Rocambolesque Reader
2/21/21 7:58 p.m.

I took some pictures of the repaired trunk corner. It almost looks as if it was not repaired!

I got to the point where the car is ready to drive. But unfortunately there is still snow for at least another 1-2 months...

One thing I never got around to diagnosing was the sound system in this car. There are 6 speakers in the car and the 2 speakers in the doors are actually mini-subwoofers powered by an amp in the trunk. I got my testlight out and found out I get power and speaker signals to the amp, but no outputs. Therefore, that amp is probably defective. Plus, I found out that the Sony Xplod 5.25" rear speakers someone installed circa 2004 are all dry and cracked. I think I will get a small aftermarket amp, install bigger speakers in the back like 6x9's and run 4 speakers off the amp. It should be much better than what I have now. For now, I installed the grilles to make the current setup look better:

The power antenna in this car always worked, up to now. I found out the motor works, but it's like if there was no signal from the head unit telling the antenna to raise. But, there is power in that wire... I don't have the solution yet.

I went to the junkyard today. I found out on their website that there was a 300TE 4matic there. I harvested it's 27 mm front sway bar. Only the TE had the 27 mm bar.

I will pair that with the 16 mm rear bar off a CLK430 once I find one somewhere used. Apparently it fits. Stock setup is 22 mm front and 13 mm rear. Most guys on the Mercedes forums say to use a 500E 29 mm front bar and 190E Evo II 18 mm rear bar. I don't know where they find those rare pieces but my 27/16 setup should get me close! 

ccrelan (Forum Supporter)
ccrelan (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/21/21 8:09 p.m.

If you are on FB there is a 190REV group or the original 190 REV forum has sources for the EVO2 rear bar.  JC in California made a run of them last year.

mr2s2000elise UltraDork
2/21/21 9:51 p.m.

Saw two of them today 

Same color 

same bbs wheels 


young guys 

race stickers 

manual trans 


ccrelan (Forum Supporter)
ccrelan (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/22/21 6:17 a.m.

That is JC and his brother headed to the track.  There is a video of this car on Youtube with the Smoking Tire.


Rocambolesque Reader
2/24/21 10:02 p.m.

Is that the guy named 5thscaleracer? 

Today I test fitted the 300TE front bar. Apparently, any front bar off a W124 is a direct fit after you trim the ends a bit. Now, the bar I got is from a 300TE 4Matic, which had different front suspension (if you ever saw that picture of a CV axle going through a spring, that's the car). On the 4Matic, the control arms are aluminum and the bushings are different than the other W124's. Well, it seems like the shape of the bar is different too:

As you can see, it doesn't line up with the bracket anymore, but I think I can solve that by flipping this bracket around and modifying it to accept a universal Energy Suspension-type sway bar bushing that will be bolted to the new bracket.

On the control arm side, the 4Matic bar is thinner than the stock bar where it would normally go into the bushing. I think I can make that work by bolting a flat plate to the control arm bushing mount and then bolting another universal type bushing with a 18 mm diameter.

Since the old 5.25 rear shelf speakers are cracked, I searched FB for new ones. I stumbled upon these near mint early 1990's Pioneers 6x9's for cheap:

I saw those and immediately thought about Warren G's "This DJ" lyrics where he raps about Pioneer speakers bumpin that G'd up sound so I picked them up. I also found a Sony amp from the same years that I will pick up next week. 

Rocambolesque Reader
3/1/21 9:58 p.m.

I found a 16mm CLK430 rear bar. It's in the mail now.

I also found an amp to power the speakers. I think it dates back to 1996 or so:

I will install it under the rear parcel shelf, where the first aid kit used to be.

