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1989 190e 2.6
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354 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finally to move all my issues to one place and out of the daily thread. :D

Car Hsitory:
Purchased the 1989 190e 2.6 from the original owners son in July of 2018 with 185k miles on it. Car had been "maintained" but not nearly to the level I keep cars, kind of bare minimum to keep it on the road and passing inspection.

Current Issues:
Transmission Not Upshifting - Rebuild this Fall (I believe failed governor gears)
Soft Camshaft Pre-89
Rusty Horns
Seized Camber Bolts Up Front
Slight Idle Vibration (Camshaft hopefully)

Stalls in cold weather (Doesnt happen between February and November so no way to test)
Seized Cold Start Valve
Occasional Hard Start
Leaky trans cooler hoses
Find oil leak on driver side of engine

Future Wants:
Finish Painting Zender spoiler and install
Powdercoat Valve Cover
Self-Dimming Mirror
Redo Brake Hardlines
16v/Sportline Steering Gear?
Larger Front Sway Bar
Auto Window Switches
Keyless Entry
Get Zebrano Refinished
Put adjustable camber bolts in the rear

Things Fixed/Modded:
Car Claybar'd, Compounded and Sealed x3 (really bad oxidation)
Euro Headlights
AMG Fender Spacers
Middle Exhaust Replace due to hole
AMG Monoblocks Added
Springs Replaced with H&R
Struts replaced with Bilstein B8
Front Tie Rods Replaced
Power Steering Pump Replaced
Driverside Aux Fan Replaced
Distributor Cap, Rotor & Plastic Cover Replaced
Spark Plugs Replaced
Valve Cover (poorly) Painted
Steering Damper Replaced
Antenna Replaced with OEM & Wiring Fixed
Leather Gearshfit Added
Upgraded to 1992+ 390mm Leather Steering Wheel/Airbag
Armrest Fixed
Climate Control Lighting Fixed
Driver/Passenger Vent Assembly Replaced
Driver Side Door Panels Replaced
Rear Thrust Arms Replaced
Vacuum Modulator Replaced
Transmission Serviced x2
Trans Pressure Cable Replaced
Throttle Cable Keeper Replaced
Air Cleaner Mounts Replaced
Air Cleaner Replaced
1ohm Resistor Added to Temp Sensor (Fans Kick On at 92c)
82c Thermostat Added
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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354 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Issue of June 3rd: Upon taking off the front timing chain cover I discovered a chip in the cylinder head. Now I've looked this spot over and I'm not convinced its a problem. The area is right behind the timing chain, it is not a sealing area and its not near any moving parts. I'm guessing maybe the chain snapped in the past and took part of the head with it? Does anyone have any insight into issues this may cause?

Also went ahead and purchased another tc cover on eBay, found two cracks in the original that looks like they were patched with silicone at some point in the past. I could strangle whoever worked on this car. Also found one of the ("washers" per the EPC) round little piece of metal on top of the valve springs to be upside down when I pulled off the number 5 rocker arm assembly so I can assume that was some of the loudness I've been hearing up top, none of the lifters appear to be bad.

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2636025
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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354 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Switching gears a bit a friend came over to help me yesterday and bring his spring compressor. After lowering the car on H&Rs and new Bilstein B8s the alignment was off and the car wasn't sitting even side to side. Camber bolts were totally seized up front. Went ahead and got some new LCAs and bolts. Got through the passenger side yesterday and 3/4 of the way through the driver side. What happened is that not only did the bolt seize to the bushing, but the outside of the bushing itself fused itself to the chassis.
 

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Great job with the restoration. I'm always happy to see another W201 getting the tlc it needs. How about some pictures? I think your cylinder head question is one I would suggest asking the MB Classic Center about. I'm not sure if this is an issue or not. At the very least, I would monitor it on a regular basis.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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354 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
This is how she's currently sitting, planning to pop on lower spring pads to bring the front end down a hair and put #3s on the rear to raise that a tad. I asked a mechanic friend and he said it shouldn't be an issue since its not a sealed surface nor can it hurt anything thats moving, probably why it has been left alone in the past.

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Glad to see you've finally got your own thread going! Your list of things fixed/modded looks a lot like mine.
I noticed you mentioned you've got a driver's side oil leak as well. I've been chasing that leak on my blue car for years now. Re-torqued all the pan bolts and replaced oil level sender but it's still leaking a little bit so I'm just living with it. Don't want to deal w/ the pain gasket.
Also, I know what you mean about having to deal w/ shoddy repairs in the past. I used to pay mechanics to work on my car, and over the years I've found issues. When I pulled the upper timing cover I found barely enough sealant which explains why it started leaking again.

