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Peter C

Mercedes W124 200E - Rolling Resto - More fettling

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I’ve been keeping busy during the lockdown. Both Tucsons needed a wash, which killed a couple of hours.

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Having done a few engine oil changes on both Mercs in recent years, I’ve accumulated a few gallons of used 10W40 oil. A quick Google search revealed that old engine oil makes for a good wood preservative. I have an arrangement of old timber beams making up flower beds in the rear garden. The beams have weathered silver grey and started to look a little unsightly. A quick coat of brushed on old oil sorted them right out.213D4AD1-3F30-4B69-81BC-C172391B3513.thumb.jpeg.7954521bb0c2bddec047d0317bb685aa.jpeg

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The wood was touch dry within the hour. The oil doesn’t smell and has really brought out the grains.

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On 4/2/2020 at 7:50 AM, paulplom said:

The autoshite repair would be to cover some cardboard in tin foil and cable tie it in front of the radiator. The reduced airflow will have it up to temperature/over heating in no time.

Why would it? A correctly functioning thermostat would just close off to some extent once it dropped below temperature.

If you think about it, a radiator should be sized to keep the engine cool whilst towing a trailer up a hill in the middle of summer, so most of the time it'll not need the full cooling capacity. Hence it'll spend most of the time partly shut.

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Missing cowling in the engine bay, damaged fixing on the undertray allowing it to pull down at speed? Thinking too much airflow - not from flowing in the front through the radiator but loosing heat out of the engine bay. 

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56 minutes ago, SiC said:

Missing cowling in the engine bay, damaged fixing on the undertray allowing it to pull down at speed? Thinking too much airflow - not from flowing in the front through the radiator but loosing heat out of the engine bay. 

Cowling is present and correct.

Undertray is a big metal plate securely fixed with four bolts.

Apart from the electric fan, which is fitted in place of the original fan, everything in the engine bay and below it is stock, present and in good condition.

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A conversation with a friend prompted me to compile a list of all the cars that I've ever owned. Here goes, in chronological order. I've also included cars that I've bought for my wife.

