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Thread: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

  1. #1
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    HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    For a while now, I've been meaning to replace my original, yellowed coolant tank on my 500E. I did it last year on my 560SEC and it really brightened up the underhood area. So, I finally bit the bullet and added one (as well as a new coolant level sensor) to my latest parts.com order.

    I received the new tank and sensor today, and commenced to replace them. The entire process took less than one hour in my driveway/garage.

    Tools needed on hand include the following:

    • Phillips head screwdriver - normal size/length
    • Philips head screwdriver - stubby
    • Flat-head screwdriver - normal size
    • 1/4" ratchet with medium extension, and 8mm and 10mm sockets
    • magnetic picker-upper tool (in case you drop hardware)
    • snap-ring pliers


    Parts for the job include:
    • 124 500 15 49 (coolant tank)
    • 124 540 02 44 (coolant level sensor)


    Here's the procedure for the job:

    Here's an overall view of the coolant tank before I got started.
    Notice the three hoses + electrical connection attached.
    IMG_1095.JPG


    Next up, remove the radiator cap. Make sure you do this when the car is cold so coolant doesn't spew everywhere and/or burn you !
    IMG_1096.JPG



    Next, siphon out the tank as best you can. I used a spare length of hose, and an old clear-glass vase of my wife's (don't tell her!).
    IMG_1097.JPG IMG_1098.jpg



    Next, unplug the electrical connection to the coolant level sensor, and move the plug aside.
    The plug ends may break off in your fingers, so it's a good idea to replace this (and other like plug housings) underhood.
    IMG_1099.jpg



    Use your regular Philips-head screwdriver to loosen the top hose clamp.
    Remove the clamp by sliding it down the hose away from the end of the hose.
    IMG_1100.jpg



    Next, carefully shimmy/pull the end of the braided hose to the overflow tank off the nipple.
    These hoses tend to get VERY fossilized, so it may well be a good time to replace this hose.
    IMG_1101.JPG



    Use your stubby Philips head screwdriver to loosen the lower (larger diameter) hose.
    You can use the larger Philips screwdriver if you remove your airbox and air tubes. I was lazy so just went with the stubby guy....
    IMG_1102.jpg



    Use your 10mm socket on a 1/4" ratchet with extension to remove the two nuts holding down the opposite end of the tank.
    These nuts are both pretty accessible.
    This is where the 8mm socket comes in handy ... in case you need to loosen one side of the plastic belly pan encapsulating the bottom of the engine, to let out a stray nut that fell down into the engine because you dropped it !!!
    Your extensible magnetic tool can reach in there on top of that belly pan and retrieve the stray nut.
    IMG_1103.jpg



    After removing the hoses and the nuts, you can gently but firmly pull the tank straight up.
    It is embedded into the top of the fender liner with a small extension that fits into a rubber bung plug ring.
    You'll see it on the bottom of the tank after you remove it from the vehicle.

    Here are the old and new tanks, side by side.
    Whoever believes that new tanks aren't as white as snow when new, can definitely change their belief NOW.
    IMG_1105.JPGIMG_1104.JPG IMG_1106.JPG



    Here's the area underneath the tank. You can see the hole where the extension on the bottom of the tank, and the rubber bung plug fits, near the center of the photo.
    Take some quick detailer and clean this area out with a rag, as it's gonna be a LONG time 'til you're back underneath here.
    IMG_1107.JPG



    Next, remove the circlip that retains the coolant level sensor in the hole on the side of the tank.
    Here's the procedure.
    IMG_1108.JPGIMG_1109.JPGIMG_1110.JPG

    IMG_1111.jpgIMG_1112.jpg



    Next, get out the new sensor (if you choose to install a new one.
    Here is the new one and the old one, side by side.
    IMG_1113.JPGIMG_1114.JPG



    Next, insert the new coolant level sensor. The different-sized tangs on the sides guarantee that the sensor will only go into the hole one way.
    Push the sensor down all the way (so that the black o-ring is against the inside of the hole) and replace the circlip with the pliers.
    IMG_1115.JPGIMG_1116.JPGIMG_1117.JPGIMG_1118.JPG



    Next it's time to transplant the rubber bung plug ring from the bottom of the old tank to the new tank.
    You can see that here.
    IMG_1119.JPGIMG_1120.JPGIMG_1121.JPG



    Next, replace the new tank into position, putting the bolts at the ends through the holes in the ends of the tank.
    Gently push the bottom extension of the old tank (with the bung plug ring around it) into the hole in the inside fender wall.
    Use even but firm and increasing pressure. This should push the rubber plug ring into the hole where it's molded lip
    will retain it and seal the hole.
    Then, re-install the two 10mm nuts that you removed earlier.
    Re-install all hoses and tighten the clamps
    Re-install the electrical connection for the coolant level sensor.