The other day I was in the garage, thinking about how I will wire the stereo. At some point I got bored and decided to pull the front inner fenders to check for rust and clean behind them. The inner fenders are held on by 4-5 nuts screwed on studs welded to the car body. I knew there was a rust hole around one of the studs on the passenger side. But I never pulled the driver's side. After breaking 2 studs, I knew what was waiting on the other sidesurprise

Now it's almost spring and I will be busy moving the next couple of weekends. I don't have time to strip part of the interior to reach the other side of the rust holes, cut the rot and weld new metal. I will eventually get to it, but to get me through this season I decided to wire wheel all the loose rust, make steel patches and bond them with POR-patch. There is another repair on the car that I did like that previously and it's still holding with no signs of rust after 6 years now. Here's the repair before paint:

Passenger side:

Driver's side:

Not the best way to repair that but it's only temporary and I'm not going on a third summer without driving this car!

Hoondavan HalfDork
3/2/21 9:01 a.m.

The patience & attention in this build is impressive.  I'm anxiously awaiting an update when you've got it back on the road.


Rocambolesque Reader
3/28/21 7:30 p.m.

Warmer weather is here but it's not quite time to pull out the summer cars yet. I usually wait until mid-April or so, when all the maintenance crews clean up the streets and patch the potholes caused by thaw...

I lowered the car on the ground. It starts, idles and moves under it's own power! The clutch works and the shifter works too. When my garage roomate removes his trailer in front of the garage door, the car will be ready. I will have to do a lot of testing, tuning, modifying stuff, tighten bolts, etc. I know stuff will break as this car hasn't been driven in 3 years now.

In the meantime, I started installing the speakers and the amplifier. I started by cutting the holes larger in the parcel shelf and install clip nuts to screw the speakers down. The best solution would have been to make a custom MDF parcel shelf... That might come in the future. For now, I just want to be able to hear music when driving on the highway...

Installed speakers:

I will repaint the grilles eventually as one is rusted and the other one has missing paint. But I'm glad that I have speakers that don't look like they belong in a spaceship.

For the amplifier installation, I decided to remove the first aid kit (which was all dried out after 30 years) and install the amplifier in it's place. I made brackets out of 1"x1"x0.063" steel tube:

Then I mounted the amplifier and ran new 14 ga. wires to the rear speakers:

I know it's best to mount the amplifiers upside-up so the heat can go through the heatsink. But I did not have much room anywhere else and like I said, I'm not going to run this at maximum volume, I just want to have 4 clean-sounding speakers that can play music!

I'll do the rest of the wiring this week.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/5/21 5:02 p.m.

I finished the audio installation.

Clean parcel shelf, much better than fabric held down with 4 thumb tacks covering dry-rotted speakers:

I also discovered the speakers were wired backwards... That explains why there was no bass whatsoever.

Power cable at the battery. No space-age looking fuse holder here.

Two of the other red wires are for the MS, the other one with the fuse is for the radiator fan.

Amplifier all wired up:

It's also invisible when you open the trunk.

All the wires run under the carpet, left of the driver's seat (with the stock wiring).

As for the sound, it is spectacular. For about 40$ in speakers, 80$ for the amp and 40$ for all the wires, the sound quality is greatly improved! Even the little 4" dash speakers can be pushed way further now. The 6x9's in the back provided enough bass to feel the "kick" in the seats. Basically, I can turn up the volume until it's too loud for me. So it's good!

While doing that, it was also a good occasion to remove all the old car phone wiring. I left the old speaker wires there as I didn't feel like removing all the interior. I'll do it later.

Now the battery is charging and the car is ready to drive. I should have it out of the garage next week!

Azryael Reader
4/5/21 8:53 p.m.

Overall sound quality is the one thing I haven't tackled in my car yet. I've got a nice head unit, but I also only have a 4-speaker system, since the earlier cars didn't get the front door panel speakers.

I grabbed some Blue Helix speakers for the dash, but can't remember what I put in the rear anymore; I just know it was something that fit into the existing 1980s aftermarket speaker housings.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/5/21 9:32 p.m.

I still have the door speakers, but they're not connected to anything. Four speakers are enough I have to say.

