Newbie with Lighter Wallet

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Baldrick56
B Class
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 30 Apr, 2018 1:03 pm
Model you own: w124
Region: New South Wales
Location: Katoomba

Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Baldrick56 » Mon 30 Apr, 2018 2:15 pm

<r>G'day All,<br/>
<br/>
My name's Rob & I just bought a Mercedes, never owned one before though years ago I did have a BMW for a few years. Oops, just thought you're prob'ly not allowed to say that word on this forum :-/ - ignore that last part. Anyway it's a 1988 E300 sedan Auto (I'd guess they all are?). So I've only had one journey in it so far of about 100kM to get it home and the verdict on whether I've bought a bargain or a lemon is still awaited. Perhaps some kind soul could put me right on a couple of things I've noticed?<br/>
<br/>
The good bit is it drove straight & true, engine purred with no odd noises, gearchange seemed smooth enough - perhaps a moments hesitation to engage when switching from 'N' to 'D' if you're being really picky, brakes seemed to pull it up adequately.<br/>
<br/>
When I was at the Sydney end of my voyage (lots of traffic, delays at lights etc) I noticed a slight misfire or hesitation at idle - seemed to disappear once you were rolling and after about 30kM down the M4 at 110kph the next lights I got to there was no missing. The other oddity I noticed was that after it warmed up, sitting at idle the oil pressure fluctuated rapidly from "1½" to "3" all the time - to the point where the 'chattering' of the needle was audible above the engine note (once moving the gauge was around the "3" mark all the time), anyone encountered this before?. One more thing was that the engine temperature never got anywhere near the middle of the gauge and seemed to drop noticeably when at steady speed on dual-lane or freeway, I'm guessing the thermostats on these things "fail open"? is it a big job to replace DIY-style?<br/>
<br/>
One other thing that made the journey less comfortable than it would otherwise have been is that both of the electrically adjustable front seats don't anymore and the drivers one is at maximum rearward setting. Can anyone tell me if I obtain a secondhand set of seats with 'manual' adjustment will these fit straight in? or would I need to swap the seat runners also?<br/>
<br/>
Other not so good points are that various bits of trim (bottom of doors x2, offside door mirror, offside front doorcard) are broken / missing, the front bumper is missing a couple of divots down to parking scars (no visible damage to the metalwork in engine bay), I also need a new offside front window motor & quadrant. For a 30 year old car the paintwork seems largely OK except the offside rear fender area that must have been basking in the glare of the full sun wherever it used to be parked 'cos it's crazed & faded in that area only. I've found the plate in the engine bay with the paint code but there are about eight lines of coding - some 7 or eight digits, some 3 to 4, can anyone tell me which is the magic number to look for? One other aspect leading to me 'talking myself into' this purchase was that the distance travelled was some 175,000 kM & I reasoned this isn't massive for one of these beasts - error of my ways apparent some 10 kM later when the odometer still said the same <E>:banghead:</E> (though the speedo works OK). are there any specialists out there that can repair the instrument or am I stuck with getting a secondhand unit?<br/>
<br/>
In summary I've got quite a shopping list but hopefully the bargain-basement cost plus all this will still lead to a usable & enjoyable vehicle.<br/>
<br/>
Regards,<br/>
<br/>
Rob</r>
Regards
Baldrick

Fleet:
Mercedes W124 300E 1988 ('Der Valkyrie')
MG ZR160 2005 ('Big Nellie')
Smart 452 Roadster 2003 ('Little Nellie')
Peugeot 505 Station Wagon 1989 ('Louis 505th')
Peugeot 404 Sedan 1969 ('Louis 404th')
Citroen Traction Avant 1953 ('Matilda' - under restoration)
Bristol 401 1953 (under restoration)
That's one for each day of the week - I really ought to stop :think:

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Bartman4800
300 SLR
Posts: 1985
Joined: Fri 10 Oct, 2008 12:10 am
Model you own: w111
Location: Perth WA

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Bartman4800 » Mon 30 Apr, 2018 7:20 pm

Welcome!

So you got yourself some new (older) wheels!
Congrats!
You have a W124 chassis with a 3 liter inline six (M103). Keep this in mind when talking "shop" with another Merc enthusiast.

If you give us your VIN number, we can tell you what accessories the car rolled out of the factory with.

Yes, your thermostat is cactus. A thermostat is a wear part on any car. They are cheap and they should be replaced "when in doubt".
Make sure you replace the coolant (MB approved - not kidding) as well as it will turn in an aggressive fluid over time that eats the engine from the inside.
It's not a big job, but hoses can be stuck on and in worst case you could snap some bolts on the thermo housing.

