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  #1  
Old 07-02-2007, 06:23 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 1,420
It's slowly coming together

A little before and after. Maybe this thread will inspire me when I'm feeling overwhelmed by repair work. After all, I've made a lot of progress so far!

To start with, my wife and I picked up this car for $600. The seller was asking $800. In hindsight, I paid too freaking much for it, as it's basically a moving parts car. On the other hand, we live in Seattle, and these diesel Mercedes seem to be worth their weight in gold around here, even when they've been used as a rat condo for ten years. (No, mine has no evidence of rat infestation, but it couldn't have been far off.)

Here's the beast in all it's glory, after getting it to my friend's house for repairs. (I arrived white-knuckled and in need of a stiff drink, thanks to the incredible amount of slop in the steering system.)



And here it is in it's current state. Nice fresh tires and freshly refurbished Bundts. It doesn't look like it, but there are a number of changes. The driver side fender trim and front door trim have been replaced with used, but intact pieces. The grill has also been replaced with a straight, non-broken assembly, and is topped with a shiny new OE hoodstar. (This car without a hoodstar is just wrong. It's like a kitten without whiskers.)



Under the hood, fresh oil cooler hoses are in place, the power steering system, which lacked any filter when I obtained the car has been flushed with several quarts of power steering fluid, before installing a fresh filter and re-filling the system. Numerous gaskets and o-rings have been removed and replaced in order to prevent a recurrence of the degreasing project that required a pressure washer and several gallons of degreaser. The valves have been adjusted, despite the fairly worn camshaft. An OE thermostat of unknown age was replaced, and filthy green coolant along with several clots of white chalky deposits were flushed from the cooling system before refilling with approriate Zerex coolant.

Beneath the car, every bit of the steering system was replaced with new components. Both tie rod assemblies and the drag link were severely bent, and all suffered from joints that were so loose, they rattled. The idler arm and steering damper were also replaced before adjusting the steering box to eliminate the 2.5 inches of play that still existed in the steering wheel after replacing all of the steering components.

Sadly, at this time I have faced another setback. Despite suggestions from fellow forum members that my bushings appeared serviceable, I've been denied service at the alignment shop. They will not even attempt to align the car without at least installing new lower control arm bushings, so a completely front-end rebuild is in the works.

More photos and details of the other work that I've done will follow...
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- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #2  
Old 07-02-2007, 06:54 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 1,420
Fun with seats...

Well, the seats in this car have seen better days. The idea behind buying this car is to make it function as a daily driver, not for it to become some sort of garage queen. I don't even have a garage, anymore. The driver seat, in particular, was badly deteriorated.





Now that I think about it, badly deteriorated is a serious understatement. This is the sort of seat condition where you do anything necessary for your butt. In my case, it meant adopting a nice passenger seat from the local Pull A Part for $16.50, and using it as an organ donor, of sorts. It's comfortable, and it looks pretty decent. I was able to salvage the seat back frame, as well as the arm rest and seat rails. Everything else is straight from the donor seat.



Yes, the seat is actually tobacco, and the rest of the car is bamboo. Any port in a storm, right? It will do until something better comes along, and my butt doesn't mind if it's the wrong colour.
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- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #3  
Old 07-02-2007, 11:09 AM
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams4458 View Post
Fun with seats..

Yes, the seat is actually tobacco, and the rest of the car is bamboo. Any port in a storm, right? It will do until something better comes along, and my butt doesn't mind if it's the wrong colour.
Interesting choice of words. I probably could not have said it better. Enjoy your new ride.
Going through all the effort to recondition a car acts as a bonding agent as well.

Last edited by barry123400; 07-02-2007 at 11:24 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2007, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams4458 View Post
It will do until something better comes along........
I think that is what my wife is thinking.............

Nice project, and it is coming along nicely. I happen to have a soft spot for the NA 5cyl diesel in these cars. Almost as simple as a 240D.
Keep posting to this thread as you continue to work on the car. These threads are a very enjoyable read {with pics, of course}....
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2007, 11:29 AM
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Thumbs up

Awesome project report.

I feel your pain 100%...Im going through similar trials and tribulations.
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-------------------------------
'85 300D, 'Lance',250k, ... winter beater (100k on franken-Frybrid 3 Valve Kit)
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2007, 11:45 AM
TheDon's Avatar
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nice colour.. and keep up the good work
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2007, 12:00 PM
Lacker of Diesel Knowledg
 
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Location: Alpine, NY (central Upstate)
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Lookin much better. Have you done all of the front end work yourself? Any special tools needed in that?
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:00 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Wickham View Post
Lookin much better. Have you done all of the front end work yourself? Any special tools needed in that?
Generally, no special tools were required. A five pound hammer has almost always work for me to pop apart joints. On this car, the drag link joint on the driver's side absolutely refused to release its grip on the car. I ended up using a pickle fork on it, and even that took twenty minutes of pounding. In the end, the cheap Harbor Freight pickle fork was destroyed, but I did managed to get the sucker apart.

Now, when I say everything in the steering system was bent, I mean really bent. The drag links and steering shocks in the photo should give you an idea of what I mean. Both tire rod assemblies were bent three times worse. One side was practically a U-shape.

I drove this car 30 miles with these parts installed!



That steering shock was long gone, by the way. It fell in and out with no resistance, just a loud clunk as it reached the end of travel while I shook it straight up and down. It was quite amusing.
__________________
- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread


Last edited by KAdams4458; 07-03-2007 at 12:10 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:09 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyL View Post
I think that is what my wife is thinking.............
I hope my wife doesn't get to that point.
I doubt it will happen, though. After all, she actually did all of the media blasting on the wheels, and she also pressure washed all of the mold and grime off of the exterior. I can prove it. I have photographic evidence!