Azryael Reader
4/5/21 11:34 p.m.

What have you got in the dash? I might replace what I got with something a little better, though I'm thinkin just getting a quality amp is what I'm really missing.

ETA: I just looked up my old Crutchfield orders. I did the Helix B4X up front, and the B5X in the rear with peak RMS of 25W and 35W, respectively. There's a single amp that I could find that is rated for 25W, but that seems like throwing good money after bad and I may as well upgrade yet again.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/6/21 6:19 a.m.

I have little JVC drvn CSV427 in the dash. 20W RMS. The amplifier is 50W. Like some other member here told me in another thread, it doesn't mean you have a powerful amp that you need to run it at 100% capacity all the time. 

Azryael Reader
4/6/21 9:28 a.m.

I hadn't considered that, honestly. I've always gone by the old "rule" of not using anything more powerful than your lowest wattage speakers.

Both of my MBs are in need of audio improvement. Hell, the truck too.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/11/21 8:12 p.m.

Update: I drove the car!

I pushed the car out of the garage and fired it up. I let the engine warm up a bit and slowly drove it around the block one the base maps. The transmission shifts fine, there are no leaks, etc... It seems like the base maps allow me to drive at low rpm/low load at around 40-50 km/h, but MS tuning is like a blur to me. There is a lot of information out there, but it seems like it never goes in the level of detail that would allow me to understand properly. I know I need to warm the engine and tune the fuel map before anything. OK I tried that, the O2 reads lean at idle, like 16:1. Then at some point it goes to around 13.5, then it starts surging and the AFRs go all over the place and the engine eventually shuts down. Internet says a lot of general statements like "get the fuel right before tuning startup/idle" and "tune for 14:7 at cruise, 13.0 on load, etc...". All that is fine and I understand, but how do I do this exactly? How much is too much and how much is not enough? What sort of results am I looking for? 

Anyone can point me to detailed instructions? I know once I get the hang of it it'll be fine, but for now I'm totally lost. Can't see friends either with all the restrictions. I one know one guy who did a MS setup and he's 3 hours away anyways. I'll call him during the week and we'll see how this goes.

therealpinto Reader
4/12/21 2:21 a.m.

There used to be some good information about base tuning in the MegaManual.

See if you can find some old versions perhaps?

One important thing is to start with any corrections or closed loop settings (no closed loop lambda is the most important) turned off. 

Then I usually start by getting it to idle in a decent manner, and to just respond to increased throttle and revs while stationary. 

After that, I start driving. First just light loads at different speeds (different revs) and then the best place is a long, gradual incline where you can load the engine a bit without accelerating to quickly. Let the speed and revs climb slowly using different throttle openings. The incline means things happen slower.

I have been using the Autotune function in Tuner Studio MS to pretty good results, it works quite nice in normal driving.

I also find you learn a lot by logging, and checking the logs. Then you can see what is happening. A lean spike? Was the tps spiking also, was there a strange temp or was it fuel cut that was activated (decel fuel cut, rev limiter, boost cut...)?

One thing that can really make stationary tuning a nightmare is if you get heat soak in the air temp sender. If it sits in a way that engine heat effects it, and air flow is low, the measured air temp will spike and then temperature compensation will lean out. So keep a good eye on that meter. If necessary, move the temp sender to a less heat soak prone location.


JoeTR6 Dork
4/12/21 10:21 a.m.

This is what I used to get started with tuning.

It doesn't go into great detail about each step, but gives the basic order of doing things.  Gustaf described how I've gone about it.  It's sort of an iterative process.  Get it starting and idling well first.  Make certain you have a stable crank and cam signal and all sensors are returning reasonable values.  There's a default AFR target table that will be used for auto tuning, but it may not match your particular car as far as load at various RPMs, but should be good enough to get a rough tune.  Drive gently at first as the transient adjustments (accel enrichment, etc.) won't be right.  Keep spark timing conservative to avoid detonation.  Once it's drivable, tweak the AFR target table to match where your car idles, cruises, etc.  Start adjusting accel enrichment.  Log everything.  Being able to check logs after a tuning run can help a lot.

