Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I love my 05 E320 CDI. Its fast, economical and comfortable (has those bladder seats too). BUT, the swirl flap motor is disconnected from the ball joint on the actuating arm, which is galled and won't stay in place anymore. This is causing the car to go in to LIMP MODE at least 3 times per hour. YES, I'm certain this is the reason I'm going in to limp mode. The MBZ guys quoted me $2700 for a new intake manifold with motor. Seems like that's the going rate, but quite a bit of money. My question is this: The car is cosmetically beautiful, relatively trouble free, everything works, has 131,000 miles. At this point $2700 is near the trade in value and about half the resale price of the car. How reliable are these cars from 100k to 200k? My preference would be to keep the car (especially after driving the new E350 loaner car the dealer gave me; felt and sounded like a 1980 Honda Civic, harsh and noisy). Anyway, what has been everyone's experience with these cars as far as long term reliability?

Thanks
Norm in San Diego
 

·
Registered
'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Joined
·
17,155 Posts
You've got a W211, this is the W124 forum.

Having said that, the OM648 diesel is really a good engine BUT not without its weaknesses. Some of the weaknesses are the intake swirl flaps, injector heat shields, EGR, etc, etc, etc.

It's the rest of the car that is the weak point. SBC, sunroof, Airmatic, ball joints, etc, etc, etc. If you think of the OM648 motor as a genuine MB product, view the rest of the car as a glorified Chrysler which it is since the DaimlerChrysler marriage was still in effect when your car was built and build quality was along the lines of JLR (Jaguar Land Rover).

If you expect the W211 to be a W124 then you're going to be in for a rude awakening. On the other hand, it is far better than the garbage that currently rolls out of MB i.e. AdBlue diesel engines, plastic oil plans, plastic transmission pans, etc, etc, etc.

A friend of mine has about 200K on his W211 CDI wagon and still running, although not without electronic glitches and/or expenses along the way. He did cough up for the SBC since MB wouldn't honor the US only recall, ball joints, etc. Airmatic still fully functional although I do expect it to pack up any day based on the miles and years driven. The only issue it currently has is the sunroof. A few weeks ago, while driving the sunroof flew off without warning. Apparently it is a aging issue where the glue gets old and lets go. As I said, things very befitting of a typical Chrysler product of the time.

But he is keeping it for the long haul since he knows MB will never make another great diesel engine like OM648.
 

·
Registered
W124
Joined
·
4,899 Posts
First question for you; Do you love your car or is it just an appliance necessary to get from one point to another? If its the latter, trade the car in and lease a Hyundai. If you fall into the former, then there is hope for you.

I suspect the answer isn't so well defined as "dumping it". The real answer depends on how well the car has been maintained and how much of a car you really feel $4000 could buy if you didn't have the work done. Your car probably isn't worth much running the way it is now so selling it is a bigger mistake than investing in it.

$2700 isn't a lot of money to spend repairing a car. (of course those who DIY will probably be screaming at their screen right now, but its true) Many DIY'ers lose perspective at some point. When a car they have spent 150 - 200 hours of their own time maintaining needs a specialist to install a transmission for $2000 some will pucker up and think the world is coming to an end. In reality, they are either just cheap or they can't afford to own a car. Others, who can't do the work themselves spend thousands to have their pride and joy kept in great shape and the time saved is spent doing other things like earning the money they give to their trusted mechanic or doing things they value more than learning how to get dirty fixing their car.

So back to your question, there really are no 15 year old cars that require no maintenance or repairs. You need to figure out whether or not you love the car enough to spend the money on, or bail out into another car that will probably bring you to the same altar sooner than you think. Money spent maintaining a car is rarely something that backfires on you.
 

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
First, my apologies for posting this on the wrong forum. Second, thanks for the responses. Ironically, I sold a 220k mile 1995 E320 Diesel because it was in need of paint and front springs. It rode more smoothly than this car, had far more comfortable seats and had better air conditioning by a whole order of magnitude. The guy I sold it to is my mail man and he has yet to report a problem with it in the 3 years he's had it. So much for context.

