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Newsletter No.125

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MB Spares Newsletter No.125 May 2012

Well it has been some time since we last sent out a Newsletter, same old reasons as before, we are just so busy meeting demands for our parts customer. We have also had another complicating factor that has chewed up quite a bit of our time in the last 6 months that will be covered below. In the mean time please enjoy this Newsletter.

M116 and M117 timing chains.

We get a lot of requests to price up the parts required to do a chain replacement on these so thought I would cover it in an article here. Whilst there is no listed service interval in all the Mercedes-Benz service instructions the chains in the M116 and M117 V8's (350, 380, 420, 450, 500 and 560) only have a service life of 100000kms. From here they tend to stretch and the nylon guides wear and eventually break and fowl the l/h camshaft sprocket causing terminal damage.

The tell tale sign that it is due is either the 10000km mark since last replacement or a knocking sound on start up, especially from cold.

Many workshops when they are asked to replace the chain do exactly that, they just replace the chain, this however is bad news as all that does is put extra load on all the worn chain guides. We even know of an authorised Mercedes-Benz dealership that did this, only to have the guides fail 10000kms later with terminal damage to the engine.

Here is a summary of the correct repair process. It is a job that a reasonably well prepared home DIY mechanic could do.

Put car on hoist, lift 30cms from the ground (OH&S)
Disconnect battery
Remove alternator and bracket as one assembly, rest on a rag r/h inner skirt
Remove power steering pump and brackets, put on bench.
Remove fan/viscous hub from water pump (not really necessary, but makes life easy)
Remove distributor and leads, place on l/h inner shirt. (to get access to stuff)
Remove spark plugs (makes engine easy to turn over)
Remove rocker covers.
Put 27mm socket on crankshaft nut
Remove camshaft oiler rail/clips.
Turn engine to TDC, check camshaft timing. (make note if out)
Remove rocker arms, keep in order, super important as they will have wear in them that matches wear in cam. However if wear is excessive replace cam and rockers.
Remove timing chain tensioner.
Replace 2x chain guide in l/h head, remove tensioner rail and replace tensioner guide (or guide lining) and chain guide in r/h head. (this is the bit where you realise just how lucky you are)
Replace sprockets if required, if more that 200000kms they will be worn out.
Find chain link or if the original chain grind one pin off to brake chain. Attach new chain and wind it in. This is ideally a two man job, but can be done on your own very carefully.
Fit NEW timing chain tensioner.
Wind engine over a few times and check camshaft timing, use offset woodruff keys if incorrect.
Replace all other parts taken off. This is where the costs can add up. New power steering filter and oil flush is a good idea. If the distributor cap rotor and leads are no good now is the time to replace them. Rubber breather hoses to the rocker covers may need replacing.
If it a d-jet (or AMG spec) engine adjust the valve clearances.
Use NEW camshaft oil rail clips.
Wind it over a few more times to be sure, a good mechanic is a paranoid mechanic.
Replace spark plugs and start engine.
Warm up and do a full tune, ignition timing will have changed and as a result so could have the fuel mixture.

If this is a job you are looking at doing phone us for either a quote for the parts or to do the job in our workshop. You can contact us here.

Cars for Sale.

To be honest one of the reason I found time to send out this Newsletter was to promote the cars we have for sale at the moment. Car sales have been good and steady over the last 12 months with some very good low mileage cars finding new owners. Infact we almost ran out of cars to put on display a few months back.

We have long had a policy of not buying cars because we needed stock, but rather waiting for the right cars to turn up. Many of the cars we get are trade ins from authorised Mercedes-Benz dealerships. At the moment we have cars that were traded at Marshalls' and Macintosh's in Sydney and from Baker Motors in Albury for sale. The point of all this is that we now have the opposite problem compared to a few months back. We now have had a flood of great cars offered to us. Here is our current list of cars for sale.

- E200K sedan, 2005 model

- S320 sedan only 95000kms

- CLK320 Sport coupe, only 72000kms

- E230 sedan, one owner with all receipts since day one!

- C200 wagon, great family car. (pictures soon)

- 300E sedan with only 43000kms, a freak car, looks like it just left the factory.

- 220S sedan 1958 model

- 190Db, rare Diesel Roundie with a documented 97000miles

- 280SL, LHD, but with a rare manual transmission

- 380SEC coupe

- 230GE rare SWB Gelandewagon

So as you can see a wide range of vehicle to suit almost everyone. Everything from everyday cars to weekend collector hobby cars. Each one has its location listed with some here in Canberra and the others with an associate of ours in Sydney. If you are interested in any information please feel free to e-mail us or contact the mobile number on the cars listing.

