My 1990 W124 300TD Diary

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chilsta

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
105
Car
'94 S124 E300D
I recently joined the forum as I've been sent to it by Google numerous times of late when searching for solutions to sort out issues with my new car.

Just bought a 1990 W124 300TD which I'm very happy with. I've already sorted out a few issues, and have some more to take care of, but nothing urgent- it drives great and the important stuff is working.
The car's done just over 200,000 miles but seems to have been well looked after. All of the filters look to have been recently changed with genuine Mercedes items, but I am replacing all filters and fluids as a matter of course so I know where I am with things.
The paint's good apart from a few patches near the front of the bonnet where the clearcoat's started to part with the base.
The windscreen looks to be original and is starting to delaminate and go white in some places around the edge.
It's equipped with cruise control and temp gauge, but no A/C, airbags, electric stuff (other than the windows & roof, both with the total closure feature) or 7 seat option. Having discovered that the rearmost hatch in the back floor is lockable, and not planning on carrying more than 5 people around, I'm glad that I don't have the 7 seat option. I can always retrofit one should the need ever arise.
The interior is cream MB Tex and is in great condition. There's a tiny nick in the armrest and headlining and the carpet could do with a good clean, but apart from that the inside pretty much looks like it's brand new.
Everything seems present except for the valet key, wallet key and toolkit. The warning triangle and first aid kit both look untouched. Amazing considering it's 20 years old.

Maintenance completed so far

Replaced all fuses in main fusebox
These all appeared to be original and were badly corroded. Original fuse info card was still in the fusebox lid. Couldn't find copper fuses locally other than the 25A (blue) ones. Will replace the regular ones if I track some copper red or white down.
New air filter

New inline fuel filter

New tail bulbs
originals were black/silvered, this used to happen regularly in my 190D until I changed them from the regular 10W to the 21W bulbs that are used for the turn & stop. Not sure why this happens
Work completed so far

Stereo Head Unit
PO told me the Blaupunkt was original, but the original paperwork and instructions that came with the car were for a different (better) model than fitted. It worked OK, but I enjoy being able to play MP3 CDs and have a line-in from my phone for random playing on long journeys. When removed I discovered the original plug was still connected to one wire (turned out to be the illumination), the others had been cut and spade connectors crimped. New loom connected by crimps and working great.
Repair central locking
Was only working from passenger door. Passenger door was opening and closing all 5 doors so was pretty sure it was an electrical issue. Found there was power and a good ground at the driver's door lock switch. Checked for continuity in the blue (signal) wire between the switch and the vacuum pump under the back seat and found there was none. Took up front driver's side carpet and discovered part of an aftermarket alarm module wired in and stashed in the plastic trunking that runs along the sill. Sure enough, the blue wire had been cut and each end of it had been connected to different wires of the alarm module (for keyless entry I would guess). Cut the aftermarket stuff out and butt-crimped the blue wire back together. Problem solved.
Dash illumination
Various bulbs were out. I replaced the gear shifter illumination & blower direction knob bulbs. I tried LED replacements (less drain, longer life) but they were too bright in comparison with the rest of the dash lighting and the light was too blue. Back to regular incandescents for now.
Now need to find how to replace the bulbs in the side vent open/closed illumination (if they are supposed to be illuminated- I guess they are as the centre one is)
Centre console window switches for rear windows
These weren't working, but the switches on the doors were fine so I knew the motors & mechs were good. One worked for a second when I was switching it repeatedly.
Removed switches, sprayed full of switch cleaner and repeatedly switched them to clean the contacts. Sorted.
Rear window demister & washer switches
The rear washer and heated rear window switches didn't do anything and the HRW yellow LED was stuck on. Removed and cleaned both switches without luck. After searching online I concluded the problem probably lay in the multirelay (part # 201 821 00 47, located just behind the main fusebox). Cleaned its contacts without luck. Bought one second hand on eBay, fitted and all working well.
Rear Seats
I'd read that these can get stuck and read various posts with solutions. The problem is mainly due to the rear seats not having been moved for a while.
I found that after removing the seat bottom they wouldn't slide back onto their metal posts. This was solved by covering the 4 folding posts with a thin layer of grease.
I still couldn't get the backs to fold down. I sprayed the locking mechanisms in the middle that are deactivated when you lift the seat bottoms with oil, and inside the black mechanism which gets pushed in when the rear door closes. These seemed to be the problem- after a liberal spraying and working the mechanism in and out a few times both seat backs are folding down with a slight tug, which I think is how they're meant to be.
Removed old mobile phone mount
The mounting was attached to the glove compartment door by a very strong, putty-like adhesive. I was worried about it pulling the trim on the door off, or at least damaging it, but pulling it up very slowly and surely and at a shallow angle got it off fine. Just needs a good clean of the surrounding area as it's left a slight discolouration which I hope isn't permanent.
Rear wiper arm
In operation the arm wasn't applying enough pressure towards the outside of the blade to clear the screen. This appeared to be due to the hinge surfaces being so badly corroded that the spring's pressure wasn't making it through to the arm, it was very stiff to pull the arm up.
The wiper end had some pretty severe surface rust too. Oiled & greased the hinge- repeated hinging has freed the joint up and it appears to be OK now. Sanded to bare metal, used some black metal paint. Yet to fix back on the car and test, but expecting it will work OK and look better.
Will be looking out for an original replacement.
Fluids to do

