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Mercedes E320 CDI S211, Shite or Shiteable?


Snake Charmer

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I threw some net curtain rod out recently! I have bowden cable that should do the job so I will investigate today.

I may have to make a new cap for this as my initials are MWB.

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Performance is quite acceptable for the cars weight and I am enjoying the driving, particularly the torque. I am getting the hang of the cruise control stalk but I will have to experiment on a long journey and see if I can beat its economy with my foot like our Astra SRi DTI which was rubbish and easily beaten. The Vectra cruise was excellent and I struggled to better or match it, depends how technically advanced the OM648 management system is.

First big load lugging exercise today, I have to collect a pair of big electric wheelchairs.

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I did not get the gearbox dipped today as the V40 Mot took precedence along with collecting a couple of wheelchairs. I Don't think I can go back to a normal car after this as it swallowed not just two electric wheelchairs but all the boxes of spares from another couple that have been stripped and 8 batteries. Sat level, drove well and thoroughly bloody impressed me.

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I went into work today as the Snap On man was in with some goodies for me and needed my mortgage papers signing.

The Mercedes managed 31mpg there and back using the back roads rather than M25. I'm not unhappy with that as I still had the two electric wheelchairs in the back. 😆

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Had a bit of a play today. 

Cleaned the load space after lugging 2 tons of wheelchairs about.

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Sorted out the incorrectly fitted fuse box cover. Broke the remains of the broken locking clip.

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Tried cleaning a couple of bits of trim, steering wheel feels better and the seats are going to clean up nicely.

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Longer wheel bolts arrived so I tried the CLC wheels. 225/40 18 and 245/35 18.

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I found a new feature, the rear parkometer. Right in the middle of the roof lining and visible in the rear view mirror! 😆

I bought another set of CLC wheels cheap with one cracked front so I now have the option of 8.5J all round or 7.5J fronts. I'm tempted to fit slightly higher profile tyres all round on the bigger rims as I found a listing for 8.5J ET30 fronts with 245/40 18 tyres 

Mpg seems to be over 30 most of the time and hit 40 on the Motorway tonight. Could be better if the torque wasn't so dam nice when you hoof it!

 

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11 hours ago, Snake Charmer said:

the rear parkometer. Right in the middle of the roof lining and visible in the rear view mirror!

Yep.  The 210 has a similar arrangement, which seems to make a lot of sense as it forces you to look backwards to use it.

... or at least it would if it worked.  I've a sensor or two failed, so now when you switch the system on it just goes  "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" and turns off again.

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Parking at work has become interesting with the sensors, I would like to get a bit closer to the building with the front bumper but still don't trust the sensors. Then I need to remember to use the parking brake as selecting Park allows it to roll back until the pawl engages. I now have to stab the brake pedal for the SBCH to engage then the handfootpaw brake then Park to get the key out, all alien at the moment. The I have to remember to release the handfootpaw before moving off!

Who crossed a Swiss Army Knife with the iPhone to come up with this car?

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They're lovely looking things, I'm planning on one for my next car. Just got a new job which maybe a bit more volatile contract wise compared to my last so holding fire a bit right now until other chod gets jettisoned. 

The sensors are pretty pessimistic to be fair, my w205 tells me I've hit the wall and I'm in my neighbours garden when in fact I'm still half a foot to a foot away. 

Agree though it's a bit nervy at first 😬😬😬

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 7/20/2021 at 10:34 AM, vaughant said:

They're lovely looking things, I'm planning on one for my next car. Just got a new job which maybe a bit more volatile contract wise compared to my last so holding fire a bit right now until other chod gets jettisoned. 

The sensors are pretty pessimistic to be fair, my w205 tells me I've hit the wall and I'm in my neighbours garden when in fact I'm still half a foot to a foot away. 

Agree though it's a bit nervy at first 😬😬😬

Apologies for the late reply. I was hesitant at first but firmly in the Panzer Kamp now!

