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That yellow SLK - new owner and new fixes! (the thread of history)


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SLK parts arrived, along with some bits for the E-class but they're boring.


So after dinner with friends, get home and back into the garage for this:




And a bit of this:




And then reassemble and go for a loop around M1/A14. Still a little hesitation. Clean MAF, and then realise I forgot the mesh in the intake after the butterfly - which also has the rubber gasket.


Go for another, now 2am run.


Oh yes. That's fixed it. Spinning wheels in kickdown in the wet, and proper speed.


Will run the crappy MAF for a while and see if the oil in the intakes clears up a bit, then switch to the Bosch when I do the air filter and oil change, which is due now anyway. Then, brakes.


I hope it's sunny tomorrow :D

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Here's a quick set of instructions - this problem with the PCV will affect loads of four-pot M111 Mercedes, I think the supercharged ones make it more obvious. Really not a bad job to do.

Remove the pipework between intercooler and throttle body, including the MAF, keep the MAF wire out of the way.
Remove the throttle body, the little mesh thing which is also the gasket for throttle body to metal insert on manifold and the metal insert - all hex bolts. Three on the inlet elbow which you'll probably do when you do the pipework, one underneath it which is shorter, then three good chunky ones, all allen key heads (6mm, I think. Maybe 5mm). The brake booster pipe is attached to the throttle body mount, that's 19mm, there's also a vacuum pipe on the throttle body to the evap solenoid (I think. Pretty sure that's what it is).
Take plug cover off and disconnect the LT wires to the coils.
Release fuel system pressure - take fuel cap off too - then clamp the fuel hose in the engine bay and disconnect from injector rail. You will need to disconnect the fuel return line as well, as it blocks one of the bolts.
Undo the two E12 or E10 (sorry, wasn't making notes) long bolts which hold the fuel rail.
Disconnect the Cam sensor wiring and unplug the vacuum hose from the injector rail.
Release the clips and move the wiring loom guide back slightly - you may need to disconnect the cam adjuster magnet connector, but I had enough slack.
Undo the 13mm bolts holding the manifold, get a bungee cord to support it.
There's a section of loom going to a sensor in the crankcase and the crank position sensor. I undid the wire going to the crankcase so it wasn't under tension.
Now you have access to the PCV plumbing.
PCV valve on the clutched supercharger setup - probably the same on the post-2001 layout too - has one large formed pipe that runs to a point near the A/C compressor and has a thin wire cable tied to it, and two small hoses that go into brass nozzles in the cylinder head. The nozzles and chambers they terminated in were absolutely pitch-black and gummed up. They're a press fit in the head, and they're also brass nozzles, not something that degrades so although I bought two spares I had no intention of fitting them unless I had to. Some gunk and a toothbrush cleaned up the area, then I poked through the jets with a straightened paperclip - it's a 1mm bore restriction so you could use a drill bit but it may snap.
The clip broke when removing the old valve - order a clip. It's the sort where you push a pin through to lock it into place.
Once reinstalled it all looks neat and tidy. You can re-cabletie the wire that runs down alongside the PCV.
Change the inlet manifold gaskets, clean the mating face, the usual things.
Reconnect the wires you disconnected that are under the manifold.
Reinstall manifold, tighten the bolts to 15lb/ft (20Nm) - mine had thread lock on and I was out of thread lock, so I'm hoping the old material and correct torque will be enough. Start in the centre and work out to ends. Watch the centre bolt doesn't trap the rigid vacuum line to the fuel rail.
Replace long bolts for fuel rail. Replace throttle body mounting - don't forget the brake booster rigid pipe and the bracket to support the wire channel. I think the bolt for this was longer than the other two, but can't remember.
Reconnect fuel lines and fuel rail vacuum line.
PUT THE MESH THING BACK IN. Guess who forgot the first time. I'd get a new one, I hadn't realised it was in there - the rubber seal didn't feel like it was compressing much and caked oil was on the edges.
Put the wiring guides back into place, including the coil leads, make sure the guide for the front coil is in the correct, low position rather than interfering with the plug cover.
Reinstall throttle body - I put the short bolt in, then loosely put the other three in whilst tightening the short one, then attach the elbow with new gasket.
Check the two vacuum pipes on the right under the manifold, and double check you reconnected the other end of the black one to fuel rail. I think you could do this without disconnecting if the centre bolt were not obscured by it!
Clean the MAF. To sort this properly you should remove the bumper and clean the intercooler, which will be contaminated with oil, but I wanted to get the car back on the road so am leaving that for another day. I think having sorted the source of the oil, what's in the intake will eventually get drawn through the system, but I'm not counting on it and will clean the inlet manifold when I change oil and filters, and at that point - when I'm satisfied the car's PCV system is working 100% - I'll fit the Bosch MAF I bought.
Replace intake pipework, look all over the engine bay for any tools you might have missed, spend 20 minutes getting really worried that the little screwdriver has vanished, then when you're SURE it's not in the engine bay, take a test drive.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Throttle damper/screen in place - tiny airleak sound from throttlebody and inlet manifold join now gone. A 315-mile round trip to Brighton & back revealed the third-party, oil-fouled MAF was still giving problems, so popped the brand new Bosch MAF in after giving the pipework another wipe (probably lots of oil in the intercooler).


Bloody hell. It's like a new car. Incredibly smooth idle, goes like stink, 30-upsidedown 06 is really impressive, revs to the redline freely and seems to be much better on fuel now. Skipping a bit at the front, new coils really do need new dampers to finish the job (and I think new coils on the back to get the ride heights perfect again), but wow. I don't think it has ever driven this well before. I am so glad it never found a buyer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perfect afternoon for washing cars, so the SLK got attacked with some Snow Foam and the pressure washer. It is a couple of years since the car was last waxed proper, as it's been garaged, occasionally rinsed off, and had bits done if it dried out fast enough.


