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Discussion Starter #81
Here’s some shots from the powder coating guy. It should be done tomorrow!





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Discussion Starter #83
I pulled the belt tensioner, damper and adjuster shaft out of the car yesterday. Pretty easy job with the right tools. I've got a really old Snapon 3/8" air ratchet that is a torque monster which makes removing pulley bolts a piece of cake. Once the water pump and PS pump pulleys were out of the way, it's just a few bolts to get the tensioner and bracket out. It's funny I'm still pulling things apart when I'm supposed to be putting things back together! Oh well, it will give me a chance to clean up that side of the block better than I could before. Strangely, the adjuster shaft was actually fine (I thought I stripped it the other night) and the bushing/bearing/rubber on the tensioner all looked fine but I do believe it is pretty bound up. I'm glad to be replacing it all and amazingly, the little plastic ring with the pointer on it is still in perfect shape.
 

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Left coast posted a pic awhile back showing the relation of the center part if the tensioner to illustrate if it's toast. If it's pointing the wrong way , looking from the back, the rubber has given up. They also often fail if tension is relived after years of being "sprung".
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Left coast posted a pic awhile back showing the relation of the center part if the tensioner to illustrate if it's toast. If it's pointing the wrong way , looking from the back, the rubber has given up. They also often fail if tension is relived after years of being "sprung".
I suspect it is beat even though it looks ok. It probably would have been fine if the car continued to run but sitting did not do it any good.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
I’m heading off to pick up the valve cover! You can see that underneath all of the pealing paint, the cover was pitted pretty badly in some areas but I think it looks a million times better now. These pics are from the powdercoater:





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Discussion Starter #87
This morning I cleaned all the rust off the PS pulley and water pump pulley and gave them a fresh coat of flat black. I also cleaned up and sprayed the metal three-legged bracket that the tensioner attaches to.
The valve cover looks amazing considering it’s age and Mg makeup.

Today is turn the key day!!!!





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Discussion Starter #88 (Edited)
We are back in business! First things first, I wanted you guys to see the new tensioner assembly from Febi. I was nervous about having to choose this brand, but I’m happy with how it turned out. The part was made in Germany and has INA bearings which makes me comfortable with the quality of the part.


Getting that side of the block cleaned up and getting the pulley back in went nicely. The little plastic pointer thing that helps set the tension even went back in successfully.

But, before that all went back together, I got the valve cover back on, filled that sucker with oil and fired it up!!! It cranked the first time without any drama. Once I knew it was going to be ok, I spent a while getting the tensioner, pulleys and belt installed. Then I worked on the fan, shroud and the rest of the little bits. First test drive was so awesome. Obviously, the brakes were extremely violent for the first few miles, but after a while they started to smooth out. I am still planning on installing the new rotors I have anyway.
I've got a DMV appointment Thursday, and insurance on it beginning today. This thing will be officially back on the road in no time!


And here it is after it had been driven and was fully warmed up. It is super smooth and nice and quiet.


The black valve cover looks so good with everything all clean and buttoned up!
 

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We are back in business! First things first, I wanted you guys to see the new tensioner assembly from Febi. I was nervous about having to choose this brand, but I’m happy with how it turned out. The part was made in Germany and has INA bearings which makes me comfortable with the quality of the part.
Nice to hear it fired up! Febi doesn't make anything, they are a reboxer... sometimes they rebox OEM parts, sometimes they rebox junk. What you received may be a good part, possibly OEM. The fact it has INA (OEM) bearings is a good sign. :thumbsup:


But just because it's made in Germany, don't assume it's OK. See below, from back in 2014...



My new-to-me S124 wagon had a record of the M104 fan bearing bracket being replaced by a shop a few years ago. The receipt shows the shop charged the previous owner full MB dealer retail at the time for the bracket ($278)... but they installed a Febi bracket instead. The Febi bracket failed in 4 years / 38kmi, the bearing was loose in the casting and allowed the pulley to move forward/aft 2-3mm.

