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BMW / Re: My 2003 530i/5
« Last post by Donati on September 21, 2017, 03:41:55 AM »
Very nice Stephen. I love it!
Porsche / Daily Driver 944S2
« Last post by Rich on May 30, 2016, 02:27:50 PM »
I've had this car for a little while now and I've done a lot of work to it, so I figured it was finally time to make a thread for it....

I am not new to 944's but it has been a very long time.... I owned an N/A back in 2008. Unfortunately, I didn't know much about them at the time, and it was automatic :banghead:  But I still loved that car anyway. I have had a whole bunch of German cars in the passing years, but I always longed for another 944.

About 2 years ago I started looking for one again. Not just any 944 though, it had to be the right one. I was mainly looking for a 951, but I was also interested in S2's as well. I was talking to a friend of mine back in Febuary and he mentioned that his dad had an S2 that he might be willing to sell.... Two days later, it was in my driveway.

It was a little rough and clearly needed some mechanical attention, but it ran great, already had a chip, looked pretty decent and the price was a steal. I didn't even try to haggle, I just wanted the title in my hand before he changed his mind, haha. He had owned the car since 2006 and barely drove it during that time. It was originally a Guards Red car that he had re sprayed in black. Eventually it will go back to Guards Red. The paint job wasn't the greatest, but it was far from the worst. They actually did a good job with the color change for the most part, aside from the engine bay. He had no service records from his ownership, but his son (my friend) is a tech at a reputable Euro indy shop here in town, so I trusted his word on the work that had been done. There were records in the glovebox from the previous owners, totaling about $14k in receipts up till the time that the previous owner took possession.

Anyway, this is what it looked like when I got it home (after I washed it, of course)


Dont worry, the wood trim is gone now!

Engine bay looked a little rough, but I was able to clean that up too-

Even though the PO didn't drive it much, when he did it was down a dirt road......

After many hours of scrubbing and degreasing it eventually looked like this!

The paint looked fine from a distance, but as I mentioned before it was not great. There were lots of what looked like palm prints in the clear coat from pushing the car around the shop before it was dry, and then there was the issue that the PO took it through automatic car washes and also looked like he washed it with very dirty brushes....

I put about 14 hours into wet sanding and polishing the car. It's still not perfect, but it's way better, and still more presentable than most newer black cars on the road-

Now onto the mechanical stuff. Keep in mind that all the mechanical stuff and detailing stuff were all going on at the same time.

Since February I have done the following to the car-

-New axles from 944Online
-New Bilstein Shocks
-Ball Joint rebuild kit from Rennbay
-New Polyurethane control arm bushings from PowerFlex
-New Fuel Lines from 944Online
-Full Tune up
-Fixed Vacuum leaks
-New FTE Master Cyl
-New FTE Slave Cyl
-New Bosch Starter
-Fixed Exhaust leak

I'm sure there are a few things that I am forgetting at the moment.

When we did the axles and the rear Bilstiens, I also did some fresh undercoating in the wheel wells at the same time. (this was also before I cleaned the underside)-

Then came the control arm rebuild. That took a little longer than expected. The first ball joint came out perfectly, just like it should. It was on the second control arm that I discovered that someone had found a sealed ball joint that just kind of-sort of fit in the control arm and pressed it in... needless to say, it wasn't coming out. Luckily, another member had a spare one that he sold and shipped to me quickly.

And fixing the exhaust leak. The pipe had cracked all the way around the factory weld on one of the flanges connecting to the manifold. PO had cut out the cat and it was a little to raspy for me, so I had them throw a resonator in there at the same time to tone it down a little bit.

Now that the car was mechanically sound, I started looking for a set of wheels. The D-90s that came with the car weren't in the greatest shape cosmetically, and the tires were VERY old, and ready to go. All that combined with the fact that I just don't like the way the D-90's look fueled my search for a set of wheels. After searching for over a month (and making several long drives to go look at wheels that were poorly described in their ads) I finally found a set. I was originally looking to stick with OEM wheels, but these are made by ATS. ATS is a German company that also made some of the factory wheels for Porsche, so I knew that quality wasn't going to be an issue.

They are ATS Apollo II's 18x8 and 18x10. The wheels are perfectly straight and no curbing at all. They came off of a 1997 993 with only 27k miles.