1. Austin Mini 1275GT

2. Austin Mini 1000

3. Ford Fiesta Mk1 1.1L

4. Austin Mini 1000

5. Ford Fiesta Mk1 1.1L

6. Triumph Spitfire Mk IV

7. Ford Fiesta 950 Popular

8. FSO 1500

9. Vauxhall Astra Mk2 1.3L Estate 5 door

10. Ford Sierra 1.6L

10. Porsche 924

11. Citroen AX GT

12. Dutton Pheaton

13. Ford Sierra 2.0 GL Estate

14. Ford Fiesta Mk2 XR2

15. Saab 900 2 door

16. Alfa Romeo Sprint 1.5 Green Cloverleaf

17. Peugeot 405 SRi

18. Vauxhall Carlton 1.8GL

19. Jaguar XJ40 Sovereign

20. Lada Samara 1500 3 door

21. Mahindra Brave Indian Jeep

22. Mercedes 190E

23. Toyota Mk2 MR2 2.0 GT Rev 1

24. Toyota Mk2 MR2 2.0 T-Bar Rev 2 (spares car)

25. Ford Sierra 1.8L Estate

26. Vauxhall Vectra 2.0 GLS

27. Austin Allegro 1300 Super

28. Austin Allegro 1300 Super (spares car)

29. Mercedes W123 200T

30. Ford Fiesta Mk1 1.1L

31. Skoda Favorit Estate

32. Ford Fiesta Mk1 XR2

33. Mazda 323F 1.5

34. Honda S2000

35. Toyota Mk2 MR2 2.0 GT Rev 3

36. Ford Sierra 1.8 Chasseur Estate

37. VW Bora 1.6 

38. BMW E36 318iS

39. Saab 9000CDE

40. Mercedes 190E

41. BMW E30 325i SE

42. 2007 Honda Civic 1.8 SE 

43. 2008 Renault Megane 1.4 Sportshatch 

44. Mitubishi Shogun SWB 2.5 TDi

45. Mitubishi Shogun SWB 2.5 TDi

46. Toyota Mk2 MR2 2.0 Coupe Rev 1

47. Toyota Mk2 MR2 2.0 G-Limited Automatic Rev 3

48. Mercedes W124 200TE

49. Mercedes W124 230E

50. Mazda Mk3 MX5

51. 2000 Honda CRV

52. Mercedes W123 230E (still have it!)

53. Mercedes W126 300SE

54. Lexus LS400

55. BMW E36 320i

56. Mercedes W124 E200

57. Mercedes W124 300TD

58. Toyota Celica GT Gen 6

59. Mercedes C-Class 180 Sport

60. Audi 100 2.6 Sport

61. Vauxhall Astra 1.4 Estate Mk 4

62. Eunos Roadster

63. 2010 BMW 520d Touring F11 

64. Vauxhall Frontera LWB 2.8TDi

65. Toyota Mk2 MR2 2.0 GT Rev 3

66. C204 Mercedes C Class Coupe 220CDi (company car)

67. Mercedes W124 E220

68. BMW 420d 

69. Mercedes W123 230E (spares car)

70. BMW E46 330Ci

71. 2009 Citroen C4 Picasso

72. 1990 Mercedes W219 CLS 3.0CDi

73. 2007 Mercedes R129 500SL

74. 2000 Porsche Boxster 2.7

75. 2018 Hyundai Tucson SE Nav+

76. 2018 Hyundai Tucson SE Nav+

77. Mercedes W124 200E

And I have a photo of every one of them!

 

 

 

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You've changed the fan for a "big metal one" and now the engine is overcooling. Hmm. 

Your car list looks like mine did from 88-92. :)

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6 minutes ago, Pete-M said:

You've changed the fan for a "big metal one" and now the engine is overcooling. Hmm. 

I've changed the original fan, which even when disengaged would spin and thus provide some unwanted cooling for an electric fan of the same size, which remains static and restricts air flow past the radiator in 95% of driving conditions and does not kick in until the engine temperature has reached 90 deg C. What's your point Mr M?

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Approx 8-9 years ago, I had the rear arches replaced on the 230E. They were a little rusty rather than rotten and with hindsight, I should have had the original metal properly repaired. 

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I paid surprisingly little for the labour, however I was not 100% happy with the result. There is evidence of excessive use of filler where the old and new metal abuts and the shell is no longer original. That said, all these years on, there is no evidence of any cracking or rust.

I also had the metal around the rear window replaced. It was completely rotten and water was dripping into the boot.

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This repair has also lasted well, although the paint applied to the lower panel has lost some of its shine.

I decided to stick the 230E into my workshop and give it a minor cosmetic makeover. Nothing major, just a clean up and refresh where needed. I started at the back of the car, inside the boot.

With the boot carpet removed, the plywood spare wheel well liner is revealed. All good so far.

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Aside from the spare wheel and original tools, I carry a tow rope, spare fan belt and a piece of wood that was there when I bought the car.

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Keeping it old skool! The old P5 holds air, isn't cracked so I'm keeping it.

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Original tools have seen better days.

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With the spare wheel well cleared, you can see non-standard holes in the floor. When I bought the car, the first job that I did was to remove a tow hook, which was bolted to the boot floor. Whilst it's not pretty, all the metal is 100% solid and just wanted a hoover and wipe over. I touched up the slight surface corrosion around the redundant holes with waxoil. 

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With the rear bumper removed, the rear valance looked great, just needed a spit and polish.

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The bumper, on the other hand, had some surface corrosion.

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Which I wire brushed and coated with waxoil.

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The side rubber mouldings that secure the edges of the rear bumper contain metal plates. Whilst the nearside plate was pretty much mint, the offside part did not look too clever. I ended up giving both plates a coat of waxoil.

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More soon. What other gems will I uncover?

 

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10 hours ago, Pete-M said:

You've changed the fan for a "big metal one" and now the engine is overcooling. Hmm. 

But (as I already may have mentioned...) increased airflow has no effect, as when the coolant temperature drops, the thermostat will (should?) shut. Driving down a long gradient at motorway speeds will provide far more airflow than a fan will, yet everyone's engines do not indicate cold in that scenario.

It certainly is a puzzle, so I would be inclined to measure for myself the thermostat opening temperature, and assuming that is OK, even consider the possibility that it might not be operating correctly under pressure.

I'm clutching at straws a little bit here, but does your thermostat have a jiggle pin fitted? These are a crude valve allow air bubbles to bled out during filling, but seal under the pressure from coolant flow. If your thermostat(s) have been fitted the wrong way round, the flow will hold the valve open and allow *some* coolant to always bypass the 'stat. Wouldn't have thought that'd be enough to significantly reduce the engine temperature, but I may be wrong...

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I had a 4x4 Sierra years ago which had a dodgy viscous fan clutch. That used to over cool, the temp would get to 1/2 way when idling then as soon as the revs rose above about 2000 the temp would drop down to just below 1/4. Sometimes the coolant temp would drop low enough to kick the child start injector back in and it would run badly as if the choke was on. 

