New owner to a '99 110 CDI - few niggles? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 05:38 PM
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New owner to a '99 110 CDI - few niggles?

Hi all

Ive just purchased today a '99 110 cdi with 84k on the clock! (Honest, its right, its been a local van all its life and not only the MOT's indicate but I can vouch for its honest low-mileage!)

Ive got a few small issues with it right now and I was hoping one or some of you could advise? Ive read the issues with these vans and knew what I could be letting myself in for before I bought it (not too much to be honest!)

1. The reverse gear. WHAT is up with that!! The seller showed me how, but my god, its all a bit hit and miss... is there a special way to ensure you DEFINATELY wont keep going forward? I take it neutral then far right then hard left and down is the ONLY way? Maybe the cables need checking... Perhaps its me not being heavy-handed enough?

2. Turbo seems to whoosh... like theres a dump-valve fitted... is that normal... or might the previous owner have actually fitted a dump valve?! My old HDI didnt do anything of the sort...

3. Rev counter seems to have stopped working. It occasionally goes up to 1 or just over, better when stopped, but I want to fix this. Is it a common issue? Any ideas what I can do?

4. Passanger door handle is buggerd. Wont open from outside or inside, I think I might have a go at this tomorrow by taking off the inside handle and pulling he cable from inside until it opens then off with the door card and fiddleing around. Tips anyone?

5. Injectors! Aha.. there was little service history with the van, Im sure they probably havent been done... but it drives fine and pulls well. Is it worth having a garage replace the copper washers just for the sake of it or leaving it? IS it advisable to use a diesel addative like Diesel Reddex to prevent any issues, or will this make the possible future problem worse or not help? Theres no black smoke at all... no signs of any problems...

Well, thats about all right now thats bothering me! Id really appreciate you guys helping out with some advice if you can?

Thanks in advance
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 04:38 AM
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It's always worth doing a redex flush, but it ain't going to cure it if the injectors are leaking. You'll know if they have blow back because of the distinctive noise if gives out. It's almost like an old steam traction engine. The other thing you can ask is if they'll listen to the engine with a stethoscope type thing. The guys who did my injectors (HiQ, really good buch of guys and do the job for 100 quid) checked mine out this way and they checked them again six months later.

I had a problem with my passenger door handle too. Mine was the cable had come away from a plastic retainer that holds it in place when you pull the door lever. Really really easy fix, the door car is easy to get off too. Screw under the bottom of the door grab handle and one at the top, take the covering off for where the electric windows would be. Also a screw where the door lever is, should be a plastic cap to pop off. One screw where the door opens near the wing mirror and one screw at the bottom left of the door.

My Vito has always had that lovely turbo whistle when accelerating. Particularly in third. You gotta love it!!!!
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 04:47 PM
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Hi Martin

Thanks for your very helpful reply!

Sorry, I dont think I was totally up to speed with the injector issue on the Vitos... so it appears its the copper washer which fails? Ill certainly redex my first tank-full just for peace of mind, unless anyone recommends something other than redex which might be better? I dont believe they are leaking. The hiss noise that might be the turbo did cross my mind once... but you seemed to answer that one later in your reply! Other than the steam engine noise, is there anything else to look out for on this issue? Loss of power which is signifigant? Choking?

Door cable! You were spot on! In fact, before I had read your reply on this I had spent about 1 hour this afternoon scratching my head, poking around and pulling on that cable thinking that it MUST be that! Well, I opened the other side and realised the plastic white bit HAD in fact jumped out of its holder. Im surprised it didnt come to me sooner, its just like a bicycle brake cable... and Ive done too many of them in my lifetime! Well diagnosed!

The door card, again, spot on! Well, I say this, I didnt take off the electric windows panel blank yet, so was still struggling. I THOUGHT the window winder handle was stopping everything coming off... I tried pulling and eventually gave up... does this stay on when the door card comes off??

