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  #1  
Old 02-06-2003, 08:39 PM
Jon Hrut's Avatar
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1996 E320 Telephone Antenna

Did a seach on this one already and nothing came up.

What we are dealing with here is a 1996 analog (integrated) phone in an E320 with the antenna located on the left rear panel next to trunk [or for our UK friends, the "boot"].

Prior to activating the phone [which, contrary to some posts I have seen on the boards here CAN be done; at very cheap service rates and these older phones are much more powerful than the newer ones.....more on this at end for anyone with this type of phone who wants to keep it].

I turned the phone on this morning to enter some frequently used numbers and store them in the center unit. The 1996 system has a unit in the center panel (below the radio and covered with the wood grain...it stores frequently used numbers).

When you press the PWR button on the phone, the antenna raises up. After you complete using it, you press PWR and the antenna goes down when the system is shut off.

About 30 secs after shutting the system off, I got a audible tone, and the antenna went back up (the system turned itself on again). I shut it off using the PWR on the handset again. A short time later, I again had the system turn itself on and the antenna came up.

At this point I noticed that I had left the door open to the phone's integrated system that stores the frequently dialed numbers. Perhaps this was just a fluke, but I saw the "Pwr On" on the upper left corner of the center display. So the NEXT TIME I pressed the power off on the handset, I also SHUT THE WOODEN DOOR on the center console.

This time the antenna did not come back up.

I am hypothesizing that there may be a connection involving the door which covers that center panel phone control. However, I will say that the only way to get the antenna to come up at first is to press the PWR button on the Motorola handset. So that would seem to bust that hypothesis.

Any one here have experience with the E320 1996 analog handsets with the integrated system?

This is an intermittentent thing and has only happened once before. After two or three times, the antenna will finally cut off and stow itself when you cut the system off.

95% of the time I have no problems. Like there is a little elf in the antenna [yup, I am Icelandic.....you caught me....although I have never seen an elf or the "little people" as they are referred to in Island]

And for anyone who has an older E320 with an integrated phone system, don't scrap it. I got a great deal with a well known cellular company [3000 anytime minutes for 39.95]. I got the runaround when I tried to activate it, with most people telling me that NO ONE would deal with analog phones. This proved to be b*ll and all they wanted was for me to have them install a new cell system for 1500 to 2100 bucks. Yeah, right.

The fellow who activated my phone and was familiar with the Motorola models, told me that the system I had (analog) was the same system long haul truckers used and carried in a bag. He told me it was a 6 W system as compared to his 0.6 W cell phone. And I have to say that I have never had any cutoffs or poor connections when driving thru country areas, mountain areas or other areas where my cell phone shows no signal. It is a complete hands off system and now that my cell provider is offerring full hands off control using voice commands, I have a truly "hands off, no button press" system [except for when I start the car and press the PWR button on the handset].

Any ideas with the "demon" or "little person" inside the antenna??

- Jon
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77 Mustang 307,000 mi
63 T-Bird [fully restored]
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2003, 09:27 PM
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Howdy. No clue on your antennae, but I swear by my analog phone with Verizon service. $15.00 per month and it has never not worked. My regular, digital phone is great and has crazy minutes, but it does not get service in some remote areas. That old, analog phone has come in handy a number of times. The reliability of it amazes me.
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1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2003, 06:52 AM
LarryBible
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I also drive alot in the country and miss my analog phone greatly. Most people never leave a city where good digital service is available. I live in an area where my digital will not work. I have an analog phone in my '88 that ALWAYS shows a max signal. I used to get calls no matter where I was.

I got my first "car phone" in 1988 and I remember how excited I was as I saw new towers go up. In the mid nineties it reached a point where there was virtually nowhere that I could be and not have service. Now with digital I feel like I'm starting all over again.

I will check into Verizon, since they have service in this area.

Have a great day,
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2003, 08:36 AM
Jon Hrut's Avatar
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1996 E320 Telephone Antenna & 300SEL 6.3

Mike:

That's also the company that activated my phone. I live in Tidewater VA and could not find anyone down here who could or would activate it. On a personal trip up to DC, my father and I went over to Verizon and the manager came out to look at the car. He spent a long time with me and the car getting the system activated (some one had disconnected the antenna cable to the phone system and at first we were getting 0 signal strength). I pulled the carpet shell back and screwed the line back on and the signal strength shot up to MAX. After that, NO PROBLEMS. I have since tightened the cable up to specs.

I sent a special letter to Verizon about how great this employee was and the time he spent working with me to get the phone working. I now have a strange arrangement. I have a car phone with a 703 area code, although I live in the 757 area. However, the way the phone is programmed, when I am in the 757 area and make/receive calls from the 757 area, I get the "no roam" rate. If I am in the 703 area and call/receive a 703 number, I also get the "no roam" rate. It is only when I CROSS area codes that I get hit with a .25 cent per min charge. But I don't use the phone across area codes for more than 10-15 mins per month so no biggie.

My monthly phone bills have been about 40.00 or less per month (there is a discount I get for an association I belong to).

What really irks me is that I was told by several MAJOR CELL companies that there was simply NO WAY for me to activate my phone. As I said in the first email, they all had me bring the car to their stores and then said...."Oh, sorry...we cannot activate it....BUT, hows about putting in a brand new cell phone with antenna?"

I told myself when I bought the car that I was going to fix up the two or three things that needed work and get the integrated phone system up and running. My goal was to get the car back to original condition since the body and paint was near perfect. So far, I have gotten 2 of the 3 items repaired (the last remaining one is simple--the cup holder needs to be replaced on the console in front of the arm rest--I can do that myself after buying the part).