Mpg is a bit under what I was hoping compared to the Golf but once our local roundabout is sorted that will rise considerably.  My Missus had 45+ at the weekend on a 500 mile jaunt to Lincolnshire using V Power and a bottle of Millers injector cleaner. She hates cruise control and I regularly achieved 10mpg more than her on motorways. I'm not expecting 55mpg but happy with a regular 30+ from the performance on my current commute.

A few niggles to address. The gearbox did not feel great on a light load, a bit of a judder so an oil  change was on the cards and after last weekend it felt worse. I had to do an emergency stop and lost drive on Sunday so I ordered a service kit that arrived today. Fingers crossed the box isn't toast.

The exhaust fumes were not nice on Tesco Diesel so I ran a full tank with Millers injector cleaner then went to V Power and Millers, (£105 from the light being on!) Another 60 litres from light on and Millers Monday 🙈 it smells better and runs smoother. I have one more bottle of Millers to run through and then I will keep away from Tesco as we did with the Volvo from 2007 with the silicone debacle. I doubt the Millers has improved things, probably the better quality fuel.

The downside of buying this car is my V40 T4 has only done 46 miles since the Mot! 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have racked up a fair few miles in this car recently and the fourth bottle of Millers went in last Thursday with another 60ltr of V Power, most of which is gone after a trip to Bournemouth at the weekend. The exhaust fumes have improved again and smells quite clean now and my missus was getting 45mpg on the trip to Lincolnshire and back.

I lazily bought a cheap gearbox dipstick for £5 off Ebay instead of making one so I did the oil and filter change this evening. I had a hoon about afterwards and the gearbox is much happier. The kit was very comprehensive with a new filter, gasket, bolts, sump plug, magnet, electrical connector housing and oil. A doddle to fit too. In hindsight I should have bought extra oil and flushed the converter and oil cooler too.

I sneaked it on the ramp at work to have a nose about at the rear suspension as a chirping noise appeared one evening, an exhaust mount had rotted through and the two parts were rubbing together. Easy fix, remove one part!

I set the mirrors to auto fold on locking and they creak a bit on their rubbers which leads to them occasionally sticking. Sods Law it's always on a morning when you are late for work! One tyre likes to loose a little air so with the Golf I now have two cars to tyre check each weekend likely down to rim corrosion. Stupidly, my Volvo has 4 refurbished rims and new Pilot Sports with 46 miles on!

I need to extract a digit and get busy with the Tig on those 18" CLC rims before the shite weather starts then get the original 16"refurbished for winter. Or find a good set of 17". Hmm....

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16 minutes ago, stripped fred said:

The mirrors on my S type stuck for a while but a bit of lube and plenty of use means they work perfectly now.

I would spend a day stripping and lubricating them but I have so many time bleeding commitments at the moment it's unreal. At least they are getting exercised daily!

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2 hours ago, Crackers said:

I only briefly looked at this (in the dark too) at the last FoD, but that interior... Lord. That's brown. I like.

I just happen to have the history file next to me and a copy of the 2007 Autotrader advert from the dealer, he calls the interior "special order Sand Designo custom Napa leather". My missus hates it, I like it so we call it a shade of Marmite (or Vegemite). It is a nice place to be compared to the very grey in my V40  T4. 

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  • 2 months later...

This car is going to be firmly on my list of memorable cars in future years,  I have done well over 4500 miles in it and 76 in the Volvo Mot'd the same day.  Latest is the addition of a tow bar and electrics (more of that later!).

As mentioned in my V40 post, 500 miles to collect another T4.

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4 hours ago, Minimad5 said:

Lovely interior in this.

How are these compared to a W210, are they as wafty, Or do they ride a bit firmer ?

I have not driven a w210 so cannot compare. Mine has a few suspension noises that need to be addressed at the moment but the car certainly is comfortable with self levelling  air on the rear. For such a big car it does handle well too and coupled with the torque is fun to drive, the interior makes it a nice place to be too. My hesitation in buying the car initially has completely changed and I would not hesitate to buy another.

