Sunday, November 15, 2015

W210: Factory Roof Rack System


I've been looking for an OEM basic carrier bar set for a while - none available in the United States and no one was willing to send some over from overseas. A friend was over in Poland to visit extended family and was willing to bring over a set that I found on the Polish version of eBay (allegro). 

Needless to say, after a few week wait they showed up! Hand delivered!








Looking for some more manage-ably sent attachments and the wind noise slider that goes into the racks when not in use to prevent the wind whistling - they whistle quite a bit, much more that the square W124 bars I used to have on my coupe.

I'm happy!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

W123: Kombi Project, Fuses

I have a habit of being anal retentive with the cleanliness of my fuse block contacts and it's organization. It irks the hell out of me knowing that some of these fuses have been in here for well over a decade. 

As you can see, this fuse box hasn't seen the light of day in ages - a few blown fuses, and nearly ALL of them the incorrect aluminum ones that cause so many electrical problems in these old Mercedes.


A little attention to detail goes a long way. I removed every one of those fuses and threw them out. I didn't care if they looked good, I NEVER put in a an aluminum fuse. All of the fuse contact points I cleaned using a Dremel with a small wire brush attachment. You can see a small reflection in each mounting point, that's how polished out I get them.

Replaced all the fuses, with a couple extra copper.  



Monday, November 9, 2015

W123: Kombi Project P.2

Had to make some progress on the kombi tonight - spent a few hours reshaping the driver side headlight area as it was bent up and in slightly from the fender damage. It hadn't tweaked the radiator support at all, nor did it shift the headlight bucket area. The area just behind the headlight was slightly pushed in and back. I brought it out as best I could and started smoothing it all out. I'm avoiding the use of any bondo or filler in the area, so there was a lot of hammering happening. I do need to seam seal one edge as it split, but it's been spot welded correctly and I just need the sealer to do what the Mercedes stuff did - keep water and debris out.



First proper test fit and alignment of the fender. Everything was brought back into shape - there isn't a single factory bolt out of place when installing the fender. Corner marker mounts correctly.

Fender gaps are all looking fantastic and even.

Corner marker lined up and tightened down.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the fender alignment against the hood, but it was dead spot even with the unmolested passenger side and uniform throughout. Not bad for a few hours of panel beating to get this old girl back into shape.


The hunt for a transmission continues. I've sourced one in Indianapolis and think the seller and I have come to an agreement. I'm ready to go and pick it up, just waiting on the seller's word. Hopefully soon, as I'd like to at least drive this around a bit and make sure everything is working properly....give it a proper cleaning too as it's filthy.

For now, the list of stuff I need to find/buy/install/work on are as follows (in no particular order):
  • grill assembly
  • driver side fender trim
  • outside window trims/seals
  • new headlights (preferably one piece euro)
  • front / rear bumpers
  • passenger taillight 
  • check rear SLS function, adjust/fix as necessary
  • exhaust leak fix
  • dash mat / dash cover / new dash
  • new front seats (preferably leather, would take mint MB tex though)
  • new front windshield / windshield seal 
  • radio / new antenna mast
  • remove any spotty underchassis rust and apply new undercoat 
  • new metal in rear driver side corner 
  • replace transmission (722.315) 
  • instrument cluster housing / LED instrument cluster bulbs
  • driver side dash wood trim
  • glove box latch assembly / glove box adjustment
  • ashtray assembly
  • get all windows working correctly
  • clean fuse block / all new copper ceramic fuses throughout
  • clean manual sunroof rails, fix upholstery around sunroof latch 
Plenty more to do, this is all the major stuff that's going to be annoying me for a couple weeks. Hoping to get the transmission very soon, in the mean time, everything else will be getting sorted and all the cars vital fluids will be tended to. 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

W123: Kombi Project P.1

So here we go, the apocalyptic pile of shit that I dragged out of a dumpster. Bad trans, bad fender, bad paint, bad interior, bad just about everything else.