They came with good tires for the fronts and usable tires for the rear. I drove on the rear tires for a while (265/35) but wanted to go a little wider. I just came across a pair of 275/35 Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec's and put those on.... These are fantastic tires! I will be buying a new set of them when the time comes.

The Previous owner told me that the car had LSD, but with all the mechanical issues that needed to be taken care of and the tires, I hadn't really tested that out... until now... Turns out that he was right!

At some point during all of this I also converted the sunroof to manual latches so that I could actually use the damn thing! Haha. Now it spends most of its time in the trunk.

Now that I have a thread that's up to date, ill continue to post as progress continues. next item on the list is the transmission mount.
Mercedes-Benz / Re: 190e buyer's guide / Mr. Tea the teal '93 190e 2.6
« Last post by Justin Danger on April 13, 2016, 10:21:18 PM »
Tomorrow begins the dent removal process, more to follow!  Still on the hunt for 16x8 Pentas to replace the crappy 8 holes and skinny tires, but one thing at a time.
Porsche / Re: 2004 Porsche Cayenne S Lifter tap??? PLEASE HELP
« Last post by Justin Danger on March 25, 2016, 07:52:33 AM »
I think you solved your own problem.  If the noise goes away when you unplug the injector I would be 99% confident that's the source of your ticking sound. 

FCP Euro has them for $93. 
Porsche / 2004 Porsche Cayenne S Lifter tap??? PLEASE HELP
« Last post by Kashmoore313 on March 19, 2016, 01:09:37 AM »
Ok I have an 04 Cayenne S non turbo with a tapping noise that sounds like its coming from the driver side of engine bay. It taps faster as engine accelerates then stops after 2000 rpms. I've played around with a few things to see if i could find the culprit. ive noticed that if i unplug the injector for cylinder 6 the tap goes away. but once i plug it back up it returns. I replaced a few lifters to see if i could get lucky and get rid of the tap but have been unsuccessful. i have not replaced all. just a few. Im wondering if the fuel injector could be the reason im hearing the tap or not. or if it could be something else. there is no CEL on and the engine performance is good. just the tap.  :D :D :D :D
Mercedes-Benz / Re: 190 buyer's guide/Mr. T the teal '93 190e 2.6
« Last post by Justin Danger on February 29, 2016, 12:22:24 AM »
Pausing on the CIS troubleshooting, it was time to detail the car in order to color match the paint as accurately as possible when we repair the dent in a few weeks.   I began by using bug and tar remover for all tar, sap, road paint, etc and then a claybar on the entire car and glass to remove surface contaminates.  It looked much better afterward although it had a lot of swirls and scratches from being washed by either an automatic carwash or dirty rags.

Richard came up and did some high speed polishing while I worked on his 944 and improved the paint a great deal.  Still some scratches and swirls, but it looks way better and much brighter than before.

Worth mentioning in this post is that I finally got around to researching cotton terry towels vs microfiber and there was a resounding no on using terry towels for paint.  The catch is, not all microfiber is created equal and most cheap microfiber clothes will probably do more damage than a terry towel.  I found some affordable, good quality towels from The Rag Company and purchased this 9 pack from Amazon Prime for $20. 

I used to hate microfiber and not even want to touch them, but these are a whole different world.    Super soft, absorbent, and have no tags and a soft edging around the whole towel.  I'm going to order this basic detailing kit next and never using terry towels again for detailing:

For more information on microfiber, check this site out:  Incredibly Detailed - Microfiber Manifesto

Even after a dusting of pollen the car still looks great!

Mercedes-Benz / Re: 190 buyer's guide/Mr. T the teal '93 190e 2.6
« Last post by Justin Danger on February 23, 2016, 04:00:40 PM »
With the suspension and steering sorted out, we still have the following areas to address:

CIS not working properly
Power steering fluid/filter
Coolant flush
Temp sensors
Paint detailing
Dents and dings
Sound system wiring (I cut and removed all wiring from the radio that was installed since it was all sketchy and barely working)
Wheels and tires

I tackled the CIS first since it annoyed me that I had checked basically everything and it still wasn't right.  Cold start was difficult and the car would not rev itself up, after warming up the car worked perfectly and I could adjust the duty cycle/mixture just fine but then I would test drive it and it would immediately idle too high and go into open-loop mode.   I replace the fan temp sensor since it was bad (two pins, blue, towards the front of the head), and the ignition/CIS temp sensor (four pins, black, at the rear of the head) and there was no change other than the fans working properly again.  I couldn't think of anything other than possibly the speed sensor on the cluster was unplugged or not working so I checked for error codes.  This car has the LED and push button built in so I didn't have to use my homemade tool (google it or ask me about it) to check.  I got 14 blinks.  Guess what error 14 is?  Vehicle speed sensor.

