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Con2K

Family owned Mercedes Benz W201 190D semi-acquired

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Hi All,  Introduced myself over there in the appropriate location and the current motor got some interest so thought I'd share a bit more about it as I will have further questions for some of the merc boffins. If this is better suited to News24 then feel free to move it and scald the back of my hand with a hot teaspoon.

 

192k Miles 190D Auto - UK car re-registered in N.Ireland.

Willow Green met Ext paint

Red cloth Int

Questionable service history.

PIB6847 - originally registered as E342LYM (London Reg)

 

 

I'll go into unnecessary detail as someone might find it interesting besides me. But if nothing else, it's the first time I've jotted this down as a record so it's useful for me if nothing else.

 

Twas 1989(ish). My grandparents were over from Norn Iron visiting us in Northumberland (me aged 6ish) and buying a new car (W201 190D). They arrived in their 1981 W123 Mercedes (File photo purely because it's a memorable colour with with matching wheel trims - I'm yet to find an original photo). I vaguely remember going with them to the local Cragside Merc dealership but the actual purchase was a private sale 2nd hand 190D from Middlesbrough. The car was reregistered on a local Armagh reg (a UK reg'd car in South Armagh back in the 80's wouldn't have been a great thing to have). Many yrs pass and the W123 was sold and replaced by a new 2003 C-Class diesel. I wish I was old enough to have appreciated the W123 at the time. No idea of it's fate or full reg. Scrap/PX/sale/could be anywhere.

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*As a side note, my current Optometrist in Somerset lived in Armagh near my grandparents growing up. Grandparents were known in the community and she even remembered the blue W123 and most of the reg! That is come random coincidental commitment there. 10 points to hufflepuff*

 

Roll on a few more yrs, my grandfather passed away and my gran took on the responsibility of running both cars by alternating them week by week. Traveling all over Ireland for work as well as substantial local use. Then month by month. Until her dementia took over and both cars sat in the garage unused (with the exception of a couple trips into town when she forgot she couldn't drive/didn't have a license/couldn't remember where she parked it/pure stubbornness of being told she couldn't!). The C-class was sold on but my mum mentioned to my uncle that I would be interested in 'the old one' so it was retained.

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Gran moved out of the family home and in with my uncle and extended family. The car came with, looking sorry for itself, but she kept wanting to drive it and was told there was constantly something wrong with it (battery was removed or keys hidden). It was a bit rough and had some arch lip rust and a few car park related dings. She insisted that she would have the car repaired so she could start driving it again. So moderate expense spared, someone in the family organised for the repairs to be carried out, at her expense. (She would not take no for an answer). Time moved on again and further confusion set in; She thought it was the car she used to drive around during university, then thought it was the one she passed her test in. Unfortunately she doesn't even remember me now so I hold onto the earlier yrs as you do. She still remembers this car but less often. Out of sight out of mind. So I've been instructed to just wait and it will be forgotten about more permanently and it can quietly be relocated.

A bout 2yrs ago I was visiting but unfortunately it was at the body shop, which was closed on that day so the closest I got was behind a locked gate. So close....

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Then last week I popped up to Belfast on a day trip from Somerset where I now live (as you do) as I'd bought another car (Mondeo Titanium X Sport Estate sourced for a friend - all expenses paid, I couldn't say no). It was a flight AM and ferry PM same day jobbie so I only had 2hrs of spare time. I went to see family and was asked to have a look at the car. All previous updates on it's condition/status had been 2nd hand info from my parents and since agreeing to taking the car on, the last time I saw it was in the garage with the black one so I was expecting it to be a bit tired.

 

 

Oh hai...

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Teaser shot

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Bit of upskirt voyeurism

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Dealer still exists

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Ta da!

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Looking over the car I was v.pleasantly surprised. 192k miles on her and she looked far better than she did being laid up with cats living in/on her. A few months in the body shop and they had fitted pattern front wings, a couple of sill patches and new willow green paint on the wings and front panel with grey on the lower sills and lower front panel. (I need to get more detail from the body shop). I cobbled together a small video of my uncovering it(and my day trip to Belfast) but I'm not sure if I'll share that yet. But below is a quick walk around the car.

 

It's a bit of a loaded 'barn find' as the car had previously been driven from Armagh across to Belfast, into a body shop and had a check over by a mechanic. Then back to the house. But hey, still a bit of fun to 'find' a car. The car had been regularly MOT'd up until 2018, but the NI DVLA database is not online so finding previous MOT's online has been unsuccessful. Moar research required.