Mercedes-Benz attempt to stop supply.

Here is a brief outline of an additional hassle we have had over the last six or so months. Some of you will have experienced some delays in the supply of genuine Mercedes-Benz branded parts from us in the last few months. This has been caused by escalating activity from Mercedes-Benz in an attempt to restrict our supply chain to only the authorised dealerships here in Australia.

Below is a copy of the letter that was sent out to customers who have been caught up in all this explaining the situation. The very short version of the letter is that M.B Spares will continue to source Mercedes-Benz branded parts and offer them for sale here in Australia at realistic prices. But, that it now takes a little longer.

We are also now stocking more of the faster moving parts in an attempt to still keep customers cars on the road and avoid delays.

You are receiving this letter as you are either awaiting delivery of parts on order from our company or have been supplied these parts after an excessive waiting period. Unfortunately the supply of Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts at realistic prices is becoming harder and harder. This is the result of a conscious effort on behalf of Daimler to restructure their parts distribution system.

M.B Spares is Australia's leading independent importers of Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts. Our ability to effectively bypass the margins placed on Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts by Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd has over the years allowed us to supply parts at very significant discounts to our customers. At times up to 50% off the dealership recommended price. In many cases this has been the difference between customers being able to afford their car and having to sell it.

However, in October 2010 Daimler, the parent company to the Mercedes-Benz brand, started a push to stop third parties on selling their genuine parts to independent importers such as ourselves. Their aim is to force you to deal only with authorised dealerships and to pay the full Mercedes-Benz authorised price.

As an example lets use this AAM2 module from a 1999 ML430, a vehicle that is today worth between $10-15000.00. Part number is A163 545 00 16, it is a module that controls functions such as key recognition so is rather important.

Mercedes-Benz dealership retail price January 2010 $ 917.00

Mercedes-Benz dealership retail price February 2012 $1308.00

M.B Spares retail price January 2010 $ 585.00

M.B Spares retail price February 2012 $ 795.50

As well as attempting to restrict supply to business's such as ours, there have also been some significant price rises. Should Mercedes-Benz get their way, there will be no option for the ML430 owner, but to buy the part at dealership prices.

M.B Spares has been fighting this problem since October 2010 with reasonable success. Some of the international resellers have been standing up for their rights and are still supplying us. However, now Daimler are threatening them with the loss of their Mercedes-Benz franchises if they continue to supply us. Needless to say the turnover from our account is not worth jeopardising their franchise. As a result the number of resellers that are prepared to deal with us is diminishing and the time frames within which we can supply parts is growing longer. We have confirmed evidence of Daimler cancelling orders to resellers when they have found out the parts will be coming to Australia.

However, M.B Spares will continue to work on resolving this problem. We will remain proactive in sourcing genuine parts for our customers at discounted prices. Without going into a very long explanation, the worldwide system for the distribution of Mercedes-Benz parts is such that we still have many avenues to work with, they may take longer and in some cases increase the pricing. But, M.B Spares will get the parts and continue to compete with the Mercedes-Benz dealerships.

M.B Spares will also continue to offer a large range of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts and quality aftermarket parts. Remember that Mercedes-Benz do not make over 90% of the parts that their cars are assembled from. These parts are out sourced to companies like Bosch, Hella, Elring, ATE, Brembo, Lemforder, ULO and others. We are still importing without any restrictions parts from many of these manufacturers.

If you would like any more information about your order or have other parts needs, please feel free to contact us..

John & Sandra Green

Rare Mercedes seized and destroyed.

Here are two links to storied about people who have paid for their dream car only to lose it..

Gullwing 's destroyed..

500K repossessed..

Cars for dismantling.

With over 12 months since the last Newsletter there have been a lot of cars that have been stripped of their good parts and the shells sent off to Taiwan to be turned into Hyundai's. At the moment we have a flood of W126's one of which has a perfect condition cream leather interior. Here is a short list of what else is currently being dismantled.

- W126 280SE, 380SE, 500SEL, 380SEC

- W123 230E x2

- W114 250, 280E

- W210 E230 wagon

- W202, C180, C200 x2

- W203 C180

- W168 A160

- W201 190E

-W124 260E x2

So that's it for now, no promises, but will try for another one in a month!!

I already have some content ready to go including info on Front subframes for the W107 series and a pictorial report on the Mercedes-Benz Club of Victoria Concours. I have added a taster picture to the top of this Newsletter to wet your appetite..

John Green.