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Discussion Starter #1
Searched forum but couldn't find exactly what I needed. Just got back from 2300-mile round trip in my '01 SLK 320 and on return trip, coolant light came on. Temp gauge was not moving, so I topped it off and came on home. Once home, I popped hood and coolant was spewing from the top hose that goes into the reservoir/expansion tank. Actually, it wasn't from the hose itself but from a hole in the tank occupied by a 1 1/2" x 1/4" metal tube that the hose was clamped to. This doesn't look/sound like the brilliant German engineering I'm used to seeing on this car. Is there maybe a rubber gasket/seal missing?:confused:
 

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Does the metal tube go from the hose to the port on the reservoir, then there is a clamp that holds the 3 pieces together? Have you unscrewed the clamp to see if there is a hole in the hose or the port?

Just so happens that yesterday was the first day I was able to crank my car for a short run after 2 1/2 months of repairs. Mine is doing the same thing but I just have the hose clamped to the port on the reservoir. I removed the clamp and there is a hairline fracture of the port on the reservoir. Our cars are showing their age and everything is brittle and will crack at the slightest jolt or pressure. I am in the process of replacing the hoses and other brittle items for that very reason. It is easy and cheap if you do it yourself a little at a time on the weekends.

It was suggested to me to use plastic epoxy to seal the crack. Maybe someone else has had the same issue and will report in a fix. Post a photo if you get a chance. Once people see what you are talking about, more people may respond. Please report back what you find. Thanks
 

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Congrats on a safe road trip in the SLK!
As suggested, post a picture of the leak/area an we should be able to help you better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
coolant leak

Sorry guys and gals, have been out of town. Here is a pic of the coolant reservoir and the set-up where the coolant is spewing out. I tried to stop up with J-B Weld but it still developed a hairline crack in the weld. Is this the factory set-up and should there be that much pressure in the reservoir to blow it out around the little metal tube?
 

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Sorry guys and gals, have been out of town. Here is a pic of the coolant reservoir and the set-up where the coolant is spewing out. I tried to stop up with J-B Weld but it still developed a hairline crack in the weld. Is this the factory set-up and should there be that much pressure in the reservoir to blow it out around the little metal tube?
Hmm... not familiar with 320's. Maybe some 320 owners will have a chance to take a look at their coolant reservoirs and tell if their set up is the same (which I suspect is)?!
If there's a pressure building up, then you definitely looking at new reservoir =( Not that expensive $43.58 from mymercedesparts.com +$8 shipping. =)
Update: The diagram shows exactly as yours is built. The hose is stock and the connection is stock too.
 

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Interesting. My 01 has the same metal piece but it has a plastic tube that comes from the reservoir that is about as long as your metal piece, then it has the metal piece on the end of that. When you get the new one, please let us know if the set-up is the same as what you have now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Expansion tank on order. Will let you know what it looks like when I get it in. Thanks for all the help!
 

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Carpetman, did you replace your tank? If so can you provide the steps to do so?

Anybody else replace their expansion tank? It seems to be a little more involved than I originally thought.

From the instructions I have, it says to raise the car and find the draincock on the left side facing the engine

Attach one end of a hose to the draincock.
Put the other end into a clean container.
Open draincock and drain coolant from radiator.
This will empty the coolant recovery reservoir

Anybody know what size hose?

The next part of the instructions are a little confusing....

The coolant does not have to be removed from the tank unless the system is being refilled with a fresh mixture. When tank is empty, remove pressure cap and continue draining cooling system.

So once the reservoir is empty, can I just change the reservoir or do I have to drain the entire system?

Also in BOLD letters

CAUTION: Failure to purge air from the cooling system can result in an overheating condition and severe engine damage.

However, there are no instructions on how to purge the system of air. Anybody know how to ensure that there is no air left in the system?

Looks like another DIY write up in my future.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Still waiting on replacement reservoir. It shipped a couple days ago so hopefully it will be here today so I can work on it over weekend. I don't see why you would have to drain radiator, though. Looks to me like I just take the top hose off, unplug the level sensor from the bottom and replace. Haven't dis-assembled yet as the car is still driveable. Will let you know soon, with pics! I figure it'll only take a couple beers time!:Beer:
 

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Thanks for the update Carpetman. I thought the exact same thing until I realized that there is a bottom hose that has to come off as well. So at the very least you have to drain the expansion tank.

