OK, I don't know if this deserves a new topic or not so I am just going to post it as a reply to this thread, if you guys think I should post a new topic, I'll do it.
Anyway, my car is a 1998 E320 with about 38k miles, I bought the car from the original owner who last took it in for service in November 2001 for its 28k mile service. I decided to do everything on my own and buy the parts from the dealership. The total for everything was around $190 in parts (pictures below with all the parts numbers clearly shown):
Windshield Wiper blade (full assembly) - $30
Oil Filter - $10
8 quarts mobil 1 Synthetic - $36
Air Filter - $20
Spark Plugs (12) - $90
I started with the windshield wiper blade:
Which took 30 seconds to change, snap on, snap off. Next,
I did the air filter:
It was SO HORRIBLE and dirty. Look at all the pine needles (I removed the leaves before taking the picture):
So I vaccumed it out and installed the new air filter, total time was a little less than 5 minutes including the vaccuming. There are 6 clips that hold the airbox closed, very easy.
I did the oil next, using a pump I sucked the oil out according the the instructions in the DIY section of this forum. Total time was around 30 minutes for everything (mostly just waiting for the oil to come out):
So with the oil done, I did a visual inspection of the Serpentine belt and Harmonic balancing pulley. Everything looked good but I decided to pick up a new one just to see the difference between the unit I have in my car and the "new" 5th revision part:
I told the dealership parts department what I was going to do and they were very cool and said I could return it if I didn't want to keep it. I noticed some design differences but I decided to save the $70 and leave the factory harmonic balancing pulley since it looks good (none of the symptoms described in this thread).
I was tired so I decided to wait a few minutes to do the spark plugs and I check the torque of the steering gear bolts and they were like 70nm so I figured that was good enough, I didn't tighten them or loosen them. This took perhaps 2 minutes.
So I finished off with the spark plugs, which were not that difficult to do, but it is a tight fit, so I spent about 25 minutes on them. Anyway, I reset the FSS according to the manual:
Key position 2
Within 4 seconds press 0 button twice
Within 10 seconds turn key to position 0
Press and hold 0 while turning key to position 2
Continue to hold 0
After 10 seconds a signal sounds and 10000 should display
That's it. I hope this helps some people who want to save money (all this at the dealership would have been well over $500 and I paid less than $200).
This was what I call the "4 year" service for a low-milage car. Any comments are welcome. Cheers!