Sunday, April 23, 2017

W211: Can you hear me? Comand Swap

Plenty out on the internet on radio removal, etc so this one's short and sweet. The Audio 50 that came in the car was pretty well knackered - the screen would only work when the exterior temps were just about near freezing. I can only assume it's got a cold solder joint somewhere in it. I'll open it up and see what it'll take to get the screen working again. 

For now I just decided to throw in a $150 comand system in it. This way I can just pick up a $15 harness for aux input and play whatever I want through the cars sound system.

Definitely looks like it modernized the interior a bit. Because I have nothing better to do with my life and my phone obviously isn't outdated - I just may hook up the factory Nav system and get that feature working. We'll see if I can come across the parts cheap enough though.

Monday, April 17, 2017

W211: Time For A Cool Down, 03 E500

Maintenance Log

Mileage: 272,733
Agenda: Replace broken hoses, flush cooling system of green garbage
People will always find a way to save a buck. If it can be fixed with something laying around the house or garage over spending money out of pocket, then it'll be done.  I've always found this ends up being more expensive in the long run, often times, because the materials used end up being more expensive than the actual part. In this case, a couple hose clamps and a piece of pipe are worth more than a new hose straight from the motherland....errr, Poland.

In this case, feast your eyes on this masterpiece!

I'm not entirely sure what happened here. Hose probably got cut by something, or might've burst from being weak. The hose itself is rock solid compared to the pliable rubber of the new one. There really isn't anything to cause a cut where this break must've been.

This is the coolant I use in these newer model Mercs. I've got stockpiles of G-05 for the early cars and stockpiles of G48 for the newer stuff. Honestly, if you're replacing in intervals of 3-4 years or 50-60k miles like I do, then it doesn't matter. I prefer the blue when it comes to finding the source of leaks.

New hose with some gaudy gold paint marker showing replacement date. It'll wear off in a couple thousand miles.

This little plastic hose is the main reason I started doing this work in the first place. While I was doing the spark plug work, it broke off at the nipple end and was spraying toasty coolant all over the place. I had a few humbling moments, imagining the damage to my crotch and my future completely void of my own kids. Luckily, it wasn't bad. Not entirely sure why it broke, but they're a OEM only item and nobody has them in stock. So I ordered one up through Mercedes and it was at my door in a couple days for less than any of the aftermarket parts houses.

Had the upper core support off as well - found this radiator was replaced (or atleast built) in 2010. She's not a cheap radiator either at $315! The more I dig into this car, the more it seems like it was fairly well maintained through its life. May just be a testament to the mileage.

Everything all buttoned up, refilled, and wiped down. I'll detail this engine bay eventually. I'm not going to invest much time into this car until it'll prove itself on some road trials. Planning on taking it up north with me in a couple weeks, so we'll see how she does!

So, parts.......

Coolant Reservoir Hose $34.60
Lower Radiator Hose $23.69
2 Gallons Zerex G48 50/50 $44.08

Total: $102.37
Labor Time: 1 1/2 hour

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

W211: NEW Direction 2003 E500 Maintenance Update Log - 272,638

I normally keep fairly detailed record of any vehicle I own - by detailed, I mean every last receipt ends up in a sheet protector in a carefully selected Chinese made binder. I suppose it satisfies this perverse satisfaction I have knowing anything I say about a car is documented and should anyone question it, "Well you see, Chapter 10 Article 15 says oil was changed......". If I have previous records for the car, everything is organized by date/mileage and costs will be tallied up by year and left on a small sticky note at the beginning of the year. It's always nice when I don't get anything for records, as I only have to start from my day 1 experience. Let's my wallet hit the ground running I suppose. 

Anyway, the idea here is that in addition to my binder buddy system - I can throw everything down on the blog in hopes that maybe it will deter or encourage someone looking to buy a high mileage W211 (or any car for that matter). It'll demonstrate what it'll take to keep a car like this roadworthy and what someone could expect when blowing the doors off of the notion that "Nothing is more expensive than a cheap Mercedes." In some cases this is absolutely true - usually not. All in all, it gives me something to do and it gives someone something to read while on the throne - everyone wins. 


