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  #1  
Old 04-09-2001, 10:49 PM
JeremyAllen
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Hello all! What a GREAT site! Just two weeks ago I purchased a 1988 300 CE with 157k miles. Some records were done, but in my opinion, not enough. The car inside and out is simply immaculate with new rims, tires, interior wood and windshield. The car looks and rides like a brand new baby benz! :->

A few issues that I've noticed are listed below. I greatly appreciate in advance any input or direction to existing posts that may exist on these topics.

My father is the service manager for a local Jaguar/Sabb dealer and has some very skilled technicians willing to do work for me, but alas, there are many differences between the Jag and the Benz! One tech, Mark, is a very skilled guy and used to work with Mercedes, but that was a while ago.

Thank you in advance for allowing me to post these questions!

1) Are most 300 E posts for 1988 era cars applicable to my 300 CE?

2) My transmission slips a bit -mostly it runs high in first gear then shifts to second in what feels like a late shift. It's still very smooth and doesn't feel too awkward, but it's not normal.

3) Most importantly, the AC does not blow cool air. Tomorrow I'll get the Freon checked but from there, I will be looking for tips. I've already checked a ton of posts in TECH on the AC topic and gather that AC issues get $$. Hopefully this isn't a large issue.

4) The engine leaks a very small bit. It looks like it is coming from the valve cover. Would replacing the valve cover gasket do the trick or will I need to do what my local MB service advisor suggested was a usual 150k service and go for the 2k 'top engine' job?

5) The drivers' side seatbelt extension arm makes noise but does not extend, so I removed the fuse. This also affects the lumbar. When I put the fuse back in, the lumbar still doesn't work? Any thoughts?

6) Where the drivers' side window and rear window get close to meeting, there is a small 1/2 inch gap where the rubber piping is not there, thus, creating a little window noise. The rubber piping is in otherwise great shape! Any thoughts on repair?

7) The headrest motors seem to work, but only send the headrests up, not down? Is this normal or is something loose inside the seat?

8) Should I take the car to a local MB professional for a good once over and consideration for the 150k service? Will he/she be able to check brakes, suspension, etc?? The car rides beautifully, tracks great and is a dream to handle. However, I'd like to know the details so I can plan on good care and TLC.

9) The passenger outside mirror does not work from the center console control. Related to the pulled fuse for the extending seatbelt unit?

10) I live in Birmingham, Alabama and travel almost 300 miles a week going to Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. Are there any personal MB professionals/friends of yours that would be your referral for me to contact regarding work and service?

To that end, if there is anything I may do to help anyone in Birmingham, I'd be happy to do what it takes!

All the best and THANK YOU for your love, time and skillful knowledge!

Jeremy

1988 300 CE

---Cars of Old----
1997 Jag XJ6
1997 Lexus 450
1996 Maxima GLE
1995 Acura Integra Special Edition
1988 Pontiac Firebird
1978 Ford Fairmont, CLASSIC!
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2001, 11:12 PM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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I would start with the freon level check and add 1 oz of oil and dye to the system.

Start on the oil leak by replacing the valve cover gasket and then monitoring oil consumption. If the consumption is too high, you may be in line for a valve job.

Most "88 posts do cover your car as well.
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2001, 11:47 AM
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Posts: 368

I am not aware of a single fuse for the seat belt extension arms. The best thing to do is to remove the rear seat (bottom and back support). In the top corner of the side panel you should see a small computer box with a 8 or 10pin connector. Unplug it this will disable the ext arm system. You have to do it to both sides. That's the best thing you can do for now and you can put back fuse to power whatever else is fused on it. As far as repairing the system, it gets a little complicated. The problem is very simple two small worn out plastic gears. The big problem is that you can't order it. Mercedes sells it as an assembly (don't ask me why). I had this problem with my car. I searched all over the place for the gears and ended up finding very similar ones in a Panasonic printer. Did a little modifying and it works like a charm for two years now.
The problem with your headrest is inside the seat. You headrest release mechanism broke. Usually breaks when someone tries to pull out the headrest without pressing the hidden button on the rear seat panel (check owners manual). Anyway, you can buy the part from Mercedes and replace it by removing the rear panel of the seat.
For your transmission problem I would check the Bowden cable. It's located under the air filter housing. The proper setting is no tension in idle position. I would also recommend a filter and fluid change.
Your mirror might be fused on the fuse that you pulled out. I'm not too sure.
Yes, most of the 300E post are applicable to your 300CE. 88 was the first year and they shared the same engine (103).

