View Full Version : Dirt Traps, Mid East Cars, Ball Joints,

03-31-2011, 09:21 AM
I went to the MB Dealer this morning for a free check-over of my Car. Mainly to get a good look underneath. Abdullah found:

1 Upper Sump presumably cracked as filler seems to be leaking.
2 Track Rod end gaiters torn...I knew this but I did not know that the gaiters were replacable while retaining the still good ball joint.
3 Slight leak on the steering box. (Just like my 6.9 done there 25 years ago...)

I will receive a report on Saturday. The deal is parts and labour are both half price.

Anyway having a last look underneath I noticed an access hole behind the left front wheel forward of the jacking point. There was no cover and I noticed two 5mm "brake" lines...not sure what they are yet. The support bracket and the lines seems to have created a place for dirt/mud/sand to accumulate.

I got the hose and a pokey thing and got to work. About a tea cup full of dirt came out. I did the other side and got a little. Very little at the rear.

I went back to the front left to feel what I had achieved and found yet more soil hard packed around the lines and bracket. I have mentioned before how hard the Kuwait sand packs down.

As a final effort I pushed the hose into the jacking point and swooshed water along inside the side skirt.

I had a thread going on Ecstasy about dirt traps...I wonder if we will ever see that again...

On YouTube there is a video of a major W124.036 restoration. There are holes in the body shown welded up. I think the worst ones were in front of the rear wheels. The above cleaning will help prevent that corrosion.

There are down sides to owning a Middle East car but a major plus is the lack of corrosion. An Independent Mechanic in UK said my 6.9 was the least rusty W116 He had every seen.


03-31-2011, 11:56 AM
Rust is very bad in the UK since they still use salt in the winter times (due to cost). MB used water based paints in the 90's which gets etched with the salt.

The same cars had not too many issues in other countries. My car spent 14 years in Switzerland and it only had slight bubbling around the antenna mast and one fender corner.

04-01-2011, 08:32 AM
Same problems in NA with East Coast cars that seem to suffer more rust. The West Coast isn't as bad...must be the humidity! Speaking of environmental problems, the ambient heat of many locations causes deterioration of wiring looms, but up North we don't have that issue. Do you have the wiring problems in Oman?

04-01-2011, 09:24 AM
Actually,The dry heat prevents humidity from condensing to cause shorts and corrosion on electronic components.
While most US members changed the wiring harnesses and ETA. Most of us have no Issue with these.

Our main Ambient related Issues we have is engine temperature which effects gaskets and seals. As well as Dust... One Dust Storm can ruin the whole front end and sand blasts the paint away.

04-03-2011, 11:34 PM

I pulled the front fenders of my rust free E320 wagon and found a LOT of dirt and who knows what else trapped in there.
Same with the side skirts.
It seems that the foam deading material holds all sorts of stuff leading to a water trap that doesn't get clean or dry out.
I think the side skirts have a clean out trap in the front.
As much as it's a PITA to do I suggest removing the fenders and skirts and cleaning them out. A few hours of work will prevent rust for forming.
Same with going to the self service car wash and using a pressure washer to clean under the car.
DO NOT point the high pressure hose at the ball joints, you'll rip the rubber cups - and I know this how.....?

Kind Regards,


04-04-2011, 09:01 AM
It's a great idea every time you wash the car to get under the fender lips and around the edges with a jet of water and/or a toothbrush handle to dislodge all of the dirt that accumulates down there. There is quite often a LOT of dirt/sand/grit that accumulates and of course this holds moisture and can and will eventually cause rust. For some reason the W124 body really seems to accumulate this. I've seen it on my E320 wagon as well as my E500.