Date registered: Jul 2004
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Well, the bigger problem shown here is what will happen with all of the electronic modules in the future. The electronics in my '85 and 86 SL's are marginally repairable, made with discrete through-hole components and generally off-the-shelf semiconductors. The only exceptions to this would be the '86's idle control module (surface mounted with a very unusual and unknown microprocessor mounted to the board) and also the EZL, which is sealed,but is basically a microprocessor with vacuum sensor input and the usual big transistor for the coil. Both of these might be difficult to reverse engineer down to the component, but could be functionally replaced with new electronics inside the same or similar packaging.
But what about newer cars? I read that some BMW model has 51 microprocessors in it!
Electronic components have finite lifetimes, particularly in the environmental hell of a car. Capacitors dry out; semiconductors undergo thermal stress and failure; in any event, moisture migration will eventually kill many plastic packaged semiconductors (these days, virtually all semi's are plastic packaged) over several decades.
I work with a guy who has a 2004 SL500. He will not take a bet with me on whether his car or mine will be on the road in 2024.
LCD displays are another matter altogether. These definitely DO have finite lifetimes, and their lifetimes are shortened by thermal change, particularly heat. Every manufacturer has different electronic and mechanical interfaces for them, it's not done by "size". if the manufacturer of the LCD display stops manufacturing them, well, that's it. Squirreling away spares won't necessarily help, because age hits them also.
So, in 2050, it might be easier to find a drivable car from the 1950's then a car from the 2000's!
Homebrew MB First Gear Start!