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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #1
I just recently purchased a 2001 E55 AMG and will be documenting as I freshen her back up to better than her rolling off the showroom floor. I plan on doing a few performance modifications along the way and my initial plan is to be using Renntech performance parts for these modifications. I have reach out to Renntech to see if I can get a list of the parts they no longer make for the W210 E55 to put on my hunt list. If anyone happens to know any of this information I would be greatful if it could be updated here, as well. I know they made a 3 piece rear wing at one time and have heard they made suspension components, but have yet to see proof of that. So... on to the car.

The AMG I purchased is currently sitting at 133k miles and showed little to no signs of rust upon the initial inspection. This was a one owner car and had a clean service history at the local Mercedes dealership until 5 years ago. The orginal owner past and the wife took over the car where it was no longer serviced there, but a small independent shop. The car is a complete base model with no options and I even have the orginal window sticker. So, what do I know at this point that needs to be done?

Suspension; A short drive tells me it needs new shocks and an overall suspension refresh. I was told the front springs had recently been replaced with OEM along with the motor mounts. I will also look at what # the bump stops are and see about replacing them with a lower number to make minor height adjustments.

Braking; The brakes are really touchy, as in either almost just off and on. It's odd as I have had aftermarket performance brake kits and they have a much smoother normal brake feel, yet I was told when I purchased it this is normal for these cars?! Any feedback here would be appreciated, but I'm guessing there may be some work to do here.

Body; The passenger headlight has a broken tab and is sagging. (Looking for a factory OEM replacement and currently in the talks with someone) Some paint chips on the front. Some dry rot around the windshield wiper cowl.

Electrical; The locks don't seem to work unless I have been driving for a bit. You can hear the vaccuum system want to work, but nothing. I was told initially it was an issue with the key fob by the owner probably needing a battery, after getting her home I believe there is a bigger issue at bay. There are pixels out on the hvac controls and both screens outside of the central dash display. This seems to have gotten worse as initially on the test drive I remember there being missing pixels, but neither showed anything yesterday and this morning the far left (clock?) only had two pixels... Not sure how two came back? The central MFD seems to reset each time I restart the car, back to the odometer. Not sure if this is normal or if the car has a weak battery, etc. I need to go through and start at the basics, checking the fuses and going from there. I haven't pulled the rear seat yet and am afraid of what I'm going to find...PLEASE NO MAJOR RUST AND WATER DAMAGE.

Interior; The headliner is sagging in the rear, there is a spot on both front doors where the fabric is pulling away. I need to look into hopefully just getting this all glued back down. Interior is not my strong suit. The steering wheel buttons look a little gross and the one on the right that controls the audio seems to stick a little. Hopefully a good cleaning will go along way. The center cup hold also stick as is slow to come out. I would like to get a nav/command dash to add an Apple Car Play radio to give it a little modern convenience and have been in the talks with Matt at Ocarbon about switching out to carbon fiber... We'll see as that's not a necessity.

I need to replace both key fobs as they are both in just poor shape. The wheels need to be refinished as they have been repainted and the lips are no longer polished, guessing someone wanted to fix some curb rash.

Here's a couple of the pics they posted before I picked her up and I will update as I go along... Any help is always appreciated and hopefully this thread will help some others in return.
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2002 E55 AMG Sedan
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The brakes aren't touchy in my car. They are pretty smooth. Not much feel for the first inch maybe inch and a half of pedal travel but that goes away quickly.
 

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W123 '83 200, W210 '98 E200K, W212 '13 E350
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Please explain "the car is a complete base model". Looks fully loaded to me, but not familiar with the intricacies of these models.

Other than that, look forward to keeping an eye on this thread.
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #4
Please explain "the car is a complete base model". Looks fully loaded to me, but not familiar with the intricacies of these models.