Vinamg

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  #4  
Old 04-10-2001, 03:37 PM
MBenzNL's Avatar
MBenzNL
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1,417
...the seat belt extension arms...look like this:



My 1993 300CE conv. has a computer box under the right side of the back seat that controls these extension arms...

greetingz,
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1990 300SL-24
1993 C250D
with a minor 600+k kilometer
www.MBenzNL.com
(the Netherlands)
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2001, 12:59 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
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Seat belt arms

CAN be repaired by an aluminum gear made by a supplier in CA. They fit all the 124 coupes as well as the large SECs.
My passenger side also chattered and when I removed the side panel, found the gear (plastic) to be stripped. That was when I started my search for replacement parts and found the aluminum ones which are exact fits and better than the MB junk. The gear is about $57 vs. a new complete unit for near $350!

Tobias MB
4 MBs
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2001, 05:25 AM
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Tobias,

Do you have a contact name and number? Was this custom made or do they carry them? Also, do they make or carry both gears? Any modification required?
Just asking incase I ever need it again in the future. You wouldn't believe how long I looked for them (hobby shops, gear manufacturers, etc.) Finally found them by accident in my old Panasonic Laser printer.
I just refused spending money on the whole unit when in reality the original gears (plastic) should cost a few bucks.

Thanks,
Vinamg

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  #7  
Old 04-13-2001, 10:50 PM
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Jeremy: The 300E posts should be useful info for you up to 1990, when the 300CE and new 300SL got the 104 engine dual cam inline 6. On the oil leak, you need to look at he front of the engine at the base of the front of the head, see if there is oil seepage dowm in there. if it is leaking there, you probably need what is referred to as a "lip seal", it is a common 103 engine affliction. The right sealant to use is Loctite 5900, and after reassembling the motor, see if it can be left standing for overnight before starting the engine. On the transmission shift problem, get the engine and trans oil hot and check the fluid level of the trans, that's always a good 1st thing to check. Then make sure the transmission throttle valve cable is connected to the throttle linkage and correctly adjusted. On the headrest motor, try raising the headrest motor up, then push down on the headrest, it may not be connected. I know what vinamg is talking about, but usually if the headrest "transmission" is broke, the headrest won't move at all, you said yours will raise. On the right outside mirror, there are a couple reasons for this, all pretty common sense, but the system should be tested. Most common failure is soda or coffee spilled onto the switch and ruining it. And yes, it might be a good idea to have an MB specialist to inspect the car. I have a friend who has a shop in/around Florence, Alabama. Email me at Gillybenztech@Yahoo.com if you want his email address......Gilly
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2001, 11:44 PM
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What I was talking about on the headrest is the plastic lock for the headrest. If it brakes then the headrest will go up because it is being pushed, but when going down only the system or lock will go down. It is supposed to pull the headrest back. I've changed many of these because people try to remove the headrest without pressing the "hidden" release button on back panel of seat. The part that has to be changed is the track with the small box, which is the lock and release mechanism for the headrest.
The only reason why I know that this is your problem and not the switch is because you said that you have to push the headrest back. Here is a simple test: raise the headrest all the way. Now try to push it back, gently of course. You shouldn't be able to push it back. Now lower it a little with the switch. This time you should be able to push headrest down until it hits the lock release box.
Also, you should be able to pull out headrest without releasing it. Try it out.


