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I know there's a lot of concern over failed airmatic components - are there any >

I know there's a lot of concern over failed airmatic components - are there any

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I know there's a lot of concern over failed airmatic components - are there any

 
Old 06-29-2010, 06:25 PM
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W212 E63
I did this exact same thing on the wife's E500 where front left airmatic strut failed. It was about a 60 minute job to remove the failed strut and replace it. Got mine via Arnott too!
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:53 PM
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2003 E55 AMG; 2013 GL550 4Matic
Originally Posted by Todds911 View Post
Well, my ordeal is over. I ordered the Arnott struts, and had Mercedes install them. Arnott told me also that I had to remove the bolts that connect ball joint to control arm. I started to do this, but then in the process called enough enough. In fact, Mercedes broke both ball joints when installing the struts, so who knows where I would have gotten with it (maybe an extra tow bill??).

Just picked up the car and the struts seem fine. So I paid $400 for each strut with a lifetime warranty, and $450 for the labor (plus $93 x 2 for the ball joints). Dealer original quote was $3300 for the two struts and labor, so I am happy that I saved over a grand.

Based on one day of use so far with the new struts, and their customer service, I would recommend Arnott.

Todd
04 E500 2wd Airmatic
I already learned that ball joints are quite solidly installed on this car. Air hammers and Mercedes tools should be used to pop them, thankfully the top one can just be undone by removing the 3 bolts its attached by.

Maybe I can avoid messing with it completely and collapse the strut the same way Yaght Master did.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mekantor View Post
I already learned that ball joints are quite solidly installed on this car. Air hammers and Mercedes tools should be used to pop them, thankfully the top one can just be undone by removing the 3 bolts its attached by.

Maybe I can avoid messing with it completely and collapse the strut the same way Yaght Master did.
Maybe so. I believe Yacht Master has an AMG, and mine is an E500, so I am sure they are different struts. It is very quick to unbolt the top of the strut and the bottom of the strut, unhook airline and connectors, and you will pretty quickly know if you can get it over the control arm. I was literally about 1/2" off of clearing the control arm, after I got on my back and pushed up hard. Then I tried to jack the strut up to, but to no avail, just bottomed out...

The mechanic at the dealership told me that without the Star Computer to compress the shock and needing to disconnect ball joints, it is a bear of a job for the home mechanic. I've removed engines and replaced clutches on past cars, and this is not an impossible DIY, but I ended up just being happy with the savings on the parts on this job.

Fyi, there is a good DIY set of instructions for the rear struts on Benzworld (without removing the rear axle), in case ever needed.

Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:38 PM
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2003 E55 AMG; 2013 GL550 4Matic
Originally Posted by Todds911 View Post
Maybe so. I believe Yacht Master has an AMG, and mine is an E500, so I am sure they are different struts. It is very quick to unbolt the top of the strut and the bottom of the strut, unhook airline and connectors, and you will pretty quickly know if you can get it over the control arm. I was literally about 1/2" off of clearing the control arm, after I got on my back and pushed up hard. Then I tried to jack the strut up to, but to no avail, just bottomed out...

The mechanic at the dealership told me that without the Star Computer to compress the shock and needing to disconnect ball joints, it is a bear of a job for the home mechanic. I've removed engines and replaced clutches on past cars, and this is not an impossible DIY, but I ended up just being happy with the savings on the parts on this job.

Fyi, there is a good DIY set of instructions for the rear struts on Benzworld (without removing the rear axle), in case ever needed.

Good luck!
I think the suspension setup is the same for airmatic W211 cars, but AMGs have a different strut part, probably with some adjustments for the car being a bit lower and having more weight up front.

btw, discount code 74V4-W7D gets 10% off Arnott
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:44 PM
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fwiw, the amount of air volume programmed in the AMG struts is different to give it a stiffer suspension.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:06 PM
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2003 E55 & 2014 GL550
Just wanted to thank Yacht and everyone else who added info to the DIY Airmatic strut replacement.

With all the info and pics it was not too hard a job as I thought.

