Sensible family daily wagon - Mercedes Benz S211 E500

Sensible family daily wagon - Mercedes Benz S211 E500

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bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Friday 30th March 2018
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CharlesdeGaulle said:
I really like these - this is a nice purchase and I look forward to more tales.
There is something about it...

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
So as planned (mostly the alignment of the stars), the bicycle went into the back and I set off on a reasonable distance familiarisation drive to Birmingham. The experience was great on the M40, explosive and lots of grunt when needed. The auto box 7G (gears) was nice too with the manual change function very useful too. During eighteen months or so of five cylinder turbo ownership, I was initially under-utilising the engine braking in order to make smooth progress, so I found myself over-braking with the weight of the car behind me, until I figured out the balance of gearing.

It's obviously not by any means the fastest car out there, but the ease with which a large capacity V8 diminishes distances feels as though I am in possession of a cheat code on the motorway. I remember looking these up in C+VG (computer and video games) mag when I was a youngster, I prefer my new megadrive on wheels!

We have some relatives in Walsall that I had met for the first time a few months prior and they invited us to stay with them, which was very nice. I imagine that the accommodation rates for Birmingham during this huge events with closed roads would have been ginormous, so I would have happily settled for a spare bed, or an air bed.

I was instead greeted by Scarface's pad... there is a bloody eagle on the gate ffs:





(Link to a video) This is the driveway...



Anyway, the cycle was enjoyable with very pleasant weather in the Indian summer that we enjoyed (now that was a long time ago, especially after today's rainy and dismal Good Friday!):





I've got to admit, the aero position looks laughable, but the streamlining of one's torso adds so much speed downhill!



And after the longest cycle I have ever completed, we jumped in the car (once I had found the bloody car park on zero battery, and drove back to London.

PHPercy

132 posts

32 months

Friday 30th March 2018
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I must say it does look very elegant, looks to have been a great purchase for you.

Mr E

19,381 posts

217 months

Friday 30th March 2018
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Nice bike. I prefer a more upright steed myself, generally with disc brakes and oil damped front forks.

I never tire of doing hundreds of miles in silence, never more than 2k rpm on the clocks.

This probably means I’m driving it wrong.

Mr E

19,381 posts

217 months

Friday 30th March 2018
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PHPercy said:
I must say it does look very elegant, looks to have been a great purchase for you.
I suspect the 211 is a better looking car than the 212 if I’m honest.

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Saturday 31st March 2018
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Nevertheless, the ride had still been bothering me, as it just wasn't comfortable. It certainly didn't ride as well as my V70, nor my SEC and yet Magnus has air suspension, with both front struts having covered less than a couple of thousand miles each.

I remember how great the SEC was for comfort and waftability on the motorways (not to mention the presence!) and it had huge sidewalls on those tyres... I suspected that the 'AMG style' non-OEM alloys weren't quite right... so I had a browse through the original spec of the car and saw that it was originally equipped with 17" wheels. A bit of further digging revealed that it was specced up with optional 18" from subsequent model years, so I had a couple of options.

2003 MERCEDES-BENZ E 500 (211.270)
General Data FIN WDB2112702A434458
Model E 500 Engine 113967 30 541857
Transmission 722901 00 007817 Order Number 0 3 537 00364
Order Location GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
Interior AMARETTA/LEATHER/NAPPA/SEMI-ANILINE - GRAY (838A)
Paint 1 OBSIDIAN BLACK (197U)
Release Date 2003-10-22
Delivery Date 2003-11-18

