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  #1  
Old 04-08-2002, 11:25 AM
JHZR2's Avatar
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the 2000 mile trip...

Hi,

Just returned from a long trip (DE-FL and back) for spring break. Put over 2000 Miles on my 300D in a week. It was a great ride, very comfortable, good to drive at 70-75mph, and even the cruise worked. I weighed it in at a truckstop with 4 guys and all our stufdf, and it came to 4625 lbs! Even at that weight, I recorded high MPG, from about 27-33, with the average right on ~30, which I was quite happy about. Just a few things that I am concerned with now, and would appreciate info on:

-The dummy pedal got cracked. I must have shifted my weight on it and it gave in and cracked. It is still OK for the purpose of a dummy pedal, but the cracks rub on each other, and the pedal is then no longer a flat surface. I think I would liek to replace it. Has anyone done this, and could you say how much time/effort is involved?

-the automatic climate control started acting up. It was odd in that at the low fan speed, all is well, and at the high fan speed it is loud from the blower, but doesnt make any odd noises. However, when set to automatic, the system makes a very odd squeaking noise. It makes this regardless of what vents I am blowing out of, and it is quite annoying. Anyone have this problem and solve it? I have no idea what it is from.

-Having driven from Cocoa Beach FL to Orlando, I realized that my AC doesnt work very well. It cant cool down the car efficiently at all, and so I need to get a refill. However, the car uses R-12 Freon, Im sure, not the newer stuff. Is it possible to get freon recharged in the USA? Is it quite expensive? Should I look into doing an R-134a retrofit?

-The shocks on the rear are bad. I knew that from before, and that trip, with the carhighly loaded made the car sag a bit and I can now really feel that they are bad. Is the rear shock replacement on this car something really complex that it is best to take it to the dealer, or can I save money by going to a shocks place to get it done and feel safe that teh job they are doing on my 300D wil be a good one?

Thanks very much for the help.

JMH
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2002, 01:06 PM
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Can't help you with the first four questions, but it is really easy to replace the rear shocks. You could probably do it yourself and save a lot of money on labor. But, if you do insist on taking it to a shock place, bring your own or insist on Bilsteins, and take out the rear seat ahead of time. To do the rear shocks you need to remove the rear bench and seat back so you might as well do it yourself (which is easy) to save money and reduce the things they could do wrong.

Alex
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1983 300D (parked for four years)
2012 VW Sportwagen TDI Manual
2001 Miata SE
1962 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside
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Old 04-08-2002, 02:10 PM
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Okay, I give up...what's a dummy pedal?

Comment on shocks. Unless you get overload shocks (shocks with helper springs), new ones won't help the sag problem. Shocks reduce bounce or absorb shocks - they don't reduce sag - thats the spring's job.

Can't help with the climate control - my 240D has manual A/C controls - I think I like the simplisticity better after hearing all of the problems with the auto climate control.
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Old 04-08-2002, 05:19 PM
Randall Kress
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JHZR2, you from Newark?

Couldn't help but notice Newark DE... I used to live there, went to the University of DE... JHZR2, you wouldn't happen to go there would you? I'm there a lot, I too had my 300D on campus, quite a campus car... Would love to know what car you have, I thought I knew all the 300Ds in Newark... Your wouldn't happen to be blue or ivory would it? Just curious.
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Old 04-08-2002, 06:02 PM
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frankly,
The dummy pedal is the plastic pedal to the left of the brake pedal. It is forward of the foot emergency brake. Also, I think changing your gas shocks will increase the height a bit. Why I'm not sure, but when I replaced my rear shocks a few months ago, the rear was noticeably higher. I think the height equilibrium point changes with new shocks. You're probably right though, new springs would make the most dramatic difference in ride height.

Alex
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2012 VW Sportwagen TDI Manual
2001 Miata SE
1962 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2002, 09:26 PM
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JHZR2 and DieselHead,

The gas pressurized shocks have a chamber of gas (Nitrogen, I believe) under pressure that is separated from the oil by a floating piston. The gas pressure pocket serves two purposes, the first is to keep the oil in the shock that has to travel through some small holes to damp out motion of the spring/mass system under enough pressure so that it does not cavitate and become a mixture of gass bubbles and oil. Once the oil becomes a mixture of gasses (that werer in solution when the oil was cold, and that are now out of solution) and oil, its performance in the shock deteriorates rapidly. The pressurized gas chamber also adds some spring force to the system, and this is taken into account in the suspension design. Once the gas leaks out the steel coil springs see more load and the rear sags. If you do not replace the shocks, over time the steel coil springs begin to operate at a more compressed standard length, and they can be damaged so they do not return to their original installed length even with new shocks.

This is definitely a do-it-yourself type job. The rear shocks come in a compressed condition with a kind of tie wrap holding them that way. Don't undo the tie wrap until the shock is in positon as it is not a trivial force and it is not feasible to feed the shock into positon with the shock fully extended. The ones you take out will be readily compressible by hand.

I have had a few problems getting the fasteners off the bottom of the shock in the past. I would recommend that you soak them in a liquid wrench or WD-40 penetrant type oil overnight to make them easier to get out. Overall, the job is not much more complex than removing two 17mm nuts at the top of the shock, and the two fasteners at the bottom, then removing the the old shock. Installation is nearly the reverse, except you get all new rubber parts and hardware with a new set of Bilsteins. So you install some of the new rubber parts and steel parts before you put the new shock in. The rest go in after the shock is in the car.

By the way, what year is your car? I have done this quite a few times on W115 and W123 cars, but not on a W124. I do not know if Mercedes made the W124 car a whole lot different, as the suspension is the multi-link design, not the trailing arm set up of the cars I have worked on. In any case, good luck and I hope this helps. Jim
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Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2002, 10:49 PM
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Randall

Hi,

Yes, as a matter of fact I do go to UD. Im a senior Chemical engineering major. I drive a silver 1983 300D. You most likely havent seen it, as I usually drive a green Chevy S10 ZR2, and only have had my 300D down becasue of high fuel prices and becasue I drove it down to FL for spring training with the crew team. It is a great campus car, except for the hood star -- Had it parked in lot 19, and someone, probably a drunk coming out of the ground floor ripped it off...
Yes, there are a lot of 240D/300Ds around Newark, I was kind of suprised. I cant say Ive seen an ivory one, but I have seen a gold and dark blue one. And its neat to meet another owner on this forum who comes around Newark and has one...
See you around

JMH
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2002, 11:54 AM
Randall Kress
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Lot 19!

ah, there are some memories... Never had a problem with lot 19 believe it or not. I was pretty lucky during my stint at UD. You know, one of the Chemical Engineering professors has a 300D, in dark blue I'm pretty sure. The 300 is not a bad car to cruise Main Street with... The noise is enought to scare the Civics away... lol. Hopefully I will see you around. Mine is Anthricite Grey.
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