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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I am the new owner and caretaker of a one owner 1986 Mercedes Benz 190 D 2.5 (5speed). This car belonged to my grandmother since new, and after she passed recently I have now acquired the vehicle. It has been garage kept since its purchase in November of 1986. The odometer reads 109,936 miles, however I noticed on the drive home that the odometer is not working, so we'll add 20-25 miles. The engine is strong, the lights all work and there are no leaks that I have found yet. I wanted to, if possible run by my plan to get the car back up and running more like a daily driver. I planned on first tackling the fluids and filters....Oil (fluid and filter), air filter, transmission (fluid and filter), rear diff, brakes, coolant. Then onto the harder jobs tackling the items that require some love.

First, the odometer needs fixed....so I'm looking at a dash removal. Second, the heater blower motor only runs on max. Even with the switch on 'I' it is still full blast from the center vents. I'm thinking possibly the resistor? This should be an easy kill with the dash removed. Third, no heat. Driving the car home I noticed no heat, granted I had the a/c off because of the fan, but in the garage at the end of the drive...no heat. Also, even with the "floor vents" selected I only get air through the center vents. Vacuum issue maybe? My Dad removed the fuse for the radio because it was only playing static (extremely loud), so replace that fuse to make sure the antenna works. The sunroof won't open....could this be related to that fuse? Lastly, I've seen good things about diesel purge....the diesel in the car is old, I'm not sure how old, but old. Would it be worth it to run some of that through the injector pump? Also, are there any additives to kill algae in diesel that are trusted by fellow MB enthusiasts? I apologize for the long first post but I am thrilled to death to have this car here. It's a piece of my childhood and my grandmother that I will cherish. Given that, I want to look after the car as best I can, and do the work myself. I'm eager to get started on this journey. Thanks for reading, and any input or information given will be much appreciated.

update I replaced the #19 fuse, and the radio, antenna, and sunroof worked. Started the car the next day and the static was back on the speakers so the fuse has come back out. Has anyone experienced this issue before? Is it best to swap the old radio for a new one?
 

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1993 190e Special Edition
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31 Posts
What a great car to inherit !! These are great vehicles and worth fixing up. When my car didn’t blow air at the feet, the cause was a faulty vacuum element. This is a common issue as these cars age.
good luck !!
 

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1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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135 Posts
congrats, that looks like a super nice car and low mileage (especially for a diesel). I would keep everything stock (including radio) as its getting hard to find super nice un-modified cars. You can probably find the exact radio on ebay for a few dollars. Alternatively you can send it in to BeckerAutosound.com

They will refurbish it and add in an AUX port for your phone.

Odometer is probably the gear in the instrument cluster broken. Does speedometer work? You can probably send the instrument cluster in for repair, look around online. Easy to remove instrument cluster, no need to pull dash.

For the HVAC controls: I would start by tracing down if you have vacuum leaks. Get a mityvac and start connecting to various lines under the hood to see if you have leaks. Look around online for instructions on this as well, very common.

Ultimately you may need to replace some other hvac components but I would start with vacuum.

Also I recommend changing all fluids: Transmission especially, oil, radiator use zerex g05, brakes, power steering.
 

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1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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135 Posts
Also you may or may not have algae. I have a diesel that is driven infrequently and i've never had any issues with this. I would top the tank off with fresh diesel and run it through. You will want to change your diesel fuel filter after you suck all the old crap through (1-2 tanks). Maybe do a purge depending on how things are running.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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4,318 Posts
Welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear that your grandmother passed. My condolences.
Very nice to hear that a person your age would like to care for their grandparents car.

Is the static sound from the radio or the head unit itself? Does it have static when you are playing a cassette too?

For the heat you will probably have to check the vacuum valve somewhere near the battery under the leaf catcher.
I would start there. Make sure that is operational.

For the odometer you can repair it yourself, they sell the plastic gear online. They usually wear out if the tripmeter is reset while the car is moving too many times.
Best not to do that (I do not ever reset it any longer)
 

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1992 190 e 1993
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202 Posts
Radio static?