Code Description
003 MANUAL DATE-CONTROLLED VEHICLE
05N STEUERCODE WERK SINDELFINGEN/GRAZ
103 CONTROL PRODUCTION TEST 3
197U OBSIDIAN BLACK
205B OWNERS MANUAL AND SERVICE RECORD - ENGLISH
213 SPEED-SENSITIVE POWER STEERING/VARIO STEERING
220 PARKTRONIC SYSTEM (PTS)
221B SIGN COOLANT/REFUELING - ENGLISH
241 FRONT SEAT LH ELECTRIC ADJUSTABLE WITH MEMORY
249 INSIDE AND OUTSIDE MIRROR AUTOMATIC DIMMING
250B MOBILO LIFE/EUROPE SERVICE PACKAGE
275 MEMORY PACKAGE (DRIVER SEAT, STRG. COL., MIRROR)
280 LEATHER STEERING WHEEL AND LEATHER GEAR SHIFT KNOB
287 THROUGH-LOADING FEATURE
354 ANTENNA FOR TELEPHONE D/E-NET
380 COMPLETE CELL PHONE PREINSTALLATION
414 ELECTRIC TILT/SLIDE SUNROOF IN GLASS VERSION
427 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION 7-SPEED
461 INSTRUMENT WITH MILES IND. AND ENGLISH LEGEND
489 AIRMATIC DUAL CONTROL / AIR SUSPENSION SEMI-ACTIVE
500 OUTSIDE REAR VIEW MIRROR LH AND RH FOLDING
527 COMAND DVD APS WITH NAVIGATION
537L GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
543 SUN VISOR WITH MAKE-UP MIRROR L. AND R., BE
551 ANTI-THEFT/ANTI-BREAK-IN WARNING SYSTEM
581 AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL 5XXL EUROPE 600 HEADLAMPS - CLEANING EQUIPMENT
618 BI-XENON HEADLAMPS FOR LEFT-HAND TRAFFIC
633 LA 17" 5 SPOKE DESIGN WITH WIDE TIRES
668 PRODUCT PROT.F.TRANSPORT VEH. W/ TIE-DOWN HOOKS
673 HIGH-CAPACITY BATTERY
690 EMERGENCY SPARE TIRE (MINI SPARE)
804 YEAR OF MODIFICATION
819 CD CHANGER
838A AMARETTA/LEATHER/NAPPA/SEMI-ANILINE - GRAY
844 FOLDING BENCH SEAT IN CARGO AREA INCL. 2 AUTO
873 SEAT HEATER FOR LEFT AND RIGHT FRONT SEATS
882 INTERIOR SAFEGUARD
890 AUTOMATIC REAR-END DOOR
910 DYNAMO WITH HIGHER CAPACITY (FFO)
915 FUEL TANK WITH LARGER CAPACITY
926 EXHAUST GAS CLEANING WITH EURO 4 TECHNOLOGY
942 LOAD COMPARTMENT PACKAGE
954 EQUIPMENT PACKAGE FOR AVANTGARDE VEHICLES
984 COC DOC., DELETION OF VEHICLE REGISTRATION DOC.
989 IDENTIFICATION LABEL UNDER WINDSHIELD F211 SERIES PRODUCTION
211 FS COMBI - VEHICLE G901 TRANSMISSION CODE VERSION 01 GA AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION HA REAR AXLE
M113 V8-GASOLINE ENGINE M113
M50 DISPLACEMENT 5.0 LITER
R RIGHT-HAND STEERING
U16 STOWAGE TANK BEHIND REAR SEAT BACKREST
VL FRONT AXLE HALF, LEFT
VR FRONT AXLE HALF, RIGHT

633 - LA Spoke Design 17" is quite an honest looking wheel which adds to the unfussy 'sleeper' element of the car, which is quite cool. My research told me that it looks like this:



Which actually came off a local S211 E500 (there are an additional two that I have seen in the Wimbledon area)!


Fattyfat

3,212 posts

154 months

Saturday 31st March 2018
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I've a W211 E500, thought the ride was pretty compliant on the OEM Airmatic although a little boaty unless the dampers are firmed up. A leaky rear bag has me swapping it all out for an Arnott spring conversion for peace of mind though.

S100HP

11,033 posts

125 months

Saturday 31st March 2018
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Thumbs up here

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Monday 2nd April 2018
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We played around with the DVD player in the car which is bloody irritating as the screen obscures over 7kph which is around 1kph above the cruise speed on the auto box, making the morning school run a massive tease for the boy!




bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Monday 2nd April 2018
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The width of the car has proven just right for some artwork for the new house though:



Here's a nice piece that would have been a stretch too far however:



and I started to make a list of the items that peeved me:



and of course, no car of mine ever escapes the perennial occurrence of the momentary oversights that accompany a distracted mind. This was caused by leaving the seatbelt tucked into the clip and dropping the rear seat for loading. Such a simple little clip and such an irritatation:



Here is the other side, still intact:



Followed by a combination of silly circumstances that led me to reverse into a ridiculously low metal barrier 'thing' in a Waitrose car park:


bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Tuesday 3rd April 2018
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Still, in the perpetual oscillation of the 'one-step-forwards-two-steps-back' approach to my car 'uplifting', I managed to located the lens cover to the 'puddle light' on the driver's side which had been broken at some stage:



and began to tackled the clouded headlight lenses with a Meguair's headlamp restorer kit from Halfords:



However, I encountered an issue with the sat nav that I purchased from 'Rusty' from whom the BMW dvds that I previously purchased were fine, and this happened after around forty minutes of running:



I also got a trick cup holder, but annoyingly it has been designed for LHD cars and they didn't bother re-designing it for RHD, so it essentially impedes operation of the gearknob and the suspension controls

Oh, and here's a vicious little dink that I inherited with the car:


Mr E

19,381 posts

217 months

Wednesday 4th April 2018
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All ready for that nice fresh rubber smell in the morning...

