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1987 560SEL, 1989 300SE, 1994 SL600
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Listen guys - I am having some fairly serious problems, and ended up breaking down in Canada last week. I need someone who REALLY knows what he is doing with the 1994 SL600 - and I need to get a recommendation based on experience, and complete confidence. Too many people who work around their little islands of familiarity with this car - including the dealers... so, I need someone who knows how to diagnose and repair ASR problem, engine problems, transmission problems, etc..

Rob
 

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SL55, 300SE, GL450, Daytona 955i
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1979 450SL; 1973 280SE 4.5; 1986 420 SEL(SOLD)
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340 Posts
European Motorsports, 314 South Broadway, Lawrence , MA 01843. Tel: 978-681-0070 Ask for Michael. He takes care of all my MBs and does an excellent job. He is really a master.
 

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1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1982 380SL,1998 SLK 230, 1968 Firebird, 2001 Dodge Ram 4x4,2005 Ford Escape
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5,247 Posts
Your car is a prime candidate for the wiring harness issues. I'd bet dollars to donuts that your ASR (A$$ Reamer). Is throttle actuator wiring related. Most are. The only way it isn't is if you have had the throttle actuators and wiring harness replaced!:D
 

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1987 560SEL, 1989 300SE, 1994 SL600
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
My continuing SAGA with the SL600

I really appreciate it... I contacted BAYHAS's mechanic Moe, and will leave my car there next Sunday evening.. so thanks BAYHAS... it's a drive for me to get down there to Norwood, Ma from New hampshire, but I spoke with them, and I felt they had some real insight into the SL600. I've been looking over the diag codes - and it looks like my ETA (Electronic Throttle Actuators) need help. I suspect the harnesses for these.. I also suspect some carbon cleaning needs to be done... where the throttle body connects to the intake manifold... Get this... In addition to all this other stuff, I've got compression problems in a couple of the cylinders, but the head is okay... or at least it seems to be fine. MB in Montreal said the head looks fine... and I did drive the car home to NH 300 miles after they fixed the cause of the overheat.

No antifreeze in the oil... suspect maybe a valve spring..... also, ASR light is on - and tranny seems to only function in 3rd gear which could be caused by ASR... so, no acceleration at lower speeds...

Car overheated at the Canadian border immigration station because the relay on the auxilary fan was toast.. would not start again until next morning. Had the car towed to Silver Star Mercedes in Montreal. They found the problem with the fan regulator/resistor (not sure what to call it), also found a hose was installed improperly when I put the new radiator in last month at my MB dealer here in New Hampshire. Don't go the Holoway MB In Greenland, NH... they don't know these cars.

I have had my engine wiring harnesses replaced under warranty, but the ETA harnesses have not been addressed. I just wanted to let you know, that even though the ETA is fairly expensive part, there is a place outside of Boston who will take your ETA in, test it - and rebuild if it is salvagable for under $300. They can turn it around in 3-5 days and it will have a lifetime guarantee - and that includes fixing the harness, and they DO use the teflon sheathing when they re-assemble - which everyone here will caution you that they should. I have not used these guys yet - but BAYHAS's mechanic said he uses them all the time, and they do good work... I will let you know when I get my car back.

You can reach these guys at [email protected] or at 866 573 2640.

So the only other thing I would like to share, is that as I've been looking at diag codes from my car as pulled by MB in Montreal last week, I found this manual online - which you guys may know about.. and if you do, sorry to post this... but this manual really does a good job of dumbing things down with respect to the diag codes, what they mean - and it breaks it down by chassis.
I just found it online, and let me tell you - it's got me convinced I have bad harnesses on my ETA. You can find it and dowload it free here....

http://obd.net84.net/obdfaultcodes/mercedes_trouble_codes.pdf

As for what's causing compression loss - well - not sure yet on that one...