Here are the codes for everything else while we are on the subject:

1990-1993: W201 with 2.3L M102 engine
Flashes------- Fault
1 No System Malfunction
2 Throttle Valve Swttch
3 Coolant Temperature Sensor
4 Airflow Sensor Position Indicator
5 Oxygen Sensor
6 Not Used
7 Td Signal
8 Altitude Correction Capsule
9 Electro-Hydraulic Actuator (EHA)
10 Throttle Valve Switch and/or Idle Speed Contact
11 Not Used
12 EGR Temperature Sensor

1991-1993: W201 with 2.6L M103 engines
Flashes------- Fault
1 No faults in system
2 Throttle Valve Switch (Full Throttle Contact)
3 Coolant Temperature Sensor
4 Airflow Sensor Potentiometer
5 Oxygen Sensor
6 Not Used
7 TNA (Engine RPM) Signal
8 Altitude Pressure Signal From EZL Ignition Control Unit
9 Current To Electro-hydraulic Actuator
10 Throttle Valve switch (Idle Contact)
11 Air Injection System
12 AbsoIute Pressure Valves From EZL Ignition Control Unit
13 Intake Air Temperature Signal
14 Road Speed Signal At CIS-E Control Unit
15 Not Used
16 Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR)
17 Oxygen Sensor Signal
18 Current To Idle Speed Air Valve
19 Not Used
20 Not Used
21 Not used
22 Oxygen Sensor Heating Current
23 Short Circuit To Positive In Regeneration Switch over Valve Circuit
24 Not Used
25 Short Circuit To Positive in Start Valve Circuit
26 Short Circuit To Positive In Shift Point Retard Circuit
27 Data Exchange Fault Between CIS-E Control Unit and EZL ignition Control Unit
28 Loose Contact In Coolant Temperature Sensor Circuit
29 Difference In Coolant Temperatures Between CIS-E Control Unit and EZL Ignition Control Unit
30 Not Used
21 Loose Contact In Intake Air Temperature Sensor Circuit
32 Not Used
33 Not Used
34 Faulty Coolant Temperature Sensor Signal from EZL Ignition Control Unit

More detailed fault code manual can be downloaded here:

So I thought, hey, maybe someone removed the cluster to do the radio installation and forgot to plug the wires back in.  There are two different connectors for the speed sensor as well as a distribution box under the knee bolster that the speed sensor signal gets plugged in to so I was pretty hopeful.  I removed the knee bolster and found one of the connectors unplugged from the distribution box so that was encouraging. 

I couldn't find the second one but further investigation revealed there is only one on the later model cars.  I did not get a picture of this area but I will add it later.

After removing the driver's side air vent, I unscrewed the speedo cable and pushed the cluster out.  One speed sensor wire had caught on the clip for the cluster and ripped in half, the other was nowhere to be found. 

After unplugging everything and sorting out the jumbled mess someone had created, I found the second speed sensor wire buried in the dash. 

I repaired the wire, connected everything and put all the warning light bulbs in their proper place and reinstalled the cluster and speedo.  If you have your cluster removed, its also a good time to loosen and wiggle the grounds located behind the air vent and clean them/put some anti-corrosion stuff on them. 

After putting everything back together I took it for a test drive and was happy to find the CIS did not go into open loop mode anymore.  The cold start issue is still present and the idle in gear is still around 500-600 RPM so I still have more to track down.  The cold start was fixed with a used cold start valve which actually surprised me since I've never had one fail.  Idle is still too low on initial cranking and in gear but at least it can be cranked when cold now.

