Jump to content

W208 CLK 320


NigeT
 Share

Recommended Posts

Having read @Six-cylinder talking about getting possessive over his, I thought it was about time my trusty CLK 320 (aka Thor) got its own thread - It's the only car I've ever sold and then bought back & I'm fully intent on keeping it going until it's at least got to moon mileage (almost 2/3 of the way now). He's been 100% DIY maintained under my ownership at negligible cost & is a doddle to work on. Parts easily available and cheap, it's hard to believe such a lovely practical luxobarge is effectively worth diddly-squat in these parts. W208's & other Mercs of this era are known for rot. Some survive longer for no apparent reason and others dissolved 15 years ago, but annual grot-control is essential.  3 weeks ago I seized the opportunity for a tidy-up -  not exactly a cathedral job but tidy enough for my purposes & all rust mercilessly angle-ground from the usual places. Suspension parts got a good wire-brushing & painting too. Found some new grot underneath the boot, the underseal on old Mercs can hide all kind of demons -  all now cut out & fibre glassed to semi-respectability as non-structural and I couldn't be arsed with sparky stick. Some old zinc primer & 1/4 of an old Black Opal (never understood why this blue Mercedes colour is technically black) rattlecan sufficed to patch up the cosmetic stuff. Whilst I was at it I gave it an oil & filter change (total cost under £15). Wondering whether to service the differential sometime soon- have invested in the necessary 14mm hex socket so it'll probably be the next job, I serviced the transmission last year that's restored shifting to as-new smoothness - simple job apart from bastard bolts on the gearbox sump, half of them required my Irwin tool to remove (new bolts available for feck-all from local stealer if you can bear the dirty looks of the stealer salepersons when you arrive in your old shed to collect them). Also finished off some old silver paint from mum's long-deceased Fiesta to semi-refurb the extremely faded  fake-AMG wheels, & touched up the exhaust & calipers with an old aerosol of Halfrauds finest high-temperature aluminium paint.  Other wee job was a occasional squeal from a sticky handbrake (though is a footbrake) spring. Screw removed & WD-40 squirted in the direction of the rear o/s hub seems to have sorted that for the time being, Thor is once again just-about worthy of his Saltire. 

2020-05-21 14.23.28.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.32.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.36.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.39.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.46.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.46-2.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.52.jpg

2020-05-21 14.23.55.jpg

2020-05-21 14.24.01.jpg

2020-05-21 14.24.08.jpg

2020-05-22 14.47.08.jpg

2020-05-22 15.05.01.jpg

2020-05-22 19.14.07.jpg

2020-05-22 19.14.22.jpg

2020-05-22 19.14.49.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/16/2020 at 9:36 PM, maxxo said:

job well done!

it's incredibly rare to see such a tidy example of one of these, or any mercs from that era

Thanks! Far from perfect but probably tidier than most, I do get sad when I see neglected rustbucket Mercs from this era.  If Mercedes had used better sheet steel a huge % of them might still be on the roads given the well-engineered mechanicals. Imagine in 4-5 years the vast majority of the neglected ones will be dead - getting parts from scrappies has recently started becoming a bit tricky. Got another 430 mile cruise next week and glad to have cured a recent issue with fuel gauge reading 35% too low. Three tanks of V-Power, one of Tesco Momentum and some Redex (£2 including delivery on Amazon) and it's working perfectly again. With current prices I won't be torturing him with boggo-95 supermarket petrol for a while longer - these cars have two fuel senders and I believe one is a bit of a git to replace. Think engine is running even smoother as a result too.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, NigeT said:

Thanks! Far from perfect but probably tidier than most, I do get sad when I see neglected rustbucket Mercs from this era.  If Mercedes had used better sheet steel a huge % of them might still be on the roads given the well-engineered mechanicals. Imagine in 4-5 years the vast majority of the neglected ones will be dead - getting parts from scrappies has recently started becoming a bit tricky. Got another 430 mile cruise next week and glad to have cured a recent issue with fuel gauge reading 35% too low. Three tanks of V-Power, one of Tesco Momentum and some Redex (£2 including delivery on Amazon) and it's working perfectly again. With current prices I won't be torturing him with boggo-95 supermarket petrol for a while longer - these cars have two fuel senders and I believe one is a bit of a git to replace. Think engine is running even smoother as a result too.  

that's the thing, they aren't unrelaible they just fall into the wrong hands

in the next couple of years we're going to lose a massive chunk of even pre 2010 cars which is a huge shame, i've noticed older executive german cars really do seem to fall into neglectful hands which is a shame

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Useful tip for any shiters who have a CLK or another Merc of this era with the M112 engine.  These beasts have 12 plugs in total, and the metallic plug boots are an absolute bastard to pop off with normal tools, especially the furthest back where access is tricky (if you buy a neglected CLK I can almost guarantee the rear plugs will be prehistoric). The only place on the planet you can buy the M112 plug boot remover tool is Trumpland via Ebay, However there's another easy and cheap solution - grind off the end of an offset 5/8 ring spanner and it'll do the job perfectly & literally save hours (and lots of cursing & general blood-stained misery). 

