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Topic Title new project?


Date Posted: Sat April 07, 2007 11:48 AM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Having owned and worked on GM cars all my life, I'm finding there's nothing really new to them, been looking for something different.

My Aunt is shopping for a new Mercedes, and knows I admired her old '88 420 SEL. So, is this something worth holding onto, or just an endless money pit? This one is cosmetically perfect, black clearcoat exterior with a tan leather interior. It's up in miles, something like 160k. That doesn't worry me, this won't be a daily driver. It does have a few issues. Being up north, the exhaust has rusted away. The a/c has some slow leak, but she has kept it topped off with R12. It's the long wheelbase sedan, so it has the most rear leg room I've ever seen. What do you guys think, too much for the longtime GM owner? I've heard parts are expensive, but GM has never had fire-sale prices either. I also know this old saloon is not sought after like the SEC and SL models, so it wouldn't be any kind of investment.

Here are a couple pictures of the same model (not the actual car):







Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 8:34 AM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

A Mercedes is a Mercedes, nothing will replace it, an old military buddy talked about getting a poor mans Mercedes, same year Nissan Maxima, far more reliable, superior AC systems, but ended up buying a Mercedes instead for restoration. Asked him why the sudden change, a Mercedes is a Mercedes.

A guy in town has two of them, his reason is that it takes his dealer, in Milwaukee eight weeks to get parts imported from Germany, so needs two of them so one is always running. He loves to brag about his Mercedes.

Last new one I rode in was in Las Vegas in 1982 owned by a business associate, thought I was going to die in that thing, are you sure the AC is on? We didn't want me to roll down the window as dust would come in and mess up the interior. Could not ever contact that guy the first Monday of the month, was at his Mercedes dealer getting monthly maintenance done, said it cost him $350-500 for that, and if you own a Mercedes, have to maintain it properly. Asked him what did they do for that kind of money, he wasn't very technically minded, just stuff that needed to be done. Ha, he took four of out for dinner, wouldn't use valet parking, dropped us off and came back a half hour later trying to find a safe place to park his baby, drove clear back to the hotel we were staying at and walked back.

My opinion? If you want it, buy it, met a lot of guys at collector shows that had to give some kind of excuse for buying something, like it keeps them out of a bar. Ha, that ain't a reason for buying something you like. Also know a lot of guys that rather go to a bar, don't get your hands all cut up and dirty and have headaches trying to find parts.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 10:03 AM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

I think you're right Nick, there's no point in missing out on something I would like to have. It is a nice heavy car that only need a few things to be great again. Would be perfect for long highway trips, and/or funerals

It's funny you mention that Nissian a/c. Last summer I was looking at houses, the realtor had a brand new altima or some such. I just about died sitting in that car... the blower was going as high as it could, drowning out all conversation, and the air was not even close to cold. I don't know what was wrong with that car, but opening the windows would have been preferable.

I've also heard that Mercedes a/c were not the greatest. I remember when my Aunt bought that car, the a/c wasn't too bad. Not the "nuclear winter" that old GM cars were famous for, but it kept the interior cool even with the black exterior and 90 degree temps. I know this model has an electric pusher fan on the condenser, in addition to the engine clutch fan.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 10:47 AM
Posted By: chris142 (Senior Member)

We now refuse to work on Mercedes where I work. Too hard to get parts and takes too long. I have had them in the shop for months waiting on a simple part. Replacing the heater core or evaporator takes 30+ hrs on some.

The last one we had in the shop was a diesel and I got it stuck in a pothole out infront of the shop. I dropped a front wheel into the hole and it didn't have enough power to drive out! I tried rocking it from D to R with no luck.

Every one I have seen had a creeky and clunky front suspension and eats tires.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 12:15 PM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Chris, how are parts as far as cost? Are they through the roof? Or just high priced like all the other OEM parts?

This model is a 420SEL, so it's a 4.2L gas V8, SOHC, high compression. Power is decent, but don't know about economy burning premium. Wouldn't be a daily driver anyway, so not a big concern.





Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 1:07 PM
Posted By: chris142 (Senior Member)

Everything is more. I mainly sell radiators. A big nice 2row plastic aftermarket one for a 1995 Ford pickup cost me about $120. A Benz aftermarket if it's available will cost me double that atleast. Might be a Behr in the box which is the OE supplier. I can beat the Benz dealer even if it's a Behr though.

Most Benz parts are Benz only. Not like being able to clock an Alternator or Clutch coil on a GM. AutoZone probly won't stock an Alt, dist cap,rotor etc for this car.