Oil & filter change
Will be taking advantage of Halford's current Mobil 1 offer and get the 0w40 Turbodiesel oil as it's nearly a tenner off.
Will be done as soon as I can borrow my brother's electric pump-the truly effortless and clean way to change your oil- just stick the pump's hose down the dipstick hole and put the other hose into an old oil container for taking down the dump later. Doesn't get much lazier!
Break fluid
Scared of breaking bleed nipples, so will be spraying them all with light oil and will attempt while at a mate's workshop in case calliper tapping & new nipples is required.
Power steering fluid change
Have bought oil from MB and will be changing soon, probably using this method:
Easy Power Steering Fluid Change | W124-Zone.com - A Mercedes W124 Resource Site
otherwise using a syringe and sucking out as much old oil as possible before replacing with new
Flush & refill cooling system.
Will backflush rad then drain and flush block.
Have bought 5 litres of MB coolant- car requires 4.5 so will have some for future top-ups or a -30' winter (I hope that's a joke).
New fuel filter
This is currently a bit of a mystery to me- I know how to undo the filter, but it doesn't look like there's any clearance to actually get the old filter out and the new one in. Will probably all become apparent when I try it as everywhere I've looked just says to swap it with no gotchas mentioned. Could always wait until I do the coolant as I can just take the top rad hose off to make things easy.
Diesel Purge
Will do this at the same time as the fuel filter change.
Work to do

