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1999 500SL, 1988 SEC
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No I don't care if you share, I have already posted it a couple of times. Actually my car was in great shape when I got it. It needed a trans rebuild, and i could have left it at that I guess. I had two cylinders with low compression but it ran well. Those two cylinders bugged me so that is why I did the valve job. Then a pod went out so that necessitated a six pod rebuild. The rest was really me. I wanted to lower it so when I did the springs, I just naturally did the front end while there. You also have to understand I do my own work and its a hobby so.... well I don't paint cars anymore. I took the interior out to add new speakers, which made me refresh the interior. I call this process "if you give a moose a muffin" which is really a story about how if you start with one thing, it lead to many more. I also wanted the AMG look which was tough to find. I have owned many cars over my life and I wanted this last one to be special. I know will never get my money back but its one of my only hobbies. Just last year I got rid of an R129 when I discovered I simply could not keep up with two cars. When I had them both I called them the two sisters, one you would take out and have a wild time, and the other you would take home to meet mom. Take a quess which one was which
 

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #62
If you give a moose a muffin
One last request. May I make this a permanent part of my vocabulary?

This is really great info. I'll put together something similar when the dust settles. I'm curious to see how the two different builds compare. I'll bet they're very close in final price tag.

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #63
This is what it's all for! Domestic beer and a valve adjustment on my OM617 on a Friday night. Difficult to say how much pleasure this brings me. The way smells can bring back a sort of feeling memory, that's what this procedure on this car is doing for me. It's like I'm in my early 20s again.

Not sure how visible it is in the picture, but there's some brown crap on the bottoms of the cam lobes. Is that problematic or is it something some Seafoam and an Italian tune-up will fix?


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1991 560sec. 1991 560sel 1969 280SL
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1,280 Posts
That brown stuff is probably varnish. You can drop the oil level one or two quarts and replace that amount with trans fluid and running the engine about 2k rpm for four or five minutes to remove all that crap from your engine. That’s a good way to flush your engine too. Use your own judgment as far the amount of time to run at the higher revs. Good luck. Unless someone else is going to contradict my suggestion that has been my experience anyways.
 

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #65
I was planning on doing a few engine flush procedures. I've already changed the oil 3x but the problem is I can really only idle it ATM. So I just let her idle for 20-30 min a few times in between changes.

I'll try the ATF unless there's some compelling reason not to.

Either way, she's starting to clatter pretty nice now.

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #66
Tomorrow the car is going into my German indie for A/C work prior to me making HVAC box decisions. It's a 1/4 mile down the road so towing would be stupid. I figured it would be prudent to try her out on the nearly abandoned portion of road behind my apartment building.

WOW! After a couple diesel purges and a valve adjustment she gets out of her own way just fine. And after tooling around and a couple WOT runs the idle isn't terribly smokey. Idle sounds pretty good too. After an air filter bracket and the new injectors I fully expect that nice crisp clatter back.

I am so impressed with old school MB engineering and the OM617. The Veggiewagen has had a hard life. But even after sitting for so long it only took some very basic maintenance for her to run like a champ. We really have some special cars here folks!
 

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1986/1990 W126
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14,350 Posts
Lovely old motors aren't they. I'm not usually a diesel fan but I do like these. I came across one fitted in a boat recently and didn't realise it was a diesel at first. So smooth.
 

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #68
Lovely old motors aren't they. I'm not usually a diesel fan but I do like these. I came across one fitted in a boat recently and didn't realise it was a diesel at first. So smooth.
My next move is going to have to be a C126 or R107 with spark plugs. Turbulent times call for diversified portfolios

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04 odyssey (265k) 1995 E320 wagon (295k)
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I can totally relate, the smell of my garage is a mix of petroleum products that instantly takes me to when I was 15 working on my first beetle.
To close the loop, the moose a muffin is a kids book If You Give a Moose a Muffin that was a follow up to the original, if you give a mouse a cookie. A great analogy of how these cars can suck you into the rabbit hole in an OCD fueled frenzy to make it " like new".
Working on the Sacco Benz's is my therapy. An adult version of Legos. Keep up the irrational pursuit of "making it right"!
 

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #70
It would appear the jig is up. I finally received something from the building management saying no working on cars. Really throws a wrench in the works (pun intended, obvs).

From my point of view, the only stuff resembling "work" is pulling the dash and replacing the HVAC pods. That's a day. But I'm not sure how they'll react to me putting the interior back in. And I'm not sure how quickly that will go. It could be a month or two of me in my grubbies out there.

I'm looking for a garage to rent but it's not easy to find one where people are cool with you doing auto mechanics. And in terms of the interior, the car really needs to be close to the parts. I assume there will be lots of assembling and disassembling as I realize I've gone in the wrong order or did something incorrectly. So renting a bay occasionally isn't super feasible. The way I see it is either an off-site garage with storage for all the parts or do it on site.

