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I bought an R230 then went quiet.. here's whats wrong so far!

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by Conor, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Well that was a click bait title, straight from the YouTube playbook (apologies).

    So, as many of you know, I recently bought an R230 SL 500, (in)famously documented here..

    I've been quiet on the updates you guys have been anticipating.. mainly as I have been busy with other business and also not really driven the car that much, as it's winter.

    Here's a quick rundown of some issues I have noticed, needing resolve and other jobs I have been collecting parts for and waiting for the right time to start the work.

    * When I drive the engine to about 5k RPM, I get the old rotten egg smell. (Sulphur) I've seen various solutions to this and the problem could be minor or massive (expensive) :shrugs. One guy told me to blow it out with a small amount of diesel.. interested to hear opinions on that approach. I am confident this is the catalyst and not batteries, as some articles have suggested.

    * Radiator leak. So I noticed that leak over time and recently had a coolant warning. I need to find that leak. I'm not overly concerned about it as I recently changed the oil and the oil was dark and not creamy, meaning head is probably ok. I guess it's hopefully just piping, a clip, or potentially a new radiator. Picture attached, note the location of ground mark is only slightly indicative as the fluid is coming from the underbelly drain hole.

    They are the main issues, some other upcoming work that needs doing which is just normal expected really.

    * Already changed engine oil/filter
    * Change spark plugs, air, cabin filters as per interval.
    * Change ABC fluid, fluid is dark dark green, but not black.
    * Contemplating transmission fluid change and rear axle. Not sure yet.
    * Rear wheel arches need doing for rust treatment.
    * Renew brakes (pads+discs) all around (still not done)

    I think "that's all" there is. As I said, i've not really driven this a lot. The main aim is to do all the above and get it prepped for a road trip in France with my dad in spring. I plan on doing a 1/200 hundred mile road trip before then also, to encourage any symptoms before the bigger trip. (I'll be buying breakdown assistance beforehand too, just in case :))

    Interested to hear how you guys might go about the sulphur smell and also the coolant leak. I don't fancy buying a pressure tester for ~200 quid, but wouldn't mind the use of one.

    Thanks guys.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    You can always build your own pressure tester. A bit of old radiator or heater hose, a short length of metal tubing to suit, a bolt through car valve and a hoseclip.
     
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  3. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Good job.. A DIY job did cross my mind actually. I have a bike pump with pressure gauge too..

    What do I attach to then.. If I don't have one of those adapted lids for expansion tank? Buy a lid and run the pipe through centre?
     
  4. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Any coolant pipe. Obviously you need to decide which pipe then make the adapter to suit. Bigger pipes are easier to make the adapter but harder to find the tube to use as a joiner.
     
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  5. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    That’s a very short road trip you’re planning
     
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  6. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Ooh, the 1/200 hundred mile trip is just a test I will run here in the UK, before France in Spring. In France we plan on about 900km, which isn't massive but still a good size.

    The reason for the first trip is I want to test the car as not really driven it a lot yet and if anything is going to go wrong hopefully it will go then :)
     
  7. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Still just over 26 feet isn’t much of a test...
     
  8. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    900km is just about enough for us to get to our house if we go via Calais! Then there's still the return...
     
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  9. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Penny finally drops :)
     
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  10. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    What do people make of the catalytic converter situation?

    Does it sound like I need a new unit? Or is something that can be cleaned out?
     
  11. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Considering the smell is only at high rpm, a little Google leads me to believe it is not a huge issue, which kind of makes sense. Just wondering do I need to do any preventative maintenance?

    Cat clean? Or just leave it be..?
     
  12. Blobcat

    Blobcat Moderator

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    Give it a prolonged run at full operating temperature - 2-3 hours worth and see what it’s like after that. Cars prefer being used
     
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  13. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Use decent quality low sulphur fuel and give it a decent run as BC said. The rotten egg smell is caused by the formation of H2S. Lose the sulphur, lose the smell.
    Kind of curious why you're up around 5k rpm though - it's a V8. They don't need revving!
     
  14. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Senior Member

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    My SL500 has the sulphur smell at start up but it clears once the CAT's are up to temperature. I don't think my SL had ever hit 5k rpm, not in my ownership anyway!
     
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  15. Wighty

    Wighty Senior Member

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    Maybe factor in where the best Indys are located for your first test and drive a route accordingly :rolleyes:
     
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  16. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Yea I figured that might be the case alright. It gets very little use.

    I always put in Shell V power. Assuming that is decent?

    I don't often drive it to 5k. Very rarely, but I did it once before a while ago just messing about..foot down kinda thing. Then I noticed the smell so started to investigate. I don't generally rag the car.
     
  17. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Senior Member

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    I generally pootle around, top down, taking in the experience :D. I have my Audi S5 to do the boy racer bit when I feel the need :eek:

    My SL only has the primary CAT's fitted, improves the exhaust sound very nicely.
     
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  18. Wighty

    Wighty Senior Member

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    It’s a good fuel . Get your car out for a few hours and give it a proper run , they hate not being used .
     
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  19. alexanderfoti

    alexanderfoti MBO Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Drive it hard, and the cats will clear. They are smelling because they are saturated from low speed driving/idling etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  20. OP
    Conor

    Conor Senior Member

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    Great, I was thinking that might be the case.. i'll pencil a nice roadie in :)
     
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