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Chris Ecklund 06-27-1999 06:34 PM

I cleaned out the air box today, and like usual, whenever you are opening up the air box for the 1st time, or whenever, I am not sure what I am going to see in it.

Cars left for a while seem to find mice making there way in, when I opened up mine, I found lots of bugs, and copius(sp) amounts of road debris, small stones, sand, and other assorted items, along with and yes I am not stretching this, but a nice small but shiney ...metal shaving..

But, before coming alarmed, the metal shaving could not come from anything else than outside, somehow it found its way in the trumphet, and settled on the bottom of the air box.

The last time I cleaned out an air-box was down south in Tampa, I took apart the entire system on my Jeep, it was/is quite similiar in many ways.

Heres a short list of things to do, follow etc..

Like anything, cleaniness is the most important thing you can follow, especially in this area, you have to be 100% positive there will be no junk that can make its way into the intake system which is where the turbo sucks the air into the engine, which is attached to the top part of the air breather.

What I did, was check for dirt 1st before taking off the air cleaner, clean away with rag or jet of air.

2nd. after removing the top of the air box, look underneath it, you will see the air inlet for the turbo, or for those that are not turbo or diesel, I am assuming that that the gas models are the same, this is a generality here, but what is very important is that nothing gets in this inlet tube.

What I did is to get wifey fetch me some saran wrap, and cover this area, via elastic band, or being lazy, I just formed it around the tube, and held it with one hand.

Then I got a screwdriver, and loosened up all the chunky stuff that had cemented itself onto the bottom of the case itself, then with vacuum attachment in hand, sucked up the materials and voila!

I also made sure that the rim around the box was very clean also, via clean rag and vacuum.

I also noticed that benz put a little thought into this design, as the top of the box actually has a second lip to act as a primary sealer of sorts.(tough to explain, easy to show)

To be really clean, though would mean to remove the box totally and clean via water and soap, this I will do next time.

I also experimented with the engine running and throttling the engine, I put my hand into the trumphet at the front of the car, to feel how much air was being sucked in.

Dont worry, I got my wife to try it also, she smiled and got all excited at how all this mechanical stuff comes together.

My point in this experiment was to find out if the air flow would be impeeded(SP ?) by placing a small piece of mesh screening in front of it, to keep out all the foreign matter to begin with.

Now, obviously this is a big matter as diesels especially turbo's use large quantities of air vs gas, do you have an opinion on this?

I have already concluded that in the winter, this might not work, as icing conditions would be present, and this could block the inlet totally, I have to think this one out some more.

Well, there you have my experience with cleaning out the air box, Feedback, suggestions, and even the odd compliment, are all welcome, what else is there to do on a sunday afternoon?


Chris Ecklund
98 300 DT

krahe 06-27-1999 10:03 PM

I'm not quite familiar with the air intake of your car, but another consideration might be (if you have the clearance) to create a solid plate baffle. The baffle (with enough clearance) shouldn't impede the air flow to the intake, but would deflect any solid objects away from the air box.

Just a thought anyway, Erik :~)

Chris Ecklund 06-28-1999 07:49 PM


I never thought of that, I will give it a look to see if I have the room.

Thanks for the tip :)


Chris Ecklund
98 300 DT

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