E55 W211 ex VX220/TT/Seat/BMWs

Bootdog

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Apr 13, 2020
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Hi all,
New E55 W211 owner here. Picked up the car a couple of months back. It's filthy, so don't expect pictures, maybe later in 2021, but this car will be getting used not cleaned.
Still in the honeymoon period where I can forgive the mpg and the niggly issues (and it seems these W211s have quite a few). I was looking for a replacement for a super-high spec BMW 530d (with almost every option ticked), and ended up at the E55. Handling is disappointing but comfort is great, options are on a par with the BMW, although the Merc Logic7 system is a step below the BMW's. I really miss the heated steering wheel as well.
But what an engine! I still can't get over the Jekyll and Hyde aspect to this car, and a V8 was a box that needed ticking before the option runs out.

History includes a few BMWs (all diesels, no M cars, E39, E90, E60 ... all good in their own ways but jiggly and tiresome on UK roads). Before that was a Seat Freetrack 4 SUV type thing with a 2.0T engine and 4WD (I liked that but it wasn't quite the Golf R on stilts that it should have been, and again suspension was too hard). Then a couple of Audi TTs, 1.8T and 3.2 V6, loved them both for what they were. And in parallel for a few years I ran a VX220 as a fun weekend toy. That trumped all on handling, and I made it my mission to do as many tracks across the UK and Ireland as I could muster. I took it from a neglected 2.2 NA with 143 bhp to a track-oriented wasp (still road legal and MOT'd), running a supercharger and just over 250bhp, harnesses, sticky tyres and a load of chassis mods to make it all work well. It was great watching laptimes come down as the fuel weight dropped off or ground temperatures increased.

I'm sure I'll be on here with questions about fixing the dynamic seats well before I'm asking about optimum tyre pressures for the E55 ...
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Hi all,
New E55 W211 owner here. Picked up the car a couple of months back. It's filthy, so don't expect pictures, maybe later in 2021, but this car will be getting used not cleaned.
Still in the honeymoon period where I can forgive the mpg and the niggly issues (and it seems these W211s have quite a few). I was looking for a replacement for a super-high spec BMW 530d (with almost every option ticked), and ended up at the E55. Handling is disappointing but comfort is great, options are on a par with the BMW, although the Merc Logic7 system is a step below the BMW's. I really miss the heated steering wheel as well.
But what an engine! I still can't get over the Jekyll and Hyde aspect to this car, and a V8 was a box that needed ticking before the option runs out.

History includes a few BMWs (all diesels, no M cars, E39, E90, E60 ... all good in their own ways but jiggly and tiresome on UK roads). Before that was a Seat Freetrack 4 SUV type thing with a 2.0T engine and 4WD (I liked that but it wasn't quite the Golf R on stilts that it should have been, and again suspension was too hard). Then a couple of Audi TTs, 1.8T and 3.2 V6, loved them both for what they were. And in parallel for a few years I ran a VX220 as a fun weekend toy. That trumped all on handling, and I made it my mission to do as many tracks across the UK and Ireland as I could muster. I took it from a neglected 2.2 NA with 143 bhp to a track-oriented wasp (still road legal and MOT'd), running a supercharger and just over 250bhp, harnesses, sticky tyres and a load of chassis mods to make it all work well. It was great watching laptimes come down as the fuel weight dropped off or ground temperatures increased.

I'm sure I'll be on here with questions about fixing the dynamic seats well before I'm asking about optimum tyre pressures for the E55 ...
Welcome to MBClub and congratulations on your new car 👍🏻
 

Londonscottish

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Welcome. It's interesting that you describe the handling of the 211 to be a level down on the BM's but the ride to be much better.

I've always found that to be the biggest fundamental difference between the two brands.

