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Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Do It Yourself Links & Resources > Restoration Projects & Long-Term Builds

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2014, 08:30 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
Big black diesel Benz

This is going to be an abbreviated version of my build. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty and all the details, check out the more detailed version on Stanceworks.

In May of last year, I set out to find a new project. I had my heart set on a '95 W124 with the OM606. I also wanted black paint and a leather interior, which made finding one that met my criteria a little difficult. I did eventually find one, flew down to San Francisco, and limped it back home, with the heater jammed on full blast and the kickdown switch nonoperational. It was an entertaining 11 hour drive



Aside from the aforementioned issues, the car drove great, and a new duo-valve and a kickdown switch fixed what ailed it. It appeared to have been well cared-for for most of its life, but had gone through a rough patch. The last owner or owners (it changed hands three or four times in the year before I owned it) did not take much care of it at all, and it was absolutely disgusting inside and out:




Clearly some serious detailing was in order. The interior was so gross that I actually had to resort to scraping the coating of sludge off the interior surfaces with a screwdriver. On the exterior, the chrome fender trim immediately went into the scrap pile. The paint was in various states of disrepair. Most of the car got wetsanded, followed by Meguiars 105/205 and Griot's Best in Show wax. The right front fender was in bad shape, so I resprayed it. It now looked like a car again:


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  #2  
Old 09-13-2014, 08:41 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
Now that I had a proper Mercedes-Benz, it was time to start messing it up. First order of business: GTFO peely chrome wheels! I snagged a set of rare MAE Crown Jewel Monoblocks from a guy on VWVortex:


They made the car look more than a little bit like a monster truck (which I did eventually remedy):


I decided I needed some thump in the trunk, so I had FI Car Audio build this monster:



That big beast and a bunch of other crap got themselves installed in a custom enclosure I built along the left trunk wall. It's as compact an enclosure as I could come up with, and it eats a lot less space in the trunk than you'd expect:



The other gear you see there is a Sundown Audio SAZ-1200.1 powering the sub (1200W RMS into a single speaker is awesome ), and a Sundown SAX-125.2 powering the front soundstage. Speaking of the front speakers, I snagged a set of Image Dynamics CTX-6.5CSs, and mounted them in the factory locations:




All the music comes from a Kenwood KIV-BT901, which I like a fair bit, and doesn't look too out of place in the dash:
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:03 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
Now it was time for the fun part, setting up the suspension. I hadn't initially intended on going this direction, but I discovered much to my chagrin that my driveway is too steep for the car to get up, even with stock suspension. So, though ordinarily I might have just done a set of H&Rs, it was clear I needed to do something special. On the kind advice of Eurow and a couple of others on StanceWorks, I decided to go for air ride.

That said, I was not remotely interested in ruining the car's handling, and I spent a not-insignificant amount of time drawing up charts and graphs to figure out the best setup to retain the car's wonderful drivability. I also went through not a small number of mockup designs before settling on what I have now.

First, more stuff needed to go into the trunk. The compressor (a Viair 444c) and a manifold with the pressure sensor, safety valve, and so forth were hidden behind the audio gear:


To try and take up as little trunk space as possible, I hung the air tank and manifold off the parcel shelf:


All visible air lines are 3/8" copper, and everywhere else is 3/8" DOT air line. Fittings are DOT-rated PTC.

I chose Slam Specialties SS-5 air bags, which are simply fantastic:


...and I had these brackets fabbed up to adapt the air bags to the factory spring pockets:


The brackets required a lot of trimming and trial-and-error to get everything to fit, but eventually I nailed it:



For air ride management duties, I selected AccuAir's e-Level system, which operates in practice much like Mercedes' own hydropneumatic systems. A height sensor is mounted to each corner of the car, which together continuously measure where the suspension is sitting. A small computer (hidden behind the manifold above) takes this data and makes minute adjustments to keep the car level and at the correct height. A small rocker switch is mounted in the interior of the car to move between three height presets. It works beautifully:

The car drives lowered 3" from stock, and aired-out, it sits 4 1/2" down.

Last edited by TheAlmightySam; 09-13-2014 at 09:20 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2014, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 669
Wow dude.....

...you hit it out of the park! Without going to Stanceworks for the details, what's your mileage on the car?
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2014, 09:11 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
Aside from a bunch of little modifications that I won't belabor you with, that's pretty much how the car sits today. It drives beautifully, and is just unbelievably pleasant for a lowered car. There's lots more planned (and some stuff I'm working on now), but that's for another day.

Some more shots of the big bastard:









That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by!
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2014, 09:18 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by PARSHOOT1 View Post
...you hit it out of the park! Without going to Stanceworks for the details, what's your mileage on the car?
Thank you! I bought him with 165,000 on the clock, and he's got 170,000 now.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2015, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 7
that car says bad a!!
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2015, 07:05 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
^ Thanks! It's a seriously fun car to own. I've been blessed to have gotten some attention this year from blogs / car magazines as far away as Russia, which is incredibly flattering.

Tasks upcoming include refinishing the MAE wheels, redoing a bit of the trunk install, rectifying Mercedes's absolutely abysmal choice of speaker positions, and some work in the interior. I'll keep you guys posted!
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2015, 10:48 PM
TheAlmightySam's Avatar
Lower is better.
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 97
A couple of new shots from yesterday:


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