Friday, March 20, 2015

W113: New life old soul

 A friend of mine found and bought a very nice 1965 MB 230SL. The car "was" running fine and of course as soon as the owner listed the car for sale it would start and stall almost immediately. The car, prior to sale, has been sitting around for the better part of 10 years. So, for all intents and purposes, we'll call it a "barn" find. I'll be playing the character of Defribrillator, in the play called W113: New Life Old Soul. 

Car was delivered on a trailer and accompanied by a 55 190SL Rennsport (I admit, I was a bit disappointed the SLR wasn't left with me). Check out the Rennsport pics here: 190SL Rennsport After ogling over the 190, it was time to push the non running W113 out of the guys trailer and into the garage where I'm sure it'll be for the next couple weeks to month as everything gets sorted out. 

First impressions, good. 
It's had some paintwork, some good, some horrifying. Primarily the attack of the rattle black bandit in some areas of the car coated some parts with atleast a millimeter thick of paint. It has a new upholstery, the whole car needs a good rubber renewal as some dry rot and incorrect rubber was used throughout the car. Which for a car of this age, I'm not exactly surprised. 

Forgive me in advance for the bombardment of pictures. It's going to be an extensive process I think, so I figure documenting this would make for some decent boredom reading.

First order of business was getting the basics out of the way. Starting with the fuses. I noticed the fuses were all different types, the incorrect metal type and the overall area was unsightly.

Neatly enough, the original fuse card was still in place. Not sure if I missed it at all, but it doesn't say what amp fuses go in which slots, so I made a fuse index card to keep in the glove box in case of future fuse issues.

I started to clean the fuse contact terminals with a brass brush on a Dremel tool. The contacts had all sorts of oddball corrosion on them and who the hell knows when the last time this portion of the car was uncovered. Taking care of it now since it's rather simple to take care of. In this picture, you can see how the cleaned upper terminals look compared to the lower terminals which weren't cleaned. (Fuse #3 isn't used on this car as it's not an automatic)

Here's what came out of the car ordered from slot #1 to slot #12. A few of the slots had totally the wrong amperage rating for the fuse.

I took a little nylon brush to remove any dirt and debris from inside the fusebox and around what would otherwise be the sealed off area. A rag with a little simple green cleaned up the rest of the area of grease. The original white paint is showing it's face from behind the many many many many layers of sprayed on coatings. All new copper ceramic fuses were used. The shorty ceramic is a 25 AMP, not to be confused with the 8 AMP longer white ones. 

Overall pictures of the engine bay follow.

I did get the engine running on it's own for a while. It ran poorly, but it ran. There were not oddball noises (save for the AC compressor rubbing on the air cleaner) and it seemed healthy. Good enough for me, time to start digging into it and get everything squared away and working properly.

Those who know these cars, will spot the non standard hoses and random bits and bobs that are out of place. If you see anything that stands out (like a hole in the block or something) shoot me an email or post in the comments. I'd love to pick your collective brains on the project. So far, most everything is going to be renewed and this will be a nice driver quality car.

 I started the dismantling process by removing the spark plug wire holder and cap, just to have it all out of the way.

Cap looks like it doesn't have a lot of miles on it, but it does have a cracked off portion to the case.

Noticed the first plug wire seemed a bit "loose" so I tugged it a bit and the boot separated from the wire. Hmm, I wonder why this car is running so poorly. 

Picture of the wire holder. I understand the later cars have a plastic type of holder for the plug wires. I honestly like the solidity of this metal, plus, when coated they look damn cool.

This picture is a fail on my part, I was comparing two different boot sizes. 

Here are the cheap Autolite Platinum plugs that were in the car. All far too tightly gapped and plug #6 (or 9 in this pic) was tighter than a virgin....engine.

A poor pic of the gap differences. 

After pulling the plugs, I focused my attention on valve cover removal. There's a pipe, which I'm assuming is crankcase ventilation, that was joined very loosely with a rubber hose.

Something tells me some of this pipe might have taken a vacation on won't be coming back.

After pulling the pipe, this end is rotted.

I know it's tough to see in this picture, but roughly 75% of the tube was blocked with rust scaling. 

Here's the other end which screws into the top of the valve cover. 

And after 3 12mm fasteners, some selective wording, and a bit of a wiggle, the valve cover has broken it's bond with the head. It's probably been 20 years since they've been separated. I can't say what I'm seeing is a huge surprise to be. A surprise, yes, but more so that this car was initially being sold as "running". Sir, THERE AIN'T NO OIL BEIN' SPRAYED. The cam is bone dry. I'm 100% positive the oiler tube is clogged up. will have to remove and get it sorted out. 
There's a heavy scent of fuel in the crankcase, which judging from the fuel fouled spark plugs, has been in there for some time. So no more turning this engine until everything is properly lubricated again.

It looks bad, but it's not bad, thankfully. The cam lobes don't have any scoring, more some "patina". Luckily an oil soaked rag and some elbow grease will bring these back. 
Cyl 1 & 2

Cyl 3 & 4

Cyl 5 & 6

Chain is dry too, odd.

And a surprise. Two soft pieces of plastic/rubber? I haven't removed them yet as I'm going to be looking at a few pictures of the timing assemblies on these engines for possible causes.

The bottom of the valve cover. With a somewhat still pliable gasket!



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