To reiterate some quick easy things to do before you start fiddling with stuff and replacing parts:

Clean the intake/AFM plate/throttlebody with throttlebody cleaner FIRST.  Just having years of gunk built up here can drastically change everything about how the car runs.

Check for any and all vacuum leaks and fix these first.  You may need a new AFM boot or idle air hoses, this is annoying but must be done if they are split, hard, or leaking.  Check vacuum hoses and elbows, check the climate control system to see if it is leaking, check all fuel injectors and intake gasket areas, and check oil dipstick oring.

After that, check the throttle cable adjustment.  Loosen it and then tighten until the linkage just starts to move, then back up a notch.  This will ensure full idle position as well as the ability to engage the kickdown switch on the floor under the throttle and achieve WOT.  Check the idle microswitch as detailed earlier, if this is bad the idle will be very high in my experience.

Check or replace the overvoltage protection relay (OVP) or at least unplug it, check the fuse in the top, clean the connections and reinstall.  Unplug the MAS relay and make sure its clean/seated properly, do the same for the CIS computer connector.  Sometimes just a dirty connection will cripple a car. 

Carefully remove the idle air control valve and use electronics cleaner to clean gunk off the inside of the valve.  NEVER use the set screw on the valve to adjust the idle.  If you feel like you need to use this screw, stop.  You don't.  Something else is wrong and you shouldn't try to compensate by adjust the IACV or throttlebody stops.  On the later cars it is important to note that the valve does not get 12v on pin 2 straight from the OVP, rather both wires supply it come directly from the CIS computer and you should be checking for a duty cycle of about 30% rather than a voltage. 

Computers rarely fail on these cars, I've never had a bad OVP but it's a common issue if you start having odd problems, I've never had a bad IACV either.  I have had a MAS relay fail and leave me with no power to my fuel pumps...  Fuel pumps are rarely the culprit on these cars since there are two of them and the original bosch pumps have metal impellers; they can go well into the 200k range without issue.

One often overlooked issue present on every Mercedes with CIS-E is the AFM potentiometer.  It serves as a position sensor for the AFM plate and lets the computer know how much air is entering the engine much the same way as the BMW and Porsche equivalent.   Once the carbon tracks on the potentiometer wear through, the voltage becomes inconsistent and can affect idle and throttle response.  A voltage of 0.70v +-0.10v is what you should be getting from the middle of the three pins while the car is idling at the normal idle of ~750RPM.  A quick test of this is to turn the key on, engine off and put your volt meter on the middle pin (with plug still connected).  It should be around 0.1v completely closed increasing as you push the AFM plate down slowly.  Pay attention to the beginning range of the AFM plate since this is where the problem is 99% of the time.  The voltage should increase smoothly without dropping back down, if it goes from say, 0.55v to 0.3v then back to 0.7v that is the area with a worn spot.

Replacement and pictures can be found at SG Motorsports website:  AFM replacement and adjustment

The voltage inconsistency I just described is exactly what I found on this car so I will be removing it and replacing it with a very slightly worn spare.  Sadly they are no longer made by Bosch and are hard to find.  Reports of the generic replacements only lasting 6 months as well as not knowing how accurate they are means searching ebay and junk yards...

I will return to add more info later.

So flash forward.  I replaced the AFM pot with a used one I had that had barely any wear on it and things are working normally now.  Pictures of the old one and new one to follow.    I checked all wires from all the sensors to the computer harness and ignition module plugs and everything is perfect, no resistance.  I neglected to check for shorts to ground, but I feel that all the CIS electrics are fully functional now (see the following).

I also cured the rest of cold start issue that the replacement cold start valve did not fix by adjusting the EHA valve. It was almost two full turns too lean.  After correcting the EHA valve adjustment (I will link to some in-depth guides when I come back to edit this), I was able to dial in the mixture adjustment and the car starts right up.   It still is a little stumbly for a few seconds but smooths out on its own and does not shut off.  I replaced the fuel filter as well and that seemed to help (pictures of the old one cut open to follow).

Car is running almost normally now, quite an improvement from when we bought the car and it would barely move out of its own way.  Not quite as much oomph and throttle response as my Sportline, but part of that is the automatic trans.  It's getting close!
Mercedes-Benz / Re: 190 buyer's guide/Mr. T the teal '93 190e 2.6
« Last post by Justin Danger on February 23, 2016, 03:14:36 PM »
Everything at the rear of the car is in great shape; CV axle boots are in tact, all bushings/suspension links/control arms are perfect, really nothing that needs to be done besides installing the lowering springs and adjustable camber arms.  Usually the right, inboard CV axle boot will be split on 190s due to its location above the exhaust, but this one was still good.

