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How to fix your Mercedes-Benz SL 500 suspension issues once and for all

Are you one of the many people experiencing suspension issues with your Mercedes-Benz SL 500? If you’re reading this article, you probably are.

First of all, know that you are not alone. Suspension problems with the Mercedes-Benz SL 500 are quite common and well-documented.

Second, you may have heard from your dealership or mechanic that repairing or replacing the hydraulic suspension on your SL 500 is a difficult and expensive fix.

While that is certainly true, it’s not the entire story. There is another, better solution for your Mercedes-Benz SL 500.

Before that, however, it’s important to understand where the SL 500 hydraulic suspension problems come from.

 

Why your Mercedes-Benz SL 500 hydraulic suspension fails

 

Mercedes-Benz’s brand name for the hydraulic suspension system in your SL 500 is the Active Body Control. As the name suggests, it is an active suspension.

As opposed to traditional coilover suspensions which use mechanical resistance to dampen the vehicle, active suspensions use computers to “read” the road and actively dampen the ride. This results in a smooth, steady ride.

In order to work properly, active suspensions feature a number of components that must function in unison. This complex web of moving parts, computer-controlled components, and flexible pieces is highly sensitive.

Compared to a passive suspension like a coilover suspension, they are also quite fragile. In fact, your SL 500 hydraulic suspension wearing out is pretty much a matter of when, rather than if.

So, it should come as no surprise to you that these suspensions giving out is a very common problem.

 

Why fixing your SL 500 hydraulic suspension problems is so expensive

 

Here’s the good news; your mechanic isn’t lying.

Fixing the suspension issues on your Mercedes-Benz SL 500 is expensive. That quote your mechanic handed you might seem extreme, but that’s what fixing an active suspension costs.

The reason they are so expensive to fix or replace is the same reason they break: they are made up of highly-specialized components which must be delicate and/or sensitive to work properly.

The complexity of the system also means it’s more difficult to service. As a result, you’re going to have to spend a lot on labor fees in addition to the already expensive components.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you want to keep your SL 500 hydraulic suspension running properly, you’re going to have to part with some serious cash.

However, there is relief for SL 500 owners like you.

 

An alternative for your Mercedes

 

Here’s something they probably won’t tell you: you don’t need an active suspension for your Mercedes-Benz SL 500.

Sure, it was lovely when it was new. It’s hard to argue with the smooth ride and handling offered up by active suspensions. However, once that dies out, no matter how much you spend it will never be the same.

Thankfully, you do have a choice.

Strutmasters now carries a full conversion kit that allows you to ditch that troubled hydraulic suspension. Instead, you can install a brand-new coilover suspension.

As we mentioned earlier, the classic coilover suspension uses mechanical resistance to dampen the ride. Simple physics, rather than a complicated web of computers, pumps and sensors, do the important job of keeping your car at the proper ride height.

 

Advantages of converting to coils

 

Right away the biggest difference you’ll notice is the price. If you’ve already gotten a quote back from your mechanic, you know how expensive replacement hydraulic struts are.

So you may be surprised to learn that this entire conversion kit for all four wheels, including a module to fix your suspension warning light, costs less than just one hydraulic strut. If you replaced the entire suspension, this kit saves you over $7,000 just on the pump and struts alone!

Even better, these kits are simple enough that most people choose to do the installation at home. If you have a sturdy jack and basic hand tools, it should take you less than one hour per wheel to do the installation. Each package comes with detailed instructions and there are corresponding videos available for free online to help guide you.

If that wasn’t enough, these kits are backed with a Lifetime Limited Warranty. Strutmasters guarantees the build quality of each kit for as long as your Mercedes-Benz SL 500 is on the road.

If nothing else, this should seem like sweet relief compared to the constant worry and headache of your active suspension.

 

Ready to convert? Click or call

 

If you’re tired of the hydraulic suspension problems with your Mercedes-Benz SL 500, it’s time to make the switch.

