Wednesday, January 31, 2018

time to get back to this

I'm sure some took notice to the leave of absence I seem to have had from this blog and anything Mercedes related. Have had quite a bit happening on my end that prevented me from doing much of anything with this. I've got myself back in order where I can take some time every now and again and keep writing. Forgive me in advance if everything seems all over the place - I definitely have to get into the groove of things again.

I guess I'll start with late October? I took two weeks off near the very end of October to take the 290k mile E500 out west where I would ultimately end up in Las Vegas for SEMA week. I ended up driving 5700 miles in that two week span. I spent the first week driving around Wyoming, Montana, Utah, etc.. doing some fishing, sightseeing, and camping. Not exactly the best car to take out west when it's snowing in the mountains, but hey, I never said I was smart.

My goal on the first day was to make it as far west as I could manage without dying. Starting out in Chicago, I took I-90 W and made it as far as Rapid City, SD. Supposedly that's a 13 hour trip via Google.... let's just say I made it in 10....I would never be able to do that in my old diesel!

Seeing as my overnight stop would be a stones throw away from these guys, it would've been a shame to not see them! Luckily the day was as perfect as it could get. Clear skies, nice little breeze, mid 60s... no tourists in RV's to get in my way on any of these awesome driving roads. 

From there I made it a point to see the progress on Crazy Horse. I have pictures of myself as a kid around here, so it was pretty need to check this place out as an "adult". The museum was cool and checking out what they had planned for the facility was pretty cool too. I'll probably be dead by the time they finish it...

Familiar signage... making my way through to get into the Bighorn mountain range. I broke down around here in that Sl500 6.0 AMG a few years back. A night which will haunt me for eternity.

First taste of endlessly straight and monotonous roads. That's OK though - you tend to get through straight roads pretty quick when going...pretty quick....

Hey! First taste of the actual mountains. A bit surreal that this $700, high mileage, piece - o - crap, has even made it this far. I sort of bought the car as a joke, but it's become a 4th leg.

More straight roads.

BOOM, into the Bighorns!

...and what do I do? Take some glamour shots of the car of course! I took more pictures of this car than I did myself on this trip. I have absolutely no shame. Nobody needs to see me ruining a landscape when they could see this majestic beauty.

Found a sweet mountain lake to start fishing. Got a couple little trout, enough to satisfy me for a while anyway!

I've always loved "drivers perspective" shots. So I tried one of my own. I wish I had a polarizer filter on my lens to get rid of the windshield glare. Can't win them all.

So now I'm making pretty ridiculous progress throughout the day and without realizing how far I was actually driving I made my way to Cody, WY.  I remember the town being sort of a dump from previous visits so I wasn't too excited about holing up there. Thankfully the place was overrun with hipsters and turned around for the better.

So after having what was probably the greatest blueberry muffin known to man at a small cafe in Cody, I continued on down the road to end up somewhere around Yellowstone. My plan was to hang around there for a day or two, camp and fish to my hearts content.

Emerging from a gaping hole in a rock, I was greeted by Buffalo Bill Reservoir. My got this was awesome. Windier than heck though. My little sedan was getting blown around everywhere.

Hung out for about 45 mins or so taking it all in and went on my merry Yellowstone way. This jerk was causing a traffic jam (all 3 cars of it).

The views off highway 14/20 were incredible.

I made it into the east entrance after passing through Pahaska. I'm going considerably above the speed limit, because well.... V8.

I'm glad I put a new SBC pump into the car, because I used every last bit of pressure it had reserved to stop for this guy.

No big deal guy, just a leisurely stroll in the morning.

Now at this point I spent about 8 hours fishing. So obviously I wasn't taking any pictures, etc We're on to day 3 or 4 or 5 at this point. Obviously I wasn't doing a very good job of tracking my time out there, just like I don't do a very good job tracking my time now.

I  made my way into the Teton's because I was planning on camping out at the base.

I made it in time for sunset, so that was nice.

Sure made for some pretty spectacular pictures.

I made sure to wake up in time to see the sunrise too. The pictures absolutely do NOT do this any justice at all. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Perfect spot for a car pic...I'm sure this car was never expecting to be hear. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting it to make it out of the Midwest.

Back on the road. At this point, I figured it would be a good time to start heading south. I DID have to make it to Vegas for SEMA and all.

More straight roads.

I do believe I had a huge lapse in picture taking - here's a bridge in Colorado.

A trout stream and mountain in Colorado

Offroading, again, in Colorado.

If you followed this blog last year, you may recognize this sign. It was this exact spot I took a picture of the silver AsthmaticMG diesel so I decided to replicate it with the E500. I was in a much better mood taking this picture than I was with the E300. Probably because I wasn't going 5mph up the mountain.

This is the tail end of 50 going into the Black Canyon region

I'll be honest, I have no idea where I was here. Most of this trip was done staying off of any major highway. They're awesome if you want to get somewhere fast, but they're not so hot for taking in some sweet scenic views.

Endless roads in the deserts make for some SWEET pics!

I think this was Lake Powell? Not a bad place to set up camp for the night.

I'm going to end this post with a pic in Zion. I'm not going to have any SEMA pics, because I didn't take any.