1858181861_2019-12-1713_13_17.thumb.jpg.e032dc06c52d3e03aef40a092c285ddb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CLK seems to have got a bit jealous of the attention the XJ-S has been getting. The past couple of times I've brimmed him with petrol there's been a few drops from the rear suspension area so I knew something was up. This time when I filled up the drip became a trickle (and was still trickling when I got back to the drive). Many petrol Mercs of this era have a second overflow/expansion tank located just under the filler cap inside the arch. The return hoses from this to the main tank are a known failure point. So cue removing the wheel arch liner which was a doddle, the nuts are plastic so won't be welded onto the fixing screws, yet another maintenance-friendly piece of thought by Mercedes. The upper hose was fine but the lower one was seriously frayed at the lower connector, I suspect it was an original 1999-vintage hose. The original clamps are tricky to remove and it's very easy to damage the metal fuel pipe, take care with this. Since journey back to Scotland was imminent, I made a quick call to local Mercedes stealer since I couldn't wait for online delivery. Despite being officially open I got I voice message saying they were shut so decided fuck-em. Found some recent-vintage hozelock garden hose, cut it to size, and snugly fitted it with a couple of clamps for a proper shiters repair, saving £18. Hose is marginally narrower than the original but don't see any issue with this & doesn't hold fuel most of the time anyway. Was delighted to see the inside area almost 100% rust free - a couple of wee spots got a cursory wire brushing and a dab of kurust, and everything reassembled in 5 minutes.  Also did another pending job, a quick superglue repair to the broken plastic hinge of the sun visor mirror lid. 

2020-06-25 18.26.48.jpg

2020-06-25 19.16.21.jpg

2020-06-23 08.52.59.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Thought an update was overdue on my CLK in case anyone's interested. It's been racking up miles shuttling between Scotland and Surrey for essential business. MOT at the end of August brought no horrors and a clean ticket for the second year running so it deserved some of my time as a reward.  A low growl had started developing from the front end - the wheel bearings had no play but noise went away when turning right, ergo time to look at the OSF corner. Fairly simple job on these cars to remove the front disc, caliper and caliper bracket though the big bolts holding the bracket in place can need some breakerbarrage to loosen. Hub retaining bolt was easily loosened with allen key and hub came off without a fight. Old bearings were rough. The old races weren't coming out without a press but as I was rushed for time & they looked okay I just replaced the bearings (the rear retainer required some violence with a hammer and chisel to loosen) and replacing the nasty old green grease with lovely new blue stuff.  After reassembling it all the caliper bracket was scraping on the disc. In true shiter style problem was solved using washers as spacers on the big bolts, found one metal one lying around that did the job on the top and had to use a rubber one on the bottom. After ten or so miles the growl returned - the extra miles enabled me to finally seat the hub properly a bit further in and nip up the nut to the correct level - first tightening it then loosening a tiny bit. No bothering with dial gauges or such bollox. 1500 miles later there's still zero noise so think I got it right. Total cost under £10 for clearance-sale ebay bearing.

Other job was to add some oil to the differential which has been gently seeping over the past decade without ever dripping, ergo been ignored. There's one fill plug above the exhaust on the NS, and drain plug on the OS. WD40'd the plugs in advance which was a good idea. 14mm hex bit is essential and I needed a breaker bar to loosen the fill hole, the drain hole is easier to loosen with a normal socket wrench. Diff was over half empty so definitely worth doing. Total cost about £4 worth of Comma 80W90.

Another easy job to do was to re-secure the aluminium-looking heatshield that runs above the exhaust which is held in by bolts welded to the underside of the car and nuts that are guaranteed to be welded to the bolts. One had broken off causing an awful clatter, and the other one sheared as soon as I touched it. Shiters solution was to drill 2 holes (had to order a cobalt drill bit, a revellation), screw in 2 self-tappers and the job was done. Needs a decent jack to get enough clearance to drill straight but apart from that a doddle. Total cost £0.