I got a great deal on this car and it has provided me with miles of driving pleasure. It is no longer sheer drugery to make a long drive...I look forward to it. I just hate adding miles to the car, but hey, why buy a car if ya ain't gonna use it??

I am looking into buying a cheaper MBenz so that I don't have to put all mileage on the E320. "Mercedes Enthusiast" (EXCELLENT UK published magazine) had a recent issue on 10 models to consider for under 10,000 GBP. I am looking closely at those. I have sent an alert to my dealer to keep a lookout for a 68 to 71 300 SEL with 6.3 engine.

If you can get the April 2002 of "ME" it has a special on this car. It is AMAZING. Look at these specs:

Engine 6,322 cc V8
250bhp@4000 rpm
369lb/ft@2800 rpm
4 spd automatic
Weight 1740 kg
0-62mph 6.8 sec !!!!
Top Speed: 135 mph

One of the sidebar quotes in the magazine article is a gem:

"The concept was a simple one: Find the biggest engine you can, cram it into a top-of-the-range saloon and stand well back"

I assume that everyone here knows what a 300SEL looks like. Can you imagine sitting next to a 300 at a stop light and then to have the car take off like a rocket? [hey, I don't drive fast, so it is only a fantasy/dream]

According to Mercedes Enthusiast, the car sufferred badly from the oil price shock that hit all of us (who are old enough to remember) in the early 70s. So they only sold about 1900 of them in the US.

You can find these cars, but many of them out there have not been well maintained, so it may be a project. But I am looking and willing to invest to fix one up. Labor of love.

BTW: Does anyone else here subscribe to Mercedes Enthusiast?

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  #5  
Old 02-07-2003, 10:40 AM
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71 300 SEL with 6.3 engine: Very Cool! My independent mechanic services one owned by Frank Purdue. The last time I was in their shop, he was excited to show it to me. I was kind of like, “so” some old, whitish sedan. He told me what is was and what it could do. I would like everything about it except the gas mileage and lack of ABS system. Mr. Purdue has someone drive it to Don Poole in Falls Church, Virginia all the way from the Eastern Shore, Maryland.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2003, 12:24 PM
LarryBible
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Ok guys, you got me fired up, now please give me some help.

After reading this post, I called the local Verizon store trying to get my 3Watt Analog phone turned on. They said they couldn't do it at the store, but to call 1 800 2JOIN IN. I called there and after a long session and talking to three people was told that I have to go to the store.

It is very frustrating to be in the boon docks, which is where I drive the most, and see a max signal strength indication on my In Car phone, while at the same time, I can't make a call on my digital phone.

Can anyone offer any suggestions?

Have a great day,
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2003, 09:24 PM
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Michael:

Is that Mr. Frank Purdue of the chicken fame??

I wonder if he would be interested in selling it to someone who would provide a good home?

Sounds like it is kept in top notch condition. I can't find any info on average gas mileage but the mag reports it has a 105 liter tank which would be a whopping 27.7 US gallon tank by my calcs.

It would have used leaded fuel back then; since that is hard to come by these days, I wonder what it uses now? If it required 91+ octane, at the prices I am paying, a fillup would be $44.00

I'm in the Williamsburg, VA area and work with Tysinger which is an excellent MB dealership. They are keeping a look out for me but I doubt I will find a 6.3 anytime soon. Oh well. I can at least dream.

Mercedes Enthusiast had one listed at a UK dealer and it was in mint condition. I plan to email them to find out what they are asking. Probably an arm and a leg.

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  #8  
Old 02-08-2003, 02:26 AM
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Larry, I'd go to the store of a provider in your area and offer a "conditional gratuity" of sufficient size to motivate the sales person and the technician to hook you up. So the provider can't ever turn you off, I'd make sure to have the terms of the deal clearly spell that out. Make sure you can drop them, but they can't drop you.

Jon, yes and no. I'm told the chicken farmer is not as meek as he looks on TV, drives that car like it's meant to be driven, and is not ready to part with it. Maybe you could give him a call and ask, though. Good luck with your search.
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1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2003, 03:51 PM
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MK
Quote:
So the provider can't ever turn you off, I'd make sure to have the terms of the deal clearly spell that out. Make sure you can drop them, but they can't drop you.
Sounds like there's a story behind this. Were you able to get this language into a contract?
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2003, 08:00 PM
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1999: Verizon was happy to provide terms where, so long as I paid them $14.99 per month, we had a deal (granted, if I use it more than like thirty minutes, the bill starts going up quickly). It took me about half an hour hagling with the sales manager to get her to remember that she had a plan that met my needs. I go for weeks without using that phone, but, when I need it, it's really nice to have. There must be thousands of folks out there with those hard wired, analog phones. I wonder if there is still a plan that can make them useful for what they are: emergency phones.
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2003, 01:10 PM
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Jon Hrut - look a little closer to home

If you're that interested in a 6.3, you should pay attention to your own back yard. There was one for sale here in the Swap Shop Classifieds that the guy practically couldn't give away. Asking price $4800 or ANY offers considered. The car was near Jacksonville, FL. Look here:

Mercedes 6.3 for sale need to sell now, any offers considered


Also you should get a membership to the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. 6.3's regularly show up in the classified section of their publication, "The Star", which is an excellent magazine. Asking prices are usually high there, but it will give you a place to start.
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