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Thread: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

  1. #1
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    [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I got some "clunking" noise from rear and checked it related to the rear SLS strut bushing broken.
    See the picture.
    There is no leaking and broken in shock. but the bushing is very bad.



    prepare the ring and bushing from BMW rear shock.



    put it together and modify the outside for shock.




    My shock is back....save money!



    Although it's "Aluminum" but it can be fix!!
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    1989 BMW E30 M3
    1987 BMW E24 M6
    1992 BENZ 500E
    .................................................. ..........................Hard to maintain

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    While it's great to see you saved your rear shock-

    It would be helpful for everyone else if you gave the p/n , model/location of the BMW bushing so we can save ours too.


    Michael

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    The bushings seem to wear out long before the shocks.
    Most of us have bought new, or used with good bushing, shocks to fix the clunking problem.

    Hope this is a good alternative for folks to save money.
    Last edited by Trae; 03-07-2014 at 11:17 AM.
    Trae
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    What kind of clunking are we talking about when the bushing fails? When going over a bump or under first acceleration or after acceleration after releasing the gas?
    Esteban

    1971 Seat 600E, 1981 Mercedes 300TD, 1984 Mercedes 300D, 1992 Mercedes 500E, 1995 Range Rover 4.6 HSE, 2005 Audi A4 2.5TDI Avant, 2007 Triumph Bonneville

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Going over certain bumps... not necessarily all bumps.

    Accel/decel clunking is usually related to flex discs or differential mounts.


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Going over certain bumps... not necessarily all bumps.

    Accel/decel clunking is usually related to flex discs or differential mounts.

    Ok, thanks. I have the acceleration/deceleration clunk and I already replaced the flex discs but still there. Next project is replacing all the rear axle rubber and I hope that'll fix the problem.
    Esteban

    1971 Seat 600E, 1981 Mercedes 300TD, 1984 Mercedes 300D, 1992 Mercedes 500E, 1995 Range Rover 4.6 HSE, 2005 Audi A4 2.5TDI Avant, 2007 Triumph Bonneville

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Accel/decel clunk may also be related to the driveshaft center support, or even a worn differential or transmission. The more items you can eliminate as possibilities, will help you narrow down the source.


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Accel/decel clunk may also be related to the driveshaft center support, or even a worn differential or transmission. The more items you can eliminate as possibilities, will help you narrow down the source.

    The center support and bearing were replaced when I changed the flex discs. Transmission was rebuilt after it gave up on the way to Nurburgring a couple of years ago. I'm hoping that the differential mounts fix the problem. The differential doesn't make any funny noises so I hope it's ok because I guess it will be an expensive fix unless I can get a good second hand one.

    Sorry, I think I highjacked the thread (again)
    Esteban

    1971 Seat 600E, 1981 Mercedes 300TD, 1984 Mercedes 300D, 1992 Mercedes 500E, 1995 Range Rover 4.6 HSE, 2005 Audi A4 2.5TDI Avant, 2007 Triumph Bonneville

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Great writeup. Also interested in the PN#
    This is a very common problem on W126's also.

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Looks like my rear shock lower bushing is the source of my "clunk" over bumps, probably right rear but I may repair both. Any further info on the BMW (or other compatible) bushing??
    Thanks!
    Brian
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Help, mikachantw!!

    Here's another request for the BMW part number, if that's what it is. If you don't have the part number, do you know what model BMW it comes from? I've got several of these struts that may be saved by this. Since I don't need any to replace on my cars at this point, I'd be happy to try it out and report. I have some 124.036 and some 140 parts that I could try it out on

    Thanks, Klink

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I just PM'd mikachantw for the part number. I hope he replies.