Replaced the stat, same problem. 

Replaced the fan clutch and it ran at 1/2 way like it was designed to. MPG went from 22 on a run to 30 mpg. It also no longer sounded like a Boeing at 3000 rpm.

If the big fan is dragging a lot of air through the rad the coolant won't be able to get to normal temp. 

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I've made more progress with the 230E. Firstly, I re-assembled the rear bumper and the contents of the boot. I gave the spare wheel a good polish - I must be mad!

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I then turned my attention to the front of the car. I stripped the bumper and associated fittings.

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I didn't find anything particularly nasty but both front wheel arches looked grim compared with the re-painted rear arches.

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The amount of effort that went into cleaning and prepping the inner arches for paint was huge, a lot more work than I expected.

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However, the re-painted inner arches look great. I say that but up close the arches don't look particularly attractive. For some reason, Mercedes Benz didn't think it was necessary to finish the metalwork and sealers to a high standard and left various redundant holes and runs and smears unfinished.

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Next up to be treated was the rusting metal around the aerial. I've been touching up the blisters for years. It didn't look good.

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It looked worse with the aerial removed.

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Not wishing to damage any good paint, I protected the surrounding panels with gaffer tape.

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Wire brushing the metal revealed extensive rot and a small rust hole. Great!

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I applied generous quantities of Kurust and filled and prepped the panel for painting.

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I used a specially mixed aerosol can, then smoothed the paint with 1500 wet and dry paper, then cut it back with T-Cut before polishing. I am pleased with the quality of the repair. The paint match is 99% perfect and the new paint blends in nicely with the old.

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The nets fixed to the rear of the front seats were sagging horribly.

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I tightened up the top string with a cable tie, resulting in less droopy nets.

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Post repairs, the 230E needed a deep wash. Dust got in just about everywhere. 

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Unfortunately, having spent all this time tarting up the 230E, I ended up putting it back in the garage. I promise to take it for a good run once the lockdown is over.

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On 4/13/2020 at 10:29 AM, Pete-M said:

If the big fan is dragging a lot of air through the rad the coolant won't be able to get to normal temp. 

The electric fan is static until the engine temperature gets to approx 90 degrees C, thus it has no detrimental effect on the cooling system and is not causing the over-cooling.

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My 116 280 SE was the same colour as your 230. Lovely colour and mine was in great condition as well, perhaps the paint has 'rust proofing' capabilities or it's just a colour beloved of old duffers that looked after their cars?

Can't offer any advice on the over cooling issue other than it has to be, the fan or the thermostat or the sendor unit. Much help... not!

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Last week I had a go at cleaning the 200E's power steering pump reservoir. I previously wiped it over with a Flash wipe and got the crud off it but it didn't come up particularly nice. I didn't bother taking a before photo as I was not expecting great results. With a little wire wool and Brasso action I achieved a bit of bling. I don't like the idea of chroming up parts of the engine bay that were not supposed to be shiny but I do like the look of a restored piece of metal. 

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I did the same on the W123 230E. To be fair the pump wasn't that filthy to start of with.

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The same method was adopted.

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And voila, we have another clean pump.

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On 4/7/2020 at 11:47 AM, The Mighty Quinn said:

Do you have to redo them every year/12'000 miles though?

With long. life oil to ‘spec’ you should be good for 18,000 or 2 years whichever comes first.

Mix the old engine oil with diesel fuel to make a ‘fence flush’..........It makes it flow just that little bit further and just a bit easier for the wood to soak up.   I did all my fences with about 25 litres of ‘mix’.  

Cutting creosote with old oil was a ‘economy dodge’ years ago, it made the creosote go further.  These days, we turn it on it’s head, with a lack of creosote as a carrier for old oil, we use Diesel Fuel.

some say ‘add sugar’ but i’ve never bothered as the fences are sweat enough without it.

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On 4/24/2020 at 4:42 PM, Peter C said:

 

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It looked worse with the aerial removed.

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Not wishing to damage any good paint, I protected the surrounding panels with gaffer tape.

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Wire brushing the metal revealed extensive rot and a small rust hole. Great!

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I applied generous quantities of Kurust and filled and prepped the panel for painting.

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I used a specially mixed aerosol can, then smoothed the paint with 1500 wet and dry paper, then cut it back with T-Cut before polishing. I am pleased with the quality of the repair. The paint match is 99% perfect and the new paint blends in nicely with the old.