But, it's not as bad as it looks. It's been sitting around for a few years and it's been withering away. Luckily a nice coat of trans, engine and hydraulic oils cover the bottom preventing this car from rotting out.

1985 Mercedes 300TD Turbodiesel
OM617 w/ 207k on the clock with an absolute cherry of a motor, rust free chassis and suspension components, meticulous service history back to 4900 miles in 1986 to now, and the major interior pieces are all actually in decent shape.

It doesn't look like it now, but we'll see how this car can be transformed in the coming weeks. I'll be spraying it back to original color soon as I need to get the paint guns flowing so I don't royally F up the Pagoda paint job.

Anyway, here she is. Pretty, eh?



Wonderful bondo work done by previous owners.



Urban assault for sure, wish this had a bullbar or something.

Rest of chassis is fairly straight

Nothing wrong with this side of the car, save for some cracking lenses. The goal is to find some cheap euro lights and french them for this car. Should look sharp.

Add windshield to the list.

Rear bondo work....I wonder what that's hiding.



 I need to find front and rear bumpers for the ole girl.

Hammer and chisel. This was far easier than I was expecting. Someone just put aluminum tape over the dent and bondo'd over it.....seriously.



I couldn't stand looking at this any longer, so I had to just get it off and check everything out underneath.

Pulled a good fender out of the stash.

Hey hey hey, everything's looking pretty good under there!

No rust!

Cleaning process for chassis coating.


All's well when it looks like new. Technically this is just left an unpainted beige from factory as that's the color of whatever their metal preservation stuff was. I took the extra step and undercoated the entirety of metal to preserve everything underneath.



Checking fender fitment

Lines up nicely!

Turned my attention to the rear. Need to get this dent out as much as I can.

All bondo removed and dent punched out as much as I could without welding studs and using a slide hammer. More progress as it happens. Stuff will be moving as rapidly as possible with this car as I don't want this precious space taken up for long.

Monday, November 2, 2015

W210: Swaysfordayz DailyDiesel



Not too long ago I came across a wrecked W210 E55 AMG. Didn't have an engine or trans, interior was in tatters, but, it did have a bunch of usable nonsense that I could throw onto my E300 to make less.....boring? 

Making this post to make sort of a "mod" list, as there's so much that was done to this E300 that it's getting hard to keep track of. 

Stock E300 front sway bar 26mm in center
E55 AMG front sway bar 30mm in center

4mm thickness increase and it's solid, rather than hollow. The difference in front end feel is a lot more than I was expecting. Great upgrade for anyone looking to tighten up the front of their W210. It's a total bolt on upgrade, Bolt spacing is the same for the inner bushing mounts and the outer sway links are exactly the same between E55 and everything else. 


W210: Auxiliary Fan Belt Replacement

This has gone over my head so many times that I finally decided to do something about it the other day while prepping the car for winter.

The front auxiliary fans on most pre-00 W210 have one power fan and one fan driven by a belt. Pretty neat, considering it lessens the weight of the car a few pounds and one less motor to fail. You can tell the bean counters over at Mercedes were pressuring the engineers to save costs somewhere. Otherwise, if left up to the engineers, this would be powered by three nuclear reactors.

I'm not going to get into the meat and potatoes of the whole process - it's essentially broken down this way - five 10mm fasteners for the upper radiator crossmember. Two 10mm fasteners holding the aux fan assembly to radiators. Wiggle free. Replace. Redo.

Mine was missing a belt entirely. I've been so conditioned to the dual fan's of earlier chassis (one would work at a time depending on conditions) that I never paid much attention to the one side never spinning on the W210.



A replacement belt is a couple bucks. 



Feed it over the pulleys like a bicycle chain and spin a fan by hand to run it into the groove. Make sure the belt slides into the groove, it's a V. Don't use lubricants and install dry.


Viola, happy fans. I'm sure my AC will be just a smidge colder now.

Part number for the belt is: 011 997 0092