Even from the factory, my sportline (which has lower, stiffer suspension than a normal 190) had the same length, non-adjustable camber arms for the rear, which results in too much negative camber.  On some suspension designs, negative camber improves handling during cornering (at the expense of tire wear in a straight line), but not on the 190.    Because of the multilink suspension, orientation of the wheel/tire remains almost unchanged through the suspension travel, meaning the negative camber will be maintained and that thin contact patch will persist instead of coming on to the full contact patch in a corner.  If you aren't following, look up some animations of the rear suspension.

So to remedy this, I made custom adjustable arms to replace the fixed camber arm using parts from Speedway (thanks to 190rev for part numbers!).    This will allow way more adjustment than you actually need and allow proper rear camber after lowering the car.  The assembly is pretty easy requiring only a sand hammer, a hydraulic press, a few sockets/cups and a piece of wood.

Grease the threads on the rod ends and thread a right hand thread and left hand thread jam nut on them and install one of each rod end in one of the aluminum rods (LH/RH).  This allows proper adjustment when turning the aluminum rod once it's installed on the car.  Grease the bushings (nylon or delrin, not sure) and press them into the ends by hand.  Use a hammer to install the metal center bushing in one end.  With the other metal bushing, you want to press the roll pin from the outboard end of the original camber arm into it before installing in the new camber arm.  Use a press to remove it from the old bushing and to press it into the new one until it is flush on one end.  Then use a hammer and tap it into the remaining bushing in the new camber arm.    We were in a hurry to get the car done before cars and coffee the next day so I don't have any pictures of this.  I will be adding the part numbers needed later but you can find them pretty easily by searching.

My experience has shown you need a few thick stainless washers on the outboard side to space the arm towards the front of the car to prevent an excessive angle.  The inboard side requires two very thin stainless washers on each side.  Use the original bolts to install and tighten to a little more than the factory arms.

If you don't grease the bushings they will start squeaking later!

Installing the rear springs was a bit more challenging than the front because I was not able to compress the spring all the way without bottoming out my tool on the floor of the car.  I compressed the old spring as much as possible, then supported the control arm at its inboard attachment and removed the bolt.  Since all of the tension was already released, this was safe and easy.  I simply pushed the control arm down out of the way and removed the spring.  Install was the reverse and easier since the spring was shorter.

Since there is no way to know what has been done to a car you've just acquired and I was changing the ride height of the car, I loosened every bolt for the suspension links (except for outboard control arm and outboard toe link) to ensure they would not be binding and have excess stress on them.  Once the car was back together, I put it on ramps and torqued/tightened all the suspension links with them in their proper place.

Afterward we were very happy with the new ride height and it handled so much better!  It was a completely different driving experience and was actually stiffer and better handling than my sportline, even without upgrading the anti-roll bars or shocks (my shocks are basically done on my sportline).

Very happy with the vogtlands although the front is a bit low with the 8mm spring pad.  Chani likes how it looks though so we will just get some camber plates in the future to bring it back out a little.  The least amount of negative camber we could get with the wheels/tires that are on it was -2.7.

This brings us to alignment.  Do yourself a favor and either learn how to do it yourself in the garage with strings and measuring tapes or make SURE you find someone who knows how to align these cars properly.  I had a decent experience the first time I took my sportline for an alignment even though the guy had never aligned a W201 or W124 before.  He let me give him tips and took his time to learn what was what and get it perfect.  It took him a little over an hour, but he did it and did it well.

The experience we had with this car was completely different.  I went to a recommended guy to do it and we were there for four hours.  When I told him I had all the tools we needed in the trunk and I could help, he dismissed me saying he had aligned mercedes before.  He then proceeded to use adjustable wrenches and pliers on all of our new components, managed to pop a pinch clamp off the tie rod and spend 30 minutes trying to get it back on, and had absolutely no clue what he was doing.  He didn't understand even the basic principles of alignment or suspension and didn't understand he couldn't just do one side, then do the other.  After four hours of Chani and I starving to death and freaking out about what he was destroying on the car, he finally finished (still not in the specs I wanted) and we were able to leave.  Absolute nightmare.  I will never take a car to a shop again.

