M130 crankshaft problem - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 05:29 PM
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OK, to Waldbaum and Agillot, it might be worth it to explain, step by step, what to look/listen for, how to take the top end off an engine, how to tension the timing chain, tolerances, etc etc. Up until now, there didn't seem to be much posted on the M130 engine.

I agree that not all pros are butchers, but I've only had one mechanic (an Argentine in Monterey, CA) who knew my 108 and took the time to really work on it. His competitor, literally up the street, didn't work on the old ones because the knowledge was "so arcane." I recently took it to a place in Rockville, MD and they made a hash job of my engine's fuel system. They didn't have a manual or specs, and the "old german guy" who worked "the classics" was retired. And apparently, "all that knowledge was lost." How many 108s were made? 140,000?

To all this, now that I know better, I say b*ll sh*t, but the average machine shop or even "Benz expert" doesn't have the exposure or experience with these engines. Kavadarci, you will do yourself worlds of favors if you get into the literature - it'll prevent you from getting taken advantage of or screwed. At some point, a mechanic or machine shop may look at the car with puzzlement, and you'll be able to tell them the info they need (and you're only at the mechanic because you don't have the tools or gas analyzer necessary).

As experienced Benz owners or mechanics, it's our job to share the knowledge, show where literature exists and be patient with folks who haven't got the exposure yet.

And to think that I'M usually the one in trouble for bashing diesels...
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 05:35 PM
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Kavadarci, another option you have is to find another 250 that you can use as a parts car, if such is within the realm of what you want to do. You can cobble all the best stuff onto the best chassis and part out the rest.

Still another option is to swap in an engine from a different make - small block Chevy, Ford, even a Nissan. While not uncommon, such is not for the faint of heart...
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 08:53 AM
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Grubeguy,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with "professional mechanics". Engine swapping, as you say, "...is not for the faint of heart." It requires onsite machining and welding capability to fabricate the countless big and little pieces that are required.

It is, however, reversable like a vasectomy. On this forum I have posted a picture of my now restored 1936 Chevy pickup. When I got that pickup in 1965 I was a 20 year old kid and thought that tire smoking street rods were cool so I made one out of the pickup with a small block Chevy engine with lots of hot rod parts, B & M "Hydrostick", etc. Although I was young and stupid, I did do the engine swap with only home made bolt-in engine/trans mounts and no frame or body cutting.

When I finally grew a brain and restored the '36 a few years later there were only a few bolt holes in the frame to weld up and grind smooth.

Kavadarci will never regret pulling his own engine and disassembling it to find out what, if anything, is wrong. The technical manuals are in the public libraries to make a precision engine reassembly possible for him. Assembling an engine is easily accomplished in a day once all the parts are on on hand.

Ray W
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 09:09 AM
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"Yeeeeeeess, but are you stating one can take a Ford crankshaft and put it into a Mercedes engine? I can't quite get there logically - I'd think a Ford engine would have different inner dimensions, tolerances, etc than an American engine... "

No, what I'm saying is that a machine shop equipped for crankshaft grinding can do the job no matter what engine the crankshaft is from, physical size being the limiting factor. The "Professional mechanic" will send the crank out to be ground then double the price he was charged, in addition to the fees for his time to R & R it. If it were mine I would also have the rotating assembly balanced. The smoothness of a balanced engine is really a joy to behold.

Ray W
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 11:20 AM
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[QUOTE=Waldbaum;5847664No, what I'm saying is that a machine shop equipped for crankshaft grinding can do the job no matter what engine the crankshaft is from, physical size being the limiting factor. The "Professional mechanic" will send the crank out to be ground then double the price he was charged, in addition to the fees for his time to R & R it. If it were mine I would also have the rotating assembly balanced. The smoothness of a balanced engine is really a joy to behold.

Ray W[/QUOTE]

OK, I'm with you 100% on this one!

My dad would say that he takes a car to a mechanic for the convenience of NOT doing it himself (to which I agree). I took my 108 to Mr Tire to do the rear bearings, and after it was all said and done, they stated it was "just like doing a Ford."

