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!


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