So, the moral to this story is, do it yourself or find someone who actually knows what they are doing and has worked on these cars before.    Ask the person specific questions.  Have you aligned a w201 before?  Do you have a triple square bit for the toe adjustment?  Do you know the car has to be aligned on the rack, not lifted up?  Which control arm bolt adjusts the camber (the rear one)?  Do you know the control arm bolts have to be torqued to 125 nm with the weight of the car on them?  Do you understand that you have to monitor both front wheels and go back and forth adjusting them in order to get everything perfect?   Etc...

Aligning these cars is not hard, everything is adjustable, you just have to find someone who cares and isn't a moron. 

Anyway, can you tell that's still a sore spot?  I still have to go under the car and check everything and touch up the paint on all the new parts....
Mercedes-Benz / Re: 190 buyer's guide/Mr. T the teal '93 190e 2.6
« Last post by Justin Danger on February 23, 2016, 02:38:40 PM »
So what has happened since the last update?  All of our parts arrived, although not on schedule thanks to Pelican parts selling things they don't actually have, and Vogtland USA being out of stock on the springs, but we got a lot done!

From FCP Euro:

From Pelican Parts:

We removed the entire front end consisting of springs, control arms, shocks, shock mounts, tie rods, drag link/steering stabilizer, idler arm, and anti-roll bar and cleaned everything underneath.  Since the control arms had a lot of rock chips and a little surface rust we decided to strip them, kill the rust and paint them.  First order of business was to remove the control arm bushings and ball joints and install the new, stiffer Sportline bushings and fresh ball joints.  Ball joints are crucial on this car because there is only one per side and the entire weight/forces on the car rest on this one point.  Let’s pause for two PSAs:

One:  Do not use a regular spring compressor that goes on the outside of the springs, do not use some combination of jacks and removing the control arm without compressing the spring.  Buy or borrow a proper Mercedes spring compressor that uses plates that go inside the spring.  I bought mine from SG Motorsports for about $180. 

Two:  Failed ball joints result in the spindle and wheel suddenly popping out of the control arm which results in disaster for the car and could potentially be fatal if you are on the highway.

I cannot stress enough that this is absolutely NOT optional once you buy your car.  Do not buy $3,000 wheels and ignore $18 balljoints.  You don’t even have to remove the control arm if you don’t want to, it can be done on the car with a rental tool.  Don’t be lazy or cheap, do this now and save your car and possibly yourself.   I’ve seen the results of balljoint failures on 190s at low speed and at 80mph, it’s not worth it.

With that said, they don’t just randomly fail (unless you have cheap replacements like Meyle or Uro) and you shouldn’t drive around deathly afraid of your ball joints.  Just replace them with Lemforder, TRW, or Mercedes and live your life.

Now back to it.  The balljoints on this car were in great shape with not even a hint of boot failure, in fact they were impossible to tear.  This is the only time I have seen this though and is just an example of how well preserved this particular car is.  Once the new bushings and balljoints were installed, we painted the arms with polyurethane wheel paint and clearcoated the balljoints to keep the rust away for another 23 years. 

Be sure you follow the instructions in the service manual on proper orientation for the bushings and balljoints.  A sand hammer, flat screwdriver, a couple mercedes lug bolts for the sleeves (cone seat from newer amg wheels is best), some rubber protectant (Gummi Pflege or Wurth), a hydraulic press and some random parts for the press are all that you need for this job. 

Service manual section for control arms/balljoints:
For steering (with power steering rebuild removed):

After the arms were complete, we removed the steering components.  All this requires is a few hand tools and one of the terrifying separator tools to pop the tie rod ends out of their homes.  After removing the tie rods and drag link/steering stabilizer, it was time to replace the idler arm bushing.  This can be done without removing the exhaust and is fairly easy.  First remove the heat shield, then remove the nut from the idler arm bolt.  Hit the top bushing with a screw driver and it should pop out.  Then remove the bottom with pliers or by tapping it out like the top.  Once the bottom bushing is removed you can squeak the bolt, idler arm, and upper bushing out past the exhaust. 

