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Old 09-26-2017, 01:15 PM
Posting since Jan 2000
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,340
Late W124 300E with Sentimental Value

My project description will be a little at a time as I get chances to post, so get ready to read it piecemeal.

I drove an '88 300E five speed almost 300,000 miles. Loved it, but finally got to a point that the KE was kicking my butt and the A/C had its challenges of course. I sold that car about 10 years ago. Thought I would never be messing with one again, but life changes.

Three days before I retired well over a year ago, my wife passed away unexpectedly. Quite a shock because for some reason I had it in my mind that she would outlive me. After her death I worked through the grief and was brought together with a wonderful woman. We have been almost inseparable from the beginning and are now engaged to be married early next year. She likes to fly with me and we have so many things in common that it is unbelievable. Life is going well. BTW, she doesn't hurt my eyeballs either.

Her Mother passed away a few years before we met and had a '92, I think, 300E. Her son in law took the 300E and put some money in it for a 100 mile per day commute car. Long story short, it threw a rod. When that happened my Fiancée asked if it would be worth salvaging. I asked her if it had sentimental appeal to her and she said absolutely. She agreed to foot the bill to put it back in its glory and I agreed to take on the project.

I brought it to my place some time ago and bought a low mileage M103 out of a 126 car. Between weddings, births of two new grandkids, going to the beach house a lot, going to Europe, the Smokies and on and on, I haven't had a chance to get into the project. I finally have moved the car onto the lift, gotten the chainfall hanging down and starting the project working on it when I have time. We are leaving in a few hours to spend a few days preparing for the wedding of her niece. Hopefully after that and a few other events I can bury myself in the project. I am not a multitasker. I am more of a project person. I get started and can't stop until I am finished, so this working on it piecemeal is not my preferred approach.

The car has a very nice leather interior. It is rust free and crash damage free although it will need cosmetic work. There are a few dents in the panel below the trunk lid and a chunk gone from the top of the front bumper cover. Kind of weird damage. Paint is mostly good, but it will need the hood and possibly the trunk lid repainted. Transmission was working good and it has a lot of expen$ive new KE components on the old engine should I need them. The A/C is interesting. It was originally R12, but was converted in the nineties. It has a double AUX fan so I am hoping it is a better conversion candidate. System is still charged so there apparently are no significant leaks. I can only hope it doesn't need a podectomy.

I have already run into some differences in connectors on the original engine compared to the replacement, so I will have that to overcome.

I will be posting comments and questions over the term of the project. I hope to get the car running before Christmas, but the way all these events come my way, no guarantees.

I look forward to comments, discussion and answers. I will post pictures along the way.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 4,499
Looking forward to your progress.
“Whatever story you're telling, it will be more interesting if, at the end you add, "and then everything burst into flames.”
― Brian P. Cleary, You Oughta Know By Now
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Old 09-26-2017, 02:28 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 173
Same Here, Still MISS my 300E
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Old 09-30-2017, 07:43 PM
BodhiBenz1987's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Coast
Posts: 3,005
Great backstory, looking forward to hearing the progress. I'm a sucker for sentimental cars.
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--140,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--14,500 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--34,000 miles (Dad's car)
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:19 PM
Posting since Jan 2000
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,340
Haven't done any more on it, but talked to the Son in Law that had been driving the car.

He said the a/c has had a podectomy and it was cooling okay, but sometimes blew hot air that required turning the engine off and back on to fix it. That means the clutch is slipping, causing the rotatation sensor to trip it out. Probably will need a condensor. That being the case, after I confirm my diagnosis, I will probably replace the compressor, and flush the system for a reverse conversion to R12.

He said he had serviced the transmission and it was doing well.

I will update more in a few weeks when I apply the wrenches to it.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:53 AM
jake12tech's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 2,714
I'm curious as to why you would convert it back to R12. I mean, I can understand it is a lot colder than R134 retrofit conversions. Although, it is way more expensive for a can of R12 than R134. Not to mention only available on eBay or a Craigslist hoarder for $40 for a small can.
1999 E300 220k
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:22 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 12,249
brought together with a wonderful woman
Congratulations Larry.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:38 PM
Posting since Jan 2000
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,340
Thanks Jim. She is wonderful and I am EXTREMELY FORTUNATE.

Jake, Last time I looked, which has been a while it could be had for about $15 a pound. The cars requiring it are fewer and fewer, hitting the wrecking yards all the time. That matters not though. I have about fifty pounds of it on hand. Going back to R12 will improve the cooling capacity by about 15% and we are in Texas where we need all the cooling capacity we can get.

Last edited by Air&Road; 10-04-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:44 PM
Posting since Jan 2000
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,340
Turns out the R12 price has changed since I checked last. It appears that R12 is right at the going price of $25 per can. This should not be confused with $25 per pound since the cans are 14 oz. I have about 8 or 10 cans, an unopened 30 pound cylinder and one that is probably about half full. This Benz and my '78 pickup are the only two vehicles I have now that need it.
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