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I'm up to nearly 5000 miles in this car now and slowly fixing a few niggles. £120 went on a Mahle gearbox oil and filter kit, very comprehensive with all new bolts, seals, gasket and an electrical connector. Easy enough to fit but If I do it again I will buy extra oil and undo the oil cooler return on start up for a better flush. Gear changes improved immensely but still not smooth when cold so highly likely there is another issue. I bought an Ebay dipstick that matches the correct Mercedes dimensions, the end coil of which needed grinding flat so the flexible end screwed in properly.

Mpg has started to drop in the cold mornings and now the road works have gone off our roundabout for normal travel to and from work, high 30's are achievable on the route home M25/A30 IF I can keep my foot off the loud pedal and use the cruise. There has been a very occasional diesel smell in the cabin not yet traced and the glow plug light has started to light after a cold start so a new set of glow plugs are on the cards which I am not looking forward to replacing.

Those sad looking yellow sidelights were bugging me so I bought a pair of Canbus compatible LED's that are not Canbus compatible and need extra resistors, something else on the to do list.

Another set of 18" CLC wheels came up cheap with a cracked front so I can now fit four 8.5" rims once I repair the kerb damage and save up for refurb then tyres. I am tempted to have the original 16" wheels refurbed and fit winter tyres once the surprisingly good cheapies have worn out. The front left needs constant weekly checking so I suspect rim corrosion.

The drivers side wiper arm needed adjusting as it was leaving a huge section by the A pillar unwiped reducing visibility, a nice easy fix and I tarted up the big sun faded plastic cover whilst off. Now the weather is getting colder I hit the HRW button and that works but I'm not sure the rear sides do, that will require digging out the handbook to see if some obscure weather criteria are to be met before they come on!

A diverter valve needs replacing in the coolant system that feeds heat or aircon to the rear seats, seems to be a known standard fault and not a difficult job that will be done before next summer as it blows hot instead of cold.

The rear bumper had a couple of rubber strips crudely glued on as a scratch guard so for a bit of rear bling I found a tidy looking stainless steel scratch guard on Ebay that turned up bent. The company kindly sent me a replacement I have yet to fit. I fully expected to find some horrendous damage under the rubber and peeling paint, thankfully nothing untoward that doesn't blend in with shabby paintwork.

I was half heartedly keeping my eye open for a used drop down or removable tow bar for the sake of having one, with a towing capacity of 2100kg it would be a handy option. Then an almost identical Volvo V40 T4 to mine came up for sale at a good price 250 miles away and the offer of a trailer loan pushed the need forward.  Obviously I missed the bargain NOS Westfalia kit on Ebay by a day and not much else was available so I bit the bullet and bought a new one with a bypass wiring kit. The tow bar was a relatively easy fit, all the additional holes are in place and only 4 exposed bumper bolts needed cutting off. 

The 13 pin Euro socket wiring was a little more difficult as I now know the car has LED rear lights and the brake lights were a problem being a single wire for tail and brake lights. I eventually opened up the tailgate and identified the high level brake light wiring and wired into that. A revisit is planned to identify the fog and reversing light wiring in the car loom as there is a whole sub loom and black boxes within the tailgate I couldn't be arsed with, I had brake, tail and indicators so enough to get the job collecting the V40 done safely. All the additional caravan kit will be wired in later too.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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A previous owner had glue two strips of rubber matting (ribbed for extra pleasure) to the rear bumper with contact adhesive as a scratch guard.

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I found a stainless steel scratch guard on Ebay just in case the rubber was covering up damage and removed the rubber.

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The glue came off with elbow grease and sticky label remover, very little damage underneath. 

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The stainless steel trim doesn't fit properly, the curve is wrong despite being for an S211 but looks tidier than the rubber. I had to force it under the rear trim so it didn't stick out like a razor blade for knees and shins. At a later date I will scribe a line round the trim and grind a bit off for a betterer much morer fit.

