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M-Class (W163) 1998-2005: ML 230, ML 320, ML 350, ML 400 CDI, ML 430, ML 500, ML 270 CDI

New ML500 owner purchased from Copart

 
Old 03-07-2019, 09:49 AM
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New ML500 owner purchased from Copart

HI there. Recently purchased a W203 and have a thread about it in that forum. Liking the car so much, I decided to expand my MB ownership and purchased a Copart 2004 ML500 vehicle with 60,632 miles on it. It needs a front bumper, passenger fender, headlight, foglight, new tires, and other misc parts, but I think it will be a fun project. I drove it home from CoPart and it ran great. I'm going to be posting my experience fixing it and will start off with some photos of it before I start working on it. So, without further ado...







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Old 03-07-2019, 01:46 PM
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Removed the front fender and bumper and ordered replacement ones along with headlight and fog light. Those should be in starting next week.



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Old 03-07-2019, 06:40 PM
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Good bones, slagdemon.

Keep us posted with your progress.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:49 PM
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I need to take measurements and pull the front headlight bucket and bumper bracket out a bit this weekend. Should be fun to do.
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:04 AM
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Thanks for starting this thread. The ML looks in top condition except for the obvious damage, and such low mileage. Interestingly the interior is almost the same as your W203, same grey leather - must have been in vogue at the time. I’m sure that you’ll have that leather looking new in no time!
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Old 03-10-2019, 03:00 PM
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So what was the initial investment on the ML? Obviously it was more than $300 or you would have said something.

Where did you end up sourcing the bumper from?
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:44 AM
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Yeah, I paid a bit more than I should have but only because the overall condition was great and the engine only has 60k on it. I paid $2200 plus auction fees and found a white non sport bumper on ebay in Florida that is being shipped Greyhound express shipping. It has the washer option on it though and I don't have headlight washers, so I also purchased replacement covers that I will paint (already bought the alabaster white paint), and glue down. It also has some blemishes and if they are bad enough, I'll take it to the body shop to clean it all up.

Fender should be here today, headlight and foglight today and tomorrow, and the only thing I'm missing is a single foglight bucket but I want to get the light and bumper here first before I buy the bracket/bucket. I'm going to try to hold out until memorial day to get a good deal on a set of 4 tires from discount tire. They generally run specials at that time and the ones I'm looking at are the General Grabber UHP tires. I like the aggressive pattern and they are currently $137 apiece. 2nd choice would be the Toyo Proxes ST III at $175 apiece.

I'm going to start pulling the bumper and bracket out tonight after work as long as my wife doesn't need my help re-tiling the bathroom tub surround.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by slagdemon View Post
Yeah, I paid a bit more than I should have but only because the overall condition was great and the engine only has 60k on it. I paid $2200 plus auction fees and found a white non sport bumper on ebay in Florida that is being shipped Greyhound express shipping. It has the washer option on it though and I don't have headlight washers, so I also purchased replacement covers that I will paint (already bought the alabaster white paint), and glue down. It also has some blemishes and if they are bad enough, I'll take it to the body shop to clean it all up.

Fender should be here today, headlight and foglight today and tomorrow, and the only thing I'm missing is a single foglight bucket but I want to get the light and bumper here first before I buy the bracket/bucket. I'm going to try to hold out until memorial day to get a good deal on a set of 4 tires from discount tire. They generally run specials at that time and the ones I'm looking at are the General Grabber UHP tires. I like the aggressive pattern and they are currently $137 apiece. 2nd choice would be the Toyo Proxes ST III at $175 apiece.

I'm going to start pulling the bumper and bracket out tonight after work as long as my wife doesn't need my help re-tiling the bathroom tub surround.
Yikes. I sold my 02 500 with 325k miles for more than that. I think you overpaid but glad you have a fun project car 😂
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, it fit the bill for my list of wants which is why I got it. Sits up high, has AWD/4WD as opposed to some 4 Runners that don't, leather, plenty of power, decent sound system, lower miles, and clean condition. I can also add a $70 tow hitch to pull my double jetski trailer and the white with tinted windows looks good. Mechanically there isn't a whole lot I can't do, but I wanted to try my hand at some relatively simple body work as well and this also met that criteria. It's also not a huge vehicle so it should fit easily in parking spaces and of course, its a MB and has that nice 3 pointed star on the grill.

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Old 03-11-2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by slagdemon View Post
Yeah, it fit the bill for my list of wants which is why I got it. Sits up high, has AWD/4WD, leather, plenty of power, decent sound system, lower miles, and clean condition. I can also add a $70 tow hitch to pull my double jetski trailer and the white with tinted windows looks good. Mechanically there isn't a whole lot I can't do, but I wanted to try my hand at some relatively simple body work as well and this also met that criteria. It's also not a huge vehicle so it should fit easily in parking spaces and of course, its a MB and has that nice 3 pointed star on the grill.
👍👍👍

For future reference, all the W163's have AWD standard -- wasn't until MB turned these into more suburban mom vehicles that you had to either get a diesel, or one specifically designated 4Matic to have AWD. You have, "the good ol' days" ML.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by slagdemon View Post
its a MB and has that nice 3 pointed star on the grill.
And that alone is WORTH IT!
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:10 PM
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Front bumper arrived a week early! YAY. Fender is also here. I couldn't pull the front bumper rebar out with a comealong so I went to harbor freight along with a 20% off coupon and a coupon for some free zip ties and left with a 10 ton ram that was $40 off. Thanks coupon!!.

https://www.harborfreight.com/10-ton...Kit-60406.html

I took off the inner fender liner and after removing the shock absorber will have a straight shot at the bumper frame/rebar and then the headlight bucket to push it all back into place. Didn't have time to do it tonight but hopefully tomorrow I will.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:18 PM
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Sounds like you are turning this one into a GEM as well!!!!!!
Can't wait to see the progress on this one also.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:07 AM
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Couple photos to try and show what in dealing with. Lighting wasn't optimal but I'll take better ones. Also ordered the valve cover gaskets this morning as they are clearly seeping at the rear.
Second photo shows the frame where I will mount the rear of the 10 ton ram to push the bumper and headlight bucket out. I will need to remove the front shock absorber to get a clear shot so I soaked it with PB blaster last night and again this morning before heading into work. I'm getting excited!!!



