Restoring my 220 D - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Restoring my 220 D

Hello!

I wanted to introduce myself and my project!

I'm a student of social sciences in my early 20s, living in Vienna/Austria and I've always had a big passion for pretty much all Mercedes models. Thank god my grandfather owned one, or maybe it was actually the car that made me like Mercedes for some reason, when I was small! Which makes it even weirder and crazier that I have decided to restore this car these days…

It was only at the age of 38 (!) that my grandfather had learned to drive and passed his driving license. He then proceeded to buy his first car: A Mercedes 220 D He didn't order it with any options except a special colour, which is (apparently) "Red 576" and the gear shift in the center console instead of the steering wheel (which was a free option on this Export car for the Austrian market). After many hundreds of thousands of kilometres across all of Europe, he stopped driving the car around 1990 when his daughter, my aunt, passed her license and needed a car. It was therefore also my aunts first car. My grandpa decided to "restore" the car before giving it to my aunt, so she would not be ashamed of driving an old Mercedes. Sadly, it wasn't done properly. The car was repainted in a colour that wasn't the original (my grandparents, especially my grandmother, had a shock when they saw the car repainted in the wrong colour), many things have been changed, but not correctly, etc. etc. My grandfather even decided to change the engine. I once asked him as to why he did that, when he said that the old engine was fine – he answered me, if he was going to restore the car, why not replace everything already? Haha, if he just knew the car could do millions of kilometres …

The result: The car received a new engine ("Original MB Exchange engine" that's what's stamped on it in german) and my aunt drove it for some years until 1996 or 1997. The car now has around 90,000km. My aunt then stopped to drive the car, because she received a Mazda 626 (ironically this was (and is still) my first car that I got in 2013, when I passed my driving license - yes we do keep all of our cars ) and as a result, the Mercedes was stored in a garage since 1996/7 and didn't move from that place anymore.

I decided I would like to bring the car back on the road – but had no knowledge as to how to do it… until some friends of the family helped me start with it. One friend, who owns some Mercs, some very old Jags and other rarities, was the one who helped start the car for the first time again … after all that time Guess what… the car started straight away. Of course I have all of this on video, how could I not have prepared my camera just before we were about to start this elegant tractor?

So I was helped to take some decisions and some directions, which motivated me. Some easy steps were explained to me, a book on how to disassemble the car was offered to me… and that was the start of it.

I was always very interested in cars and motorsports, but didn't have much experience in the physical field, when it came to actually working on cars.
But I started slowly and I'm very proud of what I've achieved so far.


My goal is to…*

… first, disassemble the whole car. Then, either have the car's bottom and very rusty parts sandblasted, as it's quite cheap over here, or have them actually cut out by a good friend of the family. After that, this friend will do the welding on the car. That's something I have no experience in, but hopefully I'll be able to learn it during that process, so maybe on the next MB I'll do (hopefully there's many more to come!), I'll be able to do it alone! Following that, I'll chemically and manually remove the paint and then I'll send the car to be prepared for a new painting and the painting itself.

The last step will be putting everything together again, and of course ordering a lot of pieces because there's plenty of stuff that needs to be changed.

So now I am still in the process of dismantling the car…
















So this is the garage the car stands in, with a little room at the back where I can work on some stuff. Very practical! Also the garage has a pit as you can see, and we also happen to have a crane, but I have yet to see if it can be still used.

I have shot thousands of photos of the work I did on the car so far, I've taken photos of literally every screw I've removed, and I've documented the whole thing in a document that is now approximately 50 pages long. It looks like a chaos, but every little screw and every little part comes in a little plastic bag (you can see them on the desk on the pictures), they all get a number also so I can find them in the document I wrote, so everything is linked to each other basically and can be found and tracked easily – from where it was, what it is, to how I removed it and so on… Since this is the first time I am doing this, and it's a quite big project, and I've had more or less no experience at all with this kind of stuff, you can imagine I really wanted to make sure I'll be able to reassemble the car too some day.


So at the moment I am disconnecting everything from the engine so I can take it out, at the moment I'm stuck with the radiator because I'm missing a wrench in a certain size to remove what I believe is an oil pipe, that's standing in the way and making me not able to remove the radiator. I rarely use these big keys, so that's one tool that I'm missing, but once I buy it, this radiator is going away and I can continue the work!

I can not wait to drive this car, I really love it, and love working on it. Actually I can't wait for tomorrow to start so I can work on it again! I love the fact it's a W 115, because due to its rather small size it makes parking in my city a bit easier! I love the fact it will be dark red because there's not many red Mercs over here and because it gives this simple tank an elegant and classy touch – but not too much A little bit of chrome here and there… but nothing too overloaded for a poor student like me I love the fact it's a 220 D also, because it costs me nothing in insurance and gas consumption is alright as well! And I love its interior because it feels cozy and wide at the same time. And I also love the fact it doesn't have any options like electric windows or assisted steering, because it would make the whole work so much harder! I truly love it for everything it is, and it's something I learn again every day I work on it, when I realise how this car is built and what geniuses were behind this work.