Plugs, wires, belts and some hoses yes.

Honestly I don't understand why people are so gung ho over those cars. They are known to have reliability problems and labor to fix them is out of this world.

Kinda like walking into a Sushi restaurant in Beverly hills vs one in Barstow. Basically the same food but your gonna pay alot more just for the name of the place where the restaurant is.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 1:39 PM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Yeah, I know what you mean. It's the snob appeal, I guess that comes from the trans-atlantic voyage

Personally, I've never put any stock in the touted "German engineering." From what I've seen of German cars, they have nothing to brag about! But, I do like the body on this old SEL, it's the last of the old Mercedes body style. Plus, it's a big car in the traditional American style, yet has all the economy benefits that a '68 Cadillac didn't have (OD automatic, computer controlled fuel & spark, etc).

The reason my Aunt is looking for a new car, instead of fixing the small problems on this one, is the enormous cost. She got some outrageous $1,500 estimate to replace the exhaust. I told her that I replaced the entire exhaust on my Chevy for under $200. I guess that is the price you pay for driving around in a $70,000 car. You want to look like an oil baron... you'll pay the same.

Then again, if you've ever dealt with the Corvette crowd, they're no different than the Benz owners. Original parts for a C1 'vette make MB look like a bargain.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 1:44 PM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

mhamilton:

That W126.035 is not a bad car. As long as your auntie did not play "dukes of hazard" with it, and it is not destroyed with road salt.

Parts for Eurotrash cars are more acessible than you may think. Wear items are readily available from OEM sources, long after production. Try that with a US vehicle. The ford dealer here will not even look at my 1993 F 150 - "too old". I recently needed an A/C idler for my 1988 SAAB - readily available from the OEM supplier. Eurocars of that vintage used a lot of contract suppliers. Bosch still makes all of the electrical parts. All of the vaccum motors for the A/C are still available. You can still buy every rubber part - door seals to suspension bushings. A new brake caliper is about 75 bucks. Rotors are less than 50 bucks.

160k is not a lot of miles for that car if it had regular oil changes. My 1988 900 has 205k+ on it, and still does 135 mph quite peacefully. The service interval for oil was 7500 miles, plugs, trans fluid airfilter, o2 sensor, etc were to be changed every 30k on that W126.

The A/C was definitely not "meat locker air", but it is effective. If you do a search in the forums here you will find some nice pics of the A/C parts. A member here pulled the entire dash on an MB, and replaced all of the vaccum motors & seals. I can e-mail you the A/C test data & performance chart if you like.

That engine was not especially "high compression" - 9:1 actually. Should have about 123psi at cranking. Only rated at 201 horsepower, in a 3900 pound car, but they perform fairly well.

a 1986 will be equipped with CIS-E bosch injection. a hybrid between the fully mechanical CIS, and an EEC system with feedback loop. They used the o2 sensor to make minor mixture adjustments with a duty cycle regulation attached to the CIS unit. It was used on other makes as well. An internet search will turn up lots of info for servicing it.



Front suspension complaints? Hogwash. Just poor maintence. There are several rubber bushings in the front end cradle that require lubrication. There is even a kit from MB:

"Noise dampening service kit A000 580 03 50"

That front end held up well in places like the Paris to Dakar race. Control arm bushings are readily available, and no harder to deal with than an old Nova.



-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 3:00 PM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

1500 for the exhaust? They are not replacing the whole thing. The parts for the exhaust system on that car ARE pricy, but they usually hold up well. You can replace individual pieces:

Mounting Kit 201 490 00 37 $35.71

Catalyst 126 490 48 19 $477.42 (this is for both sides)

Center muffler 126 490 59 15A $249.95 (complicated assy, see pics)

Rear muffler 126 490 60 15A $392.07 (overpriced, could be replaced with pipes & resonators locally)

Clamp 124 490 00 41 $3.26 (you need 4 pcs, worth every penny)

Hanger ft. 124 492 01 44 $1.08 (you need 2 pieces)

Hanger rear 126 492 01 82 $2.40 (you need 2 pieces)

Buffer 123 987 09 40 $3.10

Seal 126 997 00 41 $6.85 (you need 2 pieces)
.
.



So, you can see that 1500 bucks is probably one muffler, and a big hit of overpriced labor. Take a look at the pics below:
.
.




.

That is the catalyst assy.
.



.

That is the center muffler. A good deal at 250 bucks.
.





.

This is the rear muffler. It is a secondary resonator, and could be replaced with either a straight set of tubes for a sporty sound, or a couple of small resonators. Usually the first part to rust out, and overpriced @ almost 400 bucks (IMHO).



