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  #1  
Old 12-14-2015, 08:24 AM
Delibes's Avatar
Drat, double drat!
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: EU/UAE/USA
Posts: 786
Done it again — W123 230TE Restoration - UAE

After a short-lived affair with a 6.9 as a daily driver, I could not reach an agreement with the owner on the price and found myself in the market again for a set of wheels in the UAE. While touring the Industrial Area in Al Ain, I noticed a familiar face...



What a find! I noticed that it had not moved for a while. Peeking into the interior, noticed the mileage (444,000km, about 287k) and the overall bad shape in the interior. In its defense, the car was 99% rust free. But there was this...



A sticker from the municipality! Later on I found out the car was heading for the junkyard if it was not moved from its current spot in the next three days. As I tried to decipher the Arabic message, a smiling man approached me.



"Salam Aleikkum!" —he said in a cheery tone. He happened to be a Mercedes mechanic and the current owner of the wagon. I asked if it was for sale, and he offered it to me for $1100. Apparently, it ran, so the next day I scheduled a test drive.

I soon found out that most of the rubber was gone and the brakes were weak; besides that, the car seemed solid and free of any pre-purchase red flags. Differential was a little bit noisy, but within tolerable levels. Engine and transmission were flawless. I gave him my business card and told him I'd call him that afternoon.

The Chairman at the Museum had a brilliant idea, yet a risky one. The owner would not budge under $1100, most likely because of my European provenance (Westerners = big money). So, following his advice, I phoned an offer of $550 that was immediately —yet politely— rejected, and proceeded with the Machiavellian plan: to send one of our workers, a friendly Pakistani kid, with an offer of $680 "for scrap". He accepted.

And thus, I am now part of the Cheap Wagon Club with a running, driving, braking 230TE in need of some rubber bits and a lot of cleaning.
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BATTLESHIP YAMATO [/COLOR]- Pearl white 2002 Hyundai Equus / Centennial / Mitsubishi Proudia - 203,653km - Bargain Korean Rolls-Royce, reliable UAE daily driver.
[UNNAMED] - DB040 Black 450SEL (033) - 94,000km - Former embassy car in Abu Dhabi. CURTAINS. Soon to replace the Equus as a daily car.
SIR ROGER - Solent Silver Volvo 1800S - 65,000 miles - Bought in Maine, shipped to the UAE and keeping as a hobby car.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2015, 08:56 AM
Mölyapina's Avatar
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Location: Chelmsford, Massachusetts
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Nice score and a good story on the acquisition .
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"Senior Luna, your sense of humor is still loco... but we love it, anyway." -rickymay ____ "Your sense of humor is still loco... " -MBeige ____ "Señor Luna, your sense of humor is quite järjetön" -Delibes

1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2015, 09:58 AM
is thinning the herd
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 3,319
M102 powered W123 is a really neat car to drive.

Nice find!
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68 280SL - 70 280SL - 70 300SEL 3.5 - 72 350SL - 72 280SEL 4.5 - 72 220 - 72 220D - 73 450SL - 84 230GE - 87 200TD - 90 190E 2.0 - 03 G500 - 06 E320CDI

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  #4  
Old 12-14-2015, 10:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: EU/UAE/USA
Posts: 786
First order of business is to be able to seat in it. Springs on the driver's seat had collapsed, but luckily I still have one of the seats from the 450SEL 6.9.

First, we remove the front seat. Four 10mm bolts on all four corners of the tracks, and a 10mm bolted to the transmission tunnel track.



Close enough! Still, I will buy a correct upholstery kit or good used covers in the near future. Notice the awful wear on the driver's seat back and armrest!



Pool noodles are your friends. Mercedes-Benz sells a similar product for an astronomical price, neatly packaged and with the MB logo. I'll save my money to put into other parts! Two full pool noodles will be enough for one seat.



Tried and tested several times until I found a good comfort level somewhere in between a collapsed mess and a church pew.