Other than that, look forward to keeping an eye on this thread.
It's a stripper model E55 as no options were added. In comparison to a base W210 the E55 comes with many more options I'm sure, though I haven't cross referenced to compare them all.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm new to both Merc's and AMG's so any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

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A base model w210 and a base model e55 are very different. I don't think the e55 had very many options that could be added. Here are a few that I know of:

  • Heated / cooled orthopedic seats
  • Command nav
  • parking sensors
  • Adjustable suspension (not sure if this was offered over here)
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #6
A base model w210 and a base model e55 are very different. I don't think the e55 had very many options that could be added. Here are a few that I know of:

  • Heated / cooled orthopedic seats
  • Command nav
  • parking sensors
  • Adjustable suspension (not sure if this was offered over here)
Correct... Thank you.

I'd be interested to see what all options were available for the US Market E55.
 

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2000 E55 AMG
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I have the multi contour seat, which had air bladders in the sets controlled by switches near the seat belt buckle. This also included heated AND cooling seats. I turned the cooling on and I hear a fan somewhere in the seat but don't really feel anything. It's definitely not connected to the A/C. Also the air bladders don't work anymore. Haven't gotten around to finding out what the issue is there. Honestly you're not missing much if you don't have them.

I don't believe adjustable suspension was an option on the W210 E55 in the US. W211 got air suspension.

I don't think parking sensors were available in the US either.
 

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2002 E55 AMG Sedan
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The E55 got a few options standard in the US compared to a regular e class. Here they are.

1. Nappa leather seats
2. Rear sunshade.
3. Stitched airbag cover.
4. Heated seats
5. Xenon headlights with washers.
6. Blue tinted heat insulating glass.
7. Birds eye maple wood.
8. Multicontour front seats.
9. Auto rain sensing wiper.
10. Bose sound system.
11. Sport seats.

These are the options that were available in the US for the E55.

1. Two tone nappa leather interior. Either white/black, red/black, or blue/black.
2. Ventilated front seats.
3. Voice control system
4. Comand navigation system/infotainment system
5. Car phone.
6. Parking sensors.

Options available for the E55 in other countries. These were not available in the US.
1. Power folding mirrors
2. Adjustable dampening suspension.
3. Any wood color you want.
4. Any seat color you want.
5. Heated rear seats.
6. Engine block heater.
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #9
The E55 got a few options standard in the US compared to a regular e class. Here they are.

1. Nappa leather seats
2. Rear sunshade.
3. Stitched airbag cover.
4. Heated seats
5. Xenon headlights with washers.
6. Blue tinted heat insulating glass.
7. Birds eye maple wood.
8. Multicontour front seats.
9. Auto rain sensing wiper.
10. Bose sound system.
11. Sport seats.

These are the options that were available in the US for the E55.

1. Two tone nappa leather interior. Either white/black, red/black, or blue/black.
2. Ventilated front seats.
3. Voice control system
4. Comand navigation system/infotainment system
5. Car phone.
6. Parking sensors.

Options available for the E55 in other countries. These were not available in the US.
1. Power folding mirrors
2. Adjustable dampening suspension.
3. Any wood color you want.
4. Any seat color you want.
5. Heated rear seats.
6. Engine block heater.
Great info... Thanks! I wouldn't mind getting a few of the options not available in the US like; power folding mirrors and heated rear seats.
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #10
I probably won't go into as much detail in here unless I do something different than Jeebus as he has pioneered a lot of what I'm doing on this first round of parts. I already picked up the headlight, but the rest should be trickling in here shortly and the plan is to have everything done before the new year. After the new year I'll put together phase 2 and continue the build.

The parts ordered so far;

New/used passenger xenon headlight. (salvage yard)

Front Suspension Refresh Kit - Stage 2 (ECS Tuning)
  • Genuine Mercedes Benz Hex Head Bolt - Priced Each 2
  • Genuine Mercedes Benz Hex Bolt - Priced Each 2
  • Genuine Mercedes Benz Hex Nut - Priced Each 2
  • Genuine Mercedes Benz Nut - Priced Each 2
  • Genuine Mercedes Benz Nut - Priced Each 2
  • URO Inner Tie Rod - Priced Each 2
  • URO Outer Tie Rod End - Priced Each 1
  • URO Outer Tie Rod End - Priced Each 1
  • URO Control Arm Bushing Kit 2
  • URO Front Upper Control Arm - Left (Driver) Side 1
  • URO Front Upper Control Arm - Right (Passenger) Side 1
  • Hamburg Tech Sway Bar End Link - Priced Each 1
  • Hamburg Tech Sway Bar End Link - Priced Each 1
  • Hamburg Tech Control Arm Mounting Hardware Kit 4
  • Hamburg Tech Front Lower Ball Joint - Priced Each 2
  • Hamburg Tech Shock Absorber Hardware Kit - Priced Each 2
  • Genuine Mercedes Benz Hex Nut - Priced Each 2
Koni Sport Shocks & Struts (ECS Tuning)

