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S-Class Upgrade?

 I did it again. Another Mercedes project. This was an auction find at my local Copart - a one-owner, low mileage (124k) with a clean CarFax and decent service history. After all of the research, I broke down and bid. Winning the auction for $1,700 seemed reasonable, even given the fees would add about $1,300 to overall cost.  First inspections revealed a broken vacuum hose leading to the brake booster (right at the check valve) that was held together with electrical tape. Not really a good sign that seemed to go against the service records in CarFax. I had no idea how severely these cars reacted to vacuum leaks until I drove it. I was ready to give up, but ordered the $40 replacement line anyway. The car barely drove and if the line separated, the un-boosted brakes required a massive effort to get this giant car to stop. There were a number of surprises I was very excited about. First - the reverse parking aids worked! Secondly, the automatic rear-view mirror worked! In all of my rese
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2002 E55 AMG Madness

 I admit it. I now have a problem. I own a 2002 E55 AMG. I think this was probably COVID induced dementia, but my daughter wanted to learn about working on cars and I was bored and looking for a project car. Somehow, I found this listed in Indianapolis for a very reasonable prices. As I started digging into the car, I began to understand why. This particular car has almost 225k miles. And it has a spotty overall service record - but it does have a clean Carfax. And the previous owner spent a significant amount of money on the mechanicals. I have to admit to always harboring a desire to own a true AMG car and I'm sure that clouded my judgement on this one. When I went to check the car out, it was raining and cold. Not an ideal time to actually look at a car and I missed the failing clearcoat while I focused on the mechanical condition. In the rain. The cold rain. While my spouse waited patiently in the GL550. This was really only my first mistake. I also missed the significant crack

New Addition: 2011 GL550

After the lease for our Honda Accord Hybrid ended, we decided that we needed something a little larger. We realized that we didn't have any vehicle that could carry something larger than a small (maybe medium?) box. So I set out searching for something that might give us a little more flexibility. I looked at trucks and while I wasn't looking for something new, the used prices on any decent truck was way more than I was willing to pay. Having had a 1999 F250, I was also weighing exactly how usable a truck would be for the majority of our driving. I just couldn't make the higher cost, lower options and lesser practicality balance in my book. So I kept looking.... As with everyone these days, I started looking at SUVs - it seemed a natural progression. Apparently, I'm not alone. The demand for new and used SUVs (and the death of many new sedans in favor of SUVs), quickly showed me I was late to this game. I was hoping for something around the $15-20k range, maybe a little

CLK430 Trials & Tribulations: Introduction

Okay, so I finally pulled the plug and bought a low mileage, 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK430. I'd been shopping for a fun convertible for a while with the romanticized image of top-down, wind-blowing summer fun.  I'd build a set of basic requirements to narrow the scope of my search - those criteria were: Four seats (there's three of us, and getting something that could only seat two seemed like asking for trouble from whoever would get left out) 2000 or newer, but I was really hoping for something newer than 2005 Reliability An active and established user base (forums, etc.) I won't bore you with all of the details, but the CLK430 met all of those, plus it only had 40k miles. So, my adventure begins...

CLK430: Tires and Wheels

Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class 2002 CLK 430 Basic Info Generation: 208 [1997 .. 2002] Power: 275 hp | 205 kW | 279 PS Engine: V8, Petrol Center Bore: 66.6 mm Wheel Fasteners: Lug bolts Thread Size: M12 x 1.5 Trim Production: [1998 .. 2002] Tire Rim Rim Pressure 225/45ZR17 88W 7.5Jx17 ET37 5x112 2.3/2.5 245/40ZR17 91W 8.5Jx17 ET30 5x112 2.3/2.5 Vehicle's recommended cold tire inflation pressure. It is measured in bars or PSI (pounds per square inch) from: Wheels (from ) 65257 17x7.5 AMG Thin 5 Spk 1704011302 Compatible with 02-03 MERCEDES CLK430 Part # H 65257 Finish/Direction: 208 CHASSIS - FRONT 65258 17x8.5 AMG Thin 5 Spk 1704011402 Compatible with 02-03 MERCEDES CLK430 Part # H 65258 Finish/Direction: 208 CHASSIS - REAR

A Picasa Find

I've been playing around with Picasa and digging up some (relatively) old photos that were "lost" on some of my different network drives. (Yes, I have the habit of storing files on network shares in places where they really don't below, only to forget where I put them. What makes sense at one moment in time usually doesn't withstand the test of time to make sense at any point in the future. This is the story of my life.) Since I was amused by by some of the photos, I'd thought I'd share them with you. Meme from 2005-01 Meme (again) from 2004-12 Three Beautiful Women from 2004-12 Okay, that's it for now, I'll post more as I find me, there's alot of them! (This should provide me with blogging content for quite a while!)