The '97 E320 weekend driving report

The car did well. Though it definitely needs a tune-up and tires replaced, mileage averaged 29mpg with the A/C on almost all of the drive.
The WB (Weather Band) button was very nice to have as I drove back
into Madison, WI, when the big storm was moving in (Saturday). My brother listened on 2-meter as well.
The radio AM section has a LOT of static. Hopefully the tune-up will help with that. As I've gathered, this radio is from Alpine. Correct?
The bulb carriers do seem to have an issue with reliable contact. My right-rear brake/tail light regularly forces the defective lamp message on the display. Shall I replace the carrier or is cleaning contacts enough?
Collin KC8TKA
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Two more things:
#1. If anyone knows where I can get a Bentley or other suitable maintenance manual, that would be appreciated. Thanks.
#2. I'd like to get a dual-band mobile unit to mount where the cell controller mounts. Who makes a 2-meter/440 unit that fits in this standard space? I'll check the HAM groups as well.
Collin KC8TKA
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Cheesehead wrote:

If the center console on your E320 is anything like my C36, you will find there is not enough depth at that location. What you can do, however, is move the climate control to that location and mount your transceiver where the climate control used to be. The climate control is about 2/3 the depth of a standard unit.
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Cleaning is most likely adequate. use a fine wire brush if you have one, just spraying crap in there isn't going to cut it in my experience :~)
Replace the bulbs also if you haven't done that already.
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The tail light assemblies in this model were defective; their LAST two digits were "05" and "06". The improved replacements' last two digits are "45" and "46".
The radio uses an antenna preamplifier that's located (I read) behind the rear seat and left rear (driver's side) pillar upholstery. Perhaps someone can be more specific. The preamp is badly built, IMHO, as it uses CU rivets to ground its circuit board to an AL frame. Moisture causes electrolysis at that ground connection and a lousy reception results. Some engineering! The fix is to solder a (new, added) ground wire to a CU rivet and manually connect that ground wire to the body.
That will be $687.08 please!
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bean counters said it was too expensive...
Thanks for the info T.G.!
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Was there any recall (even a voluntary one) on this lamp/lens issue? I doubt it, but thought I'd ask.
Can we rightly assume that you actually paid $687.08 for this radio fix? You should probably join a HAM or other electronics NG and get amateur help. Because amateurs get these same things accomplished for little or nothing. :)
TIA,
Collin
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No, I didn't pay that sum but believe that would be the charge if dealer replaced, rather than permanently fixed the amp.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

[SNIP]
These carriers were a problem in '00 E-320. Even the dealership (" stealership," as someone here coined), had to try and try. They finally gave up and replaced the carrier, but as the car was ready for lease-return, I can't tell you how well this worked. We did not have a problem during the last 9 months.
Hunt
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Cheesehead wrote:

the right rear brake bulb of my '98 SLK 230. It's intermittent one day and then it fails for an extended period of time. I then reseat the bulb in its socket and plug it in the light's enclosure. It works for a while and then it fails again... I have replaced the bulb and socket twice in the past six months and the problem remains. I am pretty sure that the printed circuit built into the lights enclosure is the culprit. I repaired the trace on the left side rear brake substrate and it's been fine ever since. I'll attempt to fix the right rear stop light when the weather permits. It's been too hot lately.
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