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Nice job

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Whilst my W123 is generally a tidy example, the sunroof panel let the side down. Admittedly the fluorescent tube light in my garage exaggerates the problem, however the sunroof panel didn't quite match the colour of the rest of the car.

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Viewed up close, paint finishes along the front section of the sunroof panel were very thin, to the point that grey primer was grinning through. The biggest issue was the presence of millions of micro blisters. Something had to be done!

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I started rubbing down the old paint with 600 grade wet and dry paper. I'm no expert when it comes to car paints, however I've never seen paint come off so quickly.417.thumb.JPG.a3e19a843a500ca88bcb7d70506dd930.JPG

The paint was so bad and I really didn't fancy doing this job twice. I rubbed all the paint down to the primer, which was nice and smooth.

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I was expecting a lot of dust from the aerosol can so I covered up the W123 to prevent it from getting caked.

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I don't have a compressor and I've never held a spray gun in my hand. All I had to work with was aerosol cans, however I know that with patience and perseverance, decent results can be achieved. Once sprayed, I let the paint harden for 24 hours. The next day, I had to flatten the paint with 1500 grade wet and dry paper, then use my polisher and plenty of T-Cut to cut the paint.

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And voila, job done. Once cut back and treated with Autoglym High Resin Polish and Extra Gloss Polish, the sunroof panel looks a treat, nice and shiny and the colour match is good. The paint is very fresh at the moment and will need a little time to quieten down, however I am pleased with the results.

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Yesterday I took the 200E for an essential work related journey to Reading. I parked up in The Oracle multi-storey, which I’ve never seen so empty. The 200E was definitely social distancing!

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On route home, despite the light traffic conditions, a Corsa threw up a stone, which chipped the windscreen. The chip occurred in the field of vision and needs sorting out. Autoglass are coming out on Monday to hopefully repair it.

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Bugger.

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On 5/16/2020 at 10:41 AM, lesapandre said:

They should be able to do it. 

Yep, all done, took all of 20 minutes. All that is left is a white spot the size of a gnat's cock where the chip once was. I'm happy with that.

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I spent a bit more time today looking into the 200E's coolant situation. Post longer journeys, despite performing perfectly fine, I've been finding very small amounts of mayo on the underside of the coolant reservoir cap.

I carefully removed the bottom radiator hose only to find a gush of clean and blue coolant. I promptly replaced the hose. I removed the hoses from the coolant reservoir and all of them promptly discharged a brown sludge. By pumping the radiator hoses, the brown stuff drained out, leaving the remaining coolant clean and blue. It would seem that the contaminated coolant was only present in and around the coolant reservoir, whilst the rest of the cooling system was functioning happily with clean coolant. I removed the coolant reservoir.

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And to my wife's immense satisfaction I took it to the cleanest place I could find - our kitchen!

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Where I begun to flush the contents of the coolant reservoir. This photo is of flush number fifty. Regardless how many times I flushed it through, more and more crud kept coming out.

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Eventually, after about half an hour of repeated flushing, I got the coolant reservoir relatively clean. I re-assembled the coolant reservoir and all the associated hoses, filled it with fresh anti-freeze, started up the engine with the pressure cap removed and let it reach full operating temperature before going for a drive. When I got back I let the engine cool a bit and had a look inside the coolant reservoir. A quick double finger test revealed that the coolant has remained clean. I need to keep an eye on this over the coming weeks. 

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If the head gasket or cylinder head has somehow failed and oil is finding its way into the coolant, why are the symptoms only visible in and around the coolant reservoir, whilst the rest of the cooling system is clean as a whistle? I haven't touched the coolant reservoir since I bought the 200E over 2 years ago. Could the crud be historic? 

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1 hour ago, Peter C said:

I spent a bit more time today looking into the 200E's coolant situation. Post longer journeys, despite performing perfectly fine, I've been finding very small amounts of mayo on the underside of the coolant reservoir cap.

I carefully removed the bottom radiator hose only to find a gush of clean and blue coolant. I promptly replaced the hose. I removed the hoses from the coolant reservoir and all of them promptly discharged a brown sludge. By pumping the radiator hoses, the brown stuff drained out, leaving the remaining coolant clean and blue. It would seem that the contaminated coolant was only present in and around the coolant reservoir, whilst the rest of the cooling system was functioning happily with clean coolant. I removed the coolant reservoir.

424.thumb.jpg.7c17b469163f0858ffbbed02e595a244.jpg

And to my wife's immense satisfaction I took it to the cleanest place I could find - our kitchen!

