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Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Wheely Creative 22/11


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Sooooooo. Nearly a week on from the incident, the car is running fine. I've been tooling about and gradually extending my forays and its behaved impeccably. I've been running without the o-ring that got eaten by the throttle body and I have to say that there is zero difference. I did order a new one from Mercedes and will pick it up tomorrow when I'm back at work, but I'm reasonably sure that that was indeed the cause of the breakdown. I'm not sure why it managed to eat the o-ring at that point, since I've never actually had any of that intake gubbinz apart in the 4 years I've owned it, but there. 

Reflecting back, if we accept that a breakdown was going to happen, it occurred in a fairly easy place to get to safety, recovery was quick and painless and it basically fixed itself - the post breakdown dismantling was easy and pretty superficial in the grand scheme of things, and the cause was obvious once it was partially dismantled. Even the design of the TB with the 'catch basket' under the butterfly valve made sure that nothing was ingested into places it shouldn't be. No other car I've owned has had that basket arrangement but in this situation it was a very good thing to have.

I've put about 100 miles onto the odometer which is a mix of local roads, A-roads and motorway and it seems fine so I'm calling it 90% fixed. Once I've fitted the new O-ring I'll be fully happy with it all again. I even took it for an 'Initial-D' drive round one of the local backroads where it behaved impeccably, and showed my kids the fun that could be had in a RWD car on a gravel carpark last weekend - to the dismay of some old biddies at the local garden centre!

I keep having nagging thoughts about replacing it, but you know what? Even 22 years after it was registered, as a supposedly 'low point' in Mercedes build quality, its still enough. Fast enough, capacious enough, comfortable enough, frugal enough. It does nothing outstanding, but it does everything adequately. There really isn't anything under about £20k that I could buy that is materially better than my 2001 C-class, for what I use it for.

Its great that people can buy nice things and enjoy them, but I have to keep reminding myself that actually I don't need a fancy car. What I have is perfect for me, I just need to keep looking after it and it should do another ten years service without complaint.


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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - How are we doing, a week on?
  • 2 weeks later...

As seen on the 'Ask a shiter' section, the Mercedes threw a bit of a wobbly last week, flashing up the ABS, ESP and BAS warnings on the instrument cluster on startup. While this wasn't terminal, it also wasn't ideal. However, I had a flight booked so YOLO'd it up to Heathrow & back for my pre-booked parking without totalling it into the back of a truck.

The situation required some brain power though.

Prior to my trip away, I'd got the trusty Delphi scanner on the car to see what the craic was. This highlighted code C1134 'Rear Right Wheel Speed Sensor; Implausible' (Intermittent) which gave me something to work from. In this case, rear right was the drivers side rear. Each side has an ABS sensor in the hub and through the power of MATHS they talk to the ECU and it detects meaningful imbalances and then moans about them basically. The Delphi proved its worth by visualising this. I got the real-time data thing for both speed sensors and readout in KPH and got this which shows the issue with what the ECU is seeing



The top graph is the rear left sensor, you can see that the readings are nice and smooth showing acceleration, cruising and deceleration at whatever interval it is (possibly 2 per second?). The bottom trace is the rear right, which has random dropouts all the time. Not at any regular interval, suggesting that the issue lay with the sensor rather than the ABS ring being cracked - which my simple brain said would show up as being a regular anomaly as it rotated. Also replacing an ABS ring on a W203 merc looks like a right old carry-on and I was keen to eliminate other possibilities first!

Just before I left, I ordered a replacement ABS sensor. Because I'm king of the mingebags I refused to buy a brand new one from Mercedes because it was £65 + VAT, Autodoc had a vast selection of options from about £10 upwards but my eye was caught by the whispered promises of an ebay seller who was selling a 'genuine mercedes' sensor (used) for £22 delivered. Guaranteed* working. I decided that the combination of low price and swift delivery was a winner and clicked 'buy it now'. Then went on holiday for a 5 days.

The instrument cluster errors I got looked like this



And then the ABS one once you got over 30mph. The ABS light stayed illuminated the whole time too. The codes could be 'clicked off' but came back on every restart.

Having got back, and seen the sensor was delivered to my house in my absence, I had some time this morning to go and see about replacing it. First of all I wanted to check the fault code again to make sure things weren't getting worse.


