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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I heard a loud noise while I was driving my car (4/18/12) at night. My car immediately veered to the right. I was able to regain control of my car. I was frightened. Fortunately, I did not hurt anyone or myself. I managed to get the car home. I was only a few blocks away from home. I pulled up in my driveway and saw a part touching the ground. I identified the part with the aid of my manual.

Fortunately, I discovered this forum while I was looking for prices on the part. I learned that there is an open service call on sub-frames for my model (80 450 SL). I called MB USA and they told me to call the dealership in order to have it taken care of. I called the dealership (Brumos) and spoke with a service adviser. I really didn't like how things got started because he told me that anything could have caused my sub-frame to fail. He also said that he never heard of an open campaign on sub-frames. I told him that he could call MB USA to verify the open campaign.

He called me back and said that he found out that this was true after talking to a few service guys at the dealership. I had my car towed over there at my expense. He told me that I would have to pay $90 dollars if the problem was not my sub-frame. The valet took me home. The adviser called me a few hours later and confirmed that my sub-frame was broken. He also said that the service tech made a few recommendations on some things that he saw during the preliminary. He emailed me a Recommended Action Plan. We went over it over the phone.

I declined those recommendations. I told him that I was only interested in having the sub-frame fixed. He then tried to sell me on getting a wheel alignment. "I said no! Please fix the sub-frame." He said okay......No problem.

He called me five minutes later and said that I would be responsible for buying the sub-frame mounts. I wasn't happy because he didn't tell me that when I went there on the day my car was towed. He also didn't tell me that a few moments ago during our earlier conversation. He quoted me a price of $384. I called around and found a better deal ($75.95 New German Made Mounts).

I called him back a few moments later and told him that I was purchasing my own mounts. He said, "That would be fine." I took the mounts to the dealership two days ago (Wednesday). The service adviser had a funny look on his face. I guess I cut them out of some money. LOL........The valet brought me home.

I got a call from the service adviser this morning. He is now telling me that I need a controller arm. I asked him why wasn't this discovered during the preliminary last week? I asked him why this wasn't included in the Recommended Action Plan that was emailed to me? He got sarcastic and said "We don't have an X-Ray Machine". He said that this was discovered while installing the sub-frame.

I got upset and told him that I don't understand how this could be missed. I told him that it seemed as if he is determined to make some money off of me while my car is there. He said that the controller arm is an internal part. It would be hard for the service tech to diagnose a problem with it during the inspection or preliminary. I slammed the phone in his face.

I called MB USA and told the rep what took place. The rep (Orlando) said that he would send my complaint over to a team for review. I should get a call today or Monday.

I don't understand how the service adviser is now trying to tell me that I need a new controller arm after a preliminary or full inspection has been done one week ago. I am glad that I didn't hurt anyone including myself when the sub-frame failed. I think these guys are trying to make some money off of me. Any ideas, thoughts, or opinions is appreciated. Thanks in advance. Sorry for the long story..........
 

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64' 220SEc, 72' 300SEL 6.3, lots of parts
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512 Posts
Jax, is the 450SL older than the service manager?

That was a common problem many were fixed years ago,

Yours wasn't

The dealerships do not want to deal with the oldtimers
so find a specialist for the older cars. or D.I.Yourself.

I would get a complete newer subframe properly reinforced and swap it in.

How is the rest of the car maintained?
All front and rear mounts need replacing?
Motor mounts / trans mounts ?
Rubber parts usually don't go 40 years.
 

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73 280SE 4.5, 71 300SEL, 03 BMW Z4, 72 Fiat 850, 80 Triumph TR7, 85 Porsche 911
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Jax, what's the name of the dealership? It's obviously one to avoid (not that I go to the stealership for anything).

When I first bought my 108, I took it to the local stealership to have it once-overed, and they said the same thing Brian did - they don't have techs to fix this stuff because there are no computer data ports.

For this whole subframe thing, is Mercedes paying for anything, or are you footing the bill for it all? Was it a recall? Or just some general announcement?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi There,

I took my car to Brumos on Atlantic Boulevard here in Jacksonville, Florida. There is an open recall on the sub-frames for three particular models. My 450 SL is one of the three. The dealership is responsible for covering the cost of the sub-frame and installation. The service adviser then told me (in a later conversation that took place several minutes after we initially went over the inspection report) that I was responsible for purchasing the sub-frame mounts. He said that I would not be responsible for covering the costs of installing the mounts.