The Febi bracket was made in Germany, btw... no Chinese stuff here. Apparently Febi can't even make quality stuff in Germany! It is also sad that a shop would charge a customer dealer retail, and then install a part which they probably paid 1/3 as much for. As a bonus, the shop did not install it correctly, they did not use anaerobic sealant on the bolts during installation as specified in the FSM. This caused an oil leak. *sigh*

On a side note, the Febi bracket would not allow the pulley locking tool (round rod) to insert properly, the casting was not lined up with the hole in the flange. Since there are no name-brand brackets available via aftermarket, I shelled out for the OE bracket from the dealer. On the OE bracket, the pulley lock tool fits perfectly! After cleaning everything and installing with the proper sealant on the bolts, the leak is gone.

Photos at this link, scroll down to "fan".

:eek
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Nice to hear it fired up! Febi doesn't make anything, they are a reboxer... sometimes they rebox OEM parts, sometimes they rebox junk. What you received may be a good part, possibly OEM. The fact it has INA (OEM) bearings is a good sign. :thumbsup:

But just because it's made in Germany, don't assume it's OK. See below, from back in 2014...
I wasn't assuming anything. I was just happy to see some clear signs that it could be a decent part based on the bearings.
 

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Woo hoo!!!! Congratulations!!! You must be happy! I'm certainly happy for you. It's got to be good to get your baby back.

I'm also glad you posted pictures of the whole car as I was getting curious. It does look good in the photos. I've always liked red Benzes. I currently own a '99 C280 Sport, but passed up the opportunity to buy a red one when I was looking for mine in the summer of 2017. Mine's black (very black) what with a black exterior and black interior, and since it's the sport version, all the normally wooden bits are (fake) carbon fiber. So black, black, black. I'd love to have a red one, but when shopping used, mechanicals and overall condition trump color. Sigh.

Anyway, congrats again. Maybe you can make a driving video and post that?

Cheers,

Kim G
Redding, CA
Where we are very thankful that all our head gaskets are still doing their job.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
I got the car registered, insured and back on the road!!! I am getting it inspected tomorrow and it will be all official (just the temporary inspection on now). Tonight I plan on changing out all 4 rotors and putting a different set of wheels on it that will pass inspection. I am really anxious to get the new front struts put on because the front end is pretty bouncy now. Next up will be a cooling system flush, changing out the fuel filter once the old gas is run out of the tank and then hopefully this summer will be a full rear suspension and subframe refresh. The car is running great and it is so awesome to be in it again. It's like sliding my hand into an old glove. :grin
 

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Discussion Starter #96
Well, I've been driving the car for about a week now, and everything has been great! Yesterday, I finally ran the gas out of it enough for the gas light to come on so I got under there and changed the fuel filter out. Afterwards I hit the gas station and filled it with ethanol free 91. Should make it pretty happy this week! The idle is perfectly smooth and there is virtually no vibration from the motor felt in the driver's seat. What a difference an overhaul and all new mounts makes.

The summer wheels I put back on have the front tires scrubbed up pretty badly on the insides and the outsides. The front end feels kind of squirrely going down the road and it needed an alignment before it quit. But, before I do that, I want to get the rear suspension all refreshed so that the rear can also be adjusted. All the bushings back there are in bad shape. More to come.

On a side note, since the old MB is driving again, it is the first time that my 2010 Audi A6 (the replacement car) and this car are both on the road making for an interesting comparison switching back and forth.
 

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This thread was an epic read. Glad to hear that your car is doing well after all the work you put into it. Just curious, but how would you compare the Audi to the MB? I used to have an 99 Audi 1.8t until last summer when it was totaled. I miss the manual and all wheel drive of the Audi. However, it doesn’t compare to the power (220hp) and space in the E320.
 

