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Old 05-25-2003, 09:16 PM
190dee's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Finland
Posts: 160
Steve and all the other great guys on the forum,

One reason for my visits here is the opportunity to learn more. I like (g/f would change it to love ) my car and I want to learn how to maintain in the right way and how to deal with problems. Without those with more knowledge than me it would simply be impossible to improve skill in automobile technology.

For all of us who don't repair car for a living, sometimes the service manuals aren't enough. We need help to understand what we really read. It's the same thing with diagnosis, we need help to understand what we see.

If I would be corrected by a member known for accurate posts I would never be offended. I hope all professional techs bear with us for all the stupidity we(read I) posted because the simple fact that we don't know any better.

Without your posts this forum wouldn't serve it's purpose. To give help and share it with others about the topic MBenz. Thanks to Steve and all the other great members that correct us when we are wrong.

Was it my question about ezl module and trigger pulse that triggered this?!

'87 MBenz 190E 2,3 8vlv
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Old 05-26-2003, 12:18 AM
1991300SEL's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 545
Steve Brotherton:

Please feel free to correct. How else does one learn if their inaccurate posts go unnoticed? I would not categorize this as condescending.

It sounds as if you're getting ready to "sign off"? I hope not, but this site has been graced by your presence longer than it has deserved to.

Do what ya gotta do.
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Old 05-26-2003, 01:54 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Posts: 576
Keep up the good work!!

Hi Steve,
I don't respond to many of the threads, because my knowledge base isn't Mercedes oriented, but I do read almost all of them, as I am keen to learn what I can from the great fount of information that is posted here. People like you are the ones that make sure the "fount" is presenting actual facts and not opinions, and I for one do appreciate knowing that I can rely on your information. I know that you have had to deal with several sticky comments from uninformed people on the forum, and I think you have handled them in a most gracious manner, mostly. I also read the GMC motorhome forum, and believe me, if you want opinions and smoke, just read that one for awhile!! I still read it, though, because occasionally there will be a gem of information to be gleaned.
I spent the whole day fooling around with my daughter's ford taurus, (no caps, it doesn't deserve them) replacing the AC compressor - what a job! The "new" compressor I got from the U-Pull-It parts emporium didn't fit, the pulley had the grooves positioned differently, so I had to take the pulley off and make two more belt grooves so that it would line up, even though the database at the U-Pull-It said it would fit. The pulley bearings in the old compressor were bad, heated up the pulley to almost red-hot and cooked the serpentine belt!
Keep up the good work!!
Richard Wooldridge
'82 300D/4.3L V6
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Old 05-26-2003, 05:54 AM
Posts: n/a

I was thinking of sending you a private email this morning before coming across this thread. I think that I read the thread that led to your starting this one. That is what made me think of writing you.

Before I get to your subject, technical accuracy, I want to ensure that you know just how valuable your posts on this forum are. You have a unique combination of technical intelligence (that is not meant to demean your general intelligence,) analytical mind and vast experience.

The automotive world is very complex. I'm not only speaking of the many technologies and sciences involved, but the minds of everyone who is or think they are knowledgable regarding automobiles. Not only are there an extraordinary number of myths in the automotive world, but there are zillions of people that think they are experts.

Concepts and theories are just that until proven in practice. You are at such a level of experience in understanding such concepts PLUS your experience has honed this knowledge to a very sharp edge of accuracy. You KNOW what works and what does not work in practicality and you UNDERSTAND the concepts involved.

We have lots of well meaning people that enjoy posting here on mshop and we also have the casual visitors that are just looking for some quick advice. As within any group of people, whether it be a group at work, school, church, clubs, etc., there are good attentive, appreciative people and there are JERKS.

Your patience and willingness to help ALL of us is incredible.

There are probably some people that log on looking for an answer, you give it to them and they go on without even saying thanks, like ships passing in the night. All they know is that they got your answer. They have no idea about the high caliber of the person that offered it.

In the thread that put me in mind to write you, you pointed out that too much compressor oil could destroy a compressor while not enough would simply wear it out. I totally understood your answer and realized the value because I know your background, reputation and experience level. The person to whom you offered this valuable information never understood just how valuable the information was.

I know that you have seen hundreds if not thousands of auto a/c systems and have seen what works and what doesn't. In that statement alone, I learned something that would have taken several years of observation on a daily basis, plus an ability to understand what you were seeing.

Although accuracy is nothing that is open for compromise, I am thinking that maybe in cases such as this, where someone wants to argue about fact, maybe it would help you to just tell them that you have offered them the facts and it is their choice to believe it or not. There are some things that are just fact. The Sun continues to rise in the East and set in the West and this will continue regardless of who does or who does not believe it.

I understand how it can bother you to know that you tried to help but someone refused to listen. I'm sure you've heard the old saying that "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

I speak for myself, but I expect I speak for most everyone who frequents mshop when I say that you are not only highly appreciated, but you are the pillar of experience and technical accuracy on this site.

The amount of VALUABLE information and advice that you share here is incredible. In spite of that vast value, I can't recall even once where you asked for ANYTHING in return.

We thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great Memorial Day,
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Old 05-26-2003, 08:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
Hey Steve,

I'd been a member in this forum for a while an I KNOW how valuable you advice is. I am lucky to live only an hour away from you and I have taken my car to your shop in the past for different problems. You also have helped me on line directly on different car problems over the years. You have corrected me quite a few times and I never took it personal because I KNOW I am a DIY'er and you are a PRO with over 30 years of experience.
I certainly would hope that if some wrong advice was given by anyone, you or any pro on this site, would step in and give the correct advice for the problem in a professional way. Keep in mind, it may also help future readers of the same topic through the "search" function in the archives.
Remember that the vast majority of this forum are DIY'er with different levels of experiences united with the common love for our MB's and, a few pro's to keep us straight.
Your knowledge is unquestionable and invaluable to this site and I thank you!
'86 300E
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Old 05-26-2003, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 198
Steve, One who corrects or better stated explains, leads to discussion and should be view as learning, new knowledge, thats why we belong to this forum. I believe when there are no answers to help, that leads to dissatisfication, and discontent. One who shares his knowledge, experience as you do is called a teacher, Thanks.
enjoy your drive, timreid
1992 400E
euro lights
500E sway bars
210 16in wheels
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Old 05-26-2003, 03:51 PM
Zeus's Avatar
Moderating, Eh?
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,774
Steve - Your opinion is one I always read and pay attention to - please do keep contributing (and correcting!)...

2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
1977 280E - sold
1971 250 - retired

"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon
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Old 05-26-2003, 07:02 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: Technical Accuracy

Originally posted by stevebfl

Should I stay to tech only sites where technical inaccuracy has a half-life in nanoseconds? Where contending views are sorted out through facts not case studies?
No, you should ignore the personal equation of this forum and continue to put out the truth! That is why we love you Steve, you are a brain!

IMO truth is the ultimate goal for regular members, everything else needs to be side lined.
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Old 05-27-2003, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a space in time
Posts: 132
technical accuracy

I agree with the previous responses that we are here for technical accuracy. The information that results from a discussion over the technical aspects of a question is extremely educational for one and all, and raises the overall expertise of all concerned. We all understand that it is time taken from your own professional and personal life when you rescue one of us from a potential screwup. It would be a great loss for all if you decided not to contribute in the future.

93 sl600
93 600sel

A mercedes is an inanimate object and therefore must respond to logic and reason.
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Old 05-27-2003, 09:23 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
If I could have just one person a month speak as highly of me, I would be motivated to get out of bed and keep plugging at IT each and every day, despite the critics. Steve, you have some loyal fans here. Stay with us. We know professional opinion from wild-a$$ guesses.

Last edited by 95E320cab; 05-27-2003 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 05-27-2003, 11:04 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
I hope everything I post will be scrutinized, criticized, contested, contradicted, or even completely ignored as needed to get the job done. Nothing personal. This is what makes a technical forum work! Polite discord can serve to unravel the truth. It is healthy. If I am given good advice, and decide not to take it, it is my own damn fault, and some lessons need to be learned first hand. Those who ignore advice from Steve are probably stubborn fools, or perhaps ignorant of the value his perspective brings, but so be it... one cannot save the entire automotive world.

I do try to persist on matters of personal safety, and I hope everyone will have the tenacity to 'nag' anyone who is likely to hurt him/herself in their intended course of action. Otherwise, advice is like anything else- you can only expect to get what you pay for!

I am also very experienced in my own technical field, and I think I may know what Steve is getting at. Sometimes one feels like the boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes". The man is naked. That is the truth, there is no gray area about it, no one else can see it, and it is so hard to let it go...

After a while, you start to see new people heading down the same dead end paths that have been tried by so many before them, and there is nothing you can do to convince them to turn the other way.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.

Last edited by csnow; 05-27-2003 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 05-27-2003, 03:09 PM
Rick Miley's Avatar
Spark Free
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 3,086
Steve, it's just amazing that you contribute to this site as much as you do. There are sites and forums such as this one pertaining to my profession, but I never go there because I'd rather do something else with my free time.

I think most of us realize how valuable your advice is and that it is coming from a real pro. But of course there is always at least one bad apple. After reading the rest of the comments here, I went in search of the offending thread. In that case, I definitely think you should "go there" and finish the job. The guy's mind is made up and, now that he is personally attacking you, I think you would be well served to exercise your authority (and responsibility) as a moderator to simply delete the entire thread.

If you're thinking of checking out, and it sounds like you are, then may I suggest the less radical step of turning off your email and P.M. links so that you can just browse the forum at your own discretion without having people bother you individually.

Finally, if/when anything serious enough happens to one of my cars that requires a shop visit, I will certainly investigate the possibility of coming to Gainesville. Your expertise is certainly worth a couple hours drive, and a whole lot more.
Rick Miley
2014 Tesla Model S
2018 Tesla Model 3
2017 Nissan LEAF
Former MB: 99 E300, 86 190E 2.3, 87 300E, 80 240D, 82 204D Euro
Chain Elongation References
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Old 05-27-2003, 03:53 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Steve, why Florida? I have been to Montana many times, an it's GREAT!

Perhaps you'd consider setting up shop in Great Falls or Helena? I can make that 1000km drive!!
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 05-27-2003, 06:32 PM
fz500sel's Avatar
Happy now in paradise!
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Venice, FL - "sharktooth capital of the world"
Posts: 712
Steve, my wife and I drive from Michigan...

to Sarasota at least 2 times a year and just because of your expertise and posts on this forum, I contemplate on looking up Continental Imports each and every time I drive thru Gainesville just so that I can shake your hand and meet you in person. I would love to be able to quit my humdrum job and work side by side with you just in the hopes of learning a little from you.

Need someone to get you a cup of coffee in the morning at your shop? How about answering the phones?

To say the least, you are one of the most respected members here and the loss of your membership and knowledge would be sorely missed. I hope you remain a member here.


p.s.- would you like cream and sugar with that?
85 300D 310K (sold)
90 350SDL 184K sold
83 300D 118K (sold)
88 300E 153k (sold)
93 400E 105K (sold)
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Old 05-27-2003, 10:35 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
Steve -

My .02 is that this is not a human relations forum and if you see something wrong you should call it as you see it. But I think you should keep in mind that some of us shade-tree sorts occasionally come up with an idea or technique that challenges the conventional wisdom.


Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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