All is well again with our BMW Z3…

Ready again for beautiful drives in summer Sunshine… 

At the moment of writing, the experts at BMW Jorssen made a swift and expert repair and brought again a broad smile on our face: we are enjoying again undisturbed roadster pleasure in this magnificent summer weather we are having presently.

We suspected rightly some troubles with the master and/or slave cylinder, and we were rather optimistic in believing that bleeding of the system might solve the problems, but alas, when all hydraulic pressure is lost in the system, most of the time more serious things are amiss.

A broken and leaking FAG-made clutch slave cylinder was at fault… 

The experts at Jorssen soon discovered that the clutch slave cylinder was indeed badly leaking and faulty. This slave cylinder is attached with two nuts on the transmission and actuates the clutch. It is manufactured by FAG, which actually belongs to the Schaeffler Group. The FAG brand dates from 1905 and stands for “Fishers Aktien-Gesellschaft.”

The clutch slave cylinder is bolted with two nuts on the tranmission… 

The two brothers Wilhelm and Georg Schaeffler who founded in 1946 INA in Herzogenaurach, took over FAG in 2002 and their firm now has grown to a worldwide giant – the second largest producer of needle bearings in the world – and manufactures amongst other things precision parts like needle bearings, hydraulic valve lifters, hydraulic variable valve timing systems. Did you know that the London Millennium Wheel (also called the London Eye), runs on two massive frictionless bearings made by FAG?

In 2003 LuK (clutches), INA and FAG form the “Schaeffler Group”. It is actually the largest German company which is still exclusively family owned.

But back to our BMW Z3. Because of the leakage, it was feared that some oil would have leaked on the clutch, but I never noticed anything indicating this, and indeed, fortunately the clutch functions perfectly and very progressively.

When the slave cylinder is removed, (see the two loose bolts) one sees clearly the hole where the cylinder is lodged, and where it pushes the clutch in open position with its pin. When mounting this cylinder, one has to be careful that this pin is perfectly centered

The repair bill was very reasonable indeed, with only 20,8 Euros charged for actually removing the old and mounting the new pump, with most of the work – costing almost 89 Euros – being involved in bleeding the hydraulic clutch system. The FAG slave cylinder itself set us back some 129 Euros. We indicate here that these prices here are ex VAT, so 21 % VAT had to be added.

Of course, the hydraulic brake fluid – DOT4 spec- was replaced, as the hydraulic system of the clutch takes its hydraulic fluid from the brake reservoir, and the people at Jorssen was even were so meticulous to also top up  coolant and windscreen spray fluid reservoirs.

The car was repaired in a day, so needless to say we were very pleased with the very swift service.

We will keep you posted, dear reader, on the further life of our Z3, and in the meantime we plan to contact the press officer in our country of the Schaeffler Group, with some questions about service life and eventual maintenance of their FAG clutch slave cylinders… we are very curious indeed!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

Our cars: clutch problems with our BMW Z3…

Our Z3 was towed to BMW Dealer Jorssen with a non functioning clutch…

A torn muscle prevented us for a while to drive our BMW Z3, and with things now having been cured after a necessary rest, it was now time for driver and car to take an exercise run again and flex our legs…

On another shakedown tour we noticed already that the gear changes were a bit difficult, and we decided to have another test today. Startup and the first kilometers were flawless, but at a roundabout the clutch refused all functions, and the pedal had a light, “dead” feeling, meaning indeed that the clutch did not separate at all anymore and hydraulic pressure was lost in the system, with the result that changing gears proved impossible.

It so happed (luck has it) that we were quite close – at walking distance – to the Jorssen dealer where we had brought the Z3 last time to have rubber items replaced and our glove box lock repaired, and so we went there, to hear that they provided no towing service. Fortunately, we are booked at KBC Bank Assistance Service, and they provided swift, kind and efficient help. They brought the car to BMW Jorssen, where it now awaits repair…

Most probably it will be necessary bo bleed the clutch system, as air in the clutch hydraulics can make the system quite stubborn to function, it at all. Bleeding the slave cylinder might do it, pushing in the piston manually with the bleeder valve open, then close it, let the piston come out again totally, then push again, open the bleeder and watch the hydraulic fluid come out. Repeat this several times, and resistance will increase, (which you will feel in your clutch pedal) until the air is out and the system is bleeded.

We will see what the experts will tell us! Of course, we will keep you posted!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

Factory reproduction of 300 SL body parts: the three starred diva is now immortal…

Ersatzteile für den Mercedes-Benz 300 SL „Gullwing“ (W 198, 1954 bis 1957): Zahlreiche wichtige Teile sind in originaler Werksqualität erhältlich. Foto der Präsentation auf der Techno Classica 2018. Replacement parts for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957): Numerous key parts are available in genuine factory quality. Photo of presentation at Techno Classica 2018.

