Saturday, September 30, 2017

W463: 1996 Puch Worker G350 Turbodiesel: Preventive Maintenance Part Deux

Continuing from the last post:

The last pic I put up was of the valve train. I always make this excuse, but the last thing I want to be doing when dealing with internal engine work is stop to take pictures. It's sort of like building a puzzle, once you get into a steady groove of sorting pieces together, you don't want to break the groove.

Anyway, Mercedes came up with a new motor mount design for these trucks - a completely free floating design as seen on the right.

Just kidding - the mount that was on the truck I can almost guarantee to be original to the truck. They're fairly tedious to replace on turbo 60X trucks as the turbo sits on the stud to the passenger side mount. It's replacement almost requires turbo removal. They were bad.

The height difference is pretty staggering as well. Doesn't help with drive line alignment when the mounts are totally collapsed all around. These are unloaded - imagine how slammed down these were with the weight of the engine sitting on them. Pretty spectacular failure.

All the heads that I have machined get 5 angle valve jobs - I have one machinist I've been using for years and none of his work has failed me yet. I don't expect his work to fail either. Very meticulous.

The rare occasion I snap a pic - this was in between head torque stages. 3rd stage is a 15 minute wait before setting the final 90 degree turn for the head bolts.

Injectors, intake, etc all put back in.

There was quite a bit wrong with the exhaust manifold - most of it stemming from the lack of qualilty control on whoever serviced the truck in a past life. Namely, the booger welded exhaust support that hangs off the rear section of the manifold.

Here I just went after it lightly with a grinding wheel to see if I could start getting outlines of a stud that I know is still in the manifold.

Excellent weld penetration on behalf of whoever did the welding on this..... good grief.

As far as I'm concerned, this section of the manifold is saved and perfectly usable again.

but wait, THERE'S MORE

There happened to be a bolt missing for a bracket that supports the weight of the turbo off the manifold. That bolt also happens to go into the motor mount bracket. Because the manifold is left to it's own devices in supporting the weight of the turbo AND the turbo's exhaust (remember, booger weld) it stresses and will inevitable do this sort of cracking.

This is mid process, I realized I hadn't taken finished result pictures.... I promise my weld's penetrate and aren't ugly. I drilled holes into either end of the crack to prevent it from spreading, then ground into the manifold to create a bevel. Torch the casting to get her nice and toasty, fill with a nice hot weld. She won't be cracking here anytime soon.

Installed manifold with new flex joint combining the now totally saved exhaust manifold.

More assembly

A wild turbo appears

Just going to throw this EGR cross tube back on without cleaning. Self deleting EGR anyone?

Small, but it's still a blockage of airflow

Here's the engine totally assembled. Owner supplied Monark nozzles, which I installed and balanced to 135bar. She runs as good as she looks.

Here's a quick video of it on it's first start up with all the fresh work. No leaks!

Also went after some wiring in the truck - dash lights weren't working, oil pressure gauge wasn't working, overall just a mess of wiring in the cabin.

The above picture is essentially a before shot. Here's where I've got the after shot. Looks considerably less busy, right? We've also got dash lights back.


Found some snipped wiring, some missing wiring, some wiring work that I wish I never saw. 21 years of somebody messing with the truck you're bound to get these sorts of problems.

Also installed King offroad shocks on the front - rears were already installed.

The biggest dilemma I had was deciding where to run the reservoir on the driver side while retaining some form of convenience in changing dampening. These were designed with a G500 (M113) in mind. The driver side was problematic as an OM603 oil pan is extremely deep and front sump. This got in the way of mounting the reservoir to the skid plate like it should've been. So I decided to find the most protected area I could while retaining convenience. The bracket is mounted to the motor mount bolts and is holding the reservoir behind the sump.

This mounting point follows King's install to a G500. It works nicely in this application as there's nothing getting in the way. Both locations seem to offer fairly easy on the fly damper adjustment. I've set all 4 corners to a middle ground in damper settings. It's easy for the end user to adjust to their liking. Very nice quality shocks, but I'm not a fan of the piston rod being in the direct path to road debris. Seems like it would be detrimental to the longevity of the shock with the debris constantly being wiped off by the seal. I'm sure King know's better than I in this regard though. 

All in all this was a pleasure to work on. If all I had to do was rebuild OM603's for a living I'd have a great time. I love these motors.

Thanks again for reading! 

Monday, September 25, 2017

W463: 1996 Puch Worker G350 Turbodiesel - Preventive Maintenance, Engine Work, Suspension Work, Small Details

I've come to the realization I haven't posted about this particular truck at all. Which I guess is fine because nobody would know about it, but it's pictures are the bane of phone's storage capacity. With that, if you have slow internet, I forgive you.

