to sign up for our Newsletter.

Newsletter No.089 New Australian MB forums, mag wheel price reduction

Newsletter Number 89
6th June 2005


Welcome to the latest newsletter.  In this edition we have an interesting article on cruise controls, news of two new internet forums for Mercedes-Benz fans, and our usual line up of articles for you. We also have something you don't see every day, new of a price reduction!

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks John and Sandra Green.

The mysteries of cruise control....

The VDO cruise control system used in all Mercedes-Benz models up to about 1993 has a very interesting inbuilt fault. If you have a bad earth or blown bulb in your brake/stop lamps then it does not work. Unless you are aware of this then you can spend hours looking at the all the wrong parts trying to fix it. Here is an article from General Development Laboratories in California who rebuild the various Cruise control units used in Mercedes-Benz's

Some of us have heard for years about brake light bulbs and their effects on the cruise control system. I suppose many beliefs are firmly grounded somewhere in folk lore because of some caveman's personal experience. Don't forget... the world was originally flat.

Here are the facts:

I'll begin with some moderately technical information and then boil it down to very simple lay conclusions.

In all VDO Cruise Control Systems the filaments of both brake light bulbs are connected to chassis ground at one end and are switched to approximately battery voltage at the other. When the brake lights are off the switched end sees a wire (the filament) to ground; when on, that ground disappears and that end of the filament goes to somewhere in the vicinity of 13.8 Vdc, current flows and the filament glows. The key is that at the "hot" (in electrical terms) end of the bulb the ground is lost when the bulb lights.

The Cruise Control System uses the above condition in the following manner. Amongst the couple hundred electrical connections inside the Cruise Control Amplifier, there is one, that's ONE! connection to the switched end of the brake light bulb. In the systems from 1981 to 1993 this connection provides a ground path the to emitter of an npn switching transistor which controls the digital flip-flop circuit which holds the cruise system on. In earlier systems the configuration is slightly different. In either case it is a totally passive connection. In other words, it is just a wire which provides a current path to chassis ground for that circuit. When the ground is lost the brake lights turn on, the cruise system switches off. It's a simple as that.

Thus, while there may be several ohms difference between brake light bulbs of different brands, there is no way they can affect operation of or damage the Cruise Control Amplifier. Use the brand of brake light bulb of your choice!

Since the bulb provides a critical system ground, it is true that at least one, preferably both, brake light bulbs must be working and seated properly for the Cruise Control System to work. If your brake light bulbs are burned out the cruise control system will not work.

The notion that it matters what brand of brake light bulb you use is a myth which has no merit based in technical reality.

We at M.B Spares & Service also rebuild the Cruise control modules and sell a wide range of recycled components for cruise control systems. Prices are as follows.

10 pin control modules 1975-80                                    $225.00            Recycled vacuum actuator 1975-80       $100.00
14 pin control modules 1980-87                                    $225.00            Recycled electric actuator 1980-93        $150.00
14 pin control modules with trimming plug 1987-93     $225.00


New Forums.

Many newsletter readers will know that M.B Spares & Service sponsors the OZVETS mailing list and has done so since its conception back in 2002. Well the time has come to evolve the list into a more up to date Forum style list. OZVETS was founded by a group of us who used to subscribe to various US based lists but didn't like the way the Americans carried on about various topics. (I guess the Americans most likely can't understand the way the OZVETS list carries on). Topics discussed vary but always relate in some way to Classic Mercedes-Benz's. A test forum has been set up and you can link to it here. If you wish to participate (and you are most welcome to) you will have to register as a member first. When the forum is moved to its new home we will advise you of its new URL.

By coincidence at the same time as when we started to think about this the Mercedes-Benz Club of NSW started there our forum. You can link to there new forum here. The NSW club are hoping that this new forum will be used by all the Mercedes-Benz clubs in Australia and are promoting it to all the clubs as I type. The NSW club forum caters for all things Mercedes no matter what age they are with topics split up as follows:

Tech Talk, Concours and Detailing, Speakers corner, Dealers and Workshops, Feedback and Articles.


Joke of the month.

This one is an old joke but well worth repeating:

A young woman was pulled over for speeding.  As the Wisconsin State Trooper Officer walked to her car window, flipping open his ticket book, she said, "I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the State Troopers Ball." He replied, "Wisconsin State Troopers don't have balls." There was a moment of silence while she smiled, and he realized what he'd just said.
He then closed his book, got back in his patrol car and left. She was laughing too hard to start her car.

And this one is just brilliant (apologies to any female newsletter readers):

I never quite figured out why the sexual urge of men and women differ so much. And I never have figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their head and women with their heart.

For example, one evening last week, my girlfriend and I were getting into bed. Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says "I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me." I said "WHAT????!!! What was that?! "She responded to my puzzled look by saying, "Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?" What every boyfriend/husband on the planet dreads to hear..."You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man."

Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night I went to sleep. The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big unnamed department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn't decide which one to take so I told her we'll just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said lets get a pair for each outfit. We went on to the jewellery department where she picked out a pair of diamond
earrings. Let me tell you...she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn't even know how to play tennis.