So thats the same code which is a good thing. I cleared the code then got the car up on the lift to commence work


Popped the hubcap off the rear drivers side wheel


This is hardly exciting stuff, but I will wander a bit OT here and say how pleased I am with how well the steel wheels I bought 3 years ago are holding up. They were pretty grotty but after a thorough clean-up and respray with toolstation enamel paint they're not showing any signs of rust coming through. Anyway, I digress. Wheels off too.


The sensor lives behind the brake backing plate, roughly where the arrow is pointing. its held in with a E8 torx head bolt. I was able to get a 3/8" ratchet and e8 torx socket on it and to my surprise it undid quite easily. Its in a really exposed place but let go in that (rare) reassuring way that tells you its been done up properly, but hasn't seized. Not the 'finger-tight-someones-been-here-before' sort of tight, and not 'this-is-totally-seized-and-the-bolt-will-shear' tight. I've rattled on about it before, but every job I've needed to do on this car has played out the same - its actually well built. This is a terrible picture of the offending sensor sitting in the hub


The idea is you undo the torx head bolt and carefully remove it, then wiggle the sensor out the hole in the hub. As you can see, it looks quite a lot like this is an original 22 year old part so its had a good innings. I carefully pulled the wire out of the various locating clips first, tracing it all the way back to the connector on the main body wiring loom


Its the top/left one here. There is a metal tang that holds the connectors into the loom block thing which you need to ping out with a flat blade screwdriver then the sensor connector pulls out


with this end off, I could return to the hub end. The sensor was jammed in quite tight so I had to resort to careful application of penetrating oil and gentle levering with a flat-head screwdriver, but eventually the sensor popped out the hub recess it lives in. Pull the sensor wiring through and TA-DAH


I wanted to be careful removing the sensor in case that wasn't the issue after all and I'm pleased to say I managed not to break it. There was no muck or swarf on the end of the sensor and a closeup suggests this is MB-branded and likely original so its done well!


Next I opened up the parcel to check the contents


Part number looks right, visually looks good. OK a promising start. I checked the lengths of the 2 next to each other and they both had the same amount of cable, and the rubber protector boots in the same places so all looked good. I put the sensor into the hole in the hub and threaded the wiring through the various clips to keep it routed out of harms way, all the way up to the loom connector


I gave the connector a blast with some electrical contact cleaner for good measure and then push the connector home, and then pressed the metal retaining tang thing back into position to keep it all seated. The 'New' sensor is the bottom on in this pic.


This is some of the wiring routing to give an idea of how comprehensive it is. Before refitting, I put the little e8 torx bolt into my vice and cleaned up the threads with a wire brush, added a smear of copper grease to them and then did it back up to keep the sensor firmly attached to the hub.

So now the moment of truth, lets start it up


ooooooOOOOOOooooohhhhHHH! Look mum, no errors! This is a good start, but I wanted to be sure so put all my tools away, reattached the wheel and dropped the car down off the lift. I hook up the Delphi scanner, set up the live data readouts for both rear wheel sensors and went for a bit of a drive to see what happened


That looks a LOT better. Both sensors track the same line, with no random dropouts any more. I'm fairly confident that the issue was indeed the aged sensor and that the reluctor ring in the hub is actually OK - which is a big relief! No fault codes appeared and the car seems happy once again. I got up to 55mph later in the day and no ABS warnings came up so I'm tentatively calling that fixed.

If this sensor breaks I might bite the bullet and get a brand new, genuine MB one now I know that was definitely the issue, but for a leisurely hour of my life and twenty quid, I'm happy with that. The interesting* bit was using the live data readout capability on the Delphi scanner to understand what was upsetting it, diagnose more accurately, and then 'prove' it was fixed afterwards. Well worth the £30 I spent on the scanner about 5 years ago, I'd say! Its definitely saved me its purchase price ten times over during that period, vs having to take my cars to a garage to be plugged in for diagnostics.

TL;DR - fat man replaces a sensor on his car with a used one. slow clap.

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Feeling Sensor-tive 15/8
  • 3 weeks later...

Something that has been bugging me for a while on the Mercedes is reverse gear. I tend to reverse off my drive, having parked nose-in to the garage and quite frequently, while slipping the clutch the car will jump out of gear.

When I got the car it did this in reverse and 1st sometimes. I changed the gearbox oil for some MTL Redline stuff a while back, and following advice on various MB forums, put in ~200ml less oil than came out as this was said to improve gear selection. It did indeed, with 1st having not jumped out of gear since, however reverse has been getting steadily worse to the point that it will jump out of gear roughly 50% of the time now unless I gently hold the gearstick in position.