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    My car knocks awfully over bumps too. It would be great to repair it with a fraction of the cost of the new strut.

    mikachantw has two BMWs in his description and i searched for lower shock mounts for those models. No luck as those shocks have unreplacable lower mounts. From pictures i can say that this bushing looks more like control arm bushing.
    '93 600SEL 199
    '04 E55 AMG 744

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    BMW bushing Part nr please
    Christian K.
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    09/1989 300E - DB172 Anthrazitgrau-Metallic
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Did this discussion ever lead to anything? I hate to spend $700 bucks on new shocks when all they need is a few bits of rubber and a metal sleeve.
    Current:
    2nd 1994 E500 199 Black/Gray ca 114k miles
    1988 300CE Midnight Blue/Palomino twin turbo ersatz hammer ca 172k miles
    1984 300D Orient Red/Palomino Tex ca 152k miles
    1988 Brabus 300CE 3.6 199/anthracite 44.5k miles

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Unfortunately, I don't think the OP ever returned to provide the part number.
    '94 E500 (744) | '94 E500 (199)         Misc. snapshots

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Check the stop buffer behind the accordion boot. If it's crumbling, you gotta buy new, even if they are not leaking and the lower bushing is ok. The buffer cannot be replaced separately (then again, we didn't think the bushing was replaceable, until the OP did it and showed photos... so you never know!)

    Photos attached showing a bad one, and a good one.

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    Dave M.
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen View Post
    Unfortunately, I don't think the OP ever returned to provide the part number.
    Nope. Didn't answer the PM I sent him either. This thread is pregnant, but has yet to really deliver...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

  20. #19

    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    ok so no part number has been provided?

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Time to do some digging on 90's-2000's BMW suspension and strut bushings.


    Michael

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I will send the OP an email using his registration e-mail address, to see if he can come on here and consummate the deal.....I know this thread has given a bunch of you some virtual "blue balls" .....

    UPDATE: EMAIL sent. The OP looks to have been on the forum as recently as January 31.

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    For a "keeper" car, I'd bite the bullet and shell out for a pair of new shocks, probably spheres at the same time. Generally should be a once-per-ownership expense and then you don't need to worry about it for another 20 years or so. Just like spaceman's mechanic said on the other thread...

    New shocks are ~$800/pair delivered from your favorite discount dealer, they had been cheaper at Amazon, but now they're about the same either way...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HRL0ZY/

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5639


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Hi All,

    Sorry for the information late, because I have sold my 500E on last year.
    Therefore, few time to access this forum. Many appreciate your attention about this thread.
    I have discussed with my mechanic before, he did not want to provide the detail bushing information.
    But I draw a picture that we did before. My mechanic found a bushing from others car.

    The step as below.


    1. Push the original bushing out from SLS struts…
    2. (be carefully, due to aluminium made.. we used oil pressure broacher to push out)
    3. The bushing from unknown car (sorry for that, my mechanic said it’s commercial secret…L ) the width of the new bushing is larger than the Benz’s… have to modify the width of the new bushing…
    4. Because the diameter of the new bushing is smaller than the Benz’s. Create an aluminium ring for fitting the diameter size of SLS struts.
    5. Put the ring and new bushing together by oil pressure broacher.
    6. Put the modified bushing back to the SLS struts.




    I think if someone get the original bushing from broken struts, you can take it to measure at local field.

    Sorry again for the delay.
    1989 BMW E30 M3
    1987 BMW E24 M6
    1992 BENZ 500E
    .................................................. ..........................Hard to maintain

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Shame !

    I think we may need to bribe your mechanic.
    1994 E fünfhundert (170kkm sold )
    1997 S 600 L (164kmiles sold )
    2004 ML270 (64kmiles remap oil burner sold)
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Just a side comment: The original "bushing" in the 500E shock is actually a spherical joint, i.e. metal with lifetime grease fill, similar to the lower wheel carrier joint.

    The BMW item shown above appears to be a rubber bonded bushing, similar to what is used on each of the 5 links in the rear suspension. Totally different design. For squeezing a few more miles out of old SLS shocks on a budget, it's probably not a big deal. But again, for a longer-term repair, I'd still recommend new SLS shocks.

    <flame suit on>


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    so it's a Hemi joint in rubber? You can buy them off the shelf ya know. Just need the dimensions (od, bolt size, and width).


    M

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    The original shock lower joint is a smaller version of the wheel carrier joint (which I don't believe is considered Heim, but I'm not certain).

    Does make you wonder why MB chose this design instead of rubber...


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    The BMW item shown above appears to be a rubber bonded bushing, similar to what is used on each of the 5 links in the rear suspension. Totally different design. For squeezing a few more miles out of old SLS shocks on a budget, it's probably not a big deal. But again, for a longer-term repair, I'd still recommend new SLS shocks.