Order your kit online or call our Suspension Experts at (866) 317-1579. They’ll be happy to walk you through your order and make sure you get exactly what you need.

Look: Strutmasters’ big weekend in Pomona

The scintillating 2019 NHRA racing season came to a close in Pomona last weekend. With several drivers competing in the final race of the season, founder and owner Chip Lofton was in California with other Strutmasters representatives.

Strutmasters’ sponsored drivers Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Scotty Pollacheck (Pro Motorcycle), Terry Haddock (Funny Car), Steve Graham (Pro Stock) were all part of the field in Pomona.

Here’s to the conclusion of a huge 2019 for Strutmasters racing and the NHRA overall, and an even bigger, more exciting 2020.

Thankfully, expert racing photographer Ron Lewis was on hand to capture the team in action. See his photos here:

NHRA Auto Club Finals TV Schedule | When & Where to Watch

The NHRA Auto Club Finals are this weekend in Pomona!

It’s finally here! The final race of the 2019 NHRA season, the NHRA Auto Club Finals, is coming to Pomona, California this weekend. Fortunately for those of you who can’t make it to the west coast, it’s also coming live into your living room.

The races and the promotional lead-ins will all be broadcast live on FS1. The re-airings will be broadcast between FS1 and FS2.

There is drama in the air this year as the number one overall spot in the Top Fuel division is still up for grabs.

Last year’s Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence has a respectable lead. However, Brittany Force is right at his heels in the overall points standings after her victory in Las Vegas. Billy Torrence and Doug Kalitta are also within striking distance in theory.

The Funny Car division will also feature some real drama as Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan and John Force try to topple points leader Robert Hight. Sunday is sure to be filled with non-stop tension.

Be sure to tune in to the NHRA Auto Club Finals this weekend for all the action!

 

NHRA Auto Club Finals

Pomona, CA

TV SCHEDULE

ROUND DATE TIME CHANNEL
FRIDAY NIGHT NITRO LIVE Friday, November 15 5:30pm – 7:30pm ET FS1
NHRA SUNDAY LIVE Sunday, November 17 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET FS1
FINALS Sunday, November 17 4:00pm – 7:00pm ET FS1
RE-AIRS
FRIDAY NITRO LIVE Friday, November 15 10pm – Midnight ET FS2
FRIDAY NITRO LIVE Saturday, November 16 5am – 7am ET FS1
SUNDAY LIVE Sunday, November 17 9pm – 10pm ET FS1
FINALS Sunday, November 17 10pm – 1am ET FS2
FINALS Monday, November 18 3:30am – 6:30am ET FS1
FINALS Thursday, November 21 10pm – 1am ET FS2

More than a lowering kit | Why an air suspension is right for your Harley

Motorcycle lowering kits have become a hot-ticket item over the past few years. And it’s no surprise. Everyone loves a dropped-down motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson motorcycles especially can’t be beat when it comes to that awesome lowrider look.

However, lowering your Harley usually means some painful and permanent modifications to the bike. But there is an alternative.

Motorcycle air suspensions allow you a greater deal of control when it comes to the ride height of your Harley. They also do so much more than that.

 

Lowering your bike is definitely part of the appeal

 

Before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way: a good motorcycle air suspension does a fantastic job of lowering your bike. If that’s the only reason you’re considering installing one, that’s a good enough reason as any.

A well-built motorcycle air suspension like the EZ Rider system will allow you to drop your bike down on command. They also allow you to control how much you want to lower your motorcycle.

For anyone that’s ever driven a lowrider bike, you can probably imagine some situations where that would come in handy.

If you haven’t, understand that a lowrider bike is going to scrape. As fun as it can be to cruise around dropped down, you put some of your components at risk doing so.

Other lowering solutions, like removing a seat linkage, permanently alter your bike. An air suspension gives you the flexibility to decide when and where to lower your bike.

 

Increased comfort

 

Many of you have experience with an air suspension in a car. These active suspensions do an excellent job of dampening dips and bumps in the road.