Replacement parts for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957): Numerous key parts are available in genuine factory quality. Photo of presentation at Techno Classica 2018.

We were browsing for information about the participation of Mercedes in the next Mille Miglia, and we stumbled on other remarkable news, which shows how painstakingly professional Mercedes is caring about its products and notably its classic and historic cars.

Form now on, key body parts for the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198) are again available in factory quality. They can be ordered by their part number from any Mercedes-Benz sales partner, just like that!

Mercedes-Benz Original-Ersatzteile für den 300 SL „Gullwing“ (W 198, 1954 bis 1957). Nachfertigung von Karosserie-Blechteilen gemäß den hohen Werksstandards der Daimler AG. Das Foto zeigt einen Kotflügel im Presswerkzeug. Mercedes-Benz genuine replacement parts for the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957). Reproduction of metal body parts in accordance with the high factory standards of Daimler AG. The photo shows a wing in the pressing tool.

Mercedes-Benz genuine replacement parts for the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957). Reproduction of metal body parts in accordance with the high factory standards of Daimler AG. The photo shows a front wing in the pressing tool.

The metal parts are produced for Mercedes-Benz Classic by a certified supplier, whose expertise includes the highly complex construction of tools from optimised 3D data from original bodies. Metal parts produced on these tools are then worked into their final shape by hand using wooden mallets – another special process.

Mercedes-Benz Original-Ersatzteile für den 300 SL „Gullwing“ (W 198, 1954 bis 1957). Nachfertigung von Karosserie-Blechteilen gemäß den hohen Werksstandards der Daimler AG. Das Foto zeigt die Maßprüfung an der Öffnung für den Scheinwerfer. Mercedes-Benz genuine replacement parts for the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957). Reproduction of metal body parts in accordance with the high factory standards of Daimler AG. The photo shows the dimensional inspection at the aperture for the headlamp.

Mercedes-Benz genuine replacement parts for the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957). Reproduction of metal body parts in accordance with the high factory standards of Daimler AG. The photo shows the dimensional inspection at the aperture for the headlamp.

The precise 3D tool data also provide the basis for quality inspection by means of painstaking false colour comparison. The measuring tool receives the data as a reference and uses false colours to visualise the measured deviations between the desired state and the actual state, thus making it possible for the measurement results to be unambiguously and quickly interpreted.

Mercedes-Benz Original-Ersatzteile für den 300 SL „Gullwing“ (W 198, 1954 bis 1957). Nachfertigung von Karosserie-Blechteilen gemäß den hohen Werksstandards der Daimler AG. Das Foto zeigt die Prüfung der Heckdeckel-Wölbung: Der Mercedes-Stern liegt flächenbündig auf. Mercedes-Benz genuine replacement parts for the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957). Reproduction of metal body parts in accordance with the high factory standards of Daimler AG. The photo shows the inspection of the curved section of the boot: the Mercedes star is flush with the surface.

Mercedes-Benz genuine replacement parts for the 300 SL “Gullwing” (W 198, 1954 to 1957). Reproduction of metal body parts in accordance with the high factory standards of Daimler AG. The photo shows the inspection of the curved section of the boot: the Mercedes star is flush with the surface.

The body parts meet the high standards of Daimler AG and can be ordered by their part number from any Mercedes-Benz sales partner. Their surfaces are electrophoretically painted, which assures the highest technical and visual standards. The prices include VAT.

  • Front panelling left (A198 620 03 09 40), 11,900 euros
  • Front panelling right (A198 620 04 09 40), 11,900 euros
  • Rear panelling left (A198 640 01 09 40), 14,875 euros
  • Rear panelling right (A198 640 02 09 40), 14,875 euros
  • Rear-end center section (A198 647 00 09 40), 2,975 euros
  • Rear-end floor (A198 640 00 61 40), 8,925 euros

We let you further have a look at the photos…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We spoke with Guy Vermant about his “Collection by Vermant” concept: we go for top quality and top service for the classic car owner…

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Guy Vermant proudly posing at his Mechelen premises alongside his Volvo 122 S...

