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1995 W124 E320 Cabrio
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Discussion Starter #1
My Cabrio is currently at my trusted indy--diagnosis of a coolant leak (gradually lowering reservoir) pointed to my original radiator reaching the end of it's life (indicated by stains on the coolant hose necks).

This morning, on the phone with my mech, he informed me the MB OEM replacement he installed fresh from the box had a blockage, as the car was reaching ~100F with the AC on during testing, and presented symptoms when pressure tested. He told me many of the OEM replacement radiators (at least for the Cabrio) may have been sitting, boxed, since the early 2000s.

He did contact MBUSA, who evidently received a new shipment last week, to have them forward him a "fresh" one.

Just wanted to post a cautionary note for anyone replacing a radiator with OEM that may have been sitting for some time.

(And no, we won't be assessing the credibility of my senior mechanic, he's exceptional and owns 2 A124s himself)
 

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1989 W124 260E
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1,386 Posts
Bit of a fairy tale i think . I have sold radiators for a long time and never had any new radiator returned for a blockage They are fully tested before boxing up .....Garage should have put the hose in to it first and flushed it out and back flushed to be sure it was good. My bet is that -- filling these W124 coolant systems the do need a little help,, or they wont bleed air and air locks up inside .This air lock in turn will cause a blockage in the system it will then over heart the untill it boils over through the over flow neck cap and down to expansion bottle . Lots of these motor shops no very little about these cars .I wish you good luck in getting a quick fix.
 

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W124
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4,901 Posts
I appreciate the heads up on this.

However I agree with Plinker17722 but for a different reason. While it no doubt is possible to take delivery of an item from "the mothership's" stock, a company as sophisticated and reliant on manufacturing as Mercedes Benz adopted "Just In Time" production methods many years ago. This means they will try as often as possible to only carry the number of items they need at a given period of time (measured in days) but have a "pipeline" flowing with a supply that keeps them as close to their consumption requirements as possible.

The cost of stashing 10 or 15 years consumption of a particular item (especially one as large and fragile as a radiator) is high, so they will avoid wasting money by having too many in stock. I wouldn't argue with your Indy's explanation because I trust he told you what he experienced. He may have either come to a less likely conclusion as to why it happened or just plain go a load of crap from someone at the dealership

As we have all come to understand, Mercedes Benz and the dealership are two different entities, both with completely different objectives.
 

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1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
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7,035 Posts
Just in time applies to your manufacturing chain, but your aftermarket repair parts supply chain has different requirements, you can't have radiators built as they are needed and you do in fact stock quite a good size batch of them because you're not going through 1000 a day or whatever as you build new cars,and your dealerships need almost immediate delivery on the parts that they don't themselves stock when their customers cars come in for repair. Because a down car blocks a stall for as long as it takes to get fixed. dealer service can't afford to have cars sitting around broken all over their lot. And they can't afford unhappy customers, either
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,603 Posts
Exactly. Many suppliers can only tool up to produce during a model’s active lifetime. When it’s over, they run a big batch based on MB’s GSP (Global Service & Parts) requirement for aftermarket demand.
 

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W124
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Exactly. Many suppliers can only tool up to produce during a model’s active lifetime. When it’s over, they run a big batch based on MB’s GSP (Global Service & Parts) requirement for aftermarket demand.
Actually there might be certain parts like stampings that this applies to but not most parts. Do you want to buy a serp belt, fuel line hose, coolant hose, that's been sitting on the shelf for 15 years? I don't think Mercedes Benz or another manufacturer wants to sell one after all that time. You can watch Mercedes go in and out of stock on parts over time. which indicates they aren't pulling from a huge stockpile that somehow gets run down to zilch.

The aftermarket runs differently but the OP is talking about a Mercedes Benz part. Many of us don't patronize the after market in the truest sense because of quality and age issues. I would never buy an aftermarket timing belt for my 308. I know that Ferrari is getting fresh belts on a regular basis so I don't have to worry about a belt that is supposed to only be on the car for 5 years, being ten years old when I buy it. Its a safe bet Ferrari isn't selling belts that were made at the end of production in 1989. Nor is Mercedes selling parts for a W124 that were manufactured in 2005.
 

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1995 W124 E320 Cabrio
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187 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Nor is Mercedes selling parts for a W124 that were manufactured in 2005.
MBUSA selling // Indys purchasing are two different things--could be secondary inventory. I know G&N sources a lot of OEM parts from the Downtown LA dealership. MBCC if they need to. Have had great luck getting NLA parts sourced, so I think the secondary inventory market is pretty big
 

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87 300D 5 speed
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5,434 Posts
My Cabrio is currently at my trusted indy--diagnosis of a coolant leak (gradually lowering reservoir) pointed to my original radiator reaching the end of it's life (indicated by stains on the coolant hose necks).

This morning, on the phone with my mech, he informed me the MB OEM replacement he installed fresh from the box had a blockage, as the car was reaching ~100F with the AC on during testing, and presented symptoms when pressure tested. He told me many of the OEM replacement radiators (at least for the Cabrio) may have been sitting, boxed, since the early 2000s.

He did contact MBUSA, who evidently received a new shipment last week, to have them forward him a "fresh" one.

Just wanted to post a cautionary note for anyone replacing a radiator with OEM that may have been sitting for some time.

(And no, we won't be assessing the credibility of my senior mechanic, he's exceptional and owns 2 A124s himself)
Yeah, Mercedes buys it's replacement parts in China just like everybody else. They're garbage. You're just paying a premium for the label.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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17,161 Posts
Yeah, Mercedes buys it's replacement parts in China just like everybody else. They're garbage. You're just paying a premium for the label.
No they don't, but keep telling yourself that LA hoodrat. Since you have such a distaste for the brand and the dealership network why do you even bother driving a "loser yellow" (your words, not mine) diesel that you downgraded to a stick like every German taxi of the era???
2617826
 

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Mercedes-Benz
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I don't know the source of the current crop of Genuine OE 124 radiators, but a dealer tech friend told me that they're offering a budget line of parts made in China. I don't know what parts for what applications.
 

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W124
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The last Behr radiator I purchased for a W124 came from South Africa and was fine. I don't know how someone would even own a car that only Chinese knockoff parts are available for. Why?
 

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1995 E320 Cabriolet
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55 Posts
The last Behr radiator I purchased for a W124 came from South Africa and was fine. I don't know how someone would even own a car that only Chinese knockoff parts are available for. Why?
My Behr radiator has been providing fine service for 10 years. Was a fraction of the cost of one with a MB star stamped on it
 

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1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
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7,035 Posts
yeah, the Behr seem superior to Nissen... my Volvos used Nissen radiators and seemed like I had more premature failures with those than I ever did with a Mercedes Behr. but I'll take either of those over any chinese junk.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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17,161 Posts
The radiator on the W124 M103 thats in my car is a Behr that was a production part in 1989 .
If your rad is that old, you better verify it has the reinforcement ring in the upper neck. If not, replace the rad immediately.
 
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