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MECHANICALS With a 30 year-old automobile, there will always be discussion here - maintenance, modifications and mechanicals.

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  #16  
Old 1st November 2010, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Quote:
Originally Posted by John S View Post
My initial impression was "Wow, $950 is a lot of money" as I paid about $500 when mine were replaced - but then I realised it's probably 10 years since they wete replaced, so perhaps the increase is not as bad as it looks!
Well, no JohnS, that price MercedesMike has been charged is quite high by Yankee standards. Also remember, that the rear cells for a 450 or 280 are smaller than those on a 6.9 and also quite a bit cheaper to buy. Regards Styria
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  #17  
Old 1st November 2010, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

My understanding reading M-B literature is that there are three spheres for this era of car.

1) Lowest pressure sphere is used on rear of 116 and 126 with self levelling suspension

2) next pressure up is used as rear spheres on 6.9 and front and rear on 126 with full hydraulic suspension.

3) Highest pressure is the red dot spheres used for the front three spheres on a 6.9.

As far as I know they are all identical externally except for the colour of the splash of paint on the rear of the sphere.

As the red dot spheres seem to be getting harder to find people may be tempted to use the rears on the front or even SLS spheres on teh back of a full hydraulic with problems presumably developing.

Bill
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  #18  
Old 2nd November 2010, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

I have found this old picture from three years ago which show the three different spheres on my 6.9.

The OEM red spot sphere is in the central sphere position - the rear has two Lemfoerder blue spots and the front has two red spot Febi's.



The left one is an OEM one with M-B markings and weighs 2.5 kg. It is physically a little larger than the other two.

The middle one is one I took from the rear and is identical to the Lemfoerder that replaced it so I would think it is a Lemfoerder - it is noticeably smaller in dimensions and has a cut-out bracket in lighter gauge steel and this particular sphere is probably a bit short on Nitrogen Gas - it weighs 1.5kg. It almost looks like new and could easily pass for a near new second hand sale but on the car it was SNAFU.

The one on the right is a Febi - it has no red marking but the box has the same part number as the OEM red spot one. It is superficially similar to the OEM one but is again slightly smaller than the OEM and weighs 2 Kg.

I guess we will see which brand fails first with the passing of time.

Bill

Last edited by WGB; 2nd November 2010 at 12:31 AM.
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  #19  
Old 2nd November 2010, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Hi Bill, you basically confirm my claims that "things are no longer what they used to be". I wonder if MB dealers themselves are selling 'genuine' 6.9 units, or whether they are in fact supplied by the same source as after market outlets.

I have in times gone by weighed the various units, and whilst I nowadays can no longer remember the exact details, there is no doubt that 6.9 units were a little heavier and possibly a little larger. I still have about twelve unuseable units that I have been saving with the possibility of getting them re-gassed, but as with so many things, I have not gotten around to trying to do something with them. Regards Styria
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  #20  
Old 10th November 2010, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Through some old paperwork & some detective work, I managed to track down who I think was the second owner of MB2. Turns out he used to work in the hydraulics industry & is now semi-retired. When I first picked up the car, I noticed some unusual fittings attached to the hydraulic lines under the bonnet. I figured they were used for diagnostics of the suspension. Unfortunately one fitting was poorly placed right over the reservoir, so it's currently impossible to check the oil level easily. When asked about these fittings, it seems they're not the interesting part of the modifications.... Bearing in mind I haven't looked under the car, it seems all the spheres have been converted so they CAN BE RE-GASSED!!!! It involves tapping into the nitrogen side & attaching a fitting for re-gassing. Assuming the diaphram hasn't failed, this could extend the life of a sphere dramatically! I've yet to get more information & I'll follow-up with pics when I have the time. In the interim I'd suggest you don't throw out any old spheres, especially the heavy OEM ones..........
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  #21  
Old 11th November 2010, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

I've given the matter of re-gassing the aircells for some while now - alas, as with so many things, I just haven't gotten around to doing so. Supposedly there is a Mechanical Repair shop situated close by to the city that re-gasses Citroen units, but little is known if they are able to repair the Mercedes units. Yes, it would be helpful if some form of rebuilding could be effected.