425.thumb.jpg.3174675baa197c3f3c1433858bd6b9cd.jpg

Where I begun to flush the contents of the coolant reservoir. This photo is of flush number fifty. Regardless how many times I flushed it through, more and more crud kept coming out.

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Eventually, after about half an hour of repeated flushing, I got the coolant reservoir relatively clean. I re-assembled the coolant reservoir and all the associated hoses, filled it with fresh anti-freeze, started up the engine with the pressure cap removed and let it reach full operating temperature before going for a drive. When I got back I let the engine cool a bit and had a look inside the coolant reservoir. A quick double finger test revealed that the coolant has remained clean. I need to keep an eye on this over the coming weeks. 

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If the head gasket or cylinder head has somehow failed and oil is finding its way into the coolant, why are the symptoms only visible in and around the coolant reservoir, whilst the rest of the cooling system is clean as a whistle? I haven't touched the coolant reservoir since I bought the 200E over 2 years ago. Could the crud be historic? 

Dishwasher is excellent for car parts cleaning*

*only do this when alone in the house.

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M102's can have a gasket issue but you generally get water in the oil as well and mayo on the oil cap. Perhaps the residue is from an old head gasket fail.

 

They're very easy heads to remove though. A shame yours was too old for the M111 engine, that really is a proper thing.

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25 minutes ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

M102's can have a gasket issue but you generally get water in the oil as well and mayo on the oil cap. Perhaps the residue is from an old head gasket fail.

 

They're very easy heads to remove though. A shame yours was too old for the M111 engine, that really is a proper thing.

Mine went on Cylinder 4 (right at the back) and presented itself as proper gravy in the coolant.  There was so much of it that it started coming out of the overflow pipe! 

I don't know why I keep coming back to these cars.  I just adore them.  They're been surpassed in pretty much every conceivable, tangible way - and yet there's still something about them. (See - I did it! Praised a 124 without using the words "hewn" or "granite").

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      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.


      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.

       






      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...









      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.







      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...



      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.



      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By Tickman
      First some background:
      I was brought up with no car interest, a car was transport and nothing more which resulted in a selection of poor cheap cars being the cars of my youth.
       
      Fast forward many years (just over 9 years ago) and I have a wonderful* Vauxhall Vectra estate to carry us about. Unfortunately it is crap and throws fault codes at us with nothing being there when it is checked (even at Vauxhall)
       
      As Mrs T is the main pilot of this chariot with the two little miss T's on board, it has to go.
      The hunt is on for the new steed to safely and comfortably carry the family around. I have a company car at the time so big journeys are not an issue.
       
      ebay is my weapon of choice to find the new family car. It has to be good value cheap for no other reason than I am tight.
       
      Weeks of research with lots of cars that are too expensive and too far away for easy collection end up in my watch list.
      Finally a possible is spotted in Fife. I go and have a look and find a poor looking but solid car. One previous owner and lots of history.
       
      The auction was to end on the Saturday at midday, we were going to be out! I decided on how much I was willing to gamble on it and on the Saturday morning I put in my max bid but straight away it went to my max bid, I was winning but it had three hours to go with no room for me to go up! We went out anyway.
       
      I spent the next three hours kicking myself for not bidding more while we were out as it was the first car I had seen that fitted my criteria. Fate was in charge.
       
      On returning home I go straight on ebay to find 'Congratulations.............'
      For the grand total of £500 I had just won this fine vehicle!
       

       
      It has 5 months MOT and after fitting seat belts in the rear for the girls car seats it is pushed into daily service.
      My gamble and subsequent use results in a perfectly reliable car that actually does what it is supposed to do.
       
      Even more importantly Mrs T loves it so a win all round.
       
      All my cars have names (most are earned over a bit of time) and this one is called 'Gwendolen' ( G reg car and from Wales originally. I hate the name but I am not going to argue)
       
      That sums up part one, more will be along later (probably much later)
    • By dozeydustman
      Mrs Dustman has a dash cam she wants me to fit to her '99 frog face Corolla. It came with a hard wire kit as opposed to the usual fag lighter lead, so I might as well make a decent* job of it and hide the wiring completely. Trouble is I can't remember how I got the radio pod out when I fitted the DAB unit she now has. I've also got a few dash illumination bulbs to change so I might as well do it all in one hit while it's a sunny afternoon.
       
      A bit of googling comes up with the US spec dash which appears to be different from the European model, or the 2002-on model. I seem to remember spudging out the dash vents to access some bolts/rivets.
       
      Failing that, is there an easier place to get a switched live from (besides the radio) that doesn't involve destroying the car's interior?
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