WARNING to all who try it without Star/DAS, I tried and tried to do it like Yacht but could not get it to release. With my Star/DAS there is a simple button to release and fill the strut with air and with that it was cake in and out.

How Yacht got it to work I have no idea.....then again there has to be a reason he wears that Gold Rolie on his wrist when he works on cars.

Guy's a genius.

Thanks again YM!

I am back in business.

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Old 09-09-2010, 05:52 AM
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2003 E500
Hi guys,

I just replaced my two front struts on my 2003 E500 with arnott struts. I live in Guam so there is no MB dealership here. There is a local shop that services MB's in the area and they installed my shocks. This was 3 weeks ago. Now I get the airmatic (vehicle with up arrow) visit workshop! warning on my display. The car is level and it responds to raising and lowering. I don't have STAR/DAS but I am considering getting it so that I can know whats going on with it. Did you guys reset the car after the struts were installed? If I dont have Star, how can I reset the computer? I have read that there is a secondary battery in the car that prevents you from powering the car down completely. Please help.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:19 AM
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Well my car took a dive a couple of weeks ago and I did what many have done and ordered a set of Arnott shocks and used this great thread to reinstall them myself. If it wasn't for the having to plug in and compress the shocks I could have done each side in about 45 minutes and I'm not a professional mechanic.
The only thing I would suggest is removing the plug connector and air supply tube from the top of the strut before taking off the three nuts that hold the strut to the shock tower unless you're supporting the a-arm with a jack. I thought the a-arm might drop slightly (which it did) so I diverted slightly from the instructions. I don't think it would have done much damage, but still I wanted to play on the safe side as far as this car is concerned.
The plastic clip still broke, but it has 90K on the clock and it's a Texas car so I guess with the many months of 100 degree baking, I can't fault Mercedes on that one.

I've worked on a few cars in my time and after being so happy working on my 95 Mustang GT because of it's simplicity, I implore Mercedes on their design. I remember making upgrades to my Camaro and working on just about anything on that car was difficult. I thought the Mercedes was going to be the same and I was pleasantly surprised. Kudos MB!
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:24 PM
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Can someone help, I plugged in the new front strut on my 2004 e500 and while jacked up try to clear the control arm to mount but the strut does not release any air to compress it. All electrical was working fine and unplugged during unmounting of old strut carefully.
Thanks
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by adelekem View Post
Hi guys,

I just replaced my two front struts on my 2003 E500 with arnott struts. I live in Guam so there is no MB dealership here. There is a local shop that services MB's in the area and they installed my shocks. This was 3 weeks ago. Now I get the airmatic (vehicle with up arrow) visit workshop! warning on my display. The car is level and it responds to raising and lowering. I don't have STAR/DAS but I am considering getting it so that I can know whats going on with it. Did you guys reset the car after the struts were installed? If I dont have Star, how can I reset the computer? I have read that there is a secondary battery in the car that prevents you from powering the car down completely. Please help.
You must have a small leak in the system. This doesn't have to be front, it could be rear. So don't assume the fronts have a problem. They might, but I got the same alarm at 80,000 miles and it was a leaking air spring in the rear.

The caution here is that the up arrow warning comes on when the compressor runs too long. This could burn out the compressor.

Check after the car sits over night to see if any corner is lower than it should be and this might give you a clue as to where the leak is.

Best of luck I fully understand living on island problems for repairing equipement.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:33 PM
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2003 E55 AMG; 2013 GL550 4Matic
Originally Posted by jta00r1 View Post
Can someone help, I plugged in the new front strut on my 2004 e500 and while jacked up try to clear the control arm to mount but the strut does not release any air to compress it. All electrical was working fine and unplugged during unmounting of old strut carefully.
Thanks
When I did this without STAR, I had to connect and disconnect the battery many times, and each time it drained a bit of air.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:46 PM
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Thank you, I'll try that method.

update: Tried disconnecting battery several times and set to sport 2 mode, still hear NO air being released only hear and feel air coming from the airline; not the strut had it verified with another person.

