Why do the new SLs have such patchy reliability?

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Richard Sexton wrote:


><http://www.karmann.de/__C1256DF700512B86.nsf/html/en_d4270b6c3c850555c1256cfe0054e1c7.html
HATH ANYONE SAID ANYTHING AGAINST JAGUAR???
Ok, to get serious again: Yes, back in the good old days ;-) Karmann Volkswagens were known for rust, especially the Karmann Ghias (aka Secretary's Porsche), but these days are long over.
Karmann has built up a superb reputation in the last 25 or so years and all cars built by Karmann fully have to meet the standards of the marques they are built for - and sometimes one can hear that the cars built by Karmann are superiour to the cars manufactured by the marques themselves.
Juergen P.S.: A Jaguar never rusts, it only gets patina ;-)
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Forgot to hint to http://people.freenet.de/sthl/poel/technikE.htm where clearly is stated _But only Mercedes precombustion chamber engines DO run on vegoil without any conversion._ which means old engines like my OM 616
Juergen
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And sometimes you can hear the opposite. My Renault 19 Cabrio was as soft as a banana, the BME E30 touring made by Karmann rusted significantly faster than the sedans, and when german car mag Auto Motor Sport had a test run with the first gerneration CLK convertible, the front window cracked due to body torsion.
IMHO Karmann is a company with a 75% reputation;-)
Frank
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I have tried several times to have a company tour at Karmann, as my car was largely built there, as you correctly mention (CLK Cabrio). For over a year they were closed to tours because of preparations for the new CLK cab. I found this a ridiculous excuse: does Mercedes stop tours because it is tooling up for a new model? Of cours not. OK, Karmann is a small company without the resources to have tours that avoid parts of the plant...
Anyway, after 3 years (but only 17 000 miles / 27K km) I don't appear to have any rust, but I shall remember to look more carefully... The car recently passed it's first 'MoT' test (Ministry of Transport road test), which every car in GB has to undergo annually on reaching its third birthday. Rust is a criterion. (In concept similar to TUeV test.)
Needless to say that in our our Feb 93 190 we have come across no rust.
On the other point, my understanding was that the W208 CLK Cab had the least scuttle among all the similar convertibles sich as the Saab, BMW et al.
DAS
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I do not have any personal experience with the CLK, I was only reporting what I read. IMHO it makes quite a difference, if a convertible was intentionally planned during the design process of the referring sedan or coupé or if the plan to make a convertible came later. This happened with the BMW E30, the Renault 19 and AFAIK with the new Chrysler P/T cruiser. All these cars are known to be rather soft in the body.
Frank
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I haven't driven the rivals, but I can tell you that the CLK Cab is as steady as a rock, even at 120 mph (200 km/h).
(Closed roof -- haven't tried above about 85 mph with the roof down as it gets unpleasant about there; I don't have the wind shield.)
DAS
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    'Scuttle' to move back and forth??
- cheers
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Yes. In cars caused by insufficient body stiffness, usually in convertibles, especially in those not originally designed as such, as mentioned by another poster.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Sorry to say it such clear: But you are wrong, also MB does not have tours in those parts of their plants where new models are prepared for production - its only you do not recognize as MB plants are much bigger than the Karmann plants and they simply add other parts of the plant to the tour.

Very unlikely there is any real rust on your car.

And that is good - rust severely weakens a car's structure which can lead to a collpase of the car in case of an accident which then can mean severe injuries or even death. I remember the crash test of an old rusted Ford Fiesta (was it ADAC? Or car mag auto motor und sport?) which collapsed completely in a standard crash test - horrible!!!

One would have to look _very_ carefully. With my W123 I detected the first visible rust after 16 years - most think it is rust free still today (22 years), but with that model I know exactly where to look at (unlike with your 190).

I dunno - but I also do not doubt that ;-)))
Juergen
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You cut off the bit where I did suggest that Merc may deny access to certain parts of the plant, even if I was being somwhat sarcastic.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

My fault - somehow I didn't read that part - sorry Dori!!!
Juergen
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No sweat...
Dori
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Yeah but who cares about VWs, they're just nasty. I was thinking about the sublime 60's/70's BMW CS coupes. They rust in places other cars don't even have.

"Oh look my jag just cracked in half when I jacked it up right in the middle of the patina".
In unrelated news I had to brake hard yesterday to avoid hitting a half grown black bear.
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Why?
Do you live in Alberta or the Yellowstone National Park?
DAS
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Richard Sexton wrote: (Karmann built cars, rust)

I tried to remember where the BMW 2500 of that time of an ex-girlfriend had rust - but only thing I remember it HAD rust, but not where. So maybe the CSs were not so bad compared to the sedans built by BMW themselves?

Great thing: Then you have TWO Jaguars with patina! ;-))

Last week I had to break hard because to avoid hitting a half grown youth on a bike - but a black bear? Oh boy... ===:-((
Juergen - seems living in a German city is not as thrilling as living in Ontario
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Is the banned list off line?
Nick
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Firstly, chop the roof off any car and it will flex! Creaks and rattles are to be expected. Even on a Merc! Secondly, strap a brand new Pentium 4, DELL to a skate board and tow it down the road at 100mph and see how many it crashes. Now times that by the dozen or so computers on an SL. If you want cutting edge state of the art then there will be a few glitches. Windows has been out for years and Bill Gates is still improving its reliability!

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CHRYSLER
the case, minus a few cans!
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I dunno. My CLK cabrio does not seem to creak and shake & roll. From what I remember, at time of purchase (2000/1) it was the only car of its type that was like that.
DAS
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Hi Juergen
Thanks for adding that. Interesting nugget -- can't remember if I had known and forgotten that or was never aware... :-)
Regarding Frank's point about Sebring price, that's exactly what I was wondering about. As a new purchase I thought that the European Sebring price was quite close to the CLK Cab price. Maybe as a used vehicle it's a different story, but how many Sebrings will you find in Europe that are 4 years old?
I don't know how serious the problem really is, but the 2.7 l engine in the Sebring -- used in other Chryslers -- has come in for some severe criticism in the Chrysler NG. So maybe the 4-yr-old CLK Cab 2.4 l (or whatever else is near) costs more to buy, but maybe it's a safer bet?
DAS
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