All things w168

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Edd1968, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A little anecdote for the the A-class Fans out there....
    Most of us know the difficult birth the A-class had, and it's reputation reminded me of the 'rusting Fiat' one. I have had 4 so far, the first being a '99 A190 Avantgarde with the ACS. Everyone hated it but I loved it, it never gave problems.
    There after it was 3 A210 Evolutions, an ex demo A210 back 2004, with every option box ticked, the 2 current 2002 ones I have now.
    These cars are now some of the rarest Mercedes cars around today. That makes them worthy of a future classic status in my mind. Sadly most of them now have been driven into the ground by (and I choose my words carefully, mostly but not limited to) the housewife while the husband drive the C, E, S-classes.
    As a result, most of the remaining examples are in a poor state.
    When I started the hunt for the 2 we now own, I saw a number of them and the wheels were all ruined, the bodywork was dented and scratched, the grey leather and white Alcantara wasn't white anymore and all of them had signs of kids trashing the back seat area!
    I was tempted to go over to Germany where they seemed to ha e cherished their A210s far more than us Brits have but their cars still command really high prices.
    I found our 2 down south (we're in the Highlands) where they won't have been exposed to the kind of winters we have.
    I have steadily restored them into the condition they now find themselves in now. Wheel refurbishment etc. I favour the 'factory look' myself therfore the mods I have done to mine are subtle but have transformed the car into something so much better -
    Mainly in the chassis department. Their ride was always terribly harsh therefore I've fitted a set of 30mm lowered H&R progressive springs, coupled with Bilstein B6 sport shocks has transformed the quality of the ride. Still firm but not crashy. This isn't a full blown sports car but it now handles like a quality sporty Mercedes should.
    I've also increased the negative camber slighlty to which has helped with its torque steer and has the added bonus of giving it quite and agressive stance. 10mm wheel spacers front and rear add to that look and lastly I've uprated the brakes with a good set of pads on new Pagid discs (EBC Greenstuff). Very little brake dust, which MB are renound for, and being such a light car, powerful stopping power now.
    I haven't done any motor mods just yet, they're not very tuneable sadly, maybe 20hp without a massive dent in the wallet, but a second motor in the back a la A38 AMG? It's in my head, whether it makes in from there into the car is uncertain at this point!
    It's lightweight so the, what these days seems a bit meager, 140hp from its 2.1l engine makes it relatively lively enough for our busy speed camera ridden roads!
    I'm glad to say that both mine have not suffered from the kind of reliability problems I've read about. Is that because I am mechanically minded and sympathetic? Don't know but aside from normal wear and tear they are as reliable as any Merc. Certainly having spent time as a mechanic at a Mercedes-Benz, BMW dealer, the amount of warranty work I saw being carried out on newer MBs my 2002 models are no less susceptible to breakages.
    There are some great sources of information available for these cars, one I really like is Albert Rowes website.
    My A210 project continues, I'll keep you posted.
     

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  2. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Great write-up! I too have a soft spot for W168, even though my current car is C169.
    Never had an A210, but have used quite a few Evolution bits, to modify both exterior and interior of my last W168 :)
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Excellent. There's nothing better than getting a new replacement part via a great deal on 'online auction' websites.
    Believe it or not I paid just £495 for my A210 - 77500 miles, fsh, with every stamp in the book, zero rust, 4 new Avons (since fitted this to partners one) & no MOT. So it was spares & repairs. I laughed all the way to the bank and it went through its mot without a single advisory!!
    OK, I've spent 3 times that so far getting it how I want, but it's my hobby!
    Brand new old stock OEM headlights are the latest addition £32 each, bargain! They differ everso slightly from the A210s in the little reflector they have in front of the iridium coloured indicator bulbs as per the attached image. :)
     

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  4. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I also invested in a set each of winter wheels and tyres, as both cars are used all year round and the rubbish they put down on the roads in winter up here eats alloys for breakfast!!
     

