Towing with a W211 E320 CDI OM642 saloon sport

Discussion in 'Engine' started by Welby, May 10, 2015.

  1. Welby

    Welby Member

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    Looking for some advice, want to tow a single axle caravan so I've ordered a dedicated wiring kit for the electrics, towbar I'll order tomorrow, but reading the fitting instructions just a moment ago it reports a fan upgrade is necessary to replace the existing 400w radiator fan with a 600w unit. In addition reinforcing members are required at both rear sides. Has anyone else gone to this trouble? Seems nuts to have to buy so many parts to tow with such a great tow vehicle. I don't thrash it as is, with a van on the back I'd be slower and wouldn't push the motor and gearbox. All this seems to be turning a £350 DIY job for the towbar and electrics into a £650 plus job. Can't be the first to want to do this. Also updating via Star Diagnostics seems necessary for disabling the rear parking sensors/fog light while towing, what's the rough cost to do this? Cheers Sent from my iPad using MBClub UK
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
  2. guydewdney

    guydewdney Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Ive just towed a 2540kg boat from plymouth to minehead, accidently over the limit of the car at 2100 + 60kg nose weight. Ooops. Anyway, the temp never went up one notch, let alone got hot. Towing a little single axle caravan isnt going to tax it. Unless you are going up some alpine passes in mid summer.

    turn off parking sensors or just ignore them, the system doesnt 'see' low power LED lights on one of my trailers anyway.....

    fog lights? Bit of tape over it to stop you getting dazzled.
     
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  3. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    I towed a heavy van all over Europe with a 211 320cdi, sometimes up an Alp or two in first gear. It's simply the best tug for the job. Now, my car had a factory towbar and never suffered from any cooling issues but I'm sure you would also be fine as long as you don't push it and keep an eye on the temp. I've just fitted a towbar and electrics to the replacement 212 and all the van lights are just plug-n-play however it needs coded for the light cancelling and bulb failure function to work. The van indicator failure is a legal requirement because the car uses this by default to inform you of them not working, ie, there is no audible bleep with the van connected. It cost me one hours labour at the dealer to get it coded. A decent indie should be able to do this cheaper.

    Edit....are you sure the reinforcing side members don't come as part of the towbar kit?


    Go for it :thumb:




    .
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
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  4. OP
    OP
    Welby

    Welby Member

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    Cheers both for the replies. I think the factory fitted tow bar would have had the upgrades performed during installation as the warranty is the one point they highlight as being invalidated, mine is out so not really an issue. Reading more it seems engine temperature isn't the main reason for the fan upgrade, I believe the rad is split for gearbox and engine, the extra cooling necessary for the additional heat generated by the gearbox oil under load. As for the additional reinforcement members, it does depend which tow bar is used it seems, will phone the supplier to discuss what comes with what to be sure. Gosh not straight forward hey. Will come back with an update. Cheers
     
  5. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    My towbar came from PJ Jones. Tow bars | Towbars

    If you get the wiring from them specify the British made Right Connections and not Westfalia. Although Westfalia is OEM the physical wiring size is underspecced.
     
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  6. Del80y

    Del80y Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You can get the car recoded with anyone that has Delphi Ds150 kit
    Its what I used for my mates.

    I just used this for mine rather than the dedicated wiring as I only use very rarely £16:thumb:
    7 Way Towing Bypass Relay - PCT ZR2500 | eBay

    I also fitted this towbar on my S204 that I could unbolt so no tow ball is showing when not in use
    Much cheaper than the removable ones but does the same job with just removing 2 bolts
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tow-Trust...E-S204-2008-/121263746087?hash=item1c3be1ec27
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
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  7. gunning

    gunning Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    On private roads.... I've towed 3.5 tonnes for 300/400 miles with a 300c 3.0 diesel (basically the same as a w211 engine wise and chassis) honestly a great car for towing and the engine will never overheat due to a fan. Especially if your just towing a single axle caravan.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Welby

    Welby Member

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    Okay great, thanks all!
    I've opted for detach Bosal/Oris and the dedicated wiring from right connections, they are the fastest options for me with limited time for DIY. Will probably live without the coding but will try when I tow with it. Apparently my W211 has one reinforcement members of the right for the AirMatic but not the left, £9.50 for the left from Merc direct. For the fan I'll go without, £371 says so and your experience of towing is by far the best test! Thanks all, thanks v much
     
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  9. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    Good. It's a Boris I've got. You'll be amazed at the weight of the ball especially when it drops on your foot on the way out. Remember and sand the paint off the ball before use or you'll damage the caravan stabiliser.
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    Welby

    Welby Member

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    Really, you have to sand the ball? Okay will do and makes sense now you've mentioned it, ta.

    Stripped the car down tonight, Mercedes were correct, a reinforced member fitted right to hold an AirMatic air tank, no member to the left, so the one on order will do nicely. Managed to find on YouTube a video of the boot wires breaking and to my surprise on mine the boot wires were wearing through their insulation, two wires were so added some extra insulation to help them last a little longer. Should have the towbar by Friday, dedicated cable tomorrow. Cheers

    Sent from my iPad using MBClub UK
     
  11. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    If you get paint, or grease, on the stabiliser pads it will ruin them. Presuming that is that you have an Alko type stabiliser hitch.
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    Welby

    Welby Member

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    Yep an Alko tow hitch, so made sure the paint was removed and no greases existed on the new tow bar ball. Towed the caravan and all the mechanicals and electrical system worked perfectly.

    Sent from my iPad using MBClub UK
     
  13. merc85

    merc85 MB Club Veteran

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    is the standard cooler for the gearbox ok?
     
  14. pipmk

    pipmk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes,have towed large van all over Europe for 1000s of miles with a E320 with no problems at all. Temp gauge never moves and oil is still at the right consistency. Even climbing alpine passes made no difference.
     
  15. Timster

    Timster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm about to fit a bar to car. S211 E320cdi.

    Parts from PJ Jones less than £150

    Amusingly quote from main stealer for supply and for - £ 1770.72!!!!

    Any tips on fitting the bar or was it fairly straightforward?

    Cheers.
     
  16. pipmk

    pipmk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Bit fiddly and make sure you have something soft to put down the painted bits,a large scratch in your paintwork can spoil your day and the large bumper mouldings are heavy and unwieldy. Slow but sure and work out what is going back where as you go. The bolts bits are simple and with the right module so is the electrics.
     
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  17. Timster

    Timster Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Which wiring kit did you use?
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Welby

    Welby Member

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    Timster, check out Right Connections online, they for my car were the cheapest for the fully integrated wiring kit by far. Clips into the existing relay/fuse panel at the rear of the car and works perfect. <UIImage: 0x807ebf0> size {1, 44} orientation 0 scale 2.000000
     
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  19. athej

    athej New Member

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    I have one for sale twin electrics used once £135 plus post approx £15
     

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