The result is a smooth, easy ride that doesn’t wear you out over long distances.

Motorcycle air suspensions are the same. Compressed air allows for greater dampening control versus metal springs.

EZ Rider motorcycle air suspensions also allow you to adjust the firmness of your ride. Different riders have different preferences. This adjustable air suspension allows you to adjust the ride to your own personal comfort preferences.

 

Better performance

 

If you’re the type to put a lot of miles on your Harley-Davidson, you know that road conditions are forever changing. Wouldn’t it be useful to be able to adapt to those changes?

The EZ Rider motorcycle air suspension allows you to do just that. As mentioned earlier, you can adjust both the ride height and the stiffness of the suspension.

Whereas a lowering kit leaves you unprepared for some kinds of riding, this kit allows you to prepare your bike for changes in the road.

Hitting a long straightaway? Soften that suspension up and enjoy a smooth cruise. Approaching some hairpins on a mountain road? Tighten up for more responsive handling and braking.

The ability to adjust your Harley’s relationship to the road means you get to focus more on driving and taking in the scenery. It will also save some of your other components some wear and tear as it lightens the load.

 

So many benefits

 

If you want to lower your Harley-Davidson, you do have options. But as you can clearly see, some of those options are better than others.

An EZ Rider motorcycle air suspension gives you the ability to adjust both the ride height and the stiffness of your suspension.

With that ability comes the ability to greatly improve the style, performance and comfort of your Harley-Davidson. Compare that to other lowering solutions that leave your bike poorly suited for many riding situations.

The best part is that an air suspension doesn’t cost that much more than other lowering options.

For as little as $199 you can purchase this reliable, robust basic air ride kit from Strutmasters. The fully adjustable Ultimate kit, which allows you to adjust everything with the flip of a switch, is available for as little as $599.

Whether you’re looking to add style, performance, or comfort to your Harley, Strutmasters has what you need.

Order online now or call one of our Suspension Experts at (866) 664-0252 to make sure you get the best possible solution for your Harley-Davidson.

Strutmasters offers air ride solutions for the Dyna Glide, Softail, V-Rod, Sportster and many other Harley-Davidson models. To learn about even more benefits of EZ Rider Motorcycle Air Suspension, click here.

Audrey Worm makes history, announces mostly female Top Fuel team

Audrey Worm made it official last Thursday at SEMA: she is now just the second-ever female owner/driver of an NHRA Top Fuel team. The Grantville, Pennsylvania racer made history with her announcement at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

History in the making

 

Worm’s bootstraps story has been a fascinating one throughout this NHRA racing season. After she picked up sponsorship from Strutmasters.com, Worm was able to participate in several Top Fuel races.

Right from the start, she made her goal of wanting to own her own racing team very clear. This past Thursday, she was able to formally reach that goal with her announcement.

This announcement would be historic enough on its own merit. Worm is just the second female owner/driver of a Top Fuel team in NHRA history. She is the first since Shirley Muldowney in the 1970s.

“As some people may or may not know, I am the second female owner/driver of a Top Fuel team in NHRA history,” Worm said at SEMA. “The first was the legend Shirley Muldowney. I just purchased and brought home my first Top Fuel car.”

 

Even more history made

However, Worm wasn’t finished making history on Thursday. She followed her announcement with another monumental announcement.

“I’m also the first to do something else,” Worm told reporters. “The really, really, really big news that we wanted to announce this [week] at SEMA that I’ll be the first Top Fuel team as the owner/driver and three women – women of power and really strong women – Ashley Fye will be my crew chief and Jenna Drake, formerly Jenna Haddock, will be my car chief.”

Both Fye and Drake have quality NHRA Top Fuel resumes.

Fye served as crew chief to Scott Palmer in the early stages of his Top Fuel racing career. Drake is a former Top Fuel dragster racer and has competed in 15 national-level events. She notably upset Tony Schumacher in 2014 for a round win.