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  5. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Oh, I really ought to get a set for my A200 too, particularly as my wheels are still looking reasonably good, two years after the refurb:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes they sure do :)
     
  7. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Feel a bit cheated only seeing a tantalising glimpse of 2 rear wheels. Where does one get to see a pic of the whole thing? Got a feeling I'm gonna like the colour scheme ;)
     
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  8. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I need to take some new photos, once I get the car cleaned - the ones I have over a year old ... but here's my A160, before I sold it 3 yrs ago:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Very nice indeed sir. superb condition. I like the colour scheme.
    I see what you mean about some A210 parts - the grill being the most obvious. Our A190 was Iridium Silver but otherwise similar.
     
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  10. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I also had the door handles and the front armrest from A210, and a brand new rear armrest / storage box ... I tend to go overboard a bit, once I start my mods ... :rolleyes:
     
  11. Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Some different centre caps would look good on those wheels
     
  12. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Which ones? Edd's A210, my A200 or my old A160 (it was sold three years ago)? ;)
     
  13. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have tried to find that armrest, to no avail though. Read a thread on here months ago before I became a member
    What I really want is this twin rear seat set up. Expensive option, I'm lead to believe .. .
    (see attached) but the phrase rocking horse p@# comes to mind. ;)
     

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  14. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Lovely finish on your A160 BTW. What was on it?
    My 210 (or A21) as I like to call it ;) has Nano Diamond Shield 9H Ceramic coating. It's the dogs and ive not seen water bead up like it on anything else. It's on everything, wheels, glass work (excluding windscreen and boy does it shine up nicely.
     
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  15. Flyinspanner

    Flyinspanner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We’ve had our W168 (2001) since 2003.

    It’s really versatile, - mini van with the rear seats out! :)

    Similarly reliable, the only ‘big’ bill was an auto box rebuild this year at around 115k miles. I’d love to find an immaculate A210 like yours, it looks fantastic.....

    Ours has sadly picked up some battle scars :rolleyes: as it was passed on to our daughter in 2009.... still a great little car though:rock:
     
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  16. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Wasn't any nano coating, but I had a full re-spray done, three years prior to that picture been taken.
    Then simply Meguiar's Ultimate Quick Detailer and Wax.

    [​IMG]

    Ooh, sounds fantastic - I'd love to have that done too! Probably need to get new doors (rust) and then a full respray first though, ha ha :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  17. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    Can you do mine ? :)
     
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  18. GLK

    GLK Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes, I tried to find those separate seats for the rear too - no luck.
    Got myself a very nice grey nappa leather interior though, so was happy with that ...

    Here's that rear armrest, just to tease you a little bit ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    and the A210 door handles with the front armrest:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, I couldn't leave the armrest unmodified (USB port and carbon lining):

    [​IMG]


    One other mod I can recommend - rear wiper from a W245 (suggested at the time by a fellow member here) - looks better, and fits without any alterations:

    [​IMG]

    Oh, and the bonnet star:

    [​IMG]


    :)
     
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  19. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Like all the mods :)
    I would love one of the rear armrest/storage boxes, mini A-class. I have the front one. Interested to know what head unit you fitted though, double din?
    I'm in 2 minds about putting on a star on the bonnet. Can't make up my mind.
    What's the red led (I presume) above the drivers air vent on the right?
    Funnily enough, a w245 rear wiper is winging its way to me as I type this. Just bought one!
    Did you retro fit the cruise control I've seen alot of Autos with it. Mines not got it but I have looked into the task of retro fitting and just can't be bothered with all the electrics. Fitting stalks is easy, it's the other gubbins that I need to sort out.
    Looks very nice in there. I'm sure you got good money for it when you sold it. :)
     
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  20. OP
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    Edd1968

    Edd1968 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    ... Couldn't agree more.
    My example doesn't have the option of removable front passenger seat but our other one (my partner's) does You're right -mini van. :)
    A210s are out there, but as I previously wrote really good ones are now very rare, bit of time, dedication and a couple of quid helps though. Having said that, I've not broken the bank with the work I've done.
     
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