Googling the issue returns virtually nothing, because my Mercedes is a six-speed manual gearbox, not auto - which means its one of about 3% of the total production run!

If it was a FWD I'd have a serious look at the gear linkages, but since its RWD I'm less sure on this - essentially the gearstick is mounted to the top of the gearbox so there are no external selector rods? The clutch seems fine, no slipping or anything - by is hydraulic so there is no (?) adjustment on that either I don't think?

Living with this for a while, I've found that if it jumps out of gear, and I depress the clutch and put it back into reverse there is a much more 'positive' engagement - like the gear cog engages fully. I don't get the same when I'm selecting reverse from neutral. Its almost like there isn't enough throw on the gear lever to get the gear to fully engage first time round. I've tried selecting a forward gear first, then into reverse but this doesn't seem to help. 

When it jumps out, it tends to product a loud thump and usually a grinding noise - which I suspect isn't great for the longevity of the gearbox!

Can anyone suggest any ideas of what might be wrong, and what needs to be adjusted/looked at to try and remedy it? If I am able to select reverse gear 'properly' its fine, it doesn't jump out; but half of the time its like I can't get the gear fully engaged in the gearbox so under load its jumping out.

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Jumping out of gear 6/9

This may or may not be any use but on my Vito, there is a plastic bush on the gear lever which wears and restricts the throw, particularly from side to side. 

This is a remote cable operated shifter though, but have you had the gaiter up and given it a wiggle to see if anything seems to have too much play?

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2 minutes ago, Dave_Q said:

have you had the gaiter up and given it a wiggle to see if anything seems to have too much play

No, but thats not a difficult thing to do - I'll try it shortly.

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Looks a bit smeggy to me?

Pic #1 - in 3rd gear


Pic #2 - in Reverse


Incidentally, with the gaiter, rubber concertina thing and foam sound deadening pad out, the gear selection is really good, far more positive than before. I put it all back together making sure to tuck the rubber concertina thing well out the way of where the gear lever goes when selecting reverse (left of 2nd gear) and it seems better - I wasn't able to make it jump out of gear moving the car about on the drive. Maybe the concertina thing had got snagged between the gearstick and the reverse lockout thing, preventing it from selecting properly? 

Concertina thing for reference:


Thanks for the suggestion @Dave_Q, I've put it back together now and will monitor. Whats the consensus on the balljoint/bushing? looks pretty crusty? Would grease help or does it want replacing?

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If it's anything like the Vito it's a plastic bush that wears out. If there is much side/side or forward/back play when it's in gear then it could do with replacing. 

Whether you can get a replacement bush for it is a different matter, on the Vito they're about a fiver and widely available as they're all manual ex-taxis on 200k+.

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This is the Vito part, it's conceivable that it's the same but you'd think the keyword spammers of eBay would have caught on if it was.


You get at it by undoing the torx screws, might be worth a look

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It looks like the ball joint and bushing are not available separately, and you need to replace the whole base and stick arrangement with part A203 260 44 09 - and this is a cool $700.

I'll keep an eye on it, fingers crossed it was just the rubber concertina boot thing snagging up and preventing reverse being engaged fully.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gave the Mercedes an oil and filter change today. Mannol oil on eBay has come down significantly in price and I was able to get ten litres for £24 delivered.

I've opted for 10w40 this time as the Merc is getting on a bit, and I want to see if the daihatsu burns less oil on 10w40 than it does on 5w30. Probably not, but worth a try. 

Anyway, the 12v oil pump earned its keep again, removing 6.5l of oil oil from the sump and I slopped the same amount back in, leaving enough for an oil change on the daihatsu tomorrow or next week. 

I also oiled the bonnet hinges and catches, and will replace the air filter when it arrives in the week too. I probably ought to replace the fuel filter too really, but otherwise normal service continues. 

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Mercedes service day
1 hour ago, mk2_craig said:

How’s the Merc gear change doing? 

Better, but still not 100%, frustratingly. It'll stay engaged if you gently hold the lever in position, and stays engaged about 70% of the time without being held in, but sometimes it still won't fully engage and jumps out of reverse.

All forward gears are fine, just reverse which is a problem. I think I'll just live with it, I'll be the last owner before CoD is issued on the v5 as usual with my car's...

