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  #1  
Old 05-14-2017, 07:37 PM
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1985 300D back from near death

I've been at this for a little while but decided i would enjoy sharing all of it!

Here is the very first pic i took of the car in the late fall of 2016. I got it for under a grand in rather weak shape, in need of a thousand things. Sure looked sweet from the front but the sides were scary. But it ran, and however badly it ran, i had wanted this very model/year/color for a decade and this one fell on my lap. I just suddenly bought a car. This is in fact my very first car, and i'm in my late 30's. This is what happens when you live in the city and decide to leave.



The major issue was power, since from a stop it could barely make it up a small slope and would blow lots of black smoke doing so. Talking like 15mph, loud, nasty. People waiting behind me didn't even bother hitting their pedal for a minute

After talking directly with a few local know hows, they all suggested checking the turbo and the wastegate. So i took it in for a diagnostic at a reputable foreign car specialist. He suggested it could also be fuel filters, so i changed the pre filter and fuel filter myself. This was the first thing i've ever done to a car. It worked out, but there was one other filter that i couldn't change myself since it was the fuel tank filter and i had JUST filled the tank prior to this diagnoistic. So i left the car with him and eventually (a month or so later) he went through with the tank filter change. It accomplished nothing. He also expressed a deep disinterest in attacking the turbo situation.

So this is where i made the conversion from guy who pays people and grunts to guy who suddenly does a lot of homework.

Given that everyone i'd spoken with suggested the turbo could need a rebuild, i thought about that but also kept my eyes open to turbos on ebay. This phase was long and daunting and discouraging. The weather got colder and my to do list pertaining to making the turbo work well grew and grew as i investigated the related needs and also kept a reality check on how unlikely it would all go down without a hitch here or there. Especially regarding bolts.

I discovered that the flex coupler connecting the rear segment of turbo to the exhaust line was totally cracked, and so was the bracket that connected to manifold and supported that section of exhaust connection. And i discovered a 2" wide hole in the exhaust line under car. Part of me was hoping that if i managed to fix these issues that the turbo wouldn't actually need work, and that the power was being lost to the wide open flex coupler. This pic below doesn't show most of the gap in the coupler, which was underneath. And it's hard to tell from pic but that bracket to right was entirely split in two pieces. I can only assume at some point that cracked and then all of the weight of the exhaust tube was banging on the flex coupler and eventually the coupler ripped.



Then on the interwebs i stumbled upon a fully refurbished turbo, apparently performed by a Mercedes certified establishment of some sort on the west coast, and wasn't needed like some car owner thought and thus had their friend put it up for sale. It was very very affordable, so i figured well why not just buy it instead of taking the labor plunge into the unknown risky bowels of a 30+ year old turbo.

Then it got REAL boring and tedious, as i investigated over and over again what tools and bits and pieces i would need to have on hand for all of this turbo removal and replacement to go down smoothly. I was not driving the car except for once a few weeks just to give it some cycles. Then at some point a mechanic friend took apart some stuff to get a closer look and after that i didn't fire up the car for maybe three months. All during the cold months. It was an ominous presence in my driveway. But at least i had a spiffy turbo sitting on my kitchen floor at all times.

There is a lot more to the story that's already transpired..
To be continued...

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  #2  
Old 05-15-2017, 02:38 PM
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Preparing the appropriate seals and gaskets to be on hand wasn't easy on the mind because it all depended on just how much of the turbo/manifold i would be taking out and putting back in. Long story short is i decided i wasn't going to take out the manifold like most people suggest, because i could see that those five large bolts were a lot more rusted than the bolts fastening the turbo to the side of the manifold. I didn't want to take the chance of suddenly turning this into a larger project by cracking one of those bolts. But the physicality of removing the entire turbo looked like a nightmare.

And it was.

I did this in early May. It took me two full days to get it out, with some down days in between for tool ordering and receiving. And i also paid for it in neck and back awkwardness for a week. On some bolts i would be taking apart tool assemblies and mixing and matching wrenches and sockets and adapters and i'd be reaching all over the place with some dangerous leverage going on. My methods were not what you would call standard and i knew i could potentially hurt my knuckles pretty badly. But, it didn't happen. Some of the spots would occupy me for four or five hours. A single bolt being difficult AND hard to reach. I used a TiteReach for some things.

After all of the tool cleanup, here is the little **** ******* ******* ************ (expletive phrasing of choice) sitting by the car...


So at owed myself the investigation of to seeing what might be up inside, at least just a little bit. The wastegate seemed to move fine judging by the fact that i could move the spring from the external port, which was to me not a good thing since i was hoping that would be stuck open and letting out all of the turbo pressure. But i did also open the front of the wastegate, with it's spiral clip thingy, to see this...


