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Old 08-28-2003, 07:35 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 508
I never work on my cars, I play with my cars. I have always been nuts about cars and really derive pleasure of working (playing) on them
Over the years, I had cars that required constant attention;
A 1965 Ginetta (anybody know what it is?), an XK-E jag, several Volvos (including 2 P1800) MGA's, MGB,'s (still have a 1974), Vettes (still have a 1978)
Now at 58, I can't still convince myself to go to the shop for anything not requiring a lift.
Tomorrow schedule: replace 2 headlight door vacuum actuators on my Vette.
Saturday: Replace electric antenna on my Benz. (kids broke it)
Sunday:..........Depends what is going to break ,till then.
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:58 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 700
a lesson to be learned

I have to say I admire all you folks and I hope one day I get to be 65 and work on my cars just like a lot of you do. Currently I'm only 23 and I know that there is a lot of things I don't know about cars, but this is why I'm here, to learn from the more experianced members so that hopefully one day something good will come of it.

As a profession, I'm a computer scientist, and I work on my benz as a hobby and to get away from the virtual world and get a better view of the real world. So far this is working out quite well.

In the back of my head I have millions of questions for the more experianced members, but I'm sure that with time they will all be answered, as long as I keep doing something and not waste time

1985 190E 2.3L - a constant project.
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Old 08-29-2003, 12:55 AM
Posts: n/a
I turned 44 last week. My belated birthday celebration this weekend will include a sparkplug change on my Ford Expedition. A fun job, requiring me to lay on top of the engine to access the rearmost plugs (buried to the point that I have to pull the injector rails) while using every accessory in my ratchet set on this front mid-engined monster. Out of principle (cheap), I refuse to pay $300 for a dealer tech to perform this task.

Putting the labor in Labor Day, I guess.
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:10 AM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
I think it was the Sun and the Heat....

It was the sun....and the a midlife crises..
It was just too hot and humid.
And then came the mosquitoes, they would eat me alive. After I put on DEETS insect repellent, it would spread as a thin oil all over my skin.
When it got really Hot I took off my shirt. After wiping my oily hands on myself several times to block the sweat, i soon found myself swathed in a Black oily mess consisting of DEETS, motor oil, brake fluid and Sweat. It would cover my face, arms, chest and knees..

The neighbors would drive up the streets and shake their heads. Some stopped talking to me---I wonder if thats because I had three cars up on Jackstands with their Tires off-- I watched my 16 yr old daughters friends pull up in everything from a 2003 Nissan 300 to a 2002 Acura or Maxima and I would hear my daughter giggle--"Thats just my Dad....." Seriously though she is a Great Kid, she drives the 240D and helps me bleed brakes and once even worked the Hoist..

My wife's frends came by in short summer white shorts and pink tops and pale wood sandals. Most of them didnt say hi, needless to say--I would hear them say "Is he still employed" they snuck out the Backdoor..

To top it off I got passed over for a promotion at work and that really got me... Thats why I had to take the vacation...

Anyway, you know what they say, youre never as Down as you think you are , nor are you ever as Up as you may find yourself someday...

1983 240D 240K owner rebuilt engine
1985 300TD 250K owner rebuilt engine
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:10 AM
unkl300d's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 2,207

Carrameow, work on cars or decide.

Face it, you are keeping your physical/mental connections (synapsis) going with the challenge of cars.
It will keep that other German at bay.

So, what is the lesser of two evil Germans? The Mercedes, of course.

1979 300D 199 K miles
1995 C280 95 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 57K miles
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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Old 08-29-2003, 01:24 AM
haasman's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096
I work on our cars because I like to.... OK, most of the time. I am always learning. Learning about how things work AND about people.

I guess I always will be fixing something. I enjoy ferreting out the correct way to repair something, especially Mercedes. It seems to me that Mercedes repairs are done one of two ways: Throw parts and money at the car or carefully sleuth what is "really" wrong and repair the real problem. This to me is fascinating, although I can't tell you why.

I have time to time, thought about buying a new car. Yep, all fresh and not broken (I do like the sound of that) but I will always be questing to the ideal I have in my mind for a particular car. After I fix one of our cars I am happy. I like savoring the immediate results of my work. Using my hands helps me be better in my work (the cerebral side), computers and business development.