It is THIS that I hark to when people talk about how "rare" or "unique" an older Mercedes is. Benz might have pioneered something, but a few years after, someone else copied it and made the breakthrough go mainstream.
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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys,
Few points, the mechanic will send the crankshaft for rebuilding somewhere else.
At the end of the day his job will be removal and installation of the engine, no machine work involved. I will continue to collect information and way my options
Thank you very much


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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 02:42 PM
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"Benz might have pioneered something, but a few years after, someone else copied it and made the breakthrough go mainstream".

Grubeguy,

As I have said repeatedly I'm a total Mercedes newbie. My wife has finally demanded that I fulfill a 15 year old promise and get her 1961 190SL roadworthy. So far my quest to do that has involved replacing brake flex hoses, replacing brake cylinder internals and finding a high volume (non-Mercedes-specific) power booster rebuilder. See, even I send some stuff out to be done.

I've been a hobbyist mechanic for over 50 years and I've never seen anything like the labyrinthian brake system on this car with every component varying from difficult to access to nearly impossible to access. For example, to access the right front hard line-flex line connection the air plenum that mounts to the carburetors has to be removed, quite a project in itself. That same plenum has to be removed to access the starter from the top or the starter can be accessed from the bottom by removing some suspension components. So while there is access I'll pull the starter and freshen it up with brushes and whatever bearings and bushings are in it.

Comparing these mandatory gymnastics to other cars I've owned and serviced I think its hard to credit Mercedes with "Pioneering" anything except service nightmares or making any "Breakthroughs" except perhaps breaking down the sanity of people attempting to service them. To me, part of competent engineering is creating a unit with reasonable access to components to avoid astronomical maintenance/repair repair bills. Like anyone else, mechanics are selling their time and the more time the customer has to buy the higher the bill.

My wife has told me that before we got together most of the service on her 190SL was done by dealerships because all the independant repair shops who had worked on it told her in very plain English to never bring it back. They explained that they simply didn't want the hassle of having to go through the enormous amount of work required on that car to do what should be a simple, quick service procedure. That left only Mercedes dealerships whose franchise contracts require them to work on any Merecedes that comes in the door. She has told me that those repair visits generally generated fees of no less than $1000. Wow, for that price I can buy a new pair of Edelbrock aluminum small block Chevy heads or build a high performance, balanced small block Chevy short block with forged pistons from a core.

I would be really interested to hear from anyone who is willing to educate me what the attraction of these cars is. Status? Performance? Mechanical masochism? Other?

In my case it's a promise I made to my wife back in the 20th century to get this one running.

Ray W
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Ray,

Your point is valid.
I've never touched the 190 but I've had W114 and W115 and they are a breeze to work on, everything is engineering for easy servicing.

I'm afraid I can't say the same for the passat I had and for the BMW 335 I have, goooooooooooooooood luck touching anything on those. To me it almost looks like they put smart people together and ask them to make as difficult as possible to make parts out.

I also find american cars much easier to work on but I'm sure there is a story that is different out there.

I personally like mercedes for everything they've done to have what we call automobile today.

And yes, i think they do represent status (some may argue).
There is tons of countries in the world where they choose mercedes for their big shots, every movie that wants to represent luxury has at least one mercedes there. They are luxury cars and yes, people with money can afford them, no secret there. Maintenence is expensive and they are not that reliable but people continue to buy them and they will continue to buy them.

I like their history and their attention to details, I specially like little fragments from their history.

Example:
Betha Benz (Karl Benz's wife)

On 5 August 1888, without telling her husband and without permission of the authorities, Benz drove with her sons Richard and Eugen, thirteen and fifteen years old, in one of the newly constructed Patent Motorwagen automobiles—from Mannheim to Pforzheim—becoming the first person to drive an automobile over a real distance. Motorized drives before this historic trip were merely very short trial drives, returning to the point of origin, made with mechanical assistants. This pioneering tour had a one-way distance of about 106 km (66 mi).[2]

Although the ostensible purpose of the trip was to visit her mother, Bertha Benz had other motives: to prove her husband—who had failed to consider marketing his invention adequately—that the automobile they both heavily invested in would become a financial success once it was shown to be useful to the general public; and to give her husband the confidence that his constructions had a future.[3]