Genuine Mercedes Benz Coil Spring Shim #1 for the front (ECS Tuning)
Genuine Mercedes Benz Coil Spring Shim #2 for the rear (ECS Tuning)

Renntech Tune (Renntech)
Renntech Shiftknob (Renntech)
 

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Oh no, are you sure you want to put URO parts on there?? I've often read on the forums that their parts are the worst quality. For my front suspension refresh, I used Lemfoerder inner and outer tie rods, and OEM sway bar bushings, ball joints, and wheel bearings.
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #13
Oh no, are you sure you want to put URO parts on there?? I've often read on the forums that their parts are the worst quality. For my front suspension refresh, I used Lemfoerder inner and outer tie rods, and OEM sway bar bushings, ball joints, and wheel bearings.
I've used ECS Tuning suspension refresh kits on previous cars that used URO parts and had zero issues. If I have any issues I will post in here about them and obviously have to pay for my mistake. I have a good relationship with the guys at ECS and called and spoke with them before making the purchase and they sold me on the value of the kit and the quality of the parts included in it. I also checked around online and while there are negative reviews about URO parts it's rare to actually find a first hand experience, it's more just people stating they're bad don't use them and even those posts are several years old.
 

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I used URO radiator hose on W124 when MB brand cost like $160 and the car left the family like 4-5 years later still running perfectly.
Still we might have different expectations for rubber part and different for steel.
I'll be happy to see how those parts will work for you in a year?
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #15
Okay.. Long time no update. I have completed the suspension refresh and the car drives much better! While under the car I was really surprised how clean it is. The only issue I saw was the resonator on the exhaust starting to have some rust issues on the underside which I'm going to delete along with the secondary cats this spring anyway. I only got a short drive in before I put the car away do to living in KC and the weather going from 60*F to 20*F and 3 inches of snow in one day! The car seems to sit crooked (it did before too) and while I didn't notice any issue with the stock springs I know the previous owner said they had to replace the front springs... Weird to replace just the fronts?! I'll take a pic when I get a chance but I installed the #1 spring tops in front and #2 in the rears and it's currently sitting on a rake with the rear about 1" higher and the front driverside is maybe 1/2" gap with 0 gap on the front passenger side... I wonder if the front springs were cut at some point. I'll be installing new springs before she's back out of the garage. I also received an all LED lighting kit to replace all the interior lights in the car for a more modern look and will get those installed.

As for the Renntech items... So far just the knob and tune. I didn't flash the tune and run it on the short drive as I wanted to focus on the suspension and the weather was crap. The knob is installed and looks good, but the birdseye maple is not an exact match which they did inform me would be the case... 19 year old car without tint!

So next to address;
1. Springs... Euro AMG? Can I find an old RENNtech set? Change to #1 spring tops in rear?
2. Install LED lighting
3. Exhaust. Secondary CAT and resonator delete. Can I find an old RENNtech muffler? Headers will come down the line $$$
4. Vaccuum leak, locks only work after extended driving. I thought I fixed this, but didn't work after short drive.
5. Driver headlight replace with OEM bi-xenon. I already have this and just need to get it done.
6. Vanity mirror covers for both visors.
7. Replace HVAC controls to get rid of unit with missing LCD's.