Fuel Gauge
When I bought the car I thought the PO had been generous and left me half a tank of Diesel. A couple of miles later and the warning light was on! I also found another sender in the glove box. Took the door off and lining out of the forward hatch in the rear deck above the fuel tank. Plugged spare sender into car and when the right way up the gauge was still only at just under the half way mark. Tried running a separate ground wire to the sender's connection in case it was due to a bad ground, but still the same. Next thing is to check the resistance at the gauge, but my thoughts are that the gauge itself has gone. At least I have a rough idea where the empty mark is and a working warning light, so no mad rush to fix.
Veggie oil conversion
Will be going down a simpler route than the Elsbett conversion I had in my 190D. Probably single tank and just a heat exchanger and larger axillary fuel filter with the standard filter bypassed and a switch so that the standard can be used in case the axillary gets blocked.
Hatch lock
I was given 2 keys with the car (one looks original, the other is plated brass). Neither of them turns the lock in the hatch at all.
Rear washer leak
Having fixed the electrical problem that was stopping the rear screen wash pump from working (new multirelay), I found water running down the driver's side D pillar after the washer had been pumping. Seems to be a common problem due to the pipe splitting where it flexes going through the hatch hinge. Found 2 useful posts which will help sort this out:
W124 Estate rear washer hose leak/repair - Mercedes-Benz Owners' Forums
300TE rear window washer hose - Benzworld.org - Mercedes-Benz Discussion Forum
Blown bulb indicator is on, but bulbs are working
I replaced the tail bulbs as they were black/silvered hoping that would fix the problem, but alas not.
Having done some searching I found that the system works by comparing the current draw between the 2 sides. If there's a difference, the warning illuminates.
The warning comes on as soon as I turn the light switch to the first position, so I know it's either the sidelights, tails or number plates. Tails already replaced, but will spray the contacts with switch cleaner. I'll then check the wattage of the number plate and sidelight bulbs.
Roof
No sign of movement from the roof. PO said he'd only had it open a couple of times and the last time a piece of rubber got caught in the roof when he tried to close it and hadn't tried it since. He suggested it might be a fuse, but still no sign of life after changing them all. Next to check is that power's getting to the motor, then the switch. I might try manually opening the roof using the emergency method and see if there's any movement.
Cruise control
First few times I tried it the car surged manically and I could feel the accelerator pedal flying up and down under my foot. Left it alone until after I'd changed all the fuses and adjusted the throttle cable. I was very pleased when it behaved faultlessly for around 30 miles- was holding a very constant speed, handled big hills, resumed and did all that it should. On my way back I tried it again looking forward to some cruising and it was back to its old way. I will be taking the CC amplifier apart and trying resoldering the joints as a dry joint seems likely now. These are the links I'll be using:
00 Miscellaneous Reference Articles
How to get to the cruise control amp - Benzworld.org - Mercedes-Benz Discussion Forum
Cruise
Lamp lenses
O/S fog light and N/S rear light have small holes- can clearly see where water has got into the front fog light lens and the electrical contact on that fog is dodgy. Will get replacements, but temporarily repair with clear sealant.
N/S Rear lamp holder clip broken
A small water bottle was shoved down between the spare wheel and the back light cluster. When I removed it the lamp holder fell forward and I discovered the flexi retaining clip had broken off. Will find a used replacement.
O/S Mirror: snapped adjusting stalk and corrosion on rear edge
Tried adjusting the mirror and the stalk snapped off. This happened in my 190 after a few years too. I think in future I'll make sure the inner mechanism is well lubed so adjustment doesn't put too much stress on the metal arm.
The black corners towards the rear of the car, underneath the glass have started corroding and the metal coating is bubbling and turning white. Will replace with a used frame.
Bonnet Pad
Needs replacing at some point as the original is turning to dust. Quote from local MB was £70+, will try an online genuine parts supplier and see if I can get one for a more reasonable price. Otherwise, I'll go for an aftermarket alternative such as that from Second Skin (installation PDF), which may well be better anyway especially if I was to use a damping material first as they recommend (anyone compared this stuff to the factory pad?).
Alarm/ Keyless entry
The wiring for an existing system is still present. Will be easy enough to tap into the same places as the previous installer. This'll be especially useful If the hatch lock proves tricky to fix. Will get one with the total closure option as this is working correctly.
Dash Speakers
Going to see if the replacement 2 way speakers from my W201 are the same fit as the W124. If not will be looking into getting some from Rainbow, although I'm not expecting much from such small drivers.
Rear Speakers
I like music a lot and although the standard dash speakers are OK when the car's parked, the bass is virtually inaudible at anything near motorway speed. There are no places for rear speakers (some Ts came with rear door speakers, not here though) so I'm thinking about ways to improve the sound quality in the car without losing the flexibility of the rear folding seats and loading area and ideally without cutting anything or doing anything irreversible. Currently leaning towards 2 separate carpeted boxes that are either fixed to the luggage strapdown points or held down with hook & loops. This will give mounting flexibility and also mean that I can run the speakers out of the car when camping in the summer. Will be looking into options.
Wheels
I've got a set of 18" rims that I ran on the 190 for a while. I've also got a set of 16" MB 8 holes, which will probably be what I end up with, although I'll give the 18s a try.
Bodywork
The Wings
The car came with 2 replacement front wings. I will get these well protected and painted before replacing the current wings. Some good info on this page about replacing the wings:
http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/mbclub-projects/70769-c124-refurbish-7.html

Weird holes
Strangely there were 2 rectangular holes that had been cut. 1 each side under the driver and passenger's feet. They're just through the outer skin where the front chassis rails join to the floorpan.
The PO said he had no knowledge of them, but checking the DVLA MoT online checker he was given an advisory about them at the last MoT (no advisory was with the MoT cert in the paperwork). It said that they weren't structural and not a problem. Strange though and will get them plated over and sealed.

The dent
There's a small dent in the rear hatch just under the rear window. No visible paint damage so no urgency. Will see if this can be repaired without painting.

Rust I've discovered:

  • Front wings- standard
  • Side of the bonnet, there's a rubber strip at the front of the bonnet and there's rust behind that on the driver's side
  • Couple of tiny rust patches around the rear arches
  • Couple of tiny surface patches under the loading area panel/ carpet either side of the self levelling spheres
  • Evidence of rust starting inside the car underneath the driver's side rearmost window, almost in line with the aerial
  • Looks like there might be a tiny patch next to the Mercedes emblem on the rear hatch- could be were someone's put a screwdriver or similar under to steal the emblem. Need to investigate further
Looking into the best way to deal with these small rust areas- whether POR-15 is the best way to go, or something else. I live by the sea, so want to make sure that everything's well sealed up. The 190 wasn't too bad when I got it, but after a year things got pretty bad.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about all I can think of at the moment. Will update this thread with what happens and how I get on with the car.

