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  #1  
Old 07-05-2012, 03:39 PM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DC Metro/Maryland
Posts: 3,096
Steering boxes

I've been resealing and adjusting w123 steering boxes for a few months now and decided to try my hands on a w126. It's not that much diffferent from the w123 boxes except for the automatic compensation piston.

So if anyone is interested in a w126 box I'm going to keep the pricing the same as the w123 boxes. $150 + core (?)+ shipping ($30 to lower 48).

Then only thing I can't quite figure out is a decent core charge. I was charging $30 (because that's how much it costs me to pull them from a JY) but then I found out that the average shipping cost is $30. So, people really have no incentive to ship me their cores (which I desperately need ) because they'll be getting $30 after spending $30).

Any ideas guys? I don't want to overcharge any forum members, but I also want to get decent cores from running vehicles (the cores I've gotten from JY cars have sometimes been full of sludge and it takes hours to clean that crap up).

I haven't tried as of yet, but the w124 chassis seems to have about 10 different steering boxes and I haven't see enough or been able to play with one. Is there any use in trying to reseal and adjust these?

EDIT: has anyone tried installing a w126 box on a w123? I think I'm going to take the last one I have and put it on my DD.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2012, 03:53 PM
Stretch's Avatar
Gettin' outa chokey
 
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Well I think you need to punish them!

Seriously - I'd put the core charge at at least twice the cost of your time and effort and cost of getting one from the junk yard. If you get two for one on a deal where someone can't be bothered to send the old one back at least you are ahead a bit.

How many of these are you doing a month then?

If I could get hold of old steering boxes for 30 dollars I'd go into business - here the starting price is about 70 euros - there's not enough margin for a side line here - people wouldn't pay 200 euros plus for a reconditioned steering box here from someone who isn't a company anyway...
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:16 PM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
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Location: DC Metro/Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army View Post
Well I think you need to punish them!

Seriously - I'd put the core charge at at least twice the cost of your time and effort and cost of getting one from the junk yard. If you get two for one on a deal where someone can't be bothered to send the old one back at least you are ahead a bit.
Yeah. I was pricing the cores at cost initially because I figured that's exactly what a core should cost. It should really be a guarantee that you aren't going to end up being a supplier instead of a refurbisher.
Quote:
How many of these are you doing a month then?
This last month I did 5. But I've only got two more w126 boxes right now. One's done and the other I haven't touched yet. So unless I go get a box from a yard or someone sends me one, I'm almost dried up right now.
Quote:
If I could get hold of old steering boxes for 30 dollars I'd go into business - here the starting price is about 70 euros - there's not enough margin for a side line here - people wouldn't pay 200 euros plus for a reconditioned steering box here from someone who isn't a company anyway...
Yeah, I hear you on that one. It's more of a nice hobby for me, that I can make a little money on the side to improve the quality of my tool chest and my cars.

My local JYs are a little pricey from what I've seen. I've got 7 within a 2 hour radius that are all owned and operated by the same family. Sometimes the prices are just ridiculous. The one that gets my ire up is $7.50 per injector line. Which means almost $40 for the hard injector lines for a OM617! You can get a hood for $50! And each switch out of a car is $7. Which explains why I don't have many switches laying around.

A month or so ago up near York, Pa I hit up a JY and got a drivers seat bottom from a w126, two Palomino visors, 5 switches, a complete tool kit from a w123, two flawless w123 sedan taillight assemblies, two steering pump lids, a bunch of radiator mounting hardware, some door locking rods and a hood star for $25. Man, that was the best JY trip I've ever had. And there was only three Mercs in the whole yard.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:20 PM
Stretch's Avatar
Gettin' outa chokey
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martureo View Post
...

A month or so ago up near York, Pa I hit up a JY and got a drivers seat bottom from a w126, two Palomino visors, 5 switches, a complete tool kit from a w123, two flawless w123 sedan taillight assemblies, two steering pump lids, a bunch of radiator mounting hardware, some door locking rods and a hood star for $25. Man, that was the best JY trip I've ever had. And there was only three Mercs in the whole yard.
That is amazing - just wait until our resident JY "desert rat" Charmalu reads that!
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:38 PM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DC Metro/Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army View Post
That is amazing - just wait until our resident JY "desert rat" Charmalu reads that!
haha. I've been told by the locals that the yard in question almost never has German cars. I was alerted by a roommate who frequented the yard while I was living in the area.

The best part about that trip was the w123 was a 300D that had been mostly ruined by people who didn't know how to pick parts from it. The dash and cluster had been smashed/ripped by a claw hammer, the engine bay showed several large prybay marks where a set of box end wrenches would've been sufficient, the seats both front and rear had been bent from someone trying to remove them with force, the sunroof panel had been cut with a knife and was still in place. The trunk lock had been bashed in and prybar marks were all around, but no one had been able to get into the trunk. The rear bench seat was pulled back and I could see evidence of someone trying to cut into the metal behind it (I guess until they realized that's where the fuel tank was). I simply popped off the First Aid kit tray, reached inside the trunk and popped it open. Inside was the complete tool kit, a few other nice tools and some original paperwork on the car.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2012, 04:57 PM
greazzer's Avatar
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Location: South Carolina
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Hey,

Any luck on sourcing whatever one would need to rebuild / reseal a Mechanical Steering Box for a W123. I got one and it might be better to rebuild it before putting it in the car. You should have my email. Shoot me an email. Thanks !
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2012, 09:36 PM
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On the 123 boxes, does the re-seal and adjustment take out the slop they develop? I have a 300 steering box that needs refreshing at some point.
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1985 300D-189k The 'UD', Ivory and Pinkamino
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2012, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army View Post
That is amazing - just wait until our resident JY "desert rat" Charmalu reads that!
Yeah, I read that.

