Is this Forum dying?

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nz280ge
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Looking at the recent postings, it appears that there is very little activity on this forum.

Is anyone still here?

markhowes
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Well, I'm here and log in most days but you're right, there does seem to be less traffic than there used to be.

Shame really as it's a good source of technical knowhow and general banter. It's certainly helped me out on more than one occassion.

 

 

 

Pistonhead
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

I too am here and do look in almost daily on week days but rarely contribute now. It seems those who wanted what they needed have taken the fruit and gone else where. 

In my opinion the GWOA did have a lot going on but certain limitations posed a limit to its library of knowledge; my experience on G-Wagen spans from the early W460's of UK model only ranging to the W463's of early 2000. The newer models' knowledge is purely acadamic and with the World moving on puts me out of touch on the latter models and with no further Continous Professional Develepment I have stagnated and find other do have a lot more information to offer than I was able to do. 

Overall the GWOA does offer a good deal, it could be better obviously but this requires funding and staffing, our current volunteers are doing a fancastic job behind the scenes and their efforts usually go un-noticed. 

What else can I say, yes the club seems to be quiter but also I feel that the new intake of G-Wagen owners is slowing down as there is an availability issue at the right price for them; the newer G-Wagens are so much out of  many peoples range and such owners wil likely go to a authorised Mercedes Benz G-Wagen fraternatity.

Please suggest how we can do better.

 

Nick123
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Re: Is this Forum dying?
GWOA is indeed a tremendous site with a huge pool of knowledge. Is it dying? That is difficult to answer. I know that various folk who used to give regular and helpful input now discuss matters on FaceBook. I tried FaceBook but don't use it any more for a number of reasons: Mark Z is plenty wealthy enough, there is a colossal spewing of intrusive nonsense and "They" already know enough about me without me offering even more. The other UK G-Wagen site - G-Wagen Register - is also excellent, fresh, enthusiastic, well organised and FOC thanks to a core of knowledgeable experts who give generously of their time and knowledge to it. Perhaps GWOA has become diluted? As I have mentioned before I enjoy browsing ALL the sites and think there is room for them.
mgrays
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

All forums are dying .. Facebook killed them but now that seems on a downcycle. It is odd as it is harder to find actual info now that is not over 5 years old now because of this and FB seems to be less info orientated. I am a 50 year dinosaur who never went FB and started long enough ago to remember dial modems; when I quiz online media folk about this lack of info generation I seem to get no answers but it does seem to be an instant pictures/chat stream is what most folk now have and not a deep info stream on what part can be used to replace an obsolete part for example. A lot of that info was generated in the first 5 years so less info is required to be generated as you can find it in the forums where they are still running. I keep on meaning to get my website up and running, then expand it out as there is a place for info rich sites – guess it could be monetarised a bit with pop up adverts but it is not the rational however it takes time and money..

I wanted to move from a SWB to a LWB but when I see the prices on 460 ,, they all seem to be pimped 483 G55 look alikes or expensive restos. So who is going to buy a £12-14k-20k G and then DIY the work.. that is territory of the garage/clean hands brigade who park up their appreciated asset but do not use it. So there is little real work being done and hence info created, allied with the rise of FB means the forum dries up.

Meantime I check on here every week or two and pay my GWOA dues to keep it running. The G is a snow mobile for me but I did not MOT it last winter. I must do it this winter, last winter I ended up in the wife’s old Mk1 RAV4 which is maybe a better fit for my needs if not as capable. The W163 ML500 is now the wife’s transport; again not as capable (the wipers are dangerously useless in deep snow!!) but with chains it probably does as well as the G – but having to pull them off is a right pain. Humm.. nice early LWB 463 280 or 500 with lpg would be nice but maybe a 460 280 with lpg would be more sensible. Long term we will all get legislated off the road by insurance companies refusing to insure non self-driving cars IMHO – maybe those non driving garage assets have something!

gav.helme
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

I don't think "forums" are dying.... but maybe this one might :0(

FB has it's place too... if you take it for what it is.. mostly dross with some good people mixed in.

I think forums / clubs etc are only as good as what the collective sum of the people is prepared to put in!

I posted a long ramble on this site about this quite a few years back...

It's not about paying your monies it's about having some input...

If nobody inputs to any organisation it will die!!