I looked for a nice 2005-2006 CDI for over a year (they were not sold new in California and they're not that common here) so when my friend's mother died and left this one to him I started bugging him to sell it to me. It took a year but he agreed. The car was maintained by MBZ and always garaged. It looks like a 2 year old car.

If I were a little younger I might attempt this repair myself (owned well over 100 cars and wrenched on all of them), but advancing age and a bad back make that option an impractical one.
I typically keep a car I enjoy for at least 100k miles and I do very much enjoy this one, but because my experience with cars is mostly with old American ones I am a little out of my element in being able to have a sense of overall durability going forward. The tranny shifts well, the car does not smoke, everything works (except a bladder or two on the front seats) and it gets near 40 mpg on the road (very important here in California where fuel hovers between $4-$5).
So, I am getting the feeling that it may very well be worth the $2700 just from the standpoint of not being able to duplicate my level of satisfaction with this car in anything newer.

Thanks
Norm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
First, my apologies for posting this on the wrong forum. Second, thanks for the responses. Ironically, I sold a 220k mile 1995 E320 Diesel because it was in need of paint and front springs. It rode more smoothly than this car, had far more comfortable seats and had better air conditioning by a whole order of magnitude. The guy I sold it to is my mail man and he has yet to report a problem with it in the 3 years he's had it. So much for context.

I looked for a nice 2005-2006 CDI for over a year (they were not sold new in California and they're not that common here) so when my friend's mother died and left this one to him I started bugging him to sell it to me. It took a year but he agreed. The car was maintained by MBZ and always garaged. It looks like a 2 year old car.

If I were a little younger I might attempt this repair myself (owned well over 100 cars and wrenched on all of them), but advancing age and a bad back make that option an impractical one.
I typically keep a car I enjoy for at least 100k miles and I do very much enjoy this one, but because my experience with cars is mostly with old American ones I am a little out of my element in being able to have a sense of overall durability going forward. The tranny shifts well, the car does not smoke, everything works (except a bladder or two on the front seats) and it gets near 40 mpg on the road (very important here in California where fuel hovers between $4-$5).
So, I am getting the feeling that it may very well be worth the $2700 just from the standpoint of not being able to duplicate my level of satisfaction with this car in anything newer.

Thanks
Norm
Norm,

Do the repair yourself, it is not that difficult.

Remove{yes, remove] the swirl valves from you manifold and delete software.

No, MB will not do this. Look around on-line you will find many people do this.

What is the VIN of this vehicle?

Joseph~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Norm,

Review the following;

E320 CDI Intake Swirl Flap Servo Motor


You could also get a used intake manifold from Europe, that did not have the swirl valve.

Very inexpensive, plenty EU intakes around

Regards

Joseph~
 

·
Registered
W124
Joined
·
4,899 Posts
I'm out of my element when it comes to oil burners so I have a question regarding deleting the swirl valve. Will this improve fuel economy? The OP stated that MPG is critical for him due to the price of fuel so if there is a negative impact on MPG when the swirl valve is removed, that particular solution might not be acceptable.
 

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm out of my element when it comes to oil burners so I have a question regarding deleting the swirl valve. Will this improve fuel economy? The OP stated that MPG is critical for him due to the price of fuel so if there is a negative impact on MPG when the swirl valve is removed, that particular solution might not be acceptable.
Anything that is altered on this car could potentially affect its ability to pass emissions inspection (every 2 years), so I would not favor altering the intake configuration. In another world (or another state) that might be the way to go, not here.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Anything that is altered on this car could potentially affect its ability to pass emissions inspection (every 2 years), so I would not favor altering the intake configuration. In another world (or another state) that might be the way to go, not here.
Thanks
It is your money.

A used E320 CDI inlet manifold with no flaps part number A6130900737
£35.00 = less than $50.00


And a 4.7K ohm resistor on the servo motor.