I started this trip figuring I'd take a car that has absolutely no business going on a road trip at this time of year and hoping it would make it. If it broke down, it would be part of the adventure.

5700 miles, 15 days, an obscene amount of money spent on fuel, some of the best scenery I've ever seen, all in a car that was $700 and should've ended up in a junkyard. The car did this trip without a single hiccup. It was absolutely flawless. F.L.A.W.L.E.S.S.

I hope to be considerably more active on this blog in the coming months. I'll have quite a few exciting posts (to me atleast), removing and servicing engines from Ferrari's and possibly taking a convertible air cooled Porsche on a similar trip. To those interested - I DO still work regularly on cars. I am appointment only so feel free to get in touch with the blog's contact button and we'll set something up! Thanks guys.

Friday, September 29, 2017

W463: 1996 Puch Worker G350 Turbodiesel: Preventive Maintenance Part Deux

Continuing from the last post:

The last pic I put up was of the valve train. I always make this excuse, but the last thing I want to be doing when dealing with internal engine work is stop to take pictures. It's sort of like building a puzzle, once you get into a steady groove of sorting pieces together, you don't want to break the groove.

Anyway, Mercedes came up with a new motor mount design for these trucks - a completely free floating design as seen on the right.

Just kidding - the mount that was on the truck I can almost guarantee to be original to the truck. They're fairly tedious to replace on turbo 60X trucks as the turbo sits on the stud to the passenger side mount. It's replacement almost requires turbo removal. They were bad.

The height difference is pretty staggering as well. Doesn't help with drive line alignment when the mounts are totally collapsed all around. These are unloaded - imagine how slammed down these were with the weight of the engine sitting on them. Pretty spectacular failure.

All the heads that I have machined get 5 angle valve jobs - I have one machinist I've been using for years and none of his work has failed me yet. I don't expect his work to fail either. Very meticulous.

The rare occasion I snap a pic - this was in between head torque stages. 3rd stage is a 15 minute wait before setting the final 90 degree turn for the head bolts.

Injectors, intake, etc all put back in.

There was quite a bit wrong with the exhaust manifold - most of it stemming from the lack of qualilty control on whoever serviced the truck in a past life. Namely, the booger welded exhaust support that hangs off the rear section of the manifold.

Here I just went after it lightly with a grinding wheel to see if I could start getting outlines of a stud that I know is still in the manifold.

Excellent weld penetration on behalf of whoever did the welding on this..... good grief.

As far as I'm concerned, this section of the manifold is saved and perfectly usable again.

but wait, THERE'S MORE

There happened to be a bolt missing for a bracket that supports the weight of the turbo off the manifold. That bolt also happens to go into the motor mount bracket. Because the manifold is left to it's own devices in supporting the weight of the turbo AND the turbo's exhaust (remember, booger weld) it stresses and will inevitable do this sort of cracking.

This is mid process, I realized I hadn't taken finished result pictures.... I promise my weld's penetrate and aren't ugly. I drilled holes into either end of the crack to prevent it from spreading, then ground into the manifold to create a bevel. Torch the casting to get her nice and toasty, fill with a nice hot weld. She won't be cracking here anytime soon.

Installed manifold with new flex joint combining the now totally saved exhaust manifold.

More assembly

A wild turbo appears

Just going to throw this EGR cross tube back on without cleaning. Self deleting EGR anyone?

Small, but it's still a blockage of airflow

Here's the engine totally assembled. Owner supplied Monark nozzles, which I installed and balanced to 135bar. She runs as good as she looks.

Here's a quick video of it on it's first start up with all the fresh work. No leaks!

Also went after some wiring in the truck - dash lights weren't working, oil pressure gauge wasn't working, overall just a mess of wiring in the cabin.

The above picture is essentially a before shot. Here's where I've got the after shot. Looks considerably less busy, right? We've also got dash lights back.


Found some snipped wiring, some missing wiring, some wiring work that I wish I never saw. 21 years of somebody messing with the truck you're bound to get these sorts of problems.

Also installed King offroad shocks on the front - rears were already installed.

The biggest dilemma I had was deciding where to run the reservoir on the driver side while retaining some form of convenience in changing dampening. These were designed with a G500 (M113) in mind. The driver side was problematic as an OM603 oil pan is extremely deep and front sump. This got in the way of mounting the reservoir to the skid plate like it should've been. So I decided to find the most protected area I could while retaining convenience. The bracket is mounted to the motor mount bolts and is holding the reservoir behind the sump.

This mounting point follows King's install to a G500. It works nicely in this application as there's nothing getting in the way. Both locations seem to offer fairly easy on the fly damper adjustment. I've set all 4 corners to a middle ground in damper settings. It's easy for the end user to adjust to their liking. Very nice quality shocks, but I'm not a fan of the piston rod being in the direct path to road debris. Seems like it would be detrimental to the longevity of the shock with the debris constantly being wiped off by the seal. I'm sure King know's better than I in this regard though. 

All in all this was a pleasure to work on. If all I had to do was rebuild OM603's for a living I'd have a great time. I love these motors.

Thanks again for reading!