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  #1  
Old 02-22-2016, 11:40 AM
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Location: Barrington, RI
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Cruise Control: GDL Disappointment, JamesDean Recommendation

Before I knew about our own JamesDean and the cost-effective cruise magic he can work, I had GDL rebuild my cruise amp and do an actuator tune-up in 2009 on my 91 300D. It was pricey ($375 including shipping both ways), but I was happy to spend the money thinking it would last a long time.

Well, the amp recently began to fail after five years and 24k miles. So I replaced it with a spare I had from JamesDean and now all is well.

So, even though GDL has a great reputation, in my case it didn't work out so well. So I want to join the chorus of those recommending JamesDean's cruise repair services. Even if my amp doesn't last 15-20 years, who cares? I'll just get another inexpensive rebuild.

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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 185k mi, Stage 1 tune, tuned TCU
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 160k mi, Stage 1 tune, tuned TCU
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 137k mi, wastegate conversion

19 Honda CR-V EX 38k mi
Thirteen other MB's owned and sold
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2016, 01:07 PM
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He fixed 2 of my SDs. Both are working fine. It's nice to have something work the 1st time and be satisfied with the arrangement when you're done and have lived with it for awhile.

There is a local upholstery shop where the opposite is true. He replaced a leather panel saying that the others didn't need replacing. The price would have been acceptable had it worked. He was wrong and not willing to do over. I send as many people as possible away from his shop. Too bad. I would have preferred a good job and would have sent as many as possible to him.
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85SD 240K & stopped counting painted, putting bac together. 84SD 180,000. Probably up for sale in the fall 2020 still have it. 85TD beginning to repair to DD status. Waiting on shop to do minor but more than I can do rust.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2016, 07:14 PM
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Hey, at least you did not go Programma...their rebuilds are pathetic, not just cruise related mind you. It really looks like they replace only the failed component and nothing else.
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I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:23 PM
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I tried a DIY fix and failed...sent it to JamesDean and voila, a working CC. Happy, happy, happy....
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2016, 09:27 PM
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Yeah, I knew to steer clear of Programa.

GDL's claim was that their rebuilds would be better than the original component. I guess not.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 185k mi, Stage 1 tune, tuned TCU
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 160k mi, Stage 1 tune, tuned TCU
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 137k mi, wastegate conversion

19 Honda CR-V EX 38k mi
Thirteen other MB's owned and sold
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2016, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
Yeah, I knew to steer clear of Programa.

GDL's claim was that their rebuilds would be better than the original component. I guess not.
How does/can it work better than the original? Do you get better fuel mileage with a GDL cruise amp?

Sixto
83 300SD
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2016, 02:01 AM
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J.D. is the man to fix cruise amps did mine couple of yrs. Ago still works great.
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2016, 04:39 AM
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Location: Mountains in South Carolina
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I sent my amp and actuator to GDL few years ago.

Peter I think rebuilt the Amp, electronics, but said the actuator was a basket case and sent it back apart.

I tried a used but good one from a fellow on this site but that didn't work.

So I unplugged it when Wife to told me it sort of felt like the petal went down in a parking lot.

I never experienced that but I figured safer to unplug.

I may have a good used actuator now but haven't had the gumption to trouble shoot further.

It could be something on the steering stick wheel I guess.

Not sure what do check next, meantime, unplugged.

Yes, GDL, was pricey but redid the board entirely not like Programma.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2016, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixto View Post
How does/can it work better than the original? Do you get better fuel mileage with a GDL cruise amp?

Sixto
83 300SD
Not work better, but better in the sense of better build quality, therefore it would last longer.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 185k mi, Stage 1 tune, tuned TCU
06 E320 CDI "Rutherford", Black, 160k mi, Stage 1 tune, tuned TCU
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 137k mi, wastegate conversion

19 Honda CR-V EX 38k mi
Thirteen other MB's owned and sold
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2016, 03:48 PM
KCM KCM is offline
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Had GDL do a couple W123 amplifiers (old style vacuum) for me, one probably 15 years ago and another probably around 10 years. Cost $200 back then. Both worked great afterwards and customer service was good. After about 25,000 miles, one started to fail, symptoms being surging. The other seems to work fine most of the time, but once in a while it's dead (could be some other problem).

I'm disappointed in the problems I'm having, but then again we're talking 35 year old electronics. I wish somebody would produce a direct replacement new amplifier with state-of-the-art electronics, but so far have not seen anything. I'm sure it would be a lot smaller and a lot simpler.

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