Author Topic: Lowering springs?  (Read 7090 times)

500eguy

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Lowering springs?
« on: 26 January 2007, 01:03 PM »
Is there anyway to get a lower ride height from the 450? the back is much to high.
Johnny B

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john skene

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #1 on: 26 January 2007, 10:31 PM »
If you car is a 450SEL it has the self adjusting rear suspension operated by a lever attached to the rear anti-roll bar, and fed by a hydraulic pump at the front right hand side of the motor.

Slip underneath with the rear wheels on ramps and the lever and valve can be seen, adjust the length of the joining rod by making it longer and the rear should adjust up or down when you start the motor. It may take a few adjustments to get it to the right height.

WGB

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #2 on: 27 January 2007, 01:57 AM »
Was the self adjusting Rear Suspension a standard fitting on all 450SEL's or was it only on Australian Delivered ones.

Not present on my UK delivered 450SEL.

500eguy - has it got self levelling or not? If not has someone replaced the rear springs with incorrect springs? or have the front springs settled?

Bill

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #3 on: 27 January 2007, 02:03 AM »

Buy new springs and then get them compressed to the desired ride height.

500eguy

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #4 on: 27 January 2007, 12:37 PM »
i have no idea if it has self leveling suspension. It is a 1979 450 SEL but i thought the only 116s with self leveling was the 6.9, i will have to take a picture of the car.
Johnny B

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oscar

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #5 on: 27 January 2007, 03:03 PM »
500eguy, have a look ot the front of the engine under the distributor to see if the pump is there.  Also a large metal reservoir in the front left hand side of the engine bay.

These are old pics from my 350 but a 450 would be very similar.  Pump looks like this






« Last Edit: 27 January 2007, 03:05 PM by oscar »
1973 350SE, my first & fave

500eguy

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #6 on: 28 January 2007, 03:20 AM »
no, checked it tonight. No air suspension. Must be normal height...i will take those pics soon so you guys can see if it is normal ride height.
Johnny B

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oscar

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #7 on: 28 January 2007, 05:34 AM »
Sorry to be pedantic 500eguy, but it's hydraulic self levelling in these models not air suspension.  AFAIK Air suspension was only in the 300sel's in the chassis before hand :).

Nonetheless, if you don't have those parts up front in my pic you don't have it.  Mine sits up higher than most but I've left it like that.  Whilst it can be adjusted at the levelling valve that John Skene mentions I'm keeping mine as is.

If your 450 is conventionally sprung from new at the rear, there may have been spring replacements recently. 
Are they painted, ie look new?  How about the shock absorbers?

It wouldn't be too surprising if yours had been converted at some stage from hydraulic to conventional suspension at the rear.  Disregarding 6.9's which have four struts, no springs, for w116's the front has always been conventional from factory and the rear may be conventional or hydraulic as an option according to a sales brochure I have.  Either system at the rear still has coil springs.  When the rear struts fail, some people replace it with conventional shock absorbers and I suppose new springs.  There may be tell tale signs of the old system if it was ever in place like old lines or bolt holes for components.

Nutz's advice may be the only way to go.  Also, the current springs and shock absorbers may be to tall.  We'll see what your photos say.  Generally, if the vertical distance between road and rocker panel between front and rear are near equidistant with the rear being marginally taller, you should be right.  Keep in mind, with a lack of lower rear bodywork, these cars do tend to expose their undrcarriage somewhat when viewing from behind.
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s class

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #8 on: 29 January 2007, 03:12 AM »
500e,

does your car (or did it have) a towing coupling?  It seems to be (unfortunately) common practice to replace the rear springs with stiffer aftermarket items when people want to tow.  It makes the car stand tall and handle terribly.  The correct rear springs are stamped with a 116.... part number, but its generally impossible to see whe  they are installed.  Removing them is ia major job.  As oscar suggests, do a visual inspection for signs that they may have been replaced, or even bolstered by stuffing rubber support blocks between the coils to support aging springs (in my opinioni a dubious practice).  If still in doubt, try to see some geuine springs at a breaker to see how thick the coils are.  If your springs are aftermarket, there may (if you are lucky) be an obvious visual difference between them and the genuine item. 

If you go for replacing the springs, breakers items is a risky way to go unless you can see them in the donor car to see that it is sitting correctly. 

Ryan

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

bolbol

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #9 on: 30 January 2007, 02:08 AM »
While we are on the subject of springs,H&R, http://www.hrsprings.com, makes lowering springs for the 126, with or without self leveling. Does anyone know any reason why those springs would not work for W116 ??

bolbol
« Last Edit: 30 January 2007, 02:10 AM by bolbol »

bolbol

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #10 on: 31 January 2007, 12:09 AM »
Please ??Anybody ??

oscar

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #11 on: 31 January 2007, 01:37 AM »
While we are on the subject of springs,H&R, http://www.hrsprings.com, makes lowering springs for the 126, with or without self leveling. Does anyone know any reason why those springs would not work for W116 ??

bolbol

With a vague recollection of reading about 116-126 suspension interchangeability I can't say one way or the other what was the verdict.  I can't even remember the differences, but I will try and find the thread I read.  I'm not too sure if it was this forum or another.
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oscar

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Re: Lowering rear, hydro' sus'?
« Reply #12 on: 18 February 2007, 05:28 PM »
No luck on the above sorry, and I know this doesn't relate to 500eguy's 450 but it's relevant to the thread topic.  Plus there's a question below on how to.

Old and new photos of the control valve. The first one was taken in Sept 06, the next one this morning.  It's interesting to note the new diff mount and the difference with the old. 

Anyway I digress, as you can see, the adjustable rod has at some stage been attached to the lever via the outer hole.  I would guess this may make the suspension more responsive.  Adjusting the length of that rod by releasing the locknuts then turning the centre nut will adjust the ride height of the rear (I ASSUME).  I haven't done it, and it's too hot and I don't feel like experimenting today sorry. ;) 

Someone out there in 116 land must know whether to shorten or lengthen that rod to lower the ride height.  Any takers?





level control valve (upsidedown)

« Last Edit: 18 February 2007, 05:32 PM by oscar »
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Mforcer

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #13 on: 18 February 2007, 07:29 PM »
Good questions Oscar. I have been wondering about this too.
Michael
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500eguy

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Re: Lowering springs?
« Reply #14 on: 18 February 2007, 09:24 PM »
do they all have this adjustable rod, or is it only the cars with hydraulic self leveling?
Johnny B

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