So, i am not at all knowledgeable enough to know if this is caused by turbo issues or if it is a result of external issues (blow by oil?) but regardless it was a certainly a mess inside.

I set about installing the new turbo. That, ALSO, was a physical nightmare. However, it didn't take me two days but rather just five or six hours. Bolts were already moving, and that's be the difference.

After i put it in, and figured out from other's pics how to reinstall the stuff that had been taken out by my buddy, i was ready to fire up the car. The battery was dead of course, since it had been months. So i needed to jump start it with another car. Big fun!

And low and behold, the engine turned over perfectly and immediately. Previously, before the turbo install, getting the car to start was not a nice affair. But now it just kicked on. Maybe some of this is due to weather and glow plugs, or maybe the condition of former turbo had something to do with it, or maybe both. Either way, it was pretty exciting.

Until my friend who was with me and stood near the engine to observe noticed a TON of oil pooling up under the car.

STOP



It's tough to see in this pic, but oil was briskly pouring out of the top of the turbo. After starting a different thread here i learned this was the oil supply line for the turbo so it made sense that this was just a physical seal issue. The next day i tried a slightly differently shaped/sized seal and just like that it was not leaking. Granted i cranked especially hard on those bolts this time.

So now i was ready to pull the car out of the driveway and see if i had solved all of my power problems with this humongous labor.

This leads me to the NEXT LEVEL of emotional commitment to a giant hunk of metal that is beyond my current understanding....

The new turbo did absolutely nothing to the power of the vehicle. Well, it did some things, but i didn't discover them immediately and they applied to higher speed pickup/kick. I did do some highway testing but not for a little while. I was mostly too worried to bring it up like that. But at lower side street speeds, the car was still very sluggish and was kicking up smoke and struggled with hills big time.

In that other thread i'd started here, after some time it was suggested to me that i double check the vacuum system just to make sure things were connected properly. And after some confusion regarding vacuum layout of my year and model, i only found one discrepancy...



As many of you may know, and as i'ved learned, often owners will have bypassed the Turbo Boost Protection valve switch because they are faulty and can end up completely impeding the turbo. Well, after i mulled over my discrepancy for a while i started figuring that maybe someone had done that with this vehicle and so an unused switch valve was sitting mounted with available connections, and then also some time down the line the vent "a" had pulled loose from the cabin vent interface grommet and was dangling in the engine compartment looking to the layperson like it needed a destination, and then at some point they decided that it should be plugged into the swtich valve which just so happens to be mounted just above the grommet but is much more visible with it's available hole of the same size as the dangling tube. So they must have put it in and that's that, thinking they'd fixed something.

I can only assume that it has been since that exact moment going forward that this car has absolutely sucked to drive. Because when i finally decided this theory was pretty plausible while filling up dejectedly at a gas station and decided to pop the hood and simply yank that tube and let it at least ingest the engine air so i could have a go at driving it this way (there was at least a filter still in place here), from that moment forward this thing has had LOTS of power. Things were super sensitive on the pedal, and i eventually jumped on the highway and was passing people with complete ease in the 75/85 mph range. It was super rainy so i hadn't noticed that there was absoutely no smoke blowing out of the muffler at any time. And hills were a fun task.

On a side note... in reality some former owner had connected what was supposed to be an open air point into a switch valve that was FAULTY and so blocked air altogether. The irony is that if this switch hadn't been faulty, it wouldn't have affected things that much except for that dirty engine air would now be part of the system for a long long time because there might not be a major performance issue to warrant an investigation.


Soon after i properly installed the "a" point to the cabin grommet and even put in a new filter at that spot.

BUT, it became apparent that i had had two large problems going at once the whole time. Power was a big thing and was more or less solved, but shifting issues were/are still very much present.... ( again, much more had already evolved and this is to be continued!)
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2017, 02:59 PM
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Ham Shanker
 
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Location: Baltimore, MD
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Keep up the good work!

Your shifting issues are linkage and vacuum based. Once oyu get them tweaked, it will drive like a normal car
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2017, 01:10 PM
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Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
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Question Progress Report

Three months later, where are you at now ? .

Always lots of little things done wrong by DPO's & DPM's to correct before you begin to really enjoy it .
__________________
-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 440,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2017, 01:43 PM
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The vehicle is reliable and i have been enjoying it as is due to the fact that i'm incredily overlaoded with work currently.
I have a very short commute, just a couple miles, so have not been feeling to scared about driving it into pieces.

I've continued to do small bits like music related and interior cosmetic related stuff. But haven't done anything major in a few months.