.

The exhaust system clamp. A freaking bargain @ $3.26 Many MB parts are not expensive at all.
.



B.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 4:01 PM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Thanks Bohica! That's the info I need to make a decision about this car. I've also been lurking on the Benz World forums, seems they don't have all that many more problems than any 20 year old car. LOL... no, she doesn't go over speed bumps at 75 mph.... she doesn't even take that car on the GS Parkway, just drives around town. She wasn't the 1st owner, but I remember service records in the owner's manual, I seem to remember it was dealer serviced when new. However, the competence of her current mechanic is questionable...

Not sure exactly what on the exhaust needs to be replaced, I think the rear pieces were falling apart/rattling. I figured the price she got was mostly inflated labor costs. And granted, my cheap exhaust repair was because I did all the labor. Considering I only had one muffler to replace, the parts costs is quite comparable to the MB parts.

Yes, I remember the post about the evap replacement, I had saved those pictures back when it was first posted. That's quite a job, hopefully not leaking on this car.

Only 9:1 compression? Why is premium required for that? I don't know much about the MB engines, but I thought those blocks were aluminum or similar to tolerate high compression. Not that it will matter much for me, but what kind of economy did the 4.2 get, something in the mid 20s highway?

I'm sure you'll know about this too... what's the deal with the throttle linkage piece that wears out? One thing I fixed for my aunt was a misadjusted linkage. She was pressing the gas 1/3 way down, and it wasn't opening the throttle (made a big difference in performance!). I noticed the 90* part that (I assume) gives a nice throttle tip-in was really worn out the 1st 1/3 of its travel. Is that a common wear item?



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 4:02 PM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)



 04/08/2007 16:04:00|U



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 5:49 PM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

mhamilton:

The engine blocks are aluminum for light weight. They are not equipped with any type of iron liner. There is a replacment aluminum sleeve available for damaged bores. The "sunnen silicon lapping" procedure is required if you replace pistons - a regular hone job will result in a siezed bore. The 9:1 compression can be used with regular unleaded fuel, but you may need to reduce the total timing a few degrees from the sticker.

The auto trans was fairly effecient. If you do not race to 75 mph, 20 mpg should be in the ballpark - perhaps even better.

The throttle linkage was sort of complicated on those cars. The transmission has a control pressure cable assembly connected to the throttle that requires adlustment, as well as the cruise control cable. If you see a lot of wear, it means that nobody lubricated the assembly for a long time - or adjusted it. If you buy the car, do a fluid change and go through the adjustments...

The transmission modulator is adjustable. There is a pressure port adjacent to the modulator, about 4 o'clock. With a pressure gauge installed, the control pressure should be 52psi @ 30mph. To adjust this, remove the cover from the center of the modulator, and turn the screw to adjust.

There is a procedure for adjusting the control pressure cable as well, and this should be done after checking the modulator pressure. An AllData subscription or factory manual would be a big help here.

I usually refer to MB's as "california chebbies" or "just another german taxicab". Really raises the hackles of the average MB snob...


This is a pic of the transmission control pressure cable adjustment:
.




-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Sun April 08, 2007 6:09 PM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

I didn't get to look that closely at the entire throttle linkage when I worked on it, I just saw what was on top of the engine. Here's the pic from a thread on benzworld about the adjustment. On her car, piece #13 was worn down. So, if you pressed the gas rod 19 was moving, but it wasn't touching piece 13, thus no movement of rod #1 or the throttle. I guess that #13 part just gets replaced and lubricated properly. I didn't change any of the trans linkages, IIRC I just adjusted rod 19 so there was some preload on #13, and pressing the gas would get the throttle opening. Of course that was just a temporary fix, as I told my aunt (and she was already looking at a new car when I fixed that)

How are these engines for cam wear? I know they're OHC, and I was reading how the RH cam suffers wear more than the LH on some models (this was a 560 thread). Are these flat tappets that have the same zinc issues as my old Chevy cam? I'm sure nobody has bothered with any special oil on this car.

I'm not going to get this car tomorrow or anything like that... I don't know when my aunt will decode which new car she likes, and then I have to find time to get up to NJ to get it. So basically I'm just getting my feet wet, finding out what's what on these cars. I'm sure I'll start with a good tune-up first, see what maintenance was neglected and get that sorted out. You said 30k miles for ignition, I'm sure in the 10+ years she's had the car nobody has touched the ignition system.



