How to – Repair faulty/failing ABC Strut top rubber mounts

On 215′s and 220′s the top of the abc strut comes loose from the top of the rubber mounting, as can be seen in this picture:

This is with the car jacked up so the wheel is off the ground. You can see that the strut has seperated from the top mount and is hanging down, from the top of the strut mount.

From the engine bay, you should be able to see this gap at the top of the strut:

P1020389-001

If this gap closes up when the car is jacked up them the rubber top mount has failed. It creates this kind of play in the system:

As you can imagine, this gives about 15 mm play in the shock mounting which isnt great for bigger potholes or undulations in the road that allow the strut to drop and then move back up again with the wheel as opposed to actually doing some damping.

The ideal solution here would be to re-bond the top of the strut with the bottom of the top mount, but I dont think there will be anything reliable here, so instead we are going to add a bush to the top of the strut mount, underneath where the strut travel sensor connector is.

To do this you will need:

  • 10mm rubber sheet (mine was 10cm squared and was plenty.)
  • 35mm Pin spanner (an adjustable one is not strong enough, it must be fixed)
  • A whole saw.

I got all the bits I needed on ebay for less than £25.

Firstly, remove the connector for the strut travel sensor. You must be carefull with this as if you damage it, you will need a new strut! Squeze the outside connectors with some pliers, and pry up gently, it will click and lift straight out:

150124-IMAG0792

 

Once you have this off, use the pin spanner in the wholes on the top mount, they are quite shallow, so if you have an ill fitting pin spanner, you may need to drill them through to get better grip. Luckily on mine I was able to remove them without drilling the holes.

This must be done with the car on the ground, as you want the weight of the car pressing on the struts. You also must ensure that only the top mount bush rotates and not the strut itself! If the strut rotates you will damage the hydralic line and fitting.

Once off, you will have this:

150122-IMAG0779 150122-IMAG0781 150122-IMAG0780

 

Grab a 35 mm hole saw (I think this is what I used, but do measure) and cut a disc shaped piece out of the sheet of rubber:

150122-IMAG0782

 

150122-IMAG0787 150122-IMAG0785

I used a cardboard box as the base for cutting, which allowed the rubber sheet to curve slightly, giving my disc these odd diagonal edges, but this isnt a problem.

Drill out the center of your disc using a 20mm hole saw, it has to be bigger than the whole in the original bush, as there is a small lip on the strut itself, It must sit below this:

150122-IMAG0786 150122-IMAG0787

 

Now go back to the car and insert the bush over the top of the strut and then screw the original top bush/stop back on, you want to sandwitch the bush between the car mount and the top bush/stop. You must ensure you get the top strut back on enough so that the level sensor can clip back on. Mine ended up a tad squished, In the future I would use a bit of silicon spray on them whilst fitting to prevent this.

150124-IMAG0795 150124-IMAG0794 150124-IMAG0791 150124-IMAG0793


How to – Change air filters on M113 55 Kompressor Engines

A nice simple one here, wanted to fit some new air filters to my car, I chose some nice K&N Panel filters to replace the OEM MB ones in there (nice to see them in there and not some cheap pattern ones).

This guide will be accuate for most M111 55 Kompressor engines.

You will need:

T 25 Torx bit

2 x Air Filters (If you are fitting K&N they are part number 33-2181)

Step 1:

Open the bonnet and look at the lovely engine!

150124-IMAG0796Step 2:

Remove the lower engine cover:

150124-IMAG0798Step 3: 

Unscrew the Torx screws until you can see some thread, no need to remove them all the way:

150124-IMAG0801 150124-IMAG0800 150124-IMAG0799Step 4:

Lift the air box up and remove the old air filter by pulling it out:

150124-IMAG0803 150124-IMAG0804 150124-IMAG0805Make sure you hoover the grit and dirt left over in the air box so that it doesnt get sucked into the engine or the shiny new filter.

Step 5:

Insert the nice shiny new filters, ensuring they have seated correctly all the way round:

150124-IMAG0806Step 6:

Nip up the screws bit by bit all around so that one part of the filter surround doesnt get crushed. Rinse repeat for the other side and you are done.