Investigating the glow plug light being lit after start up , 4 out of 6 glow plugs undid last night with a 1/4 drive socket which is a result. A bit of Google foo suggests they might affect normal running, may explain the reduced mpg if that is the case. Just need a new set now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The dipped beam started to get lower and lower a couple of weeks back, a bit of research suggested the height sensor fitted on the r/h upper wishbone. I had noticed it looked a bit swollen when I had the wheels off so suspected water ingress.

On closer inspection the operating arm joints had seized snapping the mounting bracket. Then it occurred to me that the low speed squeak over the rough yard at work I thought was the lower suspension arm ARB bushes had stopped! 🤣

A wee bit of stainless steel fabrication and an adjustable throttle arm from Ebay, normal service is resumed.  

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On 12/20/2021 at 7:52 PM, Snake Charmer said:

The dipped beam started to get lower and lower a couple of weeks back, a bit of research suggested the height sensor fitted on the r/h upper wishbone. I had noticed it looked a bit swollen when I had the wheels off so suspected water ingress.

On closer inspection the operating arm joints had seized snapping the mounting bracket. Then it occurred to me that the low speed squeak over the rough yard at work I thought was the lower suspension arm ARB bushes had stopped! 🤣

A wee bit of stainless steel fabrication and an adjustable throttle arm from Ebay, normal service is resumed.  

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I am impressed with your skills there, well done!

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8 hours ago, stripped fred said:

I am impressed with your skills there, well done!

Thank you. Could you tell my boss please? :D

I might look at the parking sensors next, they don't seem to like the rain. I also now have 5.5 glow plugs as one broke after a good Plusgas soaking and the E service is due in a few days so there goes my Christmas bonus! While the front wheel was off to repair the sensor arm, I span my  cheap 18" CLC rims up to see how true they are, one was reasonable the rest are wibbly wobbly. I will send them off to Lepsons and see if they can true them up, repair the kerbing and refurb them for summer. A clonk at the rear over bumps has developed into a donk and I'm not convinced the rear dampers are in the bestest of health. One of the silencer mounts is not well, currently residing on my toolbox having corroded through! More fabrication required.

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Christmas spannering postponed due to having Covid, from the settee I have ordered a set of six Beru glow plugs and a kit for removing broken glow plugs. Splashed out on an iCarsoft CR Max diagnostic unit as my 15 year old Gendan PC software is getting a little dated on modern cars. Looking forward to plugging all our cars in and giving myself some extra work!

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£28.50 delivered front a Chinese seller on Ebay with UK stock. Identical to the £150+  Laser Tools kit apart from the box. The tap wrench is a bit pants and the largest tap doesn't fit but apart from that good enough to do the job. Cheaper than making an extractor and grinding my own step drills.

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Bought myself a toy for Christmas, an iCarsoft CR Max diagnostic unit. All our cars have had a thorough scanning except the latest V40 T4 as it has no battery at the moment. Loads of historic codes stored on the Mercedes and after investigating each one and clearing them all the I have two faults, the glow plugs and drivers door mirror heating open circuit.

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1 hour ago, colino said:

Does the CR Max cover everything on the Merc?  My Autel seems to skim the surface (like a turbo code is there, but doesn't specify if it is high or low pressure) and the SBC might as well not be there at all.

 On the S211 it seems to see and do most things, tells me I have a heated steering wheel but the car has no controls so Im guessing either the wheel is compatible or the controller is there. It sees the SBC switching it on and off during diagnostics giving the dash flashing warnings and screams. All the air con is seen with temps and pressures but it will not move the actuators. Early days yet as I'm still finding my way around the unit.

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42 minutes ago, yes oui si said:

One of these has popped up locally* in budget. 

Boring silver with black leather unfortunately, and it's a proper giffer advert as well (their name and 'standard car') but MOT history is decent and the suspension isn't fucked on the photos... 

Check for rot!

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