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Hello. picked up a $400 300 SE... It only has 99k, the interior is solid (and blue!) and the car is also completely rust free. A few of the obvious issues are the exhaust is chopped of and loud, the alternator wasn't charging (already replaced) and due to impact with a deer (and I assume other things) there is damage down the left side and the headlight is broken. worst of all, the radiator is hanging by zip ties, the aux cooling fans are non-existent, and the A/C condenser has been replaced with something aftermarket and hooked up with rubber hose. looks like the compressor clutch is blown to bits anyways.

So onto the big issues: The ASR light is on and the electronic throttle is not functioning. It also shows other symptoms similar to a bad throttle actuator such as stumbling idle, running rich and stiff steering/brakes. When I turn the key, the Throttle initially moves a little and then shuts off. Does this sound common with a bad throttle actuator or harness? I will be taking a deep-dive into the passenger module box to check those fuses and then I will get out my SDS. Any advice for what to check here would be appreciated!

Next is the radiator: how the heck is this thing mounted in the car? is there lower radiator mount? or does it mount on the side/frame rails? If there was a lower core support to this car, it's long gone! Can someone please show me some pictures of what the under side of the radiator is supposed to look like? I'm just trying to gather ideas for what I need to fix this poor ole thing!

Thanks for looking!
 

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First thing is to check the harness, because if that's bad you're going to have a really hard time diagnosing everything else. And from the looks of things there, it's probably bad. You won't get any reliable code readings or anything close to normal performance until the harness is done.

After the harness is verified or replaced, I'd just go ahead and replace the throttle actuator also with a rebuilt unit. Check the driver-side fuse box under the hood for blown fuses (I forget which one the ASR is on but check all of them anyway) -- maybe you'll get lucky and a blown fuse will be the culprit for your ASR issue, but doubtful as even well-maintained cars need the actuator done eventually.

Also, are you sure the car doesn't have bad gas at this point? How much is in the tank? Have you treated it with a fuel stabilizer? If you haven't done any of this, my suggestion would also be to add a good fuel stabilizer/restorer, and then fill the tank up the rest of the way with fresh high-octane. Then change the fuel filter.

Additionally, when you turn the key into the first position, do you hear the fuel pumps activate? Do they sound like they're buzzing loudly? If they're noisy -- or not on at all -- they're likely bad and could be responsible for some of your issues also. Last year I had an intermittent rough idle/stalling issue on cold starts that would also trigger my ASR light; turned out to be bad fuel pumps.

As for the radiator, I'm not totally sure about how it's mounted up to the car, but judging by what you've written on how it's currently mounted and the components missing, it's safe to say that you have a lot of work ahead to set that right. Hopefully more people here will chime in with information, but there are a lot of diagrams available online for these cars as well. Maybe take some detailed pictures of what the engine bay looks like and we can point out the things that don't look right.

One question -- how much are you willing to spend to set this car right? From where I'm sitting, it looks like you're in for at least ten grand for a decent mechanical restoration and a light cosmetic improvement, even if you're doing most of the work yourself. I'm not one to put anyone off a project, and I think these cars deserve to be restored -- especially considering the values are on an upswing -- but you definitely have some work there.
 

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Do people spend that much??? I've never even had 10 grand!

I'm not just a guy who found a cheap Mercedes, I've been doing this as a hobby for a long time now. My other car is an R170 SLK with a 5.5L AMG M113 and a 6 speed manual.. I have the technology to fix this thing! (for cheap)

Having said that, I took the throttle apart last night and cleaned off the potentiometers and all the contacts. I spliced the harness - looks perfectly fine. I heard early 93's with ASR were before the harness issues???. Secondly I scanned the car with STAR. One thing it couldn't read: the EFP N4/1 - which I believe to be the module that controls the throttle. BUT. alas, after some tweaking, It works now! it had some teething, but I was able to actually drive the car without any serious issue.

Star also discovered a possible faulty wheel speed sensor, camshaft position sensor issue and also the MAF.

as for the radiator support, looks like the factory had a bent tube that goes from frame rail to frame rail. Based on that, I will fabricate my own once I get a radiator that is complete.

Things I will be looking for:
1. radiator
2. A/C condensor and lines
3. aux fans and shroud
4. Driver headlight
5. both turn signal lenses
6. Driver quarter panel
7. Front bumper cover.
8. A complete exhaust

stay tuned!
 

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Oh yeah, that car must have hit a curb or something because you're definitely missing a whole bunch of important-looking stuff in the lower part of the nose there.

It's possible that this car was built before the decision was made to go to biodegradable harnesses, but it's also just as likely it had a warranty replacement sometime in it's life. The issue was pretty well known by 1995 and a lot of the cars had the work done at the dealership. Either way if the harness is good at least you know you're getting good data.

All the other stuff you need should be pretty readily available on eBay, so no worries there. I'm glad you're able to get this work done yourself... I'd way in way over my head right now lol.
 