 

 

A member of the other side of the family up there is a car trader (and undertook organisation of the recovery from the house/body shop trip) so he was able to lend me some trade plates.  So I took it for a run, all was well. Behaved as well as a 2.5 N/A diesel should do. Sounds epically tappety (although I think they are automatic on the OM601 engine) but maybe that is characteristic of it, or potentially the result of an air leak. It's all v.new to me.

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So now tucked up again until further notice. Collection date is not likely led by me and not likely in 2020 (we have our first baby due in Sept so my time is currently panic fixing all the other self-proclaimed chod I have in the driveway). 

 

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I have some things to be getting on with;

-Make space for it at home. It will probably live outside which is a shame. Not much I can do about that for now. So the longer it isn't here, the better (in some ways).

-Search for service history. I have a build sheet for it, receipt for recent bodywork and a couple of MOT's. No service book, no V5. But supposedly all work carried out by a local Armagh Merc specialist. I hope GDPR doesn't cause an issue here too. I hope some stuff can be found in the mass of paperwork/books/boxes cleared from the house. Hoping to find the V5 reissued in 2012 (not sure why, maybe it went missing) as it was reissued that long ago it should still be pre GDPR and list the previous keeper name and address to clarify that part of the story. Failing that I'll just apply for a new one. I'll see if I can speak to the body shop and have a chat about the work they did.

Rear window dealer sticker from Edgware Rd, London Dealership threw up some unknown history/origins of the car. We all assumed it was new in Middlesbrough and bought 2nd hand there. (They are still going as a direct Merc dealer, not a franchise). They have no info going back that far. Would like to find some period dealer plates to get some made up for this if anyone ever see's an 80-90's merc with original dealer plates for reference.

-Mechanicals: Fix the unresponsive rev counter, sticking front caliper, dash switch missing, radio doesn't work (looks 90's aftermarket but I suspect dealer fit at the time). Find some original wheel trims - the big flat ones.

Decide how to get it home: Drive it back, go up with a trailer, have it delivered to home, or delivered to port. I prefer one of the first two options personally. Nothing like a 500 mile road trip in a 200k unknown quantity!

 

It's future is uncertain. Nobody except me in the family wants it. But as a family car there is sentimental reasons for keeping it. I'd like to think that even if I don't have a need for it, it can be stored until someone else in the family does. My only concern is storage really as I have other tat that still takes garage priority currently. But there are no immediate plans in moving it on. It's one of those things where I wouldn't have gone out looking for one and even if I did, it wouldn't be this spec/colour combo. But now it exists, there is something about it...

 

Speaking of spec, this is the build sheet thingy:

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Deciphered:

VIN WDB2011262F385126
Model 190 D 2,5
Engine 602911 22 010205
Transmission 722414 02 492993
Order Number 0 7 537 07003
Order Location GREAT BRITAIN
Interior FABRIC - MEDIUM RED (077)
Paint 1 WILLOW GREEN - METALLIC PAINT (261U)
Approx. Build Date 1987-06


Code Description
238 CITY DRIVE LIGHT FOR GREAT BRITAIN
286 LUGGAGE NETS ON DRIVER RESTS L AND R
341 ADDITIONAL BLINKER LAMPS
362 RHD VEHICLES AS PER EC REGULATIONS (CONTROL CODE)
400 FOLDING ARMREST IN THE REAR
420 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION 4-GEAR
467 CENTRAL LOCKING MECHANISM AND INSTRUMENTS WITH ENGLISH LETTERING
483 HARDER SPRINGS AND UNDERSHIELDS
507 OUTSIDE REAR VIEW MIRROR, LEFT AND RIGHT, HEATED (ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE ON THE RIGHT)
524 PAINTWORK - PRESERVATION
534 ANTENNA, MECHANICALLY OPERATED, LESS RADIO SET
543 SUN VISOR WITH VANITY MIRROR, ILLUMINATED, LEFT AND RIGHT
563 FRONT SEATS, LEFT AND RIGHT, REINFORCED
570 FOLDING ARMREST, FRONT
585 BEHR AIR CONDITIONER AND ELECTRIC WINDOW LIFTERS (FRONT DOORS)
593 HEAT-INSULATING GLASS, ALL-AROUND, HEATED REAR WINDOW PANE (SINGLE-SHEET SAFETY GLASS), BAND FILTER
600 HEADLAMP WIPER/WASHER
613 HEADLAMP LEFT-HAND TRAFFIC
682 FIRE EXTINGUISHER
812 REAR-MOUNTED LOUDSPEAKERS
873 SEAT HEATER FOR LEFT AND RIGHT FRONT SEATS
876 REAR DOOR CONTACTS AND LAMP ABOVE REAR WINDOW

 

 

Any and all info on the W201's is welcomed. Or NI DVLA processes or dealer informationz.