    Lastly, put the coolant that you siphoned out of the coolant tank, back into the tank.
    I also added a bit of pre-mixed coolant I keep on hand to the tank, to bring it up to the proper level.
    This replaces the small amount of coolant that leaked out when I removed the lower hose (I had rags handy to absorb most of it).
    IMG_1124.JPGIMG_1125.JPG

    Start the car and get the cooling system under pressure to ensure that the hoses you replaced are indeed properly clamped into place and not leaking coolant.

    That's it .. you're done. Enjoy your new white, underhood coolant tank !!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hi-Power's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Great article Gerry, thanks for sharing such a thorough description. I will be doing the same tomorrow on my E500.
    Ernesto Molina
    1993 500E

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Tip:

    The rubber donut at the bottom should snap into place on the fender. Squirt some WD-40 or silicone lube on it, and gently press the new tank into the grommet on the fender. You may need to use your hand on the underside to prevent the grommet from pressing out of the fender. If you put the donut on the tank first, it may be difficult to get it fully seated (i.e., locked on to) the fender sheet metal.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Tip:

    The rubber donut at the bottom should snap into place on the fender. Squirt some WD-40 or silicone lube on it, and gently press the new tank into the grommet on the fender. You may need to use your hand on the underside to prevent the grommet from pressing out of the fender. If you put the donut on the tank first, it may be difficult to get it fully seated (i.e., locked on to) the fender sheet metal.

    I [unsuccessfully] tried your approach and it pushed the grommet through and beneath the car. I was able to get it to "catch" via the method I described (installed on the bottom of the tank) with slow, steady, but firm pressure to seat the grommet in the inner fender hole. And I know that it seated because the tank had resistance when I tried to pull it back upward (plus I could see with a flashlight that it had engaged...just barely could see this though).

    Here are a couple of photos of my attempt per your "tip".

    Cheers,
    Gerry

    IMG_1122.JPGIMG_1123.JPG

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Ah, got it. Yeah, it's always fun getting the grommet properly seated. The main thing is that whatever method you use, double-check with a flashlight from underneath to make sure it's seated correctly. Usually takes me a few attempts to get it right!

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    When I replaced my coolant tank, the grommet was the only issue(other than the fossilized braided hose Gerry mentioned) that I ran into...... I didnt even know it was there and couldnt figure out why the stupid tank wouldn come out!

    Another great write up Gerry, keep em coming!
    Andy
    94 E500
    (128k miles)....sold
    2000 Land Rover Disco (112k miles)
    95 Mazda Miata (104k miles)
    91 BMW 325i (140+K miles odo broken!)

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Hi-Power View Post
    I will be doing the same tomorrow on my E500.
    How did it go?

  8. #8
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    FYI,

    The foot which goes in the grommet if you rotate so the outboard end goes up slightly as you pull it out- the grommet stays in place. Going in I pushed it down and toward the engine. It's like putting your foot in a loafer.

    Take a look at the tank and it is pretty obvious.

    Michael

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    IGNORE - THIS POST BASED ON INCORRECT PART - (left in so following discussion makes sense)
    I replaced my coolant expansion tank per this how-to and used the part numbers listed. You can see that while the new tank is dimensionally the same, MB moved the location of the 2 lower inlet/outlets, which can best be seen from the attached pictures. These new locations will have the effect of altering the length of hoses that attach to the new tank. For example, if like I did, you plan to simultaneously replace the overflow hose, you cannot simply cut the new hose to the same length as the old hose. If you do, given the new inlet/outlet locations, the new hose will be too short (as me how I know . . . ). I ended up adding about 6-8 additional inches to make the new hose fit correctly.

    In addition, you will need to shorten the length of the hose that connects the expansion tank to the radiator/cooling system (I did not replace mine). Be careful of the placement of the hose and its angles as the new tank inlet/outlet locations require less length and if you do not shorten the existing hose, it may be pushed back into the radiator fan (unless you move it out of the way with zip ties or something similar). Not great for all of you master mechanics out there, but for a mere shade tree mechanic such as myself, it will do for the time being.

