Just got my "new" 1988 300E a roadworthy certificate yesterday - after four weekends of solid work.
See episode 1 here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22972
Collected the car as a birthday present to myself last December. According to markb it initially wasn't starting/running - the car had been sitting for over 2 years.
I quickly found the issue to be that the A/C relay and Fuel Pump Relay were swapped around the wrong way! by coincidence they appear to have the same form factor and can plug into each other's sockets interchangeably.
After swapping the relays back the car started but was blowing copious amounts of blue smoke. I was suspecting valve stem seals but an oil change rectified the blue smoke problem. Another thing worth mentioned was the cracked exhaust - there was a giant 50 cent-piece sized hole in the resonator. Luckily I could pilfer any part off markb's spare-parts car so an MB OEM exhaust was sourced and fitted (with great difficulty).
Next order of business was a coolant flush - out with the old green stuff and in with the blue stuff along with a new thermostat. I messed this job up by installing the thermostat the wrong way round and overtightening the thermostat housing, causing it to crack
sorry - m103 noob here. Luckily markb had also provided me with a spare m103 engine so I stole a good thermostat housing off that engine. A transmission service was also performed.
The original bonnet was pretty banged up and unrepairable so I went off to the wreckers to find a good set. I ended up replacing the right fender and bonnet and now the car is in a marvellous bogan-spec two-tone ;) If anyone has got a diamond blue bonnet and fender let me know!
The car went off to the mechanic for a RWC and he found the following things wrong:
Diff mount bushings cracked - see below
Rear subframe mount bushings cracked
Front tyres - thought I'd get away with the current tread
Front sway bar mounts
Front shock absorber dust boots
"Leak" from transmission - this was simply corrected by degreasing the pan which I should have done after the service
The mechanic gave me a healthy quote of $2000 to fix it all - enough to write it off! Unfortunately, the mechanic wasn't going to get any more than the cost of the RWC inspection from me.
Very surprisingly I was able to source all required parts locally and within the country and for a very good price. I love debunking the myth that euro cars have expensive and hard to find parts. By contrast I always buy my Toyota MR2's parts from Japan and USA to save on the exorbitant dealer pricing.
Advised by the mechanic that it would be a 'difficult' job to do the bushes, I set out to prove otherwise. With the required puller tools, the job could not have went more smoothly. In went the new subframe bushings:
The diff bushing job was similarly straightforward but a mishap occurred where the diff swung forward off my floor jack and nearly crushed my middle finger. My take-home for next time is to support the diff using two jacks from both the back and the front.
$400 in parts and tool fees afterwards I saved a good $1600 and learned a bit more about W124s.
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