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Discussion Starter #181
Headlight Lenses Replaced

I got the headlamp lenses replaced. They look like new once again! I didn't heat the assembly in an oven as some suggest, as I didn't want to stress all the internal parts, especially the HID motors. Rather, I simply used a heat gun and heated the black housing judiciously around the edge where it meets the lens and pried the old lenses off as the adhesive softened. Worked very well. Then I heated the groove around the edge and scraped the majority of the old adhesive out. I chose to use Dow Betaseal U-428 urethane windshield adhesive. If you've never tried to use a caulk gun with urethane adhesive, you have to boil water and heat the tube up in the water before trying to use it, unless you have a pneumatic caulk gun. Even then, it's pretty tough. It does take nearly the entire tube to do a set of headlamps. Photos of the driver's side headlamp before and after are below, as well as one with the lens removed. I'll get them back in the car tonight.
 

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Gotta admit, you do have a point. I refurb'd the lens covers on the S600 TT and they looked pretty good...until the new lens covers came along. Yes, it does makr a difference.
 

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Gotta admit, you do have a point. I refurb'd the lens covers on the S600 TT and they looked pretty good...until the new lens covers came along. Yes, it does makr a difference.
..2000 S500 (best friend's--now WIFE's--DD: my first W220 project car, once gone to, and now returned from, an excellent home--welcome back home, baby!)
Looks like we shall congratulate you as well.
All the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #185
Front shocks and Springs

Just finished replacing my front shocks with the original Sachs shocks. I also changed the front springs, since they have 325K on them. I used the genuine MB springs with the correct color coding for my car; 1 blue and 2 white stripes. This probably wasn't necessary and perhaps not the best decision, as now my front end is sitting higher.

I checked the original measurements of the ride height setting of the old shocks and figured out where the perfect match was. I even decided to lower the front by 1 groove on the shock body where the lower spring mount rests, which is 4mm. But the front is definitely higher now. Probably about an inch higher. See below.

EDIT - OK, panic is over. Looks like the ride height is going to be fine. I should have known I needed to take it out for a ride to get the gas strut settled in, as it was definitely holding up the weight to a good degree. It's pretty close to original height now and visually, doesn't look much different than before I changed the struts. See the last photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #187
So the way I read it, the new springs hold as well as those with 325k miles on them?
The original springs are still good frankly and the new ones are only a bit stronger, as expected. The front springs on the W211's don't seem to fatigue like the back ones do. Yes, they originals were a bit weaker, but only by maybe 6-7mm I estimate, but I can't be sure of that until I drive the new front struts a bit more and get it totally settled in. And like I said, I did lower the front end settings on the struts by 4mm because I expected the new springs to be a bit stronger and even if they ended up not being stronger, I wouldn't have minded 4mm lower in the front. It appears my guess is close. I may have been able to drop 8mm (2 grooves), but only time will tell as I drive it a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter #188
Took me a few weeks since I was away on vacation, but I got the rear shocks installed. The ride height of the fronts settled right in and all is well.

As a side note, the rear springs look good and I saw no problems with breakage of the ends after over 100K miles on them. Maybe they fixed their quality issues and the third set will be fine? Time will tell.

She's a little dirty in the photo. Put about 1000 miles on her in the last 3 days and there's been a lot of rain due to the high humidity.
 

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That's a sweet lookin' CDI you've got there. I really like the color (dark blue's always been a favourite).

Your experience with your new shocks comes pretty close to mine with the Strutmasters refit on the S600. Things looked about 2cm high at first, right after the conversion. After a little driving, it settled right to where the stock height with ABC had been, and it's stayed there since.
 

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Rear springs on the W211 can be tricky, they tend to break inside their cup on the lower control arm where you cant see inside there. both my rear springs were broken and i didn't know till i had the rear end apart! the rear end now sits considerably higher. gives the car a bit of a slanting downward look from back to front, makes it look more aggressive.
 

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Hey- I just wanted to let you know, I'm in the acts of buying a second one of these cars. I believe in the next week or two, it will have a wavetek LSD installed. It may get a tune and a little bit of maintence at the same time.



Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #192
Rear springs on the W211 can be tricky, they tend to break inside their cup on the lower control arm where you cant see inside there...
I not sure what you mean because I can follow the spring all the way down to the ends with my eyes when the suspension is unweighted. The "cup" isn't deep at all and more of a plate with a lip. Like I've mentioned, this is my third set of springs. When the first two sets broke, I felt the rear end get a bit squirmy, so I jacked it up for inspection and the broken springs were very easy to spot. They broke exactly as you describe; right in the last coil where it came out of the steel "cup" at the point where they left the rubber holder. I'd have to go back and look at receipts to know exactly how long each set lasted, but I know the first set broke at a bit under 100K miles and were under warranty. If I recall correctly, I don't think the second set made it a full 100K. So now I'm at 326K at I believe the third set has made it 140-150K which is a lot longer than the first two sets.
 

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Discussion Starter #193
...I believe in the next week or two, it will have a wavetek LSD installed...
I'm VERY interested in knowing how it goes Michael. I'm interested in knowing if you had to go through a break-in. I'm ESPECIALLY interested in knowing about the perceived noise level or any strange vibration/roughness you feel when driving, after any break-in period. And if you don't mind sharing, what the whole retrofit cost you at the end of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #194
Propeller Shaft is Next

Next comes rebuilding the drive line. This could be a bit tricky.