I take it that the car you are referring to is not the one you bought off Black Hands. If I remember correctly, I did replace all spheres probably ten years ago - at the time when we had the car resprayed for him. It would indeed be interesting to see some photos of any modification work that's been carried out by a previous owner. Regards Styria

Last edited by Styria; 11th November 2010 at 05:08 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11th November 2010, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

I washed MB2 (not Blackhands old car) today & can confirm it has fittings on the back of at least one cell. Unfortunately I ran outta light before I could get any photos.... I'll get them loaded as soon as I have time
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
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88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
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79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
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  #23  
Old 15th November 2010, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

What we've long suspected can be done & here's the proof :

Engine bay diagnosis fitting location



Closeups





Main cell nitrogen port



Rear cell nitrogen port



Appologies for the state of the car; it's relatively unchanged since I got it! I'll get around to cleaning it when we have somewhere permanent to call home.... Can anyone identify the fittings??
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)
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  #24  
Old 18th November 2010, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

There's at least 2 places in Melbourne that can re-charge Citroen cells & I've sent them pics to see if the fittings are compatable. I've yet to get further info from the P.O. re the process involved in converting the cells, availability of the fittings & machine shops who can undertake the modifications. More info to follow as it comes to hand.
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)
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  #25  
Old 19th November 2010, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Thankyou - very interesting.

Bill
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  #26  
Old 20th November 2010, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Hmm....indeed Sir. What have you dug up ? Further news would certainly warrant everyone's further attention. I must send you those invoices as a form of encouragement ! Regards Styria
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  #27  
Old 20th November 2010, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

No go re Citroen recharging as they tell me the fittings are not compatable. However it doen't mean an adapted couldn't be manufactured... I'll ask Citroen what fittings they use to keep future conversions simple. I'll also give the P.O. a call today & hopefully get more info.
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
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88 420L#422477-P
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87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
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  #28  
Old 20th November 2010, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Might I suggest a visit to an Enzed or hose doctor?

I used to have hydraulic fittings made for all sorts of cars by the local Pirtek and Enzed shop because of the high quality of their work and when it comes to couplings they can identify the type and either supply adaptors or similar.

That and they were by far cheaper a lot of the time especially with pressure hoses like Aircon and power steering hoses.

Even brake lines were not a problem although you had to say they were "Clutch" lines *wink wink* because of the whole ADR issue.
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  #29  
Old 20th November 2010, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

Great idea! I'll look for an e-mail address.... I'll need to be carefull though; last time I used a 'hose specialist' based on price, they completely blocked the pipe fittings with solder! It wasn't until the third attempt that they got it right!! So the moral is to always check the work of others (where possible), before re-installing parts.....
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)

Last edited by Oversize; 20th November 2010 at 09:48 AM.
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  #30  
Old 20th November 2010, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Sphere longevity

I just got onto the PO who tells me he no longer has the equipment to do the conversion, but most machine shops should be able to do it. The sphere must be upside down & heavy grease used on the drill bit to prevent contaminents entering the cell & damaging the diapham. Care must be taken not to push the bit too far into the cell so the diaphram is protected. I guess some type of upside-down drill press would be needed?? Might I add that EXTREME CARE must be taken due to the fact that there may be residual pressure still in the cell!! In fact if anyone converts a new cell, it'll be fully charged & therefore mighty dangerous to start drilling into.... not for the faint hearted! Oil leaking from the new hole means the cell is stuffed.

Apparently many heavy industry accumulators use this type of schrader valve, so they shouldn't be too hard to find. They're either 1/8", or 1/4" BSP parallel thread. Maybe a tapered thread might seal better??

Once the hole is the correct size, it is tapped to the appropriate thread. Apparently there's something called a 'Dowdy' washer that has an O ring underneath. This was used between the threaded end of the fitting & the cell to ensure a gas tight seal. Lock-tight, or thread sealer could also be used as insurance againt leaks. Then a nitrogen charging kit can be used to charge them up...

Interestingly I've seen pictures of Citroen cells converted & the fittings were welded into place. I have no doubt this would damage the diaphrams.

More info to follow mid week regarding pressures & size of fittings etc.
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
89 560L#322020
88 500L#451660-P
88 420L#422477-P
87 420L#324309-P
87 420L#-P
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
86 560L#235896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora)
77 450L#067010-P
75 450L#028414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)

Last edited by Oversize; 20th November 2010 at 02:17 PM.
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