 04/08/2007 21:11:57|U



Date Posted: Mon April 09, 2007 3:07 AM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

I don't have that page handy, and the microfiche is at work... But I believe you are missing a bushing (or two) from the bellcrank.

If the plugs & wires are 10 years old, it is probably time. The rotor & cap are fairly tough items, and can usually be cleaned in the dishwasher. The OEM coil to cap wire can develop very high resistance over time, and can lead to a weak spark. It will flood, and be no fun to clear (CIS just keeps feeding fuel). If you check the spark at a plug, and it is crappy - look at the coil wire first. I usually replace that piece with "mag wire" or other helical wound wire spark plug cable.

The OEM plug wires have a long stainless steel connector on the plug end. They hold up well, but nothing lasts forever. The wires can be replaced, even the rubber boot at the plug connector is available. A new set of silicone wires with the stainless connectors (brembo mfg) runs about `125 bucks. Just rebuild the existing set.

Speaking of rubber, there are a few pieces that can bite you in the backside:

Fuel injector seals. Less than 3 bucks each. Old, cracked ones cause vaccum leaks. Hunting for a vaccum leak with a bit of fuel in a syringe will show a leaky seal right up.

The driveline has a rubber flex joint - some call it a "rag joint". At 20 years old, with 160k miles on it - have a close look at it before you take a long trip. Easy enough to change, not as bad as a U-joint.

As I recall, you notice NVH problems quickly. The front subframe rides in 4 rubber bushings. A subframe bushing kit is about 100 bucks. Engine mounts are even cheaper - Lemforder (OEM) mounts are about 21 dollars each.


B.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Mon April 09, 2007 4:01 AM
Posted By: Karl Hofmann (Senior Member)

That era of Mercs are my kind of thing.. Nothing too complicated but all nicely done, moderrn mercs suffer from many build quality issues that need to go back to the dealer.

Many Mercedes parts are available off the shelf from the motor factors, especially those that specialise in German cars here, perhaps I should start a little business exporting German car parts direct to the customer.

I don't know if these guys export to the US but here is their website http://www.eurocarparts.com/default.asp

-------------------------
Never knock on deaths door... Ring the doorbell and run away, death really hates that!



Date Posted: Mon April 09, 2007 7:20 AM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

Kelly trade-in value on this car is in the $1,200-$2,300 depending on whether it fair or excellent, private party value is about a $1,000 more for each range. From their description between fair and excellent, no way in hell can you buy a fair condition vehicle, put a grand in it and get it to excellent standards, excellent is showroom condition. Outside of driveability problems would have to do extensive body work, paint and chrome, and replace the interior.

Kelly's prices are unreal, if you do find an excellent vehicle, never would get it for $3,300, would be at least 2-3 times this price, but with the work involved plus the parts costs, would still be a bargain compared to something that is poor or fair. Just recall a friend in town that purchased an 86 MB in poor condition, she got screwed for $3,500.00 on pile of rust with not one decent body panel on it, but it's an MB, right?

According to Kelly, average mileage on this vehicle is 96K, you have 160K, can share with Bohica's enthusiasm, LV cars are a dream compared to what I see in WI, not sure about your aunt's car, it's in NJ that I believe is also in the salt belt.

Since I am handy with vehicles, relatives love to come over and ask me to look or repair, ha, just a temperature gauge problem was told, but also with a bad engine misfire. had over 150K on the clock, let me put this on ramps, besides the exhaust system being a pile of rust, so was the fuel tank, fuel and brake lines, said this thing isn't safe to drive, get rid of it. Do you want it? No thanks, have enough problems. And after looking up the value, would never get my parts money back if I did fix it up.

Not saying your aunt's car is like this, is she giving it to you or expecting excellent retail value.

New car dealers around here are weird, actually can buy a brand new car, save several thousand dollars and still keep your old car, if you trade your old car in, not only will you not have it anymore, but would have to pay several thousand more for that same car.

The Bay has several 420SEL in the 2,500-10k buck price range, the 10K one is a 91 with 46K miles and appears in showroom condition, lots of bidders on that car, others leave a bit to be desired, but several southern cars that may be worth looking at.

Sometimes a guy is just lucky, not only purchased my 92 DeVille in absolutely mint condition, but got it well below the trade-in price, if it snows, it stays in the garage, but showing signs of rust underneath after seven years, nothing in the automotive world lasts.

Just saying, take a close look at it, big difference between a vehicle with 50K or 160K on the clock, and sometimes, not good to deal with relatives. Gave one relative a car and he came back every five minutes wanting free repairs, thought my problems were over and they just begun. Paying even an extra $7,500 for that car may be a huge bargain the way car prices are going, and that is with free labor.

