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Dipping Tailgate

Tee

New Member
Hi all

The tailgate on our MP opens OK, but sometimes dips down by about 15 degrees. Was wondering if anyone experienced similar and had fixed?

We have the MB Tailgate bike rack but have never opened it with bikes on, obvs.

MB replaced struts a year or so ago but it still happens. At the time they queried next step may be to replace the lift motor.

Any help appreciated

T.
 

Steve B

Active Member
Not had that yet, there is a thread or comment on here I think on the tailgate not closing fully, but not dipping after opening.
 

Carol

Active Member
When l have had bikes on tow bar fitted rack , l notice my tailgate seems to get stuck and doesn’t want to open on first attempt , but usually ok on 2nd or 3 rd attempt
 

Zarbie

New Member
We have exact same problem. Ours is with dartford mercedes and they have been shocking. Been going on for almost 4 + months and still not addressed. We have a bike rack from mercedes and this only started to become a problem after they replaced our original struts.... But loads of issues with it and no one at mercedes knows what's going on. Pretty dire at the moment

This is the video of our tailgate

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ULpkXvE7LNTNDiio7

As I said it originally went in to replace strutts that where not opening the boot.... I think I would have rather had that then this

They have replaced our lift motor also.... Still not fixed
 
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Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
We have exact same problem. Ours is with dartford mercedes and they have been shocking. Been going on for almost 4 + months and still not addressed. We have a bike rack from mercedes and this only started to become a problem after they replaced our original struts.... But loads of issues with it and no one at mercedes knows what's going on. Pretty dire at the moment

This is the video of our tailgate

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ULpkXvE7LNTNDiio7

As I said it originally went in to replace strutts that where not opening the boot.... I think I would have rather had that then this

They have replaced our lift motor also.... Still not fixed
Hi Zarbie, Sorry to hear of your tailgate trouble.
Firstly I must confess that I know nothing about the tailgate issue or how to fix it but it does "look" like it needs somehow resetting.
I have just had a quick surf and I see that on std V class with "easy pack" there are button setting options regarding the rear window etc...this indicates to me that the tailgate opening is definitely controlled by the on board computer...so I am thinking maybe a system reset of the computer might help.
You could try the "return to factory settings" option BUT *warning* you will loose all pre-set settings you have in the system and I could be wrong...maybe the two button hold 5 seconds would work? - I assume the issue still occurs when you remove the bike rack?

Good luck
 

Zarbie

New Member
Thanks for the info @Grand Tourismo .

Its been with Mercedes now for months, so in theory I would like to think that they have tried the reset and also programming the rear tailgate.

The bigger issue we have is that at points the tailgate opens completely but then drops and goes to close. And we have had an incident where the kids where under the tailgate and it didn't stop. So wife and i are a bit nervous on the safety side

https://photos.app.goo.gl/W2zbzqreWFrk63BN8

So sadly still with Mercedes

They have said it doesn't happen with the bike rack off . And they say its down to the bike rack which I disagree with as its a factory fitted bike rack and was working perfectly fine up until they replaced the struts. Plus the instructions to the bike rack are very clear with regards to it working on the rear tailgate. So we are going back and forth.

They keep going back and forth to Mercedes HQ for advice but does not feel like its moving fast at all

If you have any other tips we are all ears!

@Tee , if your car is in with Mercedes can i ask which one? as i would like to also let our Mercedes in Dartford know that there is a second car with the same issue and refer them to your dealership also.
 
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Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
Thanks for the info @Grand Tourismo .

Its been with Mercedes now for months, so in theory I would like to think that they have tried the reset and also programming the rear tailgate.

The bigger issue we have is that at points the tailgate opens completely but then drops and goes to close. And we have had an incident where the kids where under the tailgate and it didn't stop. So wife and i are a bit nervous on the safety side

https://photos.app.goo.gl/W2zbzqreWFrk63BN8

So sadly still with Mercedes

They have said it doesn't happen with the bike rack off . And they say its down to the bike rack which I disagree with as its a factory fitted bike rack and was working perfectly fine up until they replaced the struts. Plus the instructions to the bike rack are very clear with regards to it working on the rear tailgate. So we are going back and forth.

They keep going back and forth to Mercedes HQ for advice but does not feel like its moving fast at all

If you have any other tips we are all ears!

@Tee , if your car is in with Mercedes can i ask which one? as i would like to also let our Mercedes in Dartford know that there is a second car with the same issue and refer them to your dealership also.
I understand your predicament completely and the fear of the children been caught by the door must be scary.

My advice is to make no assumptions, ask them if they have tried a reset (is such a thing exists) after the strut fitting, if they say yes, ask them to try a reset again (with the bike rack on).
If they say it works with the bike rack off, ask them to demonstrate either physically or in video format, multiple times. All they are doing is reinforcing your position that the repair has not worked because it clearly doesn't work with the factory fitted rack on.

BUT

Devil's avocate here :rolleyes:...do you have a tow bar fitted? If so would you consider moving on to a tow bar mounted cycle rack? If not would your dealer fitting the tow bar gratis help you to move forward?
The reason I say this is to try to help you resolve this and get back to enjoying your MP and getting out in this glorious (but freezing!) sunshine.
When dealers are stumped they are very open to looking for any solution which would satisfy you and clear the issue for you both. Have you got a desired outcome? Other than 100% success of the tailgate with the rack on of course.

