The Red Magic 1965 - 220 SEb/C, RESTORATION TIME - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jan 2010
Vehicle: 1965 - 220 SEb/Coupe - Magic Red
Location: Altadena, CA
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The Red Magic 1965 - 220 SEb/C, RESTORATION TIME

Hello Everybody
I've been searching these forums for the past 5 years.
My "Heckenflose" as some germans call these little finned W111s, has been sitting for just about that long.
This is my dream car, I looked for about a year till I found her and got her in fairly okay running condition.
The paint was peeling as was the chrome on bumper and trim parts.
but about 8 years ago, I payed a bodyshop to take off all the chrome for me and I took it to get dipped.
And I got her painted.
I asked around to make sure I got the right color for this car of that year...
'Mercedes Medium Red and some numbers'
I was sad that they had to use a little bondo in some areas, I didn't know if there was a way around it and I figured it was such a deal (Dad's friend=Free) that I should go with their recomendations. I figure I could paint it again in 10 years (now).

Then I had the engine overhauled, this was by far the most expensive procedure, in fact it cost as much as I paid for the car originally, about $2500. It probably would have been cheaper to install a new engine, but I thought I should keep it as original as possible.

So then she was put all back together and I was in love.
These were the best days; driving along the 1, on painting fieldtrips with car full of women artists, carshows, graduation shows, dates, even just going to a meeting or market was another world...

Well back to reality (scratching record sound)
She's sleeping on the street (covered) but on the street, cold and misty every night. And hasn't ran for the last 6 years at least.
Everything is peeling again.
The interior is moldy and looked like miniature spiderman had a playday or year.
Then in the middle of the night, some coward @#% bleepbleep, hit the door left a 1 and a half foot dent and I can't quite open the drivers door now.
Okay and if it can't get worse just a few weeks ago, a humungous tree branch broke off and fell on the front left headlight area, shattering the large (euro) one piece, inch thick, headlight glass etc.

But with shiva-like determination and hopefully some feed back from you guys, we're going to get her back on the road and looking like the classic foreign bombshell powerhouse she is.

The first thing I did was to check the electrical, looked good, getting spark.
Then I tried starting, just to listen, and never got more than a cycle of attempted firing.
I looked at it with a mechanic friend and deduced its the distributor. we changed the points, condensor, everything...still no help.
I took it out and well it won't even turn! Something inside will not let the distributor shaft turn. I tried distributor rebuilders and even one that kept it for two weeks said he wouldn't be able to find the parts, returned it.

So that's when I found distributor upgrades. Great, like in chess, make an offensive move out of every defensive situation.
I found the 123 distributor system on some forums and everyone was praising it. Many complained of the price but in my situation 760 for an available, new and very improved distributor, was fine.

I'm going to stick with the distributor for a bit more here, because i believe its the biggest problem right now. So I have my 123 distributor and a new super blue mega coil.
Step number 1 rotate engine to Top Dead Center on Cylinder number one.
I must of spent an hour looking around for a way to do that.

There are no large bolt, hex nut anything, on the front of the engine. Nothing at the end of the crankshaft.
I wondered if I put it into gear and a few people push it?
There's got to be a way...

to be continued
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jan 2010
Vehicle: 1965 - 220 SEb/Coupe - Magic Red
Location: Altadena, CA
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 05:16 PM
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Hi riseup. Welcome!!!

I can't wait to see more photos of your car's restoration. Keep 'em coming!

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 03:49 AM
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I like that color! This is the stuff that's peeling again? It's an absolute shame the branch destroyed the light - thoose things are becoming rare (and expensive).

I'd be interested to follow your progress - keep the status reports coming!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-13-2011, 09:08 AM
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Vehicle: 1965 220se w111 *******1984 300sd w126 *******1991 350sd w126
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That was a very nice color, too bad it's got to be redone. No experience with that dist. but I'm sure someone on here will help out. Later.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 01:01 PM
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Having only worked on Volvos, I wonder if your fan center has a cover with the bolt underneath.
Barring that, pull all of the spark plugs and put the tranny in neutral. Now you should be able to turn the engine by hand.