 

How it came together

 

Drake will be quite familiar with Worm’s dragster. It is the dragster she drove during her racing tenure, an ex-Anton Brown/Don Schumacher Racing chassis.
Worm credits the help of friends, family and supporters with helping her realize her ownership dream.

“I am so blessed to have the support not only friends and family, and my amazing husband Aaron Grant but also from great sponsors,” said Worm. “I would like to thank Chip Lofton at Strutmasters.com, William Francis and Kenny from Burromax, Cody from Sisson Engineering, Hap Whitlock from Hi-tech cam, Howie O’Neil, Leonard Long from G-Force Shifters, PennGrade, Duane A. Junker from Gates, Millerweld, Jim Novinger, Carrie Willhoff at Racechick, Jim Michaud, Heidi Jordan and Robert Jordan, all my RACEFAN members, and all the individuals who contributed money for making my dream come true!”

 

Looking ahead to 2020

 

With the excitement of Worm’s history-making announcement behind her, the Top Fuel owner and racer already has her sights set on making waves next season.

The team has penciled in a nine race schedule for the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. They are also looking into adding even more dates to their calendar.

“We plan to run mostly on the East Coast, and have a commitment from our anchor sponsor Strutmasters.com,” said Worm. “I am so excited to own my own team, and can’t wait for the 2020 season, where we hope to show the boys what girl power looks like.”

Judging from the buzz that has surrounded her announcement, the racing world can’t wait either.

Acura MDX suspension problems? The complete fix you need for even less

The complete fix for your Acura MDX is cheaper than you might think!

Has your Acura MDX you gotten the dreaded suspension warning light? If not, are you seeing warning signs of a busted suspension?

Suspension problems are one of the most common complaints with Acura MDX owners. The active suspension on your Acura MDX is especially susceptible to wearing out and having all sorts of suspension issues.

Even worse, fixing them can be a total nightmare. The parts are expensive and the repairs can seem endless once they begin.

 

Acura MDX Electronic suspension woes

 

Your Acura MDX features an electronic suspension that was very innovative for its time. This active suspension uses magnetically-controlled ferrofluids to create responsive resistance.

These non-Newtonian fluids respond to electronic signals to dampen the ride of your MDX. While this is certainly innovative and effective for some time, it comes with a whole host of problems.

The main issue is not with the effectiveness of this electronic suspension, but with its long-term durability.

All active suspensions are complex, requiring a control module to process and send signals to different components. These components form a complicated chain of interconnected parts that rely on each other to function properly.

Therefore, when there is an issue with one component, the entire system suffers.

What that means is that often replacing just one component isn’t enough to solve your Acura MDX suspension issues. Given the number of moving parts and electronics in the system, one part needing to be repaired or replaced means you’ve got many more on the way.

 

An expensive fix

 

The complex nature of your MDX electronic suspension means that the individual components can often be very expensive.

Just your front struts can set you back around $900 per strut! Your rear shocks run around $500 per OEM strut. That means you’re looking at around $2,800 just to replace the struts.

That says nothing of a busted compressor, control module or any of the other components in the system.

In addition, the complexity and sensitivity of these parts means a lot of time under the hood to install them. Those expensive labor fees will start to stack up very quickly.

All in all, you’re looking at a mighty repair bill just to get your Acura MDX suspension back in working order. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

 

A better solution for your Acura MDX

 

There is another option for repairing your broken Acura MDX suspension. Rather than continuing to invest thousands into your aging vehicle with no guarantee that the repairs will end, consider just ditching that electronic suspension altogether.

That’s right, you don’t have to put up with the endless repairs any longer. Ever since Strutmasters released its Acura MDX 4 Wheel Active Electronic Suspension Conversion Kit, it has been one of our most popular items.

A big reason for that is price. Simply put, you’ll save thousands of dollars by converting to this reliable coilover suspension kit.

For starters, the entire kit has been reduced by nearly 20%. In response to the massive popularity of this conversion kit, we’ve decided to make it even more affordable.