Classic cars are becoming ever more popular. Many enthusiasts, old and new, have now their shining treasure standing in their garage. But of course there is more to it. One has to drive it. That is where the problems for many owners begin. Who will service and maintain my car, eventually store it and keep it in running condition at all times so it can be fully enjoyed? This is where Guy Vermant steps in with his new concept, recently presented and launched at the Antwerp Classic Car Salon. We commented about this in our columns already. Just klick the following link: http://www.autoprova.be/2018/03/04/vermant-nv-launches-collection-a-full-service-for-classics/

This was also a good reason to have an in depth interview with Guy Vermant, and about his love and passion for classic cars…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “We spoke with Guy Vermant about his “Collection by Vermant” concept: we go for top quality and top service for the classic car owner…”

Our cars: the BMW Z3 gets a cosmetic update and passes technical control with flying colors…

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Our Z3 proudly posing in front of the technical control centre, after it had passed the test with flying colors. Note the wheel badges and the nicer looking short antenna…

We told you last time in our column “Our Cars” that we went to Jorssen NV with our cherished Z3, where Jeroen Van der Reeth had made us an offer for the repair(s). On March 9 we were kindly received and told that the repair(s) would take a day. Due to family circumstances we could only collect the car after the weekend, which proved useful, as service manager Roel Smets had contacted us on March 9 in the afternoon that the door grip rubbers had to be re-ordered, as they were not correctly ordered originally.

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New wheel badges, antenna and as new looking door handles and its proper rubber surroundings…

So we found our Z3 back next Monday, proudly bearing new wheel badges and a new short external “BMW Sport” antenna, and of course the correct rubber surroundings of the door handles. The final bill of 379,13  Euros correctly matched the original offer, safe for the slight extra for the correct door handle rubbers, and we found all this very reasonable indeed, as it included VAT, labor and parts. The glove box lock had also been replaced, and this had taken only 15 minutes, with the lock and cylinder only setting us back 71,17 Euros. The new wheel badges with its proper chromed surroundings cost only 10,74 Euros a piece. We were very pleased with the result, and it also shows the excellent spare parts policy of BMW, offering original factory spares at very reasonable prices of a (US built) BMW of a good 20 years old now, with last but not least excellent repair times. Replacing the antenna – the shorter new one works better with the car cover and has also improved looks, took only 30 minutes.

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With a properly functioning glove box it was now time to check in for the annual technical control, where our BMW Z3 met with admiring looks and comments. Of course everything was OK, with the inspection people commenting “what a fantastic car”, when they scrutinized the car (also) underneath.

So now we are all set for pleasant spring and summer drives…stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Our Volvo 850 receives new roofstrips…

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Our Volvo now looking “nearly as new” after receiving new roofstrips thanks to the gracious intervention of Volvo Car Belux and dealer Guy Vermant…

The faithful Volvo turns his rounds, after its enjoyable summer trips to Sweden and South of France. It passed recently the Belgian annual(!) official technical control with flying colors and is now fit for service for another year. When it was proudly rolling  of the production line in Torslanda last summer it received admiring looks from the Volvo people there. Of course, the roofstrips shared the fate of many on older 850’s and V70’s, and this was the only manifest flaw on our otherwise relatively pristine Volvo.

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Our Volvo in the premises at Vermant Mechelen dealership where in March a special classic car service will be opened…

The Volvo people, both the official importer and Volvo dealer Guy Vermant took this to heart and thanks to their gracious efforts and intervention, our Volvo got new roofstrips, giving it now the coveted “nearly as new” appearance.

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The weathered old strips were carefully removed…

Our Volvo received the new strips in a new wing of Guy Vermant’s Malines dealership, where Guy Vermant will start up next March a classic car service, catering not only for classic Volvo’s, but other makes as well.

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We already could see here the impressive and well equipped workshop and facilities, admiring also the expertise and workmanship of classic car expert Ruben Bosch (on the left) and his colleague Dave Siebens, who mounted the roofstrips with utmost care and an eye for perfection. Their “savoir faire” truly bodes well for this future classic car service!

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Here they both pose proudly before a 1960 Volvo PV 544, wich is still in totally original condition, having led a sheltered life, and which is now being awakened out of a 20 year beauty sleep…

We will tell more about this new service soon, when it will be introduced at the 41st edition of the Antwerp Classic Salon, which will be held at Antwerp Expo from 2 to 4 March.

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Our Volvo posing proudly before Vermant’s classic car service workshop, to be opened in March…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

We spoke with Jean-Francois Bernaerts, Director Customer & Business Development of D’Ieteren Group about Wondercar

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We spoke with Jean-Marie Bernaerts: we want to make Wondercar the first point of call for the private customer… 

After the swift and professional repair of our faithful Volvo, we got very intrigued about the Wondercar bodywork repair concept. Reason enough for an interview…Just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “We spoke with Jean-Francois Bernaerts, Director Customer & Business Development of D’Ieteren Group about Wondercar”