Stay tuned, the saga shall continue...

hear that sucking sound..? that's money flying out of my wallet and into my SL600. I am stubborn Irishman, and I love my car - I will make this sonofabitch right... my 560SEL, and my 300SEL have never caused me this kind of heartburn.
 

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1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1982 380SL,1998 SLK 230, 1968 Firebird, 2001 Dodge Ram 4x4,2005 Ford Escape
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5,247 Posts
Good luck with the repairs. My ASR was totally the wiring on the TA's. Fritha78 and I both rewired ours at the same time. Took about 4 hours each due to the diligence we took to make no errors and do a pristine job. Material costs for military grade 200 C teflon was around $ 100.00 BBA seems to be dependable and a good value. Remember that they cannot replace the potentiometers. No one can. I'd guess with your miles that isn't the issue. As tough as the mechanical parts to this engine are, I can't imagine you have a compression problem. Guess the diagnosis will tell. I'll be watching with bated breath so please keep the updates coming !
 

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1987 560SEL, 1989 300SE, 1994 SL600
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
compression test results

So, in summary here - without all the extra info - here is the sequence of events.

1. Drove the car from Southern NH to Vermont/Canada border - performed perfect except for what felt like a small repetitive misfire. 200+ miles.

2. Waited in line at immigration to enter Canada for an hour in 90+ degree heat. I noticed the A/C stopped working.... car felt hot. Was not too concerned because I just put new radiator and hoses in with full coolant flush about 1 month ago. Temp gauge was showing 100-120F. Looking hot, and AC stopped working.

3. Immigration guard told me to pull over for more involved inspection and interrogation. Asked me to turn my car off.
(Really funny because I've never even been arrested. But, my wife is a Russian native - now US Citizen). Maybe that's why.

4. Got back in the car to start it - after inspection and interrogation by our friendly Canadian neighbors, and car would crank, but not start. It felt to me like a fuel delivery problem. I was thinking bad fule pump or fuel pressure regulator had failed. Waited an hour and repeated that attempt - at which time I had to get the car towed out of there (immigration officials were worried that perhaps I had a nuclear suitcase I guess). ;-)

5. Small local CAA (AAA's cousin) towed the car to their garage (sunday afternoon) and promised to look at in the morning, and gave me a rental so I could get to my hotel in Montreal.

6. They called me with report (attached), and told me compression was down in three cylinders, and they suspected bad head or head gasket. Suggested I take it to Mercedes as they did not have what it takes to work on it.

7. Car was towed to Mercedes in Montreal (AAA Gold card covers cost of both tows), and Mercedes started working it.

8. Mercedes finds Diag codes (more in step 9 on that) , and sees that radiator cap is bad, and that one of the hoses I did not replace with the radiator replacement was not tight and this allowed coolant to spill out under pressure. Also, the aux. fan resistor was fried, wire leads were melted, and this happened because the engine got so hot without coolant it just melted under the heat. That regulator detects temperatue when a car is standing and kicks on the aux fan to cool it... well this failed due to no coolant in the system due to MB dealer in NH not tightening my hose well enough.

9. Codes found by Mercedes were:

ASR

030 CAN: No Reception from EFP N4/1

EFP

221 Actuator EFP M16/4

222 Restoring Spring faulty

224 No Fault text specified at present

DM

006 Idle Speed Control -> EFP

038 Idle Speed control -> EFP


AB

019 SRS Airbag malfunction indicator lamp A1e15 -//-

025 Front passenger belt buckle switch (airbag) belt tens

DM Current FNo.: 038
Specified Description
- Emergency Operation right or left bank

Test Module HHTWIN Status 05/12
DM Fault Memory
Current Faults

006 Idle Speed Control ->EFP
038 Idle Speed Control ->EFP

GM

008 Voltage Supply N3/2-//-
009 Voltage supply N3/3 -//-
010 Fuse F2 or control unit N16/1

so, as you look at these codes, I appreciate any insight you may have. I also recognize that when the system is this messed up, some of these codes may be triggered by ASR faults, etc... but if any of this makes sense to you, please send me amail and tell me what you see.