If people just want to take and not contribute it will die...

Contribution isn't just financial, or knowledge.. it can be time, effort or involvement...

Maybe even just saying thank you!!

Or showing some respect for other people, whether you agree with their point of view or not...

If you havn't got this culture and the "powers at be" running it, allow it to be this way... then like anything it's doomed!

Even organisation's that pay people can't survive with contributors with either no work ethic or a bad attitude?

When it's all done by volunteers what would you do?

Just me ten pence worth

 

jhw.
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Time to hand over the batton and update the forum platform if this club is ever going to get any traffic/spark any decent new conversation/get new members.

Everything is so dated and just looks like the attitude of the committme is "we aren't bothered anymore"

 

Time to spend some of the £25 memberships and update things or it's just going to tread water forever, I'm sure the founders wouldn't want it to just exist considering the following.

 

 

"During 1994 Bill Jones was entering Hillrallies with a Mercedes Benz 280GES.   He discovered that breaking things became expensive, and tried to source cheaper ways of doing it.   To get help, and pass on what he had discovered, he thought aboutr enlisting the help of other G Wagen owners.   He wrote a letter, which was published in Off Road and Four Wheel Drive magazine, asking interested owners to get in touch with him.   He had 40 replies, and from this, the G Wagen Owners Association was born.  

The first Annual General Meeting took place in Rawenstall, Lancashire in March 1995.   Those attending formed a committee, and decided on the future of the club, and its aims.   The first consideration was communication with members, and so it was decided that a quartely magazine should be published.   The first issue of G Wizz, the club magazine, followed in the summer of 1995.   By attending shows and word of mouth, the membership numbers gradually increased, and the services offered to members widened.  

Ten years ago, our first website came online.   This led to an increase in membership, and a greater geographical spread of members.   A few years later, this website was revamped, and included a forum for the first time.   The ease with which members from all over the world could communicate with each other soon established the forum as one of the greatest facilities that the club could offer.   The membership increased steadily as a result, and we now have over 350 members on all continents of the world.  

Our latest website offers even greater facilities for members, as well as a forum available to any G Wagen owner.   However, our aim is still as it was in 1995, to make G Wagen ownership a pleasure, to offer advice and expertise to members of the club and to give members the opportunity to meet and communicate with other members."

 

 

Time to add another chapter to this, clubs like this need to evolve or be left behind which is a real shame considering the history.

nz280ge
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Pistonhead wrote:

Please suggest how we can do better.

I posted a question on W460 speedometers and turn signal stalk on

  • GWOA
  • Clubwagen.com
  • Pointed Three
  • Benzworld

You (pistonhead) replied on this forum (thank you), but it was clubwagen where numerous replies have resulted in significant and detailed assistance. Nothing on the other two.

I wonder if it is time for these four forums to make contact with each other and consider a merger of on-line presence? The long-lasting members will have 'keepers', gradually becoming more like a classic car club as parts become less available and knowledge of how not only to do a correct repair, but a work-around, become important. Buyers of new G's are a consumer class and except for adding aftermarket products do not turn to forums.

For this particular forum, I would suggest a culling of the number of subcategories. If there have been no postings for a year, merge the postings into an archive.

Membership organisations that charge membership fees often struggle with forums because its like the difference between a yacht club and a library. You go to the club for the friendships, but the library for information.

On line members should be given a template of how to post useful information, and then asked to make contributions by documenting their experience. I try to do that with the various forums to which I belong (classic car, motorcycle, boat), providing sufficient detail that a future owner, perhaps after I no longer even own that marque, will benefit.

For example, with the W460 Speedometer, I now have opened it up to find the 10-tooth plastic cog is worn. On clubwagen.com a member from Sweden will look for a German instruction on how to remove it. I will use Google Translate to render it in English, then add my own experience as to where to find the cog and how my replacement went... or if that fails, to install a GPS speedometer in its place... again posting what I learned to make it easier for the next owner with a failing Speedo. On forums, that is the most valuable way to help each other.

We do need each other, and kids who are five years old today playing with a scale model will need our information in 20 years when they buy the real thing. The power of the internet - as long as we keep the domain operational - is eternal memory.

So...