That chip shouldn't be a problem either. My guess is that when someone did the head gasket, the 12 pt bit somehow slipped and took out that piece. You're supposed to loosen them by hand, but who knows what lazy shop might've used an impact. :rolleyes:
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #7
Glad to see you've finally got your own thread going! Your list of things fixed/modded looks a lot like mine.
I noticed you mentioned you've got a driver's side oil leak as well. I've been chasing that leak on my blue car for years now. Re-torqued all the pan bolts and replaced oil level sender but it's still leaking a little bit so I'm just living with it. Don't want to deal w/ the pain gasket.
Also, I know what you mean about having to deal w/ shoddy repairs in the past. I used to pay mechanics to work on my car, and over the years I've found issues. When I pulled the upper timing cover I found barely enough sealant which explains why it started leaking again.

That chip shouldn't be a problem either. My guess is that when someone did the head gasket, the 12 pt bit somehow slipped and took out that piece. You're supposed to loosen them by hand, but who knows what lazy shop might've used an impact. :rolleyes:
I think one of my issues is I don't know what all is on that side. I see a lot of oil on the goldish metal tubing right around the AC compressor. Seems to be coming from somewhere around the compressor. Its not enough of a leak to even make drops on the ground so I'm just ignoring it for the time being. I've got a lot of fluid on the passenger side but since I know the trans cooler lines are leaking I'm guessing its mixing with old oil/road grime and thats the only real leak there.

Theres a lot of times I just don't feel like fixing the car and I just want it working, which I then don't mind spending the money. I've found very few mechanic who know these cars and I feel like I end up spending money for them to learn them.
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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I think one of my issues is I don't know what all is on that side. I see a lot of oil on the goldish metal tubing right around the AC compressor. Seems to be coming from somewhere around the compressor. Its not enough of a leak to even make drops on the ground so I'm just ignoring it for the time being. I've got a lot of fluid on the passenger side but since I know the trans cooler lines are leaking I'm guessing its mixing with old oil/road grime and thats the only real leak there.

Theres a lot of times I just don't feel like fixing the car and I just want it working, which I then don't mind spending the money. I've found very few mechanic who know these cars and I feel like I end up spending money for them to learn them.
Sounds just my leak too, right by the ATF metal cooling line and by the bottom of the AC compressor. As far as I know there's no other seals in that area. Mine is probably worse than yours and leaves a couple drops on the ground.
Definitely tackle those trans cooler lines when you have a chance. It's really easy, takes me 10 min to do both. They seem to last about 10 yrs on avg before they fail.
Over here, we've got a million independent mechanics that are MB specialists, but very few of them know how to work on the older cars. All the old school guys I knew retired and closed their shops.
I've picked up most of my knowledge of DIY from a couple other W201 guys that live around here. Also my neighbor used to be a Volvo mechanic, but he's very knowledgable about Bosch CIS injection.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #9
Sounds just my leak too, right by the ATF metal cooling line and by the bottom of the AC compressor. As far as I know there's no other seals in that area. Mine is probably worse than yours and leaves a couple drops on the ground.
Definitely tackle those trans cooler lines when you have a chance. It's really easy, takes me 10 min to do both. They seem to last about 10 yrs on avg before they fail.
Over here, we've got a million independent mechanics that are MB specialists, but very few of them know how to work on the older cars. All the old school guys I knew retired and closed their shops.
I've picked up most of my knowledge of DIY from a couple other W201 guys that live around here. Also my neighbor used to be a Volvo mechanic, but he's very knowledgable about Bosch CIS injection.
I ordered the trans line and ended up ordering the wrong one so more $$$ to spend. :rolleyes:

The indy I've found that has good prices and knows the cars is good but a shadetree so no real shop. Theres one shop in town that knows the older cars but really not much cheaper than the dealer in labor rates. I'm going to go through and vet a few to determine who I want to do the trans install. I want to go through a real shop so I have some warranty to fall back on with the install.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #10
Decided to wait a day before I reinstall the front LCAs and clean up the mounting pointed. Cleaned, sanded and repsrayed factory color. No more surface rust! New LCAs, caster bolts and camber bolts go back in tomorrow along with #1 spring pads for the front springs.