Just my experience with cars.



Date Posted: Mon April 09, 2007 10:32 AM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Bohica: Thanks for all the info... it wouldn't surprise me if some bushing fell off the throttle linkage. What's "NVH" mean?

Karl: thanks very much for the link, I'll pass that along to my aunt as well. Her mechanic always had problems locating parts for this car, I'm sure she can make use of it too, if not for this one for her new car.

Nick: I've also been browsing eBay, I see that high mileage examples don't go for much. My aunt knows the car isn't worth much, minus whatever the exhaust repairs will cost. She offered it to me because of that fact... it's not worth it to her to try and get a few hundred selling a 20 year old car. Believe me, if she could sell it for $5k or $10k, she wouldn't be giving it to me.



Date Posted: Mon April 09, 2007 11:10 AM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

Hmmm, do I want this?






a 1991 about 200 miles from me, one owner, sure is a nice looking car, but should sell the motorhome, 92 DeVille, and my 88 Supra first. Hmmm, another R-12 vehicle, I am too stubborn to switch.

Told my wife I am insane for looking at boats, plenty of cruisers around at dirt cheap prices, can be a long time dream come true or maybe a nightmare. Back then, a 2" diameter 45* bevel gear in the top end of an OMC I/O drive carried a pricetag of over a thousand bucks. Had a couple of teeth broken off, with my life at stake in the middle of the lake, wouldn't even trust my own welding to repair, but did find a good used one for 300 bucks. Marine parts prices are positively insane not to mention hitting a rock with a stainless steel prop.

Ha, still get those bugs, but have to remember why I got rid of stuff. Owning another airplane is completely out of the question, insurance is over a grand a month on these things now plus would have to lay out a couple of hundred grand for a plane that sold new for six.

Ha, try one of these:



Guy on the bay can't even get over $2,000 for it only has 50K miles. Can swear by this car, put almost 200K on mine without any major problems, it just rusted away, this is a southern car. Hear they have a neoprene rear seal now to replace the rope, that was about the only problem I had with mine.



Date Posted: Mon April 09, 2007 7:28 PM
Posted By: Karl Hofmann (Senior Member)

Hmmm.. Although both are old models, one has aged better than the other and quite frankly that Merc does look like a really nice car. Mercedes used to be a favorite of Taxi drivers across mainland Europe, the last time I visited Gran Canaria the Taxi driver was proud to show me that his Merc had done over 500k Kilometers. As I said earlier, sadly the crown has slipped badly from Mercedes, BMW too to the point where I couldn't bring myself to buy anything less than a Toyota product, and even the quality of the Lexus IS250 has slipped a fair bit. I think that I'll keep my IS200 for many years as it seems to be as reliable as they get and it's not too difficult to fix, I've come to appreciate plane old meat pie engineering, nothing too fancy but it just does the job.

-------------------------
Never knock on deaths door... Ring the doorbell and run away, death really hates that!



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 4:02 AM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

mhamilton:

Noise / Vibration / Harshness - "NVH" The perception of quality, induced with large quantities of rubber bushings...

MB uses a lot of rubber. The front subframe bushings & the engine mounts do get stiff with age. The rest of the suspension rubber does as well. Control arm bushings, sway bar bushings etc. are all available.

For parts of any kind, search the internet. There are several online vendors that discount MB parts. It is fairly simple to compare prices online, and save some money. I have a local auto parts store that seems to be able to get most of what I need as well. I just picked up a set of rubber alternator mount bushings today for less than the cost of shipping from an online source... It really depends on where you are located.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 7:20 AM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

(Japanese guy speaking) Rots of rubber in those cars, so is my Supra with 13 point front suspension, all rubber, buy silicon spray by the case lot.

When Karl says Merc, this is what comes to my mind.



These are really sought after today with outrageous prices, flat head V-8, had to do a valve job in the block, have special valve spring compressor and a steel cutter that required care, seats were so soft, could ruin a block. They weren't very popular back then, in 55 could pick up a nice 50 for under a hundred bucks, but at 40K, required a valve job. A couple of my married buddies drove these as they were dirt cheap to buy, with the common statement that, it beats walking. Chrysler had turtle torque, Chevy had sour glide, and Buick has four holes in the fender where Dyna flowed, I preferred the Olds Rocket 88 that was like a rocket if you drained off a couple of quarts of AT fluid.