Somewhat disillusioned...
This is a great driver's car, except for the comand center and lack of gauges.
The little gremlins come and go at will.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 04:01 PM
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Date registered: Oct 2006
Vehicle: 1965 220SE sedan (finnie) with 450SE conversion, 1964 220SE coupe project, 1966 300SE coupe
Location: Brisbane Australia
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Option 1) There is a big bolt on the front of the crankshaft, way inside the pulley there. You may be able to get a socket onto it with a short extension shaft - but clearance to the radiator is very tight. I think it was 27mm size.
Option 2) The power steering pump and alternator have big nuts on them. Put a spanner on each and turn both at the same time
Option 3) if you have big strong hands like old mechanics have, simply push on the fan belt for extra tension and rotate the fan to turn the engine over.
Pulling the spark plus out helps a lot too so that you are not fighting the engine compression.

I hate dizzy's - I put a motor into my car and had new caps, plugs, leads, condenser and points. But it wouldn't run. Eventually a mate lent me his Pertronix kit that gets rid of the points and the car started straight away. I have just ordered 2 sets now for my other cars.

Now let's see some more pictures!! What interior colour will you go for?
Cheers, Drew
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Distributor update and new door

OK here's an overdue update:

I found a mercedes mechanic in Pasadena that swapped out the old distributor for the 123 Ignition electronic distributor system.

It cost about 800 for that, was shipped from Brooklyn Motorwerks
in New Jersey (They tuned it for my model) very professional, high quality upgrade.

The mechanic on walnut st. knew his stuff, had a couple similar mercs in his shop, but I wouldn't recommend him because I kept finding him super padding the costs.
One part (clutch master cylinder) he said was impossible to find and would cost 900 dollars, i found multiple sources online in a few minutes for 160-400.

Runs great, cleaned it up for a small show in nearby Alhambra.

Oh, there is the door. Great guy up in Santa Paula that specializes in Old Mercedes restoration and had a door for me. He did the car for Hangover (which got smashed and restored a few times apparently) and this was a leftover. $520 and i got a replacement mirror with rubber brace for my drivers side mirror to boot.
Not bad considering Merceds Classic in Irvine would get me the drivers side door shell for around $4000, and would take weeks.
It took me a week to take off the other door and all the components. A lot of learning with this process but took a fraction of the time putting all the components on the new door.

I was fearful of breaking anything especially window parts, but now I'm a lot more confidant with the mechanics on the whole. Much of the same bolts and screws, great engineering.

One problem I had was that the plate that the door hinge bolts grab onto, fell into the frame, inside the quarter panel or something. (Will have to get a magnet tool to grab that...)

Well the show was the next day and had to stop with little things and just put door on, wasn't easy by myself but i used some carjacks.

Pics coming soon
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 10:16 PM
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Vehicle: 1993 MB 500E, 1965 MB 220b
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Looking forward to your latest pictures

You made a fine choice in selecting the 123Ignition. With all thoughts of price set aside, compared to the other available popular EI choices (Pertronix, Crane, etc.), the123Ignition is far superior. It is a brand new, one-piece, self-contained drop-in unit easily programmed to your vehicle by setting a sequence of internal mini-switches. Those other alternatives are only as accurate as the 30 or 40+ year old rambling mechanical internals of a Bosch distributor they are riding within.

For others who may be interested (and now bringing thoughts of price back into the conversation), the best deal going on for a 123Ignition can be found here. I purchased mine several years ago from this source & I see the price hasn’t changed. You will get the very same item from the popularly recognized distributors for almost twice the price, except they will set the switches for you.

Now that several years have passed, I say the 123Ignition is the single best performance investment made to my W111 regarding overall driving pleasure. Further background regarding my experience leading to the 123Ignition can be read here and here.

Congratulations on your investment & all the restoration work.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Tree inci-dent

Last edited by riseup; 04-24-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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