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IMG_4208When you come out to your Mercedes-Benz with AIRMATIC suspension and it looks more like a slammed lowrider on one or multiple corners and your instrument cluster is displaying the message “Visit workshop” with the image of a vehicle and an up arrow you have a problem. More specifically you have a ride height issue. If this does happen to you the car may still be safe to drive as long as the air suspension raises itself back to its normal ride height; if it cannot then the vehicle will have to be towed. It is important if this does occur to repair the fault soon and not keep driving the vehicle with the issue as it will only get worse and can put excessive wear on the AIRMATIC pump often requiring its replacement in addition to [...]

Das Boat at Crash Fest

By Jason Burton

IMAG1044There it sat on the infield grass. A battery drained by a driver that wasn’t. As full of hope and will as Mitch Peronto, the fearless captain of Das Boat, was, the end had come as he cranked and cranked in an effort to get his proud race car restarted. The engine, no longer how long it was cranked and how much unburned fuel hung in the air, would not fire. This 32 year old flagship of Mercedes-Benz had covered its last miles in a way that most probably no other had ever done, in a race to the death towing a boat in rural Indiana. The car, its crew, and confident driver gave all they had and the results were admirable.

The event was Crash Fest, a medieval gladiator style match to [...]

IMG_1841The M272 and M273 engines are incredibly robust and were the workhorse in most U.S. Mercedes models beginning in 2004. They were phased out from the U.S. market just a couple of years ago. Apart from some early engines having issues with balance shaft/timing chain sprockets, these engines are just about as bulletproof as they come. Their intake manifolds, however, have a weakness that is becoming very apparent as these engines start to get a few years on them.

Hi-Line Automotive in Downers Grove walked me though this design weakness and how to perform the repair more robustly than a MB dealership would and with a substantial cost savings as well.IMG_1838

First it is important to understand [...]

The W113 “Pagoda” SL Mercedes made from 1963-1971 are amazing cars. Robust, stylish, reliable and still modern enough to cope with today’s traffic. Some of the most coveted models are those equipped with the ZF 5-speed transmissions. Approximately 883 cars were optioned with this transmission out of a total production of 48,912. Consequently finding one of these cars is difficult and prices for them higher than the 4-speed (manual or automatic) optioned Pagodas. More difficult yet is finding replacement parts for the original ZF gearboxes, which beyond bearings that are generic, the rest of the components are made nearly of unobtanium making refurbishment and repairs extremely expensive.

photo 4The reason why these transmissions are so coveted is simple. At highway speeds a 4-speed W113 turns some serious RPM. The 5-speed brings [...]

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