I did find an article online from the pelican guys that says that you can just drain the expansion tank using a siphon but they recommend draining the system and replacing the coolant so you make sure there is no contamination. Since my coolant was just added, really don't feel the need to drain the system and start from scratch.

May tackle this today, if I get it completed, I will provide some photos to help you along. If it does not work, will also let you know that as well so you do not go down the same wrong path. :Beer:
 

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Carpetman, update for you. You can change the reservoir without draining the tank but DON'T!:td: It would take two people and still the amount spilled and the resulting mess you have to clean up is not worth it. Some quick steps for you. Sorry no photos, I was too busy with the insane amount of mess to deal with.

1) Raise car and remove pan-8mm
2) Find red drain cock on the left side bottom of radiator
3) On the side closest to engine, there is a spout to connect a tube to. Connect tube on the port and other side in container large enough to hold the engine coolant. Use flat head to open drain cock. Then open the pressure top on the coolant expansion tank. Close drain cock when finished. Tighten pressure cap on expansion tank. This will help cut down on spillage later
4) Once drained, remove two nuts holing tank in place. 10mm
5) Remove overflow hose from port on top of expansion tank. Screwdriver
6) Remove electrical connector from sensor at the bottom of the tank.
7) Remove hose from bottom of the expansion tank. Screwdriver. Be prepared to catch the remaining coolant that will spill out. Large shop rag will do
8) Pull tank straight up. It will require a good hard pull to get the retainer to pull free from the grommet. Watch where your hands are located because when it comes free you will bang your hands on anything in the way. Also do not bend over the tank while pulling up, you may hit yourself in the face with the tank
9) Turn tank over and remove sensor. Place sensor in new tank.
10) Set tank down where it will reside but do not push it in place. Re-attach the bottom tube. The reason you want to sit the tank in place before attaching the tube is to make sure the tube does not twist and kink.
11) Once tube is attached, push tank into place
12) Replace nuts to hold tank in place
13) Replace electrical connection to sensor
14) Attach overflow tube to port.
15) Remove the tube that hangs down next to the pressure top from the old tank and place it in the proper spot on new tank.
16) Refill tank and check for leaks.
It has been reported that you massage the bottom tube to work out the air bubbles when refilling. I have not gotten to this step yet because I had planned on reusing the old/new coolant that was just placed in there. However there was so much debris in the bottom of the expansion tank, now I am thinking I need to do a flush and start from scratch.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Tons & tons of thanks and praise DIYgirl. Wanna come to New Mexico & help? Am hoping tank is sitting by front door when I get home this p.m. Have already printed your post and will follow it step by step. What a GREAT forum.Y)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
DIYGirl, just got my reservoir today and sure enough, the metal tube leaking in my existing one is supposed to be surrounded by an integral piece of plastic tubing that is part of the reservoir. I will follow your instructions TO THE LETTER! sometime in the next week or so and take pics to post for any future owners who might need to change out theirs. (taking 4-yr old grandson camping in mountains northwest of Albuquerque this weekend - no, we are not a desert)many thanks again
 

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Beautiful area there. I was lucky enough to see the balloon festival in 2001. Not sure exactly where we were in that general area but we found places to hike that were tall enough to make you wish for flat ground. i was actually very surprised at the elevation change. Have a great weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
DIYGirllllll. You the bomb. Decided not to go camping this weekend, took grandson to the ABQ zoo instead. Free'ed me up to tackle the coolant reservoir via your instructions. Attached are some pics hope will help others. Did couple things different. Took plastic air chamber off from engine to radiator to have more room to access the bottom connections (it just slides off). Also used a small pry bar to pop the old unit out of the grommet (saving hands and face). Otherwise followed your directions to the letter and only took 36 minutes (excluding re-filling coolant). Now if I can only get BAS/ESP light off. Tried all suggestions from another thread, car runs fine, just annoying light. Thankx again. BTW, drank all the beer from the cooler before emptying coolant into it.

Just found out pics won't load due to some security element, bummer
 

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If you can cut and paste photos into word document. Then save as a .pdf. Should be able to upload the .pdf. Glad it worked out well for you.
 
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