I read through this post and niticed that the solution turned out to be the first reply! Why did you ignore the advice of someone who has made over 3000 posts and a dedicated M.B. technition? Sorry for the rant, but you should take a look at the credentials of the person making the post before you decide whether they are right or wrong. You would not of wasted the weekend "guessing "what was wrong, instead be driving enjoying your Benz.
'87 300E 430,000 km
"You can fight without ever winning
But never ever win without a fight"