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I just started following this thread and still have to read it all, but there’s definitely crumbling wiring on my 1993 300se that has a lot of 1992 manufacture dates I’ve seen, like 10/92 I think. The small alternator wire and oil pressure sender wire definitely lost their insulation. My injection harness is good though. So it must have been replaced. I planned to part mine out, but couldn’t stomach it and made it run instead. Sorry I can’t supply parts, but my whole car is available if you want it.
 

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I have a large sign in my garage that says: THERE IS NOTHING MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A CHEAP MERCEDES! Looks like you found a winner! I bought a '97 CL600 with only 44K and have spent $10K just bringing it up to current maintenance standards. Most recent was a new cam position sensor, new radiator hoses (still had the 22 year old originals) and an oil change. Found a cracked left side air intake and ordered it.
Anziani
 

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I’ve spent about $0 on my 1993 300se that I’ve used for nothing but working on it. Well, gas, fluids and taking junk yard parts from other junk cars. I’ve gotten zero value out of it Other than selling the original wheels (only came with four, no spare) to replace 100% of the money I spent buying it (without interest).
 

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I have a large sign in my garage that says: THERE IS NOTHING MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A CHEAP MERCEDES! Looks like you found a winner! I bought a '97 CL600 with only 44K and have spent $10K just bringing it up to current maintenance standards. Most recent was a new cam position sensor, new radiator hoses (still had the 22 year old originals) and an oil change. Found a cracked left side air intake and ordered it.
Anziani
Hey where did you get that sign?? I want one!
 

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Hey where did you get that sign?? I want one!
Loggato, I've had it forever but I think I got it from a "Sign" company on the internet. I found a size I wanted and they would print anything on the sign. It was pretty inexpensive.
Anziani
 

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Just an update.... I'VE BEEN BUSY!

first, I sourced the cylinder one low compression to being the fault of worn valves. 3 cylinders were at risk of having the same problems soon. Hard to believe a 99k engine had an issue like that, but it's possible it absorbed a lot of dirt and debris because it did not have an air filter on it when I got it. I bought a valve spring tool and was able to source Valves through FCP euro.. even the supplier for the valve, TRW, didnt have any in stock. I'm not sure anyone knew, but you get 2 valves per box!

So. got the new intake valves in and lapped. Didn't do anything too special to the exhaust valves other than a cleaning and then lapped them as well. I'm a firm believer that they will self-machine into their own holes. With the head back on, I did a compression check and was getting a 150 all around! SWEET! but it still had a nasty missfire... this time I sourced it to #6.. the opposite side of the engine from the original problem!

well, when I was putting everything back together, I did noticed that the camshaft magnet wire was showing bare copper... then I remembered that these may have harness issues.. sure enough, a quick slice half way up the harness and chunks of rotted bio-degradable junk came pouring out.. I mean POURING out! There was literally nothing left on the copper wire.

Well then, that took a few more days, but I replaced all those wires. I went the cheap and easy route, crimp connectors and some used wiring from some MB harnesses I've collected over the past few years. Long story short, just got it finished yesterday and the car FINALLY runs great!
 

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I like reading this, as my 1993 300se has miraculously come back from the dead, including reverse, basically everything works great besides the radio and the ASR light being on. Did you have an ASR light on? I guess that’s my next item to tackle. And oh... does anyone know if VT registration will work on a salvage title car. LOL!

No intention of hijacking. Love to see you bringing this one back. The w140 with the power windshield mirror and all does enamor me. Never loved them before I owned one. I often think of grabbing a nice condition one for a daily driver... if I didn’t already have 20 Mercedes and two Honda’s.
 

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I like reading this, as my 1993 300se has miraculously come back from the dead, including reverse, basically everything works great besides the radio and the ASR light being on. Did you have an ASR light on? I guess that’s my next item to tackle. And oh... does anyone know if VT registration will work on a salvage title car. LOL!

No intention of hijacking. Love to see you bringing this one back. The w140 with the power windshield mirror and all does enamor me. Never loved them before I owned one. I often think of grabbing a nice condition one for a daily driver... if I didn’t already have 20 Mercedes and two Honda’s.
I like reading this, as my 1993 300se has miraculously come back from the dead, including reverse, basically everything works great besides the radio and the ASR light being on. Did you have an ASR light on? I guess that’s my next item to tackle. And oh... does anyone know if VT registration will work on a salvage title car. LOL!

No intention of hijacking. Love to see you bringing this one back. The w140 with the power windshield mirror and all does enamor me. Never loved them before I owned one. I often think of grabbing a nice condition one for a daily driver... if I didn’t already have 20 Mercedes and two Honda’s.
My ASR light is on.. but I discovered it's because the wheel speed sensor wire was not properly tied down and has been chewed up by the tire. that's my next fix.

as for the title, hows come you cant get it inspected and back on the road with a salvage title? the Vermont hack usually works for cars that just plain dont have titles.
 
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