Took the "scenic" route home last night and ended up in a few puddles.
I knew it would be mucky but it was pitch black when I got back. Here's the result, no wonder the headlights didn't seem very good 😅
No, fraid not. The ones that went to Canada went over in unrefurbished condition with tungsten bulbs and most stayed that way.
The buses that LBF is referring to are the RMLs that were referbished over here in the 1990s. All but two of the 500 odd RMLs were treated along with some of Stagecoachs RMs. Also the RMs that went to Southend got the same treatment.
Most of the RMLs, or at least a majority, were refurbished in Sheffield.
London Central did their remaining RMs with a different system with smaller more flush fitting fluorescent tubes but I have no idea what sort of tubes they used, sorry.
And of course RMAs, RMCs and RCLs were built with them but again no idea what system was used.
So. As mentioned above, I had to go to Glasgow last week, and the 210 was never going to be able to do that journey. Mentioned this to the guy down at my local Merc specialist.
"So, you need a car?"
"Yes. Have you got one?"
"There's a C-class outside. Only issue is it's a manual. Want it?"
"Is it alright?"
"Yeah, it's ok."
"I'll have it".
We found was that it was a few days out of MOT. So I inflate all the tyres, as they were a bit flat, pull as much dead tree out of the scuttle and rear boot area as I can, and run it up to the localish MOT centre. Left it with him on the Friday. Got a note on Saturday to say it had passed with one advisory of tyres close to the limit on one edge. Walked down there on Monday lunchtime from work, paid for the MOT and drove it away. Filled it with fuel that evening, and then on Tuesday morning loaded it up with kit and drove it 435 miles up to Glasgow. Still with green ick in all the trim lines and moss around some of the glass. DILLIGAF?
I had an interim stop at a supplier just near PeatBogHorror, which is where I realised I'd not yet got a photo of it:
Filthy, but functional wheels.
Got up to my hotel that night, with a rather surprising statistic:
Seriously? 45.1 MPG? I know it's "only" a 1.8, but it's a supercharged 1.8 with 140-ish BHP, and drives as such. The power delivery is really linear and smooth. It just feels like a 2.5-ish litre engine. And I wasn't dawdling about, as the average speed of 60MPH shows. Considering I had to faff about in town at this end and in PeatBogHorror, those figures are amazing. Assuming they are to be believed...
Off to the customer, and shall I park as far away as I can? Nope, right in front of their door..
Looking even more dirty now. The motorways were absolutely filthy. I used an entire tank of screenwash on the journey. That's not saying a lot though as the tank appears to be only 2 litres from it's warning level to full-to-overflowing.
So after having then faffed about somewhat around Glasgow, I needed fuel. The tankful came back with these statistics:
Which were borne out with the tank-to-tank consumption calc. The fuel computer is accurate to within a few %, which is quite frankly amazing.
Leaving the hotel on the Thursday morning, it would appear that all the cool* kids have cars with blacked out rear windows:
TBH, I really don't like it. It's been done with tinting paper, so if I get a chance I'll get a hairdrier out and see if I can peel it off. At least from the side windows if not also from the rear windscreen, as I keep looking over my shoulder to be met with a much darker view of the road. Plus the auto-dip rear view mirror is having a bit of a hard time interpreting when there is a car behind. The rear window might not get removed, as I've head it can often tear the HRW elements off at the same time, which would be irritating, as they all work.
The return journey was more of the same. Did part of it on Thursday evening after a simply superb Burns night dinner with the julaaaaars. Stayed overnight and visited another company (supplier this time) north of Manchester and then made the return journey home. I didn't quite make it all the way home on that tank, as I'd had a fair bit of mileage on the Thursday before driving down. Just at fill up, I had the best statistic so far:
Which was for the leg down from the supplier to just into London. Yes, I was hypermileing it a bit, mainly to see what I could get out of it, but as the 57MPH average shows, I wasn't being absurd. It also seems like the Supercharger is a bit of a restriction below about 2kRPM, so best economy is had by keeping the engine above this. In several sections of 50mph road, this meant *not* being in top gear. It's the first supercharged engine I've ever really driven properly, so there's a learning curve for me to get the best out of it. That fuel-up gave another superb entire-tank consumption figure:
Yet again borne out by the pump fuel reading. If driven sensibly, this is a shockingly economic car! Yes, you can get the figure down into the low 20s when schlepping about town, and if you're not on a long run, it's hard to get any more than mid-high 30s out of it. It seems to have a massive range of fuel economy. More so than I think just about any car I've owned before. Drive like a bellend? 18mpg. Hypermile on the motorway? 48mpg.
