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3 minutes ago, grogee said:

Stamp of approval here. Can it get out of its own way with the straight six? What sort of autobox is it? 

It's not actually that sluggish. 

It should have had 188bhp when new. Some may have escaped over time.

Autobox is a 4 speed old school unit. Seems to work pretty well, although it would benefit from a 5th speed or an overdrive on the Motorway. 

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53 minutes ago, HMC said:

Brilliant , i saw that. IMO in the absolute best colour as well.

Haha, I agree!

Think the only other colour I'd like one in would be Berlin Taxi Beige

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So 600 miles in, and it seems to be pretty good.

It has the feeling of a bear waking up from hibernation, which doesn't surprise me. Bits and pieces are coming to life, with use, going over bumps etc. 

I've been using it for the commute, and it's quite a nice way to get about. I need to book it in for an alignment check (as it's a little vague around the tiller) plus the  water pump and fan replacing. Which will be done when the local garage can fit it in. It doesn't overheat, even in very heavy city traffic, sitting around 85°. The heater is slow to get warm from cold, so a thermostat will be fitted at the same time. 

It seems to have the same effect as my old gold Jag, in that people let you out in traffic, and seem to find it quite endearing. 

On fuel it's been surprising. I mean it's no hybrid, but it doesn't seem to guzzle a huge amount! Apparently they will run on E10 quite happily (according to folks running them in the US). 

I've fitted a gunsight back in its rightful place. Which should help with parking. I'll just have to nose in as judging the length of it when reversing is a little difficult, as the boot is invisible. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Waterpumps are a bit fiddly to do on the 103 six cylinder engines but do-able at home.  You can get to the bolts from underneath, above the PAS pump. Be mindful of the little o-ring that seals the pump to the block, best off "sticking" it to the pump with a thin smear of rubber grease to stop it falling off during reassembly. The thermostat can be done at the same time obviously. You'll need the o-ring for the water take off pipe that runs from the water pump across the front of the engine under the dizzy cap.

Fans on these are the viscous clutch type ones so it probably needs a new viscous unit, I paid about £75 recently for a new Febi-Bilstein one for my 103 engined W124.

Good luck with it, the 300's are probably the choice for day to day driving, with the 500's being heavy on fuel and not that much different in real world performance.

The vagueness around the straight ahead could be simply down to it being a steering box set up, there shouldn't be loads of free play but there is a noticable difference when comparing to the more common rack and pinion design. My 124 felt the same when I first got it, now i'm used to it and it adds to the relaxed nature of the drive

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Thanks for that @LoftyvRS 
The garage doing the water pump have a W129 SL 320 in for various bits, and he seemed to like the car (aka didn't refuse the work). It came with a new pump, therm & viscous coupling for the fan, so they are all going on. 

It's had a bottom arm replacement in the last couple of years (both sides), so I'm assuming that the front end is all over the place. From interwebs searches they have a camber adjustment on them, and appear to be pretty sensitive to being set up correctly. Hopefully the four wheel alignment will sort that. There is no knocks or clonks from the front end, but its a bit odd and squeeley as on any lock it seems to be fighting against itself. 

Hoping to spend a day on it tomorrow, mainly sorting trim squeaks, see if I can coax the rear windows into life, check the locking system, replacing the horrid tinny speakers in the dash etc

Think it needs an ICV as a couple of times when warming up it's had a lumpy idle resulting in a stall (at the most inopportune moment, of course) . Although apparently you can clean them out with good results. 


I do really like smoking about in it, I've not really used the C Class since I got this one. The six sounds really nice, with a nice rasp when opened up. It's plenty quick enough, not that going fast really suits it. I forget it's essentially a 70's design, and drives like one. 

I will admit I'm used to 'computer controlled' autos, rather than this old school box. For example its better to use the shifter to drop one gear as the kick down is pretty aggressive. As mentioned, I'm really surprised at the reactions it gets on the road. But i do like the way it'll "Think about it, Squat, and Gallop Off!"

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Garage called, they've fitted all the parts, but when torqueing up the thermostat housing he heard a creak, and it had cracked. Thankfully he's sourced a replacement (new) one for £16.00. 

The final bill for sorting it all came to £258.00 which I'm happy with. They had to rebook the alignment as the chap who does it contracted Covid. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

The Big has been back to the garage for the Alignment today. 

Drives like a different car! Apparently, as I suspected, the castor and camber were well out. Hence weird goings on when steering, especially at low speeds. 

It has tightened the steering up, with less slack around the straight ahead. Probably the best £75 I've spent on a car!


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Next job will be to source an Idle Control Valve, although the internets say that you can clean them out to good effect. 

Sometimes, when warming up, it has a bit of a hissy fit, with the idle dropping/raising and an occasional stall.  Which leads to a panic 'put in park, turn off, fire back up etc...  I'm still not used to the key being on the passenger side of the steering column.

Although it has the same controls as my later C Class, the indicators are on the opposite side. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Booked in the tame garage this morning to investigate a clonk from the OSF suspension. I'd have had a look myself, but it's not stopped raining oop norf for what seems like forever. 

I got a few jobs done over the weekend in between the rain. Drain holes in the scuttle cleared, as it would piss water into the footwell. When taking the plastics off the area, was expecting to find rot, as these are well known to go here. However none could be found, and the drains were just clogged with detritus. 

The steering wheel was rather manky, so I bought one of those sew on leather covers to tidy it up a bit. Was an absolute pig to fit, involving much swearing and what I can only imagine passers by would perceive as in car yoga trying to deal with 2.5 meters of thread in a confined area without getting it knotted up. 

It's 100% better than it was, and the bits of bunching are already smoothing out. 


Let's hope there is nothing major wrong with the suspension, I'm assuming a shocker mount or ball joint is on it's way out. Given the state of the roads round here I'm not surprised.


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Turns out it appears to be some play in the centre (connecting) drag link. Seems to amplify the knocking through the steering box. 

One ordered from Autodoc, for a reasonable £28.00 + Delivery. Should be here by the end of the week.


Also one of the headlight bulbs went on the weekend. So I ordered some LED replacements. Fitted them this afternoon, and low and behold, wasn't the bulb. Was a slightly corroded fuse.

Anyway the LED lights are super-bright, so will stick with them. Least I've got a spare pair of halogen bulbs ;)

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