Then oil change time. These Mercs are the easiest I've ever worked on for oil changes, absolute doddle. Filter housing is in the best place possible on top of the engine. With the right socket (any CLK owner should invest in one) the housing comes off in seconds. Old filter comes off in seconds too and replacing it and the o-rings takes minutes. Proper filters are fleece and more expensive but if you're changing oil regularly paper ones are fine and cost under £5 (£4 in this case). Drain plug is easily accessible, there's meant to be an undertray that needs removing but I threw mine away years ago, it makes no difference to road noise and just serves to accumulate wet crud and hide rust until it becomes serious. 8 litres of cheapo Fanfaro 10W40 oil meant £10 well spent.  

So £24 spent on thousands more miles shedding. Just before the recent restrictions I enjoyed a road-trip around Skye, what a place. After CLK's bearing started grumbling I hired a car in advance (for less than the extra petrol cost of taking the CLK) just-in-case my DIY didn't do the trick and wanting something more wee on single-track roads. Got a new Honda Jazz that was extremely competent but utterly soulless with annoyingly complex dash and controls and was delighted to drop it off (with a sore back) and return straight to the CLK for the final straight (back pain instantly disappeared). Still can't understand why the feck anyone would prefer a new technology-addled car to an old barge. 

 

2020-10-19 16.58.32.jpg

2020-10-19 16.59.05.jpg

2020-10-19 17.06.18.jpg

2020-10-19 17.41.25.jpg

2020-10-19 17.41.48.jpg

2020-11-19 14.38.08.jpg

2020-11-19 14.39.28.jpg

2020-11-19 14.44.35.jpg

2020-11-19 14.49.10.jpg

2020-11-20 10.56.00.jpg

2020-11-20 10.58.03.jpg

2020-11-20 11.01.59.jpg

2020-11-20 11.53.39.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most interesting. The front bearings seem to last to about 100k, perhaps 115k miles. Both the W202 and my current W208 needed doing. I did them myself for the former after the front nearside one collapsed without warning. Well it actually gave me about 10 seconds warning. For the W208 it was in the garage for something else and had been on the to-do list for so long I just checked money at the problem. I seem to remember drifting the old races took time, but other than that it was relatively straightforward.

I must admit to stick to genuine MB parts for a lot of things. Some can be picked up on ebay. Managed to get a genuine air filter for a tenner last week. 

The wife moans about it being a bit small for the four of us, but I love it to bits. Yes it has some touched up in places and one front wing really could do with replacing, but it is great to drive and fast enough for me.

I must admit to hankering after another and often go online to have a look. Occasionally they turn up with unusual specs. I have seen red interiors including the dash and some quite nice designo bits. My favourite so far is a designo orange CLK430 coupe that has come up a couple of times. It was in Newcastle moved to Scotland and then appeared again. Each time it was only about £1K.

Might just go and look what is for sale now ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

The CLK continues to soldier on. Early summer I managed to do some bodywork tidyup which has become something of an annual ritual. Usual areas attacked with grinder, filled, primed and painted. After getting the (now sold) XJ-S through MOT, there was no way I could be arsed welding new metal into a tiny lower area of the front wing - fibreglass did the job in minutes. I've also now given up on clearcoating as I find it impossible to blend it in respectably without doing whole panels and with "black" opal the lack of clear isn't too obvious. Whilst I was at it the suspension parts got a wirebrushing & lick of paint as did the grotty calipers. Brake lines got similar treatment - some bits towards the rear had a bit of surface corrosion. Also checked up the inner-rear-subframe areas, a common killer of W208s - after a useful MOT advisory a few years ago I check this annually and give it more rustproofing and paint as necessary. Boot floor got some minor attention too as did exhaust mounts (liberal dabs of kurust to keep solid). Given the miles the car does I thought it was time for some new brake fluid which was an easy job with a cheapo brake bleeder kit and all 4 bleeder screws opening fine  after precautionary lubing and wire brushing - old stuff that came out was mingin greeny shite, so very glad I did it.  Oil wasn't due but I changed it anyway because why not, it's a doddle on these Mercs. Car then got left on drive for 7 weeks whilst I escaped plague island. Return meant MOT time and 80-odd miles driving and a good clean to blast away the cobwebs. Got another wee job done repairing the passenger seat switch which had broken earlier in the year - some small drilled holes and cable ties sufficed for a functional repair. Headlamps were brightened up with some cutting compound and polish knowing tester has a bit of a thing for lamps, and new front foglamp bulb was sourced. In the end sailed through MOT with the tester putting in some correct colour indicator bulbs for free. Emissions perfect as if the car was straight out of the factory which was pleasing and no advisories apart from slightly discoloured indicators. After a 570 mile journey is safely back home & ready for another year's sterling service with less city driving as Ypsilon will be my shuttle-car. Wouldn't swap it for anything on AS or elsewhere! 