Other people here can give you advice on the oil gauge, sounds like a faulty relief valve to me but I could be wrong.

The slight misfire could be a lot of things. Make sure your spark plugs and leads are in good order, and check the dizzy cap on the front of the engine.
EZL unit could be a culprit too (ignition computer) but let's not assume that.

Good luck, you are in good company here!

Bart
1963 220 Sb Sedan "Kermit" (Australian Assembly)
1960 220 Sb Sedan "Zum Schlachten" (Early German Assembly, with a torsion bar spring for the bonnet) - Stored in Country WA
1981 Subaru Brumby 1.8 with Weber and 5-speed box "little utie" - Sold to another enthusiast!
2006 Ford Focus "daily driver"
2002 VW Passat V6 30V Station Wagon (SOLD - This car into a money pit)
2011 Kia Sportage "Missus commuter Bus"
2002 Mitsubishi Rosa Bus (converting it to a motor home)

gazman
Pagoda
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun 10 Apr, 2016 1:16 pm
Model you own: w126
Location: Nth Dandalup WA

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by gazman » Mon 30 Apr, 2018 8:48 pm

G'day Seats probably a fuse issue clean all contact points in fuse box and replace those s#itty ali fuses with copper ones. Odo probably stripped gears in inst cluster fiddely to replace but doable. This forum and youtube are your new best friends. Enjoy
1989 560 SEL King of the road

User avatar
Tony From West Oz
OZBENZ moderator
Posts: 3241
Joined: Mon 20 Jun, 2005 9:04 pm
Model you own: w202
Location: Bedfordale WA

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Tony From West Oz » Mon 30 Apr, 2018 9:32 pm

It is unlikely that you have any service history and with unknown mileage you would be well advised to have the timing chain guides replaced. If one of these fails, it will jam the chain and cause the engine to have a major issue, probably resulting in cam and/or valve damage. While there, check for timing chain wear and replace the chain if wear is excessive.
These engines are "interference" engines, meaning that the valves will hit the pistons if the camshafts do not allow the valves to come up on compression stroke. $$$ Expen$ive repairs ensue.
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (SOLD)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
'98 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car - Sold)
'06 Ssanyong Musso Crew Cab 2WD Ute (OM662 diesel and Auto Transmission)

Baldrick56
B Class
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 30 Apr, 2018 1:03 pm
Model you own: w124
Region: New South Wales
Location: Katoomba

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Baldrick56 » Tue 01 May, 2018 8:55 am

Thanks, Bart, Gazman, Tony

All useful info, my first priority is getting it 'Rego-able' (it could of course go on 'Historic' at its age but my wife's keen to have it fully useable more than 60 days p.a.). I'll certainly chase round the fuses before I condemn the leccy seats - suspect there's a few electrical gremlins as the only warning light that stays on is the 'bulb failed' one). Whilst as you surmised I got no service history remarkably I got the original owners manual (reading matter for my train journey to go and collect it), and two keys :dance:

Good point about the timing chain components, thanks. I'll be needing (yet another!) 'Haynes' manual methinks {or maybe there's something better than what on another forum we've dubbed "The Haynes Book of Lies & Omissions" HBoLO for short :pray: }.

Happy motoring,

Rob
Regards
Baldrick

Fleet:
Mercedes W124 300E 1988 ('Der Valkyrie')
MG ZR160 2005 ('Big Nellie')
Smart 452 Roadster 2003 ('Little Nellie')
Peugeot 505 Station Wagon 1989 ('Louis 505th')
Peugeot 404 Sedan 1969 ('Louis 404th')
Citroen Traction Avant 1953 ('Matilda' - under restoration)
Bristol 401 1953 (under restoration)
That's one for each day of the week - I really ought to stop :think:

User avatar
Bartman4800
300 SLR
Posts: 1985
Joined: Fri 10 Oct, 2008 12:10 am
Model you own: w111
Location: Perth WA

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Bartman4800 » Tue 01 May, 2018 12:39 pm

I forgot to say that driving around with a bad Thermostat will make your engine run rich, as well as making it wear out a lot faster.

A thermostat is not there for show!