Never know about cars, could have purchased ten of these Mercs for under a thousand bucks and have been rich today. But was considered junk back then.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 9:17 AM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Bohica: thanks for explaing that. Sounds like just the car I need, after my stint with second-rate 90* V6s

Also, I have a question for anyone... what are those 1, 2, 3 dots on the km/h scale of the speedometer? I've seen them on all the MB gauges I've looked at. Are they some kind of speed limit markers (like the old US highlighted 55 mph)?



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 10:37 AM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

One dot at 45 mph, two dots at 78 mph, and three dots at 124 mph, hmmm, I will make a wild guess those are the maximum speeds for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd speeds in the AT. Tach is red lined at 6K, sounds about right, but why the tach? Sounds like you can go as fast as you like in 4th, although some vehicles with smaller engines have a higher top end in 3rd, then 4th.

I like having a tach, was going to put one in my motorhome, have the card and a two inch meter, but just to many other things to do.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 12:11 PM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

Took a quick tour of rockauto.com, practically all the common wear parts such as cooling system, brakes, belts, suspension, and exhaust are listed. Didn't really look for sneakers as I call them, seems like most vehicles have one or two of those, like $460 for a short dealer only exhaust pipe for an 86 Maxima. At that price, got some pipe, used the good parts of the old one and did some welding. Resonator is pricey at around 250 bucks, but Walker, most resonator pipes and mufflers around here are warranted for life. Can either buy a reman water pump for 70 bucks or a new Bosch for 170 bucks. Radiator is par at 200 bucks, one of my sons got nailed 500 bucks on a GM car, asked him what was wrong with his, had a slight crack in the plastic nozzle, just said for 500 bucks, would have spent three bucks for some high temperature epoxy.

Shocks at 40 bucks each are a bargain compared to spending 750 bucks for a Continental air strut of the same year.

ABS module is only two hundred bucks, compare that to some GM cars. Uses conventional dirt cheap V belts. O2 sensors are pricey, two of them in the 100-200 buck price range, take good care of the MAF, cost a grand, but I have yet to replace one, always seem to find a cold solder joint, definitely corroded contacts.

Not too many engine parts available, exhaust valves are 40 bucks each, it has been quite awhile since I tore down an engine, bodies rust out way before the engine goes, timing chain on this thing is 100 bucks, but claim it's a double roll, maybe it will last longer than the 20 bucks ones. Manifold gasket is only three bucks, ha, buy two of those.

Fuel pressure regulator is around 500 bucks, steep, but compare that to 700 bucks for a CMFI S-10, that hurts, fuel pump will set you back about 250 bucks, hopefully it better than a GM slot motor type still over 100 bucks. Injectors run about 50 bucks each, I have yet to replace one, even with over 200K, use my own method of cleaning and testing.

All in all, not too bad, on any used car, I check over the interior and instrumentation for missing parts, those are always expensive and hard to find plus the chrome exterior parts and door handles. Oil filters are five bucks apiece, still can't believe they are still charging eleven bucks for a paper only element for my 04 Cavalier, manual says they are cheaper than the can types.

For the common wear stuff, the MB looks pretty good to me, not as bad as I thought. I go to rock quite frequently to get a ballpark, but always seem to find better prices with my guys here.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 12:29 PM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

Nick:

There is no rubber in a jap car, only "lubber".

In an earlier post, I posted the MB part number for the "noise dampening service kit" - which is a complete kit of the lubricants needed to maintain the square-head rubber without damaging it...

Watch out for some of that cheap silicone spray. The good stuff uses methelyene chloride for solvent. Many of the cheap sprays are using cheap distilate for solvent, and some of that can be hard on the rubber parts.

SOP for the performance Supra crowd is to replace the lubber with much stiffer polyurethane bushings - which will squeak like a bastard if they are dry.



mhamilton:

I think part of the MB attention to NVH is due to the roads in europe. We have city streets in the US that are better than many runways. Hard to find a 16th century cobblestone street in Los Angeles. We just ran the Las Vegas Grand Prix here, and some of the drivers were impressed at the quality of our downtown city streets.

I do agree with Karl, I would rather have the 20 yr old MB, than a new one. I owned a 1956 190SL I wish I still had.



B.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 2:10 PM
Posted By: mhamilton (Senior Member)

Nick: that seems likely for the speedometer dots. At such odd number locations, it doesn't seem they would apply to road speed limits. Now just a question of what they're doing there, with an automatic and a tach, can't see much use for them.