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Air filter arrived and fitted to the mercedes, and brake caliper sliders removed and greased so thats the service/routine maintenance work done for this year. The thicker oil has eliminated the brief chatter from the camchain on cold starts, I think the 5w30 may have been a bit too thin. The 10w40 is still MB 229.3 approved so should be fine.

I also received the new spark plugs for the Daihatsu. @Slartibartfast borrowed it last weekend to do a trip that his Leaf had insufficient range for and on the way the Daihatsu threw an EML (though ran fine). Checking it with my Delphi on its return, it had errors for intermittent misfires on cylinders 1, 2 and 4. I pulled the plugs to see what was going on and found them all looking like they'd overheated


The ground electrode was all white, with 'blisters' on it, and the insulation on the centre electrode was incredibly brittle, chipping off with a fingernail. I'm not sure whats going on here, the plugs are only about 4k miles old and are the recommended Denso KT20R-U11 ones. I've replaced them with some NGK BKUR6ETB-10 tri-electrode plugs which are a recommended 'upgrade' so we'll see how we get on. I'll run it for a few hundred miles then pull a plug and see how it looks.

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Service bits 28/9
3 hours ago, Toe said:

Just thought I'd throw this in if you hadn't already seen or don't do Faceache, so rare that any seen might be of interest :)  £1900




OOOF! thats top dollar, but the prices of these have been edging up. A Rally 2 on one of the owners groups sold mega quick for £1200 recently so £1900 probably isn't miles off the mark.

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Had a slightly odd episode with the Mercedes last night, I'd been out & about in it doing a load of local errands, probably been driving for ~1h, covered ~20 miles and stopped and started 3 times during that period. It was dark so lights on, radio on, dashcam on.

I was driving down a 40mph bit of road and the accelerator just stopped responding, the revs dropped to idle and it wouldn't rev at all (as in the pedal made zero difference to revs, like it was disconnected). I pulled into a bus stop and the revs then dropped until the car stalled. This was in neutral (car is a manual). No errors on the dash, no EML.

Turned the key and it started back up instantly, and behaved perfectly. Revved, idled, carried on exactly as normal.

I took the car over to portsmouth today, about 25 miles on a mix of B, A and M roads (albeit in daylight) and it ran fine, zero issues.

I code scanned it and all it returned was a fault related to the rear SAM. Looking as the schematic there is nothing in the rear SAM that has anything to do with the engine? I took the SAM unit out of the boot and its visually perfect, no corrosion or damage at all? I sprayed some contact cleaner on the connectors and reassembled it all but I'm a bit stumped?

I checked with it running and there is only 13.94v across the battery terminals, should I be concerned? I sort of expected 14.5+v with the engine running. Load was minimal though, lights off, radio off, interior lights off. All it was running was the engine and dashcam, but I'd still expect it to be recharging the battery lost on startup?

its on trickle charge currently, and will stay on overnight - just for good measure.

Battery was measuring 12.37v cold before startup, again, a little on the low side.

Any suggestions? Its a 2001 W203 with the M111 engine, manual gearbox, ~130k miles. Have access to tools and code scanner.

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Mystery Mercedes Malady 30/09
  • 3 weeks later...

Stuck quite a few more miles on the car and no repeat of the random cutting out. Literally no clue. I charged the battery right up with my trickle charger, maybe it was that?

A new issue developed on Sunday, releasing the parking brake the release lever jammed sort of halfway out and the foot pedal would ratchet down, but not stay down. So the parking brake basically wouldn't stay on. GR8.

My car has a ludicrous foot pedal parking brake with an organ-stop release lever. The pedal is to the left of the clutch, and the release lever is above your right thigh sitting in the drivers seat. In an auto, its sort-of-ok but in a manual like mine, its just a shit idea. Hill starts really require three legs to do effectively. And I only have a little winkie.

anyway, the two parts are connected with a bowden cable that goes over the top of the steering column. pulling the release uncouples the ratchet mechanism pawls and the pedal springs up, retracting he shoes on the inner edge of the top-hat bit of the rear discs. Its enormously over-engineered and after 22 years, its a bit flaky. This is slightly compounded by the car occasionally jumping out of gear, so i could park it and leave it in gear, but I wasn't 100% sure it wouldn't jump out of gear while I was away then roll off and crash into another car, or worse - hit a person.