Would you believe that the day after we were married, she went with me to the salvage yard to get parts for the 300D? She also helped me load the dirty parts in to her car.

__________________
- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #10  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:12 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 1,420
Everyone, thanks for letting me know what you think. I just sort of felt like I needed something to help me keep track of the project without overwhelming me. I'll keep the thread updated.
__________________
- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #11  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:48 AM
Jim B.'s Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams4458 View Post

Would you believe that the day after we were married, she went with me to the salvage yard to get parts for the 300D? She also helped me load the dirty parts in to her car.

No, I don't believe it. There are no women that good !!
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2007, 06:33 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 1,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
No, I don't believe it. There are no women that good !!
AH! Well she is standing there, and using my media blast cabinet. You think a woman willing to beadblast parts for several hours isn't also willing to hit up a salvage yard with me? I knew I should have snapped a photo of her at the yard.

I love my wife. Thankfully she loves me and the 300D. In fact, she sort of picked it. I was a bit hesitant about it at first. Who am I kidding? I'm still hesitant about it!
__________________
- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #13  
Old 07-07-2007, 07:32 PM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 1,420
Well, it's been several days, and I've been busy. Unfortunately, not with the car. I placed an online parts order several days ago, and the parts should be arriving on Monday. The tracking number indicates that the package has arrived in Seattle all ready, but of course, they won't deliver it on a Saturday. It makes me dream of breaking in to some UPS building and retrieving my package early.

Package contents:

*(2) sets of lower control arm bushings (This is the big project. With these, I might just get the shop to align the car so we can start using it.)

*Primary and secondary fuel filters (lack pre-filter and loosing speed up hills? I sure hope this does the trick.)

*(1) Fuel tank strainer gasket (Just in case I pull the strainer)

*(2) Meters of injector return line (badly needed)

*(1) Shift linkage bushing (I had a brain fart and ordered only one last time, even though I needed two.)

*(1) Transmission filter kit

My only big concern right now are the lower control arm bushings. They look like they'll be loads of fun to replace. Thankfully, I have a 20 ton shop press and air tools to aid in disassembling the suspension. With any luck, I can have it wrapped up by Tuesday.
__________________
- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #14  
Old 07-23-2007, 09:13 AM
KAdams4458's Avatar
Mmm! Diesel!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Snohomish, WA
Posts: 1,420
July 23, 2007 Update

I drove down to my friend's house to work on the car again. I hate driving down I-5. And will someone please tell me how in the heck a 4 cylinder Kia Sportage only gets 20 MPG on the freakin' highway? They should have named it the Suckage. Holy crap.

Well, I successfully installed a bunch of fuel line, and installed a second replacement gasket on the power steering pump cap. The first one swelled up for some reason. If this one does it, I swear I'm going to replace it with a home-brewed cork gasket.

I got a few feel good vibes off of doing the simple things, and decided to tackle the transmission fluid and filter, as well as the shifter bushings. Clearly, I need to learn some foul German words, because shouting four letter words at the car in English apparently doesn't help it to understand that you want the freakin' bushing to go in, not pop back out bounce out from beneath the car, forcing me to go fetch it each time. Just what are those bushings made of? Flubber?

The fluid and filter change went a little better until I discovered that my none of the crush gaskets I bought for the car are even remotely the correct size. Of course, by this time the parts store in BFE, Washington are all closed, and so I killed time for the rest of the evening chasing what must be 20 years of dirt from the car by scrubbing various filthy interior parts with soap, water, and old toothbrushes. The following morning, I found one store in town that actually had crush gaskets of the correct size, and purchased two of them for the sum of $4.23. WTF! What? They're copper, not freakin' gold! Sure, the wrong size ones are only $0.10 each, but the ones I need are how much? I haven't been more bewildered since... Well, that story isn't fit for public.

To make a long story short, I managed to get everything buttoned back up, and the transmission does shift much better. The gear selector also functions perfectly, as now the gear selection is precise, and the car no longer slips out of park on hills. The bad news it that I have to take it apart again, because clearly I messed up the neutral safety switch, as the car will now only start in reverse.

In other news, my Mercedes clearly has an expensive drinking habit. The wonderful, and I might add, completely non-functional Chrysler POS excuse for a climate control module leaks coolant badly enough that my car requires half a gallon of coolant added to it after running for fifteen minutes. At $12 per gallon, I'm pretty certain the car needs to break that habit, since it's burning more in coolant than it is in fuel. Does anyone have a suggestion for bypassing that pile of junk? I'm not exactly ready to shell out $450 for the electronic conversion right now.
__________________
- K.C.Adams

'77 300D Euro Delivery
OM617 turbo / 4-speed swap
404 Milanbraun Metallic / 134 Dattel MB-Tex

Current status:
* Undergoing body work


My '77 300D progress thread

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  #15  
Old 07-23-2007, 10:57 AM
funola's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,113
How did the bend happen? Hit a curb hard? Were the rim(s) bent also?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KAdams4458 View Post
Generally, no special tools were required. A five pound hammer has almost always work for me to pop apart joints. On this car, the drag link joint on the driver's side absolutely refused to release its grip on the car. I ended up using a pickle fork on it, and even that took twenty minutes of pounding. In the end, the cheap Harbor Freight pickle fork was destroyed, but I did managed to get the sucker apart.

Now, when I say everything in the steering system was bent, I mean really bent. The drag links and steering shocks in the photo should give you an idea of what I mean. Both tire rod assemblies were bent three times worse. One side was practically a U-shape.

I drove this car 30 miles with these parts installed!



That steering shock was long gone, by the way. It fell in and out with no resistance, just a loud clunk as it reached the end of travel while I shook it straight up and down. It was quite amusing.
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83 240D 4 spd manual- parted out then junked
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