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I just joined the mercedes family by purchasing an '88 300e this weekend. Has 156k. Previous owner was 80 years old and from when he bought it in '96, he put only 57k miles on it. On the test drive it drove great, which really surprised me. Had it up to 80 mph on the highway drive home with no rattles/shakes/virbations. Heat/AC are working. Moonroof, stereo, lights, wipers all were working. 3 of the 4 windows work(rear drivers side doesnt). The locks work including the trunk. After during much searching on these forums and hearing about the reliability of this car, i figured it was worth the $1800 he was wanting for it. I did not see any oil seepage in the coolant and no leaks around the cylinder head. While the transmission and head gasket have not been done yet(so he said), I know it won't be too far away. I am planning on using this car for a while so I do not want to take any short cuts in terms of maintenance.


Known issues:
drivers side rear window
rust patches on front fenders and trunk
cracks in left front headlight, front spoiler, front bumper
keys do not lock/unlock trunk--must be unlocked or locked by the doors
upon start up, has a rough idle for 30 seconds until it warms up- then is fine and idles at 800 rpm smoothly

My method to caring for a used car upon purchase is:
1. mechanically sound
2. cosmetically sound
3. any custom work

I was planning on doing a spark plug change and seafoam-ing the engine to try to improve on that initial rough idle. Does this seem like a good idea? Any and all input would be appreciated.

Jeff
 

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It it were not for the rust patches you mentioned, then I would probably have to call the cops on you for stealing the car from an old man. Yea, I know that 80 is the new 60; but still, the wheels, front spoiler and lights alone are worth $1800. Welcome to BW124, looks like you did alright.

On mechanical, draining torque converter, transmission and replacing filter, gasket and drain bolts and washers, repeating 30K miles and you may just get another 100k+ on it.

Use these plugs from clubplug.net
Stock Number...Part Number...Manufacture...Description.......Price
5031...............T20EP-U.........DENSO..........COPPER PLUG....$1.61 US

Look under distributor cap and change out the cap and rotor if you need to. Then there is the OVP, temp sensor for ECU, coil, wires, air filter, battery, voltage regulator, O2 sensor to get a baseline. But you did say it was running good.

You could check the fuel mixture with a multimeter: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w124-e-ce-d-td-class/1231077-fuel-mixture-adjustment.html

And you could build a code reader to check the ABS and A/C system periodically: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w124-e-ce-d-td-class/1555153-300te-idle-too-high.html#post4444916

But because you did mention rust then you may want to find and treat every bit, looking under springs and suspension in particular.
 

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Nice buy Jeff ! Welcome.
Bodykit has me interested.

I am thinking because of all the lines it may be a Zender like mine.

Can you see any naming moulded into it ?

Zender - Old 2.jpg
028.jpg
 

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Cheers!

From the looks of your pic you might want to get some gas, soon!

As you can imagine, ebay is a great place to go shopping for replacement parts, just beware the erratic shipping rats some folks push out there.

Looks great, enjoy the experts, I'm more of a parts tourist here as of late.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It it were not for the rust patches you mentioned, then I would probably have to call the cops on you for stealing the car from an old man. Yea, I know that 80 is the new 60; but still, the wheels, front spoiler and lights alone are worth $1800. Welcome to BW124, looks like you did alright.

On mechanical, draining torque converter, transmission and replacing filter, gasket and drain bolts and washers, repeating 30K miles and you may just get another 100k+ on it.

Use these plugs from clubplug.net
Stock Number...Part Number...Manufacture...Description.......Price
5031...............T20EP-U.........DENSO..........COPPER PLUG....$1.61 US

Look under distributor cap and change out the cap and rotor if you need to. Then there is the OVP, temp sensor for ECU, coil, wires, air filter, battery, voltage regulator, O2 sensor to get a baseline. But you did say it was running good.

You could check the fuel mixture with a multimeter: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w124-e-ce-d-td-class/1231077-fuel-mixture-adjustment.html

And you could build a code reader to check the ABS and A/C system periodically: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w124-e-ce-d-td-class/1555153-300te-idle-too-high.html#post4444916

But because you did mention rust then you may want to find and treat every bit, looking under springs and suspension in particular.
Thanks for the clubplug.net info! I just ordered 6 from them. I picked up some seafoam from work today and in combination with new plugs will certainly help, if not remove the rough idle. Hopefully, this weekend i can put the new plugs on and check the distributor and other areas you have mentioned.

Nice buy Jeff ! Welcome.
Bodykit has me interested.

I am thinking because of all the lines it may be a Zender like mine.

Can you see any naming moulded into it ?

View attachment 414922
View attachment 414923
I looked today but did not see any names on it. compared with the body kits on ebay, it has the same fog light sizes as the AMG kit but the center is not the same.

BTW, your car looks great! I am wanting some euro head lights as well!

klobbr300CECab;5014068 said:
From the looks of your pic you might want to get some gas, soon!

As you can imagine, ebay is a great place to go shopping for replacement parts, just beware the erratic shipping rats some folks push out there.

Looks great, enjoy the experts, I'm more of a parts tourist here as of late.
Haha!! I had turned off the car shortly after taking that picture and it wouldn't start again a bit later when i wanted to move it. I was thinking "oh man, here we go"....but then i noticed the gauge and put in some gas, and I was good!
 

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Yea, we have to do that all the time too.
Ain't it a pain in the ass !!!!!