...a couple little pics to get me by. Sorry, I've been bad at taking pics, but jeebus31 has really taken amazing pics of everything I've done and more at this point. I'll get some more up when I get the chance and try to do better at updating this thread.
R3.jpg


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2002 E55; 2007 911 Turbo; 2016 Cayenne
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Looks great and that shift knob is a nice touch. Interesting about the front springs on yours... Mine had stock springs in the rear and H&R springs up front when I got it... now with the H&Rs there's a slight imbalance where the rear is lower than the front by a hair. I think if you change to the #1 spring pads in the rear it should balance out. You could also try #2 in the front but it's a bigger pain to do spring stuff in the front, as I'm sure you know! If you're at all interested in trying to run H&R springs in the front and stock in the rear, I can send you the ones I removed from my E55. Just cover shipping.

Glad to hear the car is clean underneath. Any oil leaks?

Let me know when you source some vanity mirror covers. I need to do that as well.
 

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2001 E55
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Looks great and that shift knob is a nice touch. Interesting about the front springs on yours... Mine had stock springs in the rear and H&R springs up front when I got it... now with the H&Rs there's a slight imbalance where the rear is lower than the front by a hair. I think if you change to the #1 spring pads in the rear it should balance out. You could also try #2 in the front but it's a bigger pain to do spring stuff in the front, as I'm sure you know! If you're at all interested in trying to run H&R springs in the front and stock in the rear, I can send you the ones I removed from my E55. Just cover shipping.

Glad to hear the car is clean underneath. Any oil leaks?

Let me know when you source some vanity mirror covers. I need to do that as well.
Yeah, it is definitely odd. I didn't pay much attention to the springs when I pulled them and I guess that's what I get. Let me take a look at your pics to see where yours sat before you swapped. Was it the same H&R's you swapped out with? I might take you up on that offer! I'm trying to track down some euro springs too to try a different approach.

As for oil leaks I have an ever so little bit coming from the valve covers that is not of major concern currently, but will be addressed. I also have the same on the rear transfer case. I don't have a single drip in the garage and nothing concerning, but I did note those too locations and will be monitoring and addressing them. I'll see if I can plan around other upgrades to not have to tear her open multiple times like I'm going to have to do on this suspension.

I found a local junkyard with several W210's but went there without the car and wasn't confident in the exact match. I'll go back this spring with the car to see if I can get an exact color match and pull the entire visors from them. If they have extras I'll reach out to you and grab them if you want them. I'll also get the HVAC display replaced there, but need to have my car to plug them in to verify that I don't just grab another one with pixels out.

*I looked back at your thread and my front currently sits lower than yours after your new springs while my rear obviously sits higher. I have no gap between the wheel well and the tire on the front passenger and can't quite fit a finger in the gap on the driverside front.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I cross referenced the spring pads I removed with the part numbers to see that I removed #5 pads from the front and #3 pads from the rear and replaced them with #1's in the front and #2's in the rear. I'm thinking once I get the springs and dig back in I'm going to try #1 pads in the rear and see if the combination levels her out a bit.

I got an alignment and the rear looks great, but I'm not too happy with how the front is sitting...
2616902
 

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2002 E55; 2007 911 Turbo; 2016 Cayenne
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Something isn't quite right with the front, especially if it's sitting with no fender gap on stock springs. Only thing that would change the ride height like that would be the springs, so perhaps they are cut or aftermarket. I'm not sure if the spring pads alone would cause such a big difference but its worth a shot. Also, I had to double check I was installing my konis on the right side... the fronts and rears are different lengths. Just in case ;)

The front LCA bolts can be used to do some slight adjustments to the camber - here is the PDF.
 

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w163 02 ML500 W210 97 E50Amg w202 99 C230K w124 - need more space, time to build again
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Even with adjusting the LCA bolts, looking at the readings, you're only going to get maybe another 1/2 degree change.

Whatever springs were installed, it's thrown your camber, possibly caster (haven't read thru the entire post...)
Most likely the previous owner installed lowering springs (lowering springs dropping 1"+ or more is going to throw your alignment off) - had the same issue with my son's c230k with eibach springs (resolved only with a proper camber caster kit)
What's interesting is your front left and right side differences (in post #15) - 1/2"\
You may be able to get away with a cheap fix using a #5 pad on the right side to raise it.

fyi, to READ spring pads, no need to remove them for any reading - all you need to do is look up at the underside of the pads - they have dimples - range 1 to 5.
You can also feel the bumps. This will tell you what you have.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 10.55.59 AM.png
 
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