I'm tempted to give them the finger. But if they were to revoke all of my parking passes that would be a problem.

I'm in the process of buying a house. That's the end game. But I've just started, so it could conceivably be five or six months. If anyone has any suggestions, this is a bit of a noodle scratcher on my end.

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #71
Well, that's the last of it coming out. Unless the evap coil turns out to be bad the interior is officially 100% stripped. Save wheel and seat, obviously. Pulled the car outside of the parking garage to do the dash. Some interesting findings on the HVAC pods going to put up on the other thread.

The dash is pretty well documented elsewhere so I didn't do a writeup on it. We opted to leave the wheel in place but drop the column. I will say to be sure and fully release the center vents early on.

Also, IMHO this is a two man job. Maaaaaybe you could swing it with one person, but my buddy and I made short work of it. By myself it would have been an entire afternoon or maybe day. Beyond being able to move stuff around more easily there's the two heads are better than one factor. And four hands are better than two.

Also, if you're starting with a full interior and people tell you this isn't bad... the cake is a lie. I would see this as pretty complex surgery if I had to take off a whole bunch of other stuff first AND had to worry about not destroying it. And in that case unless you're an experienced tech it's most definitely a two man job.

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #72
Secured a written agreement with building management. As long as there's no mechanical work I'm good to put the interior back in. Should be in a house with a garage later this year so that'll do for now.

Finally have the hat rack covered in mass loaded vinyl. Lots gorilla glue and creative clamping. Think I may stick some painted screws and washers through it too for good measure.


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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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359 Posts
That brown stuff is probably varnish. You can drop the oil level one or two quarts and replace that amount with trans fluid and running the engine about 2k rpm for four or five minutes to remove all that crap from your engine. That’s a good way to flush your engine too. Use your own judgment as far the amount of time to run at the higher revs. Good luck. Unless someone else is going to contradict my suggestion that has been my experience anyways.
What a GUHREAT thread to read on a Sunday morning. And yes, we all feel 15 again. Once going down I-95 saw a mature lady in a top down 65 Mustang. Her license plate read "16Again" and she had a big grin. I did too when I saw it. Two questions.

1. Does Gogi's ATF work on gas cars too. I assume so, and after running it do I change oil again? Also assume so.

2. Do you have a before picture of the rear parcel shelf, especially underneath?

Again thanks for a super read.
 

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1991 560sec. 1991 560sel 1969 280SL
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1,280 Posts
What a GUHREAT thread to read on a Sunday morning. And yes, we all feel 15 again. Once going down I-95 saw a mature lady in a top down 65 Mustang. Her license plate read "16Again" and she had a big grin. I did too when I saw it. Two questions.

1. Does Gogi's ATF work on gas cars too. I assume so, and after running it do I change oil again? Also assume so.

2. Do you have a before picture of the rear parcel shelf, especially underneath?

Again thanks for a super read.
That advise was meant for gas engine not for diesel. My mistake.
 

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #77
Unfortunately I don't have a before pic. It was partially covered in cloth insulation like the bit I left on there and like under the dash in later models. I still have it around if you need a peak at it.

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1983 300SD
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978 Posts
Discussion Starter #79
A few updates before I post some questions for the guru hive mind of Benzworld after work.

The mechanic I have working on the A/C told me there's a cumulative slight leak from the rebuilt HVAC actuator pods. But he said it was so small it shouldn't be an issue as car makes plenty of vacuum to counteract it. I'm going to ask for some more detail and post to one of the HVAC pod threads we have going. It might be an argument for not rebuilding if it doesn't need it, but to be brutally honest I didn't vacuum test the puppies, I just held my finger over the outlets. Had I vacuum tested I might have known to continue fiddling with it until it was just right.

My Programa push button unit also turned out to be bad. I haven't contacted them about it yet but the shop said they're really good about this sort of thing.

I found an indy junkyard here with four W126s. They said over the phone they only had two. Kind of insane given that multiple U-Pull and LKQs don't have any. Next Saturday I'm going with a friend of mine who has been instrumental in helping me. We're going to pull an entire interior and get it on go-pro so I know how to do it in reverse order. I think we're proficient enough to do it 3 hours (excluding HVAC box).

No dash with the help of my buddy

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Last but not least... look what my mom did for my birthday! Heel pad sewn into the sheepskin that's period correct for Bentley/RR/Jag. Lots of Pinterest and I chalked off a jy mat and sent it to her to get it placed right. She's also sewing in the tri-star patches in the corners. I'll update with those but I was too excited about the heel pad to not post it.

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