1985 380SE 144K miles, Tachometer dead

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I bought a used 85 380SE with 144K miles on it this month - got it real cheap. It runs and drives but not very well. I have read many posts in this forum
and they are very helpful. I'll put them to task soon. I would like some advice about the tachometer though, it doesn't work at all. I've ordered a maintenance manual from ebay but don't have it yet. Any recommendations about troubleshooting the tachometer would be appreciated.
I'm told the car had been sitting up for about 3 years without use. I changed the oil and transmission fluid - they were dirty.
Thanks,
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Is the fuel gauge working? the clock? If no, then it is the fuse.
If it is not the fuse, just buy a used speedo cluster from ebay and swap out the tach/clock unit.
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Tiger, Thank you, i'll search for the fuse when my maintenance manual arrives. djb2000
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Fuse is listed on the fuse box cover.
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Tiger,
Thank you for the help. I found the fuse, it looked OK but replaced it anyway- but it didn't make a difference. The clock works fine, so the tach is probably disconnected or defective.
I discovered why I got the car so cheap, the odometer had been tampered with. The car likely has over 200,000 miles on it. I did a carfax (after I bought it) just on a hunch - buyer beware I guess. In 1999 it had 167,000 miles - sold at auction. Then it changed hands a few times. I'm not going to persue it though - the car was for sale on consignment at a used car dealership by a very old man. He probably bought it not knowing it had been tampered with. Since I only paid $1200.00 for it and I got it running I think I'll drive it for a while. Learned a lesson though. djb2000
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Is the interior in REALLY GOOD shape?
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Richard, The interior is in sad shape, unfortunately this car wasn't taken care of in the last few years. I drove it to work yesterday, 35 miles one way in heavy rush-hour traffic. It ran fair but has a vacuum leak somewhere and is idling rough. I will probably tinker with it for a while. Nice smooth big-car ride though. David
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Discovered some time after we bought it that the odometer had been switched out and replaced with a much newer one, probably out of a wreck. Today it says 195K. But the car is over 25 years old. I would say it has a minimum of 250K on it but I suspect it is far higher than that given the shape the car was in.
1981 300SD "Der Klunker" ex Pimpmobile.
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Gogarty, Yes, it would be nice to know everything about any used car. But in the past couple of weeks I have discovered that tampering with the odometer or changing it may be more common on expensive cars like Mercedes. I got lucky, the engine seems to be if fair mechanical condition. The transmission is slipping in 2nd gear a little. If I can drive it for 2 years without an engine overhaul I'll be satisfied. I am making plans to overhaul the transmission myself, I've found kits for about $200.00. I have some experience with GM transmission overhauls. I discovered last night that the air pump was rusted out internally. Seems the hose was cracked and had been sucking in mosture. I disconnected it for now.
How is the interior on your 300SD? Does everything work? djb2000
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Shucks, my car had all its defects hanging out had I the sense to see them. But we did get a trip to Canada and one to Miami on the original engine and transmission.
The interior was not in great shape but everything did work. But let me give you a litany of what we had done to the car. The danger is that you sink so much money into it you end up with no alternative but to pour more money into it. Now, the car is stabilized and it is a magnificent vehicle. But under the battered exterior shell it's practically a new car.
New suspension -- bushings, shocks, some parts -- all around. New rims -- old ones were strictly garish and gaudy but cheap Pimpmobile. From junk yard at $25 each. Steering box -- $1,200. Air conditioner. New Radiator. New brakes, including rotors, pads, hand brake, cylinder and reservoir. New rebuilt transmission. Engine transplant with good, not rebuilt, engine from junk yard. Cruise control. Sunroof failed and fixed.
Don't ask how much I have poured into it. I stopped counting long ago. But now the only expenses are for periodic normal maintenance. And it really does have the marvelous big car ride. We use top of the line Michelin tires, by the way.
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Gogarty, I've read that the quality of tires makes a big difference in the ride on these cars, sounds like you have been faithful to the old benz and now it's paying off. I like to tinker with cars and had never owned a mercedes so i decided to experiment. i don't have much in it -so, if the engine goes out i'll probably just part it out and walk away from it. How much trouble was it to repair the sunroof? Mine is stuck. djb2000
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We live in the city and park the car on the street. Doing the work myself is not an option. I found an excellent shop that does top notch work at a fair price and does not rip me off. He does all my work. If I recall, fixing the sunroof cost about $700.
Yes, quality of tires makes a huge difference. The Michelins cost about $125 each. But they last and last, except when you get too close to the curb and cut up the sidewall. As the car runs along over uneven surface the tires just go schlurp schlurp as they sort of swallow up the bumps. The ride and handling on this car puts most sporty cars to shame.
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What he said.
A couple of years ago I found a almost-not-worn set of the correct size Michelen MXV4's for $40 in a local garage sale. These are the tires I prefer to use an dmy last set cost me $180 each plus tax. They're nice.
Recenly I've been getting a WOGGA WOGGA WOGGA noise. The number of things it could be raced through my mind. Half shafts? Again? Thrust rods?
Having learned this lesson once I changed the tire at the corner that seems to be making the noise.
Now it's fixed. I mean it's really smooth.
The track/brake/thrust rods thignies do need changing at that corner and what happens is a belt separates in the tires, causes a massive imbalance and this causes the track rods sound like a jackhammer.
I realy live MXV4's but in the last 4 years 10 out of 12 have died prematurely with belt separations. I don't mind when I get them for $10 each I guess.
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Richard Sexton wrote:
<snip>

That's really high. Aren't you dicing with safety? According to my local tire shop, most tyres have a "sell-by" date, as (according to him) the rubber would harden and crack, leading to problems like what you described.
The figures he gave are "2-3 years even if the tread wear indicator is OK". I'm not sure what part of this is vested interest or real.
Any comments or advice, people?
Regards, WS
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I don't like Michelins, and would never buy used tires of any kind (unless I was desperate for a temporary fix).
New tires are a cheap investment IMO and come with a warranty. Paying $400-$500 instead of $180 is worth it for a new set of rubber. I am running Dunlop's on my 190e and have been happy with the ride/noise ratio on these (A2 sport). Don't think they would be so great on a bigger/heavier car though.
Marty
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Your tires are only new in the store. The day after you you drive on them, they're used. You're saying the supposdly good tires on your car wouldn't work on mine?
Obviously you don't want a defective used tires, but it if has tread, looks and feels new and can be balanced on the car properly there is very little difference between that and a new one.

Which is fairly worthless. A six month old defective tire got me a $40 rebate on a new $180 one. Pass.
I've used used tires on all my cars for about 5 years. If you're carefull and know what you're doing you can save a bundle. FWIW the used tire market is a several billion dollar a year business.
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Those are caandian dollars, about 15% less than us dollars. Ans stuff is more expensive here.

Depends how they're stored.
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Klunking pimpmobile owners of the world unite!
(I got my 300SD 7 years agio for $1850; it looks like ass but now has about half a million miles on it)
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Hi
I changed a bulb in my 560SEL instruments once and accidently pulled the connector (2pin I think) of the back of the tacho. If yours has been clocked someone might have done the same when removing the instrument pod. It's an easy job to pull the pod and check.
Cheers
Neil UK
1998 C240T 1998 SL500 1950 Land Rover

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Thanks Neil I'll try that this weekend
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