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New owner to a '99 110 CDI - few niggles?

3627 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  [email protected]
Hi all

Ive just purchased today a '99 110 cdi with 84k on the clock! (Honest, its right, its been a local van all its life and not only the MOT's indicate but I can vouch for its honest low-mileage!)

Ive got a few small issues with it right now and I was hoping one or some of you could advise? Ive read the issues with these vans and knew what I could be letting myself in for before I bought it (not too much to be honest!) :)

1. The reverse gear. WHAT is up with that!! The seller showed me how, but my god, its all a bit hit and miss... is there a special way to ensure you DEFINATELY wont keep going forward? I take it neutral then far right then hard left and down is the ONLY way? Maybe the cables need checking... Perhaps its me not being heavy-handed enough?

2. Turbo seems to whoosh... like theres a dump-valve fitted... is that normal... or might the previous owner have actually fitted a dump valve?! My old HDI didnt do anything of the sort...

3. Rev counter seems to have stopped working. It occasionally goes up to 1 or just over, better when stopped, but I want to fix this. Is it a common issue? Any ideas what I can do?

4. Passanger door handle is buggerd. Wont open from outside or inside, I think I might have a go at this tomorrow by taking off the inside handle and pulling he cable from inside until it opens then off with the door card and fiddleing around. Tips anyone?

5. Injectors! Aha.. there was little service history with the van, Im sure they probably havent been done... but it drives fine and pulls well. Is it worth having a garage replace the copper washers just for the sake of it or leaving it? IS it advisable to use a diesel addative like Diesel Reddex to prevent any issues, or will this make the possible future problem worse or not help? Theres no black smoke at all... no signs of any problems...

Well, thats about all right now thats bothering me! Id really appreciate you guys helping out with some advice if you can?

Thanks in advance :)
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reverse gear and gearchange generally are recognised 638 problems.......... the cure is £23 from merc dealer and is called a Reverse gear selector and is a "cage" on top of the gearbox.

Complete fix is under 1/2 hr and needs a big screwdriver (as a lever) and a single socket or spanner

I attach the details


I had the problem and eventually decided I had to try the repair.

According to most forumers, at the time, it involved a difficult job including taking the central dash apart and adjusting cables etc.

I am medically disabled with little strength and major "allergic" reactions to almost everything so I tried to ignore it.

Eventually I gave in and got the "cage", was amazed at how cheap (I got one for my new van 2 weeks ago for £23) and giving myself a couple of days to do it (as I said I have little strength or stamina) I started the job.

I used a deep socket and short handle....... 2 bolts, 1 of which is at the back and difficult to get at (the worst bit) and a large screwdiver.

I unclipped the 2 gear cables (using the screwdriver as a lever) and removed the 2 bolts.

The "cage came off easily and the new one went straight on, self aligning, I did up the 2 bolts with a little screwlock "in case" and the cables easily clipped back on..... LABEL one of them so they go back on the right nipples.

It took under 1/2 hr (about 20 mins)........ the gear change was fine if not quite centered correctly....... I found out later and again on the one I just got, that most people readjust the cables rather than replace the cage...... generally a waste of time......... check the old cage against a new one, the new cage pivots smoothly with no play, the old one is normally as reliable, smooth and firm as a badly made jelly.

The PDFs attached are labelled "gear cable adjustment" but are in fact ALL details of changeing the cage as well as adjustments if wanted (DON'T adjust unless the cage doesn't cure the problem -- change the cage first......... ANYONE can do it on a 638)
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Reverse gear should be easy to engage, if not change the cage then possibly adjust the cables (639s can only adjust cables) the WIS paperwork (the PDFs I posted) are titled "reverse gear problem" so its always been known about.

Aftermarket bits are often a problem, often badly made and worse fitted..... however good aftermarket stuff can be wonderful.

The battery is ALWAYS under the left hand seat in 638s and 639s REMEMBER that 90% of the market for mercs drive on the wrong side of the road so the left hand seat is the drivers..... its sloppy manual writing / translating......... some years ago I wrote manuals to be sent to china, I got them translated by a chinese engineering student and then the chinese version was given to (believe it or not) the 20 odd year old daughter from my local chinese takeaway, the translation back to english was sometimes hillarious but after a few back-and-forth translations they made sense in BOTH languages.

When going to the mb parts counter you give your VIN number (write it down as ALL parts are vehicle specific) and ask for "reversing lever parts kit A 000 260 04 37

as I said my new cage cost £26 inc vat but obviously dealers will vary from each other.

As a note Cicely Mercedes (blackburn) are currently selling door lock cables at under £6 on ebay -- its a good time for 638 owners as most MB dealers are dumping their stock of 638 parts for clearance
eg in the last couple of weeks 2 bonnets sold at £19.99 and £10 collection only, I got 2 new electric window units (complete except glass) for £19.99 each (as opposed to £280 +vat) and a new heated tailgate window for £10
of course you must be willing to collect big bits but a saving of £500 on electric windows make it worth while going from lancashire to the midlands... even with the price of cooking oil (I run on sunflower oil as I have a diesel / petrol allergy)
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its not merc on ebay.... if you look, its a few mb main dealers.

Several big dealerships have split up into smaller units e.g. Ciceley Mercedes is now Ciceley Commercials, Ciceley Mercedes (cars) and the preston branch is now independent as Mercedes Preston.

Other groups have done the same, some keeping the old group naming but acting as independents.

Selling old stock on ebay is easy for them to stock clear and satisfies the accountants and receivers because its an auction but without the hassle of having to collect everything together, arrange a sale and create a catalogue.

It does give some odd results though. Today I found a £20 exhaust (+£7post) system, new original MB whilst a breaker is selling 1/2 system for "only" £75 (+£12post)

according to my contact, the "sale" is likely in dribs and drabs all winter (until 6 April tax year starts)
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