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  #1  
Old 10-30-2018, 09:40 AM
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This is getting expensive

As the title says.......

After finding a bad power steering pump over the weekend I decided to look at replacing the brakes while the car is off the road waiting for the new pump and belts.

After digging into the brakes, I found two calipers leaking fairly decently, one sticking caliper, and one with the piston partially cocked in the bore. These look like the original calipers, so I an biting the bullet and replacing all four along with the rubber brake hoses and parking brake shoes.

So, what started out as a simple oil change and tire rotation has turned into a SPENDY, but needed maintenance evolution.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2018, 10:30 AM
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Yup, nothing like good old mission creep when you work on these older cars. I feel for ya!

Going all the way is the best method of dealing with an old braking system. It's the old "weakest link" syndrome if you try to half-arse it otherwise.

If you don't already do it, a yearly flush of the brake fluid is a good preventative measure.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2018, 11:05 AM
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Truth is, you love it. Otherwise you'd drive a Camry.
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2018, 11:43 AM
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Kitting the calipers can save some dollars. Especially in Canada. Remans are not too expensive in the states fortunately.

Though really in the overall picture. Compared to the the cost of owning some cars this is small potatoes. Remember to do the brake hoses if you think they are due as well. Almost anything you can do at home is almost pennies on the dollar versus dealing with problems on the road while away from home.

I find it easy to spend other peoples money as well. I think the wife taught me that one.

Actually it also is good for the mind to know you have reconditioned a very old brake system under you as well. .

I am currently waiting for a piston retractor for the rear calipers to arrive in the mail. They caliper pistons have to be rotated as they are compressed on my Volkswagon.

Unfortunatly the tool I need is not all that common. Most piston retraction kits do not have the right tool for Volkswagon. If I order in the single adapter that fits the volkswagon brake pistons. It is about the same price as the 22 piece set on Amazon for a little over 20.00 American delivered.

There are not many deals out there today. Still if one thinks they will be doing rear brakes on more modern cars. This kit with the good reviews is far better than the average loaner kits. I also do not expect thatcurrent price to hold. Works out to about a dollar a piece if you include the good plastic storage container.

Also remember some cars now have to electronically have their computors set into service mode before doing brake work. Started with some brands in 2008.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2018, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
Also remember some cars now have to electronically have their computors set into service mode before doing brake work. Started with some brands in 2008.
I think that’s true for MB models with SBC as early as 2003.

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  #6  
Old 10-30-2018, 03:18 PM
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Sad evolution of braking systems. At least people should check if it is required before doing brakes on their newer cars. Not so new either with the correction posted.

Brake work is a large component of car service today. Unfortunatly the commercial shops are really overcharging to pay their bills. Doing it yourself enables lower costs for the parts usually as well. For the same quality of parts.

Everyone has to make a living. I have no issue with that. At the same time some garage bills seem to go well beyond that.

Fortunately there are plenty of videos on how to do them properly yourself. It is not rocket science. At the same time not all the detail items are intuitive.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2018, 08:36 PM
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Midas and Meineke have made FORTUNES doing brake and exhaust work. The way the morning morons drive, launching like jack rabbits off the green light then traveling 10 - 20 MPH over the posted speed limit to the next red light then CRAMMING ON THE BINDERS the last 50 feet leading up the red traffic light, it is no wonder.

Brakes and Transmission work, that is where the MONEY IS AT!!!
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2018, 11:40 PM
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If your brakes work O.K. now, it's time to buy a nice pressure bleeder and flush the system out then repeat every two year or every time the brake fluid in the resivoir turns black .

Doing this will most often negate _ever_ needing to replace the calipers .
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2018, 07:33 AM
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Expensive? ha! You're just getting started


A sorted pre 95 MB is a wealthy mans car. Have you tried inspecting the caliper bores and pistons to see if they are truly finished?
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2018, 10:02 AM
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Yep, the bores look pretty worn, and two of them have some scratching and pitting.
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2018, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry12345 View Post
Sad evolution of braking systems. At least people should check if it is required before doing brakes on their newer cars. Not so new either with the correction posted.

Brake work is a large component of car service today. Unfortunatly the commercial shops are really overcharging to pay their bills. Doing it yourself enables lower costs for the parts usually as well. For the same quality of parts.

Everyone has to make a living. I have no issue with that. At the same time some garage bills seem to go well beyond that.

Fortunately there are plenty of videos on how to do them properly yourself. It is not rocket science. At the same time not all the detail items are intuitive.

I agree.
I talk to many MB mechanics wearing coveralls when I go into dealerships for parts that I install.


That's when I found out that one local dealer charges $265/hour for work.


Some stuff is overdone. A guy I know went into a dealership to get the AC checked since the cooling power was a little low. This was on a 1980 240D. It cost him $3800!


That's more than the car's worth. I would have told them that they did work not required and requested. They supposedly replaced the AC compressor but it didn't look replaced when I saw it a week later.


The guy took it to the state's Bureau of Automotive Regulation.


We'll see what happens.
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2018, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strelnik View Post
I agree.
I talk to many MB mechanics wearing coveralls when I go into dealerships for parts that I install.


That's when I found out that one local dealer charges $265/hour for work.


Some stuff is overdone. A guy I know went into a dealership to get the AC checked since the cooling power was a little low. This was on a 1980 240D. It cost him $3800!


That's more than the car's worth. I would have told them that they did work not required and requested. They supposedly replaced the AC compressor but it didn't look replaced when I saw it a week later.


The guy took it to the state's Bureau of Automotive Regulation.


We'll see what happens.
Your freind took a 1980 240D to a dealer for A/C work and they didnt refuse? Thats quite a hard pill to swallow. They shoo away W210 owners now, I cannot imagine them agreeing to wrench on a W123 chassis.

The price of repair of brakes would be similar to any other car I believe, If you think this is spendy - try pricing out good brake replacements for a toyota/lexus. As mentioned above this can be averted if you keep on top of brake fluid flushes.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2018, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vwnate1 View Post
If your brakes work O.K. now, it's time to buy a nice pressure bleeder and flush the system out then repeat every two year or every time the brake fluid in the resivoir turns black .

Doing this will most often negate _ever_ needing to replace the calipers .


Most including myself just do not attend to changing the brake fluid often enough. As things increase in cost this is not the brightest approach to keeping the costs of repairs needed lower. Down the road.

Unfortunatly Mercedes calipers have tended to be expensive in Canada versus the United States. Shipping costs have also risen to the point that importing them makes them expensive as well.

Bleeder screws are rough to deal with up here in the eastern Canadian rustbelt. I developed a habit of putting a dab of grease on them. Sliding a snug fitting small length of hose over them and adding another dab of grease. Usually with fuel line rubber hose.

As long as the caliper body is cast steel. We have systems using heat to get them loose most of the time if needed.

The aluminum calipers are in vogue today. I understand that less un sprung weight is better. At the same time the bleeder screw issues will be worse especially as they age here. Aluminium being softer will possibly make cores for rebuilding subject to rejection more often for re kitting. I have heard but not verified some calipers for GM trucks are in the 500.00 range for a rebuilt unit up here.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2018, 01:22 PM
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Regardless of indy or dealership always always ask for a written estimate for repair charges before agreeing to the work. Normally there is a minimal diagnostic fee charged for initial diagnosis.

After diagnosis, the service writer then writes up a written estimate. If your man didn't ask for both a diagnosis and a written estimate BEFORE GIVING THE OK TO PERFORM THE WORK, he's got a problem going forward......
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2018, 01:23 PM
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There is a reason it is known as the 'stealership'.
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