Last edited by jagata; 04-07-2011 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:43 PM
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Ok finally got the strut over the lower arm, although my car was jacked up, battery disconnected, then reconnect battery but still did not hear any air release. Apparently my height sensor was not detecting the height as being high even though the the car was up in the air, so I disconnected the battery again and removed the 3 bolts that hold the upper ball joint in so I can manually push down the upper arm so the sensor would sense it being too high and release the air out the strut. Another method I thought about to fool the height sensor was to just disconnect the height sensor link and let it hang all the way down however the link was stuck on too tight to remove for me. So I was going back and forth disconnecting the battery and imediatley push the upper arm down and then I can hear the air release from the strut, I had to do this several times like Mekantor's intructions (thanks again Mekantor, and Yachtmaster) after all that it was able to collapse. Took 2 nights to figure out but got it.

Last edited by jagata; 04-07-2011 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jta00r1 View Post
Ok finally got the strut over the lower arm, although my car was jacked up, battery disconnected, then reconnect battery but still did not hear any air release. Apparently my height sensor was not detecting the height as being high even though the the car was up in the air, so I disconnected the battery again and removed the 3 bolts that hold the upper ball joint in so I can manually push down the upper arm so the sensor would sense it being too high and release the air out the strut. Another method I thought about to fool the height sensor was to just disconnect the height sensor link and let it hang all the way down however the link was stuck on too tight to remove for me. So I was going back and forth disconnecting the battery and imediatley push the upper arm down and then I can hear the air release from the strut, I had to do this several times like Mekantor's intructions (thanks again Mekantor, and Yachtmaster) after all that it was able to collapse. Took 2 nights to figure out but got it.
Many thanks to all previous posters. Just bought a 2003 E500 w/~50k, after 3weeks hear a pshewwwwww sound after stopping car in driveway. right Front on top of the tire. with confidence of pevious posters -thought I'd try with a DIY using argots reman (found old coupons code still works for 10% off). here in 3 days ups ground. Of note:

1). I reaffirm all caution to use good Jack stands, jacks and chocks. SAFETY

2) unless u have some freakishly thin hand/arm you can kiss the wire clip goodbye. I use black wire ties to affix the assmbly I spent more time retrieving a dropped screwdriver in engine bowels than ding the active rest of the repair

3) For removal, I pulled 3wire control cable & air on top of strut & used Jack to compress the strut enough to get it over the lower arm

4) on install of new strut - spent over an hour trying to get the strut to release air but no luck. So went back and reread this thread then realized I never removed the shipping cap on the air input at the top of the strut. In my zeal to not hock up the air hose and prevent further extension - it wasn't obvious to me that the release was back into the air system. Once I removed the cap each cycle of power removal/add caused a 700 millisecond release of air. I had Jack on one of the flanges and continued to raise it as we cycled power. ( about 20 iterations did the trick). Piece of cake after that. Button it up and job almost all done

5) during first test fill. It took a couple of minutes to charge and raise it - I had to have car back down on the wheels ( but not to the full travel of the strut). Once it was up job was done.

thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:49 AM
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If you initially connect the power to the strut but not the air line, whilst laying it across the engine the sensor will be tricked into thinking car is too high. Then when you start car it will release the air required to enable strut to be compressed. At least this is what worked for me, I followed yachtmasters DIY article. GOOD LUCK.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:59 AM
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Thanks for this write up! Well, I now know what it's like to blow a front right airmatic shock lol...I've read about this and now the time has come. I was driving through some rough patch of road a couple days ago not intentionallly probably 10-15miles per hour but the road surface started to worsen. Then I also had to park on a slant. After two hours, I returned to the beast and when I started to reverse, I saw the Red screen of death... I was able to drive the car about 20 miles or so as it was low and would pull to the right however, it wasn't imovable. However, the next day, I thought I'd drive it to my Local Indy shop and I realized it had sunk lower...so, I ended up fladbedding it to the shope lastnight...thus far they haven't gotten back to me but I've been researching and if it is indeed the Airmatic, I will install two new Arnott shocks if I can get them.. I would love the originals, but the cost for a 2004 car doesn't make sense...so for now I'll probably go that route as I can't afford 5k out of pocket at the moment. I was told that I should replace both sides at the same time...
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:30 PM
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does anyone have a part number for the plastic clip that sits behind the wheel well cover? I thought I'd pick a new one up in case it breaks ...
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:28 AM
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Well luckily I didn't break the plastic holder.

