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1989 300SE 232k miles
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

This regards my 1989 300SE with 233k miles. I've looked, but I haven't found anywhere discussing this.

I'm currently replacing the S-belt tensioner, and find myself wanting to remove the radiator fan shroud for probably the 5th time in the last 6 months. It's a super PITA and I have yet to actually do it. I've always managed to work around it. But I'm wondering: Previously I owned a couple SL320's (R129) with m104 engines. Can I just swap my W126 shroud for a R129 shroud? The R129 is designed to open at the bottom and lift out. Super-easy and clean. And if memory serves, it mounts the same.

Thanks,
Bill
 

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MB 300SE '90, anthrazite grey, black leather
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182 Posts
I broke mine a couple of years ago while removing it (the plastic was indeed very brittle) and have been driving without it ever since. Have not noticed any specific/severe issues thus far...
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1990 350SDL, "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car
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3,008 Posts
I ... have been driving without it ever since. Have not noticed any specific/severe issues thus far...
You may not notice any issues, but it does affect the efficiency of the cooling system. If your situation has sufficient cooling headroom it may not make a difference, but if you live in Death Valley it could become an issue.
 

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1989 300SE 232k miles
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I broke mine a couple of years ago while removing it (the plastic was indeed very brittle) and have been driving without it ever since. Have not noticed any specific/severe issues thus far...
You may not notice any issues, but it does affect the efficiency of the cooling system. If your situation has sufficient cooling headroom it may not make a difference, but if you live in Death Valley it could become an issue.
I appreciate these. Living in SW Florida, I'm concerned about potential overheating. So much so that I already replaced my thermostat with a cooler one. And I'm hoping that replacing my broken S-belt tensioner will result in a more efficient water pump and even cooler temperatures.

I'm amazed this hasn't been tried or done before. I suppose I'll hit up my guy for R129 parts and see what he wants for a used shroud.
 

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'91 560SEC, '91 300SE (sold), '98 Yota, '02 S-10 Hauler
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8,929 Posts
After you change the tensioner and before you snug up the belt I'd suggest you slather some neverseize on the threads and cup of the adjuster screw. I had to replace one on my former SE from the threads stripping (a LOT of tension on that screw). I have a spare adjuster here that I don't need since that ride has been gone for several years
 

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Outstanding Contributor
1990 350SDL, "Grandpa's Roadster" Project Car
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3,008 Posts
I already replaced my thermostat with a cooler one.
If you have an overheating problem, that won't help. It may slow down the rush to boil over, but it won't prevent it. In fact, all else being the same, the radiator can shed more BTUs if the water is entering at 100C than it can if it is entering at 80C.
 

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1989 300SE 232k miles
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1,032 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
If you have an overheating problem, that won't help. It may slow down the rush to boil over, but it won't prevent it. In fact, all else being the same, the radiator can shed more BTUs if the water is entering at 100C than it can if it is entering at 80C.
Appreciate it. It never overheated. It ran hot. It was between 100 and 120. Sometimes as high as 117 when sitting at a light; which was uncomfortable. After the thermostat change, it runs between 80 and 90.

Prior to her, the car looks like it was meticulously maintained. But the PO didn't really do any maintenance the 3 years she owned it. So I'm bringing things back. The S-belt was tight when I change the coolant and thermostat. But loosened with the tensioner being shot; I think that occurred when I got the AC working and there was more strain on the belt.

I pulled the shroud last night. Since it's just for airflow, I'm going to see if there's a way to cut it into 2 pieces, install it, and reattach them the pieces when installed. I can't imagine a couple hairline cuts affecting the airflow in any significant way.
 
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