Ownership Verified: Meet the grandson, grandpa needs to go. (W203 C220 CDI)

Yeah, I know the Classic comes with the black handles, I just figured the Elegance should have more features than the Classic (like a CD player!). Anyway, you can always remove the fuse for the Nazi ESP... :wicked:
The CD player is something the first owner paid extra for, it's not stock equipment. Prolly cost him an arm and a leg too. And I don't mind so much the fact that the car has ESP. I do mind however how the ESP chooses to interfere. It was a fairly low speed corner, entry was at 30-35 kph when I ga it some boot, and after ESP was done neutering me, I was barely doing 20, in a corner I could've made easily at the 35 kph had I not tried to hoon around it.
Presumably the previous owner paid extra for the alloys as well? Most of the W203 Classics I see have steelies with hubcaps.
Yes, he also paid extra for the alloys, and the rain sensor, and the anti-theft alarm, and the climate control, and a few other bits. It's a very sensibly specced car if you ask me.
So, almost a year later. Kinda time for an update, don't you think?
I bought it because the 190E couldn't comfortably accommodate 2 child booster seats, and mainly because it was getting expensive to run the 190E while driving 4000km in a month (200km/day commute). Nearly a year later, I can say that it was a success on both counts. Both kiddes fit comfortably in the back in their respective booster seats with me and the wife having ample space. Running costs was a success as well, having more than halved my monthly fuel bill. Fuel consumption has been between 5 and 6l/100 km, averaging out at 5.7l/100km (see sig), which is a lot better than I expected based on the official figures (6.4 combined).

In other respects it's been good to me too. The only thing that broke on it was the water pump, which I knew was on its way out when I got it, I just hadn't expected it to go that quickly. There's been the regular wear, like pads and rotors that needed replacing, and the summer tyres were also far gone. So I threw out the 15" Energy Savers and swapped them for excellent Hankook winter tyres (Winter I*Cept Evo) On which I drove from nov until yesterday. It's got a lot of toys, and has kinda lived up to M-B's repuation for electrics, with CANbus reporting random errors when it gets really wet outside, waterproofing that shit is on my to-do list. The OEM stereo really doesn't like wet weather either, with the display crapping out, and audio having .5s gaps, again, replacing it is on my to-do list.

Now, the most important part, driving it. While being a far cry from the 190E in terms of responsiveness and fun, I've grown to like the C for its calm and comfort on long hauls. Quiet engine with loads of low down torque, well-spaced gearing with a long 6th gear that doesn't leave the engine powerless and excellent high-speed stability make the C class very good for long high-speed hauls. A few very unscientific tests (putting my foot down in autobahn traffic with similar either in front or behind me) show that between 160 and 200 kph, its competitors lose out on acceleration and smoke (I was surprised chaos386 could even see the road when he was behind me at 220kph). The only thing I really dislike on this car is the ESP. Not once has it saved me from crashing, but it has made a few situations where I was under control (most of them were on snowy roads) a lot more dangerous by applying corrections after I had already applied corrective actions, thus leading to overcompensating for slides and such. Sadly, I have not found a way of turning it off without losing ABS, EBD (that too took some time to get used to, a brake pedal that gets softer while applying full pressure) and ASR.

On to present day. Winter weather is on its way out, and I wanted new (bigger) wheels for my summer tyres. I had narrowed it down to either 7Jx16 wheels with 205/55R16 tyres or 7.5Jx17 with 225/45R17 tyres, when I ran into an ad for 8Jx17 wheels with tyres for 300 eur last sunday, so I immediately pounced and rang the guy. Told him I wanted to pay asking price and would pick them up the following day. Upon loading the tyres into my car he told me he would have to call the other 3 guys that the first guy had just picked them up. The tyres that came with them are not bad ones (Meteor brand) but not really what I want, but since they have some life in them (5mm) I'll abuse them until they wear out and then buy new ones. Took a few quick snaps in the dark how they look.

