NoahWeb
NoahWeb New Reader
10/12/20 5:38 p.m.

Boy!  There are no good choices when the DVD drive fails in one of these (a best guess BTW) as the DVD Disc won't eject.  A repair option is $400, plus shipping.  No-Warranty eBay OEM replacement varies between $200-$700.  

My original intent was to keep the R63 in an OEM Plus condition.  I believe we are trending towards the Plus side with a 21st century head unit.  Makes me worry about the interface with the OEM electronics and then, long-term, resale.  Aftermarket varies between $400-600.  

 

Any electronic/stereo hobbiests here??  If so, looking for some input.  

NoahWeb
NoahWeb New Reader
10/22/20 5:21 a.m.

Quick update....ordered an OEM headunit that should be delivered tomorrow.  That ought to fix the stereo issue. 

 

Now for the difficult update....last week we were informed by our rental agency that our lease will not be renewed on the house we are currently renting.  We can either vacate upon the lease termination (~6 months away) or purchase the house.  We are leaning towards the latter....which means I can't keep the R63.  Difficult choice as I fully believe this R63 to be mechanically sound, clean inside and out... but much like mazdeuce, I can't get past the possibility of wallet draining expenses of which I need to prioritize towards my family first.

 

No tire kickers as I am preparing the R63 for auction, but if there is a GRM member who would like to discuss feel free to e-mail me (noahwebster01@gmail.com).  Otherwise, auction forth coming. 

 

No worries though the R63 continues to serve as my daily driver and recently returned the highest at pump avg of 19.2 MPG!  This is such an amazing vehicle and one that I will miss!! 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/22/20 9:32 a.m.

In reply to NoahWeb :

I really hope it ends up becoming part of a collection, or possibly even ends up in a museum some day. Not that it doesn't deserve to be driven, but it definitely deserves to be preserved, and as you & Seth have both experienced - that comes at a not inconsequential expense. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
10/22/20 10:49 a.m.

Welcome to old german luxury car ownership.  If you're not in warranty they all cost a metric a$$ load of money to keep on the road.  There's a reason they're depreciate so much...

NoahWeb
NoahWeb Reader
10/22/20 3:44 p.m.
docwyte said:

Welcome to old german luxury car ownership.  If you're not in warranty they all cost a metric a$$ load of money to keep on the road.  There's a reason they're depreciate so much...

 

Not metric...but it does exceed what one would consider for a "normal" automobile.  Kinda sucks now though...everything that is a troublesome point for the M156/W251 has been addressed! 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
10/22/20 4:27 p.m.
NoahWeb said:
everything that is a troublesome point for the M156/W251 has been addressed! 

Don't worry 

it will all break again for the new owner 

german cycle will continue .. 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
1/16/21 5:14 p.m.
NoahWeb said:

Quick update....ordered an OEM headunit that should be delivered tomorrow.  That ought to fix the stereo issue. 

 

Now for the difficult update....last week we were informed by our rental agency that our lease will not be renewed on the house we are currently renting.  We can either vacate upon the lease termination (~6 months away) or purchase the house.  We are leaning towards the latter....which means I can't keep the R63.  Difficult choice as I fully believe this R63 to be mechanically sound, clean inside and out... but much like mazdeuce, I can't get past the possibility of wallet draining expenses of which I need to prioritize towards my family first.

 

No tire kickers as I am preparing the R63 for auction, but if there is a GRM member who would like to discuss feel free to e-mail me ((redacted)).  Otherwise, auction forth coming. 

 

No worries though the R63 continues to serve as my daily driver and recently returned the highest at pump avg of 19.2 MPG!  This is such an amazing vehicle and one that I will miss!! 

 

So yeah ... let's see what pandora's box I am going to unlock here. :D

 

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
1/16/21 6:46 p.m.

In reply to PseudoNim :

Are you implying that you're the new owner of this unicorn ?

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
1/16/21 10:43 p.m.
Indy "Nub" Guy said:

In reply to PseudoNim :

Are you implying that you're the new owner of this unicorn ?

