Janis Jalopy

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Woozle writes:

P6060003 Janis Jalopy with frog nose.web.jpg
2004-09-24.P9270010.Harena hugging Janis trunk.adj.jpg

Janis Jalopy is the name we gave to my Mercedes Benz after recovering it from Georgia. The Benz was a 1983 380 SEL 4-door sedan imported from Germany by my dad, who basically gave it to me in 2000. After foolishly renting it to some people (when they asked and I desperately needed the cash), it ended up sitting out in a field near Athens for about a year, with expensive consequences. I finally had to scrap it on September 2, 2019.

  • VIN: WDB12603312029494
    • some of the information embedded in this number apparently does not match the car's actual features
    • this decoder says the VIN has an invalid check digit, and it is also unable to give any information about it ("unrecognized")
  • Manufactured: Stuttgart, April 1982
  • GVWR: 4697 lbs; front: 2255 lbs., rear 2442 lbs.
  • Engine: 3.8 liter V8

Pages

  • /photos: mostly information plates/stickers
  • /fate
  • The ill-fated Benz Rental
  • receipt for the repair work Janis required in order to be drivable again, after recovery through the court system

Links

  • Some pre-wiki photos of Janis, just after returning home to NC
  • Someone in Australia has had a 1981 version of Janis... and he can could actually afford to keep it in good shape.
    • apparently in 2010 it got destroyed by an oil-soaked rag accidentally left in the engine compartment o.0

Technical stuff:

  • The 380 SEL is apparently of the W126 line
  • Janis appears to have a mechanical injector, which may be at the root of the smoking problems...
    • those turned out to be because the CPU was fried, so the engine was operating in a "failsafe mode"
    • the CPU probably got fried when I accidentally hooked up jumper cables, uh, kind of wrong.
  • Chilton manual for Janis

Mileage

The mileage chart seems to be missing, so keeping this info here for now

date odometer gallons $/gal. notes
2019-06-25 205538 been sitting in the yard for over a year; just need the mileage for selling it to scrapyard
2008-04-22 177029 15.063 $3.469 Costco fill-up (also about 1/4 tank) -- odometer does not seem to be advancing, though the speedometer works fine
2008-02-11 177029 15.427 $2.939 Costco fill-up with Josh (about 1/4 tank?) I think I entered this on the same day

Parts

  • Lists of parts for this model
    • Import Parts Specialists
      • window parts
      • forum
        • note that there are some Mercedes-manufactured window motors in this list which are considerably cheaper than the Bosch one. Is one of them a replacement for it? What is the difference between the 4 varieties shown?
  • Window motor, right front door: Bosch FPE 12V 0 130 821 019

Accessories

  • JVC - 50W x 4 MOSFET iPod/Satellite Radio-Ready In-Dash CD Deck w/HD Radio Tuner, installed sometime in July (or was it June?) 2009: sound is rather lacking in bass, but that may be Janis's speakers; further testing needed. Can't figure out how to adjust unit's EQ settings.
    • This unit was stolen in early 2010. Never could get the EQ working, other than presets.
  • The replacement player was stolen sometime between approximately 2015-11 and 2016-03-15 when Euroclassics was working on Janis, mainly trying to fix the starting problem. (To be fair, Ken refused to let me pay him for the work they'd done.) It was apparently a Panasonic, because I found the remote control still in the back.
  • 2016-03-17 Replaced with Kenwood KDC-258U (~$65 on sale at Best Buy) s# 130X2817

Radio Wiring

As of 2016-03-17 (after a thief cut some of the wires back):

  • red: BATT (+12v always on) - single wire not part of a bundle
  • power bundle:
    • brown: ground
    • blk/yel/grn pair: one of these is ignition, the other seems to be BATT as well
      • There don't seem to be any marks at all to distinguish these two visually.
  • bright blue: unknown, but seems likely to be the antenna trigger.

The yellow and yellow with fuse were a single unconnected wire with a quick-disconnect at each end (and a peculiar rectangular plastic thing in addition to the fuse -- some kind of HF filter coil?). I connected it in serial with the BATT line, because why not.

old notes

My previous radio wiring notes were as follows. Some of this contradicts what I see now, which might mean I was in error or might mean that the wires I was looking at were cut off.

  • Red: BAT (+12v always on)
  • blk/yel/grn pair: +12 IGN (on when ignition is on)
  • Black: ground

Leftover wiring:

  • yellow
  • yellow with fuse
  • bright blue

None of these ever seem to come on. One is probably the antenna activation, but which? And what are the other 2?

Offloading

  • 2019-07-02 proposed text for CraigsList ad:
    • "FOR SALE : "Janis Jalopy", our 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380 SEL. 206k miles, 4 speed automatic, import model. Difficult to start, but could be repaired - just don't have the time. [List any new/replaced parts in the last year], passed inspection 1 year ago as of July (check the ), has patches of rust and a dent on the hood from a large branch. Interior needs work. Was a very smooth ride, and we are sorry to have to give her up. [$??] OBO, you pick up. Car could probably start with fresh battery, but might take multiple cranking sessions; is driveable once started. Service record since ~2003 available."
  • 2017-12-13 07:45 sent EuroClassics a webmail asking if they had any interest in buying it.