Looking for books and basic tools - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-06-2005, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for books and basic tools

Last week, I became the proud 3rd owner of a 1989 190E 2.6 ... less than 95Kmiles when I got it, runs great, looks great, and I feel great behind the wheel.

I bought it "As Is" at a fair price, but it still needs some minor fix-ups to pass NJ State Inspecition, mostly electrical.

I've been trying to find a shop manual for this model, preferably Haynes, but they don't seem to publish the 190-series later than the '88 model year. Any ideas why Haynes stopped in '88? Or where else can I go to find a tech book on this specific model?

The Chilton's are more money than I wanted to spend, and they go into waaaaaay too much detail for the driveway mechanic like me. I haven't looked for the official MB book, yet, but its probably more than I want to spend.

Also, what would you recommend as basic tools to get me started? The car came with the original jack and lug-wrench, but that was it. The MB tool-kit that fits inside the spare tire was missing, as was the First-Aid kit that fits under the rear shelf.

MB quoted me $107 for a replacement 190E tool kit, which I though was reasonable, although I don't know exactly what it contains. I have basic screwdrivers, metric socket sets, and VOM electrical testers, but I'm turning to you more experienced owners to advise me if I should have anything else to get started.

I'm not getting much help from the local after-market retail joints, but
that's not surprising. I'm glad to find this forum, where I know I can get good advice and helpful hints from the communityl

Thanks for being here!
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-08-2005, 05:23 AM
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I've never driven a 6 cylinder 190 but it should move pretty good. I have an 88 260E and it was anemic but the 124 chassis is substantially larger and heavier than your 201. In July of 04 I pulled the 2.6 and installed a 3.0 drivetrain from a wrecked 88 parts car.

Don't waste your time or money buying a new tool kit from MB. You'd get a couple of open end metric wrenches, a cheap screwdriver or two, and a pair of pliers. The most useful part of the kit is probably the threaded aluminum rod that you use to help dismount and mount wheels to the brake rotors and you can get by without that. If you do want to get a MB tool kit try one of the used MB parts yards like Potomac:


I've purchased a few things from them and been satisfied. The local U-Pull-It yard gets a 190 every once in a while and those parts are dirt cheap. How close to King of Prussia PA are you?

The only tools you'll need for most DIY jobs can be had for a reasonable price from Sears. Combination wrenches (metric of course), a nice set of screwdrivers, a 3/8 socket set, a pliers set, and metric allen wrenches from 5mm to 10mm. Plus a pin punch and small hammer for the rear brake pad pins.

Chilton books are garbage. Run away.

The MB OEM service manual is the best way to go but they are hard to find used. Search ebay and you'll eventually find one. Or you can get one of the CD scans of a book. The MB book will have lots more info than you will need but it will be correct. And it makes for good bedtime reading too!
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-14-2005, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, thanks for advice about Potomoc ... I'm in South Jersey, so King of Prussia is not far away at all. I scanned their website, and it looks like they have a pretty good selection of the parts I may need down the road (pun intended). Their prices are decent, too.

I called MB about getting the "official" book, and its only available on CD-ROM, at $130. Way too much, so I passed. I really wanted the paper copy, so I could toss it in the trunk and carry it around with me. I figured a paper copy would run about $60 new, and about half that used. I've seen it on eBay, but now I can't find it anymore. I'll keep looking for the 'official' book.

In the meantime, I went up to PepBoys and bought the Haynes version. The only copy they had was CLOSE to my model, but not an exact match. The Haynes book covers '84~'88, and my car is an '89. It covers 4-cyl gas engines, and mine is a 6-cyl. But it's close enough for the basic driveway maintenance I'll be doing. And it finally answers those pesky questions like "Where is my fuel filter?" and "How do I replace burned out bulbs in my instrument cluster?"

The tools that you mentioned I already have, so I'm all set there. The only other tool I think I'll invest in is an oil-change kit, and then I'll be good to go for routine maintenance.

I went and got a fuse-puller, and I'm in the process of changing all the fuses from the crappy ceramic OEM type to the newer glass capsule ones with the stainless steel end-caps.
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