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Newsletter No.128

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MB Spares Newsletter No.128 August 2012

Welcome to the latest MB Spares Newsletter. The big news this newsletter is the launch of our Facebook page. Also in this month's newsletter you will read news of a very significant buy out of OEM parts, a change of mind on the future of Hybrid cars and an invitation to attend the Mercedes-Benz Club of the ACT Concours.

MB Spares on Facebook.

Guess it was about time. MB Spares has just published its own Facebook page. You can find it at:

We have loaded up some pictures that show a brief history of MB Spares from its early days in the garage of our home in Jerrabomberra though to our current facilities in Fyshwick. Click on the "Like" button to subscribe to our updates.

An Australian Mercedes!

Did you know that Mercedes-Benz vehicles were assembled here in Australia? Australian Motor Industries assembled kit form Mercedes-Benz vehicles from 1959 till 1965 in port Melbourne. You can read the story about this interesting chapter in Australia's motoring history and about a rare Australian assembled 190Db we have for sale here.

A car is only original once.

Thanks to all of you who e-mailed in comments on my article in the July Newsletteron the unnecessary restoration of some cars. I have often thought about posting up some of my "opinions" in the Newsletters, so you can look forward to a few more. You will find an interesting conundrum below.

One man's junk is another man's treasure.

Over the 18 years MB Spares has been in business we have always been on the lookout for obsolete parts being sold off by various European parts wholesalers and authorised Mercedes-Benz dealerships here in Australia. What is deemed unsaleable by an authorised dealership is prime market for MB Spares. The mufflers listed in the last Newsletter and now on our eBay site are a good example.

Last month we purchased a significant quantity of parts from one of Australia's largest wholesalers representing companies such as ATE, Bosch, Lemforder and Sachs. See the top two pictures in the R/H margin (you can click on them to blow them up and again to reduce back down), there were 7 full pallets of stock ranging from W115 240D engine gasket kits to lower control arms for the W163 ML series. At the base of this Newsletter I have included a complete list of the parts we brought. Not sure what we will do with the 1130 sump plug gaskets, that's a lot of oil changes….

By the time you read this, we should have all the parts catalogued and listed on our inventory. So have a read and see if there is anything that interests you. Enquiries to this e-mail.

The Pagoda turns 50.

Entrants for the 50th anniversary birthday party of the W113 pagoda are now up to 29 out of the aimed for 50! You can see the entrants car on their website.

MB Spares is proud to be sponsoring this event and looks forward to seeing many of our customers over the weekend.

Mercedes-Benz Club of ACT Concours.

The Mercedes-Benz club of the ACT will be holding its 37thAnnual Concours on the 23rd of September 2012. The location is again on the Patrick White Lawns between the National Library and the southern shore of Lake Burley Griffin. This is a great event and not to be missed. For those of you thinking of entering a W123, you need not worry, we have sold last year's Outright winning Entry. You will however have to wait to see what we turn up with this year….

Information on the event can be found here on the MBCACT website. Entry is available to Members of any Mercedes-Benz Club in Australia. The entry form can be found here.

Employment opportunity filled (sort of)

Well we have sort of filled the position! Last weekend I joked to a friend of my son, who had just resigned from his job at McDonalds, that we had a job opening for a qualified Mechanic. To my surprise he rang me at home a few days later to take me up on the offer. Now obviously he is not qualified, but is prepared to trail working for us with a view to signing up as an apprentice for the 2013 intake.

So, whilst we have an extra hand on staff for now, we are still open to looking for extra staff in the workshop. If you are interested or maybe know someone who might be interested please let me know.

Filters that nobody changes!

Last Newsletter we covered the cabin filters in a series on filters that nobody changes. I hope all of you with post 1993 cars have checked to see when it was changed last. This time we will look at power steering filters.

Every Mercedes-Benz vehicle fitted with power steering has a filter in the system. But, how many of you know where it is or when it was changed last? MB Spares recommends changing them every 40000kms. Here is a breakdown of where they are and how to find them. For more advice call our sales team on 1300 787 300.

- 60's and early 70's models. The filter for these is inside the reservoir. You will find the reservoir either remotely mounted to the body or on top of the power steering pump. To access the filter you need to lift out a metal plate at the base of the reservoir.

- Late 70's to the mid 90's. Power steering pumps on these models have an integral reservoir and so the filter is inside the pump. It lifts out as an entire assembly.