Issues is solved for the life of the car.

And you probably get better mileage at highway speed.

Regards

Joseph~
 

·
Registered
'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Joined
·
17,155 Posts
OP. Take the advice given above by getting the Euro intake manifold and fooling the ECU with a resistor.

The main purpose for the swirl flaps was to reduce NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). It is a very troublesome system at best, and the same issue exists with gasser engines from the same era. Without the swirl flaps, your idle will be a little bit more rough, but only marginal.

Nothing a guy at a smog station would ever notice since the swarl flips and motor are buried way down.
 

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Guys: I LOVE the solutions being offered. However, the state of California has very strict guidelines regarding smog examinations. They are not visual, all computerized. But to be clear, if I use the 4.7k Ohm resistor on the servo motor that requires the Swirl Flap intake because there's no servo motor on the NON-swirl flap intake. If I use the 4.7k ohm (in series, right?) thereby "fooling" the computer, will there be a "Check Engine" code registered? Anybody know that for sure?
N
 

·
Registered
'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Joined
·
17,155 Posts
IF you use the correct resistor and install it correctly then you will not get a check engine light.

FYI, visual inspection is part of the standard California smog test, such as the presence of EGR and all related emissions gear inclusive verifying that there is no tampering of said systems.

However, you should still get the Euro intake and a new gasket set to promote full unhampered airflow since the flaps have the function of controlling intake runner length.
 

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yes, but that is very cursory; just looking for missing parts and disconnected stuff. No probe up the tail pipe. The swirl flap motor is underneath the intake and there's no way they get in to it to that extent. I know this because last time it passed and the flap motor arm had just become disconnected. I had the computer re-set to eliminate the "Check Engine" light but just drove it enough so that it was just at the sweet spot before that abnormality registered. Now, what is the "Correct Resistor" and what does "Install it Correctly" involve? Where? How? Thank you !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
FWIW......

Get a intake manfold from the EU.

If you really want better milage port match the intake manifold to the new gasket, then extrud hone the intake manifold after you port match the gasket.

Then install a resistor on the connection to the servo motor.

You will spend a small fraction of what a MB dealer offers,

Regards

Joseph~
 

·
Registered
'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Joined
·
17,155 Posts
Correct resistor = 4.7K Ohm. Get one that is as small as possible.

Installed correctly = installed in the proper orientation (following the colored stripes on the resistor) and connected to the proper connector pins. The swirl flap motor uses a 3 pin connector. You need to connect the resistor to the pins that are NOT colored brown.
 

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
MUCH appreciation. Do I leave it connected, or connect the pins that are not brown via the resistor and leave it loose?
 

·
Registered
'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Joined
·
17,155 Posts
You connect the resistor on the 2 pins on the engine harness side. IIRC, the 2 pins you need are the ones towards the curved part of the connector. You will not be able to connect the 2 plugs together fully since the resistor is sandwiched in between. In other words, once the resistor is in place you leave the connector from the motor disconnected.

Just be sure wrap and seal the connector at each end using a external jacket (or heat shrink tubing) to keep dirt and water out.
 

·
Registered
1995 E 300 DIESEL
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Correct resistor = 4.7K Ohm. Get one that is as small as possible.

Installed correctly = installed in the proper orientation (following the colored stripes on the resistor) and connected to the proper connector pins. The swirl flap motor uses a 3 pin connector. You need to connect the resistor to the pins that are NOT colored brown.
Is there a difference which way the resistor is installed? If yes, what is the right way?
Thanks
 

·
Registered
'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
Joined
·
17,155 Posts
Not really, a resistor is nothing more than a current limiting device BUT it is important you get the correct type of resistor. IIRC, a axial lead resistor with the correct resistance value of 4.7K Ohm is what you need.

Just buy a handful if this is your first rodeo.

BUT, make sure you get the Euro intake manifold and a new gasket set. After all, the itent is to eliminate the swirl flap system.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top