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Gl320cdi Suspension Issue

Morne G

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Jan 2, 2017
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#1
Hi All,
>
> My 2008 GL320 cdi has recently stopped raising the suspension when starting up. The front of the car is sitting slightly lower than it should be and when the "raise" dial on the centre console is turned to raise the suspension the display shows "vehicle raising" but nothing happens. After a while a message on the display states "compressor cooling down".
>
> On the centre console the suspension settings button for "sport, normal and comfort" all work and you can feel the difference in ride. However, the car is noticeably more "bouncy" when driving.
>
> I would be grateful for any advice and possible repair cost. I live in Ballito so would appreciate to know if there is a reputable repair centre in the Durban area.
 

Chris B

G-Wagen Club SA
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#3
Morne, on the ML those those air bellows can not take the punch. My one brother had to settle for a ML with steel suspension (but then no offroad package) because of this. My other brother popped 2 air bellows on our recent trip to Namibia and he will investigate to put his ML with offrod package on steel suspension. I do not know if the situation is better on a GL?
 

Morne G

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#4
Thanks for the replies Chris and Rolf.

I have emailed two companies in Gauteng regarding replacement parts, but have yet to receive a reply. Hopefully they will be better priced than the dealer. Is this a part that can be easily be fitted by a competent mechanic or should I rather go to Mercedes specialist?

Chris, I also own a ML 350 (W163) without airmatic and which been on mild off-roading trips without any difficulties. The GL is almost exclusively used on paved roads and I am a bit a bit surprised that this problem has arisen; but from searching other forums it appears to be a common issue.
 

Rolf Redecker

G-Wagen Club SA
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#5
For my 2005 Audi Allroad 4.2 I got them from an American Company years ago "Arnott", if I recall correctly.
It was at a rate of exchange below 10.
R 21 000 for four shocks and bellows. "Lifelong warranty on bellows"
R 15 000 one bellow at Audi.
They still work today.
Maybe they have ML bellows as well? Even today it would be an option money-wise

Regards
Rolf
 

Alan

G-Wagen Club SA
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#6
Morne, another forum member just had one of his air shocks pop. Limper back home an got a replacement from Bilstein.
Contact Bilstein and enquire, Thy are the OEM as well. Price is considerably cheaper that MB.
You will have to google for their info unless the forum member posts here.
 

Chris B

G-Wagen Club SA
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#7
Morne, another forum member just had one of his air shocks pop. Limper back home an got a replacement from Bilstein.
Contact Bilstein and enquire, Thy are the OEM as well. Price is considerably cheaper that MB.
You will have to google for their info unless the forum member posts here.
Ted Garstang is the importer of Bilstein products @ Incomex tel 012 661 8679
 

Morne G

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#9
The GL is back on the road. Happy days!

Just thought I'd share what the problem was. Although the sagging was noticed on the front left of the car there was nothing wrong with the shock / bellow on that side. The problem appears to have originated from a faulty air valve block, cracked casing of the compressor and a leak on the front right below. New replacement air valve block and compressor was sourced from Mercedes and the bellow from an aftermarket supplier. Total parts cost was about R22k.

Thanks to the advice received on this forum I did investigate importing the parts from abroad, which was a useful exercise, and which I would do again in future if the need arises for the GL or ML. However, having calculated the cost of purchase and import tax the prices I obtained from Mercedes SA was only marginally more, so decided to go with them in case of any warranty issues. I did however see a very good value package deal on Arnott's website if anyone was looking to replace all four air shocks; which MB SA cant' compete with.