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  #1  
Old 07-09-2002, 04:30 PM
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Location: San Diego, Ca
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Talking Weekend Traveling Adventures, Diesels are Good

Let me start by saying I'm really glad to have a diesel...

So my girlfriend and I take off on the 4th for a little road trip in the new to us 83 300SD along with our/her pet rabbit Nutmeg. Cruising to Sacramento from San Diego is no sweat. The AC is awesome and you you'd never know it's like 99 outside up the 5 in the central valley. We get about 22-23mpg which I figure is too bad for 80mph w/ AC running.

We leave on the 5th to San Francisco to see some more family. On the way there, Nutmeg chews off the bandage on his front leg. (he had surgery a weed or so ago) Luckily, the 20 year old first aid kit came to the rescue as we patched him back up with various band aids, gauze, etc.... Looked like it might have never been used until now.

[The meat of the story....]

Things get interesting on the way back from San Francisco. We are on this inland part of 101 about 2 hours north of San Luis Obispo when the radio goes off, AC starts to falter, and gauges start going haywire. I don't know when the alternator actually quit, but at this point the battery was givin' it up. We used what little juice was left to partially roll down the windows and crack open the sun roof. It's WAY HOT outside, like it feels like a blast furnace. Jen is melting ice cubs on Nutmeg so he doesn't croak from the heat.(just spent a TON of money on it at the vet so we really want it to live for a good long time) This is where I was so glad to have a diesel 'cause it at least keeps on running as long as I don't shut it off. (I didn't know if this car had an electric fuel pump but I guess not since it kept on going) Had we been in a normal gas powered vehicle, we'd have been stuck in the middle of super hot nowhere looking for a really long and expensive tow into town.

When we pulled into Pismo Beach I started looking for alternators and found one at a Kragen in Grover Beach. They had some "loaner" tools but unfortunately, they had been terribley pillaged and were missing all the ones I needed. After 4 hours of trying to make do with what they had we threw in the towel and found a place to stay. The next morning a mobile mechanic guy came and fixed it all as best we could given that Kragen didn't have quite the right belts for the alternator. We mixed and matched a good set though. I would like to say a good word for the guys at the Kragen, they did their best to help and when they closed they took the 3 of us to find a motel to stay at. They guy who fixed it, John from Auto Eezzz, only charged me 40$ for all his wrenching and hunting down belts. Since he didn't take credit cards and I was out of cash, he worked with us. Since he did his part sourcing at that Kragen, I bought him a battery he needed for another job. He was a cool guy.

We had talked about staying in Pismo one of these days, just came a little sooner than later.

Frank.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2002, 08:45 PM
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Glad things worked out for you. Even if you had shut her off, you could of just called Mercedes roadside assistance and they would of jump started your car for you. This way you could get closer to home before working on the car. I am assuming you knew you have lifetime (car's) roadside assistance.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2002, 09:36 PM
MVK MVK is offline
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Good ending.
This is one of the reasons why all my cars in past and present, have 2 things in the spare tire well( Besides the tire )

1. An extra complete set of all belts.( I keep my old ones for this purpose)

2. An xtra pair of top and bottom radiator hoses with clamps. And 4 feet of most common size of heater hose with clamps for that model car.

People think I am crazy, but you never know when you would need these. I learned this from my late uncle in India (whose 50 yrs old sons still drive his 1962 Gasoline Fiat with no Major engine or transmission work done on it and that too in rural India with those Nasty roads.)
The upper hose has saved me lots of trouble in my 1985 olds once in past.

Just my thoughts.

MVK
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2002, 01:26 AM
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Location: California
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Whew...
Elripster, you started talking about that rabbit and then you stated "the meat of the story" and I thought this tale(tail) was going to have a tasty ending.
My dad bought me a book a few years back called "Manifold Destiny". It's a little cook-book with recipes on how to cook a full roast on your engine block while on a long trip - you wrap up the food in aluminum foil and place it on a hot spot under the hood. Thought that's were you were going with poor Nutmeg. I've never tried any of the recipes, but aim to one day.
Glad your trip had a happy ending.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2002, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by benchracer
Whew...
Elripster, you started talking about that rabbit and then you stated "the meat of the story" and I thought this tale(tail) was going to have a tasty ending.
My dad bought me a book a few years back called "Manifold Destiny". It's a little cook-book with recipes on how to cook a full roast on your engine block while on a long trip - you wrap up the food in aluminum foil and place it on a hot spot under the hood. Thought that's were you were going with poor Nutmeg. I've never tried any of the recipes, but aim to one day.
Glad your trip had a happy ending.
Ha ha ha! That's funny! When we go 4 wheelin (I have a 4runner too) I make "Manifold Buritos" and they are great especially if it's winter. No, good not so old Nutmeg is doing fine as is the car. I do need to wash it this weekend 'cause it's covered with sap from this tree I parked it under. That should keep me busy for a while scrubbing.