I had what Gustaf described with heat soak on my MSM, so moved the air temp sensor to the intercooler outlet.  This created the opposite problem that after shutting off the car and letting it sit for 15 minutes, the intake is heat soaked and the sensor is reading low.  Driving for a few minutes settles it, so I haven't attempted to fix the issue.  It can be frustrating tweaking one thing and having another issue pop up.  That's why the manufacturers spend so much money on this.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/17/21 8:44 p.m.

I went to the shop this morning to tune the car more.

The car started well, I had to keep my foot on the pedal a bit to stabilize the idle but after a while I got it to idle at a rock solid 850 rpm and it held a steady 10 degrees of timing. Exactly what the sticker under the hood says. I went for a drive around the block, came back and the idle started surging all over the place, with the AFR swinging from 19 to 10. Seems like the good idle was with the warm-up enrichments still on. Anyways I decided to start fresh at that point so I used the built-in AFR and VE map generator. I came up with these 2 maps:

For the ignition, I made a map that was based on the stock settings I could find on the internet. Those settings are the following:

The S and N positions is because the euro 190E has a knob under the hood that you can turn depending on if you could get high octane fuel or not. I guess at that time, while traveling through Europe, there were some countries that had better gasoline than others. The N settings are for low octane. The north-american models didn't have that, there was a resistor instead of the knob and I believe it was locked at S (the manual says to use premium fuel). I used the N settings, but I had premium in the tank. 

I made that map with that:


Then I went for a drive and logged the data. After coming back, I used VE analyze and adjusted the VE map like this:

That map was sorta "spikey"... I didn't really know what to do next, so I searched for the cells with the most "hit counts" and established those as true values. For example, if one cell was at 650 hits and the VE was 81 and the next cell was at 12 hits with a VE of 70 I knew that one was probably not right. I tried to "bridge" the true values together and smoothed the map like this (I don't even know if that's the right thing to do...):

From that point on, it seemed like it drove quite good. I like that it returns to idle smoothly when pressing the clutch when coming to a stop. However, the idle is at 1100-1200... I don't know if I can lower it only via the software or maybe the throttle doesn't close 100%. My TPS installation with the remote linkage isn't as good as a TPS mounted directly on the shaft.

After this, I did a few more runs datalogging it and using VE analyze. I felt confident and decided to drive the car the 10 km drive home. I turned on the autotune and drove. I had to take the highway to go home. After getting home, I ended up with this map:

Now there are a few things I noticed:

1- Not related to MS, but the gears in this car are mega long. I was driving on the highway at 100 km/h in 4th gear (1:1) and I wasn't even turning 3000 rpm. Around the industrial park where my garage is, I only needed 3rd maximum.

2- The idle is always 1100-1200.

3- This car was having issues with hot starts before when it was still CIS-E. Its worse now. I absolutely need to put my foot into it to keep it alive for 5-10 seconds.

4- I have lean spikes sometimes at idle or right after idle. Probably because AE is not tuned right still.

5- I never heard detonation/knocking before, so I don't know what it sounds like exactly, but I heard a sound like rocks in a metal can a few times but right after coming off idle and driving off... Is this dangerous? How can I fix that?

6- The car feels like it has 80 hp. It sound super mean, but it has absolutely no guts...

7- The radiator fan works good. It starts at 90C and goes off at 80C. The fan didn't work with CIS-E, it was always using the auxiliary fan.

I might do more tuning tomorrow, but first I think I'll give it it's first bath after 3 years...

Azryael Reader
4/17/21 8:58 p.m.

If you're still using the stock fuel accumulator where there fuel pumps are, that's meant to hold resting pressure in the factory configuration. When the diaphragm gives up the ghost, hot starts are the number one symptom of it.

