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Old 11th January 2012, 15:31   #1
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Talking The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

They say is true love is blind. That true love follows the whims of the heart, the intangible yet incredibly powerful strings of emotion, and that true love is devoid of the slightest farthing of logic or sanity. And they're right. Absolutely.

What follows though is the fact that love shouldn't have anything to do with logic or sanity. There is too much logic in the world, isn't there? And if petrolheads aren't the last of the eccentrics, the ones who follow the heart over mind, or the ones that venture into the unknown as true adventurers, then who is?

The truth is, I'm one of those eccentrics - or so I like to believe. And quite frankly, there's nothing I enjoy more than my insanity. With that introduction, I begin a small anecdote which will walk you through one of my first automotive loves, and how it turned into reality.

-----

Rollback to the past. The year is 1996, and a young kid of 9 learns that his uncle has just brought home a spanking new Mercedes. Mercedes, did you say? Aah... the ride of royalty, the elegant ocean liner. The beautiful straight lines, the understated design, the three pointed ornament on the hood - It all spells unmatched grace and dignity. The kid sits in the car for the very first time, caressing the soft, real leather, the wood veneer, amazed at the German attention to detail - for this is a kid who's loved anything on four wheels even at his tender age - and the biggest cars he's probably experienced and loved are dad's Maruti Esteem or Tata Sierra. The E220 fascinates him. "I'm gonna own one of these someday," he tells himself.

-----

Fast forward to 2011. The kid has turned a lot older, and is contemplating the purchase of his first own car. The kind that the family doesn't buy him, but he brings home with the fruit of his very own toil.

(We're not going to go into the buying decisions, contenders and details here, as none of the other contenders came close to this decision. Frankly, the Mercedes crosses out none of the criteria needed for the new car. That's why I'm a petrolhead!)

We go for a drive to NH8, and maneuver uncle dear's Mercedes over a variety of road conditions - The difference? The aforementioned 'kid' is the one who drives it. The car he's sat in, loved and longed for for 15 long years is in his hands. The Uncle's W124 is well-maintained to this date, to say the very least. The paintwork shines, the interior exudes love and care, the engine is as refined as a car at a showroom. The suspension glides over potholes, and the car does a 0-100 kmph in 10.xx seconds. GTO was right - the W124 E220 was F-A-S-T. And this one still is, mind you.

Love wins again. Against reason, logic, and a decent amount of advice and resistance from friends / family. "How do you think you'll maintain it?" / "What if something goes wrong?" / "It's a white elephant, for God's sake!" Petrolhead talks to uncle, and after a certain amount of discussion and persuasion, uncle decides to let the car go to someone who cares so much about it. He's got a few more, newer, swankier MBs, Jags, what not. Why shouldn't he sell an old car to a *kid in love*??

-----

So at the end of that, I now am the proud owner of my very own W124 E220. 1996, single owner, 150 horses, 4-cyl inline gasoline, 2198cc. But you know all of that. As for the price, I'd rather not disclose it publicly. Let's just say it was well worth it.

She's eager to be revved, shines like a knight, built like an indestructable tank (yet a she!), and each part of her amazes me with quality of materials and detail. After 15 years, each chrome bit shines! And yes, I forgot to mention - she's practically virgin at 140k kms. I hope she serves me well for the years to come. And just so you know - I hope to never sell her. Ever.

I'll now shut up before I cry (and I just might. Of everyone in the world, the team-bhpians should know how this feels. I finally did it), and let the pictures do the talking.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:00   #2
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Mate - W124 is a class apart and i can relate with the feeling totally, someone in my close family also owns this beauty and i have my sights set on her, may be someday i may be able to call her mine. All the very best - ML.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:00   #3
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Congratulations .This is one of my favorite models as well.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:01   #4
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Hi Ayush,

Congratulations on owning a legendary W124 MB.

I can understand how it feels to own a MB. When I was in school in US, my roomie went all the way from Tampa to Atlanta to get a 1984 Diesel MB. And it was fully loaded with 12 way power driver seats, and all the modern luxury which we dont even find in todays cars.

Congrats again on being a proud owner of MB.

-PK
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:19   #5
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

@Aysuh Agarwal: You have taken a bold decision, which most wouldn't. I wish you lots of luck and since it's a car with a clear service history from your uncle, I think you can be rest assured regards its mechanical's, etc. Take good care of her and hope she serves you well. Most fairy tales end as "... lived happily ever after", in your case hopes its the beginning of one such relationship.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:22   #6
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Question Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Thanks for the positive replies I'm glad so many people understand and appreciate the timeless W124.

Quick Updates - The next step is to redo the ICE (but you'll see me in the ICE section for that - Time to bug the gurus!) and the seats, which now have temporary loose covers. The car needs NO other restoration. Serviced at 140k, and run 141.

A problem I've been facing though (and I really need help) - The interior lighting (backlighting behind the switches, illumination for instrumentation and meters) suddenly stopped coming on a few days back (only the kind that comes on when you switch on the parkers / headlights). The rest of the electricals, warning lamps, cabin lights etc. work fine.

I checked the fuses and they're perfectly fine. Plus, the fuses for illumination are common with other functions like taillamps, radio antenna etc., which are all functional. So, it's not the fuse at fault.

Now, I am scared of the financial implications of visiting a true A.S.S. - and in no mood to sell a kidney. What could be wrong? Also, I need help from W124 enthusiasts or owners in south delhi - Where do I go with such a problem? If I'm going to keep this beauty well maintained, I need a skilled mechanic / workshop, preferably the kind who specializes in Mercedes Benz cars.