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Discussion Starter #98
This thread was an epic read. Glad to hear that your car is doing well after all the work you put into it. Just curious, but how would you compare the Audi to the MB? I used to have an 99 Audi 1.8t until last summer when it was totaled. I miss the manual and all wheel drive of the Audi. However, it doesn’t compare to the power (220hp) and space in the E320.
Thanks for reading along! The comparison makes me kind of uncomfortable after all of the leadup to getting the MB back on the road, to be honest. On one hand, I think that the W124 is one of the top 5 most beautiful car designs there has ever been. It is just perfectly proportioned and looks so dang good. When I sat back in it for that first test drive, it felt just like putting on an old pair of gloves made just for me. The seat hugs my back, the armrests sit at the exact locations and heights that my arms want to sit at. It goes down the road feeling smooth and agile at the same time. One thing I had forgotten that immediately came back (after I changed the front struts and all the brakes) was how "tossible" the Mercedes is. It's so predictable in corners and I can just slam it around with complete confidence in how it is going to react. I love the visibility inside the interior. This car has never needed any reverse cameras or fancy gadgets because it is so easy to see around and back into parking spots all on its own. I also love that when I want the vents to blow some air at me, they will do it with a gust like no other car I have ever been in. I love the simple controls, the air actuated door locks, the simple two stalk design on the left side of the steering wheel and the roushing sound it makes when you step on the gas. I like that you have to use a key in the door to unlock it and use a key in the ignition to start it. With all of that said, onto the Audi.
My Audi A6 is the C6 platform with the 3.0T (supercharged) and Quattro. It is a Prestige model that came with almost every option available except for lane assist (shakes the wheel when you wander out of your lane) and adaptive cruise control. I bought it from a local gentlemen that drove it (mostly by himself) for 200 miles a day. There was not a single scratch on the leather steering wheel, the shift knob or any of the buttons or controls in the car. Nobody had ever sat in the back seat and I think it was rare that anyone was in the passenger seat. Every bit of work was done at the dealer for all of the 200K miles that were on it. Also, the entire body is aluminum which means there is zero rust. The car is very comfortable, is great to take trips in with the kids in the back, is unstoppable in the snow and pretty fun to drive. It felt like a rocket when I first got it. Dual climate control in the front and another zone in the back, heated steering wheel and heated seats for everybody. Keyless entry, push to start, paddle shifters, etc. I think what has me caught up the most in this comparison though is that the Audi is fast. Granted it is not some 500 HP V8 or anything but there is simply no comparison in acceleration between the Audi and the Mercedes. It is night and day. Unfortunately, I have gotten very used to how fast it is over the last two years, and it makes for a hard transition back to the Mercedes. The Audi is not "tossible" though. In fact, I think taking turns too fast is the Quattro feels pretty unpredictable. It understeers like a front wheel drive car and that drives me nuts.
I am at a crossroads for sure. My next project on the Mercedes would be to completely replace the rear suspension and subframe components, not an easy job, and it will cost me about $500 in parts. Then, it needs a dealer alignment for another $200. After that is addressed, the AC system went soft the last couple years it was on the road which will require troubleshooting where the leak is, fixing it and then having a shop evacuate the system and recharge it. At that point, the car will be nearly perfect, mechanically. Then, there's the body. There are multiple bubbled paint spots now, the clearcoat issues and a couple of pretty rusty spots around the moonroof. The wheelwells and underbody is in good shape as are the door jambs, but the body panels need some attention. For now, I'm just rolling with it all and we'll see what happens.
 

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The 124 accelerator response was designed/influenced by the suit against Audi in the 80's for 'unintended acceleration'. That suit influenced other marques as well.

Obviously, Mercedes did not want to go down that road as Audi did, even if as proven there was nothing mechanically wrong with their cars. Whether it's mechanical or 'fly by wire', there's lag built in.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #100 (Edited)
I thought I would add a followup on this thread. The car is running beautifully! I was daily driving it again even with the 2010 A6 in running order in my driveway. There is nothing like a well-sorted W124. After spending a long time looking at where I am in life and finances and what I want to be spending my time on, I have decided to sell the car. This past week, I found the perfect car for me to replace both the old 94 and the Audi with; a 2016 E400 with a Designo exterior and interior. I flew to Rhode Island last week and picked the car up! It is amazing.
My 94 E320 is all cleaned up and officially on the market. I hope another enthusiast scoops it up and gives it the body work it needs to be mint once again. I listed it locally on CL and also put it in the W124 marketplace on here, post 3513. Thanks for all of your support fellas! Maybe I will see some of you over on the W212 forum!



 
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