So after buying this £250 chariot from a drunk mate in one of Dorking's finest pubs it was time to get to work. Car had been sitting for a year and was covered in all kind of crud but I had 3 days to pre-fettle it in situ before its pre-booked MOT. Car wouldn't start by itself or with jump leads (making me suspect starter was seized) but fired into live immediately when I transplanted the CLK's battery, and what's more ticked over sweetly, which was a win.
First thing to attend to were lights. Seller had swapped a front headlamp from his current E39 estate as some of the lights weren't working and the local garage he took it to had quoted £500 to sort "it needs a new 'edlamp unit mate". Check on multimeter and voltage perfect at all pins. New bulbs from ECP and hey presto, all working fine. Another side light bulb, N/S main beam, and a rear brake lamp (plus cleaning up the connection) and car was an MOT pass for lamps after a couple of hours cleaning with compound and meths. Next job was airbag lamp which needed to be turned out - there's recall paperwork in the file for the airbags to be replaced at a dealer which would presumably include a reset (not possible with my lowly code reader or by disconnecting and reconnecting the under-passenger-seat connectors did nothing). However, that's wouldn't help me with MOT unless it was MOT'd at same stealer which was never going to happen in my world. Ergo, dash cluster came out - getting to the LED's inside is incredibly tricky and it's easy to damage the connector to the cluster that need some wiggling to remove . Once out, umpteen star-shaped tabs need to be twisted at the same time as the side tabs are screwdrivered out of position. Black tape stuck onto the bastard LED, all reassembled and working, and job done.
Car also got a Karcher clean which was satisfying. And I got underneath the car and attended to the loose heat shield over the exhaust that was a former MOT advisory, totally not secured and annoyingly flapping around. Then I took a look at the fuel and brake lines formerly advised. Only a 15cm section had surface rust that brushed off fine, followed by converter, zinc primer, and black gloss. Also saw some surface rust on the inner subframes and suspension top mounts at the rear, that also got treated, primed and painted. There will be plenty more rustproofing to do in the coming months but this is fine for the time being. Bottom of front wings got some converter and a small dab of filler and some old XJ-S silver paint as a very temporary patch. Arches will made perfect in summer.
Beamer drove 9 miles to MOT without missing a beat. Amazingly, handbrake wasn't seized and brakes were working fine and tyres held air fine - up front are 2 £120 Michelins purchased just before the car was laid along with new pads around at £400 cost. After 9 miles the discs had cleaned up nicely and there was no pulling to one side or juddering. I gave it some E5 and Redex to drink too hoping there would be no emissions nightmares. Also topped up a small amount of coolant and a bit of fresh oil - oil in the car was far from new.
One hour later - MOT PASS!!!!!!!! Car's got a good clean inside as it was a biohazard (and I'm extremely fastidious about my car interiors). And yesterday I go round to oil change (having been waiting for 36mm socket in post to remove the filter) & air filter (bottom of filter box got a good vacuum - wonder how a cigarette butt got there). Gearbox shifts fine, the steering is nicely weighted, and the car handles great. The undertray was foul and covered in about a kilo of caked solidified oil which has now been scraped off and thoroughly cleaned, along with the underside of the engine that has no visible horrors.
Overall feel is a solid, well-made car and it's a very comfortable place to be. If I didn't have the CLK it would have become my regular cruiser. Instead it's been gifted to my 82 year old father whose mobility issues mean he's struggling to drive his Rover, but should be fine with this auto chariot. Rover is now mine and ready to hopefully be sold or roffled to a shiter.