I tried at the release end first, reasoning that the cable may have come detached from the release handle. This was sort-of right, it had, but there was no tension on the cable at all. the release handle is in 2 parts, and I managed to break the 'wings' off the bit that secures the outer bowden cable sheath to the inside of the dashboard. Off to a flying start then.

a bit of google-fu suggested that this happens from time to time and often its part of the pedal assembly that falls out of another bit and stops it all working correctly, so tonight I set to trying to see if thats what had gone wrong. if it wasn't that, then £100 of 2nd hand parts and a lesson in contortion was going to be in order, so I crossed my fingers!

To get at all this stuff, you need to be headfirst in the drivers footwell, so step one was removing the drivers seat to get space to lie on my back on the floor


Its held down with 4x e-torx screws, then you have to disconnect the electric seat motor cables and lift it out. These seats are pretty heavy, and I'm a weakling. Eventually it was out though

This is the view, access is mostly obscured by a kick-plate directly above the pedals


so undo 3x torx head screws and then bend the plastic kick-plate out the way to get at the parking brake arrangement. pressing the pedal pulls the cable (which runs down the transmission tunnel to the rear brakes) taught and its just a massive answer to a question no-one was asking.


Massive stroke of luck here. The yellow bent bit of metal had indeed just come adrift from the lever it ought to act upon, this should locate into the hole in the black thing - marked with a blue arrow. This was literally the best possible outcome. I grabbed it with a pipe wrench and manhandled it back into where it ought to sit


Much better! It was fiddly but eventually located and I was able to press the parking brake pedal down, it ratchets and locks - it wasn't popping back up again. Excellent stuff. Its a very complex arrangement for a basic function and a combination of the location and obstruction of the lower dash and carpet meant I couldn't really see the full workings, but it seems happier. I reached up and pulled the end of the release cable wire (hanging out of a hole in the dash because I broke half the release mechanism) and to my relief the pedal sprang back up - so we're 80% working again. it will ratchet down and lock, and will release by holding the bowden cable with one hand, and gripping the sheath with the other and pulling it.


while the seat was out, I took the opportunity to hoover up all the crap that accumulates down the side of the seat and under the runners


then refitted the kickplate, seat and wiring stuff. I now have a functioning parking brake again, a sore shoulder and a great sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

I ordered a replacement for the thing I broke and I can rebuild that all at the weekend, it won't take long but is a bit fiddly to access. I gingerly applied the parking brake to full travel and was massively relieved when tugging the cable end hanging out the dash got it to release correctly so it'll do for now until the parts arrive. I'll update with the final refitting to explain what I broke and how it all fits together.


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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Mercedes Parking Brake fixing 16/10

This week the hand brake release has looked like this


The good ole' bit-of-wire-poking-out-a-hole-in-the-dash look. I mean to be honest it actually worked fine - grip the outer sheath with one hand and pull the inner cable with the other and the parking brake released perfectly. However it wasn't ideal. As an aside before I go on, what is the law around handbrake release mechanisms. Would this pass an MOT?

The issue was that the handbrake release lever was broken. It comes in 2 parts, pulling out horizontally to tug on the inner cable and unlatch the foot pedal, and de-tension the cable running to the rear handbrake shoes. Taking my one to bits showed that one of the 'ears' that attaches the inner section to the inside of the dashboard had snapped already, and I managed to snap the other one getting it out. I ordered a 2nd hand one from ebay for £12 which pitched up yesterday


The old one, with snapped off ears is on the left, the new one in the centre, and the bit you hold on the right. Step one was chocking the car and releasing the handbrake, the popping the side of the dashboard off to expose one of the fuseboxen


I undid the retaining screw and pushed it down out of the way to allow access to the inner dashboard. First step was to wiggle the new inner release handle thing into place and screw it into position with 2 flanged torx screws through the lower dashboard


You can see I then pilled the bowden cable through the slotted bit of the release handle mech. This is where it got fiddly. The next bit you have to pull on the cable to pull through as much slack as possible, then slide the release handle into the inner bit, pop the 'bobbled' end into a recess in the release handle, then wiggle the bowden cable into a Z-shaped slot to stop it popping out while in use. To do this, you need toddler hands and a fearsome grip to keep it all in position while you wiggle a tight inner bowden cable into the channel. All accessed through the side of the dashboard. After a bit of swearing and some needle-nose pliers and a small screwdriver were used, it all popped into place


Which is kinda visible here, if you know what you're looking for? At this stage I tried depressing the foot pedal and was slightly* vexed to find it popped back up immediately, so the release cable was too tight, even with the release handle all the way in. I then wiggled the outer bowden cable sheath a bit* and there was a clonk as the sheath slid further down the cable and then it worked fine. I think the  sheath had ridden up too far, and just needed re-seating at the pedal end. With this done, the foot pedal stayed depressed and popped up correctly when the release handle was pulled. I squirted a little bit of chain oil into the 1" or so of cable and worked it in and out of the sheath a bit for good measure. Then refitted the fuse panel and closed the side panel.