Cheers
Marcus
 
Great Job

Hi Marcus

As one who's had his fair share of W124 estates in his time-though never a diesel, (don't have one now, sadly, ) must congratulate you on both a good write-up and, by the sounds of it, a great job on your new car.:D

One thought though, re your bonnet pad, it isn't there just as sound-deadening. In typical MB fashion - those Germans are thorough - it's also designed, in the event of a fire in the engine area, to collapse onto the engine and smother the flames. OK, with a diesel I guess a fire's unlikely, but thought you should be aware.

Nice job,

Barry
 
Have you made sure that the rear tail light bulbs are 10w - if they have 5w bulbs in then the bulb out warning will be on.
 
Hi Marcus

As one who's had his fair share of W124 estates in his time-though never a diesel, (don't have one now, sadly, ) must congratulate you on both a good write-up and, by the sounds of it, a great job on your new car.:D



One thought though, re your bonnet pad, it isn't there just as sound-deadening. In typical MB fashion - those Germans are thorough - it's also designed, in the event of a fire in the engine area, to collapse onto the engine and smother the flames. OK, with a diesel I guess a fire's unlikely, but thought you should be aware.

Nice job,

Barry

Thanks very much Barry- yeah, I'm happy so far.
I wasn't aware that the bonnet pad doubles up as an automatic fire blanket- that's pretty cunning. As you say the chances of a fire are lessened in a Diesel and I have a fire extinguisher in the car, but it's worth bearing in mind. Will probably come down to cost in the end.

Cheers
Marcus
 
Have you made sure that the rear tail light bulbs are 10w - if they have 5w bulbs in then the bulb out warning will be on.

Thanks Smiley-

First thing I checked was the rear bulbs and the tails were black/silvered so I replaced them both- but I didn't double check the wattage. I'll do that today. I read on a forum somewhere that the wattage doesn't matter as long as they're the same on both sides, but I'll check and if they are 5w I'll need to change them to 10w anyway, so will be interesting to see if that's the solution.
 
New tail bulbs
originals were black/silvered, this used to happen regularly in my 190D until I changed them from the regular 10W to the 21W bulbs that are used for the turn & stop. Not sure why this happens
Work completed so far

[/INDENT]Power steering fluid change
Have bought oil from MB and will be changing soon, probably using this method:
Easy Power Steering Fluid Change | W124-Zone.com - A Mercedes W124 Resource Site
otherwise using a syringe and sucking out as much old oil as possible before replacing with new


New fuel filter
This is currently a bit of a mystery to me- I know how to undo the filter, but it doesn't look like there's any clearance to actually get the old filter out and the new one in. Will probably all become apparent when I try it as everywhere I've looked just says to swap it with no gotchas mentioned. Could always wait until I do the coolant as I can just take the top rad hose off to make things easy.

Diesel Purge
Will do this at the same time as the fuel filter change.


Blown bulb indicator is on, but bulbs are working
I replaced the tail bulbs as they were black/silvered hoping that would fix the problem, but alas not.
Having done some searching I found that the system works by comparing the current draw between the 2 sides. If there's a difference, the warning illuminates.
The warning comes on as soon as I turn the light switch to the first position, so I know it's either the sidelights, tails or number plates. Tails already replaced, but will spray the contacts with switch cleaner. I'll then check the wattage of the number plate and sidelight bulbs.



Looking into the best way to deal with these small rust areas- whether POR-15 is the best way to go, or something else. I live by the sea, so want to make sure that everything's well sealed up. The 190 wasn't too bad when I got it, but after a year things got pretty bad.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about all I can think of at the moment. Will update this thread with what happens and how I get on with the car.

Cheers
Marcus



Tail light bulbs: The installation of the incorrect wattage of bulb, and the blown-bulb indicator are related. When I bought my 300D, the rear tail lamps were likewise, fitter with higher wattage than specified (10W) bulbs. The blown bulb lamp was on. Replacing them with 10W bulbs was a simple fix. I've now had the car 3 years, and the N/S tail bulb has silvered and blown. I'll just have a ready supply of spares in the car.

Power steering fluid: I didn't like the idea of introducing air into the system, so I used the syringing method to replace my fluid. Original fluid would have been Dexron II spec ATF. That's what I used for replacement. I used two replacement filters and lots of Comma Dexron II.

Method:

Syringe with turkey baster(!) the reservoir of old fluid. (brown, and nasty)
Remove and renew filter with the holes facing UP (GSF, Mann filter, identical to the one I removed)
Fill with clean ATF
Drive for a week
Syringe reservoir fluid.
Drive for a week
Syringe reservoir fluid
Drive for a week
Remove and renew filter, and refill with ATF.
It's nice and clear red now and should be good for another 36000 miles.

