Jay, regarding your engine clatter, do a search on this site for "racka-racka." You will probably be soon replacing your oil filter check valve and possibly your oil pump pressure relief valve. It IS most likely oil leak-down as you guessed, from the variable valve timing mechanism.
Regarding the ASR light problem, my symptoms remain. Those are: intermittently the ASR light will go on and the car will instantly lose throttle response, feeling like an ignition cutout. Idle is unaffected, however, and when you mash the throttle, you find the car is driveable. It has happened six times in four weeks now, under variable conditions, although usually while cruising at freeway speeds. I've found that stopping the car, shutting it off and immediately restarting it does solve the problem temporarily.
I'm still thinking about attempting this repair myself. I've tried mounting "Virtual PC" on my home Mac now in an attempt to run the 124 Chassis CD/ROM, and I was unsuccessful. I'm now off to try to borrow some time on a friend's PC so I can search for the procedure to R&R the upper engine harness. If that looks to be within my capability, I'll order the part and try myself. I'm thinking that would be the cheapest solution, rather than dickering with my local dealer over the goodwill warranty for the harness, and paying his repair rate to have it installed.
It seems to me that I would be smart to R&R the upper harness and the Throttle Control Valve at the same time, right?
1995 E320 Wagon Moonstone Grey/Parchment 106K mi.
2007 E63 AMG Graphite/designo 75K mi
Last edited by Mark Stetson; 11-27-2001 at 03:18 PM.