Now Acura MDX owners can replace all four wheels of their vehicle and eliminate the suspension warning light for less than $1,000. That’s just a little more than what it would cost to replace just one front electronic strut.

Replace all four wheels of your Acura MDX suspension and fix the suspension warning light for just $949. Click here!

 

Best of all, these kits are designed to be incredibly easy to install. Most DIYers find they can replace their Acura MDX suspension with a sturdy jack and tools they already have at home. Estimated time to replace is just one hour per wheel.

Even if you don’t want to do the installation yourself, the simplicity of these kits means your mechanic can install it quickly and easily at their shop. That means less money spent on labor, too.

 

Ready to convert?

 

Unless you want to spend thousands and keep going back to the dealer or mechanic, the Strutmasters Acura MDX 4 Wheel Active Electronic Suspension Conversion Kit is the perfect solution.

Buy your kit online or give us a call at (866) 669-9456. One of our Suspension Experts will be more than happy to make sure you get just what you need for your Acura MDX.

Look: Ron Lewis’ Photos from NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas

What a weekend it was in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Dodge NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil.

The penultimate race of the season was an exciting one for fans of NHRA drag racing. Brittany Force pulled out a win, putting herself in a position to finish first overall on the season. The results set up what is sure to be an intense showdown in Pomona at the Auto Club NHRA Finals.

The Suspension Experts were in Sin City cheering on Strutmasters Racing-sponsored drivers Scotty Pollacheck and Justin Ashley.

Thankfully, racing photographer Ron Lewis was also in Las Vegas to capture the moments. Have a look at some of his breathtaking photos of a memorable weekend in Las Vegas below:


View more of Ron Lewis’ racing photography at ronlewisracingphotos.com.

Range Rover owners: This is the best solution to your suspension issues

While there are many competent luxury SUVs on the market, only a Range Rover is fit for an actual queen.

The legendary vehicle has been a symbol of class and luxury for four decades. The English vehicle is known for its unique combination of off-road capability and executive level trim. Therefore, performance and comfort are two of the main reasons behind any Range Rover purchase.

Part of that luxury appeal is due to Range Rover’s use of an active air suspension. This suspension employees a host of moving parts, electronics and an on-board computer to adapt to changes in the road. The result is a smooth, comfortable ride.

However, not all is roses with the Range Rover air suspension. Like all air suspensions, the one used in your Range Rover is very susceptible to breaking down or even failing completely.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might be having Range Rover suspension issues, and how you can fix them without breaking the bank.

 

How to tell if your Range Rover has suspension problems

 

If you are experiencing Range Rover suspension issues, you are not alone. All air suspensions have a limited lifespan.

Some of the most common suspension problems that range rover owners experience can be easily identified.

Even before a suspension warning light comes on, many owners may come outside to see their vehicle sagging in the rear. others might notice that it is only one corner of their vehicle that is sagging down.

Another telltale sign of Range Rover suspension failure is a noisy compressor, or one that runs for too long.

Even if the signs aren’t readily apparent, it is a good idea to check your high mileage range rover for suspension issues occasionally. The easiest way to do this is to use the “bounce test.”

To do this, simply walk to each corner of your car and push down hard. If the car springs back up and settles immediately, that corner of the car is fine. If instead that corner of the car takes a wild to pop back up or bounces once it does, you likely have a problem at that corner.

These are just a couple ways to tell whether your Range Rover is having suspension problems. Check out our extensive guide on how to check for suspension problems here.

 

Common Range Rover suspension issues

The most common problem experienced by range rover owners is a leaky or completely busted airbag. In an air suspension system, compressed air housed in rubber airbags support the weight of the car.

This rubber needs to be soft and flexible in order to expand and contract properly. That means it is very susceptible to dry rot or punctures.

Another common suspension issue for Range Rovers is a worn out ride height sensor. These sensors are located at each wheel and are constantly moving up and down to determine how much air is needed to inflate or deflate the system. Like all moving parts these will wear out eventually.

Other common suspension problems include a worn out compressor, punctured or torn airlines, or a dysfunctional control module.

