First, Thanks to everyone who posts repair details on here!
1. So I bought a CLK 430 cab (2000 w/50k mi, one owner) and it had loss of power / bad performance issues - Typical of the MAF failure.
2. I took it to a trusted friend at his indy shop (Handles mostly Italians and Germans: classics, racers, and daily drivers) and he agreed with the MAF issue.
3. He installed a new one (Bosch) and problems remained. So he went and pulled codes from a pal's MBZ reader and it was 4 pages of FAILS! There was work done on the car by last owner and they never cleared the codes. ***See end note***
4. So we got all clear, but CEL started coming on and he had a rough start from cold each morning. Then similar performance issues.
5. Tried a new fuel filter as well, but kept getting codes typical of MAF...
6. Finally went with the "bad new part" theory that many here have encountered, and SUCCESS! New MAF from different supplier solves all.
7. Click is now running like a bull. I may get in trouble...will be putting the integrated radar detector to the test.
8. Installing new (used) set of rims as I type, courtesy of another forum member (props to BBearden), alignment and done! Trip to northern CA tomorrow morning...
End Note: I bought this car sight unseen from a used car stealer and did not inspect it - OK, yes, I am an idiot, but I had good photos and data on the car (I thought). Point is, AUTOCHECK and CARFAX are 100%, yes 100% WORTHLESS for finding accident and repair damage. Their marketing is hugely deceptive, and they should only be used as additional information to supplement your INSPECTION.
End of the tale is that I got lucky, now have a great car at low mileage and a bargain price that I am learning a ton about from the forums. I'll be reporting back with any issues. -Peace
PS - Let me know if anyone has a good source for the Tow Cover strip, AKA Separator, for the AMG front Bumper. Looks like many people need this.