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2001 W210, 1998 W210 Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 1998 W210 E320 Wagon rear hatch will not lock/unlock via the vacuum system and (I think) I've diagnosed to faulty actuator. (Perhaps caused by a stiff locking mechanism? Key will not operate via outside keyhole. I can move the inside toggle switch to lock/unlock without needing inordinate strength, but it is a bit stout.)

I plan to replace one of the actuators (where I hear the leak) and also examine the lock to see why it's so difficult to turn.

However, I cannot find anywhere the process to REMOVE the lock and actuator from the rear hatch door! I have all the trim removed. Wish that had been designed with easier access.

Can anyone point me in the direction of step by step disassembly instructions?

Thanks in advance!
 

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We removed the entire locking mechanism from the inside as I recall. All the trim and carpet wall should be removed. There's a parts diagram somewhere here: mercedes w210 wagon rear hatch diagram - Google Search.

On the two W210s we owned the locks themselves were so tight they seemed frozen. It needs to be sprayed with WD40 and worked, and sprayed, and worked, and worked, and worked.
 

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2001 W210, 1998 W210 Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I have everything exposed and also the parts diagram. I only sprayed a little WD40 in the keyhole so that is a good suggestion - I'll try to keep working it before I try to figure out how to take it all out of there. Regardless, the actuator is hissing when you use the remote so I'll have to get stuff out of there to replace it anyway - new one on order.
Appreciate it!
 

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Thank you. I have everything exposed and also the parts diagram. I only sprayed a little WD40 in the keyhole so that is a good suggestion - I'll try to keep working it before I try to figure out how to take it all out of there. Regardless, the actuator is hissing when you use the remote so I'll have to get stuff out of there to replace it anyway - new one on order.
Appreciate it!
There are two vacuum elements in there. 140 800 29 75
 

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2001 W210, 1998 W210 Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Once I get the new actuator element I'll reinstall everything and hopefully it will work. What I still cannot explain is why the key won't operate the lock. Perhaps someone in the past 24 years had the lock and handle assembly replaced and did not have it re-keyed? I partially disassembled the lock, but did not remove the cylinder - so I'm not sure exactly what kind of lock mechanism it is. I assume some kind of disc tumbler, but not being a locksmith I didn't want to destroy it. SO as long as I can get it to lock with the vacuum system and the remote key I'll be happy and my wife can drive it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is the lock mechanism partially disassembled...with the retaining ring, driver, and cover removed. (Not sure the proper name for the cover, but it is the part in the background that the driver sits on and which, presumably, the key should turn to activate the switches and the lock...)
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Once I get the new actuator element I'll reinstall everything and hopefully it will work. What I still cannot explain is why the key won't operate the lock. Perhaps someone in the past 24 years had the lock and handle assembly replaced and did not have it re-keyed? I partially disassembled the lock, but did not remove the cylinder - so I'm not sure exactly what kind of lock mechanism it is. I assume some kind of disc tumbler, but not being a locksmith I didn't want to destroy it. SO as long as I can get it to lock with the vacuum system and the remote key I'll be happy and my wife can drive it. :)
I hope you are going to replace both elements. They were installed on the same day. ;)
 

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Here is the lock mechanism partially disassembled...with the retaining ring, driver, and cover removed. (Not sure the proper name for the cover, but it is the part in the background that the driver sits on and which, presumably, the key should turn to activate the switches and the lock...)
Take it to the locksmith. They can decode that cylinder and cut new key.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Follow up -
Replaced the faulty actuator element, reinstalled the handle assembly, and now the lock works. (Success!)
However, something I must have done in the process caused the remotes to no longer work (although I can’t imagine anything I tinkered with would have any bearing on the remotes). Now only the interior center console switch operates the locks. (Fail!) I’ll search other threads for this issue…
Can’t find a locksmith who can decode my lock and rekey. (Impending fail!)
Hey, for a 24 year old car 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.
 

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W210 Section Moderator
1998 E320 base sedan @ 235K miles
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Follow up -
Replaced the faulty actuator element, reinstalled the handle assembly, and now the lock works. (Success!)
However, something I must have done in the process caused the remotes to no longer work (although I can’t imagine anything I tinkered with would have any bearing on the remotes). Now only the interior center console switch operates the locks. (Fail!) I’ll search other threads for this issue…
Can’t find a locksmith who can decode my lock and rekey. (Impending fail!)
Hey, for a 24 year old car 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.
Probably something to do with the rear window antenna. Try the lock / unlock with IR (holding the fob tip close to the door sensor and press lock / unlock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lo and behold. The lock/unlock IR worked and now the remotes work again. (I sheepishly didn't mention before, but I also lost my power seats, side mirrors, and radio as a result of the above repair - now they work as well so somehow they were tied to the remote IR issue).

Thank you!

Now the only remaining issue is still a hissing sound in the rear lock vacuum system. It works, and the vacuum pump cut-off works so my pump won't burn up and only blows for a few seconds - but apparently there must be a leak in the connector. There is a dual distributing connector that goes into the lock side actuator and couples with the other actuator element. It has a ball bearing stopper on one end (why isn't it just sealed like the other side?). Not sure if this is just a simple T-type connector - if so I can probably pick up a reasonable substitute at the auto parts store. If not, I'll need to order one, but I can't find it on any exploded parts diagram.

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