Glad you think the turbo has a nice whistle Perhaps they have their own dump valves of a sort? Anyways, Ive got no leaks, no lack of power so Ill leave that one be

One main problem I think Ive got now is the rev-counter... Its most definately NOT a fuse. When the van's sat, whilst on, ticking over, its on 0. When you rev it to (what I think is) about 2500rpm the needle jumps a little, all the way up to 1000! Rev any more and it doesnt move more than 7mm from there Maybe a sticky needle? Anyone have an idea as to removal of panel/access too counter? Or any past experiences?

Last thing for tonight, I promise, you may ALL have this, perahps its normal... but my manual says the battery is under the drivers seat. Mines under the passenger's seat/s and slightly behind the fuse box! If I ever want to jump start the van... I cant! If the battery fails and I need a new one... well, god knows what I would do!!! Is this right?! Im sure it'd make more sence to have it under the drivers seat where theres soo much more access to it! The question also is... if it SHOULD be there, how the hell do I get the old one out from below the passenger's seats and from behind the fuse box to move the battery over?

Really appreciate everyone and anyone's input/help here.
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 12:10 AM
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Oooopppps sorry. I didn't say about the window winder!!! I didn't know if you had electric windows or not. All you do is slide the grey bit up, away from the round knob, then the winder should just come straight off. Peice of cake!!!

If you want to take the dash out to have a look behind, it's just the two screws at the top, then pop your air vent out on the driver's side. You can do this easily with a flat head screwdriver, and push the dash from behind. Should just pop out. I'm not really too helpful with the rev counter I'm afraid. I've not really had this problem but I bet if you look on here there will be something on it.

I would guess that the manual would be a translation from German, thus indicating a right hand drive configuration? I wouldn't worry at all about having the battery in there. I keeps it going for much much longer. I just replaced the original factory one on mine, lasted ten and a half years!!! Do you have a bench seat or single seat in the front? The bench seat should pull up from the back of where you park your bum. Pulling up and towards the windscreen. If you have a single seat and find it hard to do this, you could always just whip the six torx bolts out that hold it to the base no problem! I have a second battery under my driver's seat running things for the back of the van.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 11:42 AM
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reverse gear and gearchange generally are recognised 638 problems.......... the cure is £23 from merc dealer and is called a Reverse gear selector and is a "cage" on top of the gearbox.

Complete fix is under 1/2 hr and needs a big screwdriver (as a lever) and a single socket or spanner

I attach the details
Attached Files
File Type: pdf COMPOSITE gear cable adjustment.pdf (973.1 KB, 146 views)
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 12:52 AM
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Hey Malcolm, have you had this gear selection fix done? My gears are a little bit cluncky but nothing mojor, I occasionally have problem with reverse where it doesn't select and the dog in the gear box doesn't enagage thus giving the lovely grinding noise. It sometimes also grinds when just selecting reverse.
I have thought about tackling it for a fix, I got the little plastic bit off ebay, and was going to change the gearbox oil soon as I don't think it's ever been done.
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 03:50 AM
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I had the problem and eventually decided I had to try the repair.

According to most forumers, at the time, it involved a difficult job including taking the central dash apart and adjusting cables etc.

I am medically disabled with little strength and major "allergic" reactions to almost everything so I tried to ignore it.

Eventually I gave in and got the "cage", was amazed at how cheap (I got one for my new van 2 weeks ago for £23) and giving myself a couple of days to do it (as I said I have little strength or stamina) I started the job.

I used a deep socket and short handle....... 2 bolts, 1 of which is at the back and difficult to get at (the worst bit) and a large screwdiver.

I unclipped the 2 gear cables (using the screwdriver as a lever) and removed the 2 bolts.

The "cage came off easily and the new one went straight on, self aligning, I did up the 2 bolts with a little screwlock "in case" and the cables easily clipped back on..... LABEL one of them so they go back on the right nipples.

It took under 1/2 hr (about 20 mins)........ the gear change was fine if not quite centered correctly....... I found out later and again on the one I just got, that most people readjust the cables rather than replace the cage...... generally a waste of time......... check the old cage against a new one, the new cage pivots smoothly with no play, the old one is normally as reliable, smooth and firm as a badly made jelly.