The main fuel filter at the front of the intake side of the engine is a simple affair. There doesn't seem to be much clearance, and as you've the TD model, there is probably less due to the SLS pump, but the top hose should be malleable enough to remove and refit a replacement filter. Even with my limited mechanic experience, I succeeded in replacing the pre-filter and main filter without much bother.

Diesel purge: I used Forte Diesel treatment, which quietened-down the injectors pretty impressively. I'm sure at some point in my ownership to change the injectors, as they're likely to be the originals, and I'm at 106,000 miles. I hear good things about Millers, and this guy uses Lubro Molly in the USA. Step by step purge process included.

It's an idea to bookmark that page as it has quite a lot of relevant maintenance tips re old MB diesels, mostly W123.

I've run at a maximum of 50/50 SVO in mine without modification, and haven't experienced any trouble, other than changing the pre and main fuel filters more regularly. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might need to clean/change the tank filter as I experienced fuel starvation at 1/4 tank indicated, though that coincided with my changing the fuel filters and possibly introducing air into the system. A quick bleed by slackening the injector pipes had this cured (thanks Mr AA man!).

Por 15? I've seen the stuff that you paint-on like an enamel paint. Once dried, it sets like concrete, you can't paint over it and I'm sure it's up to the job for protecting the underside of your replacement front wings.
For waxy-type rust prevention stuff, Bilt Hamber products are gaining a good reputation on here.

That's a great write-up. As it sounds like you're doing the job properly, may I suggest you also attend to the front wiper mechanism. Here's the how-to

As yours is a 1990, it will be an all-alloy clamshell design that requires a bit of dismantling to get at. As for grease, I used Molycote 33 by Dow Corning available here of all places! on mine, and for the sunroof rails.

Rust gets hold around the rear windows and around the aerial mounting hole on the estates, and on the tops of the rear door seals, so you might want to check those and oil any scabs/bubbles.

Clean the aerial mast itself with meths and then lubricate with a silicone spray and also lube the fuel flap locking tab with the same. Open the flap, work the central locking, and spray the tab that pops out. Both are normally neglected during routine servicing.

Otherwise, what a detailed write-up, and happy S124 motoring!
 
I wouldn't use POR 15. It is great if you want to make something like a rusty suspension arm look half decent. However it is just what it says on the tin, a Paint Over Rust product. When applied over clean steel it doesn't adhere terribly well, it is extremely difficult to get any other finish to go over it and it is very UV sensitive.
 
Tail light bulbs: The installation of the incorrect wattage of bulb, and the blown-bulb indicator are related. When I bought my 300D, the rear tail lamps were likewise, fitter with higher wattage than specified (10W) bulbs. The blown bulb lamp was on. Replacing them with 10W bulbs was a simple fix. I've now had the car 3 years, and the N/S tail bulb has silvered and blown. I'll just have a ready supply of spares in the car.
Well it turned out that ECParts had indeed given me a pair of 5w bulbs. I changed to 10w hoping for the best, but sadly no difference. Will continue to check the wattage/contacts of the remaining bulbs on the sidelight circuit. Strange how those tails silver over eh? Not seen that before on any other car.

Power steering fluid: I didn't like the idea of introducing air into the system, so I used the syringing method to replace my fluid. Original fluid would have been Dexron II spec ATF. That's what I used for replacement. I used two replacement filters and lots of Comma Dexron II.
Ah yes- thanks for reminding me why it's better to suck out the old rather than disconnect pipes: potential introduction of air. I did use a syringe and a similar method to what you describe on my 190D about 7 years ago. I forgot that there's a filter in there and hadn't heard about using 2 filters, though that makes sense. Thanks- I'll follow your advice/instructions.

The main fuel filter at the front of the intake side of the engine is a simple affair. There doesn't seem to be much clearance, and as you've the TD model, there is probably less due to the SLS pump, but the top hose should be malleable enough to remove and refit a replacement filter. Even with my limited mechanic experience, I succeeded in replacing the pre-filter and main filter without much bother.
Thanks- that puts my mind at rest- I'll give that a go later today.

Diesel purge: I used Forte Diesel treatment, which quietened-down the injectors pretty impressively. I'm sure at some point in my ownership to change the injectors, as they're likely to be the originals, and I'm at 106,000 miles. I hear good things about Millers, and this guy uses Lubro Molly in the USA. Step by step purge process included.
Thanks for the link- the engine runs very quietly, but I was intending to run a couple of cans of Diesel purge through for good measure. My brother buys cases of the Molly stuff, so I'll get some of that cheap from him.

