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  #1  
Old 07-08-2000, 09:51 AM
CJ CJ is offline
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I have been trying to obtain a service manual for my 1991 300D 2.5 for a few weeks now and at the advice of others, I was told to call 800.FOR.MERC and order the factory manual (2 CD's). I just opened my FEDEX package and installed and ran the manual. I am hoping that there is something that I am overlooking, because from what I have seen so far is VERY disappointing. I was expecting a detailed index where I could look up for example, "diesel shut-off valve" or "intake manifold" and see detailed or even basic instructions on how to remove and service move these components properly. From what I have seen so far is nothing on the shut off valve and under the manifold section is the same exploded diagram that the dealer printed for me whn I stopped by there yesterday.
I am seriously hoping that this is just a case of me lacking computer saavy and not an inferior high priced item from MBZ.
If anyone has any pointers that can help me locate what I need in this CD, please let me.
Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 07-08-2000, 10:59 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Farminton Hills, MI
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Sorry CJ. I can only continue to disapoint you. However, I can help shed some light on how shop manuals are written and how content is "picked" to publish in them. Any good shop manual will usually only show what the dealer sees and nothing more (if it's bad it will show less). Here's the reason: the parts are broken up the way they are assembled in the plant, and the way the dealer can order them from the manufacturer. In other words. for example you have a messed up upper trim bolster on an interior door panel. When manufactured, they don't assemble the door trim panel at the plant. they have it shipped in from the supplier as a door trim assembly. Therefore they only need to create a document that shows how to assemble the door trim to the sheet metal door and not how to replace that messed up bolster on your door panel. The info used to create the door trim panel is proprietary to the supplier. The vehicle manufacturer is where the document originates and is then proliferated to the dealer level. Your dealer never needs anymore info than this either because if you bring your messed up bolster to him for work "under warranty" or even want to pay him for repairs, he is going to replace your entire door trim, not just your bolster. As we, the automotive, industy, continue to outsource sub-assembies and entire modules (i.e. cockpit) unfortunately your beloved shop manuals will become less and less useful. Sorry. Paul

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  #3  
Old 07-08-2000, 12:43 PM
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What did 1-800FORMERC charge for the 124 CDs?

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Bill Wood - Webmaster
MercedesShop.com, LLC
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2000, 01:36 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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They charged $119.00
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2000, 01:55 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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I finally found what I was looking for, I hope Mercedes does not get mad that I am giving away technical information. To remove the intake manifold on a 124 2.5 diesel, unbolt manifold. Installation is the reverse of removal. Now gee, I feel that this definately makes my $119.00 feel well spent!!
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2000, 11:29 AM
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I too recently bought the 2 CD's for my 500 SEL and disappointment does not begin to describe the feeling of being short changed I do at the moment ! Many knock the good old fashioned Haynes Manuals but my experience of these old perrenial favourites is that they contain volumes more than the scant information I can find on either of these discs. Anything more than topping up your oil or replacing a sidelight, forget it. I think I will sit back and wait for good old Mr Haynes to write a manual for my car, it should at least last that long !
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2000, 01:29 PM
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And I thought I was the only one having trouble finding things that pertain to my vehicle. Certain procedures end up being for gas engines not my deisel.

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1991 350 SDL
114,000 miles
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2000, 02:57 PM
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I really don't know how to say this nicely, BUT, what do you expect for $119.

Please, give me a break, the ETMs in print are probably double that alone. The climate control manual is probably another 35 the maintenance man another 2etc, etc, etc. Besides they aren't even available.

The manuals were designed for technicians that understand Mercedes group system and know which manuals to use for which systems. They are not an archive of DYI fixes.

I pay $2800 a year for my MB WIS (workshop information system). I pay $1500 for Alldata, $1500 for Bosch and near $2000 for Mitchell on Demand. All yearly subscriptions. I have spent probably $3000 in the last two years in printed material for MB alone.

$119 ain't squat. You've been around to much mass produced software. Limited edition info on equiptment as valuable as were talking is really priceless and a never ending battle.

