280E Quasi-Restoration - Page 4 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #31 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Nutz 4 Benz View Post
Ditch that cast iron fuel distributor for the updated alloy style.
Could I get more info as regards to this?! What cars/years had alloy? Running outside with a magnet to check my 280TE!
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post #32 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by manabenz View Post
Could I get more info as regards to this?! What cars/years had alloy? Running outside with a magnet to check my 280TE!
You don't need a magnet, the black fuel distributors were iron, where as the silver ones were alloy. Starting 1982 they went to alloy and all replacement distributors from the dealership were replaced with alloy ones as well.

1980 Mercedes 280TE AMG
1990 Mercedes 560SEL with AMG parts modifications
1991 Mercedes 190E AMG with Brabus 4-cyl M102 2.6
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post #33 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr.Grillz View Post
You don't need a magnet, the black fuel distributors were iron, where as the silver ones were alloy. Starting 1982 they went to alloy and all replacement distributors from the dealership were replaced with alloy ones as well.
Well I didn't run out to my car with a magnet, had to go to work! But being my 280TE is an '84, and the fuel distributor isn't black, I'll take it as mine is alloy.
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post #34 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture of my cast iron fuel distributor (the black one, has some rust), and here is a picture of the silver alloy one (which won't ever rust) that I pulled off of the Internet (no personal association). Note the subtle differences!

CIS means "Continuous Injection System", right?
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post #35 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Wednesday's Update, sort of:

Well, folks, I am still here, and it is almost time to start welding. Things are about to get better financially, I am about to have some time for Rusty (hopefully), and I admit have run out of excuses. We do still need to get ourselves a welder, and that is the purpose of this "update". Oh, and to give a vague idea that I have actually been working on the car.

I spent yesterday and today peeling back seals and pulling off more trim looking for rust and leaks. I found a bad leak around the base of the windshield gasket (not seated correctly), but surprisingly, there was no sign of rust there. I pulled the rear lights out to check the lip and sealing surface for rust (moderate rust near the bottom of the signal orifice), and temporarily treated the rust that was already there with one of those lazy "rust converters".

On to more important things. What I wanted to ask here was about welders, or more specifically, welder options. I'd like to go with sanity here, so what is a proven welder one of you people has used successfully on a Mercedes that is under $300 and is relatively easy to use? I am leaning toward a basic MIG welder, but that would probably mean something from Harbor Freight. What do you people think?

Additionally, from the last picture, does my jackstand setup look safe enough (for you, Nutz)? I placed two large concrete pavers under them, and stuck some fairly good quality compressible wood between the 'stand and the rail. The car does NOT shift, shake, or move in any way.

Here are my update pictures, somewhat ordered:
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post #36 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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I've got a source of free automotive sheet metal from a potential donor car for Rusty now. Here is the story, whether you want it or not.

Back in December, we had a massive windstorm, toppling many trees. We have an old 1992 Subaru Legacy station wagon with a tired transmission that we parked for a while until funding was enough to repair it. Unfortunately, our placement of the car (in a forest, not my idea) led to an inevitable scenario. The windstorm knocked a 90-foot hemlock right across the side of the car, collapsing the A-pillar and deforming the firewall. The car was completely uninsured, so don't start talking about insurance claims. And since the car is missing two-and-a-half windows, it naturally has a nasty smelly interior now. However, the car still runs well and actually doesn't drive too bad.

What I'd like to do now is use certain less-structural body panels (doors, trunk, hood, roof) to chop up and use as patch panels. After that, the Subaru could become anything. I am assuming I can use the sheet metal from this car, or is this one of those "Can I or Should I" scenarios?

Or am I just insane?
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post #37 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 04:44 PM
 
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Might find metal is way thinner on the Subaru than on the Mercedes, but yeah, metal is metal and patches can be made from it. Might be galvanized metal on that Subaru, so don’t breathe that in while welding. Small fan pulling air away from work will make it better if so, ie, work behind fan, not in front.

Basic MIG welder at the lowest setting and smallest wire is what is required. Wire feed speed is key to getting dialed in and distance/time from work. Tack, let it cool before next tack so it won’t warp. Use compressed air to speed things up between tacks.

My suggestion if you’ve never welded sheetmetal before, practice on scrap metal before you attempt on the car. Burn-through can make a hole repair get larger and larger and.....
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post #38 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutz 4 Benz View Post
Might find metal is way thinner on the Subaru than on the Mercedes, but yeah, metal is metal and patches can be made from it. Might be galvanized metal on that Subaru, so don’t breathe that in while welding. Small fan pulling air away from work will make it better if so, ie, work behind fan, not in front.

Basic MIG welder at the lowest setting and smallest wire is what is required. Wire feed speed is key to getting dialed in and distance/time from work. Tack, let it cool before next tack so it won’t warp. Use compressed air to speed things up between tacks.