I've run at a maximum of 50/50 SVO in mine without modification, and haven't experienced any trouble, other than changing the pre and main fuel filters more regularly. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might need to clean/change the tank filter as I experienced fuel starvation at 1/4 tank indicated, though that coincided with my changing the fuel filters and possibly introducing air into the system. A quick bleed by slackening the injector pipes had this cured (thanks Mr AA man!).
He he- so much for self-priming eh?!

Yes, SVO is known to dislodge some of the crap left behind by Diesel in the fuel tank and system when you first start using it- it can cause filters to block as they take out the crud. I didn't have too much trouble with the 190D other than having to change the aux Elsbett fuel filter not long after going over to SVO, although there was certainly sludge in the tank. The fuel warning light didn't work and I tracked it down to thick sludge in the bottom of the sender that was stopping the float get down to make contact to the warning light contacts. Didn't seem to affect the tank strainer though- I never had to get involved with it.

Por 15? I've seen the stuff that you paint-on like an enamel paint. Once dried, it sets like concrete, you can't paint over it and I'm sure it's up to the job for protecting the underside of your replacement front wings.
For waxy-type rust prevention stuff, Bilt Hamber products are gaining a good reputation on here.
Yes- it's meant to seal over and stop rust and a friend who builds hot rods/ customs recommends it. Thanks for the link- I'll look into the Bilt Hamber. The more protection I have the better.

That's a great write-up. As it sounds like you're doing the job properly, may I suggest you also attend to the front wiper mechanism. Here's the how-to

As yours is a 1990, it will be an all-alloy clamshell design that requires a bit of dismantling to get at. As for grease, I used Molycote 33 by Dow Corning available here of all places! on mine, and for the sunroof rails.
Yes, I think the car's not needing too much work to make it through at least another 5 years with good maintenance and a bit of TLC. My main concern is keeping the rust at bay.

I had my 190D's wiper suddenly stop on me on the motorway once due to the gearbox mech seizing. Scary stuff!
When that happened a few years ago I bought a NOS part from the 'Bay which I have kept hold of, so I have a nearly new backup, but I would like to keep the original going for as long as poss.

Rust gets hold around the rear windows and around the aerial mounting hole on the estates, and on the tops of the rear door seals, so you might want to check those and oil any scabs/bubbles.
Thankfully the aerial hole's looking OK and there's only the slightest sign of rust starting inside at the bottom of the O/S rear window. I'm wary that seeing a tiny bit of rust could mean that something more severe is lurking out of sight, but will be investigating and hopefully sorting out. Hadn't heard about the tops of the rear door being a potential rust area- will investigate. Do you mean the hatch or the side doors?

Clean the aerial mast itself with meths and then lubricate with a silicone spray and also lube the fuel flap locking tab with the same. Open the flap, work the central locking, and spray the tab that pops out. Both are normally neglected during routine servicing.
Yeah, the aerial's been sticking sometimes when retracting. I'll get the meths & lube on it. Hadn't heard about the fuel cap potentially sticking- thanks for the heads up, will sort that too.

Otherwise, what a detailed write-up, and happy S124 motoring!
Cheers :)
 
I wouldn't use POR 15. It is great if you want to make something like a rusty suspension arm look half decent. However it is just what it says on the tin, a Paint Over Rust product. When applied over clean steel it doesn't adhere terribly well, it is extremely difficult to get any other finish to go over it and it is very UV sensitive.

Hi- thanks. The few places where I'm thinking of trying it are small patches of rust that are out of sight so it should adhere OK, won't need painting over and won't get any UV exposure.

I'm wary of any so called rust converters. Tried some in the past and not been very impressed, but this stuff does come recommended and will hopefully do what I need.
 
Rear screen wash hose replacement

Yesterday I bought a new hose from MB (part # MA010 997 89 82) @ £2.25 a meter. Purchased 2 meters but only used 1. Will be checking to see if the hose for the front washers is looking dodgy and use there if need be.

Followed the instructions here and here.
I don't think you need to remove the rear D-Post lights as mentioned in the instructions.

