Monday, December 29, 2014

M104: Gasket Replacement

Just throwing pictures out from a head gasket job that I'm doing. Car was burning coolant at an accelerated rate, so time for a gasket and overall reseal.

 Without further adieu:

Can see here how the coolant crossover tube has a totally flattened O-ring where it enters the water pump area.

Another totally flattened O-ring to the water neck where it attaches to the timing cover. Somebody thought it'd be a good idea to reseal an old O-ring with RTV.

Exhaust Cam timing markers

 Intake cam timing markers. Seem to be off a tooth, but that may be because of the timing advance magnet.

A bit overboard on the RTV there, Mr. Previous Assholemechanic

Timing cover was missing the center water jacket O-ring!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

PreviousOwner: Oil Filter

I can't entirely fault the owner for this one, car is very well maintained and only original Mercedes parts are used throughout. However, it was put away for about a year and a half without use because of a random overheating that was attributed to stuck thermostat.

I got the car in, got it to operating temperature and attacked everything related to oil, cooling and power steering. All the fluids are new, all the filters are new and she's ready to purr for a while.

This small milky spot on the oil filter cap is what I usually find when I get a car that gets driven short distances and shut down without letting everything get up to operating temperature. Condensation in the oil, yada yada you get this. Happens ALL the time in the later model M112 engines. Nothing to worry about. If the oil coming out into the drain pan is milky like this - you've got problems.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

W210: Hella Xenon Headlights

I scored huge today and got a pair of Hella xenon headlights complete with bulbs, ballasts and all. SUPER thrilled to have gotten them.

Totally a crappy picture, but that was the only way my potato phone could capture the light difference between the factory hella xenon and the factory halogens. After installing the xenon's, I will never own another W210 with halogen lights. The quality is just absolutely terrible. The xenons have a really sharp cut off and the beam of light is superior.

Blue garbage can has the xenon light showing up against it. Just a vastly superior light all the way around. Brightness, beam spread, beam cut off - everything is 10 fold better than the factory halogens.

If I do find myself in another W210, this is absolutely THE greatest plug and play mod that you can do to your factory car. They are pricey, but they are TOTALLY worth it. Completely plug and play. There is no modification to the harness or to the car at all. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PreviousOwner: Thermostat

Going to start a new type of section where I'll just show jobs done by previous owners (or their mechanics). Figure it'll be a convenient way to demonstrate what kind of shit people do to their cars to "fix it." 

So in today's installment of PreviousOwner, a thermostat / thermostat housing job on an OM603 in 93 300SD. 
So this PO seems to have been met with a thermostat issue at some point in his "caring" for the car. Might have gotten stuck, who knows. All I know is that the coolant on this beast wasn't replaced as often as it should have been in the 299k miles this thing was run. The rubber seal welded itself to the aluminum housing with some other build up. The PO just cut the bottom of the thermostat off to let coolant flow through. This was a HUGE problem with this car because it wouldn't get over 40*C in coolant temp. No good. Imagine the carbon build up from incompletely burnt fuel. 

You can see here the build up around the edge of the housing. Probably what gave the PO a hard time.

Here's the original O-ring and the cut thermostat. The bend in the brass piece is from me yanking on the damn thing to free it from the housing. Just completely gross. The seal was so fused to the housing that I actually yanked out some of the deposits with the remainder of the thermostat.

Overall, holy shit.

Took my drill with a wire brush on it and went to town to get what I could of the deposits on the housing. It's not totally perfect, so rather than installing dry like I usually do, I'll run a very small bead of RTV gasket maker along the housing to perfect the seal. It's not worth it to me to replace the housing on this, it's a one and done deal that doesn't need an absolutely flawless sealing surface. If the degradation of the housing continues it'll leak and that's when it'll warrant replacement.

The coolant passages, from what I'm able to see, are in good shape.

For now,


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

W140: Seat removal with no power

Found yourself in a position where there's an amazing set of seats in the junkyard or a parts car, but they're in such a position that you're unable to access the bolts to remove them? Fret not! At least if you're a W140 specific owner. The process is similar for any Mercedes really, just find out what wires go to were, throw some power to them and have at it.

W124: the Hammer Wagon

"Two Made" 

Buddy of mine found the car in Skokie a few weeks ago. Apparently it is still alive and well. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

W210: Bad Wheel Bearing

Front passenger wheel bearing on the ole E300D was howling so I know for sure I had to replace it. No amount of repacking with grease was going to save it. While it didn't have a TON of looseness, there was still some there for concern.  Ordered a FAG bearing from Pelican Parts with the Febi-Bilstein Mercedes super lime green wheel bearing grease. The FAG kit comes with all new hardware for your brake rotor, brake caliper, and all you need for your hub. Took about 5 days for the parts to get to me, so I didn't drive the car in that time.