2636087
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #11
Car has to fight me every step of the way. Car now has new control arms up front. Figured I’d replace the strut mounts since everything else is new. First one no issues, two nuts of the 2nd are fine. Third one immediately strips. I use one of my stripped nut removal sockets.........stud in the mount pulls loose and now it just spins. 😑
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2
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Ever figure out how to deal w/ that spinning stud?
Do you have access to an impact gun? That should give you enough torque/speed to spin off the stripped nut.
The alternator pulley bolt is very similar. If you don't have an impact, the shaft will just spin when you try to remove the nut, but the impact zips it off.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #13
Ever figure out how to deal w/ that spinning stud?
Do you have access to an impact gun? That should give you enough torque/speed to spin off the stripped nut.
The alternator pulley bolt is very similar. If you don't have an impact, the shaft will just spin when you try to remove the nut, but the impact zips it off.
I bought an impact last week and that wont take it off. Ropped my fiance in to hold some vice grips on it and no go. I got the mount back in and I'll probably throw a few bucks at a local shop to drill it out. My cold start valve is similarly seized so have them do both those. Its 95-110 all this week so I'll probably leave the car alone for the next few days. Still waiting for a big batch of parts for the camshaft swap anyway.
 

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Sounds like a real PITA to deal w/ if even the impact didn't knock it out. There's just some times when it's worth the $$ to pay a pro.
I'll be interested to see the progress on your camshaft swap. One thing I've never done is tear down the head before.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like a real PITA to deal w/ if even the impact didn't knock it out. There's just some times when it's worth the $$ to pay a pro.
I'll be interested to see the progress on your camshaft swap. One thing I've never done is tear down the head before.
Same :D

So far I have almost everything apart. Aside from the tensioner and the camshaft out. Going to do the following this weekend or next week depending on when my parts show up.

1. Mark the chain and cam gear to ensure I get the new one in the right position. The engine is at TDC but I still want to make some additional markings to be sure.
2. Remove the old timing chain cover sealant.
3. Remove old camshaft seal from replacement cover (original had cracks)
4. Remove timing chain tensioner and camshaft (I believe I can remove the cam and gear together once the tensioner is gone)
5. Oil everything up and put the new cam and gear in place. And replace the rocker arm assemblies with new after copious oiling.
6. Install new OEM tensioner after resetting it.
7. Install and seal new timing chain cover.
8. Install updated rotor adapter and then get distributor back on and we should be good.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #16
Got the car back on its wheels, brand new control arms and alignment hardware done along with #1 pads for the front springs. Got the new horns installed and bracket painted as well so one more thing off the list. Camshaft swap comes today. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In typical fashion I didn’t get far. Found out that the cam cannot come out with the gear attached. And unfortunately I stripped one of the cam bolts on the new one. I gotta take it to a shop tomorrow who can hopefully throw it in a vice and pop it off.

Luckily I did successfully remove and figure out how the tensioner works as well as make a ton of markings so I can be sure the timing is 100% when I put it back together.

2637665
 

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Oh man what a pain! I remember those cam bolts are pretty easy to strip, I had to triple check to make sure my bit was seated exactly! Not sure if you have vice grips, but they're a lifesafer. I stripped out one of the bolts that holds lift hook to the cylinder head (where the heater hose on the back is) and the vice grips easily broke it loose.
 

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1989 190e 2.6
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Discussion Starter #20
For the first time in awhile I'm feeling good about the 190. Hammered a 9mm socket onto that stripped bolt and the impact took it right off. Found very little movement in original the tensioner so that looks like good news for my timing chain. Used the original cam gear and got the new cam in and bolted up. I made marks on the chain and gear and she lines up perfect, timing looks great as well. Brand new OEM tensioner reset and installed.

Got the rocker arms for Cyl 1 and 5 in and torqued. It looks like I need to rotate the engine so the cams on the other cylinders are flat before I can torque those down, is that correct and does anyone have any tips?

On the cosmetic front I dropped the valve cover at the powdercoaters last week, went a little different. He's going to do a navy blue with a matte clear. Going for something that doesnt look obviously modded, but also different than original.

Questions:
1. When I started torquing the cam gear bolts I had a bit of slack on the timing chain with the tensioner installed. Is that normal? I cant move it at all by hand, but when applying torque to those bolts I got a mm of movement
2. To get the rocker arm assemblies in should I just move the engine in small increments until they sit flat and I can torque them?
3. I assume the amount of movement on my original tensioner would show the amount of slack in chain since new, looks to be a small amount so nothing to worry about?

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