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Newsletter No.049 What are we doing?, New Vito,

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M.B Spares & Service

14 Lyell st Fyshwick ACT 2609
Ph 1300 787 300 Fax (02) 6280 4596

Supporting Australia's Mercedes-Benz
Owners on the Web since 1996.

Newsletter Number 49
2nd December 2002

Hello and welcome to another newsletter.

Hello again.   Only three weeks since the last newsletter so things must be improving!  One comment we have had is, where are the pictures of the new workshop? They are coming, we still have some junk lying around that needs to be "hidden" from the camera lenses before we take some promotional photos. The plan was to get everything finished before the Christmas rush hit us but somehow I think this is not going to happen.  Below is an article on what we are doing.  Have a read of this, and you will understand why there is still junk lying around.  I promise I will have them for the next newsletter.

John Green.

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What are we doing?

Many of you get to come and see what we are doing, not only in the workshop but also with spare parts.  But I know that many of you don't.  So here is a small sample of some of what we have done in the last week.

Finished a minor engine overhaul on a 350SLC, the engine had a blown headgasket, a worn out cam lobe and was leaking oil from the rear crank seal, engine had to be removed from the car to do this job.

Headgasket on a 190E, nothing special here just a routine blown head gasket. We also had to replace the ring gear as the starter was screeching every time you tried to start it. We also replaced the timing chain and tensioner whilst the head was off as this is the weak link in these cars.

W107 front subframe modifications. One of the few bad design faults ever to come out of Stuttgart was the front suspension subframe for the W107 SL and SLC.  In the eighties they were the subject of a factory recall.  However many slipped through and were never modified. The job involves welding four special braces where the rear mount is for the lower control arm, to stop it from tearing out of the subframe.  In the last two weeks we have had to do three of them! 

Headgasket on a 300SE W126, bit of a sad story this one.  The plastic radiator tank snapped and the engine over heated.  No long term damage, but a reasonable repair bill and no car for a week for the customer.  The modern radiators with the plastic tanks do have a  habit of breaking the necks off, so you should keep a close eye on them. The replacement tanks now have a reinforced neck on them.

Air Conditioning regas's. At this time of the year we are doing 2-3 a day.  We still get a few cars that have the old (Ozone depleting) R12 gas in them.  If there is any gas left in the system it needs to be removed by someone with the appropriate equipment, as it is illegal to release it into the atmosphere.

Appraised a 250SE coupe. A customer from Melbourne has sent us a 250SE coupe that he wants to have restored.  It looks a bit rough on the outside but should shape up to be a nice car.  The customer does not want to win the Concours with it, just have a nice car to drive on the weekends.  We will be starting work on this car in the new year. 

We also did countless Lube services, flat tyres, blown bulbs, etc, etc, etc.  Not to mention the list of cars that we didn't have time for.  A 250SE (with a five speed manual) that needs a head service, 240D (another manual) that has a bad 1/2 shaft, a 325e BMW with a dead gearbox, a 230E W124 that needs an engine rebuild (done 39000kms) and a 230E  W123 that the customer has given us a list a mile long on........

Sent a complete heating and Air conditioning system to Thailand.  We have a customer in Thailand who is restoring a 250SE sedan.  Some time long ago some smart Thai removed all the heater and factory air from under the dash and put in a HUGE a/c system with enormous air vents cut into the dash (I have seen the pictures and it is not pretty).  Anyway, the to cut a long story short we had to remove the system complete with the wiring loom, all the brackets, screws and bit and pieces, label it all and post it off to Thailand.

Panel beating shop orders. We supply parts to most of the local panel beating shops.  This week we have helped with parts to repair a 380SEL, a 190E, a 420SEL and a 230E. 

Sent a 280CE diff to Jakarta.  On average we send about 4 overseas shipments a week.  We have even sent parts back to Germany!!  We are now packing up some 190b (Roundie or Ponton) parts to send to Singapore.

General parts orders. Every day at 4.30pm the Ipec Express truck pulls up at the door.  On average he has about 6-7 parcels to pick up.  These go all over Australia.  Everything from Axle seals to Waterpumps.  We have a lot of customers in Outback Australia.  We even have a customer who lives 200kms east of Broome.  I can't remember what the first thing he ordered off me was, but I can remember him telling me that I was dreaming when I told him it would be delivered the next day.  He rang me at 4pm the next day (2pm his time) to tell me it had arrived!



Special of the month.

No special of the month this time.  As you can see from above we don't really need any extra work. As of 5pm Monday the 2nd we are booked out in the workshop until Wednesday the 11th of December.  If you are thinking of getting the car checked out or serviced before Christmas, please book in now to avoid the last minute rush.  You can ring us on 6239 1099 or send our service department an e-mail.


New V Class Vito released.

In Europe for some time you have been able to buy a more "car like version of the Vito van called the "V Class". Now Daimler Chrysler have released a locally fitted out version here in Australia. The following is from there press release:

The Mercedes-Benz Vito has proven very successful with its versatility and as a vehicle that is a step above the rest with its car like ride and handling combined with powerful and economical CDI diesel and petrol engines.

"This has led to the ‘Vito V-Series’, being commissioned in conjunction with Concept Designs a Sydney based automotive design and manufacturing company. We see a market for executives who are constantly on the move and who complete a lot of work outside the normal office environment," said Frank LaSerra, Senior Executive Mercedes-Benz Light Commercial Vehicles. "These business people could come from any industry, architects, designers, film production, construction site managers, engineers, consultants, the list is endless.

"To build the ultimate mobile office the design had to be adaptable to our customers business and personal needs together with the changing requirements of the market place. When you think about today's working environment and the way business is conducted there is no reason why the business person of today couldn't use a mobile office to conduct business whilst having the benefit of a safe, comfortable and luxurious vehicle which would put most limousines to shame.