I think a steering box is a lot more than $30 out here in La La land.


Plus getting all that stuff for $25. Yikes, unheard of.

Charlie
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Anyone that thinks a 240D is slow drives too fast.

80 240D Naturally Exasperated, 4-Spd 388k DD 150mph spedo 3:58 Diff

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  #9  
Old 07-06-2012, 07:28 AM
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Germantown, TN

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Current Car --- 05/2012 1984 300D Light Ivory, Red interior
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2012, 07:57 AM
Posting since Jan 2000
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,198
Make the core charge plenty high, but make sure you make it easy for them to return the core to you. Send them a preprinted label with your address and everything. You don't have to pay shipping, but just make it easy.

In your sales pitch, stress that you are not trying to make money on cores, you just want to make darn sure you get them back. Be up front about the core charge with everyone so there are no surprises. If they understand that it is a deposit they will get back, and there's enough chips at stake, they'll return it.

$150 for steering box that has been correctly rebuilt and set up is a fair price. That should be enough to attract business. I think people will gladly return the core if it's not difficult and if the core charge is high enough.

Just don't do it like *********. I bought some calipers from them and they didn't mention core charge or that they were rebuilt parts until it was on the involce. THEN they didn't give any information whatsoever about returning the cores for a core charge refund. It was like pulling teeth to get them to send me an RMA number and address where to send them. It was as if they were DARING me to send them back. I will never do business with them again.

Good luck with your rebuilding business. I dissected a 123 box a long time ago and thought about doing what you're doing, but just didn't have time in those days.
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:01 AM
Posting since Jan 2000
 
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Also, Army made a good point. He said many people won't buy such an item from an individual. Do a little marketing. Make yourself a Logo if it's nothing more than something done in Microsoft Paint with your initials in a triangle or something. Then print it onto some sticky back labels with you address underneath.

Put it the artwork in your emails to people and slap the label on your box when you ship it.

You don't have to be the size of General Motors to be seen as a "company" to use Army's words. Perception is reality. You're not trying to deceive anyone, but just put forth an image of something besides martureo's basement.

Again, best of luck. You never know, you might be traded on the NASDAQ in a few years.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:02 AM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
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Location: DC Metro/Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildest View Post
On the 123 boxes, does the re-seal and adjustment take out the slop they develop? I have a 300 steering box that needs refreshing at some point.
Most often yes. I have run across a few boxes that still had a bit of "looseness" to them. When you try to tighten them they end up binding a bit.

Those boxes you can fix to the point of being new, but you'll most likely have to replace the working piston which at ~$400 is the cost of a professionally reconditioned box.

I want to make it clear that the rebuild will not be able to correct the slop in all boxes. It makes most boxes tighter if not almost perfect and with the replacement of all the seals it assures they won't leak.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:07 AM
A guy who likes to Benz
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DC Metro/Maryland
Posts: 3,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Air&Road View Post
Also, Army made a good point. He said many people won't buy such an item from an individual. Do a little marketing. Make yourself a Logo if it's nothing more than something done in Microsoft Paint with your initials in a triangle or something. Then print it onto some sticky back labels with you address underneath.

Put it the artwork in your emails to people and slap the label on your box when you ship it.

You don't have to be the size of General Motors to be seen as a "company" to use Army's words. Perception is reality. You're not trying to deceive anyone, but just put forth an image of something besides martureo's basement.

Again, best of luck. You never know, you might be traded on the NASDAQ in a few years.
I dunno, I'll think about it (read: ask my wife). I kinda like the type of business certain members have going on this board with injectors and the like. Less hassle, dealing with forum members and individuals and more often than not your reputation preceeds you.

I want to be able to build boxes for forum members at a decent rate, specifically as a kind of return on the amount of knowledge that's been delivered by the community. This site has saved my butt I don't know how many times.

And really, if the demand dries up I kinda want to be able to shrink back into obscurity.

Thanks for the advice though.
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I recondition w123/w126/w124 steering boxes! (post #7)



1984 300D "Elsa" odo reset 6/2011 111k
1983 300TD "Mitzi" ~268k OM603 powered
1995 E300 "Adelheid" 262k [Sold]
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2012, 08:18 AM
Posting since Jan 2000
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martureo View Post
I dunno, I'll think about it (read: ask my wife). I kinda like the type of business certain members have going on this board with injectors and the like. Less hassle, dealing with forum members and individuals and more often than not your reputation preceeds you.

I want to be able to build boxes for forum members at a decent rate, specifically as a kind of return on the amount of knowledge that's been delivered by the community. This site has saved my butt I don't know how many times.

And really, if the demand dries up I kinda want to be able to shrink back into obscurity.

Thanks for the advice though.

I like your style!
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