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  #16  
Old 07-25-2002, 01:45 AM
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MB did try to make good on this problem. This was a voluntary recall issued by MB. The dealer, sure they made whatever MB decided they would pay the dealer to do the inspection and repair of the problem, and MB paid for it. I don't see how the owner was a loser in any of this. I agree if they are as good as they (MB) says, this never would have happened, but I feel MB did the honorable thing with this recall.
My main point was I feel it was extremely generous of MB to still honor this recall 15 years after the letters were sent out. If the owner (or perhaps more appropriately the owner at the time, as I don't think this was the original owner) would have acted in a timely manner 15 years ago, I doubt the failure would have occured. All I was stating is that it semed "more than fair" (ie. "generous" without using midwestern slang) for MB to give the guy a new subframe. It's more generous, given the circumstances, than I would be if it were up to me. What other car company is going to honor a recall on a 24 year old car (it was a 1977, and this was last year, 2001) that was issued 15+ years ago (1984)? Not many, my friend.
Gilly
ps Just to clarify, MB DID pick up the tab, and was still doing so last year on the 1977 I mentioned, MB payed the warranty claim on it.
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  #17  
Old 07-25-2002, 08:44 AM
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My .02cents on the fairness of it all...

Suppose rather than me checking on it -mainly because I read about it on this forum (thanks)-it was the attorney for my estate calling, because I had been killed because of a failure at high speed. Or worse, my wife and/or kids.

You know, if a non-ciritical part fails after all this time-that's just maintainence-buyer pays. But if it involves a part directly linked to the safety of the vehicle and other motorists, a known high-fialure item, in my opinion, the manufacturer pays and probably should be glad they dodged the first bullet. I guess you could make a case that there should be a statute of limitations somewhere otherwise I'm sures the Model T's has some problems but in todays litigious world, it's a small price to pay for my safety.

These are rough numbers:


Subframe $595 retail
$430 wholesale
$+/- $250 oem to dealer.

9hours labor? RBM get $85 hour
$100 misc-bolts, washers, arm kits etc,
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2002, 09:11 AM
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I have seen and fixed many of these cracks. From experience, I wouldn't consider it a safety issue.

Those will say that any amount of lead in their water is bad and by such standards the word safety has to be attached to any problem with suspensions BUT, in all the cases where total failure occured (the crack servering and the control arm folding) it happened at low speeds. This is NOT an accident. The loading of the affected area is probably tens of times higher during slow speed turning than at high speeds. The only exception to this might be potholes at high speed.

The part always breaks in a parking lot.
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  #19  
Old 07-25-2002, 10:37 AM
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Steve,

Thanks for shedding some light on something that has been bugging me for years. I have also observed that total failure of the subframe, or the bolts being fired out of the steering boxes on earlier models always occured at low speeds. I am also a Fiat 124 spider fan which has the same sort of subframe failure. After the second new subframe failed on one of my spiders I welded in the gussets like MB. I never had another failure. By the way the failures occured at low speeds during braking. I'm still concerned about a situation where severe damage is done in a parking lot only to be finished off on the highway. I suppose that other than food for a healthy discussion, it's a moot point,since these subframes should have all been fixed by now.

Peter
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2002, 02:19 PM
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To Steve in FL.

I am trying not to be too hardheaded about this, although I will be very stubborn with the dealer.

Since you have experience with this, is it possible to have it welded so that it is not a danger to drive. The mechanic says it is defective in two places but if I could simply have it welded properly for a reasonable amount, I'm OK with that.

Your low speed history is somewhat re-assuring.

Thanks.

J. Boggs
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  #21  
Old 07-25-2002, 05:46 PM
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Weld it and go JB and you should be fine.
I would suggest cleaning it up and putting some protective coating on it upon completion of the weld. Find a weld shop with a lift and show them what you need repaired. Tell them you want it tig welded.
good luck
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  #22  
Old 07-25-2002, 08:03 PM
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What's JB?

Tell you what, I'll bring the family down to the warplane museum (my kids love that place), you hook me up with a welder in WR.
That way if it gives way on the drive down, we all die together.
Thanks.

J. Boggs.
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2002, 08:22 PM
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Let me know when you want to come down and we can schedule something. The welder that I would have you take it to is in Lizella. Good tig welder but you will have to bring your ramps. If you don't want to drive it down you could take it to a good body shop. A good body shop will have a welder that can tig.
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  #24  
Old 07-26-2002, 12:12 AM
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j,
I said I'd do some checking. I got hung up on jury duty and actually got on the panel of a bank robbery case,but the DA didn't like me for some reason, and said"the people would like to thank and excuse Mr. Zoldos". I'll check tomorrow with some friends I have in low places. I'll send you some info then.

Peter
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  #25  
Old 07-26-2002, 12:32 PM
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Stopped the presses, MB capitulated.

Just got a call, covering all part and labor. I will have to pay for the new motor mounts. Adjusted down to $210 total. New alignment of $100.

Pretty decent deal all told.

Thanks for the help and support.

J. Boggs
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  #26  
Old 07-26-2002, 12:55 PM
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J.

Congrads. I guess I don't have to make any calls,because you couldn't ask for a better deal

Peter
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  #27  
Old 07-26-2002, 01:05 PM
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Way to go JB
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  #28  
Old 09-20-2002, 03:51 PM
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Have just received info from MB Classics that my 78 450sl (126k)still has an open claim on the sub-frame and will be repaired under warranty. After reading through several posts, I am still a little unclear as to what exactly will be repaired?

In addition, are there other things I should consider having the dealership look at or replace while the car is there and is being repaired? Someone suggested motor mounts, another suggested new bushings, etc. My goal would be to take of items prone to wear (rubber) over the 24 year period as preventative maintenance, while not going crazy spending $ foolishly.

Any suggestions or insight would be appreciated.

Brian
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2002, 05:15 PM
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While they are at it...

The subframe is that big piece that goes across the bottom that basically holds the wheels to the bottom of the car. Major surgery. Good while you are at it's are subframe mounts, and motor mounts. Maybe lower arms.

Glad they are taking care of it.

J. Boggs
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  #30  
Old 09-20-2002, 11:29 PM
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Brian:
First they need to inspect where the lower control arms attach to the front subframe. If NO cracks are found, they will need to MIG weld in some support gussets, that's all.
IF cracks are found, then they will contact your zone office and they will authorize replacement of the subframe assembly.
A good idea at that point is to have the suspension components inspected for wear or dry-rot and have the suspension all renewed as neccesary. Anything beyond the labor to actually replace the subframe technically is at your expense. I did this once and replace the lower control arms. Since they needed to be removed and put back on the new subframe anyways, there was no additional labor charge, just the extra parts the owner had to pay for.

I really couldn't believe the whole thing. It was a 77 with over 100,000 miles on it, with a recall that should have been done in 1985, and yet MB was still honoring the recall!

Gilly
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