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Hydraulic leveling rear 450 SEL

Started by ulodzi, 27 April 2005, 04:20 AM


I need to change my spheres. Has anybody done this or know where I can read about it. I have bought the American service manual but it only talks about the 6.9 hydropneumatic as far as I can see.


No need to drain the system. Just depressurize it per the workshop manual procedure, which involves moving the control valve disc. Then just unbolt and remove, replace. Just in case, don't crack open any fittings without a rag or shield, in case pressure remains. A high pressure jet of hyrdaulic fluid will pierce skin, eyes, etc.
79 6.9 (sold after 27 years of ownership)
83 280SL 5 spd. Euro
94 E320 5 spd conversion
94 E320
95 E320 wagon
95 E320 sedan (on loan to mom!)
95 E320 sedan (parting out)
87 300E, 5 spd. conversion (sold)


I just had my sphere's done by "circle star motors" in Wagga.  Cost $570 for both spheres, don't know about labour cost since the $910 labour cost covered work done on 2xdoor and heater vaccuum elements, 4xupper bushes, brake pads, plus a few other things.  Until I sought help at this place I had no idea what spheres were.

Before I bought the car, 2 other places quoted around $1000 each side to fix.  The way the rear bounced like a box trailer I had my doubts that something as simple as spheres would cure the problem.

Anyway the car rides so much better and if the same thing happens, although they look fairly simple to replace, I'd be happy to pay the same people to fix 'em again.
1973 350SE, my first & fave


OK! I've done it. Spheres about $160 ea at Imparts Brisbane. There can be dangerous residual pressure in the system. There is a bleed nipple on the central control unit under the back of the car but you should still use a rag whenever you crack a junction just to be safe.. No need to empty the system but you should replace the filter(<$20) in the reservoir. I depressurised at the nipple then cracked a junction at the sphere and let it drain. Not too much came out before it stopped. Undo the two pipe junctions and the three securing nuts and you have the sphere out. Removal was done on a two post hoist ie wheels hanging.
Instal is simply the reverse and the system is bled by disconecting the operating arm and raising and lowering the car full extent eight times. Don't try that flat on the ground or you may be squashed. I am told the pump may not take up straight away- mine did. The system does need bleeding unlike the 6.9.
I changed only one as the LPG fit complicated removal of the other. The ride is fixed. I wonder if the system will operate on one or was only one of them u/s????

Nilo AMG

I'm about to change all 5 spheres on my 6.9 but have yet another problem. the system is filled with ATF fluid, so I should clean it before putting correct MB fluid in. Any thoughts on how to clean the system will be very appreciated!

    Thank you


Nilo AMG

Thank you for your answer styria. It's very good to have that kind of reception here! I sure have a taste for BMWs and some friends' racing Ford Fiestas and Kas!

  I understand what you said about the reservoir, but do you think I'll have any kind of problems with the struts? I mean they must be full of the AFT fluid. Is there a way to clean them withouth dissabembling?

         Best Regards


Nilo AMG

Ok Styria, got your message. I'm restoring that car and right now it has the front fender removed. The whole system is naked, I can see all spheres and I think it'll be much easier to do that while the car is still in that condition. I'll let you know my progress, thank you.