    Lastly, I did not purchase a new coolant level sensor as I was planning to re-use the existing one. A new sensor may have avoided this issue, but in trying to fit the old sensor to the new tank, I discovered that the old sensor was too long for the new tank and I could not re-install the snap ring. If one removed the rubber o-ring, the sensor fit perfectly. I ended up using a much thinner o-ring that I happened to have lying around and was able to "coax" the snap ring on finally. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't leak.

    My descriptions aren't the greatest, so if you have any questions about this update, please feel free to pm me.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by vatc5637; 11-07-2014 at 07:15 AM. Reason: correct part identified and available

  10. #10
    postwhore posterchild Klink's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by vatc5637 View Post
    Updated information:

    I replaced my coolant expansion tank per this how-to and used the part numbers listed. You can see that while the new tank is dimensionally the same, MB moved the location of the 2 lower inlet/outlets, which can best be seen from the attached pictures. These new locations will have the effect of altering the length of hoses that attach to the new tank. For example, if like I did, you plan to simultaneously replace the overflow hose, you cannot simply cut the new hose to the same length as the old hose. If you do, given the new inlet/outlet locations, the new hose will be too short (as me how I know . . . ). I ended up adding about 6-8 additional inches to make the new hose fit correctly.

    In addition, you will need to shorten the length of the hose that connects the expansion tank to the radiator/cooling system (I did not replace mine). Be careful of the placement of the hose and its angles as the new tank inlet/outlet locations require less length and if you do not shorten the existing hose, it may be pushed back into the radiator fan (unless you move it out of the way with zip ties or something similar). Not great for all of you master mechanics out there, but for a mere shade tree mechanic such as myself, it will do for the time being.

    Lastly, I did not purchase a new coolant level sensor as I was planning to re-use the existing one. A new sensor may have avoided this issue, but in trying to fit the old sensor to the new tank, I discovered that the old sensor was too long for the new tank and I could not re-install the snap ring. If one removed the rubber o-ring, the sensor fit perfectly. I ended up using a much thinner o-ring that I happened to have lying around and was able to "coax" the snap ring on finally. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't leak.

    My descriptions aren't the greatest, so if you have any questions about this update, please feel free to pm me.
    Terry, unless the correct unit is no longer available and you have to adapt, you were simply supplied the wrong part. The new unit in the pictures appears to be a 124 500 13 49, which is for 6 cylinder gasoline cars. The correct unit for the V8 124s is 124 500 15 49. The part number should appear on the top of unit if it is a MB sourced part. Note that not only are the lower hose and level sensor positions incorrect, but also note that it does not have the additional external metal reinforcement of the snap ring groove at the sensor opening. I hope the correct tank is still available, I'll check tomorrow...
    Last edited by Klink; 11-07-2014 at 04:46 AM. Reason: fixed typo on part numbers
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    124-500-1549 is the current part number

    Anout $86 from Lionel at MB of Gainesville








    Last edited by clarkz71; 11-07-2014 at 12:42 AM.

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    I replaced my tank less than a year ago with the part number used by the OP (124 500 15 49). I paid $104.40. Now I see it is for sale at parts.com for $86.25.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Correct, I think Klink just made a typo with the 89

    Lionel will beat parts.com price AND free 2 day Fed Ex shipping

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    postwhore posterchild Klink's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkz71 View Post
    Correct, I think Klink just made a typo with the 89

    Lionel will beat parts.com price AND free 2 day Fed Ex shipping
    Good catch, Clark! I fixed the typo. Thanks.
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Good time to replace crusty overflow hose too. The braid hose is still available via OEM suppliers. Not hard to do just a few 8mm screws and 10mm plastic nuts for the fender well.


    Michael

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    E500E Guru sheward's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Thanks, all! this is on my list and it's time to change the coolant.

    drew
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Klink and Clark (the 500E board version of Click & Clack?);

    Thanks for the info re: correct tank #, which I will order (btw, I checked my records, I did order the correct # from the vendor, and the tag attached to the part had the correct # printed on it, that's the 2nd time getting the wrong part correctly marked, has happened to me [different vendor though the 1st time]). Since I've got the incorrect part installed, is there any risk running the car while I wait for the correct part (local driving only)? or should I just park it until I can install the correct tank?