Things I want to do to it in the near future:
* 30mm lowering all round
* 10mm spacers for rear wheels
* Chip it, 173ps and 375Nm sound like a lot of fun for just 300 eur.
* Fit projector headlights and HIDs.
* Replace factory stereo with aftermarket unit, preferrably with retention of steering wheel controls and some sort of external platyer connectivity.
* Fit rear parking sensors, because I really can't see anything beyond the window.

I'll do a proper shoot of it soon.
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Went out and took a few decent pictures of the car.

After a few days with the new wheels and tyres, I can say that whatever you do, NEVER buy anything branded METEOR or REGAL, especially not tyres. Ordering new, decent tyres as I type. It can use a slight drop, the Classic got the highest ride of all the trim levels. Going to an Avantgarde fahrwerk will make it look a lot better, and maybe throw in some 5mm spacers in the rear so make the wheels fill the arches even better.
New wheels look really good, not bad at all for 300 euros, even if you need new tyres. And yeah, small drop would do wonders. I've got really good experience of Eibach springs with the 406, around 35mm drop with just a marginal loss in comfort, and they were just about 200 euros. Might work with the Merc as well?
*cough*merchant banker*cough*

Seriously though it does look nicer :cool:
New wheels look really good, not bad at all for 300 euros, even if you need new tyres. And yeah, small drop would do wonders. I've got really good experience of Eibach springs with the 406, around 35mm drop with just a marginal loss in comfort, and they were just about 200 euros. Might work with the Merc as well?

After checking prices on Ebay, I've moved them up my list because they're now second cheapest mod on the list, after the parking sensors. In other news, Goodbeer Efficient Grip tyres in 225/45R17 have been ordered.





To replace the stock Audio 10 CD in there now. Originality is nice and everything, but only being able to play audio CDs or FM radio sucks (especially when your commute takes longer than the running time of the average CD). Not really sure what I'm going to do with the old radio, sell it for some cash or keep it for when I sell it. Got a good deal on radio + interface (basically half off for 6 month old stuff).
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There are different colored versions of those Alpines, including a sort of "Mercedes Orange". But yeah Adu, I hope you got to fiddle with one before buying, and were satisfied. I was also in the market for a head unit and found the cheap Alpines a disappointment to say the least. Felt like really plastic toys for the price and low on features compared to competing JVCs. Kenwoods were nice but really expensive.
Well, normal price for the radio is 180-200 eur, CANBUS module is 120 eur, I got the set for 150. So if I dislike the radio and want another one, I can sell it on for a decent amount and get another one. It's just that the CANBUS module limits me to Alpine HUs in the future, but I can live with that.
So I finished putting in the radio and stuff this morning. Was easier than expected, although I did have to disassemble half my dashboard to get the old radio out.

Before shot:

After shots: (note the distinct lack of ugly Nokia phone holder in these pics)

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It was just a matter of connecting the 3 connectors up and getting it all in there, luckily the small storage bin isn't as deep as the dashboard, so I had ample room behind it. The radio itself was about as deep as the space in the dash, so nothing can be tucked behind that. If I ever decide to go for 2-DIN, I really need to check the depth of the unit, else the center console needs more modifications.
Time for another small update. A few weeks ago during the ringmeet cruise scoutingtrip, I dented my 2 passenger side wheels on the inside when I did a short, unplanned offroad excursion in a corner. After getting a quote for repairing them, I informed about costs for refurbing them, because the wheels looked like shit close up. I got an even better quote for that, so I went ahead and had the wheels refurbed as well as repaired. End result is gorgeous, they just need some new original M-B centercaps.

Also, since I got a new phone, my iPhone is demoted to in-car iPod, and I wanted to have it relocated to the armrest. So, 30 min work later, this is the end result.

No more ugly black cable vomiting from the dashboard, a usable storage bin below the radio, and no more iPhone in the ex-ashtray bin in the dashboard (that space is now reserved for the Sensation, until I find a decent fitted carholder for it.)
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Hmm, I think I have same Puma shoes.

Oh, and the wheels look really nice! Hopefully it wasn't too expensive.