It all works correctly now, hopefully for a while. 

I put a for sale ad up for the Merc in a bit of a toddler tantrum, but having looked around there is absolutely bugger all I'd actually want to buy under £10k, there were a few Saab 9-5's with the 2.3t engine which looked tasty, but they're in the £700/year tax bracket and are 16 years old. They're for sale at £3500 or so, and I just can't justify spending that much on a only-slightly-newer car, with double the tax. Its a bit grim, but I'm just better off using the money to keep this car going for another year or two. It has its foibles, but by and large its cheap and relatively easy to repair, and the things that aren't either cheap or easy (replace gearbox to try and fix issues selecting reverse) can be lived with/worked around in the meantime. 

Next on the list though is probably to have a serious look at the cam magnet thing which is leaking oil down the leading face of the engine block. Incidentally, changing to 10w40 has entirely silenced the startup noise from the cam chain so thats a result.

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  • 1 month later...

Since the weather has turned colder the creak of misery has returned in the Mercedes. It comes from the drivers side rear over poor surfaces or when I get in or out of the car (no smart-arse comments about me being a fatknacker!) and is a bit annoying.

So I set to yesterday to sort it in the time-honoured way which is squirting penetrating oil around the spring perches and hoping for the best. I took the back wheels off one at a time and sprayed oil up into the rear spring mounts and also some on the mounts on the lower arms too, previously this has sorted the creak out for a good 12 months or so, but not today. Dropped it back down, grabbed the roof rails and violently shook the car from side to side to work the oil in and its sort of made it a bit* better but the creak is still there. Its worse on the driver side, but both sides are a bit squeaky.

So on to DEFCON 4, the job I dodged last time. Removing the rear ARB bushes for inspection and lubing up with silicone grease. I could only face doing one of them because its such a wretched job so went with the drivers side as the creak is worse. put the car on the tilting lift, wheel off (again...) and then undid the C-shaped bracket holding the bushing on. This involves a 12mm ring spanner to hold the not-captive nut and then winding out the e-torx bolt slowly because the tread is exposed to the elements and the thread of all full of crust. There are 2 of these, naturally.

Eventually, after much penetrating oil and working back and forth the bolts were removed and the bushing peeled off. Helpfully, they are manufactured with a split, so with a bit of prying, I was able to get the bushing off the ARB and could clean up the ingrained crust with a round file and slather the inner surface with silicone grease. Then grease the ARB, wriggle the bushing back on (with greasy hands) and then carefully clean the threads of the e-torx bolt and not-captive nut, work it in and out in the bench vice and then refit the 2x nuts & bolts to secure the bushing to the car body with a C-shaped bracket, refit the wheel and then lower the car back down.

Then remove the tilting lift and grab the roof rails and violently shake back and forth to make sure the creak had gone.

Had it gone? Had it fuck. ULTRABASTARD.

So it must be coming from one the myriad suspension linkages/arms in the rear suspension, not sure which, not sure I care any more. Its in for an MOT in January so I'll see if they pick anything up, but I don't fancy replacing any of the various suspension arms if they're not MOT-failingly bad. The creak is irritating but I'm not a total masochist.

I've not yet bothered looking at the cam magnet, incidentally.

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Mercedes Squeaky suspension 19/11
On 19/10/2023 at 21:40, Stanky said:

....there were a few Saab 9-5's with the 2.3t engine which looked tasty, but they're in the £700/year tax bracket and are 16 years old. They're for sale at £3500 or so, and I just can't justify spending that much on a only-slightly-newer car, with double the tax.

Just in case you weren't aware, not all 9-5s fall into that bracket - my 55 plate 2.3t auto estate is in the £slightlylessthanfourhundred zone. Not great, but no worse than my R53

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On 19/11/2023 at 21:50, Stanky said:

So it must be coming from one the myriad suspension linkages/arms in the rear suspension, not sure which, not sure I care any more. Its in for an MOT in January so I'll see if they pick anything up, but I don't fancy replacing any of the various suspension arms if they're not MOT-failingly bad. The creak is irritating but I'm not a total masochist.