Frank.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2002, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rickjordan
Glad things worked out for you. Even if you had shut her off, you could of just called Mercedes roadside assistance and they would of jump started your car for you. This way you could get closer to home before working on the car. I am assuming you knew you have lifetime (car's) roadside assistance.
I actually never heard of that. I bought the car a few months ago and have never owned a new benz. (though I'd buy my sweetie one when I get out of school) I prolly never will since I really like diesels and they don't import 'em anymore. Can anyone get this? I would definitely look into it since we do take long road trips and that added security would be nice.

Frank.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2002, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MVK
Good ending.
This is one of the reasons why all my cars in past and present, have 2 things in the spare tire well( Besides the tire )

1. An extra complete set of all belts.( I keep my old ones for this purpose)

2. An xtra pair of top and bottom radiator hoses with clamps. And 4 feet of most common size of heater hose with clamps for that model car.

People think I am crazy, but you never know when you would need these. I learned this from my late uncle in India (whose 50 yrs old sons still drive his 1962 Gasoline Fiat with no Major engine or transmission work done on it and that too in rural India with those Nasty roads.)
The upper hose has saved me lots of trouble in my 1985 olds once in past.

Just my thoughts.

MVK
Typically I'm very up on maintenance. I usually replace parts when they are old before they break. This is probably why this is my first break down after trips to Montana's wilderness, northern California, and other destinations in various vehicles. Alternators, however, I guess they just go when they go. I am carrying extra belts now. I'm not sure about the hoses. My 79 300D had original hoses and they were still good when I sold it. I'm not sure now if I should just go and head and change these or let 'em go. They aren't swelling or non-flexible at this point. How long have your hoses lasted?

Frank.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2002, 07:35 PM
MVK MVK is offline
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Hi Frank;
My 85 300DT still has its original hoses. I have a complete record from Previous owner. No hose was ever changed. I however have a new pair in the spare just incase. The bottom hose is looking a bit roughed up so may be I will change both of them one of these days and keep the old ones as spare.

You are right on electrical components like Alternator. They just go when they want to.

MVK
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2002, 09:00 PM
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Location: central Texas
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MVK, now don't go letting these preventative maintenance freaks get you hyped up and cause you to change those hoses earlier than you really have to.... I assume you are going for the record.... And surely you are close to it if in fact you do not already own it...
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2002, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for the heads up Bill. I'll definitely keep that service in mind next time I need it. That would be most helpful if the car goes down when my girlfriend is driving and I'm not around or am otherwise unable to fix it.

Frank.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2002, 04:17 AM
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Danny, I replaced the oil cooler and hoses on my 81 SD ,used oil cooler ,hoses from Fast lane about $40.00 each did not find it all that bad a job but you got to be real carefull when conecting hoses to cooler as fittings are aluminum and would be easy to cross thread and ruin cooler.also good idea to replace the short tranmision hoses with the new spring wound ones cheap and easy, I find parts for MB's quiet a bit less expensive than Volvo, Toyota, Honda ect.thanks to FastLane and a few good salvage yards....
74 240D
81SD
86 500 SE
81 Blazer 2wd 454 hot rod
William Rogers......
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2002, 12:07 PM
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Location: San Diego, Ca
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Quote:
Originally posted by william rogers
Danny, I replaced the oil cooler and hoses on my 81 SD ,used oil cooler ,hoses from Fast lane about $40.00 each did not find it all that bad a job but you got to be real carefull when conecting hoses to cooler as fittings are aluminum and would be easy to cross thread and ruin cooler.also good idea to replace the short tranmision hoses with the new spring wound ones cheap and easy, I find parts for MB's quiet a bit less expensive than Volvo, Toyota, Honda ect.thanks to FastLane and a few good salvage yards....
74 240D
81SD
86 500 SE
81 Blazer 2wd 454 hot rod
William Rogers......
I noticed my tranny cooler hoses have springs around them. I'll take a look at the oil cooler lines too.

Frank.
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