So, a completely unknown car to me has just done 1130 miles with nothing more than 1 litre of oil added when the know-it-all display asked for it, and three entire tanks of screenwash. Oh, and about 120 litres of fuel. Which is amazing, as the E300 would probably have needed nearer 150 litres of diesel fuel for the same journey, at about 20p/litre more than the petrol needed for the C180K. I'm sure the main difference is the manual gearbox. You can almost feel the torque converter losses in the E300. That and the fact that the C180K is a much lighter car, and has better aerodynamics, being a saloon. And fractionally narrower tyres. But mainly the gearbox I think.
... which is a 6-speed. Initially this felt like it has too many ratios to me, and around town / B-roads, you feel like you're constantly changing gear. There were some points I agreed with W who sold me the car that it might be better as an automatic. But, after some experience with it, you tend to block-change an awful lot more than you would with a 5-speed box, which does give you more options. I found myself skipping gears all the time, especially where you can accelerate up to say 50mph, then block change from 3rd to 5th, or indeed if you're not quite at a full stop, you can use 2nd-4th-6th to accelerate onto a motorway or dual carriageway. A 5-speed box with the same ratios for 1st and top would have been quite adequate, but possibly not as flexible. TBH, it spent most of it's time in 6th gear with the cruise control set at a GPS-indicated 70mph (dash showed 71/72 or 115kmh) at which speed top gear is about 2300/2400 RPM, so ideal for keeping the supercharger spinning.
It's been washed now, and looks amazing for a 18 year old 160k mile car. There's absolutely no rust I can find, no lacquer peel, no damaged trim, no significant scrapes or marks, no interior damage and no significant squeaks or rattles. The worst "damage" on the car is the gear knob is quite badly worn. That's it. It looks and drives like a car with half it's miles and years.
As a car.. I would not have chosen it. The S210 is much more comfortable for me, and with it being a saloon is hopelessly inflexible (rear seats do not fold at all). However, as "an car", bought in bit of an emergency, it's been absolutely superb.
Well the bolt spacing is the same...has to be worth a look.
Pulled things apart.
Front on the right, rear on the left.
The core components are the same - though some different bits tacked on for handling locking. However I reckoned we could make it work.
Fitting the rear latch in the front (after bending the little lever for the child locks out the way) was pretty easy. The only thing I couldn't easily hook up was the rod from the key barrel. I can live with that, central locking still works from either the passenger door or button on the centre console. In the rear the only thing I couldn't hook up was the lock plunger - again I can live with that as it will still lock/unlock with the central locking.
Ideal? No. However far better than having a driver's door you need to slam with 90% of your strength to close and have to bodyslam to open.
So let's put everything back together.
...and take them apart again. The rear window refused to wind up. It went down absolutely no bother, but just made a "sproing" noise straight out of a Loony Tunes cartoon the moment I tried to wind it back up. Cue half an hour of fighting with that. Eventually got it done.
Then after another 45 minutes or so got the front door back together.
Photograph doesn't quite show how much I was running out of light by that point.
That's more accurate!
I'm pretty knackered now, and long term do still need to find a replacement lock - at least before the end of July when the MOT tester will want to actually open the offside rear door...but for now it means the car is actually usable, so that is a big step forward.
Thanks for the suggestion!
I've heard more than one person say this about old cars and I just can't get my head round it. Thin, large-diameter wheels are so nice to handle compared to small, fat wheels. I'd go so far as to say it's one of the best things about older cars! So much more pleasant on a long run. Each to his own I guess!
Flushed with success I banged the battery back on and cracked it up. Half a turn of the key again (if that's possible). Ran on 3 for the first 60 secs or so and chucked a shit load of smoke out (condensation? Bit of pooled oil? Unburned fuel due to running on 3? Do I care?) But pot 4 soon joined the party. Then drove it for the first time since early December. Just a few turns round the estate as I don't want it anywhere near salted main roads but reminded me what a blast it is. And it drove like it was last used yesterday. Really lit a fire under me to get the seats fitted as soon as. Then procure and fit the new exhaust!