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"Built Dam Strong!"

03 September 2012

Mercedes Mayhem

Well, maybe not so much mayhem as a whole lot of learning.

The subject in question is a C280 with an inline 6-cylinder engine that has had some maintenance lapses by the previous owner. One of the major issues was an oil leak. That was simple to find in that a bolt was missing from the . . . cam alignment magnet thingy cover. (I forget the exact name, but it was long and complicated.) After removing the cover, there was no gasket at all. That threw up huge red flags. Some internet searching showed that there should have been some RTV gasket maker applied in between the mating surfaces. That was remedied and a new bolt was found and used to reinstall the thing and so far, no leaks!

The next thing on the list was plugs and wires. Mercedes certainly engineers things on a level that you won't see in cars that cost less than half of even a basic Mercedes car. Look at the detail of the coil cover:

Those "towers" are actually heat sinks for the THREE coils:

The coils are set up as a typical wasted spark system, but three of the coils are "coil on plug" with a jumper wire to the paired cylinder. The cover you see above locks the coils in place, provides additional heat sinking and seals the area from (most) road and engine grime.

I order to pinpoint the leak, we pulled off the radiator support, radiator shroud, auxiliary/AC fans, fan guard radiator, AC condenser, transmission lines (that connect tot he radiator) and some other odds and ends. Overall, everything is more complicated, but it all fits together VERY well. For example, the fan shroud is actually two pieces that lock together by a slight rotation! You can separate the pieces and then take out each piece! Really cool stuff, actually.

It needs some more work, but we knocked out most of the issues with it, and started cleaning up under the hood. The next job is going to be a tranny service and then an oil change. Lowering springs, corner lights, tint, and new wheels will complete the looks! Not too bad at all, though this isn't as ridiculously computerized and butchered as newer, poorly designed and less reliable Mercedes built since then.