Me and my Rust Bucket - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1981 300 SD, 1991 Geo Metro 4-door Automatic
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Me and my Rust Bucket

Hello! My nom de plume (nom de clavier?) is JoeBob, and this is my story:

After many years of driving large Detroit iron, I purchased a 1991 Geo Metro. For the last 4 years, I have been very happily getting 30-45 MPH (it's an automatic, and has A/C). I have an '83 Cad Eldorado from which I've been attempting to remove the transaxle in the little time on the weekends between honey-dos. So, for a while, I have had only one car running. I knew I was skating on thin ice here.

Unbeknownst to me, I was slowly toasting the engine in the Geo. The car had a mild ping that I could not seem to get rid of. It seemed to be running fine, temperature gauge was reading about half way. A/C didn't work until this summer.

First suspected something was up after fixing the A/C...it would shut off when the car reached operating temperature. A little research showed that it was shutting off because the car was overheating! After replacing the radiator, it got better, but not cured. Then I replaced the thermostat. Tested the old and new thermostats in a pan of boiling water...the new one had opened before the water boiled, the old one never did open.

With the new thermostat, the car ran just fine. Got on the freeway, drove about 10 miles at 70...car was running better than it ever had, so it seemed. Then the engine started making a horrible noise, and I lost power. An exhaust valve head broke off and tore the hell out of the piston and cylinder head.

So...I was stuck. Next day was Labor Day. All the car rental places were closed. I started prowling Craigslist looking for a car. I wanted something my wife could drive (she is short, and "full figured"). Also, we're both in our fifties, and not as agile as when we were 16. This eliminated most small imports, small domestic cars (although she can get into and out of a 4-door Geo just fine). I had a budget of $2k. And didn't want to get into payments. Craigslist didn't help...everything I could find was either already sold, not what she wanted, didn't run, people couldn't get the car smogged, etc. Or people didn't call me back (OK, one person called me back over a week after I called her...)

Fast forward a week...I've been looking for a good used, cheap car, and finding nothing. Thank you Cash for Clunkers. I am dreading paying for another week with the rental. I am prowling the various vacant lots around here (Antelope Valley, CA) where there are all those used cars people are trying to get rid of. On one corner in lovely Rosamond, I see a red Mercedes. I stop and look...scrawled on the windows "Runs good. 38 mpg. (ya, right) Diesel. $1095.

I stop and look...paint job was from a spray can (but then, so was my Geo's). Tires are well used. Windshield has a crack. Looks like a bit of bondo here and there. But...Interior looks fairly presentable. It IS a diesel...that makes it exempt from the biennial smog certification ritual we Californians know and love. So I call the guy.

We meet a couple hours later. Car starts up, seems to run smooth. I take it for a drive on the freeway, take it up to 75-80 with no problem. Offer him $1000 even, he takes it. After I get the car home (at this point, I WAS desperate enough to not look as closely as I might have), I found a little rust inside the passenger door, a little in a wheelwell and under the battery tray. Also, I think this car may have spent some time in very cold temperatures...there is an AC cord coming from somewhere on the engine block... leading me to believe there is a block heater...something about which we here in Southern California don't know.

Acceleration on this car seems to vary, from almost like a gas car to veeerrryyy ssslllooowww...up 'till about 25 mph or so, then it will suddenly kick in and go like a bat outta hell.

Big burning question (that's why I'm here...asking Big Burning Questions) is: Where the heck is the transmission dipstick? I can't seem to find it!

Oh, and for your enjoyment (or amusement, as the case may be), here's a couple pictures:



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 11:50 AM
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What a cool looking car for a grand. There is plenty of room in the back for a big slobbering doggie!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you...although it's more likely I'll have little slobbering cats in the back .

Anyway, I took a look again in the daylight, and I found the transmission dipstick. Seems to have plenty of fairly clean-looking transmission fluid...bodes well. Now I gotta figure out where all the oil drips are coming from (oil level doesn't seem to be going down on the dipstick, though...).
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2011, 07:45 PM
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBob55 View Post

After many years of driving large Detroit iron, I purchased a 1991 Geo Metro. For the last 4 years, I have been very happily getting 30-45 MPH (it's an automatic, and has A/C).
Wow...I just saw that...I meant 30-45 MPG...

In hoc agricola conc, in est spittle louk
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 11:08 PM
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Looks like a good project car. Too bad someone blacked out the chrome trim on the grille though. (the chrome slats in grille can make or break the look of the car)

Check your powersteering fluid to see if that's low on fluid. Most of the time those form a slight drip from old o rings...

Remember to check out the W126 section of the forum (W126 is the chassis model of this car). There's so much info about these cars there. Welcome aboard
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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The blacked-out grille is one of the lesser problems with this car...oil leaks, butchered wiring, water leaking into the trunk, rust, trying to figure out why there's a lot of bondo on the right roof pillar, etc.

Wasn't originally meant to be a project car, just temporary wheels. But as I've learned more about it, and fixed a few of its problems already, I'm more inclined to keep it.

In hoc agricola conc, in est spittle louk
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 08:56 PM
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i know, yes, this thread has been dead for a while but that is a really cool unique car!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much. Unfortunately, the red paint (undoubtedly a rattle-can job) is fading, and more and more of the old Navajo white (whatever the official MB name is, that I don't know) is showing through. What strikes me about the old paint underneath the red is...it's SHINY! Apparently the P.O. didn't believe in sanding before painting...then again, this was probably the same person who RTV'd the right front window, disconnected windows and rewired them with speaker wire running across the floor, etc. Oy Vey!

In hoc agricola conc, in est spittle louk
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2016, 08:17 AM
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SLK200 panel removal

Hi.....I have an SLK200, 2004 vintage, and rust bubbles have appeared on the inside edges of both rear C pillars (adjacent to the rear windscreen).
Does anyone know if these pillars are removable (for treatment and painting).
Thanks
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