PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/10/21 6:11 p.m.

Ugh. So the plan was to heat shrink wrap the "few" wires that were losing insulation. 

But ... I think they ALL are crumbling. Umm. lol. This isn't what I expected. Need to think. 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/11/21 10:10 a.m.

Ok, I got the whole harness out and yeah, the situation is a little miserable. Basically every wire needs to be heat wrapped or at least electric taped. I almost started considering finding a new harness on fleabay, but that'll take too long...

 

Btw, on the off chance anyone ever tries to disassemble the W251 D2S Hella E55 Mercedes headlight (see what I did there? :) ), these pics show the connectors with their weird latches that have to be pushed from OUTSIDE (ie the plug side) with sliced up credit - or status - cards.

Meh ... it's not like I'm going there anytime soon anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/11/21 11:07 a.m.

That's genuinely horrible. 

Hammeringman
Hammeringman New Reader
5/11/21 11:08 a.m.

Good grief! That's outrageous! This vehicle is only 14 years old! Wires can get hot, I get that. But this? I've pulled wire out of vehicles that were 3 times as old as this and they could almost be used again. That's insane.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
5/11/21 2:05 p.m.

Was Mercedes still using the bio degradable wiring harnesses when that was made?

RedGT
RedGT Dork
5/11/21 3:33 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

Sure looks like they were in the headlights!

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/12/21 6:21 a.m.
docwyte said:

Was Mercedes still using the bio degradable wiring harnesses when that was made?

Yes, I think it was the current environmentally friendly trend at the time. To be replaced by the edible insulation of the mid-2010s to keep the rodent population happy and fed. 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/12/21 10:02 p.m.

Sisyphean labour is complete! (a tautology though this statement is)

I sheepishly admit that, having run out of colours, the "new" harness is completely not user serviceable since the colours make zero sense anymore. But then ... in my defense, considering half of the original wires lost all colours anyway, it's not like it was even feasible to figure them out. At least the fire hazard is, in my view, gone! (hopefully I reassembled all the pins in the right sequence, hehe. Going for a smoke test in a couple of days, need to get the actual Morimoto retrofit done now...)

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/13/21 5:12 p.m.

As the Bilstein came in, I decided to take a break of mucking with wires and install it. 

It really is a 10 minute job where the most time is spent removing the wheel.

Oddly, the one installed was an ATE. 

Shape looked quite different but mounting points looked right and the air line connected perfectly. I stuffed it in and it seemed fine. Lowered the car, tried opening the door, didn't do anything - so I had to reluctantly start the engine (I was trying to avoid it because the entire front is disassembled). But I didn't want to leave the car sitting on a deflated shock so I started the engine ... pump started ... medium loud bang as the shock clicked into place ... and hooray, car raised itself to the right level. Small wins, excitement! 
 

Now we wait to see if it sags again and I have to start actually getting concerned. Those air lines sure as hell don't look too sturdy ...

 

 

 

tremm
tremm Reader
5/13/21 7:09 p.m.

I forgot the write-up, how did it handle on track?

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/14/21 11:17 p.m.
tremm said:

I forgot the write-up, how did it handle on track?

I think if memory of this thread serves me, @mazdeuce took it for an autocross day, found that it really does behave like a 5,100 lb battleship, then the headbolts went. So it's had pretty limited track duty :)

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/14/21 11:27 p.m.

Ok. So a day went by and the shock is holding air. Woohoo! I will have to check pressures with Star, but it's looking promising. 

I've made progress with the headlight. The Morimoto retrofit wasn't trivial, but it wasn't the end of the world either. The absolute worst part was the insulation rot. It was so bad I gave up heatshrinking and got out a roll of 3M 33+ and went at them. I think I mostly have it under control but it's definitely absolute E36 M3. I’m going to say this only once: this wiring is worse than a Lada's, and I have worked on Ladas, so I say this with some authority. 
 

Having followed the most excellent DIY on Mbworld, I successfully fitted the Morimoto D2S 5.0 in place of the original projector. I found why the light output is so bad, btw - the spot that actually reflects the light is burned, so there's not much reflective material remaining. 

After some Dremeling of the bottom ...

I test fitted the assembly. Shockingly, nothing smoked up, no fuses went, everything just worked!!!

The light output seemed (unsurprisingly) absolutely beyond the OEM one. But I'll do this more properly - I'll seal the light, mount it and then do a comparison in the dark. For now, was just happy my ridiculous wiring job seems to have worked. 

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
5/15/21 7:12 p.m.

This very thread brought me to this forum.....you being the current caretaker of this sled is admirable. I commend you for your commitment to this endeavor/ownership. My CTSV story is worthy of a thread of it's own .....carry on 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/17/21 6:21 p.m.
759NRNG said:

This very thread brought me to this forum.....you being the current caretaker of this sled is admirable. I commend you for your commitment to this endeavor/ownership. My CTSV story is worthy of a thread of it's own .....carry on 

Thanks. Will do my best!