  • In the UK, perhaps open a dialogue with the other English-language and discuss a merger. Point the subsidiary sites to the site selected as the primary and move all archive postings to that site.
  • On your site, reduce the number of subforums and merge the inactive to archive.
  • Ask your members to begin an archive of key jobs that need to be done as the G's get older.

You asked for suggestions, these are mine.

prwales
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

A relatively small number of active posters can generate a huge volume of traffic, unfortunately some of our most prolific writers have left and some joined the [in my view] secretive G Wagen register. I won't name them but a glance back in time for any reader can easily find them. Perhaps they will return, I do hope so, however that too seems to have been suffering internal conflict. With which we must wish them well.

The oither reason is that very many owners are now in their 60's and 70's and other things take priority. What is without doubt though is that the technical knowledge on this forum has no parrallel, both from current experts but within our archived material 

Pistonhead
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

nz280ge wrote:

[You asked for suggestions, these are mine.

And very welcome they are too; just hope someone higher up takes it as input.

I must say you are very brave attempting repair of your speedo in particular with the ambiguatity of obtaining the parts. I would have replaced it with a secondhand one or had it professionally repaired but it seems you are an individual who thinks outside the box.

I suppose as an old fossil myself, I seem to have run out of ideas. Keep us informed on how you get along - at least I am still nosey.

gav.helme
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

"some joined the [in my view] secretive G Wagen register"

You are entitled to your view...

...if anyone comes to one of the many meets and trips they might however see otherwise ;0)

prwales
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

gav.helme wrote:

"some joined the [in my view] secretive G Wagen register"

You are entitled to your view...

...if anyone comes to one of the many meets and trips they might however see otherwise ;0)

it's difficult to access the contents of their website without actually joining it

gav.helme
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

prwales wrote:

gav.helme wrote:

"some joined the [in my view] secretive G Wagen register"

You are entitled to your view...

...if anyone comes to one of the many meets and trips they might however see otherwise ;0)

it's difficult to access the contents of their website without actually joining it

It's free for everybody if they want to contribute positively ;0) Well over a thousand members!

prwales
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

but you have to join, not the same as this forum and by the way I have paid this year but my red flag is missing

markhowes
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Is that so bad though?

You could always join, at no financial cost, with a lot of false details if that's a concern.

Pretty sure you have to join and pay the annual fee to access some of the content on this site (which I'm happy to have done)

gav.helme
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

prwales wrote:

but you have to join, not the same as this forum and by the way I have paid this year but my red flag is missing

Surely you have to "join" any forum? But this one has no fees

gav.helme
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

markhowes wrote:

Is that so bad though?

You could always join, at no financial cost, with a lot of false details if that's a concern.

Pretty sure you have to join and pay the annual fee to access some of the content on this site (which I'm happy to have done)

Why would you need to use false details? I'm intrigued!

Are you secrectly a member of the GRU? ;0)

gav.helme
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

PS I haven't been a committee member for over 3 years, could you please remove that from my group list too :0)

OldEnglish68
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

It will only die if we let it!

And wouldn't that be a terrible shame.

For me, Facebook and the like are of no interest.

Clubs, sites, forums etc like this - populated by the full range of owners and enthusiasts and packed with useful information - are just vital for keeping such cars on the road. The sort of actions that would help to keep it going have been discussed here before but not many here can or have given it more of their time yet.

As there are so few of these cars around, compared to other special-interest cars, perhaps the time has come (as suggested above) to positively combine efforts with the other G-related clubs and sites and have one, positive, dynamic, active, informative entity (with regional sub-sections for gatherings?).

I am relatively new here so probably don't deserve an opinion, but I'm guessing the five new members I see have joined don't want to start off their experience here reading about how the place is dying.

Just my 2p - best wishes and happy G-motoring to all.

gooch
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

No its not dying.....Chin up lads.

We should do like 'THE BIG G MEET' Call in the chaps from Ireland , wales, Scotland, N-S England, Europe and have a two day BBQ, Food, Bands-Dancing etc.

Someone needs to step up from thier old SHOWBIZ lives annd Give GWOA a place on the Map !

I Say bring in All Merc  clubs together, we can present GWOA at the stands etc.??

Maybe something Like they have at NEC-classic car show every year in November......just a thought.

nz280ge
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Pistonhead wrote:
...