- Late 90's onwards. Now this one is tricky. Believe it or not Mercedes-Benz integrated the filter permanently into the reservoir! The result of this is that to change the filter you need to replace the entire assembly! Initially many workshops thought there was no filter, but after some careful inspection there is a fine gauze filter inside the reservoir. The sign that the filter is blocking is a noise from the power steering pump. We even know of cases where the pump was replaced when all it needed was a new reservoir…

Power steering fluid changes are relatively straight forward you simply disconnect the return line and run the engine pouring fresh fluid into the reservoir until it runs clean. A job best down with two people.

We stock filters and seals for all models, so go and check your service history now.

Cars for Sale.

Well the E280CDI didn't last long! We had a chap come in looking to trade up from his 300CE and was looking for a CLK500, we wanted something with "more grunt". Problem was the wife wanted four doors. The E280CDI was the obvious choice, one test drive and it was sold.

The modern Mercedes-Benz diesels with the common rail injection (that's what CDI stands for) make so much torque at low revs that you think you are driving a V8. The chap with the 300CE didn't believe me until I offered him a test drive. The CLK500 he was dreaming of has 460Nm of torque at 2700rpm, the E280CDI has 440Nm which is less than the CLK500, but as it arrives at only 1400rpm the pull into the back of the seat is even more noticeable. TheC220CDI wagonwe have for sale has the same CDI system and is one of the best wagons I have driven.

Here is a list of the cars currently for sale, including a rather surprising one….

- Jaguar X-type

-CLK320 Sport coupe, only 72000kms

- C180Kompressor Sport Coupe

- C220 CDI wagon

- 300SEL 6.3 Sedan

- 220SEb sedan, rare floor change manual

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

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 toe-mail usor contact the mobile number on the cars listing.

Is the Toyota Prius Green?

Well is it?? If you listen to the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and others you will find plenty of reasons why they are not Green. Many test drive reports claim that the fuel consumption figures Toyota claim are just not achievable in the real world and prospective "Green" car buyers would be better off with a Golf Diesel or similar.

One of the biggest environmental problems is the issue with the actual production of the batteries. The nickel batteries that hybrids use are not considered environmentally friendly. The nickel for the Prius is produced in Sudbury, Ontario. It has been reported the area surrounding the plant is devoid of any life for miles as a result of the mining activities. Toyota produces 1,000 tons of Nickel annually from this mine specifically for the Prius batteries. The nickel is then sent off to a refinery in Europe and then off to China and finally it ends up in finished form in Japan. The amount of energy used to ship the raw components and then the finished products an entire lap of the world puts a big dint in the green footprint of each car produced.

The United Kingdom Government Car Service requested information from Toyota about the net cost in terms of emissions to build a Prius, in response they were sent a brochure. This was picked up by Andrew English who writes for The telegraph who quotes a GCS spokesman as saying ""It looks more like a flier. Toyota admits that building the Prius expends more energy, but then says that's compensated by its better fuel consumption, and that the lifetime CO2 saving is 43 per cent. It's a bit of sweeping statement."

So, what's my point? Well, I was amongst the scoffers who claimed the effort to produce these new Hybrid cars was a total waste of time. But having reflected on this recently I have come to realise that the current crop of Hybrids is something that we need. Why, because unless they continue to develop the technology they will never get it right. Use this as an example:

Mercedes-Benz developed the first diesel power sedan,released in 1936. It was very noisy, smelly and at a guess belched black smoke. Then after the second world war they came up with the OM636 engine in the 170D, follow this all the way forward to the current batch of CDI engines, especially the ones mentioned above in the cars for sale section, and you can see the huge increase in technology. Much of it learnt progressively as the models were developed and refined.

So to all you people who still think Hybrids are a waste of time, I challenge you to consider them essential to the long term development of the Motor car. Possibly Hybrid is not the future, but also possibly they will find the future by working on Hybrids.

Interesting Mercedes-Benz links.

What happens when you mix a 1961 190SL with a 2004 SL600. You can find out here. I love the third picture.

OK, this is nothing to do with Mercedes-Benz but it is well worth watching..

If you have a few hours to spare you might like this one. Click on the model of your choice and then check out the picture files. Whoever set this site up has collected an amazing collection of nearly every modified Mercedes-Benz from the last few decades.

This one also has nothing to do with Mercedes-Benz, but is quite awesome in a different kind of way. How much does it cost to close down San Franciscofor a morning??

Last one is also nothing to do with Mercedes-Benz, but it is a great exampleof the German ingenuity that we love so much.

And if you have anything that you feel is newsworthy or just plain interesting please forward it to us via the Contact page.

John Green.