See the attachement for the compression test performed by the small garage the morning after the first tow.
 

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Premium Member
2012 E350 - 1994 SL600
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935 Posts
Doing some Google searches it appears that EFP is German for ETA. I would start by removing the passenger side ETA and check it's wiring. Pretty simple to do. There is a thread here where tdoriot and I checked and repaired ours. His went into limp home mode and rewiring both ETA's fixed it. I was just trying to get ahead of problems but a slight surging caused me to begin the repair during which I found a vacuum line had come loose causing the surging. The overheat may have caused the wiring, which I suspect was bad, to get worse and short as the insulation came off. The insulation may have fallen into the gears of the ETA causing problems as well. Good luck.
Doug
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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I can vouch for BBA-Reman's work. Excellent rebuilders of electronic components, again with a life-time warranty. Any MB parts you buy only come with a 1-year warranty. Assemblies, like tranny and engine, come with a 2-year warranty, but BBA is a lifetime warranty on their work.
 

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1993 600SL, 1973 450 SL,1982 380SL,1998 SLK 230, 1968 Firebird, 2001 Dodge Ram 4x4,2005 Ford Escape
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I think I'd replace the defective cooling system parts, R&R the TA's, erase all those freaking codes and go again. You'll go nuts trying to bird dog all that crazy information. Many of those could have been in memory for along time. One methodical step at a time. After those are done I'll bet things will become simpler ! :D
 

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1987 560SEL, 1989 300SE, 1994 SL600
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
dropped the car off... should have info by midweek

Hi dropped my car off today at BAYHAS's mechanic.. left him all the fault codes, as well as the results of the compression test, and will call tomorrow.

I'll keep you guys posted.. I am 90%+ sure that ETA's need work - probably rewiring of the harness - hoping potentiometers are not bad.

Also very curious - and mystified why my compression is down on four cylinders... I know what all the causes could be.. but until I find out - I am really anxious - as it could be something simple, and not expensive to something devastating - that I might not have the possible funds to correct.

if that were to happen... I honestly don't know what I would so.

So, Sunday afternoon ay %PM... anxiety settles in... I do love my car - and I hope it's nothing too serious.

What I am really hoping is that the ASR and Check Engine lights being on, have the system SO.... freaking confused, that it is effecting compression, etc... etc.. and I hoping rebuilt ETA's will resolve that.

Stay tuned...
 

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1987 560SEL, 1989 300SE, 1994 SL600
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Discussion Starter #13
one more question

Has anyone had problems with compression on the SL600 where it didn't work out to be horrible news... and affordable to fix?

God.. I got a documented 68k miles on this.. I can't imagine the block has problems.. and I pretty much already know - it is not the head.. it's four of those damn cylinders... see previous post with pdf document... from the compression test...

Any theories?
 

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2012 E350 - 1994 SL600
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With only 68k miles I doubt it's the block or heads. We used to squirt some oil in the cylinders that showed low compression then check again. If the compression comes up its rings, if not, it's valves. I'm uncertain what damage could have been caused from overheating but I'm sure the mechanic can sort it out. I hope it's not too expensive.
Doug
 

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I agree with Doug on the method to differentiate the cause of a compression issues. That being said, I think I'd get these new guys to recheck it. Is is so unlikely that you really have low compression. Nothings impossible in BenzWorld, but I would be surprised if that is the case. Keep the faith !
 

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1987 560SEL, 1989 300SE, 1994 SL600
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Discussion Starter #16
All - BAYHAS's recommended mechanic Moe had to have the car towed to Mercedes because he could not get it started. I drove it there, so go figure. Turns out it had something to co with the ETA.. they reset at the MB dealer, and it started. I am now waiting to hear from Mercedes... it sort of sounds like Auto Mall Service center, despite BAYHAS's solid recommendation is stepping back from the car - and doesn't feel like they can work on it... go figure. I personally think the ETA's need to be rebuilt or replaced...
I also think that given each vavle has a coli, maybe I have a broken coil... MB told me that even though the car is has a new radiator and hoses, that the motor is heating up very quickly - and they feel that water/anti freeze is not circulating how it should... and they don't know why... I am going to suggest a new water pump, and new thermostat as a first step. And then, onto the valve and rings test that Fritha amnd TDO suggested.