The PDFs attached are labelled "gear cable adjustment" but are in fact ALL details of changeing the cage as well as adjustments if wanted (DON'T adjust unless the cage doesn't cure the problem -- change the cage first......... ANYONE can do it on a 638)

Last edited by malcolm@mill.me.uk; 10-25-2011 at 03:53 AM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 06:03 AM
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Hello Samwell

I too have only just recently brought a Vito and have had most of the same problems you have had.

Reverse gear is a bit of a pain - but to be honest once you get used to it its fine, my gears are a bit clunky so maybe a new cage is the answer.

I've had to take the door card off a couple of times to tinker with the after market electric windows, and central locking that some muppet fitted to the van, and it is very easy to do. The problem I have now is that the cable keeps popping out of the holder - especially when someone a bit heavy handed has ago - any tips anyone?

The battery in my van is also under my double passenger seat, and my manual says it should be under the drivers seat so don't worry this is obviously a normal place for it. For ages I tried to get to the battery terminals by going behind the fuse box as I swore blind that the seat didnt move. But the base of the seat does pull up, you just need to put your hand under the front of the seat and pull the seat part towards the front of the van, then put your hand down the back of the seat and lift upwards.

I havent had issues with my rev counter but my oddometer doesnt work so I've been looking for a new instrument cluster - these seem to have no end of problems and second hand seem to still be going for around the £150 mark! I'm surprised someone hasn't decided to make an after market instrument cluster for these vans.

I've not had an issue with injectors yet but my van kicks out a lot of smoke when you give it the beans. It used to smoke all of the time just after I got it and the garage put in a cleaner called 'Forte Diesel injector cleaner' this seemed to calm it down alot and now only smokes when you punch the throttle. Again any advice on this would be greatfully received.

I don't know if any of this helps, but thought I'd share my experiences.
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 06:24 AM
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Cheers Malcolm, it is obviously better to try the cage first. Do you have a part number for it? If not, what did you ask for when you went to the dealership?

Biggs, a handy cable tie should do the trick for stopping the cable popping out. Just drill a hole big enough in the retainer to take a cable tie. There should be some on the market that do the trick. This gives you a way of removing it too.
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 06:58 AM
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Reverse gear should be easy to engage, if not change the cage then possibly adjust the cables (639s can only adjust cables) the WIS paperwork (the PDFs I posted) are titled "reverse gear problem" so its always been known about.

Aftermarket bits are often a problem, often badly made and worse fitted..... however good aftermarket stuff can be wonderful.

The battery is ALWAYS under the left hand seat in 638s and 639s REMEMBER that 90% of the market for mercs drive on the wrong side of the road so the left hand seat is the drivers..... its sloppy manual writing / translating......... some years ago I wrote manuals to be sent to china, I got them translated by a chinese engineering student and then the chinese version was given to (believe it or not) the 20 odd year old daughter from my local chinese takeaway, the translation back to english was sometimes hillarious but after a few back-and-forth translations they made sense in BOTH languages.

When going to the mb parts counter you give your VIN number (write it down as ALL parts are vehicle specific) and ask for "reversing lever parts kit A 000 260 04 37

as I said my new cage cost £26 inc vat but obviously dealers will vary from each other.

As a note Cicely Mercedes (blackburn) are currently selling door lock cables at under £6 on ebay -- its a good time for 638 owners as most MB dealers are dumping their stock of 638 parts for clearance
eg in the last couple of weeks 2 bonnets sold at £19.99 and £10 collection only, I got 2 new electric window units (complete except glass) for £19.99 each (as opposed to £280 +vat) and a new heated tailgate window for £10
of course you must be willing to collect big bits but a saving of £500 on electric windows make it worth while going from lancashire to the midlands... even with the price of cooking oil (I run on sunflower oil as I have a diesel / petrol allergy)
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