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Old 03-01-2002, 10:47 AM
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Angry 300E air pump issue HELP!

HELP. Here's the rub.
1993 300E (california car), bad mechanic damaged the head while removing, replaced the head with a non-california head, no big deal as I am not in California, however there were no fittings on the head for an air pump.... They blocked the pump off and everything runs fine, passes emissions, however....I have a constant engine warning light. Now the vehicle is in my shop and the costomer really wants the light off so that if there is a problem she will have some warning - and probably just wants the damn thing off. Any help would be great and, yes I did suggest putting the correct head on which she declined to do.

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Old 03-01-2002, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: California
Posts: 327
Isn't it a federal regulation that you cannot remove emissions equipment that came on the car originally? This repair job does not sound like it complies. It would be your responsibility to comply with the law or reimburse your customer for the damage.

I'd suggest making some calls to some federal agencies and find out exactly how to handle this.

04 ML500
02 E430

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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Old 03-01-2002, 07:42 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,580
Send her back to the shop that removed this part of the emission control system. If they balk, have her explain this to the EPA. They'll get inspired after the feds knock on their door.
Mike Murrell
1991 300-SEL - Model 126
M103 - SOHC
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Old 03-01-2002, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 326
To the best of my knowledge ALL US version 93 (M104) 300E had air pumps. I wonder where they got the head from?
The 104 predessor 103 had air pump from 1990-1992.
I would definitely take it back to the hackers that did the first repair. It is illegal to disconnect or disable emmissions equipment.
Scott Diener
89 300E
93 300E
92 Volvo 740 Wagon aka "Mutt mover"
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Old 03-02-2002, 01:03 PM
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Unhappy Wanted tech advice?

I was asking for tech advice, I thought that is what this forum was for. I do not need a lecture on the merits of federal law enforcement and by the way, as long as the vehicle passes emissions it could have a Vespa scooter motor and no one would care. As an example; I have a '78 Targa which was originally a california car complete with air pump, restrictors and 2 cats. I built a 3.2 race motor, full flow non-cat exhaust, ect, etc. It passes emissions and is licenced even though it no longer has the cats or airpump.

It seems that the 190 head was the same head as the 300E and may or may not have had an airpump, this is most likely where the head came from. Now although there is not a fitting for the airpump between the exhaust mainfolds, there is a small freeze plug. One might suggest removing this plug and installing the fitting from Merc, reconnecting the air pump and solving the problem... I suppose it would be more fun to tell the client that I do not want thier money and can't repair the car and since I would have no work as a mechanic, I could play legal eagle with them and run about to the EPA, DOT and BBB all day like a little girl.

Let's face it, this is supposed to be a tech forum, a place where technicians and enthusiasts help one another solve MECHANICAL problems, I appreciate a word of concern or two but not so much as one actual tech response seems petty.
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Old 03-02-2002, 03:08 PM
pmizell's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
Yes, the car will pass emissions, but only when it's warm. The AIR pump only operates while the engine is warming up, to reduce smog in the process.

You could find a solution to resetting the check engine light and tell the client all is well, and let her go on her merry way, but of course, you as a mechanic, are held to a high standard. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't be thinking how to circumvent the law, rather, how to fix the problem the way it was intended to be fixed.

I think your only solution is to tell her to put the original head back on with the AIR pump, or fit the 190 head (which you failed to mention in your original post - hence the flak) while re-fitting the pump or don't fix it at all.

I don't think any reputable and responsible technician or mechanic on this forum would tell you otherwise.

Good luck...


'91 300E, 208k miles
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Old 03-02-2002, 05:40 PM
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Somehow misunderstood?

In my post I wrote "It seems that the 190 head was the same head as the 300E and may or may not have had an airpump, this is most likely where the head came from" and by writing this I intended to make clear that I believe the head which is now on the vehicle, is in fact from a 190. I also mentioned the "freeze plug" blocking the port where an air pump would fit on the 300E. Having said this it seems to me that it would be possible to aquire the air pump pipe (part #116 MB Fische) and simply fit to the head and repair the problem as it was by MB.

I in no way intended to imply that I wanted to "circumvent the law", rather that the law requires that the vehicle passes emissions, which it does, and that the laws requires that professional mechanics no alter emission devices on customers vehicles. Now you are still allowed to do so on your own vehicle, as any owner is and as many do when installing performance exhausts.

My intent is to repair the problem in the most efficient and responsible manner, that said; The problem is that the head on the vehicle had no fitting fo an air pump, as I clearly stated, and that I wished to rectify the situation so that the customer was satisfied and the vehicle was as it was intended to be. All I was asking for was someone familiar with this model to perhaps avail me of their experience and knowelage and tell me how to fit an air pump to the head on the vehicle, which part I needed and how It would be best done in thier opinion based on personal experience. This is why I posted the query on a technical forum rather than the legal or moral forums.

Now that I have made the obvious even more obvious I would like to use this forum as a technical forum with the following query for technicians not lawyers, priests, politicians, carpenters, butchers, bakers or members of the San Diego ladies choir.

The head on the vehicle is, I believe, from a 190. Between the two exhaust manifolds (between the exhaust ports for #3 and #4 cylinders) is a small hole which is plugged by what can best be described as a freeze plug. The proper MB air pump to head pipe fits perfectly with this fitting however there is no threaded hole below it with which to attach the end of the pipe. (on the end of the MB pipe is a flange with a M8 hole just below the pipe itself, through which a 1.25M8 bolt must pass to secure the pipe and gasket to the head). Is it possible to simply drill and tap a hole at this location or do I run the risk of hitting an oil passage? Is anyopne familiar with this area of the head?

Thank you in advance for your technical reply(s).

Christopher Goodwin

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