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Old 08-28-2002, 10:22 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 22
My 260e is Running Great!

Every morning I read of all the problems folks are having with their Benz's. I thought I'd post a possitive...

I did a carfax on my '89 260e a couple weeks ago and learned that a past owner had the odometer "refurbished". Looks like my 173,000 miles is more like 260,000 miles. That upset me, but I looked at the big picture and realized...

My car runs great!

Sure I need a quart of oil every 700 miles. My cruise control doesn't work. The power antenna sticks when it's less than 75F outside. The SRS light comes on and off at will. But my "quarter-million mile" 124 gets me to and from work just fine.

I will need new tires and shocks/struts this upcoming spring. The paint has lost its luster. I think the engine timing is off a bit, because it has to crank a while before it starts. But, again, the moon is only 250,000 miles away. That's less than the miles on my car by a few trips between Cleveland and SanFrancisco. And NASA didn't even have bullet-proof MB-TEX seats on the Apollo craft.

So to all of you who are doubting the longevity of your cars as you chase the little (and not-so-little) problems of valve seals, nippondenso compressors and cruise-control actuators - I say keep up the good fight and keep in mind all the things that still work just fine.
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 1,209
This is wonderful. But it is bad karma to boast of how great your car is running. Now something is going to break.

1989 260E -- just crossed 170,000 miles :p
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:30 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 22
That's ok. It's been a month since I last had a wrench on it. It's about time I burn a weekend or two on something.

Oh-wait. I rotated the tires and changed the oil last weekend. But general maintenance doesn't count.
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:35 PM
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Location: Fairfax, VA
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I'm just teasing about the bad karma. That car is a workhorse. I look forward to making my minor repairs every few months or so.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:21 PM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785

The SRS light may be a dirty sensor i.e. seat belt. You can change the antenna mast ONLY, for less than $30. It will take you 5 minutes to do the latter.
Keep on "benzing"
'86 300E
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:32 PM
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260E's ar meant to last.
I just passed the 230K mark on my 1989 on my way back home.
I purchased the car back in 1994 with 48K on it. Since then, it has caused me a few greay hairs, a problem here and there but never realy got me into trouble. It still accelerate like a rabbit (a 75 years old rabbit), is as reliable as a rock and as soon as the breaking-in period is over, I'll be ready to throw some money at it for a youth make-over. This car still amazes me. It will still cruise at insane speeds, is still quiet and rock solid, no rust (original paint) after going through 13 winters in a salt bath.
So far, I went the distance to the moon, one orbit, and is on it's way back to earth.
I would not trade it for the new 2003 E500, (except if someone offered it)
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:33 PM
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Location: Fairfax, VA
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Check your over-voltage relay and ignition coil with regard to the slow starting. (I am assuming the spark plugs, wires and distributor cap/rotor are OK.)
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: secret
Posts: 3,044
I'd leave it alone!!

If it runs good I then you'd better be happy with that. Leave it ALONE! I am glad to hear something positive though. Good luck!! Maybe soon I'll write a "brag" post. I hope so!
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Old 08-31-2002, 09:35 AM
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Whoa!! Great going guys. I thought I was alone with my 87 260E. It has 209K mi on it right now but oil pressure is rock solid and starts just as advertised, AC is cold and I just licked my clunking noise problem (loose battery and shocks). There was a time when I considered dumping it but I held on to my workhorse. Despite the age, I still get questions and inquiries about it. My goal right now is to make the half-million mile mark. These are some of the things I've done:

-R/R rear diff mounts (I fabricated tools from home depot)
-R/R struts/shocks (The most expensive so far)
-R/R steering damper
-R/R shifter bushings
-R/R flex discs and center support/bearing

I could not have done it without the help of this forum. Thanks guys.

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Old 08-31-2002, 11:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
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Hi Priority

Something of very high priority would be to check your Voltage Regulator. This is an incredibly easy thing to access and replace (if needed). It screws in to the back of your alternator (passenger side of engine bay.

I replaced mine yesterday when my battery discharged. ($70.00 installed) The brushes were so badly worn that the alternator was putting out only 9 volts. Now it is putting out 14 volts, and everything electrical is performing wonderfully, compared to how it was before. The biggest improvement is starting; it used to take about 3 or 4 seconds of revving (and battery draining) to start the car; now startups are powerful, and almost instant -- a brief button push (I have a pushbuttion starter) and the engine is running. I am also noticing less roughness and stumbling at idle. I plan to replace the ignition wires at some point (they are still original) which should smooth out the engine evern more.

What remains on my to-do list for September are:
1.) New muffler (my car is beginning to sound like a hot rod). I want to bypass the resonator with a Y-pipe since I understand the muffler, alone, is sufficient.

2.) Stop the power steering leak, which actually started when I began using power steering fluid instead of ATF

3.) Belt tensioner. Mine appears to be shot, and my belt is kind of loose, but perfectly functional.

4.) Repaint my front wheels. I did this once before with spectatular results. A few months ago, in one of my "brain is alseep" modes, I sprayed brake parts cleaner on them to remove some baked-on brake dust. It worked, but a bit too well, removing some clearcoat and paint in the process, and causing some bubbling.

FYI: when repainting your wheels, the paint itself is not important. It is the clearcoat that matters. I used two or three coats of Duplicolor Arctic Silver, and MANY coats of Rustoleum clear coat -- an entire can per wheel -- unil the surfce was glassy smooth. A porous surface will soon be dirty and impossible to clean. A smooth surface can be easily wiped clean.

I did my wheels two years ago and the rears are still in perfect condition, requiring only a damp rag to wipe the brake dust and dirt off. The fronts were soiled a bit by the very black baked-in dust from the Jurid pads used on my last pad change, but really damaged in that brake cleaner incident I mentioned.

I hear Metal Master, Mintex, and EBC pads perform as well as OEM but produce less dust. Anyone of you using them?
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Old 09-01-2002, 09:43 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Joliet Illinois
Posts: 309
Happy With 260E

It's good to read about the good things on this board as well as the problems. I have a '88 260E that runs incredibly well. It idles so smooth I can't even tell the engine is running and still drives like new. A few things I did to the car after buying it two years ago are:

-Resealed upper timing cover (was leaking)
-Replaced serpentine belt
-Replaced valve stem seals
-Replaced both headlight rims (the old ones were chipped and cracked)
-Replaced the grill moulding and painted the grille flat black

Now the car looks like new too.

Things I still need to fix are:

-Cruise control
-Air conditioning
-Power antenna

Thanks for the tip on painting the wheels Eric. I have a wheel that is peeling and faded that needs to be repainted. Regarding brake pads - I have always been a fan of PBR (or AXIS) brand. They are made of good old asbestos and don't squeak or create dust. They may need to be replaced a little more often but your rotors will last forever.

- John
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