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  #1  
Old 03-18-2016, 09:55 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
The W126 has returned

It has been awhile since I have been on the forum, glad to be back. Long story short, my old W126 came back to me after 3 owners and 10 years. Needless to say, had to take care of a few things to get it back into shape...

After driving the car for a couple of weeks, I decided it would make a fine daily driver. Even after 30+ cars these old Mercedes just had it right. I started by replacing all of the rubber items underneath.

In the pictures, you will see a couple boxes of goodies, the car dusty from storage, and the original suspension.

The W126 has returned-dustitoff.jpg

The W126 has returned-parts1.jpg

The W126 has returned-parts2.jpg

The W126 has returned-old.jpg


Right off the bat I realized I would need to at least correct the patches of rust so I picked up a HF pot-feed sandblaster. It came in handy, especially for the front sway bar and jack holes.

The W126 has returned-crustysway.jpg

Will continue on next post due to 5 attachment limit.
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #2  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:08 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
Pressing in the lower control arm bushings took a few tries. The first one I thought I had bent the cap edges beyond use, but ended up being able to tap around the circumference of the cap with a flat punch and hammer. I later learned the trick, which is to set the caps on the center bushing metal piece before you set the outside edges, at least with the LEMFÖRDER bushings. If you don't do this they will not set in the control arm correctly.

The W126 has returned-lowerlastcap.jpg

The W126 has returned-freshbushing.jpg

The guide rod mount bushings went together with little resistance:

The W126 has returned-rodmountbush.jpg

All other parts were sandblasted and painted:

The W126 has returned-painted.jpg

Looks pretty good all put back together, though not sure how long the rattle-can will hold up. One of these years I need to invest in a shop oven and powder coating setup...

The W126 has returned-new.jpg

There weren't really any other major hang-ups on the front besides the replacement guide rod mount body nuts releasing from their retainers, see this post for that issue:

W126 guide rod bushing... need advice.

The springs came out easily with the cheap version spring compressor, though you really have to compress them to get them out of there.
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #3  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:22 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
I did find a nice way to get the upper control arm nut back on without too much fussing around. I took a patch of tape and taped the nut on a closed end wrench before sticking it down by the fusebox, this prevented dropping the nut and getting it started with only the wrench in the hole.

The W126 has returned-uppercontroltrick.jpg

Next up was the engine and transmission mounts, though I didn't do the engine dampers this time around.

The W126 has returned-enginemounts.jpg

The W126 has returned-enginemountsdiff.jpg

The rear subframe was removed completely, one flex disc and the center bushing were destroyed.

The W126 has returned-oldrear.jpg

The W126 has returned-norear.jpg

Taking the rear out wasn't too terrible. Remove the driveshaft, rear differential, and axles. Support center of subframe where the differential was. Support each trailing arm while removing shocks, sway-bar links, and calipers, when these are loose you can set the arm on the resting tab. Leave the front mounts on, and drop the rear of the subframe down until the springs fall out. Jack it back into 90 degree alignment for removal of the front bolts and you can work on the assembly much easier when it is out of the car.
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #4  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:29 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
I tried to make a hub socket out of a piece of pipe, but you really need the correct tool for this job. I ended up just buying the correct tool as setting the rear bearings took quite a lot of force.

The W126 has returned-ghettotool1.jpg

Pulling the hubs:

DO NOT HIT THE ASSEMBLY FROM BACK WITH ANYTHING

Use something on the front with a slide-hammer. Here I made one from an engine stand and old tire iron:

The W126 has returned-puller.jpg

Hubs removed:

The W126 has returned-oldhubs.jpg

All components were sandblasted and painted:

The W126 has returned-pimed.jpg

The W126 has returned-paintedrear.jpg
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #5  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:35 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
Pulling bearings from rear hub:

The W126 has returned-removebearing.jpg

New races pressed in the trailing arm:

