Wiring Harness Replacement.... - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2005, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Wiring Harness Replacement....

I need to hear from someone who has already done one; I heard it can be a DIY if you're patient and careful. I just finished changing the glow plugs on my 95 E300D and the process involves taking the intake manifold and a lot of linkage off to get to the glow plugs. In the process I saw NUMEROUS instances of "cooked" wires as well as the connectors. It was almost sickening how easily the hard plastic pieces would just disintegrate when you handle them. It was painfully evident to me that I will need to be replacing the entire harness under the hood soon and I need to talk with someone that has been there - done that. I would also like to know if the replacement harness is made better than the original or is this a situation that needs to be done every 10 years? You've got to be kidding me!
On a happy note, turn the key the glow plug lights up for 20 sec then goes off, engine starts and NO SMOKE! I'm going to see tomorrow morning if the "after glow" mechanism works as well.

1981 240D---234K Gone
1983 300TD--103K
1995 E300D--162K Gone
2007 S550 ---160K
Yea these cars will last a million miles but what with terrorists, natural disasters and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... God help us there's anyone left here to drive them.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

**************** BUMP *************************

Come on guys, surely someone has done a wiring harness replacement...... when I first found this site everyone was talking about it; don't tell me that everyone had it done at the shop? I need to know where I should look to buy this harness as well as questions as to what else I would need to complete the re-wire. Thanks, Cyberbach

1981 240D---234K Gone
1983 300TD--103K
1995 E300D--162K Gone
2007 S550 ---160K
Yea these cars will last a million miles but what with terrorists, natural disasters and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... God help us there's anyone left here to drive them.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 03:50 PM
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

Well, you don't see it on the D's as much as the gassers.. I've done E320's and 400's. As stated before, it's a job that takes more patience and care then outright knowledge. I've done a harness on a 95 S350D, not a bad job.

If you are a reasonably competent DIY you should be able to get it done..

Jonathan


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

Jonathon, what I was curious about was availability of the harness (where you get it) and what else would be necessary to have on hand to complete the job (exhaust manifold gasket) I called around today to discover that the ONLY place to obtain this harness was at a Mercedes dealer which in turn answered another of my questions - is the replacement harness made of better materials than the original? When I did the glow plugs several of the clips that attach to the glow plugs broke off in my hand when trying to remove them from the end of the glow plug. I "jerry-rigged" a spark plug boot over the end to facilitate the repair and everything works OK but I did examine the harness and it is very brittle and will need to be replaced. There is an idle sensor back by the glow plug closest to the firewall and I noticed that the two wires were VERY exposed and I'm probably not getting proper function from it although I really haven't noticed any problem so far. (knock on wood) When I called the dealer he called the harness for my 95 E300D the glow plug harness and quoted me 500 and change. Is this the complete harness under the hood or just a section that causes problems from the replacement of the plugs? I'm still having a hard time with the idea that MB would knowingly produce a wire harness that they have evidence will NOT outlast the viability of their chassis or engine..... yea the engine will also a million miles providing you keep adding diesel, oil and wiring harnesses!

1981 240D---234K Gone
1983 300TD--103K
1995 E300D--162K Gone
2007 S550 ---160K
Yea these cars will last a million miles but what with terrorists, natural disasters and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... God help us there's anyone left here to drive them.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 08:57 PM
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

I am also concerned about what the replacements are made of. If they are the same materials then does shelf life come into play? Do the 123 cars suffer from such poor quality materials?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

No the W123's are made of regular plastic sheathed wiring just like current american ones. Mercedes got all "Green Earth" on us and decided that an abandoned Mercedes left to absorb back into our planet had to have wires that became brittle and decomposed so it could become one with nature once again..... although a 3,500 pound car with no wiring would just sit there for the next 100 years. Go figure!
I mess with the wiring all the time with my 81 240D (Window switches, glow plugs) and I've NEVER had the stuff just fall apart like my 95 E300D, a car 14 years newer. For all the tremendous feats of engineering that Mercedes has provided us, this has got to be their most embarrassing "skeleton in their closet"
Sure wish I could get Andy Rooney to do a piece on this! [:D]


KC in reply to your question, I believe that heat is a principal ingredient to the degradation of the harness, so shelf life is probably not a real issue. Besides, for as many people that are having to replace their harness Mercedes is probably working round the clock manufacturing them so I'm pretty sure they don't sit around long. [:D]

1981 240D---234K Gone
1983 300TD--103K
1995 E300D--162K Gone
2007 S550 ---160K
Yea these cars will last a million miles but what with terrorists, natural disasters and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... God help us there's anyone left here to drive them.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 09:00 AM
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

Call Rusty at 800 741 5252. He gave me a pretty good deal on a wiring harness for my '95 E320 last year.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 09:01 AM
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

Which, by the way, I replaced myself. I broke a few plastic retaining clips along the way, but it went fine other than that.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

Thanks JC, I'll give him a call tomorrow as I'm sure it's too late now (6:45pm)
You say he gave you a pretty good deal.... how good is good? Under 5? Thanks for sharing, Cyberbach

1981 240D---234K Gone
1983 300TD--103K
1995 E300D--162K Gone
2007 S550 ---160K
Yea these cars will last a million miles but what with terrorists, natural disasters and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... God help us there's anyone left here to drive them.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Wiring Harness Replacement....

**************** Just a quick update ***************

I called Rusty today as per jcochrane007 suggestion.... what a great company to deal with. Tremendous customer service, answered all my questions and was a real pleasure to talk with. They quoted me about a hundred dollars less than anyone else on the harness and ASSURED me that the problems that MB was having with their wiring insulation was evident from like 1992 thru 1997 or so and that the harness as it is manufactured now has MUCH better wires in it.
That was the BEST news I had all week, I'll only have to do this harness once!!! Wooo Hooo !!!

Thanks so much jcochrane007 for the suggestion, you not only saved me a bunch of cash but you also introduced me to a very nice source of info and materials.

1981 240D---234K Gone
1983 300TD--103K
1995 E300D--162K Gone
2007 S550 ---160K
Yea these cars will last a million miles but what with terrorists, natural disasters and the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... God help us there's anyone left here to drive them.
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