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  #1  
Old 12-04-2008, 02:33 PM
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Talking Simply unbelievable.. please have a laugh

If you cant laugh at these things you would simply shrivel up and die....

A few weeks ago while puting the final touches to my the restoration of my 67 250s (http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyburnsnz/sets/72157606192414964/)
I was on my way with the car down to the local warrant station to get it first warrant in over 8 years.

It had been out on a dozen or so test runs and had been purring like a kitten.

To my great disgust as I pulled up at a set of lights the engine cut out and wouldn't restart. Needless to say pushing a two ton car even on a flat surface is a heart straining activity. No one got out to help me as I heaved it through the intersection and up onto an opposing verge.

After getting the car home I started methodically covering all bases until I traced the problem back to a completely burnt set of point. They were the worst I had ever seen with the top and bottom pads litteraly blown off.

After a bit more investigation I tracked it down to the fact that the previous owner (my father) had decided that the balast resistor wan't required and had bipassed it. Of course the very smart German man who engineered the system was in fact correct and that after starting the vehicle it is a really good thing to drop the supply voltage to the coil back to its normal operating voltage of around 9 volts.

Anyway this problem was rectified and I also decided to give the distributor a birthday by replacing the points, cleaning and lubing the cam and most importantly replacing the externally mounted condensor out of good practice.

While putting in the new points I accidentally dropped down the side of the engine the tiny washer which sits under the screw which hold the points down. I heard it clink on the floor and decided to 'borrow' one of the two identical washers used under the tiny screws which hold the external condensor to the outside of the distributor housing thinking it would be alot less hastle to replace this when I finally found the washer on the floor of the garage.

I then unsucessfylly searched for the tiny washer I had lost on the floor. Thinking to myself that such a tiny washer wouldn't make any difference to bolting on the condensor I happily reatached this as well.

After everything was back together I happily got in the car anticipating my glorious return to some wonderful nastalgic motoring. The first turn of the ignition key the car fired back into life....... very temporarily..... with a very nasty and loud mechanical clatter of metal on metal the engine came to a grinding halt.

I was absolutley dumb founded. Without even taking the distributor out, only having cracked the distributor cap and replacing the points, how the hell could I have caused any of this.

Terrible thought went through my head of where the tiny washer may have fallen. ie down the distributor quil into the depths of the motor causing some horendous internal damage.

In fact the tiny washer hadn't directly caused the damage, I found it on the garage floor the next day, but indirectly due to its abscence behind one of the tiny grub screws on the condensor.

The lack of the 'few thou' the washer provided meant the the grub screw penetrated a 'few thou' more into the distributor casing. Unfortunetely for me this meant that it now interfered with the advance weights when they were being centrafuged. Only slightly but enough to make slight contact.

This in turn had a catestrophic knock on effect which caused the gears of the two shafts that drive the distributor and the petrol pump to shear in turn locking both the shafts up.

This in turn caused the cast iron sprocket, driven off the main valve timing chain that runs up the front of the engine, attached to the second of the locked up shafts to rip the central boss clean from the sprocket.

The result being:



Now these engine components are not easy to get too, the factory suggests its an engine out job at the very least the head needing to be taken off to access the components.

I almost put a classified add in the local news papers for sale section.

Who would belive that the absense of such a small part could cause so much damage.

You have to be able to laugh at yourself dont you!

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  #2  
Old 12-04-2008, 02:51 PM
LUVMBDiesels's Avatar
Dead on balls accurate...
 
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OUCH! You poor devil!

"For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2008, 02:54 PM
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Thats just scary. Now I am 100% reassured that being anal when putting stuff on these cars back together is ok!
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2008, 03:27 PM
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I'd say that was a design problem much like interference engines where the slip of a cam belt causes the valves to hit the pistons...

I wonder if they ever had this problem from the assembly line and then corrected it on subsequent production...
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2008, 03:37 PM
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That's enough to make me avoid opening the hood on mine . . . .
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2008, 04:35 PM
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by LUVMBDiesels View Post
OUCH! You poor devil!

"For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."
Very very appropriate
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2008, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
Thats just scary. Now I am 100% reassured that being anal when putting stuff on these cars back together is ok!
I am never going to look at a washer with disprespect again in my life. As you say diligence is definitley a good quality that should never be frowned upon.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2008, 04:39 PM
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by pifcat2 View Post
I'd say that was a design problem much like interference engines where the slip of a cam belt causes the valves to hit the pistons...

I wonder if they ever had this problem from the assembly line and then corrected it on subsequent production...
I would have to aggree with you. I actaully spoke to the service manager for Mercedes New Zealand about it last week. He did his time on the 108 series and had never heard of another instance. The really crappy thing after I pulled the distrutor out of the engine was that I discovered that of the two screws which hold the condensor on only one of them would have caused this problem if the washer was removed. So basically I had a 50-50 shot go wrong as well!!!
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2008, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
That's enough to make me avoid opening the hood on mine . . . .
Dont let it. Its just one of those things. Its really rewarding maintaining your own car without the help from the experts. Often enough you will probably do a better job of it as well. I have found over the years that no one loves your car the way you do!
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2008, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyburns View Post
.... and had never heard of another instance.
Congratulations!!!!

(I am looking for your silver lining right now as we speak)
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2008, 06:17 PM
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It takes so many interalated mechanical workings to make them run, yet it takes the failure of the smallest piece to stop them cold.....
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2008, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
Congratulations!!!!

(I am looking for your silver lining right now as we speak)
No silver lining in this one I assure you.... just a couple of weeks of pain.
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2008, 06:50 PM
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I would bet that 99% of home appliances, small and large, are discarded and replaced due to failure of a part costing no more than $5. Of course, for those who don't have guys like us around, hiring someone to fix it costs more than a new one. We can't all be Robert Redford, so I subscribe to tha addage that a Handy Man is more desirable than a Handsome Man!

Keep turning those wrenches guys,
DG
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2008, 07:13 PM
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<>

Perfect example is Microwave ovens....interior fuse .....Radio Shack item..
2/$1.99....
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2008, 07:33 PM
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Washing machine drive to motor coupling, $10.00 and 20 minutes wrench time. New washer, $500.00 (The coupling kinda reminds me of an MB driveshaft flex disc)

J. M. van Swaay

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