Bart
1963 220 Sb Sedan "Kermit" (Australian Assembly)
1960 220 Sb Sedan "Zum Schlachten" (Early German Assembly, with a torsion bar spring for the bonnet) - Stored in Country WA
1981 Subaru Brumby 1.8 with Weber and 5-speed box "little utie" - Sold to another enthusiast!
2006 Ford Focus "daily driver"
2002 VW Passat V6 30V Station Wagon (SOLD - This car into a money pit)
2011 Kia Sportage "Missus commuter Bus"
2002 Mitsubishi Rosa Bus (converting it to a motor home)

User avatar
TheMadRacoon
C 111
Posts: 853
Joined: Sun 25 Nov, 2012 11:34 am
Model you own: w107
Location: Melbourne

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by TheMadRacoon » Tue 01 May, 2018 8:43 pm

Electric seats: also check / clean contacts on the seat controls which are located on the doors.
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Astral Silver (725) / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present.... a real Benz, getting better and better)
1988 190E Deep Blue (900) / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 215,000 km .... FSH and still spent big $$$)
1974 280E Reed Green (860) / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)

Baldrick56
B Class
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 30 Apr, 2018 1:03 pm
Model you own: w124
Region: New South Wales
Location: Katoomba

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Baldrick56 » Wed 02 May, 2018 2:15 pm

TheMadRacoon wrote:
Tue 01 May, 2018 8:43 pm
Electric seats: also check / clean contacts on the seat controls which are located on the doors.
Thanks MR,
the drivers side switch has partly broken / been butchered so I'll be needing a new one along with the other bits of door trim that side.
Regards
Baldrick

Fleet:
Mercedes W124 300E 1988 ('Der Valkyrie')
MG ZR160 2005 ('Big Nellie')
Smart 452 Roadster 2003 ('Little Nellie')
Peugeot 505 Station Wagon 1989 ('Louis 505th')
Peugeot 404 Sedan 1969 ('Louis 404th')
Citroen Traction Avant 1953 ('Matilda' - under restoration)
Bristol 401 1953 (under restoration)
That's one for each day of the week - I really ought to stop :think:

Baldrick56
B Class
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 30 Apr, 2018 1:03 pm
Model you own: w124
Region: New South Wales
Location: Katoomba

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Baldrick56 » Tue 08 May, 2018 8:58 pm

Ooer I’m having trouble sourcing the correct timing chain guides there seem to be unpteen nominally similar ones with different part numbers. At least one website (UK) has two engines listed for 3L 1986 - 1992, one 180hp, one 188hp anyone know which ones applicable to the Aus model?
Thanks
Rob
Regards
Baldrick

Fleet:
Mercedes W124 300E 1988 ('Der Valkyrie')
MG ZR160 2005 ('Big Nellie')
Smart 452 Roadster 2003 ('Little Nellie')
Peugeot 505 Station Wagon 1989 ('Louis 505th')
Peugeot 404 Sedan 1969 ('Louis 404th')
Citroen Traction Avant 1953 ('Matilda' - under restoration)
Bristol 401 1953 (under restoration)
That's one for each day of the week - I really ought to stop :think:

User avatar
Tony From West Oz
OZBENZ moderator
Posts: 3241
Joined: Mon 20 Jun, 2005 9:04 pm
Model you own: w202
Location: Bedfordale WA

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Tony From West Oz » Tue 08 May, 2018 9:40 pm

If you post your VIN, someone here who has the factory parts manual will oblige with the correct part number.
Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

'83 W123 300D 325000km (Wife's car Josephine - sold).
'84 W123 300D replaced good OM617 912 with OM617 952 and enjoyed having good acceleration for the first time since first driving a 300D in 2002 - became engine and trans donor for 300CD Turbodiesel conversion. Now parted out.
'86 W124 300D sold (Wife's old car - sold )
'85 W123 300CD, 275 000km (Fatmobile) rebuilt turbodiesel from previous Fatmobile transplanted into 280CE (SOLD)
'99 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car - Sold)
'98 W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car - Sold)
'06 Ssanyong Musso Crew Cab 2WD Ute (OM662 diesel and Auto Transmission)

Baldrick56
B Class
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon 30 Apr, 2018 1:03 pm
Model you own: w124
Region: New South Wales
Location: Katoomba

Re: Newbie with Lighter Wallet

Post by Baldrick56 » Wed 09 May, 2018 11:38 am

Hi all,
essential info is:-
VIN: WDB1240302A718014
& engine is: 10398322112455
Thanks
Rob
Regards
Baldrick

Fleet:
Mercedes W124 300E 1988 ('Der Valkyrie')
MG ZR160 2005 ('Big Nellie')
Smart 452 Roadster 2003 ('Little Nellie')
Peugeot 505 Station Wagon 1989 ('Louis 505th')
Peugeot 404 Sedan 1969 ('Louis 404th')
Citroen Traction Avant 1953 ('Matilda' - under restoration)
Bristol 401 1953 (under restoration)
That's one for each day of the week - I really ought to stop :think:

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