Here you can see the new hose hanging inside the car which has been attached to the old with duct tape and pulling on the old hose between the body and door to get the new hose through the flexi-rubber. Note the old exposed hose by the hinge- where it had been flexing it had turned from nearly transparent to white and become brittle:
dsc3352y.jpg


Think I can see where the problem is!
dsc3353w.jpg


Only real problem I encountered was that the duct tape broke while I was pulling the new hose through the rubber between the body and the door. This black pipe feels slightly sticky and I was having to pull hard to get any movement- if I was to do it again I would cover the old hose inside the car and the new hose in washing up liquid first to act as a lubricant as it's going through the flexi-rubber. Fortunately I could fish it out with needle nose pliers after a few rounds of pushing it through from inside the car, bending the pipe up towards the outer end of the flexi-rubber, pushing it through some more... a bit of a pain, but not too bad.
Once I'd fished the new hose out of the flexi, I reattached it to the old house coming out of the rear door with duct tape to pull it through the top of the door.

Here you can see the new pipe is right through, still attached to the old pipe with the blue duct tape. After this I cut a length of new pipe to connect between the jet and the non-return valve:
dsc3354h.jpg


Then connected to the jet and the joiner inside the car and reassembled everything. Job done.

Here's the old compared to the new. I'd say this is enough of a pain to bother getting the best hose you can. Total cost for a meter from MB £2.64 The new hose is also reinforced like the original, but it looks and feels more robust to me:
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Getting the flexi-rubber to sit back into the hole in the body was a bit of a pain, be sure to check from the side of the car behind the hinge as it's difficult to see and get to it all from the back. Again, this would probably have been easier if I had lubricated it so it would slide back into place easier. Really need to double check this seal afterwards as water could leak into the body if it's not sitting right. Mine looks good, but I'll be checking all's dry inside after the next rain.

Tools needed
  • Small posi for removing roof panel and washer jet.
  • Small flat head screwdriver for removing the washer jet cover inside the door, carefully pushing the roof cover under the side rear window trim and pushing the flexi-rubber back into place.
  • Washing up liquid if required.
 
Today I figured out how to get the lower dash panel off. The bit that was stumping me was the black pieces of trim either side of the steering wheel around the key and light switch which were covering the remaining 8mm bolts.

I pulled the cruise control amp and tonight's exercise is resoldering its joints.
 
Thanks Smiley-

First thing I checked was the rear bulbs and the tails were black/silvered so I replaced them both- but I didn't double check the wattage. I'll do that today. I read on a forum somewhere that the wattage doesn't matter as long as they're the same on both sides, but I'll check and if they are 5w I'll need to change them to 10w anyway, so will be interesting to see if that's the solution.

Hey.

I had the same light issue with my SL from 94. Guess the systems could be similar? Turned out that the rear lights had been bodged to keep them both on when there was a problem in the lighting system. It was eventually diagnosed as a relay issue, which are in the fuse box behind the fuses. It's a known issue and may have affected yours too. I got the relay replaced but there is some suggestion that it can be dry joints within the relay itself.

Worth a look considering the relay was about a hundred notes!

Good luck with the rest, look forward to hearing updates!
 
Hi there, the light issue may well be the make of bulb you are using. Halfords own brand for one are known to trigger the warning light even though the bulbs are working,apparently the bulbs are slightly smaller in diameter.
 
Hi there, the light issue may well be the make of bulb you are using. Halfords own brand for one are known to trigger the warning light even though the bulbs are working,apparently the bulbs are slightly smaller in diameter.

Too right - for God's sake change or check the relay as the last thing :eek: Sorry if I didn't make this clear, which I didn't :eek:
 
Interesting idea regarding the fuel filter switch. Never thought about that.
 
Hi- thanks. The few places where I'm thinking of trying it are small patches of rust that are out of sight so it should adhere OK, won't need painting over and won't get any UV exposure.

I'm wary of any so called rust converters. Tried some in the past and not been very impressed, but this stuff does come recommended and will hopefully do what I need.

Fair enough, but I've tried it and I don't like it. If you're going to use that type of paint have a look at rust bullet.

From experience though I'd remove the rust with a wire brush or sand blaster, use a rust killer (normally based on phosphoric acid) prime with zinc rich primer and over coat. It is the only proper long term solution, but it is time consuming.

I'd also use anti rust wax, have a look at the Bilt Hamber website. Way better than waxoyl.
 
Hi there, the light issue may well be the make of bulb you are using. Halfords own brand for one are known to trigger the warning light even though the bulbs are working,apparently the bulbs are slightly smaller in diameter.

Thanks- the tails I got are Lucas from ECParts. I must remember that Camberley's sell Bosch, although the ones I've bought recently aren't made in Germany. Don't know if there's much between the 2.
As a test I might try the stop bulbs in the tail bulb position (while the holders are hanging out- I know they won't fit into the light clusters) and see if that makes any difference.