The big problem is that once one of these components wears out, the other components will overwork to compensate. This leads to an increased rate of deterioration and eventual failure of the whole system.

 

How to fix your Range Rover suspension problems

 

If you take your vehicle to the dealership, they will likely recommend that you replace the faulty components with more air suspension components. This will preserve your air ride.

However, as we pointed out earlier air suspension failure is not a matter of if but when. That means that unless you replace all of the components in your air suspension system, you will be looking at an endless stream of repairs for the rest of the vehicle’s life.

You can save a little bit of money by using third-party aftermarket components. However, you were still left with the problem of more and more air suspension failures in the future. That is unless you replace the entire system.

Unless you happen to have a few thousand dollars lying around that you don’t have another use for, this option is probably not very appealing.

But there is a better way.

 

Convert to save your Range Rover and save money

 

There is another way to fix the seemingly endless string of Range Rover suspension issues. You can get rid of that troubled air suspension for good and convert to strong, simple coilover struts.

This kit from Strutmasters will allow you to get rid of all the complex moving parts. Instead, you’ll replace it with a brand new, more reliable suspension in its place.

Rather than a long list of expensive and finicky components, your new Range Rover suspension uses mechanical resistance to get the job done. Cold-wound springs tuned perfectly for your vehicle take the place of flimsy airbags.

The right fix for your Range Rover is here! Click here to buy now!

 

With Strutmasters’ patented Glide-Ride technology, your new ride will be comparable to your old air ride before it failed.

Best of all, these kits are so simple that most people can install them at home by themselves with no problems. You’ll just need an hour per wheel, a sturdy jack and some hand tools you probably already own.

Each kit comes pre-packaged with easy-to-follow instructions. If you still find yourself stumped, you can always consult our helpful video installation guide.

 

Don’t wait any longer!

 

Driving on worn out shocks isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s dangerous. You and your Range Rover deserve better!

Get your kit from our website or call our Suspension Experts at (866) 317-1579. They’ll make sure you get exactly what you need to have your Range Rover back in tip top shape.

Johnny Pluchino wins 2nd consecutive PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 title

Johnny Pluchino wins 2nd consecutive PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 Championship

Johnny Pluchino claimed his second straight PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 series championship at the PDRA World Finals. Pluchino sealed the deal with a gripping second-place finish at the final event of the season.

Pluchino yet again dominated the field. The Strutmasters-sponsored driver finished more than 300 points in front of second-place finisher Wes Distefano.

 

Consistency a key throughout PDRA season

 

That domination was due largely to Pluchino’s consistency. The New York native expertly piloted his RC Race Cars-built 2006 Ford Escort to victory all season long. True to form, even though he placed second for the day at the World Finals, he still recorded the fastest time.

Most of the cars running in the Pro Outlaw 632 series use an engine that incorporates nitrous oxide. However, Pluchino prefers a straight-ahead all-motor vehicle. This presented a unique challenge when preparing the car for races.

“The car was built to be a Mountain Motor Pro Stock car and it actually set records and did well in that trim,” said Pluchino. We run a combination that’s very similar to a Mountain Motor Pro Stock car. It has a a five-speed transmission and clutch, so all of the adjustments are the same. It was really just a plug-and-play deal for us with a smaller engine in a well-built car.”

 

A different approach

 

However, going without nitrous allowed the team to have a chassis with a wider range of tuning options. This gave Pluchino exactly what he needed to run the tables for a second consecutive year.

“The chassis really plays a large role in getting the car down the track in a couple of different ways,” said Pluchino. “It provides a big tuning window that allows you to be more consistent and makes sure the car is working properly.”

Pluchino explained the advantages of taking this somewhat unorthodox approach.

“[The all-motor approach] leads to being able to really lean on the car, since its all-motor, to get the best 60-foot times possible,” he said. “Both of these factors helped make this car work so well and played a part in our back-to-back championships; the car just worked well and stayed consistent all season long.”