Bohica: I also tend toward the older cars (I'm sure you're all well aware... who else is nuts enough to drive a 27 year old Chevy every day). Once you get past 1990, things just go downhill rapidly, no matter what make you look at. I was looking at pictures of a late '90s S class, I would probably drift into oncoming traffic trying to figure out which climate control button to press! Pollen filters? Activated charcoal? I'm going to get out of the car at some point... don't need a hermetic seal.

If you go out and buy a brand new car, it seems all you get for your money are a pointless arsenal of electronic gadgets, with a plastic car body held together by glue. Fast forward 5-7 years when all those plastic clips get brittle... I'm not going to rush off to any GM/Ford/Toyota/Honda dealer to spend my money on a car with 6 plastic nails holding the front "fascia" to the unitbody.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 2:29 PM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

Those dots are the maximum safe downshift speeds for engine braking. You are supposed to brake to below the dots before selecting a lower gear on a downgrade...

The only good thing about some of the cabin air filters in newer cars, is the protection they offer the evaporator. Of course, they plug up quickly in some situations, and I am sure that a few dirtbags have sold A/C repairs that were really filter changes.


I have a 1980 IHC 1710, and a 1980 F100 in the driveway. My wife drives a 1988 900 SPG. The newest vehicle here is a 1993 F150. The brand new Explorer the company gave my wife was such a dissapointment, she would drive the SAAB on weekends.


.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Tue April 10, 2007 4:12 PM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

Gee does up or downshifting really make that much difference, the way I drive, nowhere near close the red line, and in my AT cars, doesn't make any difference where you downshift, won't until it reaches a preset speed. But can cheat with a MT.

Sure about that R & L thing Bohica? Kinston Trio, Coplas, 1957, Yankee prisoner, I see you are surprised I speak your language, you see, I was educated in your country. "Where?" U C R A.

You also give me new things to worry about, only store in town that sells name brand stuff sells Gunk Silicone Spray, can says great for rubber, nothing about methelyene chloride, Advanced Auto, NAPA, and Carquest all sell private brand stuff. Can does contain carbon dioxide however, better stock up before it's banned.

So what brand are you using that contains methelyene chloride, or are you going to make me drive to Chicago, hit every automotive store and read the tiny print on the back of all the cans? When I put stuff together, use silicone grease, lasts a lot longer.



Date Posted: Wed April 11, 2007 3:36 AM
Posted By: bohica2xo (Senior Member)

Nick:

Printed "L" = verbal "R". Type UCLA, "hear" UCRA... Someplace around here I have a jap camera manual that refers to the "Rectronic Frash" - I am sure the translator had a big laugh with that one.


The silicone spray business is affected by the eco-nazis as well. They have been phasing out the chlorinated solvents, but the good stuff is using N-Hexane or N-Heptane. I still have a can of Zep brand stuff on the shelf that has Methylene Chloride in it, can't be more than a couple of years old. Industrial silicone mould release still has a fast solvent - Dimethyl Ether.

For over the counter stuff:

Krylon
32% N-Hexane
32% N-Heptane
7% Polydimethylsiloxane

Pyroil / Valvoline / Ashland Chemical co.
87% Heptane
5.5% Polydimethylsiloxane

You should be able to find one of those in your town.


The oily junk:

WD40 Silicone
70% Aliphatic petroleum distallate
28% Petroleum distallate hydrotreated medium

Gunk / Radiator Speciality / many private brands
92% Aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent

The junk blenders do not disclose just how much "silicone" (polydimethylsiloxane) is actually in the can you are buying.


The carrier is important. Silicone is a good DRY lubricant. A spray that leaves a wet surface hours later is full of oil - you might as wel just use WD40. The faster the solvent evaporates, the less time it has to wick into small spaces. Using Heptane may actually be an improvment over Methylene Chloride for applications like suspension bushings. In the moulding business speed is everything, so a "hot" solvent is the answer.

With the cost of oil, recycled solvents are becoming the norm. A "mostly" petroleum distallate will still have some laquer thinner, MEK, MIBK, Butyl Alcohol... Cheap carb cleaner will leave a film on a clean piece of glass than does not just wipe off.


B.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.



Date Posted: Wed April 11, 2007 6:36 AM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

I did follow your advice on using Rotella engine oil in my new Honda lawn mower, so far it has lasted a year, but will get back to you in thirty years. Did get my 35 year old Lawn Boy running nice again, but not sure when I will be using it with six inches of snow forecasted for today.

With a new Menards and Wal-Mart store in town, I believe I did see Krylon and Pyroil products on the shelves, will have to check on silicone. Have to agree that spraying on Gunk is like spraying on lacquer thinner, takes an entire can to quiet down the Supra, no meat in that stuff. It does evaporate quickly and when it dries, makes you wonder if you really did anything.