Do you have the Hirshmanns automatic radio antenna, that powers up and extents/ retracts the mast when you turn on the radio? If the motor gets jammed or does not shut off, the current draw could blow the fuse. I temporally fixed mine by unplugging the power connector to the power antenna and just plugged in the coax cable to the mast assembly.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First and foremost thanks for all of the helpful information. I’ve got heat, checked it today, let the car warm up and sure enough there was heat. I cycled the temp dial from min to max several times and felt the change. I did not however get any positive feedback from trying the A/C. Set to “min” and pressed the snowflake. Nothing. Granted, it’s cool in MD, but I suspect something is amiss. I believe I have the old R-12 system, is there anyway that the layman can tell? I also got in touch with Becker audio in NJ today and am eventually going to send out the radio to get refurbished and the Bluetooth option added. Hopefully tomorrow I can get underneath the car to see how the frame and suspension is doing. I am anxiously awaiting about a dozen items from FCP EURO. Have any of the diesel owners had to change a valve cover gasket? I noticed several cracks and evidence of a leak that has been unattended to. Sorry for the length of these posts, just trying to get all the things in my brain out before I lose track of what’s good and what’s not. And also, thanks for all the condolences. My grandmother loved this car, she and my grandfather had a Mercedes each. He sold his black 1973 220D before I could drive, and once that was gone I always kept my eye on the blue car. Glad to be part of a classic car community.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First and foremost thanks for all of the helpful information. I’ve got heat, checked it today, let the car warm up and sure enough there was heat. I cycled the temp dial from min to max several times and felt the change. I did not however get any positive feedback from trying the A/C. Set to “min” and pressed the snowflake. Nothing. Granted, it’s cool in MD, but I suspect something is amiss. I believe I have the old R-12 system, is there anyway that the layman can tell? I also got in touch with Becker audio in NJ today and am eventually going to send out the radio to get refurbished and the Bluetooth option added. Hopefully tomorrow I can get underneath the car to see how the frame and suspension is doing. I am anxiously awaiting about a dozen items from FCP EURO. Have any of the diesel owners had to change a valve cover gasket? I noticed several cracks and evidence of a leak that has been unattended to. Sorry for the length of these posts, just trying to get all the things in my brain out before I lose track of what’s good and what’s not. And also, thanks for all the condolences. My grandmother loved this car, she and my grandfather had a Mercedes each. He sold his black 1973 220D before I could drive, and once that was gone I always kept my eye on the blue car. Glad to be part of a classic car community.
Another question...I’ve noticed lots of talk about the Daimler sticker in the windshield. Is there some significance to this? image.jpg
 

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1990 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.6
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597 Posts
It's just nice to have. It means the windshield is probably the original.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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4,318 Posts
Your grandfather owned a W115. I learned how to drive on one of those....
If you like working on cars, you will enjoy your grandmother's car as they are fun to work on and do need/like lots of attention.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Awesome. Parts are slowly starting to trickle in. I received my Haynes Manual today, and ordered a valve cover gasket since the old one is perished. Have any of you guys ever done a coolant flush? I've only ever replaced a radiator in my pickup truck. I noticed today that the overflow tank is pretty dirty inside, and also took note of lack of coolant visible. I can't tell you the last time that has been serviced.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Radio static?

Do you have the Hirshmanns automatic radio antenna, that powers up and extents/ retracts the mast when you turn on the radio? If the motor gets jammed or does not shut off, the current draw could blow the fuse. I temporally fixed mine by unplugging the power connector to the power antenna and just plugged in the coax cable to the mast assembly.
Dave I do have a hirshmann automatic radio antenna. The antenna works properly with the fuse installed. When I turned the car on the noise I can describe is very loud static with bass to it, like the speakers are getting energy but the radio is displaying 4 dashes, I guess since power was removed from it. I tried punching the numbers, and am aware that I may need to find the four digit code that goes to it.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's another. The throttle linkages on the diesel, in the owner's manual it calls for hydraulic fluid, and then states to ask the dealership....since they've proven to be very unhelpful, what do the other diesel owners use? Just regular lithium grease in a small amount?
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
Joined
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4,318 Posts
Awesome. Parts are slowly starting to trickle in. I received my Haynes Manual today, and ordered a valve cover gasket since the old one is perished. Have any of you guys ever done a coolant flush? I've only ever replaced a radiator in my pickup truck. I noticed today that the overflow tank is pretty dirty inside, and also took note of lack of coolant visible. I can't tell you the last time that has been serviced.
Flush is pretty simple, just follow the Haynes manual. I've done it a couple of times in the last 5 years. If there is rust or sediment in the system citrus flush is recommended. You can get the mercedes brand online.
I would highly recommend a new reservoir tank. It is a nice refresh and you want to be able to see the coolant level.