2021-06-15 09.45.37.jpg

2021-06-15 09.54.22.jpg

2021-06-15 10.06.33.jpg

2021-06-15 10.33.09.jpg

2021-06-15 10.55.37.jpg

2021-06-15 11.31.05.jpg

2021-06-15 11.46.35.jpg

2021-06-15 11.52.58.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.24rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.27rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.31rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.36rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.40rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.42rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.48rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.52rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.54.58rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.55.01rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 12.55.05rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.46.54rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.46.58rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.03rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.08rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.10rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.13rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.21rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.27rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.30rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.37rightway.jpg

2021-06-15 15.47.46rightway.jpg

2021-06-22 08.33.51rightway.jpg

2021-06-22 08.34.02rightway.jpg

2021-06-22 08.34.06rightway.jpg

2021-06-22 08.34.15rightway.jpg

2021-06-22 08.34.28rightway.jpg

2021-08-26 15.21.01.jpg

2021-08-26 15.21.07.jpg

2021-08-26 15.22.35.jpg

IMG-20210826-WA0014.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Jim Bell said:

There's a lot to be said for Mercs of this vintage. They're good cars and it's great to see this one getting some love and attention. 

Appreciate the comments and wholeheartedly agree. Keep on top of bodywork and basic maintenance and there's not much to go wrong . They're still very analogue compared to today's offerings and remarkably well screwed-together. I'm surprised prices are still rock bottom, maybe that's related to ulez & not quite being in proper classic territory yet.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NigeT said:

Appreciate the comments and wholeheartedly agree. Keep on top of bodywork and basic maintenance and there's not much to go wrong . They're still very analogue compared to today's offerings and remarkably well screwed-together. I'm surprised prices are still rock bottom, maybe that's related to ulez & not quite being in proper classic territory yet.  

Prices are what I like most about them!

They are well put together and "reassuringly solid".

There's loads of folk with stories of money pits and EXPENSIVE PARTS so I guess we are never far from financial catastrophe but I really love my W210. Wouldn't swap it for anything of the similar value. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bagged this stunning W208 320 earlier this year for banger money and I absolutely love it, no rot anywhere and a full history including the original sales invoice. It’s the nicest car I’ve ever owned and I like to drive it just for the pleasure of it, the only thing I’ve had to do so far is to replace a borked alternator. 

198D85E3-6360-46B1-BF37-787B0417FF2F.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a 2000 V W208 320 Avantguard  I took from about 180k to 205k over a couple of years about 2010 ish. Lovely to drive despite wooly steering, rot was it's biggest enemy. A couple of years prior to me getting it Merc had it for 3 weeks and replaced panels and repainted it FOC but it was showing on drivers door edge again.  Shame when so much of it was right, I'd buy another if it fell right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, bigstraight6 said:

I bagged this stunning W208 320 earlier this year for banger money and I absolutely love it, no rot anywhere and a full history including the original sales invoice. It’s the nicest car I’ve ever owned and I like to drive it just for the pleasure of it, the only thing I’ve had to do so far is to replace a borked alternator. 

198D85E3-6360-46B1-BF37-787B0417FF2F.jpeg

What a beaut! You could probably drive it to Mongolia and back without anything going wrong. I once did Oslo-Edinburgh in two days and not a single back twinge afterwards either. Suspect my 152k alternator is the original one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, bigstraight6 said:

I probably could Nige, it’s only done 82,000…

Parts en route wouldn't be too complicated either. Old W208s were (after Priuses) the cars I saw most of in Georgia this summer, rot-free examples literally everywhere. Tbilisi even had specialist W208 repair shops. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, NigeT said:

What a beaut! You could probably drive it to Mongolia and back without anything going wrong. I once did Oslo-Edinburgh in two days and not a single back twinge afterwards either. Suspect my 152k alternator is the original one.

I drove mine on a rally from Leicester - St Austell - Plymouth - Santander - Porto - Gibraltar - Marbella - Lisbon - Santander - Portsmouth - Leicester in a week, over 3k miles. Admittedly it needed a can of Portuguese K seal (blocco motoro!) but it ate the miles with ease and did just over 30mpg cruising pretty quickly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/09/2021 at 19:01, NigeT said:

Appreciate the comments and wholeheartedly agree. Keep on top of bodywork and basic maintenance and there's not much to go wrong . They're still very analogue compared to today's offerings and remarkably well screwed-together. I'm surprised prices are still rock bottom, maybe that's related to ulez & not quite being in proper classic territory yet.  