Yup... still some formalities to jump through, but looks like I'll be the next keeper of this beast.

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
1/25/21 10:28 a.m.

So hm. Do I get a plate that says "R63" (unsurprisingly, it's available) or "57K R63"? laugh

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UberDork
1/25/21 5:41 p.m.

SMD R63

RichardNZ
RichardNZ Reader
1/25/21 6:55 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG (Forum Partidario) : MZD R63 ?

 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/25/21 8:01 p.m.

Yay! New owner! Drop some more pictures in the thread. We (I especially) know what it looks like, but more is better. 

Hopefully your experience behind the wheel is nothing but joy and beautiful V8 noises. 

Greg Smith (Forum Supporter)
Greg Smith (Forum Supporter) Dork
2/1/21 4:28 p.m.

GRM R63 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/1/21 8:01 p.m.

UNICORN

 

503 HP

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 HalfDork
2/1/21 9:17 p.m.

Can a 700hp Supercharged Minivan Beat a V10 Audi R8?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBYaIkjBsF0

1955W196S
1955W196S Reader
2/23/21 11:34 a.m.
PseudoNim said:
Indy "Nub" Guy said:

In reply to PseudoNim :

Are you implying that you're the new owner of this unicorn ?

Yup... still some formalities to jump through, but looks like I'll be the next keeper of this beast.

Any update?  Has the sale been finalized?  Looking forward to new photos and updates.

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
2/26/21 6:49 p.m.

Sorry! Was working on getting everything organised. I am happy to report that she has landed here and here's about the most Canadian picture I can make laugh

 

She joins a house of other eclectic vehicles. I seem to have a hobby collecting oddball cars that are going to be maintenance disasters either because of wild incidence of faults (the R56, though in fairness, I've owned her from the start and I've experienced next to none of the flaws most people associate wit the R56s), or simple impossibility of obtaining parts (the Mitsubishi Delica Space Gear). The R63 falls somewhere in between. :)

Here she is standing alone, staring out into her future life.

 

Ok, I lied. Here are more "Canadian" pictures for your enjoyment. No, I don't know how to explain this.

 

 

 

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
2/26/21 7:11 p.m.

So she got here on a Wednesday. I had to deal with federal and provincial inspections first and foremost. Her manufacture date is unfortunately just a few months "too new" to be exempt from the insane Canadian gas guzzler tax. The brackets go as follows:

  • At least 13, but less than 14 litres per 100 km: $1,000
  • At least 14, but less than 15 litres per 100 km: $2,000
  • At least 15, but less than 16 litres per 100 km: $3,000
  • 16 or more litres per 100 km: $4,000

Guess where she fits? Yeah ... I think "16" is how much she consumes with the engine off. So there was that part. Then there was confusion about how to do the inspections themselves. Fortunately, they ended up being just a formality - DRLs were turned on in the instrument cluster, @NoahWeb's dealer was kind enough to flip the cluster to km/h so that was a non-issue, so all in all it was a hassle (and a good bit of cash), but plates were eventually obtained.

Now for the fun of German car ownership! (otherwise known as oh E36 M3 moments)