That rattling when coming off the accel could be the timing chain, can't remember if you said you knocked it out or not. Could be tensioner, could be a broken guide, or could just be a stretched chained. If you can isolate the noise, I can help a little more.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/17/21 9:48 p.m.

There's no more fuel accumulator. It's got a Walbro 190 lph and the stock filter. I don't think it's a fuel delivery issue. It either has not enough fuel, or too much fuel! 

Rocambolesque Reader
4/18/21 1:43 p.m.

Found out #5 isn't knocking, it's something in the steering inside the car. Only happens over 1/2 turn of the wheel, hence why I am only hearing it when coming off a stop.

Also gave the car it's first wash in 3-4 years. The clear on the hood is destroyed, and I think the roof and trunk will follow in 1 year. Doesn't matter, the car drives. Pictures will follow soon.

JoeTR6 Dork
4/18/21 2:09 p.m.

Concerning #5, I was going to say that your ignition timing table doesn't appear too aggressive.

For #2, how do you set the idle?  Throttle stop or some sort of idle control valve?  My TR6 is a matter of turning a throttle stop screw, but the Miata (w/ MSPNP) is much trickier to achieve a stable idle with the idle control valve it has.

As for #3, that could be a heat soak issue or the after-start enrichment needs some adjustment.  When my MSM sits for a while after running, it heat soaks the intake and idles lean until it's moving for a minute or two.  The intake air temp sensor is on the output of the intercooler and doesn't see the elevated intake temps.  I may try the sensor just before the throttle body (the stock location) to see if this can be tuned away.

Rocambolesque Reader
4/18/21 5:23 p.m.

It's got the stock PWM Bosch idle valve. I need to play with that. You see, today it idled at 850-900. I didn't change anything from yesterday! I will look into the IAT sensor heat-soaking. It's right above the TB in a steel tube... I'll monitor the temperatures next time.

Now for the pictures:


Despite the rough tune, I managed to drive 50 km with it this weekend. When looking at the positive side of things, there are a lot of things that could have not worked that worked on the first time:

1- The radiator fan and the shroud I made seems to work perfectly and keep the engine cool. I drove for a bit and the temperature was about 70C-75C. It may even be too cool... The removal of the AC heat exchanger and the emergency fan allows for much more air to flow into the radiator.

2- The unknown origin junkyard transmission shifts good into all gears. I can cruise at 100 km/h at 2500... in 4th gear! I don't even need the overdrive 5th.

3- No fuel leaks, no coolant leaks, and no oil leaks except for the PCV breather, but I'll order a catch can this week

4- Headers sound mean. The lightened flywheel makes the engine rev up quickly. I'm sure it'll be great when tuned.

5- The remote linkage rod actuated TPS survives...

6- I thought the exhaust I made would hang too low under the car, but so far nothing scraped the ground and I went over potholes and speedbumps

therealpinto Reader
4/19/21 3:26 a.m.

Good progress!

Do you have a wideband lambda sensor?

Some logs showing the AFR and ignition timing could be nice, to see if you have possible power gains to find. 

Normally, a N/A motor is quite tolerant to occasional detonation so I would increase timing on load until you hear detonation. Usually you find good power there.

If you have the Bosch "rotary" PWM idle valve, you can try some different settings and also bench test it to see how much opening % the PWM correlates to. When I used it, it was not really intuitive. 0 was not closed and 100 was not fully open. After going through that I got it to work pretty well.


Rocambolesque Reader
4/19/21 6:58 a.m.

Yes, I have a wideband. I'll post some logs later!

While looking at the logs, I noticed that the total correction for warmup and ASE is always on. It's like the engine never reaches operating temperature... I had my fan set at 90C with a 10C hysteresis. I looked in the service manual, the fan clutch engagement is at 102C with a 5C hysteresis. I changed the setting, I will try this next time. The thermostat starts opening at 87C and is fully open by 102. How my electric fan was setup up until now, the thermostat was only open for 3C...

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