Author Topic: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?  (Read 432 times)

jazumwalt

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« on: 25 January 2021, 05:34 PM »
Seattle has a really healthy population of pre 1990's Mercedes, and somebody is keeping them all alive.

I know a few that have been great for my W123 (The Mercedes Shoppe in Puyallup, the German Auto Center on N 145th in Seattle), however I'm a little concerned when it comes to W116 territory. I'm looking at a strong running 300SD with relatively low miles (160,XXX) that I'm otherwise in love with.

If I buy it, my problem is this: I need to chase an interior leak that's soaking the drivers' side carpets, and I have a horrible feeling that it's coming from behind the fusebox, given a collection of debris on the side of it. The car is otherwise in beautiful shape and has no rust. Yet.

However, when I talked to people I've worked with at both shops I've used (listed above in parenthetical) neither had ever seen the fusebox issue, and according to the forum here it's pretty common.

I need somebody I can bring it to who knows how to chase this stuff down.  The car is kept under cover, but is not in a climate controlled situation.

Any suggestions or recommendations from users here in the Puget Sound region of the United States?

Many thanks!!

Squiggle Dog

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,129
  • https://fintail.org
  • Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #1 on: 25 January 2021, 06:59 PM »
When I lived in Tacoma (been nearly 10 years since I've moved), Mercedes Auto Service https://www.mercedesautoservice.com/ had a lot of old models in their shop. I even had the dealership in Fife do an alignment on my W116 (while the dealership in Peoria, Arizona did everything they could to avoid doing an alignment on it, even though I replaced or rebuilt EVERYTHING related to the steering and suspension that could wear and had it spotlessly clean). Benz Friendz in Burien (I bought my fintail wagon from them) seemed a popular repair shop. Phil Smart in Seattle also had a reputation for working on the older models. And then way up north, there is Kent Bergsma of Mercedessource fame.

With all that said, I've done all my own repairs other than the alignment at the dealership, and one time when Bill & Ted from Mercedes Auto Service helped me figure out a clutch issue on a 1968 W110 200D I had.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://challenge22.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 350,000+

PMcG

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #2 on: 25 January 2021, 09:59 PM »
I go to German Auto Center all the time, and they're able to handle the mechanical things on my car really well.  For body stuff you describe, I've been recommended to German Car Specialists in Bellevue: https://www.germanauto.com.  Was going to have them do some sunroof repair next month.  Not easy to find shops that'll jump in to pre-2000 MBZ around here.  Good luck!
1976 450 SE
Diamond Blue Metallic / Navy Blue

daantjie

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,228
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #3 on: 26 January 2021, 11:07 AM »
With regards the likely leak in the fuse box area, this is well documented on the forum, and I would say highly likely you have rust - through in this area.  The rust usually permeates into the firewall, which then leaks water to run down into the drive side footwell, so you will likely also find a rust nest under the foot rest and surrounding area.  The problem is made worse by the very thick sound deadening used on these cars, which acts like a sponge and traps all leaks nicely, this is what leads to rust in the footwell.

There are no shortcuts to fixing this, and I doubt most shops would want to touch this job anyway as it is a PITA of note.  The access is super tight, plus you have the hood release cable grommet in the way, not fun. If you want to do a good job here you need to lift up the fuse box and remedy all the rust, as well as fashion a drain tube (which Benz failed to do, sadly).  This will then carry future water ingress into the wheel well as opposed to into the cab, of course assuming too that you also remedy the fireall leak and related rust you likely will find in the floorpan(s).

Cheers
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

rumb

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,682
  • MB Enthusiast
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #4 on: 26 January 2021, 01:14 PM »
If you pull up all the carpet and padding in the footwell you will reach the metal portion and see what lurks there. Also in the rear of the front tire area jab with a a pick or screwdriver to fine rusty spots. A lot of the rust is well hidden behind the thick undercoating.  I dont consider it too much cheating to use fiberglass below the fusebox.  cutting and welding in there would be extremely difficult.
'68 250S, '77 6.9 euro, '91 300SE, '98 SL500 '14 CLS550

Mattr

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • 6.9 in a 450SE
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #5 on: 07 February 2021, 02:48 PM »
Seattle has a really healthy population of pre 1990's Mercedes, and somebody is keeping them all alive.

I know a few that have been great for my W123 (The Mercedes Shoppe in Puyallup, the German Auto Center on N 145th in Seattle), however I'm a little concerned when it comes to W116 territory. I'm looking at a strong running 300SD with relatively low miles (160,XXX) that I'm otherwise in love with.

If I buy it, my problem is this: I need to chase an interior leak that's soaking the drivers' side carpets, and I have a horrible feeling that it's coming from behind the fusebox, given a collection of debris on the side of it. The car is otherwise in beautiful shape and has no rust. Yet.

However, when I talked to people I've worked with at both shops I've used (listed above in parenthetical) neither had ever seen the fusebox issue, and according to the forum here it's pretty common.

I need somebody I can bring it to who knows how to chase this stuff down.  The car is kept under cover, but is not in a climate controlled situation.

Any suggestions or recommendations from users here in the Puget Sound region of the United States?

Many thanks!!
If you use FB, check out SeattleBenzUnited. There's a fair-sized crowd of locals in there, and one of them can probably point you towards a shop that deals in older Benzes. I think Benz Friendz is gone. Last I heard there was a big community push to oust the shop, and I think it succeeded, eventually.

If you want a car with a little more 'oomph,' I know where there's a 6.9 for sale that needs paint and some interior adjustment. >_>
1976 450SE 6.9 FrankenBenz (#2288?)
1977 450SEL 6.9 #2333

MilanBrown79

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 5
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #6 on: 12 May 2021, 03:47 PM »
hey @jazumwalt, let me know if you have any luck on this. I've been in the SEA area for about 2 years and I'm still using MBI in Portland for any specialized needs on my '79 W116. I've found a couple shops willing to work on the older diesels but none that are excited to/specialize in them. I'm running into more and more parts that are no longer easily available and it's nice to have a shop that has multiple avenues to source 3rd party/used parts from, just wish they were closer.

I'm fairly sure I called German Auto Center and they weren't thrilled about working on an old diesel, but I may be confusing them with another. Worth another call.
 

Mattr

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • 6.9 in a 450SE
Re: Good Mechanics in Seattle, WA?
« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2021, 07:42 PM »
hey @jazumwalt, let me know if you have any luck on this. I've been in the SEA area for about 2 years and I'm still using MBI in Portland for any specialized needs on my '79 W116. I've found a couple shops willing to work on the older diesels but none that are excited to/specialize in them. I'm running into more and more parts that are no longer easily available and it's nice to have a shop that has multiple avenues to source 3rd party/used parts from, just wish they were closer.

I'm fairly sure I called German Auto Center and they weren't thrilled about working on an old diesel, but I may be confusing them with another. Worth another call.
Once my 450SE is back up/running and no longer a lift queen (hopefully mid/late June), I'll be letting people use my garage/lift for service, if you're the kind that likes doing their own wrenching. That's open to anybody in the Pacific North West. Just shoot me a message for info.

Also, while I don't have diesel parts, I do have a supply of random interior/exterior parts and such that I'm happy to sell for cheap (er than ebay). Keep me in mind if you come up with something you really can't find. I'm more interested in keeping cars on the road and de-populating my garage of the mountain of parts I possess (without just throwing everything away, like I have been) than getting rich off them.
1976 450SE 6.9 FrankenBenz (#2288?)
1977 450SEL 6.9 #2333