In the meantime: I applied Sylvania UV clear coating to the new lenses I received. I seem to remember it going fairly well on my 911 lights. It really, REALLY didn't go well on these. They're completely fogged up now. E36 M3. I think I didn't use enough solution ... 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/17/21 6:54 p.m.
PseudoNim said:
tremm said:

I forgot the write-up, how did it handle on track?

I think if memory of this thread serves me, @mazdeuce took it for an autocross day, found that it really does behave like a 5,100 lb battleship, then the headbolts went. So it's had pretty limited track duty :)

I did autocross it, and it was terrible, but sounded spectacular. The day before the headbolt popped I had it on an actual track though, Texas World Speedway, for "fun" laps at lunch on a PCA weeekend. It was a much better track car than an autocross car. I think that's true of all of the autobahn super cruiser type cars though. 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/17/21 7:54 p.m.
PseudoNim said:
759NRNG said:

This very thread brought me to this forum.....you being the current caretaker of this sled is admirable. I commend you for your commitment to this endeavor/ownership. My CTSV story is worthy of a thread of it's own .....carry on 

Thanks. Will do my best!

In the meantime: I applied Sylvania UV clear coating to the new lenses I received. I seem to remember it going fairly well on my 911 lights. It really, REALLY didn't go well on these. They're completely fogged up now. E36 M3. I think I didn't use enough solution ... 

Hmm never mind. Vodka seems to rub this E36 M3 right off the headlight. I may still be in business. 

 

[edit] hmm, so does ethanol it looks like. But i’m likely to enjoy the process much less so the it (and probably end up wearing the lens instead of a face shield to the grocery store and walk into a wall and crack it, and I don't think that buffs out). 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/18/21 11:32 p.m.

Update - one light complete. Pretty happy with the results! If only it didn't take me like two weeks to do it  :D

 

 

Also ordered some regular boring transparent film to put on it, forget this stupid liquid stuff. 

 

[edit] replaced picture with same side headlight for better reference. 

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
5/20/21 3:53 p.m.

For future reference, I put Arnott bags on my R all the way around and years later had to warranty the front two.  Arnott was very easy to deal with.

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/21/21 6:08 p.m.
Aaron_King said:

For future reference, I put Arnott bags on my R all the way around and years later had to warranty the front two.  Arnott was very easy to deal with.

Noted for the future. I wanted Bilstein to be "OEM" (and anyway, considering it was the same price, that was OK), but ... having found an ATE one installed, I probably should've just gone Arnott. Oh well, I got a front one just in case. 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/25/21 9:04 a.m.

Finally got everything together. Car is out of the garage for the first time in two weeks. Damn work commitments - this was at MOST a two day job! Looks good, also air shock is holding pressure, and besides the fact that I forgot to tighten a wheel and was briefly wondering whether our roads got significantly worse in the last two weeks (and then stopping and checking bolts and going OH NUTS!), all seems to be well!


Next minor project is replacing those orange side markers with euro blanks, and hopefully sourcing a grille somewhere - I was aware the one on it now is two clips down, but having taken it off, it's actually down three - and the clips underneath the grille are gone too, so it basically holds on hopes & dreams and a single bolt. That and a fog light seems to have caught a rock, so I have an OEM one on order from Latvia (I wonder why most MB OEM parts come from Latvia? Quite a mystery).

 

The more important thing to look at is a loud clanging sound from the front suspension. Particularly on bumps where the car returns to earth (ie not compression, but decompression) there's usually a fairly loud "clang" that doesn't seem to be left or right, so I’m hoping it's not something untowardly like subframe bolts or anything. Hopefully just bushings. I guess TX has much nicer roads, so nobody noticed that until it got to this mafia-fuelled disaster of a road network we have here. There's a strip of road not far from me that they dug up to do some underground work, they put it all back two months ago, and driving by today I saw that the entire block of new asphalt they put in place just SAGGED right through . Anyway, I digress. Suspension noise.

 

For now, off to change the VANOS solenoid on the R56...

 

 

 

stress83
stress83 None
5/25/21 6:44 p.m.

New member - and I can't even recall from where I ended up in this thread - but I just read all 128 pages over the past few days... whew... I wonder if this is how my wife feels about books with Fabio on the cover!

 

I can't help but ask: even after allllll of the posts, it's still not been explicit who the original owner was. It's been five years and XM is long cancelled, so... :D

 

I really appreciate the initiative to dig in and not think it's impossible to mess with any vehicle. People often ask me how I can just work on cars - I tell them it's just a big LEGO set. Further, if I'm in there then it's likely broken anyway, so it's not like I'll screw it up worse (and I can always pay someone to put it back together - even if it may cost $57k).