I'll be using it as a daily driver (yup…!) and will be making trips across Europe with it, it will be one hell of an adventure It is *the* perfect car for me personally, for what I want and what I like. I like it more with every day, whereas back then, the W 115 wasn't really on my list of "Top Mercs" and from that era, there were other models that I preferred much more. But now, it's the other way around, it's something really funny to observe!



I hope it was somewhat entertaining and not too boring, and I'll keep you guys posted in case anyone's interested!

Of course, I will also need your guys help from time to time… I received much help from people, with lots of informations but also physical help, so I am thankful for everyone who helped me so far and made this project come a little further.
On the other hand, like I said, I already partially wrote a "book" about this car, so I may have acquired one or the other knowledge about this car, and hope I'll be able to help other people too when they need it!


Cheers & see ya!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 05:30 PM
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Wow, most people start out just fixing a few things and work their way up from there. You are very ambitious to do a total restoration right from the start. But you seem to be doing it well, with all your documentation, photos and bags of parts. I am sure you will do well.

Please keep us posted with photos as you progress.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 05:54 PM
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Great pictures, just get better light next time.
I see such projects in my native Poland, but with mechanics in California charging $150/hr any bigger repair make the car total loss.
This is what I call devotion to your hobby
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-19-2016, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rumb View Post
Wow, most people start out just fixing a few things and work their way up from there. You are very ambitious to do a total restoration right from the start. But you seem to be doing it well, with all your documentation, photos and bags of parts. I am sure you will do well.

Please keep us posted with photos as you progress.
Actually I did fix a few things on the Mazda I mentioned earlier, like a tension roller and one or two other things. But that car is already very complex and not fun to work on. As a result, there were so many things in the engine bay and so many electronics, that I didn't even know what was what. The Mercedes on the other hand is just a simple car. I mean, I am still learning what is what by reading and then working on it, it's only now that I truly understand how many things work, but I wouldn't be able to do and learn all of this on a more complicated car…

Thank you! And I will do.

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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
Great pictures, just get better light next time.
I see such projects in my native Poland, but with mechanics in California charging $150/hr any bigger repair make the car total loss.
This is what I call devotion to your hobby
Yup, in fact some of the lamps even started to smoke, I need to change them. But I'm not sure if it's the lamp or actually the circuit, which is pretty old as well…*I have spots for six tube lamps in the garage, but have only mounted 3 lamps so far I believe, and one of them doesn't work properly (and one started to smoke like I said). So I use some other light that I can carry around the garage, but that gets very hot and consume too much power. I wonder what the garage looks like when all six lamps are installed and turned on – have never seen it yet haha…

And yes – these cars continue to live on not just in Poland but also and especially in Africa haha, there seems to be plenty of them over there, especially W 115s (at this point I wonder where all the W 108s and W 109s went in the world).

Sometimes learning yourself is clearly an advantage and saves money …
… it doesn't even take that long: Every time I work on the car, I write down in just a few words what I have done and how much time it has taken me. I've spent around 70 hours for everything until now. And actually, half the time is taking good photos and writing down how I did something, so I was pretty quick. But seriously, it's simpler than it looks, I hope it gives courage to some people out there. The only thing you really need is a dedicated place for that, and in that case I believe I just had luck…
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Removed the radiator and a few more things …







It's finally starting to look a bit more "empty"!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:09 AM
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Removed the radiator and a few more things …







It's finally starting to look a bit more "empty"!
Great story, and from what I have read you are doing a great job on this project. I cannot wait to see the finished product. Keep up the good work and learning.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Great story, and from what I have read you are doing a great job on this project. I cannot wait to see the finished product. Keep up the good work and learning.
Thanks!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-05-2016, 04:24 PM
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That is pretty intense. Having it stripped to a skeleton is a good start. Get the welding done, then redo the sealing products/primer/body panel prep. Get the paint work on each part while it is off the car and have it baked as it would have been in the factory. You might as well get all new rubber parts and wire harness.

I wish you well. This will be a great project and wonderful way to honor your Grandparents.

Clay

74 450SL - Froggy
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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That is pretty intense. Having it stripped to a skeleton is a good start. Get the welding done, then redo the sealing products/primer/body panel prep. Get the paint work on each part while it is off the car and have it baked as it would have been in the factory. You might as well get all new rubber parts and wire harness.

I wish you well. This will be a great project and wonderful way to honor your Grandparents.
Thank you! This is more or less how I plan to do it. But there's still a lot of work left!

BTW, can anyone confirm me if this is the RETURN hose for the water for the heating, that basically goes back to the engine?



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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 07:12 PM
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Hello,

That line "circled" goes from the water pump, through the firewall, and into the heater core. There are two lines that exit from the heater core near the dual heater control valve on the upper left side of the firewall. From the dual heater control valve, the coolant goes back to the engine.

Best Regards,

Brian
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