Thursday, March 30, 2017

W211: More Cosmetic Updates!

Most of the work involved on this particular car are "cosmetic" - which is sad, because if you managed to screw up a W211 I can only begin to imagine how bad any other car would look.

Firstly, it's really not that expensive to get some bolt on AMG tips off ebay. There are literally a few dozen choices for some cool quad tips that clamp onto the factory mufflers. This guy took the autozone special route - which ended up in the garbage..............

Realized I hadn't posted any pictures of the car in it's "before" state. Well, here they are. I think I'll do some before and afters at the same angle once she get's put back together.

No big deal, factory xenon's blacked out. I'm VERY glad this guy didn't black out the chrome, I wouldn't have been very happy trying to remove it.

Here's ultimately what's going on with the thing. The SBC has a problem building enough (AND MAINTAINING) pressure to properly actuate the brakes. I'm fairly confident a new accumulator would have solved this problem, but seeing as I'd like to drive the car around and take it on a few trips AND inevitably sell it..... I'm not going to risk someones life to save a couple bucks.

Codes are:
C26BB - Hydraulics Fault: Malfunction in pressure supply
C25D4 - Hydraulics Fault: No or insufficient pressure supply
C235A - Check component A7/3 (SBC hydraulic unit)
C26DE - Hydraulics Fault: Malfunction in pressure supply

Here's how the paint's turning out. All this is still cut, no final polishing so there are still little swirls here and there. I'm not doing a polish until I finish working on the thing.

Looking pretty good! Should look good once I put the wheels on. I'll be doing a resonator delete with a stainless X pipe using the factory mufflers. Should give it a little more throat without being obnoxious. Down the road, should I find a good deal on E55 mufflers, I'll put those on.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

W211: Cosmetic Progress

Okay, so this car has had it's fair share of tasteless cosmetic downgrades, so I figured it was good time to start removing the garbage VHT Niteshades the PO sprayed over the taillights.

This was done with a rag heavily soaked in acetone and some quick rubbing. Make sure you either remove the taillight, or mask very well. You don't want the acetone sitting in one spot, you want to rub quickly and avoid rubbing the bare plastic. The acetone WILL leave a dull finish on the plastic, that's fine. 

Next step is to take some rubbing compound and buff the lights. They'll return to their original clear luster. You can probably see my little buffing wheel on the drill in the trunk here. I use commercial 3M rubbing compound.

Short of that, we can see how damaged the paint is throughout the car. This thing has seen far too many car washes in it's day. The upper left corner of the hood is where I started - you can see the drastic difference between what I corrected and the rest of the hood. 

Same deal with the roof!

Little better view here.

Overall, I'm not expecting a perfect car - all things considered this thing is going to be pretty enough to be a nice cruiser and that's about it. It'll never be perfect, nor do I want it to be.

Because I stock ball joints for W211's (I do them often), I'll be doing the uppers and lowers on this car in the next day or so. Doesn't take me long and with the lack of service record I have for this, I believe it deserves it. I'm hoping those won't be famous last words. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

W211: I just bought a W211 with a bad SBC pump - OH JOY.

Okay, well, I did it. I bought a 2003 E500 SPORT. A "real" sport, meaning it has the heated steering wheel, LED tails, stiff sport suspension, xenon headlights, birdseye maple wood, aluminum cluster trim, etc etc. Essentially a very highly optioned W211 before you start getting into AMG territory. Which is fine by me, because this car was picked up for very little money.

The car isn't without faults and will take a bit of work to get back into good shape. Runs fantastic though. I'm considering making it the new Artisan support/daily vehicle. It's been time to retire the old DailyDiesel as the winters are catching up to it and I've decided a bit of speed never hurt anyone. We'll see if I like this enough to keep it around for a while and clean it up.

A list of needs!
- SBC Pump Assembly
- Driver Fog Light and Bumper Mesh Pieces
- A proper buff and detail job, paint is faded and it needs a good overall cleaning
- Wheels (I'll most likely put the 18" AMG's on this)
- Remove all the VHT Nightshades garbage from all the lights (restore headlights)
- Couple minute rust spots to fix, a door ding gone too far
- Driver door needs replacing. For some reason the bottom edge seam separated! Rough life
- BIG exhaust leak somewhere in the middle of the car
- Miscellaneous junk

Here's a pic of her loaded up on the trailer. I think it's got 20% tints, just like the current ride, so that's a huge plus.

Tucked into the garage for a better inspection and to make a list of any needs. I seem to have lucked out - new airmatic springs on all four corners and a fresh tune up was given to the car not too long ago.

Seeing as I had some time to burn, I started with the headlights. Takes 15 minutes to knock out both sides with MY method. No more yellowing thankfully. Can't stand it when these plastic lights go yellow. The xenons work great.

I had the car hooked up to Xentry to get an idea of what was going on in the car's computers and the rear SAM was throwing license plate light short codes. Both were blown out, but even with new bulbs wouldn't light up. So the trunk came apart and sure enough there was a rubbed through wire just above the SAM. Cleaned it up and viola - working lights. Threw some LED's in there instead of the normal incandescent stuff.

That's basically where I'm at with this thing. I've gotta find some sort of SBC to throw at this thing. Probably going to try and find a 2010 or newer build date assembly on ebay and see what happens. I'll probably work on getting the exhaust leak buttoned up as every time I start the car it's got that big V8 gurgle - can't have that sort of negativity in my life.

To be continued! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

OM603: Loose Crank Bolt Damage

A little while ago an 87 300SDL came in to repair some previously diagnosed suspension problems and a front main seal replacement. Little did I know what I was in for!

If this picture is a testament to what was pulled off the engine, I don't know what is.

On the left, is a new key for the harmonic balancer to slide into and be held in place on the crank. On the left, is what came off the engine.... At some point prior, the crank bolt had worked itself loose. This is the SECOND time (on 2 cars) it's happened on an OM603 for this particular owner. I've personally never had to deal with an OM603's front crank bolt working itself loose. Not even on those that have had front seal work done.

Removing the pulley usually requires a small puller to yank it off. It's not a press fit, but it is a very tight fitting pulley. This one just fell into my hands.....not good. Upon further inspection I found a few problems. 

Namely, a totally cracked off portion here which was somewhat held in by the rubber around it. A small screwdriver to catch it and I was easily able to pry it out.

The 2nd crack - same deal. The balancer show's no signs of abuse in these particular areas. Maybe this was throwing the pulley off balance and allowing for the bolt to work loose? No idea.

Broken key as in the first picture had a portion stuck in the key slot on the balancer. I think I've diagnosed the pulley wobble - the damn thing was shaving itself down! You can see the small lip on the inner section and the scoring on the inside of the pulley.

Another close up.

The outside of the pulley - the wobbling had worn through the front seal and the spring that's found in the seal was wearing a groove into the seal seat.

This story ended with me finding a good used balancer assembly and Mercedes apparently overnighted (I didn't ask for it to be) a new key for me to complete the work. Miraculously the crank snout had no serious damage and was able to accept a new key and pulley. The new pulley fit on the crank with no wobble and everything buttoned up beautifully. New oversize front seal went in, so should this car come back in the near future it'll give me an opportunity to check if the bolt had lost torque or if the engine is still leaking profusely. The only other fix for this would be a new balancer and a new crank - which is completely out of the question for this car.

Thanks for reading!