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  #9  
Old 07-14-2000, 03:19 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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EXCELLENT POINT! I know of specialized software used by clients that is $2000 per month to LEASE - On line verification of current lease status required each time you use the program. If you miss a payment the software doesn't work. Why would anyone pay for this software? If it is useful to you as the end user to the point that it saves you that much expense, or generates that much additional profit, or makes you that much more knowledgable than your competition, then go for it. Is $119 for a lifetime disk worth while? I don't know. But it only ONCE has to save you $120 worth of time, effort, saved expense from avoiding a mis-diagnosis, accident/injury avoided, etc. to pay for itself. Anything after that is all bonus. Just my opinion.

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JCE
87 300E, 65k miles
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[This message has been edited by JCE (edited 07-14-2000).]
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2000, 06:08 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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I certainly respect your points of view, but I have several late model Mustangs and several Porsche 928's, that I do all the work on from the Haynes manual. These manuals are in the $15-$20 range and are more user friendly and contain better information for the DIYer. I took the CD by my friend's MBZ shop and he told me exactly what you have just stated about paying $$$$$$ each year for manuals.
To investigate this further I called Haynes today and asked them why MBZ manuals are no longer produced by them, but I could not a straight answer.
It seems my best best is to just use this post, which so far has saved me thousands of dollars.
Keep up the great work!!!!
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  #11  
Old 07-14-2000, 06:39 PM
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Hopefully you will have time to explore the CD and find the info you need. There is way more info on it than the number of Haynes manuals it would take to cover the cars in this one chassis.

I would wager just about everything you could ever ask is in there. You just have to know where it it. It really is about ten different manuals if you had them all in print. You have to know when a problem would be handled by a engine manual or chassis manual, which group you are concerned with. Send me a fax number and I'll fax you a chart of the MB group system.

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2000, 04:59 PM
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I'm afraid I have to agree that the CD's are not what I had hoped for, but they did seem to be all that was available.

Since they are "factory" manuals, I knew what to expect since I had tried buying factory manuals for my BMW's in the past. My only complaint in this regard is that there are entire systems not included (tranny for example) and in some areas I've found references to manual sections that do not appear on the CD. "Editing" for the aftermarket?

My main complaint is the quality. The manuals were obviously produced by mass scanning the paper manuals. This has resulted in pretty terrible quality in the photographs and diagrams. I've managed IT operations and supported electronic publishing operations for close to 30 years and I know that these could have been done better. Some of the photos in the CD are totally unintelligible.

I have to admit that I'm not too sympathetic with the $'s argument. If I was running a Mercedes repair facility, it would be different, but I'm not. What I'd hoped to get was a manual to help me with some normal repairs (or maybe not so normal, like my door lock linkage problem), but not something that would help me perform functions that a shop should do. I'd used Robert Bentley manuals for my BMW's for years and they are excellent. I called them to see if they had something available for my Benz and they explained the MB would not license them to produce manuals.

I should add that I totally agree with CJ about the worth of this forum. I've gotten a tremendous amount of value from it and can only thank those of you who answer the questions of those of us who have less experience. Hopefully we can add something of value in return some day.

[This message has been edited by Dave Ross (edited 07-15-2000).]
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2000, 06:27 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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Steve Brotherton, my apologies.
I had sometime to kill today and I figured I would look at the entire CD, even the information I could careless about. It turns out that the CD DOES contain a great amount of information, you just have to look in the right places for it. When I bought the CD I wanted step by step instructions on how to take off the manifold. The only thing I came to before was an exploded diagram of all the parts that mount on the intake manifold. Today I came to a section that DID contain the information that I was looking for. I started to print the pages of the manual because I like to read it while I am in my office (aka my bathrooom, LOL!!!). I do have to say now that I have taken a closer look at the CD it is well worth the $119.00.

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  #14  
Old 07-15-2000, 08:03 PM
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CJ, overall, how do you like your '91 2.5 300D? I just talked my friend into purchasing one as it seemed like a heck of a car.
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2000, 10:04 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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I am very happy with the car, I bought it from the owner of a big local dealership, his wifes personal car. It had 165K on it and he could not sell it on his lot and did not want to wholesale it. I had it looked at by an independent MBZ expert and there was little that it needed aside from motor mounts and brakes. In addition the car came with a 3 ring binder to shows the cars entire history. It even includes reciepts for each time the guy filled his tank up. Very cool to have. It runs very well, the compression test show that it is still within 5% of the specs for a new car and it gets about 40 mpg.
I love the car. This car replaced my Lexus LS 400 that had about 28K on it.

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