If you want to combine the worst of two brands there are plenty of Audi'sto chose from, of course, where you can get numb steering AND a jiggly ride at the same time :)
 

Londonscottish

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But back to yours; good luck sorting it, I look forward to the updates. Sorry, can't help with the dynamic seats - I had them on mt 211 (E500 version) but never had an issue with them TBH.

FWIW the things that did fail on mine that are relevant to you were the crank pully and the Airmatic pump. Plus it chewed through batteries if left standing for long periods and/or used for short trips only.

Other than that it was pretty good up to 10 years/145k miles.
 

Gbrowncls55

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welcome to the 113k club!
 
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Bootdog

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Apr 13, 2020
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530d
But back to yours; good luck sorting it, I look forward to the updates. Sorry, can't help with the dynamic seats - I had them on mt 211 (E500 version) but never had an issue with them TBH.

FWIW the things that did fail on mine that are relevant to you were the crank pully and the Airmatic pump. Plus it chewed through batteries if left standing for long periods and/or used for short trips only.

Other than that it was pretty good up to 10 years/145k miles.
Thanks all, I've replaced both batteries already, and added protection and monitoring devices to keep an eye on the main battery. Will put together a thread on the bits at some point as they might be of interest to others.
 

AMGeed

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Welcome to the forum:thumb:
Have you checked the fuse for the dynamic seats yet?
Be prepared to spend a bit to keep on top of maintainance.
I look back fondly at my ownership of my previous E55. Superb engines.
 

merc85

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Another post complaining about the way a 211 handles? I've had 2 and both handled extremely well for there size.

Id check suspension components for wear and tear.

Welcome to the fold, great engine the m113k, Half the Problem these days i think is down to the price these £83k "When New" cars are now at now.
 
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Bootdog

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530d
Another post complaining about the way a 211 handles? I've had 2 and both handled extremely well for there size.

Id check suspension components for wear and tear.

Welcome to the fold, great engine the m113k, Half the Problem these days i think is down to the price these £83k "When New" cars are now at now.
To be fair, I've not spent much time outside of comfort mode, I should try the other settings more and get back to you. The last BMW had active anti-roll bars which meant you could really lean on it with confidence in a bend.
Merc traction control and ESP works wonders though when you consider what it's trying to reign in. Gearbox is also pretty good (way better than the "dim-witted" comments I'd read).
 

Gbrowncls55

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CLS55 AMG 06, SL350 06, 996 cab, all current. Gone : E500 W211, 2x M5s and far,far too many 911s
The gearbox is pretty old tech now (for which read strong and reliable) and is fine if serviced in any of the auto modes just a bit slow to change in manual. However i found your brain quite soon adapts to using the paddles a fraction earlier so it changes when you want on the odd occasion when you want to use manual (important as you approach the rev limiter)
 

Alps

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Put in in sport mode 2 and they ride lovely, if its still bouncy and wallows then it might be weak rear shocks.

You can't go wrong with a 211 E55, the tech is dated , but a lot of it for the era.

driving these is the best thing you can do, otherwise the gremlins get angry and you see more of them, don't let them put you off, as most of the time they disappear!

Enjoy!
 
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Bootdog

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Little update on this, I decided to seek out someone relatively nearby who could give the car a good look over (whilst knowing what they are looking at) and dropped it up to Wayne Gates in Harrow for service & MOT. A fairly hefty bill ensued, although not bad really considering the range of work done. Both front ARB links were shot, rear prop coupling was on its was out and rear subframe mounts were similar, so that lot would explain some of the faint knocks and clunks. Front end seems a bit tighter now, although I've not had a chance to really test things out properly Got a few other wear and tear bits sorted out at the same time which is always good in my book.
 

Supercharged01

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May 7, 2021
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London N9
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Mercedes Benz E55 W211 2004

Found this AMG specialist online, based in Essex.
Haven't used them as I have only owned my E55 for less than a month now.
Though you might be interested, I plan on using them when mine is due for service and some other jobs I plan on carrying out like valve cover gaskets and some exterior jobs if they do.
 

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