For KRISSAKES GUYS>>>>>! Are these cars that hard to work on - and diagnose?

Man....
 

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Holy hell ! It can't ever be easy can it ? Crazy unexpected things happen with cars, and these in particular. I had an impeller come loose on a water pump years ago. Similar symptoms. Bad thermostats can impead water flow. That would obviously be the cheap easy solution. I'd check the coolant for combustion by products. That is a sure indication of head gasket issues or in really nasty cases cracks.:crybaby2: the other symptom is disappearing coolant being sucked in and burned. That can be intake manifold gaskets. You can put a radiator pressure tester on, pump up to 15 PSI or so and listen for leaks The other test we already talked about was the compression.
Throttle actuators can be problematic. Doug and I had wiring failure. Those can be tricky little buggers ! Keep us posted, good luck :thumbsup:
 

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1979 450SL; 1973 280SE 4.5; 1986 420 SEL(SOLD)
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340 Posts
I repeat my recommendation for European Motorsports in Lawrence. I'll bet you a beer he can fix it. It's on the way back to Hampton, NH. I'd be happy to make the introduction.

Whatever you decide, good luck as this sounds incredubly frustrating.
 

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2009 S550, 1973 Avanti II, 2008 Silverado LTZ
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I have nothing to add to this thread. I just want to post so I get updates!:D

I'm sure Tracy is right, by the way....
 

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SL55, 300SE, GL450, Daytona 955i
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All - BAYHAS's recommended mechanic Moe had to have the car towed to Mercedes because he could not get it started. I drove it there, so go figure. Turns out it had something to co with the ETA.. they reset at the MB dealer, and it started. I am now waiting to hear from Mercedes... it sort of sounds like Auto Mall Service center, despite BAYHAS's solid recommendation is stepping back from the car - and doesn't feel like they can work on it... go figure. I personally think the ETA's need to be rebuilt or replaced...
I also think that given each vavle has a coli, maybe I have a broken coil... MB told me that even though the car is has a new radiator and hoses, that the motor is heating up very quickly - and they feel that water/anti freeze is not circulating how it should... and they don't know why... I am going to suggest a new water pump, and new thermostat as a first step. And then, onto the valve and rings test that Fritha amnd TDO suggested.

For KRISSAKES GUYS>>>>>! Are these cars that hard to work on - and diagnose?

Man....
I spoke to Mo, he actually stated that he was forced to pass on working on the car, rather than presenting you with a huge bill; with his experience, he could forsee that the car will present one issue after another, due to degraded wiring and such, therefore, he indeed passed on working on it, so he would keep you happy, and have the potential of you bringing other cars to his shop in the future, rather than upsetting you, and losing you forever...

Please note that its not a matter of technical ability, but rather pure business, he figured that if he worked on the car, the profitability of the job (after time invested) will not make him happy, and the bill will not make you happy... that's all...

You have to keep in mind that the way we fix these cars is different than what a shop does, you and I are certainly willing to spend half a day taking off one stripped bolt, but this very incident is almost a grand coming out of a shop's pocket, due to down time of manpower and equipment... that's why shops sometimes have to say no to a challange, not due to technical inability, but due to logistical one...

on a personal note, based on Mo's feedback, and what him and I think about the whole thing, your problem is in the TBs... stop worrying about the compression, as long as the car is running smoothly, I ve seen M104s running as low as 80psi, and still starting and running... but to get there, take off both TBs, and take them down to BBA to rebuild them... that is CERTAINLY where I would start if I were you, and this was my car...
 
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