Sunday, February 23, 2020

A little more than some bolt on flares, Datsun 260Z Part 1

Great time to get into a Z, the owner of this recently picked up this heavily modified car and had brought it hear to be gone through. The car sat for the better part of a decade and has seen it's fair share of hack mechanics, hack mice, and father time. 

A testament to how far this car was modified, I initially thought the back glass just had dragon stickers. These were ETCHED into the glass

The engine is not the factory L26 - a stroker L28 has been swapped in and built for the car and it's running 45 DCOE Weber carbs

I'll use this post as the "before" and beginning stages of this project

As you can see, there is no rhyme or reason for all the wiring scattered around this engine bay. Daunting

Interior has good bones, but needs a lot of work

Pulled the carbs off to see what was going on with the cylinder head - sadly, even when a head is being built by well known shops, shortcuts get taken.

Monday, February 17, 2020

500SLC Lorinser Suspension Restoration

I was given the opportunity to restore the front suspension on a European import Lorinser 500SLC recently - the entire front subframe was dropped and replaced as the old unit had some welding work done to it from LCA mount cracking. While there was some downtime with the car, sorted it with some replacement brass injectors (old style are steel and commonly found in low mile cars) and dressed the engine up with some coated valve covers followed up with an overall engine tune.

So we start with a gorgeous black 500SLC and the shops current pathetically crooked conduit. 

It's unknown whether the springs were original Lorinser units (the shocks were, so we could only assume the springs are). We elected to blast and recoat the front springs and the front LCA's. Recoating the front springs was a decision to retain the cars ride height, as it was set up perfectly. 

It's great blasting parts and uncovering original stampings that were otherwise hidden under decades of road grime and rust. Some pitting in the steel from rust is to be expected, if that's something an owner can't live with a new part is the only long term solution. 

With the subframe out and the engine dangling precariously, it would be a shame to reinstall a perfectly clean subframe to hold a perfectly filthy engine.

So I cleaned it - this is after the first or second round of degreasing. Rusty bolts are usually gold cad plated, something that won't be done for this round of work. Finer detailing was done, but in the an effort to be more efficient, I stayed away from the camera.

Of course with a clean engine and engine bay, a properly clean and assembled subframe should be put in. The following are some pictures of the random assembly of the subframe before its installation.

Replicated the paint marks that were on the springs when they were removed

some pictures of the subframe installed back into the car

Just because a vehicle isn't driven frequently, doesn't mean the lubrications system is getting all havoc let loose on it. Sitting long periods of time and restarted causes sudden expansion/relaxation in these paper filters. They will tear and break part - these little pieces with end up clogging lifter passages. 

Old oil container courtesy of Dunkin Donuts (not a sponsor, but hey get in touch if you want to!)

With time to kill, might as well start polishing up the oil cap top use on the fresh valve covers. 

A before and after of sorts

Cleans up really nicely - better than replacing the cap with the new style plastic caps that just fall apart. All that's needed for this is a replacement seal and she's ready for another few decades of service. 

Here are the injectors, injector shields/seals prior to install!



A "before" shot of a valve cover that was going to be installed. Unfortunately this is what's commonly sold online as a coated wrinkle cover. It's a badly spray painted cover! Don't get fooled.

This is the result one can hope for when it comes to coating their covers. Get it right the first time and you'll have years of happy dressed up motoring ahead!

These plug wires were replaced at some point in the car's life, so they don't have the rubber shielding for them - so some zip tie wire management is in order to keep things tidy with the newly coasted covers. I did make the suggestion the owner replace these wires with some 8mm wire in a color of his choice. It'll break up a bit of the monotony in the engine bay!

Wire management is always good, keeps your engine bay tidy and makes servicing your vehicle considerably easy down the road!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

2005 Mercedes E320 CDI Engine Swap

Found myself really lacking on the page here and I figure I can make the attempt to keep track of my phone long enough that I can snap some pictures here and there. This week, an 05 E320 CDI which had locked up it's engine from water ingestion (or so is speculated). At the moment time was a concern, but I'll be allowed to dissect the old engine in an effort to see if anything is worth saving. They're expensive engines!

Here it is arriving on a pallet

Quick check to ensure no shipping damage

replacement engine put on a stand to prepare for a thorough degreasing and removing ancillary parts that will be replaced with new.

The junkyard that supplied this engine did a phenomenal job with its removal. They were very careful removing the parts they do not include and they did a fantastic job ensuring the engine was completely drained of fluids for its arrival. 

first order of business, injector and (oh no) glow plug removal

the one problem with these long shank glow plugs is the plug seat. when torqued incorrectly (or if the seat is dirty upon install) it will allow soot to bypass the seat and make it extremely difficult to remove the plug from the engine. In some cases, breaking off the non threaded portion and leaving it in the cylinder head. Luckily on this engine, this was the worst one and it came out with a bit of a fight.

Now that the engine was prepped for the most part, the shop Europa G gets put to work and brings the E320 in to complete the work.

couple hours later, the engine/transmission/subframe is removed as one assembly for ease of access. Everything will be getting serviced

Don't mind the gloves or the overall mess in the shop - there will be a few more blog posts with an Audi S4 from hell that is the cause of that mess - the last thing I was is something entering the turbo and damaging a fin, so a glove it is. 

transmission removed - what I don't have pictures of is the process used to remove the torque converter from the flex plate of an engine that won't rotate. It's a bit involved, but took about an hour of my time.

skipping ahead in the preparation of the replacement engine. exhaust manifold gasket replaced, replacement hardware should ALWAYS be used on the exhaust side. the copper nuts are egg shaped as to not back off

turbo installed, valve cover thoroughly degreased and resealed, PCV resealed and reinstalled


 resealed water pump (replacement engine's water pump was absolutely perfect), replacement idlers, front crank seal, oil filter cartridge installed

take a step back to admire the conduit everywhere that's crooked and realize you didn't take any pictures of the intake manifold R&R

Engine is placed on the subframe and ready to receive the transmission. 

step back and realize you hadn't taken any more pictures because the work flow was rapid. What was involved beyond the engine's reinstallation was coding the injectors into their respective holes for fuel quantity adaptations. Once the engine was started, the air mass sensor, fuel rail sensor, and air filter quality adaptations were reset. The rest of the vehicle was scanned via Xentry to find any further fault. 

So, with that, we conclude the project with a very happily running E320 CDI that will offer years of service down the line. The engine was a low mile, 90k unit that was entirely resealed for this application. The car is COMPLETELY outfitted with dynamic seating, heated/cooled seats, window shades, Navi, etc. It's about as fully optioned of a car as one could get - it has absolutely not a spec of rust on it and was dealer maintained it's entire life before flooding itself. Happy motoring!