Here it is May and I’ve enjoyed several “round the neighborhood” drives while checking for problems. Biggest issues so far: overheating brakes due to failing hoses and poor adjustment, and loose steering due to very worn tie rod ends and related mechanicals.
Because I’m not equipped (no tools OR skill!) to do big “under car” jobs, I’ve taken the Benz to our local classic Mercedes mechanic. While I was greasing zerks and changing sump oil, oil filter, and transmission fluid, I decided I’m not fond of raising the car onto jack stands and working in the 12″ space between driveway and undercarriage. When a quart of hot transmission fluid runs down your arm, you learn four-letter words (in German) very quickly. Items for the mechanic:
– replace four engine mounts and two rear engine mount covers
– adjust shift linkage if needed
– replace four tie rod ends
– front end alignment
– grease all
21 zerk fittings (mechanic found 23)
– replace drag link and steering damper
– replace steering idler bushing
– align (center) the steering wheel
– replace brake master cylinder
– replace fan belt and straighten generator bracket
– inspect drive shaft flex disc
– replace all brake line flex hoses
– replace incorrect left front self-adjuster brake with correct manual-adjuster brake
– replace steering column flex disc
– replace throttle linkage dampers
– install electric fuel pump
– drain/fill rear axle
With lots of web-searching and personal contacts, I was able to locate all needed parts. Thank heaven for the online access to the M-B Electronic Parts Catalogue (example below).
Work should be finished by mid-June. Then I’ll get new tires, and do a lot of test driving.
June 10 update.
At 2:30 this afternoon I got the call: Your car is ready. Within 30 minutes I had driven the car home.
IT’S A DIFFERENT CAR. What an improvement in driving and handling. Brakes don’t stick and overheat, steering is straight and true. And it’s amazing how much more power you have when the brakes aren’t dragging. This is getting serious – just bought my first GPS, a Garmin Nuvi 3790T. Sea trials ahead!