The W126 has returned-races.jpg

Here is where that pipe actually came in handy:

The W126 has returned-hubnut.jpg

The W126 has returned-toolactuallycameinhandy.jpg

Setting the runout, 1 mark on this gauge is .001 which is the lower limit of the spec.
The W126 has returned-runout.jpg
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #6  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:39 AM
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Wow that's some NICE work!
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:41 AM
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Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,398
Looking good! Which sandblaster did you end up getting? Any chance of a picture of it?
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2003 Volvo V70 5 Speed
1997 E290 Turbo Diesel Wagon -traded for above, an amazingly comfortable car to drive, great drivetrain, but the rust, oh my god the rust
1992 BMW 525i -traded in
1990 Silver 300TE -Sold Loved the wagon, hated the M103
1985 Grey 380SE Diesel Conversion, 2.47 rear end, ABS -Sold, really should have kept this one
1979 Silver 300D "The Silver Slug" -Sold
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:48 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
One of the worst things about the rear was the parking brake. Normally, this should be the easy part of the job, right? This attitude is likely why I had to remove the rear brakes four different times.

The W126 has returned-parking.jpg

The Meyle parking brake kit was of good fit and quality, though I was surprised to see it made in China. I would buy it again, the springs are good quality and it fit without issue.

I must have totally forgot how to install Bendix style shoe brakes, as it took me quite awhile to remember you put the top spring on, then attach the shoes to the back plate, then set bottom spring. After this was settled, I put the discs back on and attended to some other bolts underneath. First mistake. The cables are actually slightly different in size. I noticed this, and guessed which side to put them on. Wrong. The passenger side is the slightly longer one.

The W126 has returned-wrongcable.jpg

The other issues I had were related to springs rubbing, back plates rubbing, and setting the brakes too tight on initial adjustment. Of course after I went through the final pulling of the rotor for adjustment I found out you can just use a screwdriver through the bolt hole to adjust the parking brake.

The underside of the car took quite a beating when I owned it in my youth. This car has been off-road more than most of the Jeeps you see at your local mall. Here you can see some of the damage from rolling over logs and rocks. The undercoat and rusted areas had to be removed until fresh metal was showing, then new primer and undercoat applied.

The W126 has returned-seams.jpg

The W126 has returned-logs.jpg

The reason I used silver paint on those rear subframe parts is I had quite a few cans of the "aluminum" left over from another project. I was hopeful it wouldn't be too obvious from the road, it seems to be OK. I'm not sure how well it will hold up, someday in the future I would like to swap the early subframe for late, so time will tell.

The W126 has returned-shiney.jpg
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #9  
Old 03-18-2016, 10:55 AM
Breckman99's Avatar
TURBODIESEL
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 541
This morning I was able to get out and play in the snow before the plows were out:

The W126 has returned-front.jpg

The W126 has returned-rear.jpg

Thank you bentrod and dude99. As far as that sandblaster goes it is this model:

40 lb. Pressurized Abrasive Blaster

Used 20% off to get it for $80, which is well worth the time savings. Just make sure you have 20+ CFM of dry air to run the thing, I was able to do the small stuff with the 5.5 CFM, but the rear subframe I had to get a big compressor out to run constantly, but started to get moisture in the pot after a couple hours of constant use.
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1983 Mercedes 300SD
1987 Mercedes 300SDL
2001 VW Passat 2.8 AWD
2007 OM642 Jeep WK 4x4

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  #10  
Old 03-18-2016, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 3,605
You say the Myle part was made in China. I recently opened some Febi & Mylee parts where the package listed China and the part itself said Germany. One looked like the Mercedes star was ground off. There is a lot of variation in quality and brand apparently does not denote quality.

Everything Lemforder has been fine except that the captured nut that holds the guide rod mount to the body came apart. I'll buy a wrench and modify it to get the nut out and begin again.
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85SD 240K & stopped counting. 84SD 180,000. Thinking of painting both.
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