You can hear how poor this wheel bearing is just by spinning the hub. It should NOT be humming like it is. During a drive, this humming was pretty loud in the cabin. It should be relatively quiet. No oddball noises should be present and it should spin relatively freely with only the grease providing resistance.
There are plenty write ups on replacement all over the internet, the biggest key is making sure you pack the hell out of the bearings with grease. Get grease into every nook and cranny on the bearing and do it twice for good measure. Premature bearing failure is because of a lack of grease. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mercedes "Rare Wheel Awareness"

Talk about a weird set of what the seller says are "original factory" Mercedes wheels. While they may be, he hasn't been able to provide me with a part number. They were on his 92 500SL "since new" so it seems like they were a dealer installed set.



They ARE multi piece wheels. The mating point of the two barrels is sealed. While everything is unwelded. Seller is looking to get $1000 out of them. These would seriously make a pretty cool set to throw onto a W124 or W201 for some decent fitment. I'd imagine they were pretty sunk into the wheel well on the guys R129. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OM617 / OM616: Gear Reduction Starter

Many early diesel cars came with very slow cranking starters. Slow cranking through the cold winter months make starting these older diesel engines nearly impossible, even with glow systems functioning perfectly.

Here's some info I've used in buying gear reduction starters for these older cars. In many cases, for MUCH less than you would be able to buy factory type parts. These particular starters are the same starters used in many Audi, Fiat, Volvo and VW diesels. While some others are used in Bobcat Skid Steers.

1978 - 1985 OM617.360
1978 - 1985 OM616
(Only for 240D, 300D, 300TD)

Part #'s:
LESTER - 17042
AS - S0047
VALEO - 436043

M12x1.75  Threaded mounting
Pinion - 85mm
Cone is reversed specifically for OM616/OM617 mounting

Most starters can be brought in from overseas. There are few vendors in the US that provide these, but they turn over the OM616 and OM617 like they were low compression gasser engines. They make tremendous differences in cold weather cranking. So if you have a cranky engine in the cold weather, get them crankier!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

W210: Plastic Fuel Line Replacement

 So I had to get going on the fuel line replacement in this E300 as the feed line was bubbling. That's usually a sign of poor O-rings somewhere in the system, a clogged in-tank screen, or some other sealing issue in the fuel system. Luckily for me, my in-tank screen is fine (the veggie system on this car was isolated from the tank thankfully). The bubbling was giving me no power at highway speeds (fuel filters were filling with air rather than fuel) and was giving me a stall condition after a few minutes of running for the same issue. Usually all met with a random misfire here and there from a fuel injector not getting enough pressure and/or not spraying in enough fuel into the cylinder.

Replacing the lines requires removal of the intake manifold, it's 20 minutes to do, not a huge deal. From there, the lines are all right in front of you. If they haven't been messed with by someone with shoddy repair (like mine have) then you should have no problem feeding and snapping in the fuel lines. Otherwise, it's a bit of a guessing game as to which line goes where. Look at a few pictures on google to give you an idea where everything might be and go in for the kill. This gives you a great opportunity to clean everything up under the intake manifold, replace the main feed and return line, replace vacuum lines to the intake flaps, and overall do a general cleaning under there. My bay was a mess from what I KNOW was a bunch of leaking veggie oil. This engine is CAKED with the stuff. It's nice rust prevention, but damn does it suck to take off. Directly spraying with a pressure washer doesn't even touch it. Simple green and a bit of agitation with a brush does the trick though. It'll be a LONG time before this engine is clean. lol

Here's a small video I took with my potato phone - I'm hoping it comes out okay.

Monday, December 8, 2014

W210: Why you should change your Cabin air filters

If there's anything to give you reason to change your cabin air filters, it should be this alone.

This is apparently the original cabin filter in this car because nobody cared for the air quality that was coming through the vents of their HVAC system. This isn't exactly an extreme case either, this car was relatively well maintained initially, but was just owned by a veggie oil burning yuppie that probably didn't realize this existed. 

The filters I got were the Bosch #P3651WS - they come in a package with both filters. 

Contents of the package:

There are a bunch of write ups and videos on glove box removal to do this job. It's very straight forward and shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes to complete the whole job. All you need is a small Philips screwdriver and a body trim removal/spatula type tool.

There are two Philips screws at the very top left and right positions (the ones under are door adjustment bumpers), two underneath two rubber plugs on the bottom, and two more on either side of the box light. 

Rubber plug literally lifts right out to expose the screws. 

You'll be greeted with this. The white tab I'm touching slides upwards to unlock the door that houses the cabin filters. 

This is what I was met with. Gross. Before you remove the filters, take a shop vac to vacuum out as much of the loose debris as you can. It's really annoying to have all this stuff fall down to the bottom of the dash or into the car. 

 Comparison of the new and old. It's pretty gross if you ask me. Not only am I not getting super fresh air into the cabin, I'm getting a dark and musty smell with it as well. These filters are supposed to be white, not black and full of garbage. 

It's a good time to get in here and spray some disinfectant, febreeze or something else that smells good. Vacuum it out of any debris that might have fallen as well.

Slide your new filters in.

Lock everything back up

Re-install your glove box.

Turn on the AC or heater and smell the fresh febreeze come out of your vents. Consider it a job well done, you'll have fresher air in the cabin, you'll live longer, your car will smell nicer and you've earned yourself a beer.