__________________
BATTLESHIP YAMATO [/COLOR]- Pearl white 2002 Hyundai Equus / Centennial / Mitsubishi Proudia - 203,653km - Bargain Korean Rolls-Royce, reliable UAE daily driver.
[UNNAMED] - DB040 Black 450SEL (033) - 94,000km - Former embassy car in Abu Dhabi. CURTAINS. Soon to replace the Equus as a daily car.
SIR ROGER - Solent Silver Volvo 1800S - 65,000 miles - Bought in Maine, shipped to the UAE and keeping as a hobby car.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2015, 10:20 AM
Stretch's Avatar
...like a shield of steel
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Netherlands
Posts: 14,453
Nice one Miguel

When you have the time photographs of the plumbing around a M102 in a W123 will be of great help.

But until then - check that single row timing chain!
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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!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2016, 09:12 AM
Delibes's Avatar
Drat, double drat!
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: EU/UAE/USA
Posts: 786
Finally got back to the Museum. Good battery, one turn of the key, and came back to life on the first crank. Will soon start ordering parts... thinking of a SLS delete (car's a beater, and the Arabian Desert is NOT a good place to get stranded) and a few suspension bits.

Parts request here: http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/mercedes-used-parts-sale-wanted/374177-anyone-parting-w123-wagon.html
__________________
BATTLESHIP YAMATO [/COLOR]- Pearl white 2002 Hyundai Equus / Centennial / Mitsubishi Proudia - 203,653km - Bargain Korean Rolls-Royce, reliable UAE daily driver.
[UNNAMED] - DB040 Black 450SEL (033) - 94,000km - Former embassy car in Abu Dhabi. CURTAINS. Soon to replace the Equus as a daily car.
SIR ROGER - Solent Silver Volvo 1800S - 65,000 miles - Bought in Maine, shipped to the UAE and keeping as a hobby car.
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2016, 06:20 AM
Delibes's Avatar
Drat, double drat!
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: EU/UAE/USA
Posts: 786
Put it on the lift today to start a parts order. Had a nasty surprise; besides the noisy differential and collapsed suspension, the car has a blown head gasket. Previous owner hid the problem too well on the pre-purchase inspection

Car runs, shifts and drives pretty well; 10 minutes running and it starts overheating. Electromagnetic fan clutch works properly, as does the water pump and electric fan. I'm bummed, but we have a competent mechanic in house and the gasket kit is about $50.



Not too much of a headache, I hope. Otherwise, there's a 6.9 in the local auction and local buyers are petrified at the collapsed suspension
__________________
BATTLESHIP YAMATO [/COLOR]- Pearl white 2002 Hyundai Equus / Centennial / Mitsubishi Proudia - 203,653km - Bargain Korean Rolls-Royce, reliable UAE daily driver.
[UNNAMED] - DB040 Black 450SEL (033) - 94,000km - Former embassy car in Abu Dhabi. CURTAINS. Soon to replace the Equus as a daily car.
SIR ROGER - Solent Silver Volvo 1800S - 65,000 miles - Bought in Maine, shipped to the UAE and keeping as a hobby car.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2016, 11:20 AM
Stretch's Avatar
...like a shield of steel
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Netherlands
Posts: 14,453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delibes View Post
Put it on the lift today to start a parts order. Had a nasty surprise; besides the noisy differential and collapsed suspension, the car has a blown head gasket. Previous owner hid the problem too well on the pre-purchase inspection

Car runs, shifts and drives pretty well; 10 minutes running and it starts overheating. Electromagnetic fan clutch works properly, as does the water pump and electric fan. I'm bummed, but we have a competent mechanic in house and the gasket kit is about $50.



Not too much of a headache, I hope. Otherwise, there's a 6.9 in the local auction and local buyers are petrified at the collapsed suspension
My experience with the M102 engine has taught me - head gasket failure more often than not due to dissimilar metal corrosion. The alloy head just doesn't like being on a ferrous block. Couple that with poor maintenance / incorrect coolant and hey presto you get trouble.

If you are unlucky things such as the pins for the timing chain guides will also be corroded in place.

I would expect the valve guides to be shot - just because it has been round the block! You are possibly looking at a head refurbishment if you want this car to be reliable.

If the engine has over heated then the head will need to be skimmed.

(More tips are available on request - I don't want to bring you down)
__________________
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!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2016, 10:35 AM
ROLLGUY's Avatar
ROLLGUY
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,267
Miguel, how is this project going? It is good to hear that you are back in the wagon club. It is hard to imagine you NOT owning a wagon.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2016, 06:59 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texafornia
Posts: 5,493
Be sure to snag that wheel and slip it into your suitcase!
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