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  #1  
Old 09-07-2006, 09:31 PM
ehm ehm is offline
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95 e320 wiring harness conundrum

Help! I have a 95 e320 sedan and was advised by my mechanic that I needed a new wiring harness, which I understand is not uncommon. I bought the part from *************** and they have been very professional, asking for the last of the VIN no. to confirm a match, (which is C195716), and they sent me the part, the part number is 1244405632. My mechanic indicates it is not the right part, that it lacks two of the leads. From all indications that is the right part number, which leaves me clueless about what to do. Can anyone confirm that it is the right part number for my car? If it is, I can only conclude 2 possibilities: the part I have was mislabeled by Mercedes, or my mechanic is just plain wrong. As he charged me for a couple of hours to put it on and take it back off, I am in a rather sour spot. Many thanks for any thoughts or suggestions....

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  #2  
Old 09-07-2006, 10:06 PM
Sportlines
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
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You tried to save money by purchasing the part yourself. If you had let him buy the part and make a little money on markup, then he would be obliged to only charge you once for labor.

Now you may have to pay him for double labor since it's not his fault.

Steve
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  #3  
Old 09-07-2006, 10:09 PM
Ron in SC's Avatar
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Call Tim in Mercedes parts in the link below. Give him your vin number and he will be able to give you the correct part number. Sometimes it's a good idea to get a part like that at the dealer since if they give you the wrong part they will return it with no problems, so long as when you ordered it you also gave them your vin. Also the chances of getting the right part the first go round are improved, at least at Duval Motorcars.

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=213951&catalogid=0
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2006, 11:38 PM
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Location: Phoenix
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There is an early and a late harness, they are not interchangeable, and apparently it is not a clean VIN split. But you are sitting on the answer - if the old harness has come out just check the part number. Any MB parts counter will be able to give the updated number - which should vary only in the last two digits.
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2006, 12:28 AM
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to softconsult steve: your post is of absolutely no help. nobody posts here to get spanked by you or taught a lesson. you have nothing helpful to offer!

to Ron:I went to my local benz dealer for the harness. the vin was of no help. they would only go by the part number off the old harness. however, you are correct that if they give you a wrong harness they will swap it for the correct one without further charge.

to deanyel: the part number off the old part is good...if you can get it. my old harness had the part number printed on a white shiny plastic tape strip wrapped around the lead wire. it was dirty so I tried to clean it, the numbers got totally smudged and wiped off. there is no other visible place on the harness showing the part number. it may be located in alternate places but you can't see that without removing the harness. not a good idea since replacing the harness is must easier if you lay the new one over the old one are swap plug by plug. pulling out the entire old harness leaves you with 24 or 26 plugs to guess at where they go.

If you got the wrong harness (you are stuck with it) there is only one other alternative harness that could work. by elimination they should know what the correct one is. talk to them, they should work with you. another sure way to check is meticulously trace the existing harness in your car and count how many plugs come off it. the count should either be 24 or 26. that count will definitely tell them which harness you have. as for your mechanic, it should take about 1 to 1.5 hours to swap harness. at worst it will cost you a couple hours of his labor. you don't mention why your mechanic said the wiring harness had to be changed. was there a check engine light that came on or is your mechanic noticing crumbling wire insulation.

Last edited by whunter; 09-09-2007 at 09:09 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2006, 07:42 AM
Sportlines
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
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I'm guessing Tan Man and EHM are the same poster.

Relax.

My post was not ever intended to help you. It was a comment to others using your situation as an example. I believe there are situations where it is smart to pay a shop to handle the whole repair, part + labor.

I am not alone in this opinion. Finally, I can't recall any MB shops I have used that would allow me to provide the parts. A large part of their gross margin depends on parts markup. Why would they do that?

Steve
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2006, 08:00 AM
Sportlines
 
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Sorry, Tan Man and EHM are not the same. Should have been obvious.

No caps at the beginning of sentences makes reading very difficult.

Perhaps something to think about.

Steve
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2006, 09:26 AM
ehm ehm is offline
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Thanks to all for the responses; this is my first post on here and I do appreciate the help.

Steve: I do not disagree (now) about getting the part from the mechanic; I wouldn't be in this position had I done that. I was just so sticker-shocked that a daggone wiring harness was almost $1100 that I was determined to save a little; it backfired.

Tan Man: You mention the 24 and 26 wire harnesses; the mechanic said he took the old harness off, wire by wire, replaced it with the wires of the new harness, and came up 2 wires short. It would seem very likely that I got the 24 wire harness and needed the 26? I will try to sort through that with the supplier. Also, you asked why it was being replaced. It was crumbling in places and I was getting occasional bad misfires that we could not attribute to anything else.
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  #9  
Old 09-08-2006, 10:28 AM
Sportlines
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
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I think all of us with cars in the year range for the wiring harness issue, live in fear. $1,100 , Yikes! My '92 300E so far is Ok. Knock on wood.