Sometime's wish there was a way I could harness the result of a dinner of refried Mexican Beans with Jalapeno's, hot salsa and burrito supremo. :eek:

I reckon I could power my 300Ce for a week on that one feed alone ! :rolleyes:
 

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Looks like the outside temp gauge is toast....

Find the part # using the EPC:
EPC-net Online

then plug it into ebay to get one when you have the time. There are a number of different versions that are not compatible due to pin layouts, so make sure you get the right one.

To work on the window, remove the panel and apply direct power to the motor. A lot of times they cease to work due to frayed wiring in the door jam. This eliminates that issue. Rear window motors are a cakewalk compared to front since the regulator and motor are one piece and come out easy. The front requires alignments to get it all back in place. Not tough, but trickier than the rears.
 

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Ain't it a pain in the ass !!!!!

Sometime's wish there was a way I could harness the result of a dinner of refried Mexican Beans with Jalapeno's, hot salsa and burrito supremo. :eek:

I reckon I could power my 300Ce for a week on that one feed alone ! :rolleyes:
Yeah, don't I know it...sometimes when we're flying across the skies together fighting crime, I have to make SURE I'm nowhere behind you.

NUMB BUM
 

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Yeah, don't I know it...sometimes when we're flying across the skies together fighting crime, I have to make SURE I'm nowhere behind you.

NUMB BUM
NUMB BUM :twak:

I told you not to leave your super hero costume lying around !
I found this :asshat: on the front seat of the ASS MOBILE !
 

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When you get the plugs and take your old ones out, you may want to keep them in order and snap a pic. Post it up for someone to diagnose.
That's a good suggestion CBC.

There's an excellent series of articles about spark plugs and the 4th page has some interesting photo's of plug conditions though the images are extreme on some and less daily drive conditions to my mind.

Century Performance Center, Inc. :: Spark Plug Tech

If anyone has a set of photo's showing the various conditions you have encountered with an analysis of each it would be very handy as a reference in the future when trying to analyse what's up with your engine ?

Anyone ?
 

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That's a good suggestion CBC.

There's an excellent series of articles about spark plugs and the 4th page has some interesting photo's of plug conditions though the images are extreme on some and less daily drive conditions to my mind.

Century Performance Center, Inc. :: Spark Plug Tech

If anyone has a set of photo's showing the various conditions you have encountered with an analysis of each it would be very handy as a reference in the future when trying to analyse what's up with your engine ?

Anyone ?
I posted just that once here....to help those in need of reading spark plugs. That was before the last reformat. Here are two links that are OK, but not my favorite:
Century Performance Center, Inc. :: Spark Plug Reading
Spark plug reading

Remember that some of the pics are extremes as Ray said and your plugs may be a combination of things and/or not as extreme. I've been reading plugs for over 50 yrs...even back when we had tetraethyl lead in gas. Just post some good color pics (close-ups). Chilton and Haynes used to have excellent pics of plug burns, but they were usually in B&W. Even so, they were so clear you could extrapolate for color. Actually, carbon, coke and oil are all black in appearance, so B&W does partially work. :thumbsup:

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Quick other thought; Since this is my first mercedes, are there any specialty tools that are very useful/helpful/required for working on this kind of car?
 

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So far, I have been using a thin plastic tool with numbers on it and a magnetic strip on the back. But others have been using stuff they have around the garage.
 

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You wouldn't mind posting the numbers off the front and back of that tool would you; pm would be alright as well. Really just need to see if I can match it up to anything in my toolbox.

I can't tell you how many plugs that I broke using a regular sparkplug socket and socket wrench. I can't remember one that I broke using the sparkplug tool from the tool kit in the trunk.
 

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You wouldn't mind posting the numbers off the front and back of that tool would you; pm would be alright as well. Really just need to see if I can match it up to anything in my toolbox.

I can't tell you how many plugs that I broke using a regular sparkplug socket and socket wrench. I can't remember one that I broke using the sparkplug tool from the tool kit in the trunk.
Wow....then you're going in too 'hot' when you install your plugs. They just need to be in firm, not that extra, grunt partial turn......especially in aluminum threads.

Kevin
 

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Wow....then you're going in too 'hot' when you install your plugs. They just need to be in firm, not that extra, grunt partial turn......especially in aluminum threads.

Kevin
Never broke one putting it in. But what you are saying is that when they were put in too tight that when removing them it would make it difficult to remove without the excess torque that would lead to breakage.

I thought it was the tool and because of no anti-seize; but you are probably right and I put them in too tight. Anyway, not changing them near as much since the valve job and using a bit of anti-seize and using the tool from kit and no more problems.
 

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Never broke one putting it in. But what you are saying is that when they were put in too tight that when removing them it would make it difficult to remove without the excess torque that would lead to breakage.

I thought it was the tool and because of no anti-seize; but you are probably right and I put them in too tight. Anyway, not changing them near as much since the valve job and using a bit of anti-seize and using the tool from kit and no more problems.
Anti seize is OK, if it makes you feel more confident. But it shouldn't be necessary....also be wary of the particular anti-seize compound itself. Worse case scenario, some of that stuff gets into your combustion chamber. You want completely benign ingredients in the anti-seize.

The reason most plugs will break if they are put in too tight...the heating & cooling and expansion of an aluminum head is pretty severe. It will therefore literally 'lock' a spark plugin in its hole if it started out too tight.:thumbsup:

Kevin
 
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