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Old 08-03-2000, 08:41 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Charleston, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Hi Guys,

This concerns my 85 190E and any car you give a damn about. Read on.
Four months ago I bought my topsider and stopped going to Jiffy Lube. (I had only been twice, anyhow, with this MB) 'Sides, I watched the JL guys try to "top off" my tranny fluid with the engine off and had watched them attempt to re-attach my belly pan with twine.
About the same car started a slight front end "thunk" when going around corners, esp. hills, and speed bumps.
I checked the bearings, bushings, arms, and torsioner bar. I narrowed my results to worn torsioner bushings or a bad ball joint.
Yesterday, I was working on the timing on this car (thanks to MB Doc for the last response), and I dropped the belly pan off to get at the damper markings from below (dab of paint will do ya). So, I drop the pan (remember, I bought a topsider four months ago and my oil changes haven't required pulling the pan since) and low and behold, there is a very nice four or five pound ratcheting oil filter wrench sliding around in the belly pan. So, there is my suspension "thunk" and there is the reason I stopped going to Jiffy Lube and won't ever, ever go back with any car I even give half of a damn about.
I needed a new oil filter wrench, anyhow...and the new bushings can't hurt the torsion bar. What could these guys do to your car in the long run?
Happy motoring!

John J. Meadows
'83 300D 3.0L 260k mi.
'85 190E 2.3L 99k mi.
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Old 08-03-2000, 09:01 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Posts: 238
My 2.0 190E had one of those pan guards when I bought the car but in truth, I never really found the use for it unless you plan on doing 800 mph over the speed bumps in town. It also made oil changes a whole lot more difficult than I have experienced before as I was used to opening the plug and letting the bad old sticky stuff drain away whilst I nipped inside for a coffee. It occured to me that no matter how good the vacuum or how long the suction hose sat there sucking, it would never really properly evacuate the engine, does it not depend on exactly where the hose comes to rest in the sump ? It would also, to a small degree, prevent the sump from getting a wash of air over it whilst driving to help cool the oil. Mine had a cut-out around the drain plug that I used once and oh boy, did I regret that ! Oil splashed all over just about covering the whole of the inside of the guard and spilled everywhere except the drain hole, oil all over the drive, again ! . . . . It also provided an excellant device for collecting dirt and crud but luckily in my case, no hand tools. It now sits nice and shiny on the top shelf in the garage, let the new owner decide if he wants it fitted.
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Old 08-03-2000, 09:58 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
The pan was fitted to protect the single belt drive system. This system has a sensor for the a/c compressor that will shut it down if it driving in the rain with no pan. Also, if you are in gravel and got some in the belt, you only have one belt, not 5 like the older cars.

These are the reasons for the pans.

Donnie Drummonds
1991 GMC Syclone
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Old 08-03-2000, 10:54 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
For information about your concerns, see the latest issue of The Star, numerous posts, and the DIY Forum for info on suction oil removal.

It convinced me!

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Old 08-04-2000, 08:56 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 82
Heard a story, could be an urban myth so take it for what it's worth. Some guy took his 190D to one of the quick oil change places. When he got home he opened the hood and found oil blown all over his engine compartment. Turns out one guy at the lube place thought the other guy and drained the oil and he proceeded to pour 5 more quarts in on top of the oil already in there. Not a great move.
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Old 08-10-2000, 07:45 PM
Al Spalmacin
Posts: n/a
Once you use a Topsider to remove your old oil, you'll never go back to crawling under the car to pull off the drain plug. Service Mgr at the local dealership says they switched to using Topsiders a few years ago and that's the only way they'll change oil.

Al Spalmacin
1989 560SEL
1989 190E 2.6
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