It's a 1996 Puch Worker G350 TD / 350GDT / WHATEVER TD - unique in that everything is designated "Puch G" rather than being in typical Mercedes G garb. Color's sweet too. It was some sort of Swiss military Alpine truck.

The Toyota that dragged this behemoth down from Canada on a uhaul trailer had 10 years/100k miles removed from it's service life in the effort. The trailer blew a tire somewhere in Indiana - which if you don't know is absolutely the most boring place in Earth. All in all, how the owner of both these vehicles managed the trip without blowing blood vessels in his brain from the experience is a miracle. Me on the other hand - had to come in on a Sunday.......

So the main thing with this truck was to go about a bunch of preventive maintenance to ensure the longevity of the truck. This does have the 3.5L OM603 - which is notorious for bending rods. In most cases, the engines produced around 96 and after have the updated rods and they're good to go. BUT, they have a different problem... just like the red G, the headgaskets let go for the Cyl 1 oil passage. Severity of the failure depends how long it's let go. If it's taken care of preemptively like this one, it won't cause any problems. If it's left to fester and burn oil slowly like what I believe happened with the red one - a sudden failure can occur and pump 8 liters of oil through the exhaust.

Here's what I'm starting with - 315k miles of noble service.

This engine has never had a spa day in it's life, nor has the truck for that matter. That's OK though, she's getting the full Austrian.

There are a few missing clips, worn rubber hoses, etc that will be taken care of as the work in completed. The truck will be relatively maintenance free outside of filter service's and oil changes. Can see the delivery valve holder brackets are missing on the injection pump - WHY?! Irritating to no end when people don't complete their work.

State of affairs underneath the air cleaner

How's this for some quality exhaust work? Broke the stud trying to remove the turbo? No problem, guy, I've got the solution!

Exhaust leak at the manifold flex pipe - I'm attributing this to the additional stresses/vibrations caused by the exhaust bouncing around everywhere. The exhaust brace is attached to the rearward manifold by two studs (both of which were missing).

Progressively stripping her down

fuel pre-filter looks like it hasn't been done in a decade - I can only imagine how the main filter looks internallly.

Turbo out of the way, sure makes life considerably easier doing the motor mounts with it out of the way. In some cases, depending how collapsed they are, they're nearly impossible to do without getting the turbo off the engine.

And here's where I make it a point to skip every major detail regarding cyl head removal as I don't want to lose track of what I'm doing. One cyl head bolt was extremely corroded and it's removal destroyed one of my triple squares...and of course Snap On doesn't want to replace it. Cyl head bolt in question is the one that considerably rusty in the pic below.

So I'll leave this here and write up the next installment once I get my pics and life in order. Figure by the end of the week I'll have enough sit down time to put something up.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read! Comments and feedback welcome!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

R107: 1985 Mercedes 500SL "Barn Find" Rescue

So I'll be running a new series posts in the next couple weeks on a 96 Puch Worker and this "barn find" R107. I may be alternating back and forth between the pair in posts, we'll see what time allows for me. In the mean time - this is an 85 Euro Spec 500SL. It's has NAm lights, but all of the vacuum adjustment bits are in place.

She's been sitting for the better part of 15 years - last registration was 2010, but the owner figured he would be able to drive it out of storage so registered it and failed. So it sat 7 more years before it was sold to a good friend of mine. I'm excited to get this beast running again and I'm sure he's just as excited to be bringing back an otherwise unmolested original with 35k miles.

She does have some cosmetic imperfections - namely dents and scratches throughout the body from sitting in a fairly active storage area. They look terrible, but I'm of the opinion that they could be brought out by a good PDR guy. Whatever we can do to save the original paint to the car. I'll document this the best that I can!

Last "official" registration before the  2010 tags was 93...... She's been sitting!

She's somewhat of a rare bird with options. Has heated leather seats, ABS, and a full jump seat set in the rear.


Here's the engine bay - this will be detailed up the best that I can (I'm not a detail guy by any means) - but all the rubber will be replaced and the entire engine gone through to ensure proper and reliable running.

Sorry ole girl, I'm not cleaning you....

Here's a quick shot of the cam lobe through the oil fill. This engine looks like it was extremely well taken care of. No sludge, no cam scoring, no rust, nothing. The oil also looks brand new on the dipstick, which is a great sign.

We'll see what I can do to just get the old girl fired up for the first time. I think I'll make it a point to just give it an oil change, stick a battery in it, and see where I'll go from there. I need to make sure the running gear is in good order before I get carried away with anything else. I'm eager to get going on this and the upcoming G project.