The 476S comes out to play - the same stuff that made the Avantime look fantastic.




















I'm still not up on this detailing thing. Muck inside the letters.




But then...




And I'd only done one coat! Damnit!


Filling the slot in the dash where the wireless goes is now a Clarion DAB one - the little stick-on windscreen antenna is mounted up with the shaded part of the windscreen behind the mirror, and getting the windscreen trims off (and back on) to route the cable was a doddle - no awkward hidden clips or nonsense, so it all goes back together the way it started with no extra rattles. Headunit is so much better for controlling the iPod than the probably 8 year old Sony I had, but having DAB means constant Absolute 80s access, so I'm happy. I think it's the first bluetooth equipped radio I've used that actually maintains the stream from the iPhone, though I need to try it with Android to see if it gets more control/info away from Apple's limited implementation. Plus the USB port provides enough current to charge an iPhone 6, saves having to plug things into the cigarette lighter.


MG F updates will be ceasing for a while as the MOT runs out in the next couple of days, so it'll be shoved in a corner until I can weld.

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Part one of the radio bits I wanted has arrived! Looks better than it did in the picture. Wonder what the chances of the £5 RC168* head unit I got actually working when it arrives?




Proper '90s.




Well, more '80s, for my tastes.




And maybe a few of these for mixtapes...




* it's not the same model, but the fascia is the same so I can swap the plastics over.

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Part two of the SLK radio puzzle landed today. Literally, I'm guessing from the distance from the gate because the Collect+ driver CBA pressing the intercom.


First, tidy the garage.




Ponder things.




Right. So, I bought a front panel for an RC-148, and I bought a normal RC-168. They look mostly similar, and at least answering part of my question before, it DID light the yellow panel when connected, but the eagle eyed people who remember the random details that distinguished car audio back in the day will notice what I overlooked.




The lower-end yellow front panel is from a radio with a normal mechanical cassette deck, so the buttons for the tape are just plastic ones that poke the mechanism.


Out with the dremel and some very patient grinding later...




I kept the blue buttons from the 168, as blue & yellow is a great combo.


Now, to see how it all looks and test the tape deck.





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  • 3 weeks later...

A visitor - Alex has been brainwashed by my cult of Mercedes programme.


(Helpfully I've been told I look like Charles Manson).




(Nope. Don't see it at all).




Can't tolerate a mucky Mercedes.






Decided to check on MG F. Now the MOT is expired and it's off the road, the cracked filer chunk can be encouraged to finish falling off.




Jesus wept.




Seriously. The filler has filler on it.




Death's too good for whoever did this.




I am determined though. This car will be repaired. That inner structure still feels exceptionally strong, so it should be possible to bring it back. I bet the initial bodge was only a tiny area, too, but the bodge had bodges on it then more bodges to hide that, it was like strata of filler, thin bits of rust, more filler and gauze.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haven't got that stuff done yet! The body was Autoglym with resin shine bit, but recently Collinite 476S. Underneath is just getting washed a bit at a time whilst I'm working on the differential, gearbox oil/ATF, brake fluid, disks, pads and waxoyl. Once the underside is washed, it gets the clear waxoyl - probably from rattlecans, then smoothed/distributed with hairdryer - an effect I've found gives not only excellent flow into seams and a shell-like finish close to factory wax finishing.

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Differential oil changed, remembering the first rule - undo the filler plug first - and discovered the other law of EP75-90, which is no matter HOW careful you are, the bastard hand pump will pop off and spew the stinking stuff all over your arms, clothes and taint you with the smell for a month.


No hiccups like unremovable/stripped bolts, no swarf, fluid dark but clear. Good good.


406 has decided to play up, of course. Got a new clock & radio (the radio was promptly dismantled purely to get the power switch off without breaking the clip, which was successful) and the clock bulb still didn't light. It's actually very dim, now, having pinched a bulb from the A-class that I knew I'd replaced recently.


It also seems to make a peculiar noise from the door - sounds like a window motor trying to do something - and the electric mirrors don't work but do change the noise, and if the folding is selected, the noise judders - like higher current demand is breaking availability. This, combined with the half-on but charging well alternator light, makes me suspect bad earthing, but where, I am unsure. I can tell someone else has been at it though, the fusebox was not correctly clipped in, the kick panel isn't correctly installed. When the fusebox was first pushed back in, the immobiliser wouldn't recognise the key or the ECU went offline.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

This is taking ages, because cold, work and stuff. But getting there...




Looking promising.




And on the car with a brake pad to check I cleared the sliding surfaces sufficiently...




This next, when it dries. Having an Aga comes in handy for crap like this.




And I want this car off this ASAP, the Peugeot should be getting attention!

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Ain't gonna happen. I'm going to get married in this thing. I'm going to do the roadtrip honeymoon anywhere in the world in this thing. I am hopefully not going to die in it, but tempted to get buried in it. About the only way I'd part with this if it was a choice between the SLK, or a certain someone (FSVO), and TBH anyone who put me in the position of choosing them or my SLK would probably not like the answer!


However, such is my confidence with SLKs, if I ever spot another yellow one for cheap (like the £500 start bid, ended at £800ish T-plate with obvious K40 issues) I will buy it and bring it up to the same standard or better, to resell. And I offer my SLK checking out services for local vehicles :D

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