(July 5, 1997)
Car now has ~131,000 miles. I need to replace the hydrostruts and nitrogen cells in the self-levelling rear suspension. The right strut is leaking hydraulic fluid. The a/c stopped working recently.
(November 17, 1997)
I rebuilt the hydrostruts a couple of months ago. Surprisingly, it was a relatively easy job. There are two O-rings in each strut that wear out and cause the strut to leak. I found O-rings of the same size at a local auto parts store and so far there's no leakage, not even any seaping. Cost: O-rings about $5.00, and about $18 for a liter of hydraulic fluid from the dealer. I still need to replace the nitrogen cells to restore the ride quality...
(January 18, 1998)
Installed four new OEM (ATE) brake rotors and Mintex brake pads. Drained and filled with Castrol GT/LMA brake fluid. I've never used Mintex pads before but I thought I'd try them because they are not supposed to create as much dust. With OEM pads the wheels would get dirty every two days... I have Metal Masters on the 300E and they are very good at keeping the dust level down but seem to require a bit more pedal pressure, especially on the first use of the day. With the Mintex pads the brakes are very easy to modulate. After the pads are bedded in I'll update this page...
(February 1, 1998)
Fixed broken multi-speed fan switch today. The lever had jammed between the (I) and (II) speed settings. The entire job took about one hour. Step-by-step instructions courtesy of Tom Gillen.
(March 17, 1998)
136,040 miles. Finally replaced the nitrogen cells in the self-levelling rear suspension. When the cells wear out the ride becomes overly firm and bouncy. This is especially noticable over a series of small bumps. Wow, what a difference. The ride is still firm and controlled, but no more bounce!
I can also report on the Mintex brake pads now. I find these pads to modulate well and braking is strong and confidence inspiring. Pedal pressure is about the same as stock and the best part is that brake dust is extremely minimal.
I also finally got around to replacing the power antenna mast. It's been broken since I bought the car. This is normally a five minute job, however, I first had to figure out why the antenna motor stopped working. I ended up removing it from the car and opening the case. Had to fix the drive gear, the shock mechanism sheared. A little super glue and a small screw fixed that, but the mast still refused to go up. A little more detective work uncovered the problem. Last month when I fixed the fan speed switch, I also had to remove the radio...well, when I reinstalled it I forgot to reconnect the power antenna lead!
In preparation for summer, I replaced the antifreeze. Flushed system with clean water through two heat cycles and refilled with 50/50 MB antifreeze and water. Also replaced the thermostat and at the same time upgraded the plastic 'stat housing with the improved aluminum version. Will need new front struts soon...will also mildly lower the front of the car at that point. Currently, the front spring pads are 18mm (3 tabs), I plan to replace them with 8mm (1 tab) pads which should lower the front of the car 18mm, almost 3/4 inch. Stay tuned...
(January 31, 2000)
It's been a really long time since I've updated this page! I have some big changes coming up. Suspension-wise, I've decided to remove the self-levelling rear suspension. I just ordered a Sachs 'Sporting' kit from Bekkers - this includes 4 new sport springs and matched struts/shocks. I also ordered a set of new wheels from Tirerack...17 x 7.5" Moda R6's with Bridgestone Potenza S-02 Pole Positions, 215/40-17. The wheels should be here early next week and the suspension shortly after that. I also have a set of braided brake lines going in! The car should look and handle pretty nice!
(April 8, 2001)
Finally installed the Sachs sporting set! At this point, I have 1-tab spring pads in front and 2-tab pads in back. I want to see if the springs settle and then I may try some 1-tab pads in back also. The total height drop in front is 1.4 inches and 7/8" in back. From the ground to the bottom of the fender well (flare) it's 24 1/8". Still need to install the stainless steel brake lines...
(June 17, 2001)
I took ride height measurements again to see if the springs had settled. The front is the same at 24 1/8", ground to bottom of flare. The rear springs have settled another 3/8" for a ground to flare height of 23 3/4". The car looks and handles great!
(July 7, 2001)
After 4.5 years of living with a whiny, noisy, differential I finally got around to swapping
in a used one I bought from a wrecked '86 16V. The installation went smoothly. The only
stumbling block is that the ABS sensor is slightly different between '86 and '87. The
difference being that the mounting hole is in a slightly different place in the differential
case. I have two basic choices, use an ABS sensor for an '86 car or slot the mounting hole
in my current sensor. I'm going to try slotting my current sensor first...
On a more positive note, the 'new' diff is smooth and quiet!