- Cheers!
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual - 200K miles, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
Joined
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4,318 Posts
Here's another. The throttle linkages on the diesel, in the owner's manual it calls for hydraulic fluid, and then states to ask the dealership....since they've proven to be very unhelpful, what do the other diesel owners use? Just regular lithium grease in a small amount?
Not sure if the diesel linkage is different than the gasoline but the gasoline engine linkages use ATF.
 

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1990 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.6
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597 Posts
Dave I do have a hirshmann automatic radio antenna. The antenna works properly with the fuse installed. When I turned the car on the noise I can describe is very loud static with bass to it, like the speakers are getting energy but the radio is displaying 4 dashes, I guess since power was removed from it. I tried punching the numbers, and am aware that I may need to find the four digit code that goes to it.
You will definitely need the 4 digit code to get the radio up and running. I have two Mercedes radios and neither of them work very well. The sound quality is poor. Although I miss the weather band I installed an aftermarket Pioneer brand CD/radio deck which works very well. I can use the cassette tapes in my BMW?
 

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89 190E 2.6 x2, 99 SL500 Sport
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1,785 Posts
You will definitely need the 4 digit code to get the radio up and running. I have two Mercedes radios and neither of them work very well. The sound quality is poor. Although I miss the weather band I installed an aftermarket Pioneer brand CD/radio deck which works very well. I can use the cassette tapes in my BMW?
Believe or not, but I tried one of those radio code generators for my R129 and it worked. The site was kinda sketchy, but since the car didn't come w/ one it was worth a shot.

Now regarding the Becker radios, I definitely agree w/ Laura about the sound quality. Even when these radios were new, I always thought the sound quality was "weak". Becker auto sound charges $$$ for radio restoration, if you don't care about looks you can get a top of the line head unit for the same price.
My two 190's both have Alpine head units. When I got my R129 a couple months ago it also had a Becker with Bose audio, but the bass didn't seem very deep and the treble was not sharp. First thing I did was yank it out and install an old Alpine and it "woke" the system up. Bass is now solid and highs are clear.

Now if you want a stock looking radio, look into the Continental head units. They have that stock look w/ amber illumination.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wanted to give you a little update on what I’ve been up to. Yesterday I changed the final drive gear oil. Checked the brakes (pads are good enough). Went to drain the transmission fluid and the socket wouldn’t fit. Needless to say I’m adding a new 14mm long handle Allen wrench to my inventory. I removed the airbox, and began work on removing the instrument cluster, I need the odometer working to pass inspection. When I went to remove the plugs, I mistakenly undid the clips on the back of this plug, releasing pandora from her box. It was until I realized while trying to snap it back together that some of the metal plugs had come out. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤬So...now I’ve got a project until the Allen wrench comes in, and then it’s on to the odometer. But, with every step I make I learn something about just how over engineered these little cars are. I’m in love. More to follow!
image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg AAA200CC-A0D6-4832-8087-43708E51466F.jpeg 863AEE44-4537-4F10-8553-DD40447C011A.jpeg F014BBBA-DB1C-4938-81AF-507F76413C4C.jpeg
 

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1990 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.6
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597 Posts
OH MY ! Well if you can find a wiring diagram you should be able to match the colours to the numbers on the plug or someone will take a photo for you. Good luck.
 

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1986 Blue 190D 2.5 N/A 5 Speed
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OH MY ! Well if you can find a wiring diagram you should be able to match the colours to the numbers on the plug or someone will take a photo for you. Good luck.
Thankfully the Haynes manual has a wiring diagram. It’s just trying to manipulate the wire ends through the steering wheel while the wires are under tension that is the hardest thing. That, and the fact that those clips pop out while trying to reinstall another one. Oh well, like I said, something else to do.
 
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