But back then, after quite a bit of exploring possibilities for some time, i have it diagnosed to two immediate issues remaining to be addressed:

1. The engine needs to be remounted. I already have all mounts, shocks, and related bits on hand, including tranny remount stuff.

2. The transmission has an issue with B1. See the very first item on list in this page: The Benz Beat: More B2 transmission woes (hopefully that link works on this forum. if not, google "More B2 transmission woes" and it will be the first result)

I measured some vacuum points but at this point i forget which. Bowden cable adjustment is in a good spot now, and during adjustment things were affected but of course i still never got second gear.

TUrbo works great! Just hooked up the gauge again the other day to see if it was still kicking and it's great great. Highway passing power is solid due to this work. Thank goodness i did it first before i burned out.

On acceleration, the issue all makes total sense assuming that 1st gear just revs up twice as long as one would expect, hitting around 2800-3000 rpm, then finally it shifts down to third. I simply don't have 2nd, no matter what. Shifting otherwise feels healthy.

But the more pressing issue is the engine mount job. Being that im the first person to be really driving it regularly in probably a few years or so, the mounts are truly collapsing down and i'm basically riding a sedated bronco when i'm in park. At stop lights i prefer to lightly keep the car stopped by holding the break with left foot while gently pressing the accelerator. This very slightly lifts the engine so that i'm not sitting in a giant massage car that should cost a quarter to play.

I've also noticed worse milage, and also generally less power as the engine's mounts get worse. So this really has to happen soon. I believe i'm going to drop it off with a good shop for the mount procedure. I do not have the time right now.

Eventually i will want to either restore or replace the transmission. If im going to open the whole situation up already, there's no point in putting this transmission back in with B1 repaired. Shifting between park and reverse or park and drive is a matter of perhaps 1.5 seconds or so. I also beieve i hear it squeek lightly once in a while going from park to reverse or drive.

I also have cosmetic issues due to rust along wheel wells, and my trunk lid doesnt sit perfectly flat because at some point it looks like a locksmith banged the hell out of it and pressed it forward to hard that the lid slightly buckled upwards. Last priorities, both of these, but i will eventually have a good looking vehicle some way or another.

There was also an unfortunate series of events where i purchased the left and right fenders in perfect condition from a guy in the mid west who was pulling them off of another vehicle, and due to his somehow amazing cluelessness he completely wrecked them cosmetically without telling me (i had seen perfect photos of them on the previous chassis) and also packed them with absolutely zero padding. He threw the two fenders in a giant box, with nothing else but one piece of paper towel (i kid you not), and shipped them. There also was a loose metal piece that i had bought from him too, which he tossed in the box and it just bounced all around in there. The worse damage came from his handling when removing them from the vehicle though. Dented, bent, dinged, all sorts of stuff. Obvioulsy pounded with a screw driver head in many ways. I lost 600$. Not going to go into the details. I'm very good with these kinds of purchases from all parts of the world and i do it all the time. It all just got messed up in a legally unrecoverable way where i lost out. Now i have two messed up pointless fenders in my backyard under a tarp.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2017, 01:49 PM
vwnate1's Avatar
Diesel Dandy
 
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I feel you .

Most of the sellers here have been very good to me and know how pleased I am .

One or two, including some big names, didn't hesitate to lie to me and rip me off badly feeling safe because they're in another state .

These are good sturdy cars able to do yeoman duty in very harsh environments *if* you tend to the little things .

Revving the engine whilst standing on the brakes heats up the ATF really quickly ~ I'm sure if you give the tranny dipstick a sniff it'll be burned, you're courting disaster here . better to shift into neutral @ stoplights .

Nice to see you're enjoying it .
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-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 440,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2017, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwnate1 View Post
I feel you .

Most of the sellers here have been very good to me and know how pleased I am .

One or two, including some big names, didn't hesitate to lie to me and rip me off badly feeling safe because they're in another state .

These are good sturdy cars able to do yeoman duty in very harsh environments *if* you tend to the little things .

Revving the engine whilst standing on the brakes heats up the ATF really quickly ~ I'm sure if you give the tranny dipstick a sniff it'll be burned, you're courting disaster here . better to shift into neutral @ stoplights .

Nice to see you're enjoying it .
If i'm at a stoplight, and i do what i have been doing exepct for i also shift it into neutral instead of leaving it in drive, does this sound ok? If i recall correctly, I don't think just shifting into neutral will in itself reduce the rumble. I still have to accelerate a tiny bit.
Mind you, the amount i'm pressing the pedal is enough to maybe cause the vehicle to go like 3 mph on level ground. Barely touching it and the break.
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:11 PM
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Diesel Dandy
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
Posts: 4,397
Post

Yes ~ the problem is in applying power no matter how little when you're holding the brakes , this causes the torque converter to heat the ATF very rapidly .