One thing about driving cars, they are all pretty much the same, same scenery looking out the window, same traffic lights, same interstates, and still have to look up to these huge SUV's and 4WD pickups that like to drive you off the road whether you are driving a Civic or a Fleetwood. Now with a class A motorhome, you are looking down at these large trucks rather than up and they can see what you look like. Now that makes a difference in driving, they give you plenty of clearance.

Get a Freightliner Hamilton, they are normally good for about 8 million miles.



Date Posted: Thu April 12, 2007 1:01 PM
Posted By: TRB (Referred to MAYO for Transplant Testing.)

ice-n-tropics wanted me to post this for you Nick.



-------------------------
When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: Arizona Mobile Air




Date Posted: Thu April 12, 2007 2:40 PM
Posted By: ice-n-tropics (Senior Member)

Nick,
Got a soft spot in my heart for old 50s MERCS like mine above. Nuth'un like get'n a clean black tee, rolling some cigs in the sleeve and heading for the drive in resturant or movie.
Cordially,
ICE

-------------------------
Isentropic Efficiency=Ratio of Theoretical Compression Energy/Actual Energy.
AMAZON.com: How To Air Condition Your Hot Rod



Date Posted: Thu April 12, 2007 3:42 PM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

One of my married buddies had one like that, the coupe, think it was a 1950, we stripped all the chrome off it it and painted it with primer, looked cool. Got an adapter from Warshawsky and dropped in a 57 Pontiac V-8 that we found with low mileage at the local wrecking yard. Was cheaper for him then trying to rebuilt that flathead and also easier. Plus it gave it some go power. Insurance companies didn't get the slightest about modifications like that. My buddy paid about 75 bucks for the Merc, a hundred for the low mileage Pontiac engine and around ten bucks for the adapter plate.

Ford new how to make transmissions back then, other buddies were dropping in a 54 Caddy V-8 into a 48 Ford coupe or a Chevy heavily modified 283 into a 38 Ford Coupe with just the adapter plates using the stock clutch, transmission and rear end, really pounded those cars with no drivetrain damage, can't really say that about the AXOD. Maybe that 3.8L was too much and they should have put in a 1.2 L engine instead.

Anyway, some fond memories, the buddy with the 48 kept his entirely stock from the outside and really shocked some guys at the traffic light, that was fun to see their faces looking out the rear window.

I actually installed a safety belt in my 54 Olds, ha, my buddies thought it was neat, was taking flying lessons and figured if had to wear one in a plane doing 80 mph, should wear one in my car doing over a 120, it came out of a wrecked plane.

Ha, today, an insurance company won't pay a claim if they found you changed the spark plug type, and will get a stiff fine for not wearing a belt creeping down the interstate at 2 mph. How times have changed.



Date Posted: Thu April 12, 2007 4:19 PM
Posted By: ice-n-tropics (Senior Member)

Had the overdrive in my 1950 MERC which gave me 4 shift points for dragging. Replaced the tranny 2 times in freezing weather.
Used a hydramatic with a Rocket 88 V8 in my 37 Ford PU but broke the frame due to the torque and or weight.
Cordially,
TEX

-------------------------
Isentropic Efficiency=Ratio of Theoretical Compression Energy/Actual Energy.
AMAZON.com: How To Air Condition Your Hot Rod

 04/12/2007 16:20:19|U



Date Posted: Thu April 12, 2007 5:41 PM
Posted By: NickD (Senior Member)

Admittedly, the guy with the 38 Ford coupe with that hopped up Chevy in it was also always breaking something, but was never sure if he had more fun breaking it or fixing it.

The guy with the 48 Ford coupe would only open it for a darn good reason, like some rich kid driving his old man's Buick, Caddy, Chrysler, or Olds revving his engine at a traffic light. He never had problems.

The guy with the 50 Merc, only opened it twice, but being married on military pay at the time and the price of gas skyrocketing to 26 cents a gallon, he had to be conservative.

Now tell me ice, were you a pounder? I fitted my 54 Olds Holiday 88 with many 98 parts, brakes and suspension, bored the block out to maximum, static balance, added a Mallory and headers, it would take the 48 Ford and the 50 Merc, but that 38 left me in the dust, unless he would blow his rear end, then I would pass him.

I drive my 88 Supra Turbo 20 mph in a 25, because I already got a speeding ticket when it was parked. Not the fastest car on the road anymore, talk about an HP race in the 50's, nothing like what is going on today and I hear gas prices have exceeded 30 cents a gallon.