I think I threw her for a loop when I said, "That's fine, honey." She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement. Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, "I think this is all dear, Let's go to the cashier".

I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, "No honey, I don't feel like it." Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled "WHAT???!!!" I then said, "Really honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while.. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman." And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me I added, "Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?"

It is not often that I would promote somebody else's website, however we have just signed an agreement with  to have a mini site on their site with all the cars we have for sale. If you click here you will see our site. I have only just started to load up the cars so might be an idea to check back in a week or so. You will also see a few "foreign" make of cars listed here. We have been known to sell other brands of cars from time to time.

Mag wheels price reduction.


We have just updated our mag wheels page with four new models and would you believe some price reductions. Sales have been good in the Mag wheel department allowing us to buy at a better price and pass the savings onto our customers. For example we have dropped the price of our biggest selling wheel the 17" AMG style 5 hole wheel to $1495.00 a set. This wheel is available in both early and late offsets to suit a wide variety of models.

We also now stock an 18" Brabus style alloy to suit the ML range. All wheels are available as a wheel and tire package. I have included a few pictures of the new styles in the newsletter for you. For more information check out the Mag wheel page here.


Finnish language.

Our article last newsletter on the finer points of the Finnish language produced some interesting results. I mentioned that I had no idea if it was true or if it was a joke. Well it would appear that it is true,  "yhdeksänkymmentäkolme" does in fact mean "93". However, it has been reported to me by one of our newsletter readers that each number and many of the other words in Finnish have shortened versions or nick names. He learnt this after showing our newsletter article to a Finnish co-worker.

So now that we have that cleared up here is an interesting note sent to us by our friends from the EC.

News Just in fro the EC The European Commission have just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the
other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would become known as "EuroEnglish":--

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favor of the "k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by the "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"s in the language is disgraseful, and they should go away.

By the 4th year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.


Employment opportunity.

M.B Spares and Service is looking to employ another Automotive Technician (Mechanic) for our busy workshop. We are quite flexible as to how  we employ someone, either an apprentice and a qualified tradesman, full time or part time. What is important however is the attitude of the person we employ. All the staff here at M.B Spares and Service are dedicated lovers of the three pointed star, in fact all but one of us drive a Mercedes-Benz! (and we are working on him!) If you love what you do and get enjoyment from it as well as a wage then everyone benefits. So if you or anybody that you know loves Benz's and would like to work with them please let me know. You can e-mail me direct  or phone me on 0419 295 458 .


Cars for dismantling.

Recent arrivals for dismantling include the following:

W116 280S 1974, early 116 with electric windows that work!! Carb version of the M110 twin cam engine in good condition.

W124 300E 1987, hit in the rear so lots of good front end parts on this one. Excellent high compression engine.

If you are interested in any parts from these cars  please feel free to e-mail Murray Mules our Spares Manager or you can ring him on our toll free number 1300 787 300.

Links of the month.

Want a W116 wagon?? Click here to see one that was on ebay in the US. This is a Crayford special. They are better know for there conversions on W114 chassis.

Or if a W116 wagon is to mundane for you then maybe you should put a bid on this!

Or maybe you want something with more seats? This is a similar O319 coach to the one we are currently restoring.

Cars for Sale.

Two of the three low mileage cars sold in a flash as soon as the last newsletter was published. The 300TE wagon and 300CE coupe are both sold. We have also sold a lovely manual W123 240D and  our C200 has gone to a new loving owner. New cars into stock include a one owner 1981 300TD which we have already taken a deposit on, a 1988 300CE that was traded on the low mileage 300TE, a 1998 A160 Avantgarde and another 1981 240D this time an auto version.

You will notice that there are no links to the cars that have been sold anymore! We have a system that when a car is sold where the page that advertised it is archived, not totally removed from the site. We can still access it but the general public can't. That way when we get a similar car it is just a matter of changing the pictures and some text rather than totally rewriting that page. However a change in the system has stopped us from showing you these archived pages and when you click on them you just get a blank page. We are working on restoring this function somehow so that you can see the cars that have been sold. This is an important function now that we have gone to a monthly newsletter as some times cars will be sold before the newsletter is published. Stay tuned!

And finally I have been considering selling my 450SLC as i have found something else i would like to own. It is a very good example with only 138000kms on the clock. If you are interested in a SLC please contact me on 0419 295458 or you can click here to see a picture of it.

  You can check out all our cars for sale here:

Other cars that have arrived for sale:

A160 1998 model

300TD 1981 model (deposit taken)

240D 1981 model

300CE 1988 model

Cars we have sold:

300TE 1987 model on 77000kms

300CE 1988 model

C200 1997 model

Also in stock we have:

260E 1990 model

300E 2.6 1991 model

300E 1987 model

E280 1994 model only 117000kms

E280 1993 model 187000kms

C200 1997 model 150000kms

300d Limousine 1959 model only 110000miles

260E 1989 model only 123000kms

Collection of three factory Stretch Mercedes-Benz's

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.