"The Vito is the ideal platform for this type of application because of its ability to handle dozens of different tasks. It has a compact exterior with an amazingly roomy interior and is built to the highest levels of comfort and safety. Ergonomic design, size and arrangement of the instruments allows the driver to read them easily and quickly, without being distracted from what is happening on the road. Four wheel disc brakes, fully independent suspension, front wheel drive, sophisticated springing and rack-and-pinion steering all work together to provide dynamic handling characteristics."

"The V-Series design provides class leading levels of luxury specification, safety and functionality. I believe Concept Designs has achieved a very good result, said Frank LaSerra."

The luxury appointments begin with the hand stitched leather dash with wood grain highlights and six hand crafted leather executive arm chairs offering first class comfort, padded headrestraints, three point seatbelts and armrests. The rear seats swivel to face each other or to relax even further you can tilt the rear seats back to 40 degrees. The rear seats can be removed individually giving an unparalleled load area for any bulky items. This unique feature gives even more flexibility for the weekend sports person, when viewing the LCD screen or when privacy is required. There is a fold out table that can be used for conferences, meetings or as a work station for the computer.

Remote wireless head phones provide each occupant the opportunity to choose their own entertainment whether it's listening to the multi stack CD player or keeping up with current affairs through the drop down LCD screen which can play television, DVD, VCD or the games station. The autopilot satellite navigation system can also be viewed through this unit ensuring that you get to that important meeting on time. This whole entertainment and navigation package is supplied by Eurovox. A communication package with lap top computer and modem hook up is a ‘must have’ for the business executive on the move , all necessary wiring and power is provided for this requirement.

Dual air zones designed by Crisp-Air keep the 'office' cool and comfortable, the rear air conditioning system provides an ideal atmosphere completely separate from the driving area, the optional curtain also provides shade from the sun or when you require a little privacy.

Two practical coat hangers are situated on the backrest of the rear seats. A fridge unit for storage of cold items and a coffee machine is also provided in the rear compartment. A pull out table is stored in a separate compartment under the rear seats. For those times when parking may be a little tight a reversing camera is fitted inside the rear window and is viewed via the LCD screen.

The outside styling of the V-Series displays refinement and style that you would expect from Mercedes with driving lamps, spoilers, grille and roof racks. 16 inch alloy wheels dual exhaust and tinted glass add the finishing touches.

"When you combine all the new refinements in the V-Series with the existing successful design of the Vito you have an outstanding vehicle, said Frank LaSerra. "The Vito with its four cylinder CDI turbocharged 2.2 litre diesel engine provides exceptional power with performance enhanced by the revolutionary common-rail direct injection system and multi-valve technology. The 2.0 litre petrol engine with its electronic management system develops 95Kw (129hp) and has already proven itself around the world in the Mercedes passenger car range.

"Driver's side airbag, disc brakes, cruise control, ABS (standard on petrol model), dual sliding doors, a power pack that includes remote central locking, electric heated mirrors and power front windows, 22,500 km service intervals, a three year 100,000 km warranty and Platinum Care 24 hour roadside assist make the Vito a very attractive and cost effective business tool," concluded Frank LaSerra.


Links of the week.

Remember our friend with the 450SEL that had an unfortunate accident?  Well he has been busy and the updates to his page can be found here.

The Mercedes-Benz Club of W.A have made some additions to the site about the up coming Classic days event, check them out here.

Here is a non Mercedes-Benz, but very handy site to bookmark.

Here is a band that have pinched our favourite name?

You can enter the Mercedes marathon here!



Cars for dismantling.

No new cars this time, but we have been sorting some more stuff out to pack away on the new shelving on the mezzanine floor.  It is amazing what we have found!  As mentioned above, I am in the process of writing two new WebPages to list some of the more remarkable finds. Meanwhile, here is a list of some of the engines and transmissions that we have for sale.

M180 220Sb Auto engine $500.00,                             W126 300SE auto $900.00

M115 220/8 auto engine old rebuild $750.00,                W126 420SEL reco auto $1900.00

M114 250 auto engine with reco head $800.00,            W123 280E early 4 bolt auto $600.00

M102 190E early multibelt engine $900.00                    W114 250/280E transmission $400.00

M110 280E/SE k-jet engines from $1000.00                W126 380SEL/SEC  auto $800.00

M103 300E/SE engine $1750.00

M116 420SEL engine $3000.00

All engines and automatic transmissions are sold with a 3 month or 5000km warranty.


Cars for Sale.

The C200 and the 230E are both sold and are waiting to be picked up.  That leaves us with the 560SEL and a very nice low mileage 260E.  Since the last newsletter, we have sold a beautiful 420SEL 89 model with airbag, soft leather and all the fruit.  We also missed out on a deal that would have seen us selling a very rare 300E-24 sedan with the factory Sportline option. Oh well, you can't get them all.......


260E Sedan 1988 model.

This car drives like the colour "Rocket red". Only 144000kms . Cruise control, tilt action sun roof, air conditioning, multi point central locking etc. 16" alloy wheels. ABS  Cream M.B tex,  good service history with books.. $18990.00AUDMore details




560SEL Sedan 1986 model.

560sel-bronze.jpg - 55.94 KAn excellent example given the mileage. 240000kms but with a condition that looks more like 150000kms. Champagne duco with tan leather trim. Like all 560's it is fully optioned right down to the electric rear seats and the town and country horns system. air conditioning, multi point central locking, power steering, tilt action sunroof, climate control, etc, etc $17990.00AUDMore details


So that's it for another newsletter. Hope you liked what you saw.  If you have any ideas or want to contribute any articles, pictures or other material please e-mail me here.  Also, don't forget that you can check out the old newsletters here

Thanks, John Green.