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Old 03-12-2019, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by slagdemon View Post
Couple photos to try and show what in dealing with. Lighting wasn't optimal but I'll take better ones. Also ordered the valve cover gaskets this morning as they are clearly seeping at the rear.
Second photo shows the frame where I will mount the rear of the 10 ton ram to push the bumper and headlight bucket out. I will need to remove the front shock absorber to get a clear shot so I soaked it with PB blaster last night and again this morning before heading into work. I'm getting excited!!!


did you order Genuine MB valve cover gaskets? If not, they will leak again 6 months or so.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:21 AM
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No, I did not. I am going to use some 1211 sealant though with the ones I picked up from Advance Auto. I'm not paying $105 for a few pieces of rubber and some small hoses. That's absolutely ridiculous.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...AaAq_HEALw_wcB
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by slagdemon View Post
No, I did not. I am going to use some 1211 sealant though with the ones I picked up from Advance Auto. I'm not paying $105 for a few pieces of rubber and some small hoses. That's absolutely ridiculous.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...AaAq_HEALw_wcB
What are you talking about? They're 17 bucks a piece.

https://www.autohausaz.com/catalog/k...cover%20gasket

Your funeral. The sealant won't help the ****ty rubber that cracks. It's the material composition, not the actual seal.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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Thanks. When I googled them last night, I didn't see a link to Autohauz, only to ECSTuning. I couldn't even get FCP Euro to load as I normally buy things from them. I might reconsider and get them from..

Yep, NOPE. Standard shipping is $28.99 making the purchase from Autohauzaz for 2 small pieces of rubber 64.51. I can get to FCPEURO from work and they are $45 shipped from there.

Although, I have to question, if the OEM material is so good, why did it fail only after 60k miles. That's not a lot of miles at all.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by slagdemon View Post
Thanks. When I googled them last night, I didn't see a link to Autohauz, only to ECSTuning. I couldn't even get FCP Euro to load as I normally buy things from them. I might reconsider and get them from..

Yep, NOPE. Standard shipping is $28.99 making the purchase from Autohauzaz for 2 small pieces of rubber 64.51. I can get to FCPEURO from work and they are $45 shipped from there.

Although, I have to question, if the OEM material is so good, why did it fail only after 60k miles. That's not a lot of miles at all.
Then go to your local MB dealer and see if they'll price match. I don't know what to tell you man. You're new here, this is a new car to you, you're asking for free advice, you're getting it, and then you're refuting those who have done, owned, and experienced these trucks 100x over compared to you, and you're squabbling over a few bucks for shipping.

Do what you want.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:10 PM
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I don't have a local mercedes dealer.. lol I'll stick with what I bought and make it work. I'm not worried about people getting butthurt over my choices.

I may be new to this forum, but I'm not new to working on cars and definitely have yet to ask for free advice although I'm sure that will come sooner or later. I'm sharing my experiences working on this vehicle. I've not refuted anything but did question why to use OEM if they are leaking only after 60k miles and got an earful how I'm not being appreciative when you can't answer a simple question. Anyway, back to regularly scheduled programming..

After work I'll pick up the gaskets and change them out tonight or tomorrow. I really need to get cracking on that body work so I can mount the pieces and take it down to get it inspected and registered.

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Old 03-12-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by we47b1me View Post
What are you talking about? They're 17 bucks a piece.

https://www.autohausaz.com/catalog/k...cover%20gasket

Your funeral. The sealant won't help the ****ty rubber that cracks. It's the material composition, not the actual seal.
I'm in agreement with we47b1me here. I've done several of these over the years on a neighbors and other colleagues with w163s. They all purchased the non-oem parts to save some money. This is not one of those where you save $$. Ended up replacing 3 of them again with oem (no problems after this).
Don't get me wrong, I love working on the w163 - when I need to - but this is not one of the DIY I want to "reBeat" for even a case or 2 of beer and a nice BBQ.

I'm sure you know your stuff. GL.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by we47b1me View Post
Then go to your local MB dealer and see if they'll price match. I don't know what to tell you man. You're new here, this is a new car to you, you're asking for free advice, you're getting it, and then you're refuting those who have done, owned, and experienced these trucks 100x over compared to you, and you're squabbling over a few bucks for shipping.

Do what you want.
Now, now, .............................. I think you are reading way more into this than what slagdemon was trying to say. Nor should you get offended if someone does not like your advice.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:17 PM
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Now, now, .............................. I think you are reading way more into this than what slagdemon was trying to say. Nor should you get offended if someone does not like your advice.
ok
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:20 PM
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I returned the gaskets and will be purchasing them from fcpeuro. Thanks for the advice. Still wondering about longevity though but you’re right, I’m not as experienced with these cars and their “needs”. Sorry for my outburst earlier.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:27 PM
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Trying out the new toy.


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