Thanks all, enjoy.

Conor.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Con2K said:

Or NI DVLA processes

looks like you got most of it covered but if it helps

I can tell you the plate change happened on the 1st of the 6th 1991

and that there are 2 total keepers for this vehicle so if you find that 2012 V5 it will have the first keepers details on it :) 

sadly any V5 post 2018 some time, wont have any previous keeper details on it (just a keeper count) "thanks" to GDPR

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That Looks like a great bit of inheritance, and a pretty cool story about the car and owner. Sorry to hear your gran is not doing too well.

You'll make her proud by getting this old thing in daily use, doing what she bought it to do:)

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It's a crying shame about your Nan,but what a story about the car!  I love that you are so keen to preserve a chunk of family history.  Best of luck with it.

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23 hours ago, LightBulbFun said:

looks like you got most of it covered but if it helps

I can tell you the plate change happened on the 1st of the 6th 1991

and that there are 2 total keepers for this vehicle so if you find that 2012 V5 it will have the first keepers details on it :) 

sadly any V5 post 2018 some time, wont have any previous keeper details on it (just a keeper count) "thanks" to GDPR

Conor has access to CAP and another tool (not in the public domain, yet).  I reckon he’ll manage.

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A thing of beauty. I had one until about a year ago, and I think I will always miss its character. That mileage is nothing on one of those, so don't worry about doing a 500 mile trip in it.

Don't bother putting diesel in the tank unless temps are approaching freezing. They run perfectly well on vegoil.

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Hmm.  Willow Green, eh?  I wonder if that's the colour my W115 is painted.  It looks remarkably similar in the photos, although digital cameras are notoriously shit at accurately rendering metallic paint.  Could be worth a go though - I tried Thistle Green this weekend but it ain't that.

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20 hours ago, B4lljoints said:

The 190d looks very nice and apparently the 5 pots make quite a nice noise?

They sound nice and need plenty of revs to make progress. Great cars

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Thanks all for the replies and support! Great to see some love for it. I really appreciate the kind words about my gran. You're right that it will be worth getting back out on the road. I think even just so some of the family can see it in use again. I'll certainly make some roadtrips to see some of them in it.

 

I don't know much about the tractors (there is 5 in total and with my limited time during my visit I had to concentrate on the car).

 

The 5 pot does sound nice when revv'd. I didn't even realise it was a 5cyl when I opened the bonnet. I was too focused on leaks and rust, which there was none of. The OM601 is an early version of the Sprinter/ML engine, which also finds it's home in the Ssangyong Rexton. My mate Liam (Out Run on here and no doubt drafted in to support in some repairs in the future 😁) is well versed with the 270 turbo diesel variant in his Rexton and praises its reliability. Reading up it seems the old Berlin Taxi fleet used the OM601 block for their million milers so I have confidence they are are to the task of wearing 200k miles quite well. I'll continue to add to it as much as reasonably possible. But I'd really like to do a major service on it when it's home.

 

As for home, I think the most sensible Autoshiter solution is to drive it home.... Just be prepared for hazard light roadside updates when the time comes.

The colour combo is a rare treat. I was told about it (having forgotten about the interior) and was a little alarmed at the thought. But seeing it and then googling similar tidy examples of the red cleaned up, I think it can look quite smart. I best get my other projects progessing/sold so I can make some space and time for this one.

 

Veg oil has been considered. I think it would benefit from the above mentioned MAJOR service and inspection (something to do with a worm gear or chain driven pump that is worth removing??) and then I'll have confidence I'm not adding to any problems by changing the fuel type.

 

I'll do my best to reply...

On 8/1/2020 at 11:22 PM, LightBulbFun said:

looks like you got most of it covered but if it helps

I can tell you the plate change happened on the 1st of the 6th 1991

and that there are 2 total keepers for this vehicle so if you find that 2012 V5 it will have the first keepers details on it :) 

sadly any V5 post 2018 some time, wont have any previous keeper details on it (just a keeper count) "thanks" to GDPR

Thanks for the info. I hope you didn't have to pay for that mate! It tallies up with what I heard too so it's nice to know we're on the same page.  The exact date is handy. It was likely done within a few months of being brought to N.I so I suspect it was 90-91 they came to view the car. I've not utilised the CAP or DVLA data I have. I really should.