    <flame suit on>

    +1

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I've greased my left one three times now. Lasts about a month before it's back squeaking full force again.
    Current:
    2nd 1994 E500 199 Black/Gray ca 114k miles
    1988 300CE Midnight Blue/Palomino twin turbo ersatz hammer ca 172k miles
    1984 300D Orient Red/Palomino Tex ca 152k miles
    1988 Brabus 300CE 3.6 199/anthracite 44.5k miles

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I've had the "Shock Knock" in my right rear for a few months,a couple days ago I put the car on the hoist and bled both shocks at the hose connection point on the top of the shock and was surprised at how much air and foamy oil came out of both sides.After doing this the knock was gone for one day and then returned on the right side again.

    Today I removed the shocks to see if I could find just what causes that noise and there was more air and foam.Both lower bushings are fine and the upper mounts are tight so I decided to put the noisey shock in my lathe and cut the housing in two to see what is going on in there.I got another surprise when I opened everything up and saw how black and gritty the oil was that was trapped on the lower side of the piston (About 2 or 3 ounces) this stuff felt just like valve grinding paste. The piston on the top of the shaft has a piston ring (Just like a small gasoline engine) that runs directly on the interior bore of the black shock housing,there is also a quite heavy spring that is about 5" long and practically fills up the cavity between the main shaft and the outer body of the shock.

    My take on this is that as the piston ring wears and the bore wears (Which caused the gritty oil in mine) it will allow for oil to leak past the ring and into the lower section of the shock as mine did,but also as the clearances get larger and allow some leakage they will also allow outside air to be forced up past the piston and create spongy/foamy oil and also cause the knock on the compression stroke.This may be completely wrong but I think that knock is air related (If your bushings and rubber upper mounts are fine).But it makes no difference,you still need new shocks.

    I did take some pictures but can't figure out how to post them,it's been awhile.

    Randy

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Would love to see photos! This link may help if you have upload problems:
    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/wiki...s-to-the-forum

    You can get the shock knock if the system isn't filled properly... it should be filled per the FSM procedure, basically setting the valve to max fill so the rear end goes all stinkbug for a few minutes with the engine running at fast idle, then reconnecting the valve linkage and letting it settle out.

    Dave M.
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    If you need more pics just ask.

    Randy
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    The foam is not "air". Most of that is simply gassing off of some of the more volatile substances in there as the pressure is released. Some slight amount of it could be the nitrogen that invariably leaks through the diaphragms in the cells.

    Now FWIW, I would imagine that some air can get pumped into the system, and definitely some fluid is pumped out of the bottom seals when the air cells are solid. With each bump, a massive pressure spike is produced, immediately followed by a vacuum. This works those outside seals like crazy. That's why your struts leak when the cells are bad, and then after you replace them, the strut leaks usually stop.

    I'll comment on the inner strut rattles later. I have opened up a few of these things. Got to run...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    I'll comment on the inner strut rattles later. I have opened up a few of these things. Got to run...
    NEEEEEDD UPDATE !!!

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Yes i also need to replace mine the next weeks before the meet. Currently have conventional struts in it but its so soft rear and it sits so ugly deep rear with the H&R lowering springs, that are actually made for SLS only.
    Current best quote is 520€ for both Sachs 102503 Struts 500E specific. http://www.daparto.de/Teilenummernsuche/Sachs/102503

    I really would love to just repair the bushings as they look fine otherwise.
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    I'll comment on the inner strut rattles later. I have opened up a few of these things. Got to run...
    Klink! Are you done running yet? Neeeeeed comment!


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    If you have a bushing issue- you can recast the bushing with Urethane or Silicone.



    Michael

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    This thread seems to be the most comprehensive on the subject of replacing SLS hydraulic actuator bushings so this is just an update on the subject. I was going to recast the bushing in urethane but honestly feel that may be too soft. The OEM bushing appears to be Delrin. Here is a thread on how to use cheap urethane shock bushings to replace worn originals.

    http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w124...hydraulic.html
    Andy

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    As noted back in post #25... the OEM bushing is not a plain rubber/urethane bushing like the control arm bushings, or rear suspension link bushings.

    The lower "bushing" on the SLS hydro-legs is actually a metal spherical joint, very similar in design to the outer rear wheel carrier joint.

    Dave M.
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    The OEM bushing is not a plain rubber/urethane bushing like the control arm bushings, or rear suspension link bushings.