I have a similar situation on the front of my S210. I've got creaks and knocks that are apparent when driving and can be recreated at slow speeds with ease, but when the car is parked no amount of rocking or lifting up the front and prying things reveals where the issue is. I was really hoping it would fail MOT for play in something just to save me more hassle tracking the noise down, but no, it passed with no mention of suspension wear 😅

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7 minutes ago, mercedade said:

Just in case you weren't aware, not all 9-5s fall into that bracket - my 55 plate 2.3t auto estate is in the £slightlylessthanfourhundred zone. Not great, but no worse than my R53

Thanks yes you're quite right - but I think it gives a narrow-ish band of 2004-2005 cars to hunt through, and then I'm basically paying for a car thats approx 3 years less old than what I already have so I just end up going round and round in circles.

Helpfully* the decision has been taken out of my hands because my eldest daughter's mattress has suddenly and catastrophically fallen to bits and the shower surround in the en suite has begun leaking, saturating the floor under the lino and dripping through into the living room. So all possibility of new cars has gone right out the window for the foreseeable future. Marvellous.

Ever keen to compound my misery, I took the daihatsu out last night and the front nearside brake caliper is binding, so that will want attention sharpish. I hope its just a case of strip it, grease the sliders and rebuild (which probably only takes an hour) but after the run of luck I;ve had I'm fully expecting it to be new caliper time, in which case I should probably replace both of them in one go which is another £150 I could do without spending.

Maybe I'll just say goodbye to my material possessions and family and become a wandering Sadhu, wearing just a loincloth and subsisting mostly on smoking pot?

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The most likely culpret for the squeaky suspension is the front upper arm.  It doesn't quite have the "correct" angle of the bush versus the movement arc, so wears quite badly.  Many mercs of this era suffer from it, my own included.  Last time I checked, the Lemforder arm was sub-£10.

But do check first!

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Thanks, the squeak is definitely coming from the rear on my S203, I'll try and have another look at the weekend. Its something that needs the weight of the car on the ground to identify, so I really need an inspection pit to be able to isolate what it is thats making the racket.

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Yes, I meant the upper front arm... on the rear!  They have multi-link rear suspension with 4 arms per side (lower main, lower front, upper front and upper rear)

It's the little one on the top front that wears the fastest.  Most of the others seem to be generally OK, but that one (especially at the subframe end) wears quite badly.

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9 minutes ago, Talbot said:

Yes, I meant the upper front arm... on the rear! 

Explosion-exploding-head GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Next you'll tell me they have a lower rear arm on the front! Thanks, I'll go and have a good look at the weekend, is it something that can be lubricated, or it is just a case of replacement? 

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20 minutes ago, Stanky said:

Next you'll tell me they have a lower rear arm on the front!

They do.  Unlike most other cars, the W203 uses two links at the bottom of the McPherson strut rather than a simple track control arm, so at the front you have a lower front and a lower rear arm.


If it is one of the bushes that is a bit knackered, replacement is probably a better solution.  Once they wear you can get a lot of movement in them.

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In the popular passtime of fiddling while rome burns, I've been working on a new set of wheels for the Daihatsu.

I got these from @The Moog about a month ago, they are a set of MX5 NA Enkei 'Daisies' which helpfully have the same stud pattern, centre bore and rim width as what the Daihatsu uses, with the only difference being 5mm ET between the two sets. I'm going to have the Enkei's sandblasted and powder coated, but wanted to try out some colour ideas before I commit to the coating being done, so behold V1.0 of the new look




The tyres are scrap, but hold air so are OK for the purposes of mocking it up. The actual rims are 14" rather than the stock 15" wheels on the Daihatsu. I'm aiming to get some 185/60r14s to fit to these rims, as they are incredibly close to the rolling radius/diameter of the current 175/50r15s, and some 5mm spacers so the new rims sit where the old ones do (the new wheels are ET45, the factory ones are ET40)

I don't particularly like the factory Team Dynamics wheels, they're OK size-wise, but have 7 thin spokes which really only serve to show just how puny the front brake discs an calipers are. The Enkei's have much fatter spokes so hide the front rotors much better. One of the factory wheels is visible in the foreground of the 3rd picture for reference.

I'm not sure whether to try a rattle can of a darker matte bronze colour rather than the copper colour?

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  • Stanky changed the title to Stanky's Car Fixing Thread - Wheely Creative 22/11

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