In the end if it is your goal to get it back working how it used to then you probably need to having a sit-down with your service centre and MBUK to thrash out a solution, it sounds like they have had enough time to get it fixed by now....it used to work fine until it didn't anymore and that is an issue MB need to overcome.
 

Zarbie

New Member
I hear you @Grand Tourismo !

Yes, we have a tow bar package on the vehicle and yes, we are considering one of the tow bar mounted bike racks as this is being a total whacky situation we never expected to be in, but we also don't want MB to just sweep this under the carpet also, as the bike rack was expensive and it should work, and if MB are willing to refund the bike rack we will go and get a tow bar one (that's a bit of tongue and cheek but don't want to just throw the money away)

I will ask on the reset function of the tailgate, thanks for the tip here and the video option and the sit down with the dealer option! my fingers are crossed!
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
I hear you @Grand Tourismo !

Yes, we have a tow bar package on the vehicle and yes, we are considering one of the tow bar mounted bike racks as this is being a total whacky situation we never expected to be in, but we also don't want MB to just sweep this under the carpet also, as the bike rack was expensive and it should work, and if MB are willing to refund the bike rack we will go and get a tow bar one (that's a bit of tongue and cheek but don't want to just throw the money away)

I will ask on the reset function of the tailgate, thanks for the tip here and the video option and the sit down with the dealer option! my fingers are crossed!
Maybe ask the dealer to provide a new tow bar mounted bike rack (to your specification) at 100% their cost and explain that this would be an acceptable compromise. (then you can sell your factory MB bike rack privately and take the family out for a slap up dinner!...or at least fish'n'chips in the van!!)

But be sure the tailgate works 100% of the time without the rack on and you are fully confident in it first though, but that might get you back on track...good luck with it all
 

Tee

New Member
Hi there Zarbie

Seems to be the same as me

Firstly MB changed the struts to look like the ones you have. These dipped immediately at the dealer (worse) when I picked it up. They were going to replace again and maybe do motor but I took away to do some research and calls.

These skinny struts are wrong. They were also put on upside down (The MP geometry on closing is opposite to most tailgates in that the struts don’t invert on closing IMO). The original struts are fatter in a plastic sleeve so you can’t see the shiny rod which I think I can see on your video.

I did a lot of digging, checked other MPs, took photos. I did rough calcs on how strong but not too strong the assistance by the struts needs. to be. I also found the manufacturer (Stabilus) and talked with their technical dept. They said the replacements were wrong given the way the original ones are intended to work).

The original struts are lower rated but have a combination of hydraulic, spring and a special hold function when open I’ll send photos and details when I dig it out. So I told the garage and they replaced With the factory OEM part number struts on This was a whole lot better

However it still dips at times. Especially if parked a tiny bit uphill, but also if cold. Temperature is very important factor as the oil is less supportive when cold but more resistive when hot. This is why getting the right NM spec is important if going to Europe summer heat. I didn’t want to overload the motor on closing. This is part of the reason for the hybrid strut construction.

i just had the van to MB and they logged my concern and did a tailgate reset which was ok inside the workshop. It’s dipped at times since. I’ll pursue MB UK and Germany now with you to find a proper fix.

yes the rack is the MB AMG one bough5 with the van and fitted by the dealer. It’s fantastic bu5 the tailgate thin* needs sorting. The tailgate and rack worked to start with so something changed.

I will stop now and do another post later, but replacing these with the correct part will stop the tailgate dipping a lot and maybe just a few inches, or not at all at times.

T.
 

Tee

New Member
Pic 1 and 2 are originals on another MP. Pic 3 are the skinny ones fitted as first replacements. I’m now back on the original part number fatter ones.
 

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Zarbie

New Member
Thanks @Tee that's super helpful. I have gone back to Mercedes in Dartford with the information as we had the original struts that where bigger and they said the thinner ones were the uprated ones.

It went in originally as the original tailgate struts where not opening the tailgate BUT was holding it up.
1617800396591.png
The new thinner struts open the tailgate on the first attempt BUT now has the dip that takes place and often causes the tailgate to close trapping children and wives (much to their disgust!) ..... Not sure if the struts are installed in the right way
1617800449730.png
They have apparently ordered another set of struts but have questioned which ones they have ordered as really want to get this back and working.

Thanks for all the feedback, lovely to know I am not the only dipping tailgate person in the world!
 

Tee

New Member
Please get them to look into it fully as I want to know the answer fully. my understanding is that the original ones combine gas, a mechanical spring and a lock function (possibly an oil piston).

they are about £100 each vs £30 each and are nominally rated about 540nm. the updated ones are just gas and rated at either 700 or 900nm From memory.

but the things need to be able to push open and hold as well as pull shut in a wide range of temperatures. The gas is affected by temperature but the external mechanical spring is not. As such the help/resistance is more consistent across the temp range in gas+spring but it needs that extra lock out to hold open given the 540nm setting. It’s no use just whacking the a Force (nm equivalent) up As it can’t operate at differing temps and does not have the hold

the strut anchor is so close to the hinge on the tailgate side, and the boot lid so heavy and long that it’s a fine margin to be able to open and close (a bit like opening a heavy loft hatch with a hand near the hinge)

vw manual struts are c.1000 nm but you can close the lid by pulling it down from the far away edge.

I’ll stop again as this may not be making sense

T
 

Tee

New Member
Original part number is on the photos of the fat struts. Not sure if that’s changed but it was A447 980 0064
 

Tee

New Member
Be careful as the numbers are extremely similar like swapping a zero for a two in the middle of the code.
 
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