I'm a big fan of my 230K. Not had it long, but long enough to find that maintenance is pretty straightforward, and most things have been good to work on. Even when maintenance has been skimped on in the past (virtually non-existent rear pads and retaining pins rusted solid) stuff is well made enough to withstand brutal replacement.

Biggest headache is going to be electronics - as I'm finding with a random electrical fault (it's started completely shutting down whilst driving - 5 times now, total electrical failure, other than stereo and hazards - and then random selection of no-start failures, sometimes with warning lights, sometimes, with none at all).  Having been told it was probably the electronic ignition system (EIS), I spoke with a specialist in such repairs who told me it probably wasn't, because that wouldn't cause it to shut down mid-drive. Whereas another specialist has told me it might be, if the key is losing its connection.

It's a circa-£200 gamble, which on a £600 car I'm not wild about. It'll be easily worth it if it's the guaranteed fix, but I just can't get that confirmed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/09/2021 at 19:08, Jim Bell said:

Prices are what I like most about them!

They are well put together and "reassuringly solid".

There's loads of folk with stories of money pits and EXPENSIVE PARTS so I guess we are never far from financial catastrophe but I really love my W210. Wouldn't swap it for anything of the similar value. 

Feels mega solid. In fact, the only wobbly feeling I ever get is on full-lock turns, making me think bottom balls joints. Did them on the SLK before I sold it, and it made a big difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, mercedade said:

I'm a big fan of my 230K. Not had it long, but long enough to find that maintenance is pretty straightforward, and most things have been good to work on. Even when maintenance has been skimped on in the past (virtually non-existent rear pads and retaining pins rusted solid) stuff is well made enough to withstand brutal replacement.

Biggest headache is going to be electronics - as I'm finding with a random electrical fault (it's started completely shutting down whilst driving - 5 times now, total electrical failure, other than stereo and hazards - and then random selection of no-start failures, sometimes with warning lights, sometimes, with none at all).  Having been told it was probably the electronic ignition system (EIS), I spoke with a specialist in such repairs who told me it probably wasn't, because that wouldn't cause it to shut down mid-drive. Whereas another specialist has told me it might be, if the key is losing its connection.

It's a circa-£200 gamble, which on a £600 car I'm not wild about. It'll be easily worth it if it's the guaranteed fix, but I just can't get that confirmed.

Have you’ve checked the K40 relay? I’ve had similar SLK230 issues before (assume engine electrics exactly the same in CLK) - it’s worth checking the connectors & spraying on some WD40, and it’s also simple to open up the relay module and check the soldered joints inside. They are notorious for causing all sorts of issues and with good reason. If you know anyone nearby with the same engine willing to lend you theirs it would only take a couple of minutes to swap over and see if the problem disappears on a run. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, NigeT said:

Have you’ve checked the K40 relay? I’ve had similar SLK230 issues before (assume engine electrics exactly the same in CLK) - it’s worth checking the connectors & spraying on some WD40, and it’s also simple to open up the relay module and check the soldered joints inside. They are notorious for causing all sorts of issues and with good reason. If you know anyone nearby with the same engine willing to lend you theirs it would only take a couple of minutes to swap over and see if the problem disappears on a run. 

Oh god *cold sweats*

I had an SLK230 before the CLK, and the K40 was regularly identified as the root of all evil. I never got to the bottom of a magnetic supercharger clutch that refused to engage, but one of the previous owners had clearly changed the K40 at least once.

But in truth, I can't considered it could also be responsible for electrical shutdowns. As ever, the problem will be getting a confirmed diagnosis - sadly, no engine-donors on hand that I know of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, mercedade said:

Oh god *cold sweats*

I had an SLK230 before the CLK, and the K40 was regularly identified as the root of all evil. I never got to the bottom of a magnetic supercharger clutch that refused to engage, but one of the previous owners had clearly changed the K40 at least once.

But in truth, I can't considered it could also be responsible for electrical shutdowns. As ever, the problem will be getting a confirmed diagnosis - sadly, no engine-donors on hand that I know of.

Please keep us posted. One of my SLKs had the same supercharger issue - I replaced the K40 to no effect. Eventually (after weeks of frustration) I found some vacuum leaks and replaced all hoses and it engaged again. On another of my SLKs K40 replacement did appear to cure sudden cutting out (I think it controls the fuel pump and suspect there may be some kind of automatic electrical cut-off if supply is broken), though I got rid of it soon after. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...