To reinstall, coat the bushings with some rubber protectant and assemble the bolt, idler arm, and upper bushing, put them into the tube on the frame, and use both hands to pull the bushing straight down into its home.  Without the rubber protectant you risk damaging the rubber and its very hard to install.  If you aren’t strong enough to do this by hand, use a plain, non-locking nut and several washers to pull the top bushing into place.  After this is done, push the bottom bushing in using the same technique and install the lock nut.  Do not use grease on any of the rubber components, it will damage the rubber over time.  Only use something made for rubber as mentioned previously. Torque to 70nm.

Steering install is straight forward, the tapered ends can only go in one way, just make sure you clean each hole before installing and do not use grease on the tie rod ends!  Torque steering damper to 50nm and tie rods/draglink to 35nm and tighten pinch clamp (10nm)/locking sleeves (30nm) on the tie rods (don’t worry about alignment for now).

We opted to install a set of Vogtland lowering springs as they are just about the only springs left still available new for a 2.6.  There are also three or four different thicknesses of spring pads available and we went with the thinnest (8mm).  You can tell which ones you have by looking for nubs on the edge of the pad; one is the thinnest, two is thicker and found on most 190s, three is thicker, etc.  Figuring out where to put the spring compressor plates is tricky the first time you do it, but it gets easier.   Covering the plates with masking tape keeps the nice shiny finish on the springs intact.

Installing the new shock mounts is as basic as it comes, don’t over tighten the mount or the shock nut, torque the two short bolts that hold the shock to the spindle to 110nm and the pinch bolt to 60nm and then reinstall the control arms.  I use some light synthetic grease on the metal faces of the control arm bushings as well as the cam bolts.  I also put some grease on the ball joint to keep it from getting stuck in the spindle/rusting.  Tighten the balljoint pinch bolt to 125nm, but only snug the control arm bolts as you will need to tighten these with the full weight of the car on them to prevent binding the rubber bushings.  I put them all in the middle so it will at least be even until an alignment can be done.
Reinstall the anti-roll bar with new bushings (with some rubber protectant inside and out) and double check everything. 

Now is a good time to check your wheel bearings and we decided to just adjust them and pack some new grease on the outside for now.  Adjusting mercedes front wheel bearings comes with experience and takes some trial and error.  They need to be tight but not too tight, I have a feel for it and can’t explain it very well, just err on the side of being too loose.  Check once the wheel is back on for any play (grasping the top and bottom of the tire and trying to move it back and forth).

Once the car is back on the ground/lift/ramps, torque the control arm cam bolts to 125nm.  Now on to the rear of the car!
Mercedes-Benz / Re: 190 buyer's guide/Mr. T the teal '93 190e 2.6
« Last post by Justin Danger on January 29, 2016, 11:00:18 PM »
The first order of business was replacing the ignition parts. Skimping here is ALWAYS a bad idea and you should only use genuine Bosch/Mercedes parts because they are very critical on these cars and most older Mercedes.  If you look around on Autohaus, FCP Euro, and Pelican Parts you can find the cap for around $55, rotor for $25, and the backing plate for around $60-$70.  The backing plate appeared good on this car, but its impossible to tell what it would do while the sparks are literally flying.  The wires were new and made by Bremi in Germany and, since I have had good experience with these wires and all of them were spot on with resistance (1k ohm), we kept them.  Spark plugs were all clean and light brown (except cylinder four which was slightly darker) but were the incorrect resistor plugs made by NGK.

The W201 ignition system has resistance built in to everything EXCEPT the spark plugs, so ideally you would use the original resistor-less Bosch Supers (part number H9DC0 or the cooler H8DC0 if you feel you need it).  These plugs are readily available at Brumos Mercedes and they are willing to ship them if you call.  Luckily for us, we live in the same city as Brumos and can just drop by.

We were in a hurry to get it back running so we could take it to the DMV (out of state title) so I checked amazon prime for the ignition parts and found them all with Prime shipping along with some genuine mercedes coolant for later. 

Amazon links here:

With the ignition bits back on with a used suppressor cover (missing from the old cap, good way to get wires chopped by the fan blade), a good coating of silicon in the appropriate areas (boots, backing plate oring) and the proper spark plugs installed to a sane tightness (20nm as per Mercedes), the car once again ran and was ready for further investigation.