Shifting into neutral will prevent this .

? Have you gone and sniffed the ATF yet ? .
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-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 440,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2017, 09:52 AM
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Fluid smells fine. No burnt odor. Got the stick so close to my nose that I bumped the end of a nose hair, and still only barely smelled the fluid itself.
Until I drop off the car, I will adjust my practice to include a shift to neutral first.
The only reason I've been choosing to suspend the rumble during idle is to hopefully prevent something else being caused by the rumble, like small connections in instrument cluster busting free and things like that around the vehicle. Light duty nuts and bolts, etc
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2017, 01:55 PM
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Have an appointment to drop off with local foreign specialist for the engine remount / shocks tomorrow morning and it might be ready same day. Confirmed i can leave him with all my parts, which is a relief because i've heard of mechanics not being so fond of customers supplying parts.
Fingers are crossed that this goes well and nothing else major is discovered.
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2017, 06:08 PM
vwnate1's Avatar
Diesel Dandy
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
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Post Tranny / Idle Rumble

FWIW ;

My '82 240D did this rumble too and I changed the engine mounts and shocks but still had this annoying vibration / noise issue, I had my buddy who's a factory trained M-B Mechanic look at it and he said ' it's the tranny tailshaft mount ~ it's slightly adjustable for just this vibration '.

Just in case you get it back with a vibration ......
__________________
-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 440,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #12  
Old 09-12-2017, 06:12 PM
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Posts: 302
Thank you for the pointer. I will mentino the transmission tailshaft mount. Is this the same as the "transmission mount"?
I will be supplying him with the parts for this re-mount as well, so maybe he'll do it all in one fell swoop.
My vehicle is rumbling so very much that i highly doubt it's anything other than the entire engine shaking things up. But i know nothing from experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vwnate1 View Post
FWIW ;

My '82 240D did this rumble too and I changed the engine mounts and shocks but still had this annoying vibration / noise issue, I had my buddy who's a factory trained M-B Mechanic look at it and he said ' it's the tranny tailshaft mount ~ it's slightly adjustable for just this vibration '.

Just in case you get it back with a vibration ......
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2017, 08:26 PM
vwnate1's Avatar
Diesel Dandy
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sunny So. Cal. !
Posts: 4,397
Post Vibrations

Yes, the transmission on these cars only has one mount and it's under the tailshaft ~ make _sure_ he understands he needs to replace it at the same time .

They degrade over time, moreso if the driveline isn't kept clean of normal weeped out engine oil and ATF .

It used to be that Mechanics didn;t like it when you brought your own parts but now a days there's too much cheapo Chinese and worthless Uro parts so they'll often accept Customer supplied parts although don't expect any warranty if the *part* fails Vs. if they do it wrong and something else goes amiss .

This is why I prefer to source my own parts ~ I flat refuse to cut corners on parts and many Shops don't really care .

Keep us posted ! .
__________________
-Nate
1982 240D creampuff 370,000 miles
1978 300CD back from the dead&1980 300CD ~ SOLD
1984 300CD KEEPER ! 440,XXX miles
1984 Euro 300TD Fully optioned SWMBO's
1974 350SLC 4 speed stickshift SOLD & missed
Krazy Kommie Ural Motos (3)
BMW Moto R60/6 Barn Find, 8,000miles
1959 VW #113 Deuxe Beetle, 36hp engine, stock
Junk, Rust, Arthritis, Crushed Spine,Broken Neck&Back
Memories, Peace Of Mind
facts & reality don't change because you can't handle them
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2017, 08:18 PM
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 302
Yeah i feel good about the parts situation here because i did my homework on each and every one of them. I was prepared to do the work myself. Ran out of time and didn't have the right equipment anyways.
I dropped it off this morning and he'll definitely be doing the transmission mount as well.
Hoping to pick it up tomorrow afternoon but i imagine he'll hit me with a day extra of delay for one reason or another. He has a popular shop.
Hoping we don't open up a can of worms and something else big has to be addressed.
I'm glad i'm getting this done though. It was feeling more and more risky to be running in such a state.
Taking cabs to and from work sure isn't helping though! $$$
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  #15  
Old 09-14-2017, 12:56 PM
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Going to pick up now.
Engine mounts, engine shocks, transmission mount all taken care of.
Oil leak not addressed yet because he wants me to wash the engine first so we can see clearly what the source is. I may be able to solve this one with some pointers from you all though!!
I'll get back with the results in a bit...
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