I must say you are very brave attempting repair of your speedo in particular with the ambiguatity of obtaining the parts. I would have replaced it with a secondhand one or had it professionally repaired but it seems you are an individual who thinks outside the box.

I suppose as an old fossil myself, I seem to have run out of ideas. Keep us informed on how you get along - at least I am still nosey.

SOURCE

On eBay I found a vendor (https://www.ebay.com/itm/272908923114?ul_noapp=true) and wrote him.

"Do you have the gear shown in the attached photograph?
1982 Mercedes G Wagon WBA#### "

Reply:  Yes, I do manufacture a gear for this kind of mechanism.
It's for Porsche, but these VDO instruments share a lot of common parts.
Dimensions are:
10 teeth
diameter 7.9mm
height 8.5mm
bore: 2.95mm (tight fit on a 3mm shaft)

If you need this part, I can ship any time.
Price is 12 USD + 5USD shipping.

Thanks,
Peter

I then asked how to remove it.

He replied

"The gear sits very firmly on the metal shaft. The shaft is even knurled for better grip.
So even if you can push the shaft out (e.g. if the original gear already cracked and lost grip) you cannot install the new gear by simply pushing the shaft in.
So, I'm afraid you will have to disassemble it to remove the complete shaft with the gear on it.
Unfortunately I cannot give much more advise than this, as I personally don't repair odometers, only manufacture parts for them.
However, I have a disassembled mechanism for this particular gear, so I will check in my workshop, maybe I see some shortcut for the gear removal.

Peter

---

PROBLEM

The problem with having a speedo repair shop do the work is that I was quoted NZ$230 (£115), which seems excessive, but we have few specialists in NZ.

One alternative is to buy a US$64 GPS speedo from China, or pay more and get a VDO GPS speedo including GPS Odometer.

Obviously, if I can pay US$17 including shipping for the cog, and get sufficient instruction on how to replace it, this is the best solution, not only for me, but when I document it, for everyone else.  I noted on the Wanted Forum, someone else is looking for a speedo because of a worn cog.

If someone has more detailed instructions on replacing the cog (how to safely disassemble the speedo or slide the cog off without doing so, advice will be appreciated.

 

 

Pistonhead
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop.

That is excellent , although I have never done a speedo repair job largely due to sourcing of the replacement components than the matter of stripping it down. 

Good luck with your repair.

amokwa
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

I'm here, not often as there was a period when I not could not login to the site.

sjrobinson
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

Is it because CAPTCHA doesn't work?

sharon
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

I am here.

 

MTHamill
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Re: Is this Forum dying?
Experience of paid up member after 20 months using a forum for the first time and I don’t use FB but would scan the web in general for G related topics. The Good; The contributors are all very enthusiastic and willing to help. The depth of knowledge available is extremely useful. The £25 fee saved me £40 on my annual insurance due to being a club member. 99% of content posted in interesting to the G enthusiast at some level. The Bad; The site appears old and clunks and difficult to navigate when looking for info. The site appears to be for the purist and restorer of old vehicles. Some contributor responses can be intimidating and unwelcoming to the novice mechanic. Attacks on rogue traders can leave members worried should they should not get involved. Very little activity in the Classified Ads which dilutes the community feeling. That my 2p.
jdring
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Re: Is this Forum dying?
I am back also. I had a few years away when my G was SORN but I got another and came back to find it much quieter and fragmented because other sites popped up (of frustration). I normally keep a tab open all day and check regularly, but due to corporate IT issues that stopped(!!). Sorted that now. My G is having a replacement engine fitted and I woke this morning to a dream that on firing it up, it was knocking badly :( Hopefully that will not be the case. I will let you know. Maybe it prompted this visit after a few weeks. My summary in the end ... I think GWOA needs to freshen up and move to a new web platform. I manage half a dozen websites so I realise some of the work required to do this, but it is needed. We need a better forum. Where you can navigate easier, post images and video easier, like and dislike comments, rate responses, tag items etc etc. BUT, the big value is in the historical collection of advice and knowledge. So that has to be ported and be searchable. I am sure that could be done, even if as a block of archive material on new site. And then the volunteers need to make a little more time to post updates. I know the enthusiasm drops off, so engage new editors for this from time to time and let them loose on it. I would do a bit.
Theo
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Re: Is this Forum dying?

there is a search function for paying members.