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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, I love my 300E to death. I will never sell it unless I REALLLLLLY have to.




So I have a couple of questions:

1. The headlight wipers. I always look at them when I look at my car, but I don't have the slightest clue on how to use them, anyone?

2. What do you guys recommend for a sound system? I am a total idiot when it comes to car audio, so I don't know what to get or how to install it. I currently have EVERYTHING stock. (Except chrome rims)

3. I hate the color of my car... Well, it's not much of a hate, it's just that I dislike it and so does everyone that looks at it. I ABSOLUTELY love the color of mike690003's Benz.

I'm wondering how much that would cost me.

More to come.. stay tuned.
 

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94 E420
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132 Posts
The headlight wiper should come on when the headlights are on and you turn the wipers on. They operate at a reduced rate (fewer cycles) from the windshield wipers so don't expect them to be going a hundred miles an hour [:D]

The color on your car is.....well, different. Complete color changes are big $$$$. If you can do prep work yourself, take off all of the trim, etc, you might be able to get an okay paint job at a fair price from some place like Macco. Most of the high output/low cost paint and body shops do a decent job with the paint but cut corners in the prep thus giving you a crappy paint job.

Good luck.

Colorado
 

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95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
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I too vote for keeping the original color. Even though you don't like the color now, you'll probably hate the repaint even more. There's no finish better than the original finish.
 

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1992 300E
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Nice car, I do not think the color is bad, it is different, that's all. I think with nice rims and wide tires it'll grow on you. Nothing wrong with it, I would keep it. These cars are so elegant that they look good in most colors. Sorry, I do not know a thing about car radio stuff. Enjoy your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm still indecisive about the color, my parents said if I don't get a paintjob by graduation, they will shell out $3000 for me to get one.

Also, what do you guys recommend for a good shift knob? I want a stylish wood trim one.

It's actually nice to have a paycheck that doesn't go to bills or any other necessary expenses.

EDIT:

Oh, and the main reason I have no intention of selling it? Only 108k miles and I'm the second owner, first was some old guy who treated it like it was his first born baby.
 

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SL320, 300e, 450SL
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Im with Kestes as far as trying to keep the original paint job as its immpossible to duplicate stock paint. On the other hand, if you must re-paint, im w/ colorado on doing the prep work yourself and save big money and get a better job w/o any sloppy tape lines.
For the overall value of the car, id try to keep er stock, but if i had to paint it, id try to find a good independant person w/ low overhead and youll end up getting a better value than a big shop. I wouldnt spend more than $1500 on a paintjob on a $5-7k car. bc
 

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I agree, but if your parents will fork out $3g's, why the hell not? If you save up another $1-2k, you are talking about a pretty darn good paint job. I'd say wait for your parents and do it. Please try to stick to something relatively similar to a stock mercedes paint color, though. whenever people get crazy with the colors on their cars, it looks terrible. I'd shoot for something that comes off of the E320's, like a gray or black. Make sure they color-match the lower half, and color-match the impact strips on your bumper (which are currently black). Then you'll have a good lookin machine. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go to Maaco, man. Most of the people that work at those places are either high from the paint fumes, or high from the bowl they smoked during their 10-minute break. No offense to anybody who works there! [:D]
 

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1994 E320
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Looking at the picture, I'd say that all your car needs is a good wax. Try that first, and you may actually change your mind. Getting a whole paint job just to change the color seems a bit too drastic to me. And a set of Euro headlights would do her nice too.

Shady
 

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SL320, 300e, 450SL
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I think if you are to re-paint YOUR CAR that you should be the one funding it so you will take more pride knowing you fully earned it! If your parents are willing to throw $3 g's at you for a paint job, id tell em to open up an IRA instead to pave a bright future ahead for you so you can go into any MB dealership and buy any color you desire[:)]
I too get anxious when i buy a new car and want the best for it, but in just recently purchasing my 300e,i consider it good reliable transportation and would much rather reserve extra monies twards routine or major maintenance in the near/late future.
I just bought new wheels/tires last night and am not crazy about the color of my car either. Your car has a very unique color and w/ new wheels you may have a totally new perspective on the car!! Also, if you havent tinted the windows yet, throw on a nice light tint to give the car a new personality. Stock MB paintjobs are PRICELESS!! Try little things first, then, if you must, paint it[:(]. good luck! bc
 

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2004 SL55 AMG
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505 Posts
[8D]
Nice ride! Unique color. Before you decide to repaint, have a good detail shop de-oxidize the finish and then have them hard-wax it. You may be very happy with the results. If you do decide to repaint, select a shop based on examples of their work, painted by the painter they currently have in their employ. I have used Maaco more than a few times, but only the ones that have good and proven painters. You do have to have all the trim removed by a body shop before you take the Benz to Maaco. Also, write into the contract that you have to sign-off on the condition of the surfaces after they have sanded the car, before you let them paint. (they hate that and will make you pay extra, but it's necessary)