  18. #18
    postwhore posterchild Klink's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by vatc5637 View Post
    Klink and Clark (the 500E board version of Click & Clack?);

    Thanks for the info re: correct tank #, which I will order (btw, I checked my records, I did order the correct # from the vendor, and the tag attached to the part had the correct # printed on it, that's the 2nd time getting the wrong part correctly marked, has happened to me [different vendor though the 1st time]). Since I've got the incorrect part installed, is there any risk running the car while I wait for the correct part (local driving only)? or should I just park it until I can install the correct tank?
    As long as there are no hoses at risk of being chafed by moving parts, or overheated (eg, over by the exhaust manifold) then there is no risk to using it until the correct one arrives. MBUSA shows inventory of the correct tank in the country.

    On a sad note, one of the "Tappet Brothers" just passed away... http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...zzi-dies-at-77
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    E500E Guru mistermiata's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Yes, he died from complications from Alzheimers Dz......so which one our Klink & Clark is the one with the Alzheimers?
    Andy
    94 E500
    (128k miles)....sold
    2000 Land Rover Disco (112k miles)
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    My short term memory is suspect.

    Is that a symptom ??....

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by vatc5637 View Post
    Klink and Clark (the 500E board version of Click & Clack?)
    I coined a name for that dynamic duo long ago, when referred to "together": "CLANK"



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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by mistermiata View Post
    Yes, he died from complications from Alzheimers Dz......so which one our Klink & Clark is the one with the Alzheimers?
    What the hell do you mean they're impeaching Nixon?
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Some price history on 124 500 15 49, MSRP, apply your favorite discount:

    2016 = $120
    2015 = $119
    2014 = $115
    2013 = $145
    2012 = $85
    2011 = $82
    2010 = $80


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    I don't know but Kilnks new avatar makes me think something ain't right with him....
    Andy
    94 E500
    (128k miles)....sold
    2000 Land Rover Disco (112k miles)
    95 Mazda Miata (104k miles)
    91 BMW 325i (140+K miles odo broken!)

  25. #25
    E500E Guru Trae's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    He's trying a new, friendly "hello kitty" approach.
    Trae
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by mistermiata View Post
    I don't know but Kilnks new avatar makes me think something ain't right with him....
    I think he is trying to bond with Clark.


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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Is that even possible ?


    .

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Some price history on 124 500 15 49, MSRP, apply your favorite discount:

    2014 = $115
    2013 = $145
    2012 = $85
    2011 = $82
    2010 = $80

    Now $119

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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    Now $119
    Yes, MSRP.

    But $89 online

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    HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkz71 View Post
    Yes, MSRP.

    But $89 online
    I indicated that in my other post.

    http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showpost.php?p=91752

    Yo Emp....!

  31. #31
    Senior Member RicardoD's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    Great write up Gerry. Everything went super smooth with your instructions ..and of course this HOW-To should be done in combination with coolant overflow hose replacement How-To: http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4764

    My overflow hose was so brittle I just snapped it off when I removed the tank as it was so hardened to pull off on its own. Since I already had the replacement hose ordered this was no big deal. I ended up using GSXR's bung method and held it underneath the fender when I re-installed the tank. I also had a crap ton of dirt fall off the car underneath when removing the fender liner which should be good for 1/4hp more power next time I am in the car.

    A previous tech noted the coolant sensor was leaking and it was very corroded and so brittle it snapped apart when I tried to remove it.

    The sensor plug connector snaps both broke off upon removal? How do you replace these plug side connectors?

    Anyway, I have a more beautiful engine bay now with the SLS reservoir and now the coolant reservoir changed. In addition, I noted that I need a ATTENTION sticker since that was on my old tank. Part number 124 584 05 40. How will I win Pebble Beach in 30 years without this sticker!!
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  32. #32
    E500E Guru Ntrepid's Avatar
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    Re: HOW-TO: Replacing M119 coolant tank

    I just completed mine today. Great write up. My only recommendation is for attaching the sensor to the new reservoir. Since the O ring makes it a little tough to seat the sensor, use a 17MM wrench with the 12 pt. combination loop (like this one). Place the loop over the sensor which allows you to apply pressure all the way around rather than using a flat head which may gouge or crack the plastic.


    Robert

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