H-E-L-P
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:37   #7
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayushagarwal26 View Post

Quick Updates - The next step is to redo the ICE (but you'll see me in the ICE section for that - Time to bug the gurus!) and the seats, which now have temporary loose covers. The car needs NO other restoration. Serviced at 140k, and run 141.

:
Mate - I would suggest you don't go to far with after market accessories, it might take away the originality, try to look for the original blaupunkt stereo and CD changer which most cars came with or were available in Benz dealerships for install - i recall a close family member getting it done back in the days , I can imagine finding it may be a bit difficult but will be worth an effort - it will make it look like million bucks - Just a suggestion.

Best - ML.
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Old 11th January 2012, 18:08   #8
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

ML, you're right on the aftermarket accessories bit - This car will remain absolutely stock. The seats need dark leather / art leather though... I detest the current covers, and a darker ambiance will really look amazing in my opinion. That's what this car had in the past, in fact.

As for ICE, I don't want to go in for anything out of the way, and I'm not in the favor of the old Blaupunkt due to functionality constraints. It's going to be a clean HU with SQ looks, preferably black with orange backlighting to match the rest (JBL 333/555?). The rest of the install will be stealth - no alterations or visible components. Everything in stock locations.
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Old 11th January 2012, 18:12   #9
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

One big CONGRATULATIONS! You are one lucky lucky fella! Dream car to own if you ask me! This is THE Merc to own and you have indeed got a very clean piece. Just mash that throttle and let the grin take over.

Drive safe!
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Old 11th January 2012, 19:10   #10
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

congratulations! you are one lucky guy who got the car of his dream and that too with a fully known history. wish you a lot of KMs on this ride. W124 was and is dream car for many but most end up (including me) not buying one because of fear of service costs.
get it detailed thoroughly and get all the mechanical work done that needs attention and then do a nice photoshoot which would really do justice to this beauty.
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Old 11th January 2012, 19:43   #11
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Ayush, Congrats ! That looks like a very well maintained car.

Btw, did you check the classifieds on TBHP - there was an ad for the 8-hole Merc Alloys. I think this one deserves the original Merc alloys.
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Old 11th January 2012, 20:05   #12
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Ayush, lovely and crisp writeup. Congrats on the car and even heartier congrats for following your heart. It really is true when they say the heart wants what it wants. I'm just glad you listened to yours. White elephant or not, I don't doubt for a minute that you'll be happy each minute you spend in that car given how you spoke of it with such passion.

Congrats, and may you enjoy miles of smiles mon ami
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Old 11th January 2012, 20:38   #13
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

@ Ayush Ė Congratulations. I respect your guts & choice. Wish you several unlimited trouble-free miles with your beloved W124.

As for the cluster backlight I doubt if itís a major issue. Ensure the Dimmer switch settings are correct and if yes, itís possible you have a failed Dimmer switch. Additional point to be noted is that, there are further set of fuses located behind the instrument cluster. A local but prominent mechanic can confirm the actual state of affairs.

Last but not the least we can suspect a backlight bulb failure, although not necessary as all the backlights have stopped working together in your case. These are 12v/1.2w bulb behind each such panel.
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Old 11th January 2012, 22:44   #14
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Btw, did you check the classifieds on TBHP - there was an ad for the 8-hole Merc Alloys. I think this one deserves the original Merc alloys.
Thanks! I'll consider it. Not many would agree, but for some reason, I find the regular 8 hole alloys very commonplace, whereas I really love the classic design on the wheel covers this car has. Maybe it's just because I grew up looking at it this way!


Quote:
Originally Posted by somjith_nair View Post
As for the cluster backlight I doubt if itís a major issue. Ensure the Dimmer switch settings are correct and if yes, itís possible you have a failed Dimmer switch. Additional point to be noted is that, there are further set of fuses located behind the instrument cluster. A local but prominent mechanic can confirm the actual state of affairs.

Last but not the least we can suspect a backlight bulb failure, although not necessary as all the backlights have stopped working together in your case. These are 12v/1.2w bulb behind each such panel.
Thanks for the information! I know it can't be a bulb, as it's the entire backlighting behind the instrument cluster as well as all dash switches. I didn't know about any secondary fuses behind the instrument cluster - there's no such thing mentioned in the manual! Anyway, I'll have a look. If only I knew who to show it to. This weekend, I'll perhaps take her to Patel (where she's always been serviced) and see what they have to say.
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Old 12th January 2012, 12:09   #15
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Default Re: The story of true love, and a pre-worshipped W124

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Originally Posted by ayushagarwal26 View Post
Thanks for the information! I know it can't be a bulb, as it's the entire backlighting behind the instrument cluster as well as all dash switches. I didn't know about any secondary fuses behind the instrument cluster - there's no such thing mentioned in the manual! Anyway, I'll have a look. If only I knew who to show it to. This weekend, I'll perhaps take her to Patel (where she's always been serviced) and see what they have to say.
Starting with model year 1987, guess with the introduction of LEDís an additional 10 amp rheostat / fuse for circuit 58d (illumination) was introduced within the instrument cluster of models 124.026 & 126.020, which became standard on newer MBís thereafter. It could be present at the back or within the instrument cluster.

Given below is an image I found on ďGoogle-ImagesĒ, which illustrates the cut-away of the cluster panelís hind side (Search Keyword = [W124 "Cluster Panel"]). And the part circled in "yellow" is the rheostat.
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