    The lower "bushing" on the SLS hydro-legs is actually a metal spherical joint, very similar in design to the outer rear wheel carrier joint.
    Yes I touched on this in my post
    Andy

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    The foam is not "air". Most of that is simply gassing off of some of the more volatile substances in there as the pressure is released. Some slight amount of it could be the nitrogen that invariably leaks through the diaphragms in the cells.

    Now FWIW, I would imagine that some air can get pumped into the system, and definitely some fluid is pumped out of the bottom seals when the air cells are solid. With each bump, a massive pressure spike is produced, immediately followed by a vacuum. This works those outside seals like crazy. That's why your struts leak when the cells are bad, and then after you replace them, the strut leaks usually stop.

    I'll comment on the inner strut rattles later. I have opened up a few of these things. Got to run...
    Klink, where are you on this, Bud? Inquiring minds want to know...

    maw

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Although the original ‘bushing’ design is Spherical IMHO they were prerhaps a trifle over-engineered in typical 80's Benz fashion. How the strut is mounted VS the LCA should mean very little lateral movement (except of course if the rear suspension is in dire need of a refresh) The loading to the bushing should be purely radial – straight on.


    Point is – would a replacement bushing without the full range of spherical movements have any real world / tangible impact on the operation of the strut?
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  55. #43
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I intend to try this as I have many other fixes that are more urgent and I agree with your thinking. I'll replace the spheres at the same time which I already have acquired.

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  57. #44
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    I have opened up a number of these, and I honestly do not know what causes the internal knocking sound. I strongly suspected that the nut that holds the valve plate onto the rod was going to be loose, as is the case when most old school conventional Bilstein style shocks shock absorbers develop an internal knock. The debris laying in the bottom of these, that is to say, on the "rebound" side of the valve plate does appear to be wear remnants. Since I found no explanation for the internal knocking, I could only conclude that the sound is produced by some unfavorably build up tolerance/wear situation. That being the case, while it may offer a solution for the nasty creak/knock that emits from the lower spherical joint, it seems reasonable to conclude that anything more solid than a ball joint is going to add side thrust to the piston action, possibly now accelerating whatever the wear (?) process is that leads to the internal knocking.

    Also, obviously enough, when all of this is set up normally, there is considerable downward pressure on the joint, as the shock/aircell system also functions as an auxiliary air spring, even when the vehicle is unladen. Remember, unless your leveling valve is defective, or your steel spring/adjustment combination results in the valve seldom if ever being actuated in the fill position even over some things like speed bumps, the pressure in this system is always maintained at a minimum of 30 to 36 bar. This is why some of you "stance" types find that you reach a lower limit on the system that is still higher than your liking after you put your tiny little springs in them, even though you have manipulated the valve linkage to be in a neutral or even "empty" position. So, overall, I am skeptical of using the rubber/torsional bushing in this application, at least as a long-term solution.

    More on all this later. If I forget to get back to it over the next few days, hit me with a p.m. reminder, somebody. Thanks!
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  59. #45
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    to sum up what Klink said, I think.... BUY NEW STRUTS it is part of the 5k
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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Thanks for the input Klink – your points are clear & duly noted as always. It is interesting to learn that the SLS strut knock CAN originate internal to the strut itself in your experience. (I have asked this question a number of times before & was always told the strut itself will never knock – only the lower bushing; if it’s failed)

    Can someone who has repaired / replaced these strut lower joints better describe the symptoms of the failure?

    What I mean is what does the knock sound like, when does it occur (Only going over bumps, when turning or on rough roads at speed for example?)

    Is a failed bottom SLS Strut’s movement easily detectable by hand / visual inspection? Does this inspection require removal of the lower Bolt & pulling the strut out of the LCA?

    Is it possible to replicate the noise (In the case of failed lower SLS strut bushings) by pressing down on the suspension with the vehicle stationary? Like the standard ‘Rebound Test’

    There appears to be a soft knock from the rear RH side of my 500E. It occurs occasionally and only at low speed when going over speed bumps @ > 25mph. I highly suspect the front (Leading) subframe mount bushing(s) as the source of the knock though. (Since I can move the inside bolted bit of them up & down with a crow bar) They have separated inside – primarily on the RH side which appears to be where I can hear the soft knock originate from. The entire rear suspension mounts etc will be refreshed this Autumn regardless.