My suggestion if you’ve never welded sheetmetal before, practice on scrap metal before you attempt on the car. Burn-through can make a hole repair get larger and larger and.....
You are absolutely correct, wire feed speed makes all the difference. During my practices with my educational administration's fancy Miller MIG welders, I found my welds improve exponentially the more I dialed in the wire speed to my individual welding "style." I had much splatter to start with, but as I improved that day, I felt the welds did too.

On the topic of galvanized metal; if I really have the heart to cut up a car, even a deformed one, I think it would be better for me to try to grind off the galvanizing before I try welding it. Is Ol' Rusty galvanized as well, or is it just an electrochemical dip I see under the paint?

And by the way, how are the welds? This is actually my third time welding, so I'd say either the MIG welder was really high-class, or I am actually somwhat improving. I've got a long way to go, but I am halfway there already. The first attempt that day were the cruder-looking beads (in the back) on the first metal doughnut thing.
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post #39 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Monday's Update, just a little update:

I reinstalled the front wheels and dropped the car. Done.

On to the real reason I am writing this:

As I have been working around the floor, planning and scheming the final repair, one curiosity has stood out to me. Near the beginning of my ownership of this car, I removed the front seats to do a full cleaning of all surfaces (I knew about the rust at this point). The two rear outer seat mounting brackets spot-welded to the floor that the seat frames bolt to were not allowing me to unbolt the seats from them. With everything stuck, frozen, or in general states of disrepair, I didn't notice that the brackets were totally rusted to hell. With a slight shift of the seat, they completely disintegrated, while the seat(s) lost all footing to the floor in that corner.

I would like to know if I can get these brackets new, or if I would have to fabricate something myself. There isn't really much on these parts around the Internet, so I assume it usually isn't a problem to others. So, if any of you people know where to get a pair of these brackets, I could really use the help. If not, I could probably fabricate a crude-yet-functional facsimile.

I really need to quit making these huge intros for something as simple as a floor bracket. Complaints are welcomed.
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post #40 of 44 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Monday's Update (chronologically), it's been a while:

Engine diagnostics, headliner and sunroof work, moral and psychological dilemmas, and more cleaning of interior areas are following.

It's been two weeks, and I have only had the time to really sit down with Rusty during the last 3 days. The majority of this update's progress was achieved yesterday. I finished removing all interior trim pieces (I didn't break any!), and I cleaned out all my "junk" scattered throughout the car. I have almost been able to completely remove the headliner, in preparation to fix the rotten surround tray, but I am still stumped by how it is attached at the back of the sunroof opening (the headliner is pretty nasty and moldy, and it has more than a few tears in it - should I just cut it out?). Next up was the floor. The rear seat area was fairly dirty, so I spent a few hours cleaning up that whole vicinity (Simple Green, paint brush, and many, many paper towels).

While cleaning around the sunroof, and attempting to remove the brittle baked-on packing tape I had put around the sunroof out of desperation during the wet winter, I noticed that the roof paint had developed very small rust spots across the entire surface. The curiosity was that they didn't seem to penetrate the paint. My only explanation is that I may have, during my grinding, inadvertently thrown metal particles onto the roof, where they sat and rusted. Is there any way I can remove these, as well as the packing tape?

I've also been cleaning up some interior pieces, now that I have the time (little kid on summer vacation). I scrubbed clean the 3 floor carpets the car came with (I thought I would have to throw them away, they were so nasty - a plastic scrub brush and Dawn are THE way to go, before and after is incredible), and I "treated" some of the rubber parts in moderate shape with that ArmourIt stuff. Now, the dashboard doesn't look too bad, as well as that rubber boot that covers the turn signal handle mechanism. I also experimented with cheap Harbor Freight brand rubberized undercoating on the center lower valance panel rock shield thing (mine is pretty deformed to hell, so it's more of a finishing test), and the results were promising.

I decided to finally get to the bottom of my stupid engine problem, and I think I have it identified (here goes). When I try starting the car, it runs fine until it builds fuel pressure. I remove the fuel pump relay, try starting it, and it runs fine until it loses fuel pressure. The engine stalls WITH the relay because it is being forced to run too rich. The engine stalls WITHOUT the relay because it is being forced to run too lean. When I feather the accelerator enough to get it running, it sputters and shakes in protest because it is getting too much fuel. A few months ago, I removed the airflow metering valve to do a super-clean. During this time, I must have screwed something up during the reinstall, allowing too much fuel to the injectors. OR, I have a wiring issue. With the bustle of the removal of the dashboard, I may have pulled something off that is critical to the regulation of fuel pressure. During my realization of this, I had the hood propped open. When I had completed my final report in my mind, and my arms were out of the way, the hood quickly slammed itself shut. I would like to think of that as Rusty saying, in a very firm fashion, "Du hast den Fehler gefunden. Sie sind fertig."

We may or may not have the opportunity to get ourselves a welder during the next few days. I will throw an update on here if we are able to.

That's all for now, feel free to tell me how expensive new headliners are.
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