Mileage: 272638

Agenda: Spark Plugs, Valve Cover Gaskets, House Cleaning
So, I always start on the more difficult side first. I'd much rather hate my life starting a job, than hating it when I'm about to finish.

Here we have a pic with the engine cover, intake and associated tubes out of the way to expose our high miler M113. 

A T30 torx bit will remove the ignition coil fasteners and you need to use a 17mm open end or the appropriate plug lead remover wrench that you can find on Amazon or eBay for relatively little money. I just use a regular 17mm open and get the coils out of the way.

Here's the first plug I removed. I'm not sure what the mileage is on these plugs, but the rust on the threads and the electrode being fairly worn down is screaming "forever:. On the bright side, the burn is looking pretty decent!

The plugs that were in it were: Bosch F8DPP33 which are OEM plugs for the car.

The plugs I replaced them with are Bosch FR8DPP30X. Believe it or not, those original plugs aren't being sold by MB anymore. Huge bummer, but we'll see how long these last as the original plugs are double platinum and these are single platinum. I'm fully expecting these to only keep their optimal efficiency to about 30-50k miles, over the 100k the factory plugs are supposed to achieve. Honestly, I don't really mind, if the car makes it another 50k miles, hallelujah!

These are the 6702 plugs - the 7422 would be the direct equivalent replacement for the OEM plug.

Here's the collection of plugs removed the car -1. Burn is looking pretty decent throughout the engine, happy!

Better shot of the original plug # found in the car.

They've served their purpose and will live on for the rest of eternity as who cares they're in the garbage.

No real pictures of the valve cover stuff at this moment - oily hands and cell phone isn't a good combo.

Valve Cover Gaskets (Elring) $9.25ea x2
Spark Plugs (Bosch 6702) $3.29ea x16

Total: $71.14
Labor Time: 2 hours

W210: The AMG Diesel is up for sale! 1997 Mercedes E300

$2700 obo

I've got a bunch of posts about this car throughout my blog - a quick hit DailyDiesel Archives should lead to most of the posts. There are some to dig through, but just about everything I've done to the car or with the car, is posted up here.

Please read through the ad, I'm going to do my best to describe what this car is all about. Most ads I'm seeing are honest looking looks with a lot of hidden nonsense. This is an honest car with everything put up front.

I'll also preface this by saying this car has very typical W210 body rust problems. They do not extend to the underside of the car, surprisingly! The entire underside has been treated multiple times and show's no sign of troubles. The rockers are solid, the spring perches are perfect, and the control arms are newer. So all the major rust concerns on the car have been addressed and are kept up on. My next step with this car would be body work, but it's time to move on.

I have an autocheck printed out from a year or so ago, if I remember right I'm the 6th or 7th owner (hopefully you can verify this through eBay's autocheck) but the car had two accidents in the early 00's....BY THE SAME LADY, a month or so apart!!! I actually got a hold of her as she was local and the two or three receipts I have are from her. She nailed an oddly offset light pole at very low speed. So just behind the driver headlight you can see some wrinkles in the metal. It's all original metal, nothing was cut out/welded, etc. The hood and fender were replaced - the core support and fender supports are original and untouched

***Apparently autocheck doesn't show this event. Which is fine, but it still happened.

So if you're reading this far, here's as much as I can think to write about this car. Genuinely, the only thing this car needs is a southern parts car or something to donate it's body pieces to finish it off and make a gorgeous car. I'll have pictures of everything I can show. Total disclosure here, there's nothing to hide - the car's history is out there anyway lol