    I have already checked the E60 rear SLS struts previously & cannot detect play at all in the lower bushings either side. All rear suspension arms are in good condition also.

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by JC220 View Post
    Thanks for the input Klink – your points are clear & duly noted as always. It is interesting to learn that the SLS strut knock CAN originate internal to the strut itself in your experience. (I have asked this question a number of times before & was always told the strut itself will never knock – only the lower bushing; if it’s failed)
    IMO, the knock is more likely to be internal, than it is to be from either top bushings or lower spherical joint. Not sure who told you the strut will not knock internally, but that is definitely incorrect.


    Quote Originally Posted by JC220 View Post
    Is a failed bottom SLS Strut’s movement easily detectable by hand / visual inspection? Does this inspection require removal of the lower Bolt & pulling the strut out of the LCA?
    Unless it's really bad, I don't think you can accurately gauge the lower joint condition without either removing it from the car, or dropping the LCA so you have easy access to the joint. Then clean it up, check if the boot is torn, and move the joint around to check for play. There should be zero play. New ones are very tight. The design is nearly identical to the lower wheel carrier support joint (where the outer end of the LCA attaches).



    Quote Originally Posted by JC220 View Post
    Is it possible to replicate the noise (In the case of failed lower SLS strut bushings) by pressing down on the suspension with the vehicle stationary? Like the standard ‘Rebound Test’
    Again, unless the joint is really bad, probably not. And, if the stationary bounce test causes a noise you then need to determine if the source is the SLS joint, or the wheel carrier support joint (which is more likely to be the source, unless those have already been replaced with OEM... I once had a non-OEM Febi joint fail with 1-2mm play in <2 years).


    Related content: The video below shows the internal-knocking noise from a failing (or, improperly bled) SLS strut / hydroleg. All the rear suspension components were fine. Replacing the SLS shock cured the knocking noise. Interestingly, the noise was more noticeable with no load... with passengers / luggage in the car, the noise would mostly vanish.


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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by nocfn View Post
    So true.....

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Quote Originally Posted by JC220 View Post
    Thanks for the input Klink – your points are clear & duly noted as always. It is interesting to learn that the SLS strut knock CAN originate internal to the strut itself in your experience. (I have asked this question a number of times before & was always told the strut itself will never knock – only the lower bushing; if it’s failed)

    Can someone who has repaired / replaced these strut lower joints better describe the symptoms of the failure?

    What I mean is what does the knock sound like, when does it occur (Only going over bumps, when turning or on rough roads at speed for example?)

    Is a failed bottom SLS Strut’s movement easily detectable by hand / visual inspection? Does this inspection require removal of the lower Bolt & pulling the strut out of the LCA?
    Did you see this thread?

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8133

    Not talking about physical rubber mounting bushings, but rather the metal/spherical joint described above ... perhaps this is a bit mis-understood and probably mis-described as well in various posts/threads, including mine referenced immediately above.

    It certainly is possible for an internal knock to happen in the strut that is not specifically centered at the bushing/spherical joint, but I would say (particularly with higher-mileage SLS struts of more than 120K miles on them) that it's more than likely going to be the bush/spherical joint that goes bad, and causes the knocking sound.

    I tried to describe it as well as I could (having experienced it) in the intro to my HOW-TO post above.

    The best thing that can be done is, bottom line, to replace both SLS struts with either factory MB units, or the aftermarket Sachs units (which are nearly identical to the factory units) that I used. As far as I know, the aftermarket units are still available. It wasn't too long ago that I did this replacement. My car had around 135K miles on it at the time.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Re: [Repair] SLS Rear strut bushing

    Thanks Dave for the great video – that sounds nasty & distinct. The sound from mine is not like that at all – much softer & non metallic. And only occurs at low speeds coming off a speed bump. I do think now the knackered subframe mounts may well be the issue.


    In any event it makes sense for me just to wait until I refurbish the rear subframe then go from there if the knock persists.


    I am not adverse to replacing the SLS struts at all. Problem is – I cannot replace them since E60 AMG units are NLA. But again – I do think it’s a separate issue I’m dealing with at this point. The knock is so soft it’s hard to trace & the only defect found (after 3x inspections on a lift) was the loose , separating subframe mounts. I will be sure report back on my findings (Reference the knock in my 500E) in due course later this year.


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