It's peculiar and strange to me that a controller arm was not mentioned in the inspection report (The So-Called Recommended Plan of Action) that was sent to me last week. These guys checked my car out from head to toe. I declined all the recommendations because I can have my mechanic (that I have been going to for over thirteen years) to take care of the Nick Nacks.

Why is that you have discovered that I now need a controller arm, but you failed to discover that during the full inspection last week? A new controller arm was not written in the preliminary report. The service adviser had the nerve to get sarcastic by saying "They don't have an X-Ray Machine". My friends told me that the service adviser is trying to make a commission off of me while my car is there. I am waiting to get a response from MB USA. Take Care!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Everyone,

Well, I received a call from a case manager from MB USA yesterday after three calls. I expressed my problem to her. She shockingly said that MB USA would not invest any money into the situation because I have an older model. I told her that I would not be in this situation if Mercedes wouldn't have put a defective part on my car. I also told her that I lost control of the car for a few seconds.

She asked me what would I like for her to do. I told her that I wanted my car fixed. She said that she would call the service manager at Brumos. Well, the service manager at Brumos called me nearly twenty minutes later. She told me that my service adviser found a used controller arm ($44) for me online. She told me that I would only have to bring it in. She said they could not purchase it because they have a dealer's license.

The service manager also gave me a rental until my car gets fixed. I am going to purchase the part and take it over there. I feel a little bit better. I will feel alot better once I get my car back. Can you imagine someone calling you at 7:34 in the morning and telling you that you need a left front controller arm and it will cost over $1,000 dollars to have it done?

My car is in very good condition. I had it painted two years ago. Three coats of paint and three coats of clear. I have chrome wheels with Benz Centerpieces. The seats have been reupholstered. I just spent close to six hundred dollars to have the brakes done and a few other parts replaced. People are always giving me compliments on the car.

I have been going to the same mechanic (Cassat Imports) for over nearly fourteen years. They are pretty good with their service and prices. I will keep you posted on the progress with the dealership. Thanks guys!
 

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1975 450SL
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Go to the 107 forum here, R/C107 SL/SLC Class - Benzworld.org - Mercedes-Benz Discussion Forum , and look in the Encyclopedia Germanica v107 sticky. You will find a section in there specific to the subframe recall.

If your subframe failed, it will require new bushings for the control arms. It is highly rcommended that you replace the subframe mounts and engine mounts, as they are "right there". The difference should be quite noticable with new rubber to replace the 30+ year old bits. Getting the mounts online can save you a sizable amount.

If you read that section, you will be prepared when dealing with the service manager at the dealership.

Good Luck,
Scott
 

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if you did not want to spend a dime on that care , i would have taking it to a frame shop and have them reweld , reinforce at the left rear of lower control arm . it takes sometime years after the crack start to finally fail . this was a common problem .anybody knoledgable that work on those older cars would have found that problem years ago during a oil change .i aleays look , it is always at the same exact spot .caught early it is a simple weld job .when you replace the subframe on a older car like that , you have to transfer a bunch of parts that are rubber mounted [ rotted ]. i used to tell people , expect to put close to $ 1000 out of your pocket on top of the free recall . i think you are unfair to the dealer .
 

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1975 450SL
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Go to the link i posted earlier, and look for the Subframe Recall articles. There's a lot of info there on just this subject. It will give you a full background on this problem that will let you make the best decision for your situation. :)

Good luck,
Scott
 

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I have a 1983 380SL in San Diego CA. Does anybody know who I need to contact at MB USA about getting my broken front sub-frame fixed? I took it to the dealer in SD and they put my vin number into the computer and " the computer says NO". Ive bee reading a lot of the posts and seem like my car is covered for this recall. My mechanic told me it was covered and to contact the dealer. Now the dealer say to call MB USA. I need a name of someone there who know about the recall. Thanks:confused:
 

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68 250S, 91 300se, 98 SL500, 450SEL 6.9, 14 CLS550 Past MB's; 300SD, 300E, 300TE, 190E, ML420
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Please post on the R107 forum. Many there have dealt with this. They can help you find where to apply preasure to get them to do it.
 