I replaced the left front strut on an E500 and here are the lessons learned. The E500's airmatic strut mounts over the drive shaft and connects to the control arm. Therefore the E500's have to clear the drive shaft AND the control arm where the AMG version has the driveshaft on the side and you only need to clear the control arm.
I ended up disconnecting the transverse control arm (upper control arm) where you have one nut holding it to the steering knuckle and the nut from the stabilizer bar. This allowed me to get the drive shaft down a few more inches though I was worried about damaging the drive shaft!
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dvmak View Post
Well luckily I didn't break the plastic holder.

I replaced the left front strut on an E500 and here are the lessons learned. The E500's airmatic strut mounts over the drive shaft and connects to the control arm. Therefore the E500's have to clear the drive shaft AND the control arm where the AMG version has the driveshaft on the side and you only need to clear the control arm.
I ended up disconnecting the transverse control arm (upper control arm) where you have one nut holding it to the steering knuckle and the nut from the stabilizer bar. This allowed me to get the drive shaft down a few more inches though I was worried about damaging the drive shaft!
You mean front half-axle? Do you have 4matic?
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:00 AM
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Correct, I should have written half-axle. It is a 4-matic
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:46 PM
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does one have to follow up and get an alignment after all this?
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by spinn View Post
does one have to follow up and get an alignment after all this?
IF you just replaced the strut and did not take apart any threaded adjusters or cam lock adjustors you probably don't need an alignment for just a strut.

I do the alignment when I change tie rod ends, ball joints but not a strut.

But just my method only.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by barlow100 View Post
If you initially connect the power to the strut but not the air line, whilst laying it across the engine the sensor will be tricked into thinking car is too high. Then when you start car it will release the air required to enable strut to be compressed. At least this is what worked for me, I followed yachtmasters DIY article. GOOD LUCK.

Hi All, could do with a bit of help here with compressing the new strutt on my W211 E55 AMG. I have connected the power to the strutt but not the airline and started car and put into sport 2 but the strutt remains at full extension. Regarding the above, where is the height sensor? I don't understand the laying across the engine bit.... Connecting/ disconnecting the battery isn't doing anything either so maybe my sensor doesn't think the car is high even though it's jacked up.

I have also tried to encourage it to compress with a jack but there's a lot of resistance and I don't want to damage the new strutt as well as it tends to slip towards the disc at an awkward angle also. Help please!!!!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jack4012 View Post
Hi All, could do with a bit of help here with compressing the new strutt on my W211 E55 AMG. I have connected the power to the strutt but not the airline and started car and put into sport 2 but the strutt remains at full extension. Regarding the above, where is the height sensor? I don't understand the laying across the engine bit.... Connecting/ disconnecting the battery isn't doing anything either so maybe my sensor doesn't think the car is high even though it's jacked up.

I have also tried to encourage it to compress with a jack but there's a lot of resistance and I don't want to damage the new strutt as well as it tends to slip towards the disc at an awkward angle also. Help please!!!!!
You need Star diag to fully deflate the strut before installling in and once in to inflate it slighty to get all the bolts back in.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jack4012 View Post
Hi All, could do with a bit of help here with compressing the new strutt on my W211 E55 AMG. I have connected the power to the strutt but not the airline and started car and put into sport 2 but the strutt remains at full extension. Regarding the above, where is the height sensor? I don't understand the laying across the engine bit.... Connecting/ disconnecting the battery isn't doing anything either so maybe my sensor doesn't think the car is high even though it's jacked up.

I have also tried to encourage it to compress with a jack but there's a lot of resistance and I don't want to damage the new strutt as well as it tends to slip towards the disc at an awkward angle also. Help please!!!!!
Just lay the new strut in the engine bay, with only the electrical harness connected. Connect the negative battery cable, you will hear relays clicking on and a quick hiss from the strut, no need to start the car. Disconnect/reconnect the negative cable many times and eventually it will drain enough air from the strut to collapse it by hand.
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