Newbie Starting My Rally Tribute Build - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie Starting My Rally Tribute Build

While my car is trekking across country from Seattle to Connecticut (glad I sprung for enclosed shipping), I've been collecting non-mechanical tidbits to start my Rally Tribute. The 230S, manual transmission, will remain mostly stock. No rear axle or engine swaps to make it more competitive. But I'll try a few tricks here and there that may have been available back then. I will be assisted by John Rogers, a friend of the family and well known race car mechanic. John is one of the few outside of the factory museum to restore a M-B W154 Grand Prix car here in the states. He did "Wagen 7" when it was owned by Roxbury neighbor Joel Finn. So I think I'm in good hands. And we will be using the same shop too surrounded by photos of the progress of Wagen 7's restoration.

I've assembled a pair of Super Oscars from the UK, a rectangular NOS Marchal for a reversing lamp. a beauty of a Marchal spot for the prominent position high up on the grill. Inside, I purchased an NOS Airguide compass, 2 Aux inputs, a vintage Butler gooseneck map light, chrome fire extiguisher, vintage battery cutoff switch (courtesy of Mr. Rogers). Also bought a VDO outside temperature gauge to help warn of icy conditions. Daniel Stern Automotive lighting is advising me on what I need to get all of the exterior and interior electrical components functioning properly.

It is to arrive tomorrow and brought to Auto Turismo Sport Ltd. in New Milford, Connecticut (autoturismosport.com) for a safety check, complete fluid replacement, lubrication, new hoses and filter changes. Hopefully the suspension and all the rubber parts are in good shape.

I'll keep the thread going with pictures if anyone is interested. And if anyone knows who has some belly pans or skid plates let me know.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:12 AM
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Sounds like a fantastic time. I'd love to try my hand at something like that one day.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Let the games begin!

The 230S arrived in Connecticut after a 2 week journey across country. It is in the capable hands of Steve and Dan at Auto Turismo Sport. My maiden voyage didn't work out too well. It arrived with zero gas in the tank. It ran rough and I barely made it to the station. After a quick 10 gallons I thought all would be cured. But alas, that was not to be. It had sucked up so much crude it would only run in 30 second intervals.

Today we sent a scope into the tank and witnessed a veritable aquarium of crude. So the tank will come down, get boiled and relined. The rest of the car is absolutely remarkable. All the rubber bits underneath are in fine fettle. The bottom is totally rust free. And the interior is just not to be believed. The paint could use a wet-sand but that part is down the road-a-piece. For now, we install the electronic ignition, chassis lube, fluid change, clean the fuel lines and carbs, get the tank in and we are off to the race shop.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 08:43 PM
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Bad luck with the tank but better to find out now rather than later.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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I spoke to Dependable Auto Shippers regarding the shocks. They want photos and estimate or receipt. Today I found 4 Koni shocks and decided to go for it. They are adjustable of course, so they will give me a bit of flexibility as I proceed.

I have the Euro headlights on my dining room table. Daniel Stern Lighting recommended I look at the reflectors while I am changing bulbs. I'm glad he did because they are not that great. I will take them apart and send them out to be redone.

And the Becker Grand Prix radio and clock that supposedly work doesn't. So that is off to the rebuild shop in Saddlebrook, NJ. I'm going to have an iPod 3.5mm adapter wired in while I am at it.

The fuel tank is coming back tomorrow. The fresh 10 gallons of fuel I dumped in is now muck. When we get it back in, we'll have to clean out the fuel system front to back. The fuel lines are beautiful so we'll only change the flexible lines near the tank.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I would first like to thank Tom Hanson at M-B Classic for stocking the rubber gasket between the fender and the Euro headlights for a W111. I tried Peach Parts 1st (out of respect for the board) and then a number of others with no luck. But I'll have them from M-B Classic tomorrow.

I took apart the entire euro headlight assembly expecting to find a dead reflecting surface. But alas, that was not to be and am I glad! So i'll replace all of the bulbs (4 for each) and mount them back on "The Colonel".
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well, today I got some expensive news. The kingpins are original to the car and they are shot. We elected to go with factory replacements even though they are more than twice the price of others. About $900 installed I'm told. Since the tie rods are done already, this will give me a virtually new front end. Important in a "rally" car.

The bushings on the sub-frame are below par too. $300 or $400 in parts and another $200 to put them in. Add my newly boiled and lined fuel tank at around $800 and things are starting to add up fast. But my entry price was reasonable and it is a fantastic example of an original car!

Headlights are refurbished and new H4 bulbs are in. So are the body-to-headlight gaskets from M-B Classic. The Becker Grand Prix is repaired with an iPod adapter now attached to the back. It is fully refurbished and I'm told it will sound great. The clock is out for repair too but that will come next week.

While I am waiting for the fuel tank we decided to clean up the wood dash a bit. Not sure how we will approach it since we don't want to remove the dash wood. I did the ash tray wood today as a test and it took 4 passes of stripper to get everything off!

I'm still excited although a little lighter in the wallet. More tomorrow I am sure.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Today, we cleaned the fuel system front-to-back. The previous owner installed an electric fuel pump (for some unknown reason) and did it in such a stupid way. We removed that hideous thing, serviced the mechanical fuel pump which just need new o-rings and a cleaning, blew like a ton of crude out of the fuel lines and then addressed the carbs. Look at the picture of what was in the carbs!

The Koni adjustable shocks went in (set medium). They replaced the Gabriel Cushion Soft K-Mart Specials. Ugh! The Bosch spark plugs were gapped and installed. So all we need is a gas tank and we should be good to fire it up.

The King Pins are on order and I gave the go-ahead for new Sub-frame bushings. All next week.

My friend Mike was working on the wood dash while all this went on. The varnish was flaking as expected. But we didn't want to remove the dash so we did it in place. Now I wasn't going for deep, glossy Coupe level finishing. In fact, we are just going to stain and teak oil it. I know it will require some upkeep, but I like the natural look. A huge improvement...why should a Rally Racer have a crappy dash.

Also in the shop today was a spectacular BMW 2002 Factory Turbo owned by a BMW in New Jersey. Very rare and in perfect condition.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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A Good Day!

I finally got a chance to drive the car. It is better than I expected. And what a sound! We removed the rear resonator and put a straight pipe through with a chrome tip. It sounds like a V-8. The big wheels and tires are cool too. Tomorrow I drive it to DMV to get it registered. I'll be on a highway for a few miles so that will give me a chance to evaluate everything we've done.

Oh, and Hagerty is paying the claim for the damaged shocks. They will go after DAS. Thanks, Tiff!

I posted a video of the running 230S on our website. turn up the volume!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 08:41 PM
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Looks great!
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