 

 

 

 


How to – Change ABC Accumulators on a Mercedes CL (215)

I replaced these on my 90,000 mile CL55 AMG for 2 reasons. 1, my ride quality was suffering over jarring road irregularites (pot holes, cracks in the road etc. 2, at 12 years old, if any where original, they where probably sub-par by now.

You will need:

  • Part number A220 327 01 15  x 2 – Front and rear accumulators
  • Part number A220 320 04 14 x 1 – Return line accumulator
  • 2 x Axle stands
  • 10 mm Spanner
  • 10mm Socket
  • 17mm Spanner
  • Pliers etc for exhaust rubbers.
  • Lint free rags, brake cleaners
  • 1 Litre of Pentosin CHF11S

The ABC Pulsation damper had already been replaced recently and wont be covered in this guide, however, its functionaliy identical to the accumulators, instead of damping oil movments caused by struts, it dampens oil movements caused by the radial piston pump.

Step 1:

Rear first, jack the rear of the car up and put it on axle stands. Remove the 2 rearmost exhaust mounting ( I just removed the bolts) and the middle mounts. This gives enough movement in the exhaust. WIS says to remove the rear section and the heatsheild but theres plenty of room without.

Step 2:

WIS states at this point to bleed the system using the bleed nipples. I have read that these like to shear off and that in reality, if the engine has been off for 30 minutes then the pressure in the system is negligible. The rear ABC Accumulator is located on the Offside rear just behind the rear backbox. If you look up you can just about see it hiding:

150118-IMAG0753

 

It is held in with 2 nuts on one side and 1 nut on the other. (sorry for the rubbish pictures, space is tight)

150118-IMAG0754 150118-IMAG0755

 

Step 3:

Thoroughly clean the surfaces around the oil feed lines and the hose itself, if there are any bits of rust/grit etc above or around it get them cleaned too. You dont want any bits getting into the system.

Step 4:

Undo the nut holding the oil line on (17mm spanner). I had enough room with a normal long spanner, a short 17mm would have made it easier. You will loose around 100ml of oil when you undo it so keep a rag handy. Try to keep the system open for as little time as possible.

Undo the mounting nuts and pull the exhaust down. This should give you enough space to manouvre the accumulator out.

Step 5:

Insert the new accumulator and bolt it up. Its very much the reverse of the installation.

Now the rear is done.

Now onto the return accumulator.

The new part looks like this: md_64fdc546-a20e-430c-8f32-ffd481ddf633

Step 6:

Onto the return accumulator. This unit is held in with a 10mm nut on one side and a 10mm bolt on the other. It has 2 oil feed connections, one is a rigid connection and one is on a flexible line.

Undo the under panneling that covers the fuel pump/filter and return accumulator:

150118-IMAG0751 150118-IMAG0750You will be presented with this:

150118-IMAG0746

 

I decided to remove the right hand nut and slightly undo the left hand bolt that holds the accumulator to its bracket. I then undid the oil line connections. I placed the flexible connection into a clean emtpy latex glove to prevent dirt getting into it:

150118-IMAG0749

 

Re-installation is again the reverse of removal.

 Step 7:

Let the rear of the car down, loosen nearside front wheel bolts and jack the front of the car up. Put it on axle stands. Ensure the car is secure.

150118-IMAG0756

 

Remove the wheel:

150118-IMAG0757

 

(hmmm shiny brakes).

Step 8:

Remove the wheel arch liner. There are a multitude of plastic 10mm nuts holding this on. Dont forget the 2 8mm undertray bolts at the bottom.

150118-IMAG0758 150118-IMAG0760

Step 9:

You will be presented with:

150118-IMAG0761

150118-IMAG0764

Its much the same of the rear one, but access is much easier.

Undo the lower mounting bolts and upper mounting bolts:

150118-IMAG0762 150118-IMAG0763Disconnect the lower oil fitting as before, you will loose very little fluid.

Insert the new sphere, bolt it up, put the wheel liner back on, wheel back on and let the car of its stands.

Step 10:

Thoroughly clean the top of the ABC reservoir and dipstick area with a lint free cloth. Start the engine and remove and clean the dipstick. Top up the fluid with Pentosin CHF11S so that its in the middle of the top marking on the dipstick.

Done!