Date registered: Oct 2007
Vehicle: 1992 500SEL
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Repair or Replace?
The part numbers on the pump are for an entire pump. It’s not particularly cheap (what is on a W140?). It did not initially appear to be repairable. And buying a surplus pump was simply inviting a repeat of the hassle a few miles down the road.
PHamilton01 on the forum told me that he had successfully repaired that bearing for less than $40. I went looking for a replacement bearing.
It’s a double race, triple-metric bearing. Mine measured exactly 52mm outside, 32mm inside, and 20mm through the center. The outer edge was 18mm so the center of the sealed bearing was actually thicker than the outer race. We looked everywhere. I was coming up with nothing. It looked almost hopeless until I checked eBay!
Sure enough, there is a fella selling that exact bearing with the caveat that it may not fit all pumps. It was more like $65 delivered but what the heck, it’s cheaper than a new pump. I needed to measure first because we’re cheating on the Mercedes procedures by attempting this repair. I’m supposed to bend over and pay a stealer big dough for a new pump. When the bearing arrived, it was marked “China” but the brand name and identifying number had been scratched off the bearing with an abrasive. Oh well… You gotta love capitalism on those days when somebody has taken the time and expended the energy to figure it out for me. It arrived from CA in 4 days.
Keeping these old girls in running condition can really wear you down if you have to pay full retail for repairs. Just about any major repair will reduce it to a parts car. It’s no wonder eBay is FILLED with junque parts coming in from the cash-for-clunkers program. For those of you outside America, Obama was recently paying up to $4500 for any gas-guzzling beast in a trade for a better mileage vehicle. It’s a long story but needless to say, the older W140s were choice trade fodder if you could still limp one into a dealer. I even saw a piece on CNN where some guy traded a low mileage Masserati because he was sick of fixing the darn thing. But I digress…