I have made a lot of great and life-long friendships because of cars. There are people that have come into my life because of cars that I would greatly miss if they were not there. I tell my children that cars, car repairs etc are really metaphors of life. For an example: You are absolutely sure that the problem is X. You pursue the repair only to find that it isnít what you thought AND what everyone told you was the problem. Sooooo you change direction and then implement the other obvious solution and that fails also. This process has reminded me that life isnít always A or B, but that something else could also be the cause. Because of this lesson, I am much more patient with people. Everyone isnít either good or bad ÖÖ

My children are better off because of my interest, whether they choose to repair their cars themselves some day or not.

Some think I am crazy, but I would much rather drive a 7-year-old E class than a new __________. Of course I would have to change the front and rear sway bar bushings, replace the shocks with Bilstein HDs, get it aligned with a spreader bar ..... you get the idea.

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 08-29-2003, 02:43 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
I'm 62 and not only do I enjoy working on my 3 older MBs ,but I constantly do upgrades on them witch is a real pleasure.Even if I could afford to have the work done it is rare to find a carefull mechanic. When I worked the front office of a busy import shop I did parts, estimates and before and after road test(that was the best part). I saw so many bocthed jobs that had been done at other shops(broken bolts JBed back in, missing parts you name it I saw it) that finding a mecanic that I'd trust with my cars that I could afford would be hard........
William Rogers........
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:40 AM
Dan Rotigel
Posts: n/a

Esoteric thoughts about joy of ownership aside, feeling like hell the next day is no damn fun.

The biggest difference between the 78 year old wood-cutter, stevebfl (who have no problems doing physical work at their age) and the guys who are considering slowing it down is probably the weekend-warrior mentality vs. day in-day out grind of a daily job.

If you beat your body every other weekend for 4 hours at a time, you don't get anything but sore. If you beat your body every day for 4 hours, pretty soon your body gets used to it and adapts.

Mercedes can be good machines. Our bodies can be fantastic machines. Perhaps spend a little time on the latter can help your performance on the former.

Dan R.
20 years old
Roofer/philsophy student/shade tree mechanic
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Old 09-01-2003, 02:04 AM
Posts: n/a
Maybe you need colder beer.

I turned 45 in May, and this summer I have pulled the head for a valve job, replaced the water pump, all hoses, the belt tensioner and belt, motor mounts, O2 sensor, all the vacum hoses, and flushed the cooling system. It hurt the first day, but was OK after that.

Why do I do it?

I live in a small town, and after I finished all this, the voltage regulator went south. When I tried to replace it, the head twisted off the mounting screw.
Since I needed one the next day for a trip, I called a parts place in a larger town on the way to work and asked the price of a rebuilt Bosch alternator for an 88 Mercedes 300E. The parts guy asked if that was for a Ford or a Chevy.

No joke.

I discovered with my BMW that I could adjust the valves faster than I could drive it to a competent mechanic, drop it off, then pick it up.

The service on the 300E this summer was a little different, but it would have been 2 or 3 grand to pay a good independent to do all that plus 4-5 hours travel for drop-off and pickup.

I cannot say I am always happy to be doing it, but I am almost always glad that I did do it.
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Old 09-01-2003, 09:11 AM
Mercedes Maniac's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Colorado
Posts: 32
At 45, I love working on the family motor pool. Last year I treated myself to a full scissor lift. The trouble shooting and repair of components is a hobby with a dividend of dollars saved. There is always an open squak ( or many ) to be repaired, and a constant stream of UPS shipments of parts at the door, but I would not change that at all. For the time I spend under my cars could easily be traded for reading magazines and later paying off the credit card if I would take the autos in for repair.

I cut my teeth on 2 Fiat's when I was in my 20's ( now there is a car that NEEDs to be worked on! ). Since then most any brand will seem well built. The 16 year old Volvo is now the kids daily driver. A '01 Volvo is a snobby mechanical POS, due to be replaced with a 10 year old Benz. Bought a 16-valve 190E in march, and that will be my daily driver/ project car. I may have a full docket of work to do on the family cars but, I would not change anything and neither would my wife. She encourages me and appreciates the service and savings.

Keep on wrenching!
'87 190E 2.3-16
Heated Seats, Graphite Dash,
Delsing shift bushings
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