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Wednesday 4th April 2018
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What a hoot @mr e!

What size are those bad boys and what brand/model?

Mr E

19,381 posts

217 months

Wednesday 4th April 2018
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The fit is satisfyingly snug.
245/40R18’s on the front, 265/35R18’s on the back. Michelin pilot 4’s in 97/XL guise.

Turn in should be a bit sharper than the winters we currently have in. Although “sharper” is a relative term when the car is the size of a small house.

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Wednesday 4th April 2018
quotequote all
Those are massive, though yes, smugly satisfying indeed!

I have found (though my anachronistic thread has yet to catch up with 2018, let alone current date) the 17" OEMs to offer a surprisingly nibble footed experience to the 211 chassis.

Perhaps it's just because I'm happy to fling a car about and having never driven a Caterham or suchlike, am used to what I have!

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Wednesday 4th April 2018
quotequote all
October came time to say goodbye to Bertha, our faithful V70 which re-invigorated my satisfaction in bangernomics and had seen us to Europe and over the UK. She had enjoyed a replacement sunroof sourced at a reasonable price from an ebay seller.



So I bit the bullet and opted for a set of reconditioned alloys in the 17" variant instead of 18". The advice from both my Merc specialist pal and my tyre man, was that 18" are prone to cracking. I also know that the larger profile tyres are more conducive to comfort and additionally from my Mini owning days, that small wheels are better for nimble handling! So all in all, I ended with a style of alloy that met my wife's approval and didn't label my car as an old man's!



I also popped into an exhausts specialist dealing in Powerflow and he had a look underneath the car and told me that I have a 57mm/inch/whatever diameter tubes and replacement boxes by... Powerflow. That explains why I have such a drone inside the car that is very invasive from low revs circa 1100rpm.




r129sl

8,570 posts

161 months

Thursday 5th April 2018
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Those wheels are the ones to have on an AG 211 like yours, very handsome indeed. I love these threads about interesting cars that actually get used in the real world. I liked the fish, too. You can invest/spend/waste a lot of money on pictures, boy do I know that.

Alex_225

4,039 posts

159 months

Thursday 5th April 2018
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Lovely car that OP! Admittedly I have a soft spot for the W211 as I think they're seriously good cars. They look very 'Mercedes' and seem to have aged rather well.

I am biased as I have an E320 CDI which I bought as a dad wagon as I wanted something solid, reliable and economical for long distances. Totally fell in love with the car as it's so comfy and has so many nice features that all work brilliantly. Despite it's 15 years of age and 120k miles of use.

My car originally had the 17" wheels that you mentioned which I had repainted and kept on the car for quite some time. Smart looking and ok after I had them refurbished.



Ironically I ended up selling these on and swapping them for a set of 18" wheels which so far at least are holding up nicely. Didn't seem to affect the ride quality. 90% of the mileage I'm putting on mine is on the motorway though so not too many potholes being hit.....yet haha



I did attempt to de-cloud the headlights which was pretty successful. I firstly used the Meguiars kit that uses the wet sand and drill bit which worked to a point but the other kit Meguiars do with the lacquer spray is far better. Once we get a bit of warmer weather, I'll re-coat them.

Edited by Alex_225 on Thursday 5th April 09:05

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Thursday 5th April 2018
quotequote all
r129sl said:
Those wheels are the ones to have on an AG 211 like yours, very handsome indeed. I love these threads about interesting cars that actually get used in the real world. I liked the fish, too. You can invest/spend/waste a lot of money on pictures, boy do I know that.
Does AG stand for 'affalterbach'? Unlikely but a lot of acronyms on here puzzle me. There is another 'FIMA' or suchlike which irritates me to high heaven as I cannot get it!

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,461 posts

159 months

Thursday 5th April 2018
quotequote all
@alex225 thanks! The alloys that I inherited were 19" and were atrocious. The made the car tramline and feel leaden-footed. Additionally, my tyre guy told me that Goodyear F1s were st and that they always seem to bulge... sure enough as we looked at the car, the n/s rear was bulged on the inside!

I may consider the handsome ten spoke 18" for the summer and resigning these 17" for winter, but that is budget permitting.