I just got a '97 S320. Based on this list, I think I am just beyond the point that MB changed to proper wiring, but I am not totally certain. The new indy that I have visited, but not yet used, told me a story of a customer with the identical car having the harness problem and frying several computers. Big bucks, but customer had the car repaired.

I hope you get it resolved correctly. Pretty astounding that MB refuses to acknowledge this obvious defect. Also makes you wonder how it can take
from what '92 to '97 to move away from the dis-integrating type of wire.

I can also attest to the variability of Dealer Parts Counter knowledge. I don't buy there often, but sometimes am faced with the blank stare thing. The doesn't know and doesn't know how to find the correct answer.

Steve
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  #10  
Old 09-08-2006, 10:32 AM
Sportlines
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
You know these wiring harnesses are simply wire looms with connectors.

Is your guy saying that it is missing two connectors? Seems like he should have taken the old one out and then compared the new one to the old one, counting connectors, before spending the time to put the new one in.

This would be a good I idea for the next new harness.

Steve
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  #11  
Old 09-08-2006, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softconsult View Post
I'm guessing Tan Man and EHM are the same poster.

Relax.

My post was not ever intended to help you. It was a comment to others using your situation as an example. I believe there are situations where it is smart to pay a shop to handle the whole repair, part + labor.

I am not alone in this opinion. Finally, I can't recall any MB shops I have used that would allow me to provide the parts. A large part of their gross margin depends on parts markup. Why would they do that?

Steve
Steve,
I like all your observations. You are a very asstute individual, and someone I would enjoy having as a client. You look at things from all perspectives. As you stated I never let a client bring in parts for 3 reasons. First as you say repair facility labor rates are based on expected parts profit or the rates would be higher. Secondly is the situation here. Who pays for second time. Thirdly if the owner supplies the wrong part, you're hoist is tied up for three days til he can get the right part after work one evening. If I get the wrong part, I can have another delivered in a matter of hours.

I like your observation about matching parts. A good professional mechanic matches parts before starting work and never throws old parts away until the job is completed. You never know if you will need a clip or something off the old part or need to look at wear marks or something.
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2006, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softconsult View Post
You know these wiring harnesses are simply wire looms with connectors.

Is your guy saying that it is missing two connectors? Seems like he should have taken the old one out and then compared the new one to the old one, counting connectors, before spending the time to put the new one in.

This would be a good I idea for the next new harness.

Steve
I agree.
Anyone who does these harnesses on a reg basis knows that there was a mid-year change on the ECT sensors and the looms are different . They would also know that ASR looms are different.
That is why the part# from the original is always checked before hand.

Last edited by Arthur Dalton; 09-08-2006 at 11:55 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-08-2006, 11:52 AM
Sportlines
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
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Thanks AutoZen.

I sometimes get some flak for the sort of contrarian nature of my comments.
People often react from a very narrow point of view. This thread is a good example.

The guy who came back with comments to previous posters is only thinking about the specific problem. I tend to view threads as topics for discussion.
One of the reasons, in my case, is that I am not a professional mechanic. I can only offer up my view of how to approach the problem in general. I really value and enjoy the responses from people in the business who actually see these problems in real life.

I do problem solving for a living. Consulting with clients in my industry about how to run improve operational efficiency. Of course, when the inter-action is live two way communication it's easier to help them through problem identification and suggest solutions. These forums are largely one way with long delays. They are also, by definition, have members from a wide variety of backgrounds, educational levels, and occupations. That makes for some contention, frustration, and hopefully some reflection.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 09-08-2006, 12:02 PM
I told you so!
 
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Location: Motor City, MI
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Ehm, I too was initially sent the wrong part number (124 440 56 32) by Phil when I replaced my engine wiring harness. The correct number for my car is (124 440 29 33), which is more expensive. My VIN ends in C230097. Phil made the comment that mine was a late 95 production model. Double check by looking for the original part number on a tag located roughly 1-2 feet from the bulkhead connector.
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  #15  
Old 09-08-2006, 12:05 PM
david s poole
 
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parts-customer supplied or not

steve,autozen, agree with you both completely.when a customer comes in the door part in hand and asks to have it fitted to all intents and purposes he has made his own diagnosis which if it doesn't work guess who gets the blame?i usually ask those people how they fared when they carried their own steak into a restaurant and requested cooking service.

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