I've been reviewing the propeller shaft rebuild procedures in the WIS. I could see the removal of the centering sleeves being a real bitch. I don't have the right drifts to get this job done. I'll need to locate the drifts or take it to a shop that has the right tools to deal with it.

While I haven't inspected mine, I'm guessing I'll need to replace the center intermediate support because I cant' imagine the rubber bushing is in good shape at 326K miles. The intermediate bearing is a given to need replacement. Again, having the right installation tools to press in the bearing is an issue.

I'm going to have to really mark it all well to insure good alignment when I reassemble.
 

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Unless you've pounded out the center sleeve due to driving on a bad flex disc for a long time- there is very little motion there and they don't wear out. If memory is good- you cross drill it, use a bolt and 2 prybars to remove. Install just requires getting the depth correct. Did it in a std shop press with a little care.
 

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Discussion Starter #197
There is a guy on You Tube that did this repair. Not sure if I would want to pound the bearing back on with a hammer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kdy73M0SCE
A good procedural video! Takes some of the mystery out of the WIS. He did a great job and seems to care a great deal about the details. There are a couple of caveats, as he clearly is a rookie when it comes to bearing installation as you have noted.

Tapping the bearing at the inner race isn't too bad as long as care is observed, as he's not transmitting force into the balls and races. But his particular method has 2 BIG problems. One, the shock from the hammer is being transmitted down into the pin bearings of the universal joint because he has the other end of the shaft sitting on the concrete floor. YIKES! Two, because his homemade drift isn't close fitting over the splines, the bearings didn't start straight, causing him to apply more force. What he should have done is wrapped the spine with tape in two spots until the diameter was built up big enough to make the fit correct and the pipe touch the bearing squarely. Of course seeing he used a pipe nipple, it was cut on a pipe threading machine which means the ID at the ends is smaller than the middle, so you'd have to grind out the reduced ID section to make the tape build up method work properly. He should have bought a cap for the end he was pounding on so the force was applied evenly into the pipe's OD. I would have also used some lubricant on the inner race and shaft interface... after a good cleanup of the shaft with a fine wet sand using oil, at about 800 grit. I would have put the shaft on a bench and GENTLY hammered on it horizontally with nothing holding the shaft so the force wasn't transmitted into the pin bearings. Figuring out a way to hold the shaft above the U-joint would be best. I'll figure that out when I get there.

Another less important issue is he seems to have given little thought to the grease he used on the splines. He didn't follow the MB spec 266.2 from what I can tell. Static splines require a certain kind of grease to keep fretting from occurring on those splines. This is a case where I'd just bite the bullet and get the genuine 266.2 MB grease or Castrol Olistamoly (meets spec), which are about the same price. I think the grease he used is pretty good, but I'm a stickler for following design specifications.
 

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Discussion Starter #198
Unless you've pounded out the center sleeve due to driving on a bad flex disc for a long time- there is very little motion there and they don't wear out. If memory is good- you cross drill it, use a bolt and 2 prybars to remove. Install just requires getting the depth correct. Did it in a std shop press with a little care.
Good point. My flex discs are not terrible. I should be OK.
 

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I not sure what you mean because I can follow the spring all the way down to the ends with my eyes when the suspension is unweighted. The "cup" isn't deep at all and more of a plate with a lip. Like I've mentioned, this is my third set of springs. When the first two sets broke, I felt the rear end get a bit squirmy, so I jacked it up for inspection and the broken springs were very easy to spot. They broke exactly as you describe; right in the last coil where it came out of the steel "cup" at the point where they left the rubber holder. I'd have to go back and look at receipts to know exactly how long each set lasted, but I know the first set broke at a bit under 100K miles and were under warranty. If I recall correctly, I don't think the second set made it a full 100K. So now I'm at 326K at I believe the third set has made it 140-150K which is a lot longer than the first two sets.
I wonder if our lower control arms are different? the cup on my LCA is a good 3-4" deep and its impossible for me to see the inside of that without a bore scope to get between the spring and down to the control arm.

on my car, i legitimately had 2 broken sections of the bottom most part of the spring sitting in the bottom of that cup when i changed my springs. here's a video i made on it. timestamp for the 2 bits of springs i pulled out, 4:50:
 

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Discussion Starter #200
Drive shaft alignment - Is this an issue?

There is a whole lot of detail in the MB WIS on drive shaft alignment and using an inclinometer to check and then to shim if out of tolerance. Oddly, I have such a tool, although mine is only accurate to 1/10th of a degree. That may be good enough, as the tolerances between drive line sections is generally a range of 0.9 degrees. But I can get a new one supposedly accurate to 1/100th of a degree from Fleabay for about $12-$15.

Also, I would think the horizontal alignment is very important as well. I intend to mark the center support position before removing, but I have no guarantee it wasn't improperly moved before by a mechanic when my last transmission job was done, so perhaps the horizontal alignment is off. Or perhaps this is not an issue at all. There seems to be nothing at all mentioned about horizontal alignment in the MB WIS. The center support is rubber after all and allows for a lot of movement.

If horizontal alignment is an issue, how do you insure horizontal alignment is correct of the center support? Do I start the engine, put it in gear, lock the rear wheels and "torque-up" the shaft so the spline locks-up and it self aligns and then tighten the center support?
 
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