In November of 2014 I bought this car in fairly poor condition. By poor, I mean the car probably should've been written off. The owner tried doing veggie, thankfully didn't get past halfway installing the system. The driver side trunk well has a hole cut out for fuel lines to run through and the rear hat shelf has a tank gauge or something stuck into it. Car wouldn't start, all the glow plugs were dead, etc. For some odd reason I took a liking to it and started rebuilding it and using it as a daily driver/cross country cruiser for myself. I received NO prior service history for the car - however in the past 2 1/2 years of me owning it, I've put in upwards of $4500 in parts. I don't use URO or garbage aftermarket parts. Everything I buy is either from wholesale MB or the best of aftermarket parts. Every last receipt I have for the car is organized in sheet protectors and is neatly organized by date in a binder. I do it for every one of my cars. I work on MB, so my labor was free. This car's been dubbed the "AsthmaticMG" among the Chicago area MB crowd - I also have some blog posts about the car "" just search DailyDiesel. Reason for sale? I just picked up a W211 and am in the process of bringing that back from hell and doing the same thing I did with this car. I seem to have a perverse satisfaction with daily driving and rebuilding doomed cars. Gives me something better than drugs to do, I suppose.

Check out an entire album of pics here: PHOTO ALBUM

This car is nearly entirely fitted with period genuine AMG and other factory options:

- The entire interior (not the dash, still gray) has been converted to the black perforated heated, orthopedic AMG leather. the seats need the heated seat harness and the vacuum tubes put in to function. 
- AMG door panels
- black birdseye maple interior wood trim (not the shifter console, but I do have one to include, has wrong holes though)
- the correct AMG sway bars with springs
- RARE factory Hella XENON headlights
- facelift AMG taillights (trunk light plastics had to be modified to fit to prefacelift trunk)
- even the AMG floor mats are in place (slowest E55 in the world)
- front and rear prefacelift AMG bumpers
- facelift AMG sideskirts 
- two tone SPORT shift knob
- W202 SPORT "sportline" steering wheel (slightly smaller diameter than stock)
- LED lighting all throughout the car
- not really an upgrade per se, but the car has a CURT hitch installed. 

Around writing this ad, the engine will be just about ticking over 280K miles. I bought the car with 234k miles and have driven it 800 mile round trips regularly and have crossed the country a few times with it (have a picture of this car on Pikes Peak and in front of the Classic Center in Irvine, CA). 

- injectors rebuilt with monark nozzles and all balanced to 120bar
- all the fuel lines, plastic and rubber, have been replaced
- glow plugs were replaced when I bought the car at 234k miles
- fuel filters are changed every 2nd oil change (i have a bunch to include with the car, ill have new ones on for a new owner)
- oil changes are done every 3500 miles with 15W-40 Delo or Delvac and a Hengst filter, I never miss a change. the engine burns no oil and does NOT LEAK in between oil changes!! 
- i put a new conductor plate in the trans when it was bought and serviced the trans at the same time. trans was serviced again 8k miles ago. a month ago I put in a new connector plug as I noticed it was seeping. 
- Trans shifts like it should. no delays, no smelly or dirty fluid. doesn't leak a drop. 
- flex discs and center support done last year
- injection pump was just pulled out to reseal it and adjust pump timing 
- diff was drained/filled 6 months ago


Everything suspension related was done from 234k miles to now

- moog tie rods
- moog ball joints 
- moog control arms
- rear has brand new subframe bushings front and rear
- new hub carrier bushings
- new rear toe arm, new "torque" arm
- A 4 corner FULL brake job was done on the car last year. New brake hoses front and rear, all 4 calipers were rebuilt and painted gold, brake pads and rotors are made by Brembo. Total brake fluid flush done at the same time
- engine mounts done
- trans mount has been polyurethane reinforced 


- it's got rust and dents folks, what can i say
- AMG everything


A lot more was done to the car that would be too much to list. Lots of small parts were bought, etc. I bought a brand new key for it when I first started driving the car. Has a new shut off valve, new K40 relay, etc etc. List goes on, ask me whatever you want to know and I'll tell you if it's been done or not. 

