully up and perhaps this isn't always engaging? I actually bought a replacement motor from ebay but can't find any youtube videos that show me how to replace it. Has anyone out there every replaced the motor? Is it a headlining out job?
 

FiveAlive

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Jun 22, 2020
Messages
37
Location
Sheffield, UK
Car
2011 E350CDI, 2011 A160
It'll be the struts. You've already said that one is worse than the other, so it is failing. So you'll have to replace them either way. In my experience, at this time of year the cold weather can affect their performance, which might explain why the fault is inconsistent.

After that, if the movement is still jerky, then think about replacing the motor.
 
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Seftonbarn

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Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
18
Car
E350 CDI Estate Blue Efficiency Sport
It'll be the struts. You've already said that one is worse than the other, so it is failing. So you'll have to replace them either way. In my experience, at this time of year the cold weather can affect their performance, which might explain why the fault is inconsistent.

After that, if the movement is still jerky, then think about replacing the motor.
Well I replaced the struts and, fingers crossed, have not had a re-occurrence. Humble pie for dinner; anyone wanna buy a motor?
 
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Seftonbarn

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
18
Car
E350 CDI Estate Blue Efficiency Sport
Spoke too soon. Still got problems. Surely this can't be a coincidence. This morning opened boot, no problems, closed boot, got to the point where the latch engaged and it decided that it wanted to open again. As if there were obstructions. Checked for obstructions, empty boot no obstructions. Anyone any ideas?
 

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