 

One thing this thread has cemented is that I should continue avoiding used German vehicles no matter how enticing. Most recently I walked away from a B8.5 DSG S4. A fine car with dealer service from day one, but I just couldn't pull the trigger. Even though I can fix whatever, doesn't mean my bank account will always agree!


Have had a GRM subscription, and been on forums since the 90's, but this place of misfits sure seems perfect (and it's especially welcoming since forums are generally dead due to the advent of social media and their "groups" with instant - albeit questionable - information)... but I digress. It's certainly great all subsequent owners are still giving updates!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
5/25/21 9:30 p.m.

In reply to stress83 :

Glad you're here. There are some truly spectacular used German cars out there. You just have to go in with your eyes open and be ready for a broken heart. It's a lot like dating super beautiful people in their 20's. 

As to the original owner. I know I told the gentleman who bought it from me, but I'm not sure if I've told the current owner. I'm hoping it was passed down with the lore of the car. 

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
5/26/21 6:10 p.m.

I'm amazed by that headlight wiring.  I have a '93 400E that used the biodegradable wiring on the main engine harness.  I've had the car for 4 years and nearly 30k miles, and I'd sort of treated it as a "let sleeping dogs lie."  But there was no tell-tale tag indicating an updated harness.  So when I finally dug into it a few months ago, I was shocked by how atrocious it was.  Like, as I pulled the harness out, all of the insulation remained in the engine bay.  There was NOTHING left on the harness but bare copper strands.  The fact that the car not only ran, but ran spectacularly with that harness remains one of the great mysteries of my automotive life!  

I can't believe some of that still exists in a ~15-yr newer car.

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/26/21 6:53 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to stress83 :

Glad you're here. There are some truly spectacular used German cars out there. You just have to go in with your eyes open and be ready for a broken heart. It's a lot like dating super beautiful people in their 20's. 

As to the original owner. I know I told the gentleman who bought it from me, but I'm not sure if I've told the current owner. I'm hoping it was passed down with the lore of the car. 

I was actually only told the circumstantial particulars but since I have the complete history, I just looked the previous owner up and all the info is there (and maybe even more than needed, like addresses and stuff). So yeah I can see the desire to keep it sorta on the downlow. 

In some mega positive news - I finally got around to replacing that hose that was leaking. It was a pin sized hole just after the clamp, so it wasn't a major concern ... but pin sized holes tend to become caverns when left untreated, so I didn't want to leave it around too much. You can see it just to the left of my finger, approximately in the centre of the picture.

So ... the original hose is out of production, but I’m very happy to report that although I bought a ML63 and a R350 one to Macgyver one together, but the ML63 one fit perfectly! Right is ML63, left is R63.

The angle is ever so slightly different (which would explain the different part number), but it doesn't stress anywhere and it even fits into the original holder clamp. 

On the downside, I now have a useless R350 hose, but that's a small price to pay!

Pressure holds, so this one looks like a home run.

 

 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
5/26/21 9:00 p.m.
stress83 said:

New member - and I can't even recall from where I ended up in this thread - but I just read all 128 pages over the past few days... whew... I wonder if this is how my wife feels about books with Fabio on the cover!

 

I can't help but ask: even after allllll of the posts, it's still not been explicit who the original owner was. It's been five years and XM is long cancelled, so... :D

 

I really appreciate the initiative to dig in and not think it's impossible to mess with any vehicle. People often ask me how I can just work on cars - I tell them it's just a big LEGO set. Further, if I'm in there then it's likely broken anyway, so it's not like I'll screw it up worse (and I can always pay someone to put it back together - even if it may cost $57k).

 

One thing this thread has cemented is that I should continue avoiding used German vehicles no matter how enticing. Most recently I walked away from a B8.5 DSG S4. A fine car with dealer service from day one, but I just couldn't pull the trigger. Even though I can fix whatever, doesn't mean my bank account will always agree!


Have had a GRM subscription, and been on forums since the 90's, but this place of misfits sure seems perfect (and it's especially welcoming since forums are generally dead due to the advent of social media and their "groups" with instant - albeit questionable - information)... but I digress. It's certainly great all subsequent owners are still giving updates!

Good to have you, albeit I’m just as new here :)

I wouldn't lump all Germans into the same category. Although it's a little early for me to judge how this car will turn out, I recently realised that with this car, I've now officially owned every brand they make (at least of the more commonly available ones). They have run the gamut, from "oil changes and lots of mods" on a VW Golf R to "let's drop the engine for a headlamp change" on a V10 RS6, and the 911 and the BMW fell somewhere in between. I can confidently say that if you have a good history and careful owners of the cars then even though the German reliability will likely catch up to you, at least you know what's been done and what hasn't. 

Then again. Some cars are just guaranteed disasters. Like the DSG B8 S4. :D Even if you do know its history, it's like reading someone's painful diary :D

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