- Major AC components were replaced with NEW. AC works GREAT. New compressor, drier, condenser... AC is ICE COLD. 
- because the car didn't come with a spare tire, i found a BRAND NEW one and stuck a good new tire on it. 17" 


- blower motor is off balance it seems. it works perfectly and quietly, but if it's on the 3rd speed you can hear the cage sort of tapping the housing. Functions well and strong otherwise. 
- sunroof tilts, but doesn't go back. it'll go back a little, but that's it. Definitely needs cables, haven't looked into it otherwise. 
- if it ends up in california, the exhaust does have a magnaflow diesel cat installed as the factory one was missing. I think it's too far back in the exhaust stream as the exhaust has a little bit of a rasp to it. I'm not sure if magnaflow cats are Cali compliant. EGR is "bypassed" so it doesn't soot up the intake. It's VERY easily reversible and i'll include parts to do so. 
- body work
- thrust arms for the rear suspension. the tires don't wear badly, but the car feels like it'll shimmy if a rear wheel drops onto a wet sewer cap or very crowned road. 
- passenger front wheel bearing - I WILL BE REPLACING this as soon as it comes in. Quality part with receipt will be stuck in the binder like everything else. 
- doesn't need them, but I never did the shocks so as far as i know they might have 280k miles on them. car is tight and doesn't bounce, so do with this what you will. 

This car will be ready to cross the country! 

I made an entire photo album of pics in bright sunlight to get some details - also a few important underside shots are here too. As you can see, the underside of this car is extremely clean. Click  for Photos HERE

Here's a walkaround and drive video of the car:

Make me an offer! Please be reasonable. The parts on this car alone would make it more worthwhile to just part out. I'd rather see it continue on and would love for a new owner to take her over 300k and beyond. 

***Pick up in the Chicagoland area!*** I can pick you up from any transportation hub in the area without a problem***

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

W211: What does a 273k mile M113 engine look like? E500 Project

I've always looked at cars as an investment in the motor. At the end of the day, if you're looking for a car to ferry you around everywhere, one of the first things you'd research, if you're reasonable, are any engine problems related to the car. Some motors are known to pop as soon as they're started on the dealer lot, some will make it 50-75k before they start burning through their oil supply faster than  I can slurp down an Oreo McFlurry *cough*BMW*cough*. Now in Mercedes' case, they build ridiculously robust engines. So much so that with proper maintenance and sometimes without, they'll last indefinitely. Typically, the engines that most people will recognize as half million mile motors are Mercedes diesels.

Well, you'd be surprised where a proper maintenance regime will get you.

In this case, it's a 273k mile M113.

Looks pretty GREAT! Mind you, I have absolutely no service history for the car. She's at 273k miles and I don't know anything outside of the oil change sticker on the windshield saying it went to get a Pennzoil change on October 3rd of 2016. I have no idea what oil is in it. Hell, I have no idea what's going on ANYWHERE on this car. 

I'm making my way from front to back on this thing. I was initially set on just using this car as a parts car. When I went to see it, it was in a fairly sorry state, but it showed some pretty decent potential. Honestly, I think it firing right up after sitting for 2 months. The 15lbs of bird shit from the pine tree it was under was icing on the cake, so to speak. I went for it. Almost glad I did.

I've been giving the engine quite a bit of run time to get all the cobwebs out and to get the oil nice and hot so I can see where and if the engine is leaking. To my surprise, the only leak I got was a small dribble out of the driver side valve cover that burned off on the exhaust manifold. Which is crazy, because this 273k mile motor, is just as dry as any 40k mile motor I've worked on. So, cool, went ahead and ordered up some Elring gaskets - perfect time to get an idea of how this motor was taken care of it's entire life. I was either in for a total shit show, or not. Thankfully, not.

Even the valve cover is freaking spotless! I haven't wiped anything down, this is how the cover was when pulled off the engine.

I guess I'll order an oil filter and some 0W-40 Mobil for the old pig. I'll go through the FSS and start fresh with this. Should be cool to take it to 300k!