  • When she got here, I left her outside as I had to do daily commutes, and as it wasn't legal to drive her, I had to keep one of the other cars in the garage. Then the whole crazy weather stuff happened in Texas, so my friend semi-jokingly said, "dude, can you imagine how many cars got SCREWED in Texas? Frozen engine blocks, etc?" and I was like yeah man, that's scary.............. ......... ...... OH... E36 M3. enlightened Fortunately, the antifreeze in the car was proper spec, so that didn't freeze, but the windshield washer reservoir was frozen SOLID. Lesson learned.
  • When I drove to the first inspection, I got an Airmatic Failure warning on the dash. No error code was logged, though, and it never came back after, so knowing that the Airmatic compressor was previously replaced, I assumed was cold weather related.
  • On one day, both the Distronic and the Nav failed at the same time. Got a "Distronic unavailable" message and the nav stopped reading the nav disc. I discovered the Distronic failure was likely related to about 1" of ice on the entire face of the car. Once it melted, the error went away. :D
  • The power steering cap seems to be leaking slightly. There's some wetness around it.
  • Couple of days ago, I got a "low coolant / please check manual" error. This one felt a little more ominous, so I called up a friend with magic tools. I couldn't see anything in my garage, but it was likely due to the fact that the roads are dirty and slushy, and I can't tell coolant from road slush without licking everything, and frankly, I'm not in the mood to lick the entire car underbody as I'm not fully bonded with this car to that level yet. The level did drop a few times over the last week, and I kept adding a small bit of coolant, so a leak was definitive. So I took the car to his shop, and fortunately as today was a drier day, we were able to lift it up and a slow drip was quite obvious on the right side of the engine bay (when looking from the front). A taste test immediately established coolant. On an unrelated aside, why does Mercedes coolant taste like E36 M3? (Not that I know what E36 M3 tastes like, but I would assume it was close to this). My Audi coolant tasted sweet and pleasant (although in retrospect, I'm going to go with the opinion that every time I tasted coolant off my Audi, it was my brain releasing endorphins to dull the shock of the imminent realisation that any coolant outside the engine bay of a V10 RS6 means an engine drop, so maximum pain insulation is immediately required). Anyway, I digress. We took off the front underbody tray and following a pressure test, traced a leak to this area:

We first thought it was the radiator (bad!), but then on closer inspection it wasn't it. We thought maybe the hose (less bad!), but then looking even more closely, we thought that it's got to be that awful, awful clamp that's USELESS - I never understood how those clamps clamp anything that is supposed to be under pressure.

So we decided to switch to a more normal clamp:

 

Did a vacuum test now (might as well introduce some variety into the testing methods!), and this time, the pressure held without any issues. So I'm holding some hope that it was a brief panic moment, but otherwise all resolved.

Offending clamp:

 

 

 

 

 

CJ (FS)
CJ (FS) HalfDork
2/26/21 7:30 p.m.

I hate those damn clamps.  Had one on our Ford chassis MH that only leaked when it was warm because one of the clamp arms was broken.  Dealer couldn't find it, but I finally did when I was changing the oil and hit the lower radiator hose. Got a quart of coolant down my arm then changed every spring clamp I could find.

Glad your leak was a simple fix.

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
2/26/21 7:32 p.m.

So what's next?

  • First order of business was to replace the nav with an OEM unit that supports the rear view camera. Insanely, Mercedes went to the hassle of designing multiple nav units that have a hardware difference in whether they support the RVC or not: two pins need to be tested for impedance, and if it's infinite, it won't work. If there's about 100 Ohms, it will work. They're typically easy to identify by a sticker underneath the LCD that says "Check surroundings while backing" (and on mine, the sticker is oddly crooked), but yeah - coding isn't going to fix it. So this is fixed now.
  • Next is European corner replacements. I can't stand the orange lights, I think they spoil the car, and although I am completely up with Mazdeuce's and NoahWeb's quest to keep this car as OEM as possible, I think this is a digression that will be tolerated. Colour-matched corners will be appreciated by all, I think. The craziest thing was how hard it was to find them. I had to ship the left from Austria, and the right from Los Angeles. And I will have to paint them. Small sacrifices, though.
  • Also, the headlights are dim as hell. My R56 has never had the xenon bulbs replaced, and yet, it's FAR brighter than the R63. It seems to be a common theme; the typical fix is Morimoto D2S projectors that plug right into the OEM locations (since the headlights are Hella E55, standard across many cars), and significantly improve brightness. Once again, it's not a huge divergence from OEM, but should greatly improve drivability at night. Oh... and here's a funny story about this. So I thought the bulbs were bad, right. I got a set of Philips D2Ss, and opened up a headlight to replace one. As I was fiddling with the light, I discovered that something is crumbling in my grip (and I wasn't really doing anything excessive - just working around the wiring to manoeuvre the replacement bulb in). I stuck my phone camera into the headlight opening ... and oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I discovered some MAJOR Mercedes quality workmanship, right on part with Guido's.