The 2 keepers thing must mean that it was new in Edgware road and that owner sold it up north, likely before a time of dealers moving stock about the country. So I'm going to assume the seller (I want to say a Doctor, it's ALWAYS a doctor) relocated up north and sold it.

 

 

 

22 hours ago, MJK 24 said:

I daily a 190D myself.  Great cars and easily able to keep up with modern traffic if you use the ‘foot to the floor’ technique!

 

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Ah, a fellow W201 owner. Not to mention a 190D! Which engine? I'm keen for any/all experience you've had with the car mate. It's all v.new to me and even sourcing a few small parts seems costly. I know the values are increasing. I see yours is a slightly later one with the lower bumper/door sill plastics. Are you aware of any other changes? I'm still pretty sure the wheel trims I have are the larger W124 ones and not original.  Any modifications to make things a little nicer to live with or reliabile? (my only consideration would be a hidden aux/bluetooth functioanlity for music - boo's and hisses from the back of the crowd I hear)

 

 

 

11 hours ago, wuvvum said:

Hmm.  Willow Green, eh?  I wonder if that's the colour my W115 is painted.  It looks remarkably similar in the photos, although digital cameras are notoriously shit at accurately rendering metallic paint.  Could be worth a go though - I tried Thistle Green this weekend but it ain't that.

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wuvvum - 261U seems to be the paint code. Or is yours not an original colour to the car? I've see a fair few greens come up when searching so it is a bit of a minefield. Admittedly different batches will look different and my 6yo phone won't help on a dull day. Put maybe polish up a few sq inches and see if you get some variation in depth/colour for a more accruate comparison as this thing has obviously been tickled with a DA post paint.

 

 

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Mine is a 2.5, five cylinder automatic.  They work quite well together but the revs are a little high for motorway economy as it’s just a 4 speed box.  Still, I get 40mpg locally in the summer and perhaps 42/43mpg on the motorway at 70mph.  Knock about 3mpg off those for winter.

The gearbox will pull away in 2nd gear to save fuel.  If you want first, put yourself foot down and it’ll drop down into first and move off at quite a reasonable pace.  Handy for roundabouts and pulling out of junctions.

Mercedes specify two oil change intervals depending on how you’re going to use the car.  Long journeys, 6,000 miles.  Predominantly short journeys, 3,750 miles (this makes more sense as 6,000km and 10,000km).  Use either a genuine Merc oil filter or one of the German brands such as Mann, Hengst, Knecht etc.  I’ve always used Mann on mine.  The original oil recommendation was 10w40.  5w40 will flow better when cold and that’s what I use.  There’s no difference between the two when hot.  Oil pressure should always be 3bar when the engine is at or over 1,500rpm.  May drop as low as 1bar on a very hot idle.

Gearbox oil and filter interval is 20,000 miles.  Don’t neglect the box, they’re lovely when working well.  Fluid should be bright red / pink.  Don’t forget to drain the torque converter, there’s a drain plug for that too.  Diff oil and power steering fluid and filter is usually done at the same time.

There is two fuel filters.  One on the front of the engine and another inline filter under the air box.  The inline filter is often forgotten about so take a look.  Make sure the replacement has a metal gauze.  A paper one will be sucked inside out by the lift pump and you’ll end up on the hard shoulder.  Ask me how I know...

Before spending any real money, check the structure for rust.  The jacking points often rot, but are a simple repair.  The rear subframe mounts rot, and this is much more involved as you’ll have to drop the subframe down for access.
 

If your windscreen wiper seems slow, you can remove, strip and regrease the mechanisms.  Use Teflon chain grease for pushbikes.
 

The first port of call for any electrical faults should be the fusebox.  They use the old fashioned torpedo fuses can suffer corroded contacts or even sometimes the fuse will just drop out!

If you’re going to daily it, give it a good going over with Bilt Hamber or whatever your preferred anti rust gunk is.  Tyre size should be 185/65 R15.  You’ll have a huge choice at handy money.  I use Michelin Cross Climate on mine which are about the most expensive option there is and I can get them for £55 each.  £30 a corner will see you into Hankook, Kumho, Firestone and lots of other decent brands.

Rear calipers are often seized as they don’t do a lot.  Worth checking.  The handbrake uses the inside of the rear discs as a drum.

Bit of trivia, I think* the 190 is the only Mercedes passenger car to ever have a conventional handbrake.

 

 

 

* I’m about 71% sure but await correction!

 

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2 hours ago, 2MB said:

The R107 SL and SLC had normal handbrakes, unless they're not thought of as passenger cars?

I stand corrected!  But a lackey such as myself has only seen such machinery in magazines and on the telly 😂

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