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here we go , i think you are out of line , you cannot replace the subframe without replacing some part , a 35 yrs old car will have issues with worn mount .you dont just replace the subframe , you have to switch over all the suspension / sterring components from the old to the new one .a lot of those parts will fall apart when trying to do so .now , on the other hand , this is a well known issue , when i service a 107 , the first thing i do is to look at that spot that break .most of the time , you will see a crack that start , it will take some time before the failure you experienced .when the crack start , a $ 100 weld job will fix this issue .you could still find a frame / welding / muffler shop to fix this .it will be more difficult now .sorry , but that is what it is .usually a recall will cost you $ 1200 , ball joints , motor mounts [ if needed ] subframe mounts , upper lower control arms bushings ++++ ??? .
 

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Talk about the way back machine. I was the one that did the inspections and welding of the stiffener brackets providing the tab wasn't cracking. If it was then the frame had to be replaced. Another guy did that job as we had so many to inspect. The motor and sub frame mounts had to be removed anyway so there was no extra labor charge to replace them. The control arm mentioned may have been damaged like bent somehow when the frame failed and it wasn't noted until an alignment was attempted. You can't do this job without have the alignment performed as the entire suspension is removed. The owner of the car is exactly that, he owns the car so he also owns the problem, MB will replace the frame but all the other repairs should be done at the owners expense. Think of it as an unintended improvement as the car will drive better than he has ever felt it.
 

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Bill , when the crack just started , on cars without recall , or unwilling to paid some money for the recall , i used to fix them .they only crack at one spot at left lower control arm at rear ear .a piece of flat iron curbed to the shape of the flange , welded to the flange , and bolted to a existing hole and welded .that without disassembling anything .that would fix this problem for$ 100 .the 300d 115 had also that issue . you could have used the factory braces on cracked but not broken flange , just weld the crack and reinforce . back in the early 90 s , the mb dealer spent $ 12000 on a 450 sel 116 for a busted frame at steering box .they replaced the all front end frame on the car , [ worth about 5 k at that time ] people forget that frames and subframes are nothing but pieces welded together , so they can be repaired better then original .i guess MB is scared of lawyers .
 

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I was the one who cleaned and inspected them at the dealer I worked for. I got the job because I was proficient with a mig welder. If they were cracked at all it got a new frame and if not I fit and welded the brackets into the sub frame and repainted it when done. I am amazed that MB is still willing to spend money on these old cars even when the owners don't have the same feelings about them. I remember when the 107 came out, I didn't like them as they seemed so plastic coming from the older high line cars. Prior to the recall I wouldn't have had much knowledge about issues with the sub frames as I ran a dyno then, they installed a hoist in my side stall and moved the 220 to that spot. The guy who did the frame replacements would run down to my area to check I wasn't going to weld a frame that he should be replacing, we worked flat rate in those days so it was always a contest of sorts.
 

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1972 Mercedes Benz 250
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Was this the only series affected? Do us w114 owners need to be concerned? The weather is pretty bad right now, but the next clear day, I will get under and inspect all of my subframe.
 

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I would imagine that all of the earlier sub frame cars have had issues with them to some degree but the 107 is the only one that was a recognized fault that needed a universal repair. To do an inspection you will likely need to do some clean up and be able to get under it far enough to look up into the tabs that the lower control arm pivot mounts to.
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Was this the only series affected? Do us w114 owners need to be concerned? The weather is pretty bad right now, but the next clear day, I will get under and inspect all of my subframe.

Although the lighter aluminum 380sl/SLC cars have had subframe failures, the iron v8 107s (450sl/SLC) designed on the w114/115 platform (of a lighter car with a 6 cylinder max) are the ones with an open "service campaign" (not technically a recall). The 86-89 subframes are fully boxed and updated to not have the issue. Apparently the gussets from MB are NLA, and some guys have made reproductions of the gussets. I currently have three 560sl subframes and one set of gussets I've collected for the four cars I have that should all get the correction, but are not covered under the North American service campaign (for several reasons):
- 1978 450slc 5.0
- 1981 280slc
- 1985 280sl
- 1972 250c

Switching a subframe is not easy. You can weld the gussets on while the subframe is in place but need to be careful not to cool the subframe bushings while welding.

I have not done the job myself.

I have read that cracked subframes should not be repaired, just replaced. They are cheap. Most of them go to the scrapyard with the carcass. Not the car I parted. I got a 86-89 subframe out of the 1972 350sl 4.5 I parted out (which was covered under the service campaign).
 

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As for being a hard job, if your in a shop it really isn't all that bad. I probably did somewhere between 50 and 150 during my career. As for welding them up I did a lot and I mean a lot more. I lived in an area where it seemed every third car was a 107. The replacement frames were reinforced to the hilt.
 
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