Karl and Bertha Benz c. 1914 - Zenodot Verlagsges. mbHOn the way, she solved numerous problems. She had to find ligroin as a fuel; this was available only at apothecary shops, so she stopped in Wiesloch at the city pharmacy to purchase the fuel. A blacksmith had to help mend a chain at one point. The brakes needed to be repaired and, in doing so, Bertha Benz invented brake lining.[4] She also had to use a long, straight hatpin to clean a fuel pipe, which had become blocked, and to insulate a wire with a garter. She left Mannheim around dawn and reached Pforzheim somewhat after dusk, notifying her husband of her successful journey by telegram. She drove back to Mannheim the next day.[5]



More info here:

Bertha Benz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Waldbaum View Post
As I have said repeatedly I'm a total Mercedes newbie.

<big snip>

Comparing these mandatory gymnastics to other cars I've owned and serviced I think its hard to credit Mercedes with "Pioneering" anything except service nightmares or making any "Breakthroughs" except perhaps breaking down the sanity of people attempting to service them. To me, part of competent engineering is creating a unit with reasonable access to components to avoid astronomical maintenance/repair repair bills. Like anyone else, mechanics are selling their time and the more time the customer has to buy the higher the bill.
I would be really interested to hear from anyone who is willing to educate me what the attraction of these cars is. Status? Performance? Mechanical masochism? Other?

Ray W
As you have found, the 190 is nothing short of nightmarish to work on. For that matter, they are becoming increasingly rare these days, mainly because of the propensity for leaks and the floor pans rusting out.

The 190 was a true "sports car" of its era, and like Austins and Jags and the Italian cars of this vintage, was not designed for easy servicing nor for someone without deep pockets. These were not daily drivers of the day...

As others have said, when you move forward in history, the cars become more serviceable. Much of this is due to their transition from a spots and "fun" car to a daily driver, or a plebeian use, if you want to go so far.

Just move over to a Ponton and you'll find it vastly different to work on....

Dan
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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldbaum View Post
I've been a hobbyist mechanic for over 50 years and I've never seen anything like the labyrinthian brake system on this car with every component varying from difficult to access to nearly impossible to access.

Comparing these mandatory gymnastics to other cars I've owned and serviced I think its hard to credit Mercedes with "Pioneering" anything except service nightmares or making any "Breakthroughs" except perhaps breaking down the sanity of people attempting to service them.

...most of the service on her 190SL was done by dealerships

By no means am I stating that a compact, hard to service car is a breakthrough (take a tour through a new Corvette - they're even worse). I'm talking about engineering breakthroughs, such as fuel injection systems, crash zones, ABS, etc etc. The point I'm trying to make is that working on an older Mercedes is only challenging from the standpoint of finding someone with "experience" or "knowledge" with the car, and perhaps even in finding OEM parts. As you point out, a crank is a crank, and pistons are pistons. I'd warrant you could rebuild your engine with custom ordered pistons from a shop that also makes them for Fords, Saabs, etc.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldbaum View Post
I would be really interested to hear from anyone who is willing to educate me what the attraction of these cars is. Status? Performance? Mechanical masochism? Other?
Status. It sure as hell isn't performance! The non turbo diesels are almost criminally slow, the 115/115s aren't much better, and even my 108 with a 4.5 regularly gets slapped around by a modern V6'd car. My 108 has miles of chrome, wood from TWO forrests, and epitomizes everything high class/high status from 1973.

After you finish that car and you start to drive it around, people are going to recognize the grill emblem, make a point to wave or offer a thumbs up, or just give a smile. In my county, I own THE only 108, and people often tell me they saw me at <name any location in southern Maryland>. You're likely to to get the same.

I think there's also an air of exclusivity. The older Mercedes are still wrapped up in a kind of mythos that's hard to pin down, and they're becoming more rare as they're burried, retired or junked. And something I just CAN'T wrap my head around is keeping them "pure." My dad put a Ford 289 into a 108 years back, and the local independent Benz mechanic just about puked. Folks on this forum have fits when someone replaces a blower motor with one from a Ford, or upgrades to a different rear end to reduce highway RPMs. If you replaced your brake booster with something off an American car, or something completely different/non Mercedes, you'll be asked why and admonished for not using stock parts.

Last edited by Grubeguy; 07-03-2013 at 05:53 AM.
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