A quick spray of throttlebody cleaner on the intake and injectors revealed a slight air leak on the fourth injector which explains the difference in color from the other plugs.  A check of the retaining hex bolts showed four through six to be loose. Tightening them fixed that problem for now.  No other vacuum leaks were apparent but the AFM boot clamp for the throttlebody was completely loose and most of the fuel lines on the new looking fuel distributor needed additional tightening.

 One of the one way valves for the emissions solenoids was broken and taped together so I replaced it with a spare and checked the EGR valve to see if the diaphragm was holding vacuum.  It was not; a project for another time.  I checked the transmission modulator line and it held vacuum so that annoying job can be avoided (confirmed by smooth shifts that would not be happening if the modulator was bad).

The throttlebody and AFM plate were so close to being clean it was hardly worth spraying them down, but for the sake of the valves I ran a can of TB cleaner through the intake to start cleaning off accumulated gunk.  A check of the throttle cable showed what I suspected from driving it: with the pedal fully depressed it was only achieving just over half throttle.  I tightened the cable until just before it caused movement in the linkage and then lubricated everything to do with the throttle and transmission linkage.  When doing this, make sure the throttle idle microswitch is in working order with a multimeter (its open or closed) and is making proper contact when the throttle is at idle.

The accelerator pedal was broken due to being plastic (although unlike BMWs you can still use it) and had an annoying clicking/stuck spot at the beginning of travel due to this.  Our parts shelf just happened to have a spare and was quickly installed by rotating the old one out and the new one in.  Easy!

A check of the duty cycle revealed no fluctation and a voltage of 5v (my other meter that does duty cycle is currently loaned out…  Paul) a check of the O2 showed 0.6 barely changing. Unplugging the air temp sensor in the intake to check its resistance made the check engine light come on, so that was nice to know.  Not sure why the CIS was in open-loop (meaning a problem is detected and the computer is ignoring external sensor information and using factory default) but I will figure that out later.  This is the first time I have ever seen a working CEL on a Mercedes.

 For more information on the duty cycle, what it means for you and your dog, and what to do about it, see the following link:

A decent multimeter with a duty cycle reading can be had for around $50 and makes this task a little more precise.  Basically you want it to be about half alternator voltage if using a regular multimeter.

Anyway, impatience got the better of us and we went for a test drive.  Much better so far!  Chani agreed that it was amazingly better and it was mostly due to having full control of the throttle again.  Deciding to leave the remaining engine issues along due to the increasingly terrifying cracked shock mounts, we set about test fitting an extended, reinforced R129 shock mount from an SL500. 

The point of these mounts over the stock ones is to allow increased shock travel with a lowered car, which this was soon to be.  This would keep the Bilstein tourings in a more happy range that they were tuned for which would hold her over until she could buy some Bilstein sports.  The Bilstein sport shocks are designed with a shorter shaft and stroke to accommodate decreased suspension travel from lowered cars.  Anyway, thats theory.  Reality is, this doesn't work if you have a 16v or a late model 2.6 or 2.3.  The hood has additional bracing that hits the taller mounts.  Despite two hours of grinding, testing, shaping, grinding, and more test fitting, I determined there was no way to fit these to her car.  So the project is on hold as we await some regular shock mounts.

Other areas that need attention are the brown muck in the coolant from either mixing coolant or a failed headgasket that had since been fixed without flushing the cooling system.  The trunk contained a Mann power steering and transmission filter although the fluid was new and had spare bottle of AMSOIL synthetic ATF marked as spare fluid.  Not sure if the filter was changed but I’m not worried about it since it will get a manual swap eventually.  Power steering fluid was disgusting and will be changed shortly.  Differential fluid was overfilled and very thin, changed out with Valvoline 140w blended with a little 90w.  A faulty fan temperature switch is currently making the electric fans come on at random, so that will be addressed shortly as well as a check of the computer/ignition temp sender.

While we wait, we will turn our attention to cleaning the interior and I will add some pictures for the areas covered so far.

Next chapter is replacing the entire frontend with OE quality parts from Lemforder and installing Vogtland lowering springs.
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