Vinamg

[Edited by vinamg on 04-13-2001 at 11:00 PM]
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2001, 12:13 AM
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My experience has been that if the headrest rod with the locking spear on the bottom is not pressed down into the lock, it will act like this. Because it is not locked in, the rod can't be pulled down, but the mechanism will push it up. If the headrest gearbox is bad, typically it won't allow the headrest to move at all. You may be right, Vin. I'm just saying this has been my experience. Certainly pays to check out what I'm saying before buying anything or even taking anything apart. I have "repaired" a few cars this way already......Gilly
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2001, 05:37 AM
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I agree, it will act the same if it isn't engaged all the way. However, I would eliminate switch problem because if the switch goes up and not down then you wouldn't be able to push back headrest since the lock would stay in highest position. Unless you pound on it and strip the gear and rail, but then it wouldn't go up again.
BTW engaging shouldn't take too much force, because it is angled. The headrest is designed to engage easily without putting in highest position and pressing button. My point is, it should have engaged when you were pressing down on headrest. Try putting headrest up a little and then press on it or put in highest position and then press button and try to engage. If it doesn't the lock mechanism is defective.

Vinamg
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2001, 07:33 PM
JeremyAllen
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Seat Belt Extender Gears

Tobias,

Thank you for your suggestion about the new aluminum gear. Would you be so kind as to post that company and phone number?

Thanks in advance!

All the best

Jeremy

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  #12  
Old 04-16-2001, 07:50 PM
JeremyAllen
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300 CE AC Problem

OK! Now we are cookin' (literally)

I've had the AC checked out in detail and here is what I've found.

There was no freon in the system. The compressor would not turn on.

We charged the system with 2.9 lbs and it seemed to hold the charge fairly with no majorly evident leaks. The compressor kicked on and begin cooling only slightly (with a little RPM.)

When we were testing the system with a charge in it, the lines were not really cool to the touch. The low and high pressure readings were: 18-24 low 150 high

Since it wasn't cooling very well, we decided to recover the freon. We got 2.69 lbs back out.

After recovery, we checked the lines and think we see a small leak on the manifold/joined hose. After removing the recovery hoses, we noticed some bubbling from the high side schrader valve stem. There was a little frost noticeable after the discharge on the receiver/dryer. The technician thinks it was just due to discharge, not cooling.

The first thought, and this comes from a technician is who a Jaguar Master tech and used to work as a tech in a Mercedes dealership 10 years ago, is that the receiver/dryer unit may have burst and thus, clogged the lines and continued onward to damage the expansion valve/block. He (Mark) asked me to get confirmation that indeed that is where we should start, based on the information above. He can convert the system, flush, replace the receiver/dryer and expansion valve and then check again. If it works, he could then isolate the leak and correct with new hoses if needed. He also asked me to check about O ring sets? Should he replace those?

I eagerly await your replies, as we will not do any work until we get approval that we are moving in the right direction!

Thanks so much for your help and expert advice!

Jeremy
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2001, 07:53 PM
JeremyAllen
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Leaky Valve Cover Gaskets

It's official!

The valve cover gasket is leaking. When we go ahead with the AC work, we would like to replace the valve cover gasket. Are there any DIY or related posts? Can someone kindly tell me what part number to order? Are there any hidden pitfalls to watch out for?

Thanks and all the best!

Jeremy
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2001, 10:42 PM
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I'm not too sure that changing those parts will fix your AC problem. You might have a problem with your compressor. Whatever you decide to change it is mandatory to use new o-rings. Expansion valve is next to brake booster. It requires 4 o-rings. You'll need a 10mm and 3mm allen. I usually take out top drain and some vacuum lines for easier access. You'll need four more o-rings for rec/drier 2 for lines and 2 for high and low press sensors.
Capacity of freon on these cars is 2.2 some 2.4lbs. There should be a red lablel next to radiator.
Valve cover gasket is a pretty easy DIY job. Just watch out not to pinch anything around (wires) and don't over tighten. You can damage thread or snap the bolts. Also, watch out for alignment of cover.

Vinamg
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2001, 10:56 PM
JeremyAllen
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300 CE AC Problems

Vinamg,

Thanks for the information! Where would you start on the AC problem? If you think it may be the compressor, how would we check that? It runs when there is a charge in it. Are you saying that it could run, yet still have a problem? If so, how would we test the compressor?

Thanks

Jeremy
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