As for audio (I'm a 20-year member of the Audio Engineering Society), you should select a system based on the kind of music you listen to. Rap needs a much different system than classical, for example. For any serious installation you'll need a 10-inch woofer, plus a sub-woofer for rap. The Benz just doesn't have large enough diameter speakers to do the job. The trick is installing a woofer without wrecking the interior panel. The rear hat-shelf may be the only viable spot. If you need a sub-woofer for rap and hip-hop, it can be completely concealed in the trunk, and 'fire' through the back seat without cutting any holes.

For amplifiers, I suggest 1,000 Watts total RMS continuous rating (not peak) for classical and 2,000 for rap. Rock and Roll and Country are in the middle. If you go for 2,000 Watts and play a lot of loud music, you may need to use an external battery charger at night or install a higher-output alternator and larger capacity battery.

If you play only one type of music your graphic equalizer can be in the trunk, since you can set it once and forget it. Otherwise, it will have to go where you can reach it to change settings.

When buying new speakers, remember they do not have to be rated for their share of the sytem's power. In fact, the wattage out of the amp channel can be double the capacity of the speaker. If you do what many amateurs do, use speakers with more capacity than the amp, you will never be able to drive them properly (the amp will clip), which means they will audibly distort and eventually fail.

Happy Trails,
Dave
 

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1994 E320
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Dave, thank you so much! This is great information, exactly what I've been looking for. Can you please recommend a good website where we can read more about sound systems?

TIA,
Shady
 

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2004 SL55 AMG
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505 Posts
[8D]
Hi Shady,

Sure, go here:

http://www.stereophile.com

I have to warn you, there are lots of audio snobs who totally overestimate the value of great specifications for the components. My advice is to buy mid-price parts with decent specs.

For car audio, it's all about installation quality. Make sure everything is mounted super-tight and all nearby exposed sheetmetal areas are covered with high-density foam sound-deadening blankets, glued on. It is very difficult to get car panels not to 'ring' along with the music, which f***s up everything.

Cheers!
Dave
 

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1994 E320
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1,730 Posts
Thanks Dave, amazing site! Looks like I got quite some reading to do! [:D]
I'm kinda looking for something pretty basic, but better than the measly setup I have now (Technics casette player on stock speakers.) I mostly listen to hard rock/heavy metal, Disco oldies and Gregorian chant (with some rock mixed in.) I don't want to cut any holes, and my budget is pretty limited, so I'm ready to settle for just four better speakers and a more capable head unit. Any recommendations?

Thanks again,
Shady
 

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2004 SL55 AMG
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505 Posts
[8D]
Shady,

Depends, if this a DIY job, you'll have to measure to see what speakers will fit in terms of diameter and depth. Two-way loudspeakers rated at 60 Watts each will be sufficient (4 x 60 = 240 Watts, total). Don't forget to allow space for the sound-deadening blankets.

Any head unit that fits the console from a major manufacturer will work. I'm using a Nakamichi, since that was installed by the previous owner. You'll need an amp (500 Watts RMS, minimum), a two-way crossover, and an 8-band EQ unit. Those can all be hidden away.

Budget for those parts should be about $600.

If you go to a pro installer who knows M-B, they will have suggestions as to what can be done. They'll probably want $300 for labor if you don't buy the components from them, so your cost goes up to $900 or so.

Let us know what you end up doing.

Cheers!
Dave
 

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1994 E320
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jeez thanks so much Dave! I have to admit, I'm a bit overwhelmed with your information, since I know exactly nothing about car audio. Here's what: An Indian guy here in Jeddah said he can install a Sony amplifier and four speakers (I have no idea what wattage) for something like 700 Saudi riyals, labor included, and I keep the Technics player. Does that sound like a good deal to you? [?]
 

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2004 SL55 AMG
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505 Posts
[8D]
Shady, that's $187, US, right? I can't imagine you'll be getting much of an upgrade at that price. I'd pay $150 for just a decent 500 Watt amp.

I believe the factory-installed audio systems on M-Bs from the late 80's and early 90s are 100 Watt systems. To get an improvement you can easily hear, you have to double the power to 200 Watts. Call that $75. Then, 4 speakers at 25 Watts each will work fine. Decent one-way 25 Watt speakers are only about $25 each. With one-ways, you don't need a crossover. You still need an equalizer for $50. We're up to $225 with no labor.

Regards,
Dave
 
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