For the unbelieving eyes... yes, that's the insulation having completely fallen off. The red and yellow wires were so brittle that as I manoeuvred the lightbulb into place, I had to toss them aside to get the igniter back on, and they literally CRUMBLED in my hands. I couldn't believe my eyes, I have literally never seen that happen. Did some research and it looks like it's a somewhat common thing in those headlights. I checked the other side, and it was still OK because I haven't touched it, but I had to re-insulate the entire right harness. What's more frustrating is it was clamped with a ziptie that was deep in, and I had to cut the ziptie (as obviously the insulation also crumbled around the ziptie), and not entirely being certain which wires are or are not live, I actually googled for people being hit by xenon wiring. I mean, I've never been necessarily afraid of electric shock, but I also have never had wiring do such a pervert-style exposé on me. Anyway, I'm typing this, so I'm obviously still alive, but it was definitely an ... interesting experience in craftsmanship. And this is what brought me to think of the Morimoto projectors: I absolutely cannot leave this wiring as is, I need to fix it, but if I'm going to take the lights off and properly insulate the wiring, I might as well fix the dimness, I think.
 

  • I'm also semi-considering installing an Android head unit after all (the OEM one is more miserable than I expected), and it would apparently work with the OEM harnesses for the camera / antenna / etc, so I could probably get it done with minimal hassle and minimal rewiring... will have to see.
  • I'm also considering installing wide angle reflectors. This thing's blind spots are literally the same size as some countries out there. I can solve the issue of blind spots with the accelerator pedal. Other people driving this car aren't as comfortable. :D
  • I also have to redo all the tints. The front doors weren't even legal where I am (and I was VERY sad to rip them off. They were NICE tints). The rears are so dark that sometimes I see headlights in my rearview mirror. That's about all I can ever see. I can see it being great for her original place of residence. Not so much where we are :)
  • The front grille has a few clips that are cracked, so maybe if I come across one at a scrap yard that's intact, I might get that.
  • Also, and no hate intended to my Southern neighbours, but the AC climate control thing has to go. I need it in metric. I can't understand what temperature I'm heating or cooling the car to. :D
  • The speedo will probably stay in miles, though. It's really odd to have it max out at 200 km/h (I'm at 80% of the scale most of the time, which feels really odd), but based on what I understand, only a brand new cluster would be able to be coded - and I am certainly not spending $2K on that. I'll live with a 200 km/h speedo.
  • But with all that said, I do not plan on putting 22" wheels on it, making the exhaust louder, putting a supercharger, or really doing anything to make it anything other than "the best maintained, documented and the most OEM R63 in North America, or even the world". That's got to be worth something in the long run!

So that's where we are at the moment!

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/26/21 7:38 p.m.

FYI, spring clamps like the one you took off provide more consistent tension across a range of temperatures. Worm gear clamps do not. You really want the spring clamp in this application. If you have the correct tool to R&R them, they're easy to deal with.

PseudoNim
PseudoNim New Reader
2/26/21 8:15 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

FYI, spring clamps like the one you took off provide more consistent tension across a range of temperatures. Worm gear clamps do not. You really want the spring clamp in this application. If you have the correct tool to R&R them, they're easy to deal with.

Interesting. Two opposing opinions within two posts :) I can understand their intended function - in principle, given correct spring tension, I can understand how they would allow a greater range of flex as the underlying hose expands and compresses. But ... it was leaking :(

Maybe I should replace it with a "new" clamp.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/27/21 6:07 a.m.

In reply to PseudoNim :

I can't tell coolant from road slush without licking everything, and frankly, I'm not in the mood to lick the entire car underbody.

Oh you'll fit in fine around here - thanks for keeping us updated on the Unicorn! 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/27/21 8:27 a.m.

Seeing pictures of the old girl makes me happy. laugh

I agree that the nav/head unit is terrible. Just horrible. Abysmal. I need a thesaurus to come up with more words. It's bad. I don't think anyone who has tried to use it would fault you if you set it aside for something that actually worked. 

Glad that you're continuing this thread. I think a continual log of owners and what has happened will be useful for you and and any future owners. 

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