Too right - for God's sake change or check the relay as the last thing
eek.gif
Sorry if I didn't make this clear, which I didn't
redface.gif
Ha ha- thanks for the relay tip. I'll take that as a last resort, but it's not something I'd thought about before, so thanks.
 
Fair enough, but I've tried it and I don't like it. If you're going to use that type of paint have a look at rust bullet.

That's funny - this is what my hot rod building friend when I asked him about POR-15 a few days ago:
"POR-15 is AWSOME !!
Be sure to use the complete system .... !! Good stuff ...
Rust Bullet is a waste of money,two thumbs down .. =)"

There seems to be at least as many differing opinions on these sort of things as there are techniques and products.

From experience though I'd remove the rust with a wire brush or sand blaster, use a rust killer (normally based on phosphoric acid) prime with zinc rich primer and over coat. It is the only proper long term solution, but it is time consuming.

Yeah, before I do anything I'll be showing the guy who I'm hoping will be doing the bodywork and see what he recommends. If I've got to take the back windows out it will be worth doing it properly.

I'd also use anti rust wax, have a look at the Bilt Hamber website. Way better than waxoyl.
Thanks, I read about their Dynax S50 and this paragraph on its comparison page was enlightening:

"If you decide to treat your car or vehicle to additional corrosion treatment it’s important to select a cavity wax that can penetrate into welded flanges seams - these are the areas proven to be the first to corrode - in fact the Swedish Corrosion Institute conducted a thorough investigation into vehicle corrosion by sawing open the bodies of 845 collision-damaged cars manufactured between 1994 and 1997, the corrosion observed in the flanges and seams resulted in the recommendation that even on cars with reasonably good cavity fluid treatment applied at the factory a complementary treatment be used within 3-4 years of manufacture. This investigation also proves, despite popular belief, that modern cars just like classic and vintage ones require after market rust proofing."

(Wish their photos were at a size where you can actually make out what they're of!)

Which areas would you recommend using this on an S124?

It looks like their Hydrate 80 is a similar product to POR-15. Maybe I'll send them some photos and see what they reckon.
 
Fair enough, but I've tried it and I don't like it. If you're going to use that type of paint have a look at rust bullet.

That's funny - this is what my hot rod building friend when I asked him about POR-15 a few days ago:
"POR-15 is AWSOME !!
Be sure to use the complete system .... !! Good stuff ...
Rust Bullet is a waste of money,two thumbs down .. =)"

There seems to be at least as many differing opinions on these sort of things as there are techniques and products.

From experience though I'd remove the rust with a wire brush or sand blaster, use a rust killer (normally based on phosphoric acid) prime with zinc rich primer and over coat. It is the only proper long term solution, but it is time consuming.

Yeah, before I do anything I'll be showing the guy who I'm hoping will be doing the bodywork and see what he recommends. If I've got to take the back windows out it will be worth doing it properly.

I'd also use anti rust wax, have a look at the Bilt Hamber website. Way better than waxoyl.
Thanks, I read about their Dynax S50 and this paragraph on its comparison page was enlightening:

"If you decide to treat your car or vehicle to additional corrosion treatment it’s important to select a cavity wax that can penetrate into welded flanges seams - these are the areas proven to be the first to corrode - in fact the Swedish Corrosion Institute conducted a thorough investigation into vehicle corrosion by sawing open the bodies of 845 collision-damaged cars manufactured between 1994 and 1997, the corrosion observed in the flanges and seams resulted in the recommendation that even on cars with reasonably good cavity fluid treatment applied at the factory a complementary treatment be used within 3-4 years of manufacture. This investigation also proves, despite popular belief, that modern cars just like classic and vintage ones require after market rust proofing."

(Wish their photos were at a size where you can actually make out what they're of! Although the image after the solvent wash is fairly convincing.)

Which areas would you recommend using this on an S124?

It looks like their Hydrate 80 is a similar product to POR-15. Maybe I'll send them some photos of my problem areas and see what they reckon.
 
First oil change and some photos

Changed the oil on Sunday night. Got back later than planned and had to do it in the dark, which wasn't a problem except for the clearance needed when removing the oil filter. With the 190D the top of the housing pulled straight up. I eventually found that the plastic and rubber of the inner firewall had to be removed to give enough clearance. Is there a knack to this as it seems a bit of a pain to do?

Here's a pic I took while pumping out the old oil- the 12v pump's resting near the rad & connected to the battery. Small black hose is poked as far down the dipstick hole as it will go, green hose is pumping into waste oil container.
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Here's a few general photos. Will get some better ones once I've had a chance to give it a proper polish.

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I like the original stickers. Impressed they've lasted 20 years...
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